.. An amAZing Journey to the Edge .. by Grasshopper
Overview: This most enjoyable full day outing in our remote and rugged Sierra Ancha Wilderness begins with a very scenic drive on Hwy 288 to FR487- Workman's Creek Road past the popular photo stop at "Workman's Creek Falls", to FR487A end at the historic "Murphy Ranch" with it's large apple orchard and building complex. TH Parking and Hike Start is at the end of this FR487A. This special in and out hike with connecting trail options available, takes you by the upper end of colorful, rugged with sheer cliff walls "Cold Spring Canyon" and then on to end at the beautiful high cliffs (+1000 ft drops), scenic, and rugged upper "Pueblo Canyon Bluff Overlook" area for near and distant views of the Cherry Creek Drainage to the east and north. Also included in this day hike or overnight(s) backpack option is a short .1 mile round trip hike to perennial "Edward Spring" seep with its surrounding overnight campsite options.
Warning: Hiking is within an elevation high of 7250 feet and low of 6250 feet with 80% sun and elements exposure (most exposure due to the devastating YR2000 Coon Creek Fire and associated new growth on a large portion of this trail hike). Due to this exposure with our Arizona summer Monsoon Season with lighting strikes possible, it is important to take the weather conditions seriously before attempting a hike in this area.
Hike: For your convenience and use, please review (info and route detail) and download the two referenced GPS Routes attached to this hike description: "Dive to Pueblo Cyn Overlook TH Parking" and the default hiking route- "Pueblo Cyn Overlook via Murphy Ranch#141.
This hike begins on signed "Murphy Ranch TR#141" at the FR487A road end TH Parking area as noted in the driving directions section and further detailed in my posted 5/15/10 pic set and GPS Route. Trail#141 with some manageable tree downfall and overgrowth to negotiate on trail is relatively well defined, easy to follow, and continues downhill for ~1.1 miles to end and intersect "Rim Trail#139" north and south. This hike continues north (left turn) on TR#139 to first views of scenic and rugged upper "Cold Spring Canyon" drainage at ~1.7 miles in from TH Start. After rounding the scenic upper end of this canyon on TR#139, you continue NE on trail along the north side of upper Cold Spring Canyon to a recommended short-downhill "off trail" section (no signage or cairn) at ~1.84 miles in from TH Start (at reference way point N33.82588 W110.89301). This short-down hill "off trail" segment takes you to a most scenic bluff overview section of middle-lower Cold Spring Canyon drainage and Cherry Creek drainage beyond.
Continue hiking northeast then north on Rim Trail#139 with some manageable tree downfall and with minimal trail overgrowth on this relatively easy and well defined trail section. At ~2.90 miles in from TH Start, you will arrive at the signed intersection for perennial "Edward Spring" seep and "Pueblo Canyon Bluff Overview" area. Author suggests you hike the short .1 mile round trip distance to enjoy the riparian area of perennial Edward Spring seep (at (way point N33.83651 W110.89256) before enjoying the more time consuming- scenic photo and break locations along the upper Pueblo Canyon Rim view areas (beginning at way point N33.83742 W110.89124).
Water Sources: Perennial Edward Spring seep (suitable for drinking water filtration and/or chemical treatment).
Camping: Backpack Tent and Hammock camping locations are readily available.
Forest Tonto Pass is a forest wide permit for recreational sites and campgrounds. Typically not for trailheads.
To hike From the Phoenix area: Take Hwy 60 east to Globe (at MP247) turn north on HWY 188 towards Lake Roosevelt; Drive 14.7 miles (at MP229.4) turn right onto HWY 288; Drive 25.3 miles north (at MP284.1) to FR487-Workman's Creek Road; Turn right on Workman's Creek Road and continue on this "high clearance" FR487 for 5.95 miles to its intersection with unmarked FR487A (way point N33.81107 W110.90530) at marked Aztec Peak Road intersection; Bear Right onto FR487A and continue for 0.97 miles to road end at Murphy Ranch TR#141 TH-Parking (at way point N33.82236 W110.90485); Note: Please see posted, down-loadable GPS Driving Route dated 5/15/10;
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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