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Treasure Park from Snow Flat, AZ
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Overview: This hike follows an old jeep trail from the little lake at Snow Flat to the scenic meadow of Treasure Park, in Arizona's Pinaleno Mountains. Although the road that this hike follows is closed to motor vehicles, it still sees occasional vehicle traffic, so don't expect a "wilderness experience".


The roads leading to Snow Flat and Treasure Park are closed from November 15 to April 15 or later, due to snow. The road that this hike follows would likely be ideal for cross country skiing during that time.

History: Treasure Park is the setting for one of Arizona's many lost treasure legends. A story tells of Mexican bandits burying a large quantity of stolen gold and silver bullion on "Bonita Peak", as the Pinaleno Mountains were once known, sometime during the eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries. The bandits placed three colored boulders as markers, but were never able to retrieve their treasure. In the early 1890's, a small party of searchers who claimed to possess a map to the treasure, took up the hunt, but were driven away by deep snow and a case of pneumonia.

Early in the twentieth century, Forest Service supervisor T.T. Swift, unaware of the treasure story, discovered an ancient, blazed trail that led to three colored boulders at Treasure Park. Much digging was done, but no treasure was ever located.

The 1930's saw the location of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp at Treasure Park. The workers from this C.C.C. camp were responsible for constructing the Swift Trail highway, which is still in use today. Snow Flat was once the site of a Boy Scout camp. Nothing remains of it or the C.C.C. camp at Treasure Park.

Hike: Just north of the lake at Snow Flat is an old jeep trail marked by a small "closed to motor vehicles" sign. Follow this old road uphill, as it heads northwest into the trees. After a quick climb, the road levels off and arrives at a "T" junction at 0.4 miles, near a bracken fern patch. Go left at the "T". The jeep trail now turns south and descends a little, occasionally passing more fern filled glades among the tall firs.

At 0.8 miles the road turns west, becomes more primitive, and begins a gradual climb to the top of a broad ridge at 1.2 miles.

From the top of the ridge, the road turns north and makes a steady descent to Treasure Park. Small breaks in the tree cover allow for brief views of the sweet meadow to come. The jeep trail reaches Treasure Park and the Treasure Park road (Forest Road 89) at 1.5 miles. This largest of the Pinaleno's meadows is usually filled with wildflowers in summer. The upper end of Treasure Park's gigantic meadow is popular with campers. A nameless creek flows along the western edge of Treasure Park, and should have water year round.

Enjoy the Pinaleno Mountains' "natural treasure", and return the way you came.
Description 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 
0
0
 Safford
Statistics
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding ?
Distance Round Trip 3.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,817 feet
Elevation Gain 200 feet
Accumulated Gain 487 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.64
Interest Perennial Creek
Author PrestonSands
Descriptions 167
Routes 149
Photos 5,504
Trips 1,183 map ( 6,095 miles )
Age 39
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
14  2014-05-19
Mount Graham 10,720
SkyIslander16
15  2010-08-31 SkyIslander16
11  2008-06-23 PrestonSands
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Forest Coronado
Backpack   Possible - Not Popular
Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Any
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:09am - 6:12pm
Route Scout
import queue
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Snow Flat
0.4  High Peak Road #507
0.4  Plain View Peak 10370
0.5  Marijilda Cutoff
0.5  Heliograph Peak from Shannon GC
0.5  Heliograph Peak Loop
[ View More! ]
Flora
     Bracken Fern
     Southwestern White Pine
     Unidentified Mushroom or Fungi
Space
And the real treasure is...
by PrestonSands

Overview: This hike follows an old jeep trail from the little lake at Snow Flat to the scenic meadow of Treasure Park, in Arizona's Pinaleno Mountains. Although the road that this hike follows is closed to motor vehicles, it still sees occasional vehicle traffic, so don't expect a "wilderness experience".


The roads leading to Snow Flat and Treasure Park are closed from November 15 to April 15 or later, due to snow. The road that this hike follows would likely be ideal for cross country skiing during that time.

History: Treasure Park is the setting for one of Arizona's many lost treasure legends. A story tells of Mexican bandits burying a large quantity of stolen gold and silver bullion on "Bonita Peak", as the Pinaleno Mountains were once known, sometime during the eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries. The bandits placed three colored boulders as markers, but were never able to retrieve their treasure. In the early 1890's, a small party of searchers who claimed to possess a map to the treasure, took up the hunt, but were driven away by deep snow and a case of pneumonia.

Early in the twentieth century, Forest Service supervisor T.T. Swift, unaware of the treasure story, discovered an ancient, blazed trail that led to three colored boulders at Treasure Park. Much digging was done, but no treasure was ever located.

The 1930's saw the location of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp at Treasure Park. The workers from this C.C.C. camp were responsible for constructing the Swift Trail highway, which is still in use today. Snow Flat was once the site of a Boy Scout camp. Nothing remains of it or the C.C.C. camp at Treasure Park.

Hike: Just north of the lake at Snow Flat is an old jeep trail marked by a small "closed to motor vehicles" sign. Follow this old road uphill, as it heads northwest into the trees. After a quick climb, the road levels off and arrives at a "T" junction at 0.4 miles, near a bracken fern patch. Go left at the "T". The jeep trail now turns south and descends a little, occasionally passing more fern filled glades among the tall firs.

At 0.8 miles the road turns west, becomes more primitive, and begins a gradual climb to the top of a broad ridge at 1.2 miles.

From the top of the ridge, the road turns north and makes a steady descent to Treasure Park. Small breaks in the tree cover allow for brief views of the sweet meadow to come. The jeep trail reaches Treasure Park and the Treasure Park road (Forest Road 89) at 1.5 miles. This largest of the Pinaleno's meadows is usually filled with wildflowers in summer. The upper end of Treasure Park's gigantic meadow is popular with campers. A nameless creek flows along the western edge of Treasure Park, and should have water year round.

Enjoy the Pinaleno Mountains' "natural treasure", and return the way you came.
© 2008 - 2016 hikearizona.com

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    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.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Safford, Arizona, head south on U.S. Highway 191. Turn west onto State Highway 366 (Swift Trail), and follow it for 20.1 miles to the signed turnoff for Snow Flat. Follow unsigned Forest Road #472 for 0.7 miles to the meadow at Snow Flat. The trail (jeep trail) begins just north of the lake, near the "motor travel is restricted to roadways" sign. Trailhead gps coordinates: 32.6539 N, 109.86514 W. (see hike description)

    When entering from Treasure Park there are a series of remote camping spots along this road, accessable by decent clearance vehicles. Water is available in Treasure Park at a faucet. Expect privacy but ATV's use this road.
    page created by PrestonSands on Jul 07 2008 6:46 pm
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