Another one of those, "Getting there is half the Battle," type trips. 4 Wheel Drive is a must for the hill climb although there are three different roads you could essentially come in on. For this report, we'll use the passage through the old mining town of Columbia. Not too difficult, this road due to its steepness and loose rock should not be considered during wet weather. The road passes numerous named and unnamed mines and gives way to great expansive views rolling all the way out to Lake Pleasant. When the road touches the beginnings of Tule Creek the hiking begins.
Route finding is accomplished by following the creek downstream, as any foot path has long been erased. Be prepared to bank dance from side to side as the thorned vegetation closes in often. This will add to your trip distance and time. After only a few minutes in, a ruin almost closed over by trees, can be found. Although it is quite small, it still offers a chimney. The other ruins lie at the end of the journey down to the spring. There are plenty of holding spots for water so be aware of wildlife. Near the destination, there is a quite a drop where Tule meets another creek. Going around to the right is the best option and the set of ruins on the East bank can be seen from this vantage point. Once this site is reached, the last set is visible back across the creek. This site is the largest with at least two separate buildings and some lower structures below.
Time to turn around or if planning for a longer day, one could hike the rest of the way downstream (2.5 more miles) to the Old Fort Tule building and foundations.
One-Way Notice: This hike is listed as One-Way. When you hike several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.
To hike Go North of Lake Pleasant, then get the old topo maps out. Quickest and easiest way - At Lake Pleasant take Castle Hot Springs road to Crown King Road. At N34 00'13.4" W112 19'20.4" turn right onto trail. Continue on through ghost town of Columbia crossing Humbug Creek and taking the steep switchback road up towards Tip Top. When the trail touches Tule Creek, put your hiking shoes on.
page created by skatchkins on Feb 23 2009 11:24 pm
Warning: heat kills!
Avoid 8am to 6pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated. Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.