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Railroad Tunnel Hike, AZ
Description 37 Triplogs 1 Active Topic
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 
Mine
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Friends
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 Clints Well
Statistics
Difficulty 2    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,260 feet
Elevation Gain -500 feet
Accumulated Gain 820 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 5.6
Interest Historic
Author joe bartels
Descriptions 198
Routes 579
Photos 8,212
Trips 2,596 map ( 13,516 miles )
Age 45
Location Phoenix, AZ
Photos
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
4  2014-07-04
Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
Tough_Boots
52  2014-06-25 kingsnake
9  2012-08-04
Colonel Devin Trail #290
hikerdw
22  2011-11-25
Colonel Devin Trail #290
Darth Stiller
8  2011-07-24
U-Bar Trail #28
Preston Sands
20  2011-06-11 cw50must
5  2010-10-04 kcvance
11  2010-07-23
Highline - AZT #27
The Eagle
10  2009-10-03 cabel
8  2008-10-03 azdesertfather
4  2003-05-16 pbeckley
5  1999-05-26 joe bartels
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Radar
Forest Coconino
Backpack - Yes & Connecting
Seasons - Spring to Autumn
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Blue Ridge - AZT #28
0.1  Colonel Devin Trail #290
0.3  Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
0.4  Fred Haught Trail #141
1.1  Camp Grasshopper - Mogollon Rim-C/Site#4
1.1  Mogollon Rim Viewpoints Loop - via 300D-300L
[ View More! ]
Culture
     Bridge
     Graffiti
     Humor
     Informational/Interpretive Tra
     Railroad Right-of-Way
Space
Fauna
     Bald Eagle
Space
Flora
     Arizona Blackberry*
     Scarlet Bugler
     Woolly Paintbrush
Space

Historic
by joe bartels

History: Long ago a man named James W. Eddy had a dream to construct the Mineral Belt Railroad. The rail was to cross the state North to South. Starting in Nogales and up though Globe, then up the rim passing through Flagstaff continuing on up to the Utah border near Lees Ferry(the launching area for rafters into the Grand Canyon). In August 1883 work began on drilling a 3,100 foot tunnel to ascend the Mogollon Rim. 42 men labored all summer. After running low on funds twice the railroad was abandoned. Today the entrance to the railroad tunnel keeps the story alive.

Hike: At the edge of the Rim is the trailhead. The trail goes straight down and the footing is loose. Sand and loose rock make the going tricky. Pass the second electric poll and cross the wash to your left. The wind takes advantage of the natural depression of the Rim. The day I hiked the trail seconds after leaving the Rim the wind kicked in. Once returning the second I stepped up on the Rim the wind ceased. The trail continues straight down and curves to the junction with the Railroad Tunnel Trail. Actually you have been following the Colonel Devin Trail from the Rim and the Tunnel Trail is a spur trail that starts a half mile down. From the rim you have just dropped 760 feet, now you will work your way back up 300. If the trail signs are in place follow them. If not the Tunnel Trail starts to go over and back up where as the Colonel Devin Trail starts a switchback down the wash. From the junction it is a quarter mile over and back up to the tunnel. The trail is steep in sections so please be careful. A dark black rock formation tricked my senses into believing I was near the Tunnel. Well not much further over the tunnel came into view. What appears to be a recently constructed ruin is on the east side of the entrance. Upon first examining the tunnel, extensive graffiti is sad to see. Cool air inside makes the tunnel a great resting spot! The floor is fine grain sand. Sit back and imagine the man power it must have taken to drill here in the 1880's! Return back to the trailhead. Enjoy the ride home through the dense Ponderosa Pines along the Rim.

Update 10/03/08 - dshillis adds "The building next to the tunnel is the remains of a powder house."

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Directions Preferred Months Apr May Sep Oct
Water / Source:none
Preferred Start9 AM Cell Phone Signal~Light Sunrise6:19am Sunset6:42pm
Road / VehicleFR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay
Fees / Permit
None

Directions
To hike
From Payson follow 87 North past Pine and Strawberry to the Rim Road (FR300). Turn Right on to FR300 and follow 12 miles. Just past mile post 12 is the monument for the Battle of Big Dry Wash. Park here or on the south side of FR300 next to the trailhead is a space or two.
Login for Mapped Driving Directions
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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