The excitement builds all summer to see the autumn foliage so we hit Inner Basin in the morning. The antarctic temps and snow changed our secondary hike from Bill Williams to this one. We didn't have much to go by other than Denny said it was in the "60 Hikes" near Phoenix book he was trying to complete. I always knew there was some confusion on the listing but having not been here couldn't say one way or the other.
By the time we reached the trailhead I was finally thawed out from the Inner Basin freeze off. Yet I still felt chilly and took a jacket. Not knowing up from down we parked at the restrooms before the trailhead which added a smidge to the hike.
Badger Springs Trail is a short 0.8mi jaunt to the confluence. I was pretty impressed not expecting much. The big bonus was we were back in the warm Arizona desert and not on some frigid north pole island. Badger is a very easy and scenic hike. Judging by the log book and our company on a Friday this place sees a fair amount of hikers in season.
While Badger is very cool Agua Fria is just fascinating. The canyon is deeper and the views are pleasing all around. There is no trail, you just boulder hop to your hearts delight. The majority of casual hikers never venture past Badger as the boulder hop takes more energy than walking on a sidewalk. Perhaps we had the most perfect weather ever or hiking in a snow filled freezer made me appreciate this one more. Now that I've reviewed our route I have a much better understanding for this area and look forward to future trips.
Couldn't figure out if the pipe following the canyon wall was for water? and going to? or from Richinbar? It looks more like an air duct.
The Badger trailhead reconfirms my thoughts on the FS. The forest service maintains roads and spends money by rolling the dice. If you call and ask for information you usually get a clueless hollow reply. The BLM is a well and fine tuned machine with their crap in order. If you go into any restaurant you can tell how clean the kitchen is by looking at the bathroom. Ever notice the BLM bathrooms at remote places like Quartz Peak to higher traffic areas like Badger are not totally disgusting like the FS...
Got home and watched the balance of the Diamond Backs succome to Cardinal fever.