|Hiking||10.10 Miles|| 5 Hrs 30 Mns || ||1.84 mph|
|2,300 ft AEG|| || || |
Alex and I started up the Babe Haught Trail early just after 7am. The temps early in the day were pretty cool. The ascent was quicker than I expected it to be and soon we levelled off on our way to FR300. The Tonto NF maps show the Gen. Crook Trail to be separate from FR300 but this really isn't the case. We found an unmapped dirt road south of FR300 but we kept on up past FR300 to look for the junction of the Gen. Crook Trail. We did in fact soon find it, but it just quickly went back to FR300 and seemed to follow it from there. There were inverted chevrons along the Gen. Crook trail that we saw on and off along FR300, so either the Gen. Crook Trail really doesn't exist, or is the same as FR300, or both.
The hike along FR300 went very quickly. At some openings we meandered over to the edge of the Mogollon Rim and got some photo ops. Very clear day and very cool weather. At one point we were able to see Humphrey's Peak up in Flag.
Horton Springs Trail wasn't nearly as bad as most of the triplogs for it led me to believe it might be. I'm not sure if this was due to recent maintenance (didn't look like it) or what might be referred to as "operator error". I downloaded 2 tracks for this and at one point one track veered way right, down a steep bank, when I could see the trail going left. It was very steep, loose and rocky, and was also faint. But it was visible in addition to being heavily cairned. Soon we were at Horton Springs and found the Highline Trail. I hadn't been to Horton Springs since June 2005 and I was remembering what I had seen since then.
The hike back on the Highline was the usual slog that turns into with the ups and downs and ups and downs and rip rap. the lack of shade and higher than we expected temps didn't help. the weather seemed more like June than April.
Along the Rim and the Horton Springs Trail there was abundant elk sign, but on the Highline almost nothing. I was surprised that this was only just over 10 miles as some triplogs listed it closer to 13. I've uploaded my track for anyone else who might want to consider this. It's a pretty nice little loop for a summer dayhike out of the opressing Sonoran desert heat.
On the way home along the Beeline Hwy we were passed by a beige pickup with a HAZ sticker on the back window. I drive like a maniac, but this guy was CRAZY. we only got a glimpse as he passed us and zig zagged thru 7 other cars along the windy section just passed the Indian casino.