A great day for a hike with rlrjamy. Temps around 70 with some light clouds.
From reading the trail description and logs I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. Let me clarify a bit. This is an old jeep trail that is still open for those who wish to use it for motorized used. But there are only portions of the route where there is a jeep trail that is separate from the creek. In many areas, the creek IS the ONLY route
The creek was quite shallow
, despite recent rains/snow of about a week and a half ago. In warmer weather, I'd consider this a great Teva hike. But not too warm. I wouldn't want to be here in summer as the elevation is quite low. (2200 ft). We managed to hike the entire trail and stay dry, though there was an occasional jump which required a quick footstep in shallow water.
I'd guess that the best time for this hike is in late October or early November, once the temperatures have cooled but before the leaves fall. I kept imagining
what it would look like with leaves on the trees, and will definitely go back and check it out.
It took about 1:15 to drive to the TH from the Bartlett Lake turnoff in Carefree. As noted previously, only the very last hill down to the creek requires 4wd, and that can be hiked by anybody who prefers to park on top. FR 18 does require high clearance.
If you want to visit the air strip
, don't make the mistake we made! Hiking up the road directly from the Verde River to the corral and road closed barricade is not the way to go. Instead, hike back up Red Creek for about 1/4 mile past the first little drainage that flows in from the south, and then climb up. There's also a rough jeep trail that leads up from the creek in about the middle of the landing strip, but finding it is difficult as the area is extremely overgrown. I got bloodied up a bit after bushwhacking through this area! It was neat to read the logbook
at the airstrip though to see who had been there. You couldn't pay me to land a plane on that patch of rocky dirt though!
All in all, a nice few hours. Easy elevation, cool water, nice when the temps are under 90.