Hell's Canyon Wilderness
OK, I was conflicted by the generally negative triplogs verses my curiosity to explore what is for me one of those blackhole areas on the map. Throw in a little bit of history with the landmark 1896 Castle Hot Springs Resort (see http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/cas ... rings.html
), frequent wild burro sightings, and a drive thats included in a couple of my 4WD/Offroad guides that tipped the balance in favour of satisfying my curiosity
Took the day off work to create a 5-day Thanksgiving Weekend and headed out in the F-150 with Lynn and Skippy armed with the HAZ Hike Description for Burro Flats Loop. As we turn onto Castle Hot Springs Road you cant help but notice the absence of traffic (in fact our only vehicle encounter was at about mile 20 when a yellow Toyota FJ passed in the opposite direction).
Nice views of Lake Pleasant (not a single boat in sight). Burro encounters in Garfias Wash and Castle Creek. An alien encounter with seemingly abandoned, yet immaculately manicured grounds of Castle Hot Springs Resort. Some curiously humble little working mines.
With some effort and a roll-of-the-dice, we found the Garfias Wash TH. Al_HikesAZs tip proved helpful;
Bitter Creek crosses Castle Hot Springs Road about 7 miles beyond the Resort. Just past this point, head south on Cedar Basin Road. You will need 4WD for this stretch. About 2 miles south on Cedar Basin Road you will reach Garfias Wash and the parking area.
We left the F-150 at the side of the road because there was no convincing evidence that this was the track to the TH no signage, no recent tire tread marks in the dirt, in fact road grading had built up a bit of a barrier at the side of the road. The 2 mile trek to Garfias Wash TH was easy enough.
Back on the road we stopped at Picacho Wash. My GPS showed this as a 4WD trail following the wash. We followed the multiple tire tracks in the wash heading towards Cross F Spring. Was this the path towards Burro Flats TH? Nope! Appears we were on the 4WD path that takes you to the Burro Flats TH [N33deg 55.9980min W112deg 24.9540min] when we were at Garfias Wash TH [N33deg 57.3535min W112deg 25.4269min]
End verdict? Curiosity satisfied, probably not on any list for a redux though
Posted GPS track for Castle Hot Spings Road showing access to Garfias Wash TH. Appears that you continue further south along this same 4WD track to reach the Burro Flat TH. See http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?GPS=7238