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Grant Creek Trail #305, AZ

Guide 33 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.3 of 5 
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 6.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,890 feet
Elevation Gain 3,822 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,956 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.08
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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4  2017-10-22
Swift Trail (State Hwy 366)
15  2017-03-11 SkyIslander18
20  2017-02-26 SkyIslander18
16  2015-08-11 SkyIslander18
4  2015-07-23
Grant Creek Goudy Ridge Loop
7  2015-07-23
Grant Creek Goudy Ridge Loop
20  2015-04-18
Webb Peak from Ash Creek TH
75  2014-03-29
Lower Grant Creek to Lower Ash Creek
Page 1,  2,  3
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 245
Routes 837
Photos 12,279
Trips 4,941 map ( 25,216 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Winter
Sun  6:06am - 6:19pm
Official Route
6 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2017 Frye Fire48.4k
🔥 2004 Nuttall30k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥

Magic of life
by joebartels

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Shuttle hike from the upper Pinaleno Mountains down to the Fort Grant area. Fort Grant lies on the upper end of the Sulphur Springs Valley that runs all the way down to the Arizona border. Aravaipa Valley starts and runs northwest.

It truly was the best of times. This was a downhill tiptoe through one of Pinaleno's finest. After setting up a shuttle we started at the top. Nothing beats shivering in July... in southern Arizona! We were greeted by the morning sun filtering through campfire smoke down on a field of wildflowers.

The first mile was rough. Three men armed with digital cameras suffered a fierce battle capturing the beauty Grant doused out with every step. Purple, yellow, white, red, red, RED! I took almost a hundred photos in the first twenty minutes alone. Due to the low light and lack of a tripod, nothing worthy turned out for me. The area was also populated with wild Raspberries. Preston and I indulged in each passing. Preston is a tad braver and sampled just about everything. A full report which spanned from spit-ick to hmm-not-bad followed each tasting.

Barely surviving the morning dew laden wildflower fields we came to the overlook and stood in awe. Here we looked out over the valley below. The view through the pines featured a nice outcrop of the ridge descending Grant Hill in the distance.

Continuing on and down at this point we expected the hike to degrade quickly into scattered chaparral. Not only did that not happen we were treated to lush environs. The quick but not-to-steep 2,000 foot drop landed us to the glurpping of a nearby creek. Post Creek had a good flow with it's upper tributaries Moonshine and Soldier likely lending in a hand.

We went off trail shortly to a small three-foot waterfall and enjoyed the surrounding beauty. All liqueured up on wilderness; we continued figuring we'd screwed around enough and needed to cover some ground to get Nick home to his family. Minutes later, I spotted a bear right off the trail. Of course, he was camera shy, and once again, I had to "go get the photo". He didn't move fast, but he coursed through poison ivy patches in dense dead branch scrub. Immune to urushiol oil I didn't hesitate and worked my way into a decent shot.

Continuing on we entered yet another magnificent life zone. Oaks canopied the generous trail rivaling the Pinal Mountain displays. Not much further down, we came to an old settlement of sorts that Preston figures captured the water for Fort Grant.

Negotiating one shallow pool it was a wide road hiking home. I believe this would be a good out-n-back hike from the bottom. Perhaps knocking off 1.5 miles. A looping option exists with Grand Goudy Ridge Trail #310. The shuttle option we took was fabulous, albeit time-consuming, setting up the shuttle. Coming from the valley, you might try one of the other options.

This hike never let up and kept stopping us in our tracks. Summer storms crack off the Pinaleno's almost daily mid July to mid August. The cloud formations are awesome!

That Evening
An honest and funny guy passed away that evening... my dad. He enjoyed joking around with the site phrase "Hike Arizona it ROCKS!". He'd ask, "you're going to hike what?". It was my job to say "Arizona". He'd ask, "why". I'd proudly respond, "it ROCKS!"

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-07-23 joebartels

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Permit $$

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Safford, head south on U.S. Highway 191. Turn west onto state highway 366 (Swift Trail).

    Follow highway 366 approximately 25.2 miles to Cunningham Campground. There is parking at the campground.

    The trailhead at the lower end begins at the end of Forest Road 157. To drive to the trailhead you no longer need to get a key from the Administrative site.
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