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Lucky Strike Trail #144, AZ

Guide 30 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  3.5 of 5 
no permit
1 Active
414 30 1
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 5.15 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,800 feet
Elevation Gain -2,769 feet
Accumulated Gain 722 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 7.56
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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9  2019-10-26
Lucky Strike Tr #144(Post May'16 Juniper Fire)
15  2019-10-19
Reynolds - Center Mountain Loop
21  2019-10-19
Reynolds - Aztec - Center Mtn Loop
18  2019-10-19
Reynolds - Aztec - Center Mtn Loop
11  2019-07-19
Billy Lawrence TH Upr RIM Views - Sierra Ancha
3  2018-07-08 Craigbhikin
20  2017-06-03
Reynolds-Murphy-Center Mountain Loop
15  2015-03-15
Grapevine Trail #135 - Sierra Ancha
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 46
Routes 480
Photos 8,786
Trips 543 map ( 5,393 miles )
Age 75 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep → 9 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:13am - 7:37pm
Official Route
11 Alternative

..a TRAILHEAD with a VIEW..
by Grasshopper

The Lucky Strike Trail derives its name from the nearby asbestos mines named "Lucky Strike & Pueblo." This trail is an old abandoned/closed 4x4 mining road that runs from the Billy Lawrence TH at the upper end of FR235 to the lower end TH at FR203(Cherry Creek Road).

This remote hike in our northern Sierra Ancha Wilderness has an upper and lower TH option, which allows for either a high-end hike start at 6800' elevation (from the Billy Lawrence TH) or a low-end hike start at 4000' elevation (from FR203). The upper Billy Lawrence TH off FR235 has fantastic canyon views down into the surrounding Cherry Creek Drainage areas, rugged Billy Lawrence Canyon, and far-reaching to the north and east into the distant mountains of the Apache Indian Reservation. The lower TH area at FR203 has fine views (~400' down) into perennial Cherry Creek.

I chose to do this hike as an "in and out," with some exploring, starting from upper Billy Lawrence TH. The trail begins here in the pines with canyon views continuing for 0.5mi to a highpoint at 6975' and its intersection with Center Mountain Tr#142. From here, the Lucky Strike Trail, an old 4x4 mining road, starts its downhill 2900' elevation drop through some minor burn forest area to the official Sierra Ancha Wilderness boundary sign at the 1.37-mile point. At the 2.04mi point, the GPS indicated mining activity for the old Pueblo and Lucky Strike asbestos mines. This mining activity was evident along and off the trail to the 2.25mi point with various metal pieces and old steel water piping sections off the path. Within this area, there were also secondary trails and off-shoot 4x4 mining roads. Still, with a limited amount of time to explore this first trip, I could not locate any official mines that might confirm the actual locations of the old Lucky Strike and Pueblo mines.

At approximately the 3mi point, this easy-to-follow trail with some downed trees to negotiate takes an approx 160-degree turn at a very scenic viewpoint looking up at the jagged bluffs of Center Mountain to the southwest. From here, the trail takes a steady downhill route to the ~3.5mi point where it opens up with sun exposure and becomes overgrown and rocky to the ~4mi point but offers some lovely views of the Cherry Creek drainage far down to FR203 at trails end. From this ~4mi point, there was recent trail maintenance, which made for a very pleasant hike for the balance of this serious downhill 5.5mi one-way hike. It now continued with switch-backs as it makes its way through heavy-old growth red manzanita and large oak trees, which helped to shade most of the final 1.5 miles downhill to FR203.

As of this writing, there is NO "official" TH marking for the intersection of the Grapevine Trail#135 that intersects this Lucky Strike Trail#144 somewhere between the 4mi and 5mi point. As best as I can now determine, this intersection is approximately at GPS coordinates: N33 51.8625 W110 53.6547 ELEV 4971' (At this approx location there was a rock cairn with white survey-ribbon tape tied in the bushes noting what appeared to me to be a possible trail intersecting to the north-a left turn).

It should be noted. At the lower TH end(FR203), there is NO "official" TH sign indicating the lower end of this Lucky Strike Trail#144. I have noted in the TH driving directions below the lower TH end-GPS coordinates (see driving directions for details). Also, note that the lower TH end or the start of Trail#144 is approximately 50 yards before continuing north on FR203 through a "closed" gate.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2007-10-15 Grasshopper

    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 $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    Upper Trailhead "START" at Billy Lawrence TH: From the Phoenix area: Take Hwy 60E to Globe (at MP247) turn north on HWY 88/188 towards Lake Roosevelt. Drive 14.7 miles (at MP229.4) turn right onto HWY 288. Drive 27.6 miles north (at MP286.4) to FR410. Turn right on FR410 and continue for 2.3 "slow/rough/high clearance" miles to its intersection with FR235. Turn Left on FR235 and continue for 2.4 "slow/rough/high clearance" miles to its terminus at the Billy Lawrence TH and UPPER START of Trail#144. HIGH CLEARANCE VEHICLE POSSIBLE WHEN DRY;

    Lower Trailhead "START" on FR203- Cherry Creek Road: From the Phoenix area: Take Hwy 60E to Globe (at MP247) turn north on HWY 88/188 towards Lake Roosevelt. Drive 14.7 miles (at MP229.4), turn right onto HWY 288, and continue on HWY 288 past the Salt River Bridge for approximately 2 miles more until you reach FR203 (Cherry Creek Road). Turn Right on FR203 and drive for approximately 25 to 27 miles(estimate only) until you reach GPS coordinates: N33 51.903 W110 52.694 ELEV 4000'(This is the LOWER TH START of Trail#144). STRICTLY 4X4 HIGH CLEARANCE VEHICLE
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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