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Lucky Strike Trail #144, AZ

no permit
340 26 1
Guide 26 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Young S
3.5 of 5 by 6
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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
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
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
18  2014-08-24 DarthStiller
15  2014-08-24
Lucky Strike#144 w/Side Trips
7  2014-08-24 joebartels
16  2014-07-20
Reynolds Center Lucky 235 410
Page 1,  2,  3
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 42
Routes 458
Photos 8,104
Trips 508 map ( 5,318 miles )
Age 74 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  6:11am - 6:22pm
Official Route
10 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
..a TRAILHEAD with a VIEW..
by Grasshopper

Likely In-Season!
History: The Lucky Strike Trail derives its name from the nearby asbestos mines named "Lucky Strike & Pueblo". This trail is actually 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).

Options: 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 wonderful 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 nice views (~400' down) into perennial Cherry Creek.

Hike: I chose to do this hike as an "in and out", with some exploring, starting from the 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 trail. Within this area there were also secondary trails and off-shoot 4x4 mining roads, but with a limited amount of time to explore this first trip, I was unable to 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 very nice views of the Cherry Creek drainage far down to FR203 at trails end. From this ~4mi point there was some recent trail maintenance done which makes for a very pleasant hike for the balance of this serious downhill 5.5mi one way hike as 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 that at the lower TH end(FR203), there is NO "official" TH sign indicating the lower end of this Lucky Strike Trail#144, so 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 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.

    Most recent of 12 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Lucky Strike Trail #144
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Billy Lawrence TH Upr RIM Views - Sierra Ancha
    After our first short three mile but :sweat: adventure this 7/19am [ photoset ] with a short rest stop back at Camp G/H - FR487, we headed out to the Reynold Creek area up FR410 to FR235 end to hike the 4WD Rim Mining Road to check-out the always great views of the huge Cherry Creek Drainage areas down from the Billy Lawrence Park/TH Start area for the Lucky Strike Tr #144 and along the ~.5ml one way Metate (asbestos) Mining Road to Rim End.

    :D My very first Sierra Ancha Wilderness hike was on 6/24/06 with HAZ-topohiker (Ken). Over many years since, I have had some really superb memories hiking and remote camping trips within this huge area below and out from the Billy Lawrence TH :D
    Lucky Strike Trail #144
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    Reynolds-Murphy-Center Mountain Loop
    The Sierra Ancha is a special place. If it were closer to home, I'd be here all the time. But then if it were closer to home it would be too over run with people. We saw no no hikers and only 3 occupied camp sites along the FR's during our hike.

    We started at Cienega Spring and walked up FR 410 to the Reynolds Creek TH and Reynolds Creek Trail #150. A GPS will help get you through the overgrown sections and sections that have dead fall. Nothing too bad at all. The Falls were but a trickle but still a neat area. At the wilderness boundary it's a steady (steepish) climb towards the Old Murphy Ranch. There are 2 trails in the area that cut across directly to the rim here. One of these days I'll have to sample those. I'm not sure if they are named. This whole area is mixed conifer and deciduous trees, with plenty of Maple. There was no sign of the 2016 Juniper fire until you get up to the Ranch. The locust saplings seem to be what is going to take hold here.

    At the old Murphy Ranch, we hit the FR's towards Aztec Peak and over to Peak 7662. Great views of the old Ranch from up here as well as an overview of the Ancha. This is a must do if you are in the area.

    Next to Murphy. On top, we took a casual look for the Peak Marker with no luck. After reading the @FLYING_FLIVER triplog from last year just now, I'm glad we didn't spend any time REALLY looking.

    Next up was the Center Mountain Trail #142. From the south this trail is thin in spots. Another one that a GPS with a track will help. You are basically following the ridgeline. It will obscurely drop to the saddle and then continue down the west side of the saddle. If you reached the intersection with the 2 crosscut trails (like we did) you went about 70 yds to far. Back up and look for the sign-less post for the turn. On this climb, you will be rewarded with some breathtaking views. A great place to catch your wind. The trail continues up, but along the edge of the cliffs making frequent stops mandatory. The trail gets thin in spots where new growth pine and dead fall has occurred. The top of Center Mountain is void of trees in one area, allowing for some pretty sweet views.

    The drop towards the Lucky Strike Trail #144 is also rocky and steepish, but once again the views make up for it. We followed the old path/road along the rim to the North past the Metate Mine trail that @Oregon_Hiker has frequented, then dropped down to FR 145 for our return.

    Another Great day in the Ancha
    Video :next: [ youtube video ]

    ** Note ** For anyone planning on driving FR 145 to the Billy Lawrence TH in the near future.
    This road is currently closed just past The Cienega Spring TH. The road is dug up and blocked off while they fix the Spring source that has eroded the road. As of 6/3/2017, there had been recent activity with the repair.
    Lucky Strike Trail #144
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    Lucky Strike - Grapevine Trail - FS203 Loop
    Up Lucky Strike #144 to Grapevine #135. Down #135 to FS203 and followed 203 back to start.

    The purpose of the hike was to tackle Grapevine #135. The upper 0.75 mile is in good condition. It is also the location of a grow site that appears abandoned a good year ago. The lower 1 mile, basically used as access to the old mines, is in pretty good condition.

    About 2.25 miles in between is a bush-push. Typically 7 foot manzanita on one side greeting mountain mahogany or such from the other side. Some was entangled. More often just good solid momentum pushing and turning did the trick. Only a hint of locust and catclaw. We did this descending. Ascending without momentum against the grain would likely be miserable. For reference the manzanita was uncharacteristically slender and forgiving.

    It has the potential to be a great trail if cleared. Trees canopy many sections. Great views when the canopy opens up. Two? of the four major drainages we crossed were flowing good.

    Alex tried to get us all sick. We got him healthy instead. Chris searched for sanity in the sea of suburban drama. Wally ( the charcoal bandit ) still claims the Disney trips are for his daughter. Best of times.

    wallflowers, indian paintbrush

    a few hills on the drive in were covered in poppies
    Lucky Strike Trail #144
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Chris took us back to the 80's rounding poorly paved roads in the formula one extera. Then onto the recently well graded FS410 & 235 ( high clearance still recommended ) he would have been passed by my Grandma cruising downtown showing off her hairdo.

    Bruce and I hiked a short portion of the upper end of #144 two years ago. Which would be the equivalence of going to Disneyland, nudging ( know what I mean Alex ) Mickey on the shoulder then leaving.

    This trail looks to be an old mining road that seemed impossible to build before hiking it. Now it seems pretty tame. There are a few intense pitches but nothing really bad. For reference the popular McDowell Tom's Thumb Trail has worse footing in my opinion. The middle is rocky at times. The upper portion of this trail is just heaven. Most notable are the robust pines and a stellar pano view looking back up at Center Mountain. A 3/4 mile stretch immediately below the Grapevine Trail #135 was my second favorite. The trail roller coasters through diminishing pine to oak canopies before the final steep mile descent. If you can lift your eyes up from the ground on the lowest mile you will notice the Hinton Creek drainage looks mighty interesting.

    Great to see Chris after nearly two years. He storied out Alex's idiosyncrasy of physical communication. Fun it was, then Alex notched it up to hilarious throughout the hike. Good times, kudos to Alex for impeccable timing on several occasions.

    Of course it wouldn't be a Stiller hike if I wasn't tarred and feathered by Chris for poor route finding. Bruce also convinced me Horse Camp Creek was Cooper Forks. I've been wrong so many times I'm just all outta fight.

    cienega see-en-uh-guh or non tourist cee-en-ee-gah
    A cienega or cienaga is a spring that is usually wet, marshy area at the foot of a mountain, in a canyon, or on the edge of a grassland where groundwater bubbles to the surface. Often, a cienega does not drain into a stream, but evaporates, forming a small playa

    tiny less noticeable wiry lotus in areas
    Lucky Strike Trail #144
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Lucky Strike#144 w/Side Trips
    Fun journey out to the Sierra Anchas. Finished up the Lucky Strike trail and did a bit of 'splorin'. Weather was toasty at the bottom, but some clouds moved in and the wind picked up, to make it comfortable hiking up after the first mile or so.

    The trail is a little overgrown in spots mainly in the lower 1/3, but not bad. Followed GHopper's / Oregon Hikers track for some side trips to mines, springs, and mining relics. The two trips to the south of Lucky Strike Trail were getting overgrown. The one to the north, just mainly has some deadfall. The seeing the old Mining Compressor contraption was worth the side trip. Next visit with more time and long pants / shirt, I'd like to try the Oregon Hiker loop to see some more stuff.

    It's been awhile, but great hiking with Alex (tap, tap) and Chris (The Tank) again. Joe and Wally always enjoyable to hike with. Thanks for driving Chris....

    Video from up top :next:
    Lucky Strike Trail #144
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Cherry Creek - Center Mountain Loop
    A wonderful three day adventure in the Sierra Ancha with my friend Alex. It was nice to be back!

    Day 1: We parked at Devils Chasm about 9:30 AM and began the hike heading north for a couple miles along Cherry Creek Road until arriving at Lucky Strike Trail (#144). After a few hundred yards the trail became undefined and we ended up bush whacking north until hitting a fence which we followed back to a gate and the trail. After that no further problems, just the steady gain towards Center Mountain. We made a short exploratory foray down towards Lucky Strike mine. From this point the continued on Center Mountain Trail (#142) and made camp a half mile or so down after the summit. Offered sweeping views in most directions. Had a good time exploring the cliff face and enjoyed the beautiful fall colors off in the direction of Aztec Peak. Made camp a little after 4:00 PM. Some good Brats and S'mores!

    Day 2: Broke camp around 9:00 AM after a breakfast of Pancakes and Bacon (bacon!). And headed towards Aztec by way of Trail #150 with a stop at Knoles Hole to top off on water. The forest was in full fall swing! Eventually we made our way along the Rim Trail (#139), breathtaking views of the Cherry Creek Canyons from above as well as spotting a bear! We made camp a short way along Moody Point Trail (#140) about 4:30 PM.

    Day 3: Continued along Moody Point Trail about 9:30. This was by far the most difficult part of the trip as after the first two miles or so the path is little more than cairns and route finding is a must. It did have nice views most of the way down as well as several random finds (some old horse shoes, several rusted discarded spools of barbed wire, etc) and a cliff dwelling about 2 1/2 miles from Cherry Creek.

    Around Aztec Peak fall is certainly in full swing!
    Lucky Strike Trail #144
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    A very enjoyable and rewarding exploration hiking day in our Sierra Ancha Wilderness prowling for new to me, historic Asbestos Mining stuff.

    My geocoded, captioned picset and posted GPS Route with all "key" way points shows and confirms our successful day out :D
    Lucky Strike Trail #144
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Reynolds - Center Mtn Loop
    I wish this area was a closer drive to my home. I'd be out here way more often.
    For me a 3 hour drive. With a 40% change of rain, I was a bit concerned on getting out on FR410 in my 2 wheeled drive vehicle. It ended up being a non-issue.

    This hike starts a steady 1,400' climb for the first 3 miles. We passed by Reynolds Creek Falls (Dry), through the thick lush maples, Pines, and Aspens surrounding the Knoles Hole area (not found) and took a break just outside the gate of the historic Murphy Ranch complex. I was surprised to find at least 4 buildings on the property. Three of of the buildings can be seen as you are hiking in on the far south end of the Reynolds 150 Trail.

    Back the way we came to meet up with the the trail(33.82768 -110.911791)that goes next to 7677. A GPS Track is very helpful on this one, as it is thin in spots. Some great views once you get to the Rim and then the steep decent to the saddle. We took a bit of an off trail jaunt to check out the popular Grasshopper Lunch overlook spot and do some 'splorin.

    Next off on the Center Mountain trail and another winner of a lunch spot on the edge of the rim. There were expansive views all along this trail, all the way until it met up with the Lucky Strike Trail. We took a short trek down the Lucky to see what kind of Views it afforded us. I was not disappointed... on the way back up the lucky, Joe checked out an alcove we spotted on the way down.

    The final 4 miles was a Forest Road walk with a stop at Cienega Spring to take on some water.
    The road walk was pleasant enough with the forest being thick and lush up there.

    With 15 minutes to go we saw our first rain of the day, so carrying the Chrome Dome today was good insurance. Man I love it back in the Sierra Ancha.

    The JBM was running around 7-8 early on and cooled down to 3-4 later
    Lucky Strike Trail #144
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    Reynolds - Center Mtn Loop
    Loop from Upper Reynolds TH:

    Reynolds Creek Trail #150
    The hike started off in a forest that felt like bears must be breathing near. It goes up and up which typically I adore. Even at a cool 71 degrees in July, in Arizona, the humidity made this one a chore. Nevertheless I enjoyed the magnificent forest, rising above it and all it had to offer. Along the way we bombed out looking for Knoles Hole Spring. At the end we pondered the former Murphy Ranch parcel.

    Center Mountain Trail #142
    Not sure if this starts 1.3mi(according to topo) or 2.8mi up #150. We got on via some trail at the 2.8mi junction which skirts the upper western flank of 7677. Then it darts down to a saddle. The views off to the east are awesome. We worked up the edge and got it some more killer views. After we had enough wading through manzanita we headed back to the saddle.

    Up #142 was a little push before topping out and a nice stroll along the top. Bruce saw an unidentified patch on satellite that appeared to be an old fire lookout or a helicopter pad. We went to check it out. Just before arriving Bruce says "I wonder if it's a tank". Sure enough he figured it out. Perplexing though as it's about the highest point and wouldn't seem to get runoff from any direction. Next we headed down to the 144 junction.

    Lucky Strike Trail #144 (short portion of the upper end)
    Bruce wanted to venture down 144 a short ways. I didn't see the point but tagged along. Hole e cow! A tenth of a mile really made the difference in views. Coming back I tried to check out some alcove above. It had a four foot rock pile to assist up a fourteen foot wall. I made it ten feet then chickened out. The hand holds are bomber for those interested.

    We followed 144 a short distance to it's upper end.

    Billy Lawrence TH to Cienega TH on FS #?
    This was a stroll down to FS410. The 40% thunderstorm forecast tried to make good on it's name. Just wind we could hear but barely feel through the thick forest.

    FS 410 back to start
    This was the least desired leg of the loop. The building thunderstorm kept it interesting. Albeit a road the forest is quite nice. It started to rain just minutes before we completed the loop. Which I found refreshing!
    Lucky Strike Trail #144
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Aztec Peak via Center Mountain
    Where to begin... I guess at the beginning. I have been hounding Randy to take me to see Red for over a year now (and really quite a bit since the beginning of fire season this year); he finally caved. It was raining on Saturday afternoon as we were checking out the possibilities for camping. We considered camping near the Reynolds Creek trailhead, since that was the original plan for the hike on Sunday. Nothing looked that great, but we did run into a couple who told us of an overlook on an adjoining road so we decided to check it out.

    When we arrived at the Billy Lawrence overlook, the clouds parted, the sun came out, and a rainbow appeared at our camp spot. Well maybe not exactly, but this spot was really cool. Apparently the survivors of John Dalton thought so too - since they used the place for a final resting spot. We set up our tents and proceeded to explore the area to see what we could see. We walked up to the end of the road, and I wanted to come back via the drainage below. I had a hankering for boulder hopping.

    We were walking along, and suddenly, a rock slipped under my foot and I was hurled forward in the creek bed, where my head bounced on the sharp edge of a rock. ](*,) I sat up immediately and put my hand up to my face, where the blood was streaming from my left temple. :scared: Since we had just gone exploring, neither one of us had a pack, so I sent Randy back to camp to grab my first aid kit from my backpack. He came back to the road and we cleaned up the wound. My head hurt at the site of the laceration, but other than that, I felt OK.

    We went back to the campsite and I rested for a bit, then started to think about dinner. Randy offered to take me to Globe (to the ER) and call the weekend off, which may have been the best idea, but I had been waiting for this for so long! I decided that we'd see how I felt in the morning.

    In the morning, I was feeling OK. The bleeding had pretty much stopped, so we changed the dressing on my head and had a leisurely breakfast, making a fairly late start to the trailhead. I was feeling strong - and we started on the Lucky Strike Trail (an old Jeep road - and I think I've discovered that I am not a fan of hiking on Jeep roads). Thankfully, that part wasn't long, and then we were on the Center Mountain Trail. The first part of this trail was brutally steep, but it evened out to a gradual uphill all the way to the marker at Center Mountain. After this point, the trail grew fainter, but there were cairns and tree markers along the way. After we met and veered onto the Reynolds Trail, we walked through a lush forest that reminded me of back home in Washington state. There were even old-growth Douglas Fir trees - these are few and far between in the Pacific Northwest, where the loggers have made them nearly extinct, but along this trail, they were plentiful. The raspberries were plump and delicious! I was so ready to see Red, though, and was thankful when we saw the road that would lead us up to see him.

    Red wasn't all that, though. He didn't even talk with me! He talked a lot at Randy, and Randy managed to get a couple of words in edgewise, but I did not. I was happy to get my picture taken with him though (see Randy's photoset), and then we were on our way. We stopped for a quick bite at the Flintstone's furniture, then made our way back the way we came. The last couple of hours back, I was feeling nauseous, and I found out later that this was due to my mild concussion.

    The weather was thankfully overcast and wet - it kept us cool and I loved the droplets on all the flowers and trees.

    Note: Yes, I'm OK - I didn't get any stitches since I didn't make it to the doctor within 24 hours after the injury. I do have a mild concussion, the symptoms of which should be gone in the next couple of days. I've already been read the riot act by my nurse friend [-X , so if this should happen again, I would definitely go to the Globe ER. :stretch: This weekend: Camping close to home (Catalinas) with a very short hike. :)

    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
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