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Black Hills - AZT #14, AZ

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Guide 94 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Oracle
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Distance One Way 27.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,079 feet
Elevation Gain -1,289 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,702 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 43.27
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
5  2019-02-03 ttretta
3  2019-01-12
Black Hills AZT #14 Trail Run
BiFrost
113  2018-02-13
Arizona Trail Passages 13-15
Mudhole
6  2018-01-27
Oracle Rumble 50K
BiFrost
10  2018-01-14
Black Hills AZT Beehive Well
BiFrost
5  2018-01-13 BiFrost
4  2017-03-03 TheMazzicMan
424  2017-02-11 BACKROADER
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 7
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar
Sun  6:08am - 6:27pm
Official Route
 
16 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

From the Tiger Mine Trailhead the trail proceeds in a twisting NNW direction for approximately 5.5 miles until reaching a 3-way pipeline road intersection. Over this section you will descend into and cross several distinct washes, all of which are about a mile apart; eventually reaching the largest wash, which is Tucson Wash. After climbing out of Tucson Wash the trail will gently curve around to a true north direction as you traverse several ridges, one gate, a dirt road, and soon arrive at the pipeline intersection. At this junction, there will be a large white steel gate on the east side signifying private land owned by El Paso Gas. The newly constructed trail now continues in a twisting northerly direction for approximately 10.5 miles to the confluence of Camp Grant and Bloodsucker Washes. Over this distance you will traverse many water drainages, unique rock formations, and 360? scenic views as you climb up and over the ridge line of the Black Hills. Antelope Peak will consistently be the prominent landmark as the trail meanders northward, as will the Superstitions and Pinal Mountains. To the east lies the entire Galiuro Mtn. Range and the San Pedro River with Mt Graham (10,720') in the background. Looking to the south will be both the Rincon and Santa Catalina Mountains, with Mt Lemmon at 9,160'. When viewing to the east you will get a good idea of the how expansive the Sonoran Desert is as it transitions from low to high desert.


Traversing this 10.5 mile section, you will pass through 3 cowboy style gates, cross 5 ranch dirt roads, and possibly observe many nearby old cattle tanks, broken wind mills, and abandoned wells. Near the middle of this stretch and within view from long distances is a large active water tank, named Mountainview Tank. Water is pumped up to this 40K gallon tank from lower wells, which then gravity feeds numerous smaller tanks across many miles of the cattle ranch. Once past the tank area and for the next 2 miles, the trail crosses one more ranch road and winds around numerous drainages and smaller ridge lines. There is ample signage, both cairns and carsonites, to assist in traversing this decomposed granite terrain as the trail gently turns to the west and climbs to a high ridge line. Most likely, you will have cattle for company; they too like the elevation and cooler breezes this ridge provides. This is the final ridge before dropping down to the confluence of Camp Grant and Bloodsucker Washes. At this point the trail drops directly into the ever changing wash, crosses to a 'tree like island' and then traverses the rest of the confluence, with numerous carsonite signage, until reaching a two track ranch road.

Continue on the road as it bends around to the west; there will be several gates to pass through before the trail eventually leaves the road and drops down to Beehive Well and Tank, on the edge of Putnam Wash. The trail now heads northwest in Putnam Wash for a short distance, exiting to the northeast, crosses several ridges, then descends into Dobson Wash and nearby Antelope Tank. After another gate and road crossing, it continues northwest as it circles around on the east and north side of Antelope Peak, then descends to a two-track. It now catches another two-track and heads north for approximately 1 mile, crosses Freeman Road and turns west, goes through one more gate, and then reaches Freeman Road TH.

Southern Trailhead: Tiger Mine Trailhead - Tiger Mine Road

Northern Trailhead: Freeman Road

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

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.

2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    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 18 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Black Hills - AZT #14
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    Arizona Trail Passages 13-15
    This week's adventure on the Arizona Trail was one full of learning new things about myself, and also continuing to try out new experiences, techniques and gear. My new hiking friend Dana Law was kind enough to have me tag along on what was originally planned to be an 8-day 102 mile hike through 5 passages of the Arizona Trail. Things don't always go quite as planned...

    The night before our hike, Dana and I stayed at the Chalet Village Motel in Oracle, owned and operated by the wonderful trail angel Marney. Marney also had arranged a ride to the American Flag trailhead for us the next morning and had also confirmed that water was staged for us at the Tiger Mine trailhead at the start of passage 14.

    We set off from Oracle, AZ to start passage 13 on Tuesday morning at first light. Our plan was to complete 13 and do a good chunk of the first part of passage 14. We set our goals for 16 miles and ended up camping after just short of 18 miles thanks to Dana's very positive attitude throughout the day which helped me to push more miles than I'm normally comfortable with especially with a full pack. This day was sunny and comfortable, but we knew that the weather was going to turn on us during the next 24 hours of the trip. Our camp was flat and rock-free, the weather was calm, and we both got good sleep.

    Day 2 brought us through most of the remainder of passage 14. The beginning half of passage 14 really is a bleak section of unattractive and overgrazed desert unfortunately. We encountered light rainshowers just as we reached Beehive Well mid-day, our first reliable water source and our lunch stop. I was dealing with a forming blister on the ball of my right foot, so I had to cut it open and tape it up to be able to continue. Soggy shoes and lots of downhill to Beehive were the demise of my feet that day. The tank and cattle trough were both full of algae-ridden water filled with hundreds of dead bees, and the larger tank had at least one dead bird in it. There was a small old building next to the windmill by the tanks, and inside of the building we spotted a giant crab spider, which I have never seen before. I brought out a new prefilter for water such as what was in the trough, attempting to help clarify some of the yuck out of these less-desirable water sources, however the connection on my homemade prefilter failed/leaked and we had to set it aside. Out came the Sawyer filters and we took only the water we needed as we continued on through the rain. We reached camp just 4 miles short of the start of passage 15 at Freeman Road and set up camp just before the heavier rain started. It rained constantly all night long, but we did end up getting 2 extra miles on today as well. Surprisingly, both of us got sufficient sleep that night.

    Day 3 was a wet morning. This was the first time that Dana and I have ever had to break camp in a steady rain while on a backpacking trip. We did surprisingly well with getting our packs loaded up in our own small tents, saving the take-down of our tents for last before we headed out for the day. We crossed Freeman Road and loaded up on cached water from the resupply box at the trailhead for passage 15, met with 2 wet hikers Half Ration and Greenpeace, and pushed on to get as many miles as we could for the day. Being that the rain had been falling for over 24 hours straight, the trail conditions that day were quite miserable. Soggy shoes, nonstop rain, and very slippery clay mud on the trail slowed us down and made our footing very sketchy for the entire day. I grumbled and cussed about the conditions, but again Dana kept that positive spirit and really got me through the rest of the afternoon until we set up camp after another 17 mile day. We were now over a half day ahead of schedule and excited about possibly finishing early. Yet again, we both slept but it was somewhat broken up by short naps here and there.

    Day 4 began with no rain! At this point, we only had 15 miles left to get to Kearny, AZ for our resupply and an awaiting motel reservation. We would actually be shaving off an entire day of our agenda if we could push through today at a good pace. We had our biggest climb of the trip thus far ahead of us, so we set off at first light. Fortunately for us, the rain had let up all night and we only encountered a few light showers through the high point of the rest of passage 15. Ripsey Wash provided us with a great place to take a lunch break before the final climb and then ascent into town. We made it into Kearny with the last of our patience, looking forward to hot showers and putting on dry gear so we could get some dinner at the highly recommended Old Time Pizza just down the street from the General Kearny Inn.

    65 miles in just 4 days with full packs was a new record pace for me, especially considering 30 hours of literally non-stop rain in the middle 2 days of the trip.

    Breakfast on Saturday morning was shared with James Simmons, steward for passage 16a, and we also ran into Half Ration and Greenpeace again. Great talking with them while the power was out at the Whistle Stop restaurant!

    Now for the bad news...

    While in Kearny on our zero-mile day, we were closely monitoring the upcoming weather for our remaining 2 passages - 16 and 17. Monday's weather forecasted 25mph winds in the town of Kearny with steady rain all day, and gusts of wind up to 40mph. Snow was also expected at the 4000' elevations, which were what we would be climbing into as we ascended into the Tortilla mountains. After weighing out the pros and cons of continuing in such conditions, we both agreed that conditions would have been too risky for us to continue.

    We will be back later this year to conquer passages 16 and 17, and hopefully more together. Hiking with Dana was a true pleasure. He has completed the entire Pacific Crest Trail, and I was very humbled by his fitness, attitude and backpacking experience. It was an honor to hike with him and I can only hope that he will allow me to join him on some of his future adventures.
    Black Hills - AZT #14
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    AZT: Oracle to Superior
    We started at the American Flag Trailhead near Oracle around 9:30 AM on the 27th of December and finished around 4:00PM at the Picketpost Trailhead near Superior on the 1st of January.

    In all honesty, I had fairly low expectations in terms of scenery along this segment, but it met and surpassed my expectations in a few places. The trail danced between grassy hill sides with a few cedars, to stereotypical Sonoran desert landscapes with large Saguaros. The final ~30 miles along the Gila River and in the canyons near Superior took the cake though. The climb out of the Gila River area is simply spectacular. The rock formations along the canyons are very Superstitions esque, but also very grand and unique in their own right.

    The days were short, and the nights were long and cold. Defrosting gear and thawing frozen water bottles by the fire was a daily chore up until the last morning. I was a little apprehensive about packing an extra jacket, but it was well worth the weight in the end.

    Besides the freezing temperatures at night, the weather was great and we had the opportunity to cowboy camp under the stars for the entire trip. Before the moon came out, we had some amazing views of the stars along the more remote sections of this hike. We knew we were getting closer to Phoenix as the big light to the north west grew bigger and more stars began to disappear.

    It was hard to make as many miles as we wanted some days because of the limited amount of daylight, but we averaged about 16.5 miles a day, and we put in a 20 mile day at the very beginning of the trip.

    We saw very few people out on the trail, especially along the Black Hills and Tortilla Mountains segments, but still more than I had expected (which was zero, except near roads).

    We had all of our water and half of our food cache stolen from the Kelvin-Florence TH. Thankfully a few bikepackers from Flagstaff were ending their trip just as we got into the trailhead and offered to give us their food and water so we could finish. Trail magic. I wouldn't of had enough food to finish and we would have had to either end the trip there or walk into Kearny for more food. This incident put me in a pretty sour mood for the rest of that day.

    We had one 25 mile stretch without a water source through the Tortilla Mountains, and another little stretch right after leaving the Gila River and climbing into the canyons near Superior. But overall, it was very doable. Big thanks to the volunteers who put out water near Mountain View Tank in the Black Hills, and at Telegraph Canyon Rd/FR 4 in Alamo Canyon. An extra liter or two can be the difference between an awesome day and a trudge in the desert.

    It feels good to have this segment of the AZT done. We have knocked out most of the desert basin segments now, and once spring rolls around we can start hitting up the ranges in southern Arizona. I can't imagine how hot it gets out there in the spring when thru-hikers usually pass through this area. There is little shade after the Black Hills, and you feel completely exposed under the sun.

    It felt great to get out, hike, and sleep under the stars for 6 days. I had been itching for a big trip pretty badly.

    Onward to the next segment!
    Black Hills - AZT #14
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    Azt 14 & 15
    Through hiked 14&15 during a perfect wildflower season with AWESOME company... Probably one of the most fun group-backpacks I've ever had. We all had similar hiking styles and speeds for the most part, and the miles fell away like butter. Well, maybe not all of them :)

    Day 1: 14.25 miles on Passage 14. We started with Scott, Roger, India, myself and a tag-along for part of the day named Mark (I think that was his name...you know how I am with names!). He left us at Tucson Wash. We had great hiking conditions, and we knew we had to make some miles even after setting up shuttles in the morning. Luckily, there's nothing in those first 14 miles that is going to hurt too much. There was even evidence of some recent and good quality trail maintenance in the first miles. We averaged about 2.5mph and made camp in the waning light after filling up a few miles earlier at a very full and pretty Mountain View Tank.

    Day 2: 14+ miles to Freeman Road. We spent some time exploring around camp, including checking out a massive (and relatively fresh) fallen saguaro, but waited on breakfast to try to get an earlier start. After we crossed the massive sandy expanse of Camp Grant wash and headed up Bloodsucker we found Cow Head tank, which was very nice and full as well - though some of us decided to wait until Beehive and regretted it. Breakfast in the shade of a big mesquite at Cowhead was delightful. Beehive was full but quite green and slow to filter, even in our gravity system. We saw some GET hikers off in the distance, but they left before saying hello (freaking through hikers...as if ;) ). Began the very long, if admittedly kind climb out of Camp Grant drainage to the shoulder of Antelope Peak. We ran into another GET through hiker and Jan and Joan, who were doing a hike of the AZT SoBo from Superior.

    On the slopes of Antelope, we started to get sprinkled on by the high, whispy clouds. It was completely unexpected, and felt more like hiking in a virga than getting wet. Scott was finished at Freeman - he'd already conquered 15 - and we picked up Joe. They both had great snacks for us in the car, and we filled up on water an eats and made our camp by a particularly spectacular sunset.

    Day 3: After 2 big days (for us at least), we decided to go for a short one on day 3, a decision made easier by the weight of 8 liters of water in our packs. About an hour into the day, I stopped to adjust my pack and found a hole in one of my water bladders... a frustrating discovery. (It was made even more frustrating by the fact that I ended up not really needing that much water since it was fairly cool all day.) We lunched at the boulders, where we rested tired feet and enjoyed the meager shade provided. It wasn't hot - but it was bright 'brella weather, and escaping the sun was starting to become something of a dance.

    At about 9.5 miles from Freeman, we made camp in a sandy wash bottom. Temps dropped low enough in the wash to freeze the condensate on our sleeping bags (those of us who slept out anyhow). Note to self: you know better than to sleep in a wash bottom when it's cool out. Another note to self: the old, old 20 degree bag is probably close to needing retirement now.

    Day 4: It would have been a 10 mile day, but a little lost trail detour while ticking off miles under the power lines added a mile and a half. We also checked out a water source (dirt tank) just off the trail that wasn't on any of our literature - and added a little more there. It looked like a good tank - nice sized and cleaner than some of the cement ones we'd seen so far.

    We're starting to see more wildflowers - in particular lots of beautiful blooming yuccas. We loved the descent into Ripsey in the afternoon light - with fun canyons and big saguaros. We passed up the metal tank at 17.2, thinking there'd be good water ahead. Then we missed the turn off for the larger tank at 17.6, leaving us dependent upon the tank in Ripsey wash. There was water there, but it was shallow and smelled like cow. We pre-filtered, then used my gravity filter, then ran it through the charcoal filter. Guess what. It still smelled like...you guessed it...the back end of a cow.

    Even gatorade couldn't touch that.

    We made a nice camp on a shelf just above the wash bottom (we learn fast) before the trail turned up to climb "The Big Hill".

    Day 5: Started the morning with a climb up the Big Hill and loved ourselves all over for waiting. The climb was cool, much of it in the shade - the flowers were welcoming and lovely and we had a grand time both up AND down the hill. Can't recommend this strategy enough - especially considering how long the ridgeline is on the other side of the hill and how windy camping up there would have been.

    It was a great day - we had fun rescuing helium balloons (which still held enough gas to have fun on) and taking tons of flower pictures. We traded out skanky cow water for fresh bottled water at the cache at the Florence-Kelvin Highway (just enough to get us to the end) and trucked through the desert to the bridge. We'd parked at the parking lot beyond the bridge so we could really get the whole passage done, but my feet wished I'd parked at the highway.

    We were in time for pizza at Old Town (and salad, and fried pickles, and fried cheese curds). Then we drove everyone back to their cars and were home in time for dinner. Good days on the trail. I needed to get out and clear my head, and I returned feeling like myself for the first time in months. Hiking really IS better and cheaper than therapy.

    Wildflowers
    Good shows on the northern end of 15 - light shows in the lower elevations. Above 3000' was still pretty bleak, though.
    Black Hills - AZT #14
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    Northbound Tiger Mine to Tucson Wash Day 3 of our long weekend. Tracy got blistered feet but thot she could muster the last 4 miles we had left of the AZT 14. So after another nice breakfast K&K took off from the ranch 1.6 miles to AZT 13 and would hike it to Tucson Wash picking up that last 4 1/2 of the 14 too. We would take their vehicle to Tiger Mine TH where we hiked the four miles to the wash, take Shawn's vehicle back to Tiger Mine TH to pick up Karl's vehicle and take it up to Tucson Wash. :wrt: It would be fun to put together a moving illustration of our morning.

    We were treated to another great sunrise and breakfast at the High Jinks before our drive to Tiger Mine TH. It was a bit overcast again and the forecast threatened rain but not until after 11. And once again it was a tad windy especially on the ridgelines and once again we would go up and down these hillsides and in and out of washes. I tried to help both Ambika and Tracy with their HAZtraks. I finally realized with Tracy's iPhone that you can't be in airplane mode (which I read when we got back home). And Ambika tried out the Nature option which was a bit comical at first as I would comment that I heard a hawk...only to be told, no it was HAZtraks ;) . But of course, it takes awhile for that to sink in as later I think I hear a hawk but it's HAZtraks :doh: .

    Shawn continued his trail work kicking off rocks and clearing some little trail dainages. I try to emulate the kicking rocks off the trail but sometimes it seems so awkward to try and keep moving while kicking a rock. Sometimes instead of going off the trail the rocks just keeps doing down the trail :oops: . In fact, on the first video I am describing what we are doing and then as I round a corner, I wiped out on my tush but the camera stayed in my hand and I got up and kept hiking! I'm not sure if Shawn saw me fall as he was behind me a bit. I hadn't been able to do much narration because of the wind so it's funny that when I finally did, I wiped out :lol: . The trail really is in pretty good condition. You can actually see it on the next hillsides as you get closer to the various washes.

    Sometimes the trail winds kind of funny too. We thot the hike was 4 miles so when we came to a wash and when we didn't see Shawn's truck, we obviously had to keep going up and over a smaller ridge and then we spotted Shawn's vehicle. Upon arrival we had a snack and then prepared decals for 2 of the carsonite marker signs that Shawn was trying to make more stable here at the crossing of Tucson Wash. In fact, on our drive out of the wash, I spotted a carsonite and we rescued it.

    On our drive back to get K&K's vehicle we saw them along the ridgeline as we were getting closer to the Tiger Mine TH. Before taking their vehicle back to the Tucson Wash, Shawn cleaned up the water cache box and tried to straighten the slightly bent lid. We then dropped K&K's vehicle and headed back to the High Jinks to prepare for our trip home. Dan asked us for tea and before it was ready, we got an additional tour of the ranch and grounds. Needless to say, the http://www.highjinksra... got the right owner as he's put a lot into it. Dan also works part time up at the Whipple Observatory.

    Video 1 [ youtube video ] ...
    Video 2 [ youtube video ] ...
    Black Hills - AZT #14
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    Northbound Grant Wash to Freeman Road ...and so it continues. We got to see another beautiful sunrise before our wonderful breakfast at the High Jinks. Today we would head back out to Camp Grant Wash. It was windy again and overcast but this didn't dampen our spirits.

    Up out of the wash we went where we got to do some road walking. For some reason I thot we would have a steeper climb on this leg but it never materialized. Got to learn to read those elevation profiles better. The road walking is always a nice chance to visit with each other as when you're in a group like this, you switch between people to hike with. Of course, much of it you hike alone too as you get widely spaced from the group depending on your hiking speed or in my case, my photo/moving taking ;) .

    The desert was interesting here too; I think somewhat caused by the overcast sky. The temps once again were just about right for this second day. Eventually we reach Beehive Well and Tank which we had fun exploring around. We continue in Putnam Wash for a bit before climbing out and around and up to another ridge line. We would go down and up a couple times hitting various ridges before descending down near Antelope Tank for our lunch break.

    The views always seemed to be great as you could see quite a distance to the mountain ranges but especially by this time the Pinals. Now we are also getting closer to Antelope Peak which seemed like a giant anthill early yesterday. There is this one section of cholla forest that is spectacular as you walk on the trail between the tall chollas :DANCE: . There are other cholla and cactus sections that we've walked thru previous but this one was the jewel. The sun came out for awhile so that helped too.

    As we hiked away from the cholla forest and even closer to Antelope Peak we could see Karl on the first rise as he hiked up to bag the peak : rambo : . We, however, would continue on rather than trying the peak as it was much steeper than it looked as you got closer; plus it has a false summit. Not too far from here you reach a road that runs thru the scrub brush. Once again, it was time to do some cleaning so we picked up cans and bottles. Now how many cans do you think Shawn could stab with his pole? I have a picture to post with the answer.

    We wanted to take a little break before completing the last couple miles but it was windy and there really wasn't a place to get out of the chilly wind so we just kept going. We arrived at some sort of scale that seemed in the middle of nowhere. At first glance it looked like a cattle guard but it wasn't. It looked very out of place for where it was located :-k . After buzzing about that for a bit we continued our way to the Trailhead and one more gate. It was here that Karl caught up with us.

    We reached our destination at Freeman Road where Shawn checked out the water cache box; I can't remember the verdict. We sat a bit enjoying the sun that had come out before piling into Karl's vehicle for our ride back to Camp Grant Wash to retrieve Ambika's vehicle. It was an interesting drive from Freeman Road to see more of the lay of the land. Our last stop would be http://nonnamarias.com/ for chianti and some yummy pasta before retiring at the High Jinks Ranch.

    Here are two videos of the hike from Camp Grant Wash to Freeman Road:
    Part One - [ youtube video ]
    Part Two - [ youtube video ] ...
    Black Hills - AZT #14
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    Northbound Tucson Wash to Camp Grant Wash The Arizona Trail Section Crew got together with K&K to do this 3 car shuttle to hike AZT 14 in 2 1/4 days for us and K&K added on Section 12 and 13. K&K left their car at Freeman road and got a ride up Mt Lemmon Highway to finish off 12. The Section Crew carpooled down leaving one vehicle at Camp Grant Wash via Capgage Wash and then we all met up at High Jinks Ranch. They call the Ranch rustic but we called it luxurious rustic. We had dinner at a new restaurant Shawn had heard of called http://nonnamarias.com/. It was VERY good and we would end up eating their again on Sunday nite. Ambika was obsessed with the possibility of a 30" pizza.

    We woke to a beautiful sunrise and had a tasty breakfast cooked by our host Dan. This place has a lot of history and it was great to hear some more of it. We did get a preliminary tour on Friday nite too. It was a very windy morning as we made the drive to Tucson Wash. It's an interesting drive when you get into the wash. Glad Shawn knew where to park as the nite before we overshot the spot up in Camp Grant Wash by a mile ;) .

    For this northbound hike (makes our Kathy happy when we go the correct direction), after Karl herded the cattle out of the way, we would go along several ridgelines which seems to be the theme for this hike. And another recurring theme was hillsides covered in prickly pear cactus one time, sotol another and soap tree yucca scattered with sleeping bushes and trees. We did see some deer around the Pipeline Road intersection but they scattered pretty fast. I got one fairly decent picture just to prove we saw them. The other recurring theme was being able to look back toward the Catalinas and eventually the Rincons :) . Off to our right side was the long Galiuro Range.

    Eventually we would see what looked like a large ant hill ahead. That hill is Antelope Peak and from all the trip logs I had read, we would eventually hike right by that :o though it seemed miles and miles away from here. The trail is in pretty good shape for the most part. You can see where they've either worked on it or are planning additional re-routes. Shawn knew of some ruins so we headed up a mountain to check them out. There is only foundations but wow, those are some views :y: from there! It was windy so we didn't linger long and it was each AZtrailer to themselves to get back down to the trail.

    We could also see Kearney from time to time. You drive through Kearney if you are on the 77. I remember the first time I went thru there I exclaimed, "heh, this town is younger than me". We continued rolling up, down and around hills and through drainages. Before lunch we saw Mountain View Tank which holds 40,000 gallons of water. Seems pretty impressive for the desert. We would have lunch near one of those sandy drainages. A few of the endurance bikers passed through including Scott who had done some trail work with Shawn earlier in the week.

    Speaking of trail work, we always try to do a little bit here and there by kicking rocks off the trail or moving debris. The kicking rock thing is always a bit tricky but I think we, well mostly Shawn's boots :) , do a pretty good job. Today we would even pick up garbage (mostly cans and bottles) off the road as we drove back to the highway. There were two of us from each side of the car. We didn't have too many miles left to finish off our hike as we got nearer the saguaro area. The soil color during this hike would change quite frequently too. In fact, in several places the hillside you just came off was blonde dirt while the other side was red.

    Soon we see the car, always a relief and you know there's not much further to go. I was surprised how quickly and easily we came down over 700 feet from that last ridgeline to the wash as it seemed pretty steep but you wouldn't know it as you hiked it. We de-geared and helped a couple confused bike riders find where the trail crossed the wash; apparently that turn into Tucson Wash needs to be marked a little better for them. We had our celebratory drinks and chips enjoying the nice weather before getting 6 people and backpacks into the car.

    And as I said we cleaned up stuff along the road from the corral to about Rio Camino Road where we turned right at the Bud Light box :lol: . We would use that box as our guide as we would be coming back and out of here one more time. I have to tell you though, with all that we gathered, the car was rattling with cans and bottles which brot on the discussion of the open container law which brot on the googling to look into this quandary closer :-k ; what if we get pulled over? By the way, we came in via Capgage Wash Road which according to Shawn was a much easier way than via Camp Grant. So thanks for scouting that out for us.

    Video 1 from Tucson Wash to the Ruins [ youtube video ] ...
    Video 2 from the Ruins to Camp Grant Wash [ youtube video ] ...

    PS If you want to know how our car tricks went (thx to Shawn and Tracy for figuring that all out), check out my comment below Karl's trip log: https://hikearizona.com...
    Black Hills - AZT #14
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    Planned on doing this west to east with Nick, while JJ & johnlp did it form east to west. Last minute, Nick had a conflict so I did this one on my own. First time I've done a 30-mile day on my own, but it turned out fine.

    Drove out Freeman Road, and started off about 7am. The Arizona Trail here is faint in spots. Early in the morning I saw the largest jackrabbit I've ever seen, it was as large as young adult bobcat.

    In climbing up the ridge at about the 4 1/2 mile mark, the trail was also a bit hard to follow because of all the well defined cattle trails criss-crossing the trail. When I climbed the ridgeline, I stopped for a short breakfast break and soak in the views when two AZT through hikers came by from the south. They were on day 11 and estimated they had 35 days to go to Utah. One of them had a Pacific Crest Trail tattoo, so this wasn't his first trek.

    Made it to Beehive Well...lots of water there in the tank but it was nasty. You'll need a pretty serious filter for this stuff. Said goodbye here to the Arizona Trail, left the mountains, and started the long walk down Putnam Wash. It was dry until I met the convergence of Camp Grant Wash, then I hit some water and found the first gila monster of the day.

    Made my way to the San Pedro River, nice riparian area, great lunch spot. Even saw horses (I'm assuming wild horses) just roaming around free out there. The reroute of the GET now sends you a mile or so upriver along the banks before breaking off. You have to cross the San Pedro a few times in this distance. That day I only had to take my boots off one time because the cross wasn't passable without getting in, but I'm sure it varies a lot by season.

    Met JJ and johnlp here and had lunch, then took off, headed out of river and up the bank. Once up there, warning...there are a lot of other trails. You can think you're doing the right one, the same one you had been on, only to find out that you are going the wrong direction. Watch your GPS closely in this area, until you hit the first dirt road.

    From here, you toward the road section of this segment 5 and 6 combined hike. A couple of short dirt roads and then you cross AZ77. AZ77 ends segment 5 and starts segment 6.

    The first few miles of segment 6 is quite boring, hiking down the paved Aravaipa Road past the college. Eventually you get off the paved road and turn off to dirt roads and eventually back onto singletrack. Some of that singletrack is pretty sketchy and not sure footed. Follow little ribbon ties in trees where you can find them, and definitely follow the GPS.

    Eventually you do a quick descent and end up on Aravaipa Road about 3 miles from the trailhead, and you follow it to the end.

    Ran into my second gila monster maybe a quarter mile from the Aravaipa trailhead. He didn't like me taking pictures of him like the first one did, he actually hissed at me.

    Finished up at the Aravaipa Trailhead around 5:15.

    Great day, pretty decent timing too. Thanks JJ & John for helping setting us up.

    FIRST 7 SEGMENTS & 150 MILES OF THE GET ... done! :y:

    Wildflowers
    pincushion cacti blooming well...a few poppies and other flowers as well...
    Black Hills - AZT #14
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    Dan and I hiked this passage over two days. Stopping at Gapgage Wash (mile 13) the first day and continuing on from that location the second day.

    This is a perfect example of the need for a backup plan when you do these hikes. We had a flawless plan to leave a vehicle at each end of the passage and one at mile 13 with supplies to camp out and water for the second day. This was a 3 person plan. At 6AM on Saturday morning, two of us are sitting at the trailhead and the third member calls to say he isn't going to be able to make the trip. Ugh! After reviewing all the possible scenarios, we opted for some creative vehicle juggling.

    On day one, we left one vehicle at mile 13 and drove the other to the Tiger Mine TH. From there we hiked north to mile 13. We drove back to Tiger Mine TH and took both vehicles to the Freeman TH where we spent the night. On day two, we drove one truck back to mile 13 and hiked the second half of the passage to the Freeman TH. Lucky for us, we both have 4x4 trucks so running up the Gapgage wash was not a problem and quite fun. I think a 4x2 could make it, but the sand may cause problems is spots. Should anyone desire my GPX file for getting to mile 13, just let me know.

    The hike itself was great. Gradual elevation gains and great views along the way. The temperature was in the low 80's and windy, but just enough wind to keep you cool. In two days, we passed two other people on the trail. Both within 5 miles of the Tiger Mine TH on day one. We got passed by a biker heading North and a fast moving girl headed south.
    The trail itself was in good condition, with plenty of markers and Cairns along the way. There were a few spots where the trail was hard to spot because of new growth from recent rains. Nothing we couldn't handle. We didn't see a single snake on the trail, but we did get to spend some quality time with a large Gila monster on day two.

    Looking back, we probably could have done this section in one day, but there is no way we would have had time to enjoy the journey. Another great AZT hike!
    Black Hills - AZT #14
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Did AZT 14 as a car shuttle. Fan& I went south to north as John & John went north to south.

    The trail was dry considering all the rain from the previous two days. The only water we saw was puddles along the road. All of the washes and drainages were dry.
    This was my first time on the new re-route. Hands down it's better than the pipeline road. Now you have a great view of the San Pedro River.

    We had lunch in the Grant Wash. It must be a sight to see when the wash is flowing.

    We saw four deer's near the Antelope Peak. Two ran as the other two hopped away. After seeing the deer, we went down a forest road instead of crossing it! :oops:
    It was dark when we got to the TH and we accidently went past it into passage 15! :oops:

    It was a great hike with great weather.

    Thanks to John for helping out with the car shuttle!
    Black Hills - AZT #14
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    JJ and I did the car swap thing with Ken and Fan to save on shuttle time. We hiked north to south while they went from south to north. Our vehicles were waiting for us when we finished. The weather was nice and cool, a high temp of about 60 degrees. Some wildflowers out but not a strong showing yet. Beehive well tank is full but kinda green. The hike went well and we finished right on schedule. Took JJ breaks this time. Ate a sandwich on the run. :o Nice to see Ken and Fan again. Thanks to John and Ken for driving. :)

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