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West Coal Creek, AZ

no permit
7 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Alpine S
2 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 5,728 feet
Elevation Gain 100 feet
Accumulated Gain 107 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.54
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
7  2008-03-25 PrestonSands
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  7:19am - 5:33pm
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Coal Creek Lower Canyon
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White Mule Creek
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Maverick Hill
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Blackjack Spur Trail #568A
Blackjack Spur Trail #568A
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Mule Mountain
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Black Jack Canyon
Black Jack Canyon
5.3 mi away
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Black Jack Cave
Black Jack Cave
5.3 mi away
1.8 mi
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San Francisco River View
San Francisco River View
13.0 mi away
1.8 mi
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Flora Nearby
pretty AND pointless
by PrestonSands

This hike describes West Coal Creek canyon, in Arizona's Big Lue Mountains, near the Arizona-New Mexico border. West Coal Creek offers an easy hike through pine forest along an old jeep trail, and is conveniently located near Coal Creek Campground. There is nothing exciting about this hike, but it does provide something to do if you are camped at Coal Creek Campground.

Forest road 8344 comes down West Coal Creek canyon, from the south, to meet state highway 78, 0.1 miles east of Coal Creek Campground. Parking and camping are available at the beginning of forest road 8344. No signs identify forest road 8344.

Start following forest road 8344 south, and it will soon cross the wide, rocky bed of Coal Creek. After the crossing, the road deteriorates into a jeep trail, and heads due south up West Coal Creek canyon.

The jeep trail follows West Coal Creek's dry creek bed, through vegetation typical of the Big Lue Mountains: tall ponderosa pines, with an understory of white oaks and alligator junipers. Hiking is easy and elevation gain is slight.

At 0.35 miles, the trail reaches a small, open spot, where there is a concrete water trough (dry), and a small, rusty, metal shack. The shack is the site of "West Coal Creek Well". The well, which is inside the shack, is missing its pump and other parts. There is no water available.

The pump shack area offers camping possibilities, for those looking to do a short backpacking trip.

Where the jeep trail comes to an end at the well, a couple of faint atv trails lead further up the canyon, into the pines. These atv trails soon come to an end, at about 0.5 miles. This is where I turned around. One could continue all the way up to the head of West Coal Creek, at a distance of 1.6 miles from highway 78, but there is little else to see.

Return the way you came.

    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
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Safford, head east on Highway 70/191. 10 miles from Safford, the highway splits, turn left onto Highway 191 and follow it for another 23.75 miles to a (4-way) highway junction known as "3-Way" (old drive-in movie theater and store). Go straight at the intersection. You are now on Arizona highway 78. Follow highway 78 for approximately 18.6 miles, to milepost 173.6, where forest road 8344 (unsigned) meets the highway on the right (south) side. This is 0.1 miles east of Coal Creek Campground. Trailhead gps coordinates are: 33.10177 N, 109.06061 W. Parking is available at the beginning of forest road 8344, and at Coal Creek Campground. Follow forest road 8344. (see hike description)
    page created by PrestonSands on May 04 2008 4:34 pm
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