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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim, AZ

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Guide 30 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,729 feet
Elevation Gain 276 feet
Accumulated Gain 470 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.85
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Possibly Connect
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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15  2016-10-08
Buck Springs Loop
19  2013-10-01 Lost
40  2013-07-21 Droog
11  2013-07-21 Eartheist
6  2012-10-20 chumley
15  2012-08-12 chumley
12  2012-08-11 cindyl
23  2012-08-11 outdoor_lover
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author chumley
author avatar Guides 75
Routes 667
Photos 13,172
Trips 1,417 map ( 10,542 miles )
Age 46 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Co-Author Grasshopper
co-author avatarGuides 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   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → 9 AM
Seasons   Early Summer to Late Autumn
Sun  6:12am - 6:22pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
..Moist Pancake with a side of Maple Syrup..
by chumley & Grasshopper

Likely In-Season!
Overview: This most pleasant and easy to navigate "off trail" day hike or backpack within lush-green, large meadow-like "Upper Buck Spring Canyon" has much to offer:
.. peaceful solitude and beauty as you enjoy a healthy forest environment of old growth pines, spruce, sycamore, with an old cattle ranching roadbed spur (connecting to the main canyon) that offers a stunning hiking section of Big Tooth Maple Trees, that in our autumn season will make this hiking section alone worth the trip here;
.. hiking between a high of 7729 feet elevation and a low of only 7480 feet makes this hike an excellent summer Flagstaff, Phoenix, or Tucson destination;
.. very possible deer, elk, and other wildlife sightings along this 6.5 mile round trip route;
.. two perennial springs for viewing and/or backpack water sources- Upper Buck Spring and Lower Buck Spring plus numerous water seeps within this canyon hiking route;
.. a visit to the historic Buck Spring Cabins Complex and its close by scenic water-dammed area; .. at Buck Spring Cabin Complex, easy access and connection to one of the five Mogollon Rim- Cabin Loop Trails (the Barbershop Trail#91 at its east TH Start);
.. an easy day hike or backpack for the entire family;

History: Early in the 20th century, the trails we know of as the Cabin Loop were built by the early forest service. In these days, there were few roads on the forest, and these trails served as a link between administrative sites and remote cabins used to house forest workers and fire patrols. One such cabin site is the Buck Springs Fire Guard Station, near the water source at Lower Buck Spring. As part of the "land of multiple uses" that the Forest Service espouses to, trails such as these became an early way for cattle ranchers to drive their herds to summer grazing locations. There is some evidence that Buck Springs Canyon was popular area for cattle grazing long ago. Eventually, the forest road system was expanded and old trails were not needed as much to access grazing areas such as this. Today, many of those roads still exist. Some are maintained and used regularly, and others are just overgrown roadbeds that haven't been driven in decades.

While we have been unable to ascertain exact dates (trust us we're working on it ... updates will be edited in later), it appears that this lush canyon was completely closed to motor vehicle access about 20-30 years ago, establishing a 3000-acre miniature "wilderness area". It appears that any grazing activities also ceased around the same time, though along this hike, you will encounter an "ex-closure" area for researching the effects of cattle grazing on the riparian meadow of the canyon. Evidence exists of previous ranch fencing and gates, all of which are no longer in use. It appears that this is now a pristine natural canyon, with no human influences except for an occasional hiker meandering past on an old roadbed.

Perhaps indicative of the natural state of the area, you may encounter some researchers from the University of Montana's "Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit" whom spend a couple of months annually conducting a variety of studies in the area, focusing on avian life, climate change in high elevation ecosystems, and the exclusion of large herbivores in the riparian ecosystem. You may encounter several birdhouses along the hike as part of their study.

Warning: This easy to navigate day hike or backpack is recommended for the entire family, but being an "off trail" use route, it does require a good sense of hiking route direction. It is highly recommended that the safest and easiest way to hike this 6.5 mile round trip is to have/use adequate maps, own a GPS, and be able to download (and correctly follow) from HAZ our posted 10/2/10 "Official" GPS Route that begins hiking in from the "Drive to Option 1 (Preferred) TH/Parking" location off FR161B. Hike Description GPS coordinates for all "key" way points should also be loaded in your GPS Receiver. Also, as with all AZ-Mogollon Rim hikes, this one being no exception, plan accordingly and use caution if you are hiking this area during our summer Monsoon season.

Hike: This hike begins at the Parking/TH Start location as described in the hike driving direction section. From here hike the approximate 50 yards to the intersection of FR137/643A and cross over FR137 and hike due east, through this easy to navigate forest section, downhill for .20 mile to connect with old, unsigned ranching roadbed "FR9714V" at way point N34.41882 W111.14828 (Note: if you are not using a GPS with our 6/19/10 default hiking route loaded in your unit for reference, then you will need to take note of your entry point at FR9714V for your later return trip exit back up to FR137 and your vehicle). Begin hiking north (down) this Upper end of Buck Spring Canyon for a total of .75 mile to view the perennial source of "Upper Buck Spring" at way point N34.42615 W111.14761; From here your hike continues down canyon on the right (east) canyon side for a total of 1.0 mile where you will intersect (a right turn-southwest) one of this trips main highlights, the old cattle ranching roadbed spur that offers a stunning autumn hiking section of "Big Tooth Maple Trees". Continue first SW, then south up this scenic roadbed spur to its end (a total of 1.75 miles in from your TH Start location). Return back to the main canyon via this roadbed spur and continue to hike north (down canyon) on the east side of the canyon. Here you will see and be hiking on the old, main ranching roadbed that once ran the entire length of this upper canyon section. At a total of 2.90 miles you will reach the fenced-in "Riparian Study Area" of Upper Buck Spring Canyon..just follow the use trail along the east side of the fence. At a total of ~3.40 miles you will begin to see the historic "Buck Spring Cabin Complex" on the canyon west side. Here you will need to crossover to the canyon west side to enter the cabin complex area, a great location for a snack or lunch break and some meandering-around (It should be noted that depending on the season and recent weather, finding a dry crossing spot from the east side to west side may be a challenge). Behind the two historic cabins and just past the entrance road gate (to the left of the gate), you will see the east TH Start for Cabin Loop Trail- "Barbershop Tr#91". From here, continue to follow the entrance road to the large parking lot area and on to cross into the "Lower Buck Spring Water Dammed Area" for viewing; From here you continue to follow the east side of the dammed drainage area, hiking NE over a forest road to locate the original source of perennial "Lower Buck Spring" (a cement enclosure within a fenced-in area) located at N34.44459 W111.13738 You should be a total of ~4.10 miles into your hike at this point. This is the far NE end of this round trip hike. At this perennial Lower Buck Spring water source your return hike is via retracing your route in Buck Spring Canyon heading south (up canyon), hiking back to your TH Start on the scenic "west side" (right side) of the canyon.

Water Sources: Perennial Upper and Lower Buck Spring, dammed water area at Buck Spring Cabin Complex plus numerous water seeps along this canyon hike (water should be chemically treated and/or filtered prior to drinking).

Camping: Numerous primitive backpack campsite possibilities within this 6.5 mile round trip hike.

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.

2010-07-09 chumley & Grasshopper
    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 21 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
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    Buck Springs Loop
    I took Deb north for the weekend for her birthday, to chase color and show her some new places. We spent a leisurely day up on the Rim, in the Buck Springs area, an area that has not disappointed in the past. Temps were perfect and the colors once again were poppin'.

    We worked our way to the Buck Springs draw, where I noticed a large Elk on the ground. Upon closer examination, it appears this 5 x 5 died from a shot less that perfect from a hunter. My guess is was shot the previous evening.
    I later called this in to AZGF who were going to come and get it.

    A trip to Buck Springs Cabin and then we made our way back looking for color in the side canyons. One again this area did not disappoint. It's on the autumn rotation.

    We stopped at Knoll Lake to check out the Aspens. Most had already lost all of their leaves. Temps dropped to 50 and we had heavy rain and hail on the way out on the Rim Road.

    We went back to Payson and enjoyed a great meal at an Italian restaurant called Gerardo's Firewood Cafe.
    Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
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    Mogollon Rim - Autumn 2016
    Not many hiking miles clocked today nor AEG, and a very long day with out and back driving miles, but so worth it for a beautiful cool, blue sky, Mogollon Rim day with plentiful Prime Autumn "Big Tooth Maple" colors :FG:

    A longtime friend of mine, a HAZ member, and a very active Arizona Outdoor Travel Club (AOTC) hiking member was interested in joining me for this Autumn day trip. Since all the areas I had hoped to hike were in the same general area, I thought it would be a nice idea to first visit my favorite Mogollon Rim vehicle campsite which my friend had not previously seen.

    I had four prime Autumn locations on my visit agenda this day, but one of the main ones I had hoped to view- Bear Canyon West Fork [ description ] , was presently closed for access due to the now active and managed "Pinchot Fire" viewtopic.php?t=9722 .

    So, as it turned-out, with the 3.5 hour drive up and a short visit to my favorite campsite #3, we really only had enough prime daylight time to visit the following three Big Tooth Maple areas noted below with hike descriptions linked above:

    (see posted 10/4/16 GPS Routes and Photo Sets for)-
    .. Upper Maverick Canyon- Autumn'16 [ photoset ]
    .. Upper Bill McClintock Draw- Autumn'16 [ photoset ]
    .. Upper Buck Spring Canyon- Autumn'16 [ photoset ]

    A special and rewarding day to visit our Mogollon Rim !!
    Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
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    Beautiful day to hunt for some fall foliage. Just the slightest hint of crispness to the air up there today, but I was still perfectly comfortable in shorts. I hiked down from the FR161B starting point, went nearly down to the end of that canyon, cut east across the ridges, then started to come back up the east canyon back to 161B. About halfway up the east canyon I hear something start crashing through the brush up ahead and then I see it: BEAR! :o Apparently he heard me when I was about 40 feet away and decided to book it south down the east canyon. Thinking it would not be a good idea to follow him, I turned right up to the ridge so I could follow that back out. At the top of the ridge, I think I heard another one down the hill to the north take off. It was either that, or a tree coming down. My gut instinct is going with another bear, though. After this, I decided that the bears had the right idea so I boogied back to the truck. (See GPS track for the two locations where I almost peed myself)

    Now as far as what I originally came up for: the fall colors. They're not quite in their prime. Some red, but most leaves up here are turning from green to yellow. I think prime time in this area will be between about October 6th-13th.
    Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
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    The day started early. The invite said "Beat the Heat Hike". I drove and was only a few minutes late picking everyone up. We made good time but had two sets of directions. Don't trust Google unless you have a 4x4. It became clear very quickly my Journey was not going to make it long on this muddy road. This however was the only point we saw any Elk. 10 minute back track to Rim Road and we were back on schedule. The views off the side of the rim are amazing. The burned out area'a are spooky but more about that in a minute. At first we passed the trail head but we recognized this pretty quickly. This trail is literally difficult only at this point. Find the trail head and make it down in the trees and just follow the orange PVC pipes and bird houses if you get turned around from the clearly warn path. The trail breaks open into a field that extends the length of the hike. This is a very flat, peaceful , family and dog friendly hike. Not exactly what we are usually into but hey it was different. The temps were great and the light cloud cover almost made it chilly in the shade. The spring is a hole with water, I wouldn't drink it. Half way in there is a caged off area which is testing the impact of stock animals on the fauna. There were some strange plants that looked like stunted corn with no cobs The front of this area where the gate was looked like some slob was in charge. Rusty metal and empty water bottles everywhere. So we moved on. It is always nice to think when we hike out that some of what we see is only seen by those willing to put in the same effort. The end of the trail was a camp site with some cabins and a cement section around part of the spring. I guess the dogs and numerous tents is why we did not see any wildlife. Realizing we were at our destination we were more than disappointed. So we veered up the road and hooked into the woods above the valley. The GPS made it easy to navigate back to the trail head. Only a few minutes of walking and Nick came across a deer antler. Probably one of the most interesting points in the trip. Walking on the ridge between the road and the valley made for a little more challenging hike. The thunder started about 3 miles from the car. We wanted a little rain but it never came while we were on the trail. The second my hand touched the car door it started raining. This is where the real fun began. The rain just poured out of the sky. Visibility was less than 10 feet and the rain drops were the size of golf balls. If you have ever driven rim road you can understand where one might be concerned. 1000 feet down in three words :P :scared: When the road dipped down you could see the clouds hitting the side of the rim and just pouring over the top. The burned out sections were something out of an apocalypse movie. If I ever make a movie there is a scene in this environment and weather. So needless to say the trip out wasn't the video game, rally drive it was on the way in. When the road turned away from the rim the rainfall broke and we did not see another drop. Probably a half mile from the 87 we found a field of raspberries and made out like bandits. Probably the best part of the hike. Some wild raspberry jam was very yum. All in all I was disappointed. While it was 55 degrees at the end of July in Arizona I could have saved myself 5 hours of driving for a local Phoenix hike where it was only 80 all day :( .
    Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
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    Whenever I am in the high-country during summer in Arizona, I always spend the entire day Sunday before heading home. There's just no logic for me to be home and endure an afternoon in the heat. So I had a lazy morning while others packed up and left. After my 1/2 cabin loop the day before, I didn't want to do anything crazy, but decided that 5 miles in UBSC would be a perfect stroll. (Since we were at the cabins, I hiked it in the reverse direction from how the hike description is written.)

    When I started, it had begun to rain a little bit, and I donned my rain jacket and a hat. The drizzle became more nuisance than anything else, and I decided to pack the rain gear away.

    After passing the pipe at Upper Buck Spring, and about 1.5 miles from camp at the cabins, I encountered the highlight of my weekend (with all respect to the great company around the campfire) ... about 100 yards ahead of me I saw three bears crossing the meadow. One cub was leading the way, with a very healthy, large, cinnamon-colored mom lumbering behind, followed by a second cub.

    My heart raced with excitement and a little apprehension, but it was very clear that they were unaware of my presence. Somehow, I remembered to get the camera out, but at that distance, and with a very bright, cloudy sky above me, I was hardly able to focus and get any kind of shot at all. But I didn't really know that at the time.

    Since the bears slowly walked into the woods along the meadow adjacent to where I was headed, I decided to approach quietly and see if they were still nearby when I had closed the distance between us. Hiking in short, wet grass made it very easy for me to approach without making any noise.

    When I reached their crossing point, I could see that they were moving in the woods, now only about 20 yards away. I tried to get some pictures here, but they weren't standing still, and would pop in and out of view behind the trees. I couldn't get my camera to focus on a point in the trees, instead focusing on the trees closer to me.

    I must have been downwind, because there was no indication that I had been spotted yet. I was just about to try to get a little closer ... I really wanted a good photo! ... and began to turn into the woods to follow them when an alarm bell went off in my head. Since getting to this point 30-seconds or a minute earlier, I had been watching and trying to take photos. I had spotted the two cubs. But not the mother! :o

    I instantly figured that she had caught my scent and was probably now in a defensive posture. After all, there's no way to perceive my actions other than I was stalking her cubs. It might have been just for a photo, but she wouldn't know that!

    So I immediately decided to back off and head away from the bears. Not getting a satisfactory photo is not worth confronting a very healthy mamma bear!

    Yada yada, so the rest of the hike was nice, my heart still pumping with excitement of what I had just seen. Didn't find Cindy's lost camera case. Saw a strange branch of fully-autumn red maple leaves, and picked up a weird convex mirror on a telescoping pole. Presumably used by researchers to look into birdhouses?

    On the return trip, I cautiously approached the area the bears had been but saw no sign of them. Too bad :(

    I had previously seen bears in Sequoia NP, but that doesn't really count in my book because they are so common there it's almost hard NOT to see one. After all, we were in a car and they crossed a road. But this is my first sighting in Arizona, and to be in a wide open, grassy meadow like they were, in the middle of the day... magical! :)
    Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
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    Pam picked out this hike for us to do. Seemed it would be nice and leisurely which is all I was up for after just returning from my week at Glacier National Park. The hike starts off through a wonderful meadow before reaching a fenced off area... what fence? There's flowers over there and butterflies! so in we go to take our pictures :DANCE: . We continue walking to the other side and realize, it's not going to be so easy to get out of here but we eventually found an area and sent Trish thru first :D .

    You continue to walk in the meadow until you wander into a more forested area. We found the spring pipes and pondered about that based on the directions we were reviewing. We continued deeper into the forest and decided to rest by a bunch of maples :) ... not that we needed a rest but why not?! We finished the hike up the hill to the road. We weren't sure about the trail so we went across the road and down the hill a piece before coming back up to the road to discuss, "Where are we exactly?" :-k

    Soon between Scout and the hike desc and Pam remembering her conversation with Todd, we realized we had started the hike about 1/4 of the way from the TH so that's why we were confused. Once we realized this, we were content to head back the way we came. On the way back when we got to the meadow section, we decided to stay on the right (east) side which takes you back and up into the forest following some sort of trail. As the trail started to take us further east however, we decided to head back to the west where we once again followed the grown-in track of the road before coming out into the beginning meadow.

    All in all, a nice stroll on the Mogollon Rim with my hiking/camping/picture takin' cohorts. It was the perfect little hike to take on what was a leisurely and very fun weekend with our fellow HAZers. Here's the video:
    Oh, may I suggest you change the quality on youtube to HD1080. You can find that setting next to the minutes just below the video screen (or next to the clock icon)
    Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
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    This weekend wasn't so much about Hiking :o as it was just about getting away, enjoying the cool country, catching up with old friends and getting to know some new ones. Other than this short Hike and my Fishing Excursion, I was pretty much a Camp Bum over the weekend. ;) Just enjoyed kicking back for a change, savoring the Sounds and Scents of the Pine Forest, reveling in good conversation and laughter, and soaking in the Wonderful Atmosphere of both Friend and Forest. It's so much easier to visit when you're not gasping for air on an uphill... :sweat:

    Since I was decidedly lazy this weekend, and there were a few others that maybe felt the same, a stroll through a Beautiful Meadow seemed like just the ticket. I was looking forward to Hiking with Trish and Angela again, as we have not been able to Hike together since last December. It was also very cool that Cindy decided to join our little Brigade.... :)

    The four of us were a match made in heaven. Our little Quartet of Photography Lovers invaded the Meadow with Shutters ablazin'.... :D The Wildflowers and Butterflies never stood a chance against our Cameras!!! :sweat: The walk through the Meadow of 4 zealous women in search of that never ending Perfect Shot was too much for the hordes of Flora and Fauna encountered on this Hike and they succumbed to the various Cameras stuck in their little faces....Combine that with good Conversation, Laughter, and a few Shenanigans, and it's just what any Doctor would have ordered!!! :) It was a Perfect Hike for the day....

    The Meadow was wonderful to walk in. I could have actually done most of this Hike in Flip Flops, that's how nice the walking was. Combined with some Water, Seeping Springs, abundant Wildflowers and hordes of Butterflies and you have Heaven on the end of your Walking Stick.

    After the Meadow and Canyon closed in, you were not only among the Pines, but the Maples as well, providing awesome Shade in the ever growing Heat of the Day. There were also a few Aspen, some of them incredibly large and tall, embracing the Sky above.

    Ok, enough with the poetry B*******! We learned that we had to be dyslexic in order to figure out where we were, since we didn't start the Hike from really either end, but actually about 1/8 of the way from the back end. We hit the Road on top and after going past it and realizing that we were not on Track, we finally figured it out. We weren't lost, just upside down, per se. :oplz: :lol: I finally chucked the Description after crossing my eyes and trying to read it backwards too many times, and just focused on the GPS Printout. We got 'er figured out, figured out which Spring we were seeing and started the Hike back. It was just as nice going back, albeit a bit warmer. We opted to "go around" the fenced Riparian area on the way back, so we got on some Game Trails which took us around, showing us some new areas. There was no lack of shade if you stayed on the edge of the Meadow, due to the Towering Pine Trees. You'da thought we would have been all shot out, Photographywise, but there were still shots to be had on the way back and we took advantage. Arrived back at Camp, feeling good, and just in time for lunch. Kicked back and visited the rest of the Day.

    Trish and Angela, it was great to be Hiking with you guys again, and Cindy, thanks for joining us. It was a Perfect Match, I enjoyed all of the company immensely!!! Perfect Weather, Perfect Country, Perfect Company! It doesn't get any better!!! :y:
    Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
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    A group of us gals from the HAZ Summerfest 2012 decided to do a little something on the wild OOPS I mean mild side so Angela, Pam, Cindy and I took off from Buck Springs Cabin on the non-existent trail to Upper Buck Springs. We were looking for a 5-6 mile hike and loads of fun and certainly found it here. We actually just trekked across a wide open, gorgeous meadow until we got to the end and then decided we were all dyslexic because we were trying to follow chumley's trip log and then finally figured out he had started at the opposite end (I presume he started from FR 137). Anyway...we trekked across this meadow and came to the unlocked riparian area and decided to hike through it. Got to opposite end and is there a gate? That would be a everyone waited until the munchkin (that would be me) could find a way through the fence without getting zapped. YAY.....we got out the other side and continued up the meadow. We saw tons of flowers and butterflies and stopped to take many pictures...eventually coming upon the spring. Then it was onward to the big tooth maple forest and eventually onto a forest road which I presume is FR 137. We did cross the road and started down the other side when we all realized that "this ain't right" and retraced our steps. Headed back the way we came.

    What a gorgeous hike! We encountered one very docile horned lizard on the way back and had great photo ops as the puffy clouds rolled in and it was plenty toasty out in the open meadow. I'd love to come back a revisit the area in the fall with those big tooth maples in full glory.

    Thanks ladies for a laugh and fun filled day. We had one mishap on this hike and that was Cindy's camera case. Searched everywhere but didn't find it.
    Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
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    A third HAZfest I felt obligated to attend even though I had just flown back to Phx on Wed evening after a glorious 8 day all day long hike/vacation. But these are the best kind of obligations to have! Lucky for me Trish offered to car pool and bring all the food and cook; what a relief! I have to say having a personal chef and chauffeur when you're on a camping trip is pretty cool!

    On the drive up via Globe and Jake's Corner, we did see the beginning of the Mistake Fire so I got a couple of shots of that as well as the Roosevelt Lake area. We did encounter a few too many way-slow drivers but we eventually got up to Payson where we stepped out of the car to nice temperatures. We picked up some additional groceries and headed up to the Rim for what seemed like a long drive on FR300.

    After turning onto FR137? and driving for a bit we see the Camp Chumley sign and to our right Todd was picking up some slightly burned logs for our fire. I looked over at Trish and said "told ya" as I had said with Todd and Nonot around, logs for a fire would not be a concern.

    We got set up and I helped Trish with her new tent that is taller than her. I think it will end up being a nice purchase. I know I sure enjoy my new mansion compared to the "kiddie" tent I used to bring to car camping. Soon others started to arrive, we chatted, ate (Thx Trish & I also got to try some of Pam's fresh catch), and then went out to the meadow looking for those pesky Perseids before I turned in for a very cold nite as I forgot my sleeping bag.

    The next morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the cool temps of the pines when I look up and out of a jeep pops Bruce and our leader. What a pleasant surprise! A couple of us went and put on our apropos shirts to impress the boss ;) . After visiting for a bit and lending them Corey, they took off for their hike. Little did we know Corey was a wanted man until the Sheriff showed up. Actually his brother thot he was MIA. We dawdled for a bit more and then took off for our hike.

    We got back around 1, had lunch, lounged around, prepared for the rain that didn't materialize and had cocktail hour as we waited for the others to return from their hiking. Trish made some awesome TrishKabobs with shrimp and a yummy corn/black bean salad while we enjoyed drinking the apple merlot wine I had brot from an Avila Beach, CA winery. John (JJiii) even showed up. Joe and Bruce joined us for a bit before heading out after Alex and his crew came to camp.

    Alex made these most incredible Pittsburgh Mountain (didn't know they had mountains in Pittsburgh) Man sandwiches using an Iron Pie Plate (I found them on Amazon) that tasted somewhat like a pizza but much better. So now it was time to break out the Trader Joe's Dark Ale that I bot at Xmas and saved for a special camping situation. Almost everyone gave it a try. I think it tastes wonderful. Steve helped me finish it off.

    We enjoyed the music of 2 hikers and Not Julia before it was time for another Perseid show. Todd generously offered us towels to lay on the ground so that we could gaze into the sky. It was a bit chilly but somehow with all of my fellow HAZers, I felt plenty warm. It was like watching a game and when a meteor would race across the sky, I swear everyone who saw ;) it said "Sccccccccccooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeee" :D . Even though we saw several, we realized it was just too early to get the good show so we headed back to camp.

    The next morning, once again we had a leisurely breakfast. Those are so much fun when you're camping. We tore down our campsite, loaded up and headed on down the road after saying our good byes. Yes I have a lot of video but I'm not sure how much will be for public viewing, ha!

    It was a great event again :y: . Thx Todd for keeping it on track by making signs, verifying our directions, pre-checking the spot and of course for making sure we would have enough logs for the bonfire. It was great to renew old acquaintances and meet new ones; altho with some of the new acquaintances, when you're on HAZ, it seems more like an old acquaintance.

    9-12-2012 Here are the videos at last. I think you can get away with watching them on the full screen otherwise the large screen is the other option. I had a glitch on Part 1 that I had to re-do. If you like fire scenes and music, you will enjoy these. There's other stuff too.
    Part 1 - a little bit of our drive past Roosevelt Lake, Friday nite fire activity, Saturday afternoon camp walk about finished by camp activities:
    Part 2 - it's Saturday nite, must be HAZfest around the fire where there was various antics going on including Todd's unrolling of his dinner (I still get hungry watching that :lol: ) with lots of great guitar music and firelight finished off by a short movie from our Meteor watching in the meadow where you will hear the "awh" moment:
    Oh, may I suggest you change the quality on youtube to HD1080. You can find that setting next to the minutes just below the video screen (or next to the clock icon)
    Upper Buck Spring Canyon - Mogollon Rim
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    Summer HAZFest 2012
    Oh boy, where to begin?! Let's start by separating the camping from the hikes.

    Thanks to everybody who showed up. It was fun to see some of you again, and great to meet new people. Especially the Coconino Sheriff and the Forest Ranger, both of whom surprised us by showing up without even marking the "interested" column ahead of time. I've always known that a good event usually results in a vehicle with lights flashing :)

    Things started slow with just Pam and me arriving on Thursday night. On Friday, Bob stopped by with Bruno after hiking an AZT segment and loitered for an hour or so. Eventually things got interesting, with Laura, Larry, Liz, Trish, Angela, Cindy, and Steve all arriving in time for dinner. Pam and Larry went to Knoll Lake and caught some fresh Rainbow Trout for dinner, and on their way back they brought Corey, who actually fulfilled the requirement of driving his Prius down the mogul road! Later on, Jon and Patrick showed up and joined us around the campfire. I think that was the whole group on Friday night?

    Saturday morning, Bruce and Joe showed up and most of us went separate directions and did different hikes before reconvening back at camp for evening festivities. John arrived after an AZT segment, and Joel showed up after shooting sunset. A little later, Alex, his wife and kids arrived, and somewhere along the line Andrey showed up too.

    After dinner and shenanigans, we ventured out into the meadow to watch the Perseids. It was a little chilly laying in the abundant elk poop, and I was hoping for a better show, but we were all treated to more than a few cool streaks across the sky and the accompanying "ooooooohs" and "where!!? which way!?" made the whole experience more entertaining.

    The next morning, some headed home, some headed on additional hikes. After a nap, I managed to leave at just about sunset. A stop for food at THAT Pub and Brewery in Pine put an exclamation point on a great weekend!

    There were a total of four dogs, and all were white (ok, Bruno is a little more yellow), and all fun to see. I also brought home a pair of sunglasses that have a yellow strap. Let me know if they are yours.

    I also have a couple of movies that I'll add the URL to the comments for this triplog when I ever get them uploaded.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From the PHX area: From the PHX area: (For posted GPS Route- "Drive to Option 1(Preferred) TH/Parking")- This trailhead parking is 2-1/2 to 3 hours from Phoenix depending on how and what you drive. Get yourself to Payson via AZ-87, and continue north following the signs toward Winslow. On AZ-87, approximately 29 miles from the main traffic light in Payson, after passing through the small communities of Pine and Strawberry and ascending the Mogollon Rim, turn right onto the Rim Road (FR300) just past Milepost 281.1, Drive on FR300 for 20 miles and turn left (north) onto FR137, Buck Springs Ridge. Continue driving for 1.0 mile North-NE on FR137 to the intersection of signed FR137/FR161B. Bare right on 161B and continue driving .20 miles NNE to unmarked "TH Parking" on right side of 161B at way point N34.41306 W111.14767 (this pull-off parking area will accommodate ~3-4 vehicles) photo. Note: The unmarked "TH Start" for this off-trail hike begins directly across 161B from parking area (note small diameter metal post for actual TH Start location photo. As of this writing, there is a large, downed pine tree just a few feet in from this noted metal post.. so at this downed pine tree hike left around this tree and then hike back into the same area "behind" the downed tree to see the actual hiking off trail "use trail"). Please also see "Drive to Option 1 (Preferred) TH/Parking" Information Notes for further details to assist you at this TH-Hiking Start location.

    From the PHX area: (For posted GPS Route- "Drive to Option 2- TH Start/Parking")- This trailhead parking is 2-1/2 to 3 hours from Phoenix depending on how and what you drive. Get yourself to Payson via AZ-87, and continue north following the signs toward Winslow. On AZ-87, approximately 29 miles from the main traffic light in Payson, after passing through the small communities of Pine and Strawberry and ascending the Mogollon Rim, turn right onto the Rim Road (FR300) just past Milepost 281.1, Drive on FR300 for 20 miles and turn left (north) onto FR137, Buck Springs Ridge. Proceed 1.5 miles to signed, but easy to miss intersection of FR643A (on left side-west) and park approximately 50 yards past this intersection, off on the left side of FR137 (at way point N34.41927 W111.15144). This is a good place to park. There is no official trailhead parking and no trailhead start signage here. See hike narrative above for all hiking route details. There is a GPS route posted to this hike description for the 1.5 mile driving route to the trailhead parking area from the intersection of FR300/FR137.

    From the Flagstaff area: (For "Option 2- TH Start/Parking")- If you are coming from Flagstaff you may wish to access this area from the north, near the Blue Ridge Ranger Station: From Clints Well proceed north on AZ-87 about 9 miles and turn right onto FR95. Follow FR95 for 6.5 miles until you cross the bridge at West Clear Creek. Veer left onto FR96 and proceed 5.1 miles to the "T" intersection at FR137. Turn right and proceed 8.0 miles on FR137. Park your car here (off the right side of FR137) which should be approximately 50 yards "before" reaching the intersection of FR137/FR643A (at way point N34.41927 W111.15144).

    Note: Trailheads are not official or marked
    page created by Grasshopper on Jul 09 2010 9:09 am
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