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Cienega Spring Trail #145, AZ

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Guide 19 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Young S
3.2 of 5 by 5
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance One Way 3.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,845 feet
Elevation Gain 577 feet
Accumulated Gain 807 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 5.89
Interest Historic
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2  2018-07-29 Craigbhikin
9  2017-04-29
McFadden Horse Trail
15  2016-04-22 Craigbhikin
12  2015-09-19
McFadden Super Loop
19  2015-09-19
McFadden Super Loop
24  2015-09-05
McFadden Loop
16  2014-07-20
Reynolds Center Lucky 235 410
24  2014-07-12
McFadden Horse Trail
Page 1,  2
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, May, Mar
Sun  6:11am - 6:22pm
Official Route
6 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

This TH/TR145 (originally an old uranium mining road) provides an "alternate" trail connection to the HAZ "McFadden Horse Trail #146" hike. This Cienega Spring TR#145 adds some scenic driving time/distance, adds an additional 2.8 miles R/T hiking distance with an opportunity to view six(6) nineteenth century Sierra Ancha uranium mine adits along this 2.4ml route and also provides some scenic views of the Reynolds Creek Drainage below.

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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 Triplog Reviews
    Cienega Spring Trail #145
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Headed out to the Sierra Ancha with Chumley and BrunoP. We planned on car camping and wanted to do a couple of hikes over the weekend. We made the drive up Saturday morning and started with McFadden Horse Mountain. I've seen pics of this one and thought it looked interesting. This turned out to be a solid hike with amazing views!

    We parked off Hwy 288 and started the hardy climb up the Cienega Spring Trail. The old road climbs and climbs as you make your way through the forest. There are several large sections of burn. We continued on and connected onto the McFadden Horse Trail. This trail continues climbing through a burn section. With much effort we topped out and took a short break to water Bruno. Views were wonderful!

    Once up top it's very easy going along the mostly flat mesa as you head through the unburnt forest following a series of large cairns. We both really enjoyed this section and cruised through as we wrapped around and headed north. The views are impressive as we arrived at the viewpoint for the hilltop ruin. It's recessed off McFadden and looks difficult to access. From scoping it out there is a route down on the left(west) side of the mesa. You then need to traverse and climb the NW corner. Looks very intriguing! Maybe another time.

    After lunch we started our return and cruised back. Along the way we detoured to the high point but couldn't find a summit cairn. This mountain doesn't need one. From there we started our descent down the switchbacks. The trail is in good condition with minimal deadfall. It's easy going as long as you watch your step. In time we arrived back at the truck and headed out in search of a campsite.

    This was a great hike that I'm glad we hit. It's quality hiking with solid views. The hilltop ruin looks very cool and I'd love to return to see it up close.
    Cienega Spring Trail #145
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    It was good to get out on a backpacking trip again. I picked up a pretty serious bronchial infection in February and it really slowed me down.

    I did this with my Scout Troop 838 We are prepping for a Grand Canyon Trip so we keep building miles and difficulty. I really love Elephant Rock so this fit the bill I had 3 adults and 12 kids.

    The steep beat me up I was the last to make to camp on the top of the Mcfadden Horse MT. In the morning we got up early and booked it out to the Rock. I love the hike on top then to meet the spectacular views of the Cherry Creek Wilderness. Kids did pretty good I had some first timers that I actually beat out but the more experienced ones are learning and doing great. Will post photoset later, just trying to catch up on logs
    Cienega Spring Trail #145
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    McFadden Super Loop
    Redo of Bruce's masterpiece plus Cienega #145.

    McFadden Horse Trail
    Most will rate this lower due to the steep approach. The forest up top, eastern and Elephant Butte views win me over.

    Elephant Rock Arch
    Bridged the gap connecting McFadden to Elephant Rock. Shorts are fine, took under a half hour. We stopped above the arch then headed down. 1 class four downclimb. Ironically I climbed up it last time out of curiosity. I couldn't figure out the downclimb last time so I jumped 10? feet. Got the twist move on the first try this time then did it again for fun. Fairly certain you could backtrack a bit to avoid the obstacle.

    McFadden Peak
    Just a road walk up. Impressive views of the thick mogul berber carpet of pines.

    Park McFadden Trail #55
    Majority of this is an old road down to Circle Ranch. Without using Hank's track I would have missed where it leaves the road for awhile. The cairns at each end are faint and the trail is faint for that segment. Found a tank and added to the map. From Circle Ranch down it's a nice trail. The upper isn't bad but most would prefer the lower part.

    Cienega Spring Trail #145
    Just a road. A little closer and personal views such as from McFadden Peak.
    Cienega Spring Trail #145
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    McFadden Loop
    Nice hike in the Sierra Ancha's. Started from the Reynolds TH and headed out on trail #55, then went off-trail to pick up FR 2770, then uphill on trail #146 where we enjoyed lunch and then took a walk to the high point of McFadden Horse Mountain. From there we headed back down the hill where we picked up trail #145 which took us by a few old mines. Checked out Cienega spring which was flowing very nice, and then closed out the loop with a nice stroll along FR's 235/410.

    Highlights were the blackberries we enjoyed on trail #55 just a .25 mile from the start, the top of McFadden Horse Mountain, and trail #146. Heck, I enjoyed the entire hike :D
    Cienega Spring Trail #145
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Got to the trailhead about 4:30 and hit the plateau about 7:45 Enjoyed hiking by Moonlight on clear cool night. Soon found a nice little camp spot and bedded down. In the morning we hit the summit and then out to the real treasure of this hike. Elephant Rock. Absolutely incredible. Well worth the effort.

    Back to the car by 3 and home in the valley by 5:30. Nice cool fall trip. Weather missed us.

    Beautiful remote and didn't see another soul until back on 288. Now I have to come back and figure out a way up the fortress.
    Cienega Spring Trail #145
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Of the thirteen published Tonto NF hiking trails in our Sierra Ancha Wilderness this one is on my top three list. I prefer starting this hike from the alternate TH at Cienega Spring TR145 and then connecting with the hike writeup McFadden Horse TR146 after a scenic (with nice views of the Reynolds Creek Drainage area) and historic (opportunity to view six 19th century uranium mine adits) on this 2.4ml one way Trail#145 to its intersection with TR#146.

    This is my third hike here since August'07, and my first time with a camera to finally capture the awesome diversity, ruins history, and beauty of this area and hike.

    The McFadden Horse Trail ending bluff viewpoints (7160 ft) at the awesome "Elephant Rock" with its rugged near and distant views far below of the Cherry Creek Drainage and its ~700 year old views of the now crumbling "Salado Fortress" on top is always a real highlight.

    On the drive back, I also discovered that there is more than Mexican Food in Globe. My now very convenient (SE corner of Hwy60/Hwy188) and excellent (food, menu, prices, & service) dinner stop in Globe is "Judy's Cook House" --> igallery/image_page.php?id=4401 :D
    Cienega Spring Trail #145
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    For me, another long & enjoyable day in our Sierra Ancha Wilderness..up at 5am and back home at 9pm. Ken and I had previously discovered this hike after Preston's write up, then we hiked it one year ago on 8/4/07, going in from the Cienega Springs TH, and really enjoyed it. We talked for the past year about returning with some hiking friends to introduce them to this seemingly seldom hiked trail and remote area of the Sierra Ancha. The very scenic PLATEAU OVERLOOK POINT(at 7175'elev) where we had our late lunch break before returning, is the special highlight of this ~5.5ml one way hike!

    Today, seven of us plus Dakota(a very sweet Lab) and Hector(an energy plus-English Pointer) enjoyed this re-visit. We started again from the Cienega Springs TH(at 5565' elev) which offers uranium mining history, a more scenic, and longer hike than going in from the original hike description- Hwy288 TH. Just FYI- From Hwy 288 it is 1 mile in on the McFadden Horse Trail#146 to the intersection with Cienega Sprs Trail#145 or 2.4 miles in on the Cienega Springs Trail#145 to its ending intersection with McFadden Horse Trail#146. At this trail 145/146 intersection, the McFadden Horse Trail takes a serious loose-rocky uphill for a 1000' elev gain in "only" one mile..quite the workout but worth the effort when you plateau out at 7275' in a grassy, pine, oak, and alligator juniper forest area..nice! Due to the amount of rain this area has had over this summer with a few fallen trees, this next 2.2mls to the plateau overlook, grass is higher on the trail obscuring some of the cairns so you must continually look ahead(coming & going) to spot the correct trail route/cairns.

    No monsoon storms threating this day, so we had some terrific short and long distant views down, north, south, and east from our ending lunch spot at trails' end- the Plateau Overlook Point! :GB: Good company and another amAZingly rewarding day in the Sierra Ancha! (see Preston's pic for a preview of your ending destination: McFadden Horse Mtn..backside of ridge left end overlooking Elephant Rock)

    Also, since buying my new Garmin GPS back in June'08, this was the first time that I have uploaded a HAZ GPS trail route. It proved to be a real asset for us in our hike through the sometimes confusing grassy areas. We wondered off the correct trail route at least three times and with this correct route loaded from HAZ(our previous 8/4/07 hike), I was able to immediately see this on my map screen and correct for it before we started.. :doh:
    Cienega Spring Trail #145
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Another very rewarding day trip to our Sierra Ancha Wilderness. Hiking in this SO DIVERSE and remote wilderness area never ceases to amaze us!

    Trip Route: START- Cienega Springs TH/Trail#145(@ 5890')..Hwy288 to MP286.4 then Right Turn onto FR410 for 2.3mls to Left Turn onto FR235 for .6mls to "Smokey-The-Bear" Sign, turn Left and park; Hike TR#145(old Uranium Mining Road)- for 2.4mls to mid-trail intersection with McFadden Horse Trail#146(@6325')..Hike NE & up-up-up TR#146 for 1.1ml(+1K') to a huge Alligator Juniper & take a well deserved break!..then onward another .6mls to the trail high point on McFadden Horse Mtn & sign/sign-in log at 7500'; From here you have another ~2.2mls to go to reach this trail's most scenic plateau/canyon END point/lunch spot and turn-around at 7235'; For this in & out hike one can start where we did as described above or START as per this original hike description describes at MP288 off of Hwy288(this route will give you a 1ml forested 4x4 mine road hike & +600' on TR#146 to reach the mid-trail intersection of TR#145/146;

    Even with a threating monsoon weather day East of The Valley, we still wanted to attempt a hike on these two trails that we had yet to explore in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness. We were glad that we started from the more scenic (offering nice views of the Reynolds Creek TR#150 drainage) and the historic uranium mining end on the Cienega Springs TH/TR#145. This 2.4ml old uranium road/trail skirts around what at one time must have been a very active uranium mining area. On this trail portion we passed at least 4 fairly major mining shaft openings going into the mountain face and we also passed an old collapsed mining shed or cabin that was next too one of these mining shafts. Does anyone know what RAW uranium ore looks like? We were just courious to know as we did see some unusual BLACK ORE pieces around the mining areas and were wondering IF this might have been what was being mined at the time.

    The next portion of our hike was UP from the mid-trail intersection of the McFadden Horse Tr#146. The first 1.1mls is really a major up hill climb for 1k' to reach an area where the trail kind-of tops out for a while at a beautiful, old large Alligator Juniper tree. Also, this first 1.1ml section, climbing up some short and rocky switchbacks offers some very nice back views of Four Peaks in the distance with a nice variety of shade with oaks, pines, and more large Alligator Junipers along the way. Following the well placed cairns and after an additional .6mls of roaming through some very nice woods, you will reach the trail "high point" at McFadden Horse Mtn at 7500'. Be sure to sign-in here as there is a sign-in bottle just below a F/S sign located on the tree above. From here, it is another ~2.2mls to the scenic trail end and plateau ending point at 7235'. It is very easy to become complacent as you hike further in from this 7500' high point as you continue to follow all the well placed cairns and enjoying the surrounding beauty of this relatively level mountain top and pine forested area that is surprisingly well cleared offering nice views through the forest... then you reach an area on the trail (maybe .75mls in from this previous 7500' high point) where some confusion may set in as to "where does the trail go from here?". You can thank tophike and myself for spending at least 30 minutes here re- setting new cairns to indicate the trails' 90 degree "right-downhill-turn" (Someone had previously set cairns going the wrong-left direction. We spent another 30 minutes roaming around this area before we finally figured it out). Once past this 90 degree right turn, you head downhill following the faint trail and more cairns (thank you!) and cross a creek drainage, then following the continuing trail and more abundant cairns, you finally end at a most spectacular canyon plateau overlook at trails end: A distant view DOWN, NORTH, EAST, and SOUTH over the beautiful & rugged Cherry Creek Drainage and its numerous canyon areas. As we enjoyed a late lunch at 2:10pm, watching with anticipation the approaching monsoon storm and darking skys from the East and North, I couldn't help but think of how Joe B. would surely take-away from this scene at least a couple of #5 pics! Even with our rain gear on, we did get wet before reaching trails end at 5:50pm and our awaiting vehicle, but it was well worth it!.. and.. thanks to topohiker's lovely wife for understanding our passion for not knowing when to stop.. :thanx:

    Also, the Tonto Natl Forest website states the McFadden Horse Tr#146 to be 3.3 miles one way; We calculated this "one way" distance from FR288 to the plateau overlook ending point to be 4.85 miles; For the Cienega Springs Tr#145, we calculated 2.43mls;

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    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From the Phoenix area: Take Hwy 60E to Globe (at MP247) turn north on HWY 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 miles to its intersection with FR235. Turn Left on FR235 and continue for .50 miles to its intersection with "easy to miss" but signed FR145 (a left turn off of FR235); Continue for approx 50 yards to TH Parking/TR145 Start (Note: parking for a maximum of 2 vehicles.. if need more parking, then park across from intersection of FR235/145 at perennial Ceneiga Spring; Also, see attached GPS Driving Route to TH, dated 10/28/10;
    page created by Grasshopper on Oct 29 2010 7:30 pm
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