China Wall Trail w/Bronco Creek #287, AZ

Guide 20 Triplogs Mine 0 0 Topics
3.5 of 5 
no permit
179 20 0
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 3.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,912 feet
Elevation Gain 850 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,000 feet
Avg Time One Way 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.03
 Interest Seasonal Creek
 Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
14  2021-03-06 DarthStiller
10  2019-03-16
Bronco Butte - Carefree
6  2019-01-20 gad38
19  2018-12-17
Bronco Butte - Carefree
10  2018-11-11
Bronco Trail #245
17  2017-01-28
Bronco Butte-China Wall-Rackensack
17  2017-01-28
Bronco Butte - Carefree
18  2015-04-04 hikerdw
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 103
Routes 249
Photos 2,067
Trips 511 map ( 4,929 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Associated Areas
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Phoenix Region
Historical Weather
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Preferred Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb → 9 AM
Seasons   Early Winter to Early Spring
Sun  5:26am - 7:22pm
Official Route
6 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2005 Cave Creek Complex169.4 mi*
Nearby Area Water
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Flora  Nearby
Named place  Nearby
Culture  Nearby
Great Wall of China in AZ?
by nonot

This is a collection of ranching trails in the Cave Creek area that are not maintained by the forest service.Warning
The trails are in good shape, but very faint in sections. These trails are no longer maintained and see few visitors. I recommend you go prepared with no less than the Official GPS Route.

The China Wall trail is pretty steep on the backside, be careful out there!

Cave Creek has a ranching history that goes back a long way. The Bronco Creek Trail #287 stopped being maintained by the forest service, likely after the fire. The China Wall Trail appears to have never been a part of the forest service's trail system, which is ironic because it was in great shape and requires almost no maintenance.

Descending the Bronco Trail towards Cottonwood Creek, you will find a trail intersection signpost about half a mile from the #247 trail, with only the Bronco Trail marked on the trail signpost. It tells you to take a sharp right turn. What if you didn't? Let's find out!

Go down the faint trail to the southeast and drop into the wash. Welcome to Bronco Creek Trail #287! The trail will meander in and out of the creek bed and then jump onto a small ridge, which it follows until you get to a barren moonscape, with no plants, footprints, cow patties, or hardly a sign of anything. This, my friends, is the intersection of Bronco Creek Trail #287 and the China Wall Trail. Can't you see it? ;)

So the China Wall is apparently coming in from the ridge to the west, though I couldn't tell. Anyways, continue to proceed south and in a short time, you will come to a newly reconstructed corral. This happens to be the best-looking corral I've encountered in an AZ wilderness, so take a minute to admire it!

Pass through the corral (directly through it) to get to the other side of the fencing. Now follow the trail as it proceeds uphill. In a half-mile, you will come to a tank with a trickle of water. If the tank weren't cracked, Jack Springs Tank would be great for cows. As it is, it is a little difficult for animals to use, though I saw ample signs they were making due.

If you continue uphill following the trail you will find the piping feeding the trough and eventually find Jack Springs itself. From here the trail is a pleasant uphill grade, free of bushes, that will lead to the China Wall, an interesting geological oddity. The trail will crest at a saddle alongside the wall and descend steeply on the other side. It makes use of basically a rocky wash with surprisingly good footing. At the end, it deposits you on a bare saddle with great views to the southeast. From here you can link up with the Cottonwood Basin Trail to make a loop back to Cottonwood #247 if you are backpacking. Otherwise, return the way you came.

Water Sources
Jack Springs is found along the way. Due to the number of cows utilizing this source, humans may want to just pack in their water.

You can do this as a backpacking loop, being that water is a problem, most will return to Cottonwood #247 to make camp.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2010-12-28 nonot

    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.

     Permit $$

    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    See directions for the Bronco Trail #245. Hike the Bronco Trail approximately 3.5 miles to the trailpost marking an intersection but having only one trail sign.
    page created by nonot on Dec 28 2010 11:52 pm
     90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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