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Boulder Creek Trail, AZ

no permit
212 33 1
Guide 33 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
3.6 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 10.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,446 feet
Elevation Gain 2,004 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,216 feet
Avg Time One Way 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 21.02
Interest Seasonal Creek
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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15  2019-03-28
Pine Mountain - AZT #21
5  2018-11-18
Pine Mountain - AZT #21
5  2018-11-15
Pine Mountain - AZT #21
8  2018-11-04
AZT #21 and #22
10  2017-12-07
Pine Mountain - AZT #21
24  2016-04-09
AZT: Roosevelt to Washington Park
7  2016-04-02 hikerdw
6  2016-03-19
Boulder Creek
Page 1,  2,  3
Author topohiker
author avatar Guides 13
Routes 112
Photos 4,377
Trips 1,731 map ( 27,689 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Oct → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
6 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Give a pint of blood on the AZT
by topohiker

The original plan was to do 14 to 15 miles on the AZ trail. The previous week Grasshopper and I hiked from the Cross F TH to the Boulder creek trail intersection. The sign at the Sunflower / Boulder creek intersection claimed that the FR422 was 7 miles away. I arrived at the Bushnell Tanks exit off of the Beeline. The gate was locked. As I pulled up a game warden was leaving. I asked him when the gate would be opened. He said about a year or two or never. He thought the forest service might open it up on a permit basis. There was about 6 cars and one horse trailer parked by the gate. I started hiking at 8:45am.

I had to hike down FR22 and took the right spur road at the cattle guard. There's a sigh pointing the hikers to the trail. The spur road ends after about 300 feet. Now turn to the south and cross the Sycamore creek and you'll see an AZ Trail plastic sign. The locked gate at the Beeline added .8 miles (one way) to the hike. The boulder canyon trail started off with a couple of switch backs and it leveled off after climbing about 150~200 feet. Now the trail overlooks the Sycamore creek. I came across a tree with two signs 1)To Mexico 385 2)To Utah 423. Now the trail drops down and crosses the Sycamore creek. Watch out for yellow ribbon on the tree branches to help across the creek and pick up the trail again. The trail is more or less flat for a while now. About 3 miles into the hike a came across a boy scout troop building cairns. One of the leader video interviewed "a real hiker" and asked how I liked the cairns. As I left the troop one of the boys yelled "you better not get lost now!". About 1/2 mile past the boy scouts I came across the trail stewards on horses. I talked to them for a bit. I asked about the trail and they confirmed it was 7 miles one way it climbed at the end. The stewards told me that the trail was new. The views were pretty neat. The trail was in a valley and it was slowly working it's way to the four peaks road FR422.

About a mile after meeting the stewards, the trail disappeared. A bunch of sucker trails appeared and they were more defined than the real trail. I wandered for a couple of minutes before noticing the yellow ribbons on the tree branches. Now it made sense, the stewards were horse riders and they would have used yellow ribbons to follow the trail. Now I had to take it much slower and watch out for yellow ribbons, cairns and the AZT signs. There was a hill with a bunch of prickle cactus that was tricky until I found a bunch of orange flags in the ground. I was doing OK looking for trail clues until I hit a falling fence line at N33 49.647 W111 24.192. I came down a hill and there was two fence lines that meet forming a right angle. In front of the falling fence line was a cairn and a opening in the fence to the right of it. There was a foot path going into the corral. This mistake cost me about a 20 minutes. I looked and looked for a trail and found nothing. I climb up high to see if I could find any clues. I saw an AZT post on the OTHER side on the fence. This baffled me. I climbed down and hopped the fence. On the return trip I seen what happened. The one fence that was fallen had a gate in it and it occurred the gate. The trail went straight through the gate, NOT TO THE RIGHT! I made a cairn on the fallen fence by the gate. After about 1/2 mile the trail crosses the boulder canyon and slowly rises. Then the trail leaves the boulder canyon and climbs like crazy. By now it's about 1:45 and the sun is hot. By 2:00 I hit FR422. There's a single plastic AZT post showing where trail 73 starts. I walked up and down the road looking for some shade to have lunch. I found some and chilled out for bit. The GPS shows FR422 as the Mazatzal Divide trail not FR422. I hiked 10.85 miles by now. I know 0.8 was from the car to the TH and I did wander a bit, but not 3 miles worth. This trail is longer than 7 miles. It has to be 9 miles long. I started back at 2:35. I figured the hike back should be a piece of cake because I figured everything out and I had the GPS log. Wrong! There are a bunch of sucker trail one the way back and I got messed up twice before I figured out what to do. I had to zoom in on the GPS to the 20 foot level and look at my GPS every minute to make sure I was staying on course. This slowed me down a bit. Then I hit the section that the boy scouts cairned and it was like heaven. I could finally hike in 5th gear with out worrying about getting off trail. The scouts did a great job. At 6:15 I pulled out the flashlight. I hit the Boulder Canyon / Sunflower intersection about 6:30. I crossed back over the Sycamore creek to the spur road. Now I get freaked out because there a fence across the road that was not there in the morning. I walked around it and found another. Next I see two people. They are ASU students catching bats and I almost walked into their bat screens. I hit the Jeep at 6:40.

The trail had a lot of pricker bushes on it. My legs look like they went through a cheese grater. If you do this trail, make sure you were long pants and a long sleeve shirt. Full size gators would help out also. My 15 mile hike turned into a 20.60 mile bushwhack / death march. Once this trail is better marked and cleaned up it will be a great trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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.

2008-10-27 topohiker
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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 14 deeper Triplog Reviews
Boulder Creek Trail
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
AZT: Roosevelt to Washington Park
April 9th
Miles: 19
AEG: 6,413 ft

We started the climb from the 188 around 7:30 AM. The goal for the day was to make it to Pigeon Springs. The weather was great, and the views of Roosevelt Lake got more spectacular as we climbed out of the basin. After taking a break at Buckhorn Spring, the trail climbs relentlessly before topping out and contouring the mountain.

Eventually we turned a corner and BAM!, the four craggy peaks were staring us right in the face. Quite the view! The trail through the Four Peaks passage is very well maintained, except for a small stretch where we were pushing through overgrowth that nearly obscures the trail. Despite the large swaths of burned forest, this passage was one of my favorite so far. Eventually we reached Pigeon Springs and found a relatively flat spot to set up our tents.

April 10th
Miles: 19
AEG: 2,196 ft

The morning began with a clear sky. After packing up the gear we headed for Pigeon Springs Rd to begin the long road walk. I'm usually not a fan of road walks, but this was an exception. There were great views on either side of the Superstitions, Sierra Ancha, and Lake Roosevelt. The immediate area itself was very beautiful as well. Around 10 AM we could see clouds beginning to build on top of Browns Peak, and a storm hitting the Supes.

We stopped to take out the rain jackets and a white mini-van rolled up and asked if this road would take them all the way back to the 87. I pulled out my map and told them it looked like the road ended well before reaching the 87 and that they needed to turn around and take El Oso or the other forest road. The wife sitting in the passenger seat seemed concerned that we were about to be backpacking out in the rain. :roll: By 11 AM it was lightly raining, which was initially quite exciting (I needed to test the rain gear anyway).

Just as we reached the Boulder Creek drainage the storm began to give us its all. Heavy rain, wind, and thunder! By the time we reached Sunflower, the trail was a muddy slip and slide, my phone was soaked and unresponsive (may it RIP ](*,) ), and we were slightly chilled.

We waited under the 87 underpass for my brother to arrive, who was picking us up so I could take an exam for an online class I'm taking before returning to the trail the next day.

April 11th
Miles: 12
AEG: 2,643 ft

After finishing up my exam, we were back on trail around 1 PM. Under the 87, we did some last minute gear prep before heading out and ran into three other hikers, Giltch, Kegel, and Minus. They were 17 days into their thru-hike and were excited to get into Pine for some much needed beer. We were all aiming for McFarland Canyon for the night.

We started up Saddle Mountain and enjoyed all the green scenery in the area. Just before reaching camp, we passed the half way mark for the AZT and celebrated with the thru-hikers before settling down for the night in McFarland Canyon.

April 12th
Miles: 21
AEG: 5,249 ft

The thru-hikers were up and leaving camp just as we were beginning to pack up. We weren't sure if we would ever see them again. The trail gets a little hard to follow just after McFarland Canyon to Thicket Spring. The Guthooks app says to head straight up a wash but apparently there is an alternative route that is clear of brush and well defined that you can take at the first junction past McFarland.

Once we reached the junction for the Peeley TH we stopped to take a break and ran into Joe, a gentleman I had met at a trail maintenance event about a month earlier. Quite the coincidence, if we would have left a minute earlier we probably would have never seen him. He was meeting up with another fellow to remove some downed trees along the trail.

The views along the Mazatzal Divide from Peeley to Y-Bar were my favorite for the entire trip. The rugged peaks of the Mazatzals and expansive views on either side were exciting to see. We ran into Minus again at the Bear Spring junction taking a lunch break. After taking our own lunch break at the spring, we headed for Horse Camp Seep.

As we approached Horse Camp Seep, we ran into the three thru-hikers again. There was another hour or so of light, so they continued on, we decided to call it a day where there was water. Horse Camp Seep was a sweet spot and had great camping.

April 13th
Miles: 18
AEG: 2,907 ft

The goal for the day was to make it to the East Verde River, a relatively easy day that was mostly downhill. We made our way along the Divide trail and passed "The Park", an inviting stand of pines and great campsites. We stopped to take a lunch break at the Red Hills seeps. From here the trail descends steeply to the East Verde River. Not very fun for the knees.

We camped just across the river and enjoyed the warmest night of the trip. We were now done with the Mazzies, and I felt the proposed "overgrowth" was kind of blown out of proportion, or there has been a lot of trail work in the past couple of months. Probably a bit of both. ;) I never felt like the trail was hard to find (except for the stretch between McFarland and Thicket) or that I had to deal with excessive brush that I wouldn't expect on most wilderness trails.

April 14th
Miles: 23
AEG: 4,196 ft

With burgers and beer on our minds, we got up early to make it into Pine with sufficient time to hit up THAT brewery and the market. The rocks along Whiterock and Hardscrabble Mesas were annoying and it felt like I was constantly stubbing my toes or rolling my ankle. Otherwise the area is quite beautiful and welcoming. The rocks put these two passages high on my list of "one and done" passages.

We reached Pine around 5pm with plenty of time to get burgers and beer. Lo and behold, we run into Minus, Kegel, and Giltch at the brewery along with another thru-hiker, Thomas, who was taking a zero in town. We joined them and enjoyed the comradery. Thomas decided to join us at camp for the night near the Pine TH while the others reserved the cabin in the back.

April 15th
Miles: 17
AEG: 3,303 ft

We woke up with frost all over our gear. :yuck: After packing up, Thomas headed for the Highline and we headed for breakfast at the Early Bird. Just before we finished up eating we ran into Minus who was getting some breakfast himself.

We headed for the Highline. It was nice to be climbing on a well graded trail with less rocks, especially because a hole was beginning to develop in my right shoe. I could feel every rock under my foot on that spot.

At Red Rock Spring we made a quick stop and finished off the last bit of the Arizona Trail Ale we picked up the night before at the market.

Once we reached Webber Creek we caught up with Thomas who was drying out all his gear. We stopped to take a break, and eventually Minus came strolling down the trail to join us. Minus decided to hike with us for a stretch after the break. The Rim gets right up in your face along this stretch and red dirt contrasting with the green pines and cedars made for great scenery.

We were about 9 miles from the finish and a little antsy to finish up. Eventually Minus stopped to take a lunch break and we continued on after filtering some water. Now with only 5 miles left, we kicked it into high gear and made for the Washington Park TH. Clouds started to build along the rim.

We reached the trailhead and got ready to hunker down for a few hours of inclement weather before our ride would arrive. However, after a few snow flurries, the clouds broke. Eventually Thomas and the other three thru-hikers caught up with us, we exchanged information, and said our goodbyes. All of them were very enthusiastic about Arizona and couldn't stop commenting on the diversity of the state and how we had a pretty cool home.


Besides my foot issue due to my failing shoe on the last day, I felt great this entire trip. I never woke up sore or feeling exhausted. I listened to my body, and I was proactive about keeping my feet and knees happy. It really paid off and made the trip that much more enjoyable.

This concludes all of Southern and Central Arizona passages for me. I'm looking forward to the easy walking on the plateau to the UT border!

Lots of lupine in the middle elevations, not much at the highest and lowest elevations.
Boulder Creek Trail
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Still recovering from a foot injury, knowing that any steep decline could re-aggravate it, I was looking for a fairly flat hike this weekend to test it out. The recent triplogs posted by BiFrost and slowandsteady for this area piqued my interest so off we went. We hit the trail at 6:40 to some cooler temps which was really nice. I had constructed a shoe pad to offload pressure from the area of discomfort on the foot and as we started hiking I did notice a difference in shoe fit and feel, nothing bad, just different. OK, this might work. By mile 4 I completely forgot about the extra pad and the foot was feeling great, in fact the best it has felt in several weeks. The target was Crabtree Spring and we got there in good time, crossing paths with one young female thru-hiker whom we chatted with for several minutes. Sounds like she was planning a little detour to Payson to get a good meal, shower, good nights sleep in a bed, etc. We wished her safe travels as we parted ways. At the spring area we did see lots of water but not really sure of the actual source. Found a nice set of boulders to sit on and had lunch. On the return we ran into 2 other thru-hikers, some backpackers, and 2 mountain bikers. Great day on the trail and glad to report the foot feels great. Next week I will test with some higher AEG.
Boulder Creek Trail
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AZT Trail: Picketpost to Pine
I was kind of looking to see where I was at for another big trek this summer and Karl was looking to experiment with a lighter weight higher mileage backpack, so I proposed Picketpost Mountain, or the beginning of section 18 of the Arizona Trail to Pine and the end of section 26 of the Arizona Trail. Karl was down for four days and had a somewhat flexible plan for ending his trip when he needed to. Meanwhile, I was about 50-50 if I could do the entire hike and was content with just seeing how far Karl and I could get and then playing the rest of my trip by ear, or I should say by body.

Day 1: 29.92 miles 6268 aeg

We made it to our planned first night's campsite on day one, Walnut Spring. Section 18 really exceeded my expectations. This is about the best time of year to be walking though that desert right now and Whitford proved to be a real treat with the flowing water and abundance of green. The climb was grueling and relentless but it offered some very solid views of the area and was really made manageable by liberal use of switchbacks. Karl was so confident with our performance at that point in the day that he insisted we bag Montana Mountain while we were up there. I agreed, but only because I was born in Montana and I said it had to count it as our break. Reavis Ranch looked like Daytona Beech and I had not apprehensions about making the short trip past it to my cozy little campsite at Walnut Spring. Got to Walnut just at headlamp time. Blew through camp chores, made a fire, ate and got to bed as soon as we could.

Day 2: 25.67 miles 6392 aeg

We came up a little short on our proposed campsite on this day, but the hiking was great so no worries. No stranger to the Eastern Supes, but Sunday still offered me all new areas after Two Bar Ridge. Cottonwood Canyon was great! No shortage of water in there and some cool little sites in this random little riparian jungle in the far corners of the northwestern Supes. A little bit of road and then it was the traverse from hell along the 188 waiting for that damn bridge to come into sight. From the bridge it was up the stairway to heaven. Where fittingly we had a trail angel waiting for us with tons of snacks and H20. After our sugar, hops, and caffeine binge at Mills Ridge we decided to just push for Buckhorn Creek. However, on that side of Four Peaks, pushing for a few extra miles usually entails a nice chunk of aeg as well, so we earned it. I did find a set of Indian ruins though along the way, so that was cool. We were both excited to learn that after carrying all that fresh water from Mills Ridge, there was water flowing in Buckhorn Creek. Oh well no filtering to do, quicker camp set-up, quick fire and in bed even earlier than previous night.

Day 3: 31.24 miles 5239 aeg

Day three was all new ground for me. Four Peaks makes you work, but alas the beauty of nature is enhanced by the ardor of the journey. I really enjoyed this section, an instant new favorite! I hiked through perhaps one of my nicest sunrises in a long time and marked several rock pile sites along the trail for future exploring. This section just kept getting better for me as we neared Four Peaks and started contouring towards Pigeon Spring. The lingering and previous snow had some of the creeks flowing nicely along this stretch and the trail got very nice as we approached its end. The road felt a little like Mad Max with the amount of Jeeps, trucks and atvs out. However, I must say not one negative experience with any driver and I do not think I have been offered as much water in such a short amount of time as I was along that 11 mile stretch of road. One guy asked, "is there anything else I could give you?" I said I could use some sunscreen and he offered up the whole bottle. The hike down into Sycamore was also very nice, again a great time to be in the lowlands, a little water, some flowers and green. However, it was hard to appreciate at times with the fatigue and anxiety over coordinating a last minute drop off of some additional things I felt I needed, if I was going to have any chance of reaching Pine. The drop and pick went smooth, a small adventure, but relatively smooth. We did not get an ideal spot to camp, but spirits were high after our resupply.

Day 4: 24.7 miles 6297 aeg

This was the day Karl and I would be saying our goodbyes. Karl decided on a Peely exit and I would push on to Bear Spring from there. More new trail for me to start the day and again I was not disappointed. The canyons on the way up to Saddle Ridge were picturesque, there was a lot of water and signs of some pretty extensive trail work in spots. I will admit things got a little dicey after we left the quaint McFarland Spring area, but we endured. The trails definitely need some work in there. I found myself kind of embracing the ruggedness and challenge the area presented. However, I could see that area becoming another hiker's hell if they were not expecting it. Karl and I parted at Peely. Losing Karl sucked, as he and I had a good thing going the first few days. Karl was keeping our pace in the areas where I tend to day dream and I was doing what I could do to keep us at a respectable place for some of the more stout climbs. But no time to dwell, I was solo now and needed to reach Bear Spring, just another 2000 feet of aeg and a shade under ten miles. There is no sense harping on the point, but the Divide Trail is getting nasty along there and I did make it to Bear Spring before head lamp conditions, but I was obliterated from that last little push from Peely. I replaced Karl with another Carl at Bear Spring. I am going to assume he spells his with a C. Anyways, I ran into Carl, better known as Spiced Rum on HAZ. He was on the final night of a backpack to gather some information for future work in the area. We chatted it up for awhile and I am not ashamed to admit I took some extra snacks from him. He was leaving a day early and I could not believe the amount of food I was going through on these long days, so I had no problem taking the charity. Superb stuff too, some great dried fruit, trail-mix and a Rice Crispy treat. Good guy all around and a source of wealth on some other major trails that I am interested in. And what a nice little spot to camp near Bear Spring, that saddle is great, I see why toughboots is fond of the place.

Day 5: 26.9 miles 4051 aeg

This was my make or break day. I had my city creek trailhead bailout option if needed, or I was pushing for the East Verde via the dreaded Red Hills and making my final push for Pine from there. The divide trail has its ups and downs, both in terrain and condition, but overall it was pretty smooth going. There is a section of Divide Trail that is now immaculate from about the intersection with Brody Seep to the intersection with Barnhardt. Kudos to that trail crew. I stopped for way too long to soak my legs and filter water and then realized I was looking at about ten more miles to include the worst part of the Red Hills and it was nearly three. My rational side said, "set up camp here, hike out LF or Saddle Ridge tomorrow," however, my other side said, "quit making excuses and finish the original plan." I am not sure what it was, but I was really dreading the last half of the Red Hills. Out of paranoia of being too exhausted to complete the entire section and having to dry camp somewhere I carried way too much water. This weighed me down and annoyed me even more as several of the creeks and main valleys I crossed had running water in them. As it turned out, while my worries were warranted, I did just fine and to be honest felt the area did not seem as bad as it had before and I must give props to the horse(s) whose tracks I followed through the entire Red Hills section, a doable stretch, just may require more time and detail. Camped at the Verde where I was serenaded to sleep by cows, frogs, chickens, maybe peacocks, cats and perhaps even a species of monkey. A very lively river at night.

Day 6: 23.08 miles 4329 aeg

This was the one I was waiting for, the "easy" day. A nice early start, I don't think there is a better place to be in the world than a half hour before light in the mountains somewhere, just pure serenity. There were ankle breakers abound on this day of Whiterock and Hard Scrabble. A nice steady pace was all I tried to keep and I followed a liberal break plan, as I crawled into Pine. The final two sections were not my favorite, but they were also the last two sections of a 160 mile trek so they would have had to have been perfect to really capture my imagination. Nevertheless, I got through both of them and endured the lava rock tread and bland road. I did find the last few miles to be more redeeming with the scenic Oak Spring and Bradshaw tank area. It was a reunion at the trailhead with Jackie and the pups, Del Taco and then home.

Final Notes

I need to work on a better nutrition plan for these big ones. I simply did not bring enough caloric energy for the type of days I was doing and the amount of energy I was putting out. I need to go healthier and more efficient, just a good lesson to learn.

Karl played a huge role in getting me through those first four days, very glad to have him through there, he was missed later.

A good song to have stuck in your head while hiking is Passion Pit, "Take a Walk."

I can definitely go lighter on these ones too, I packed light, but by no means did I make any attempts to go ultra-light. In the future, that may be needed to knock out some of these more ambitious multi day treks.

The hardest days by far were Day four with its nearly 7000 feet gained and day five with its 27 legit miles through the Mazzies without as much as a foot of road relief until the very end.

About normal to not so great, to really good in spots. Most action in the first few sections though.
Boulder Creek Trail
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We took Boulder Creek trail up to the junction with the AZ trail. Just before the two trails join we saw a deer take off up the lower slopes of Cypress Peak. From there we headed back along the AZ trail. Saw a campsite near where the AZT crosses Sycamore Creek.
A boulder at the trailhead had an animal hide draped over it :yuck: The area is now heavily grazed with a lot of cattle. I'm not sure it helps the "Vegetation rehabilitation" per TNF special order 12-216 :roll:
Boulder Creek Trail
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AZT21/Reno Pass Loop - Mine Tour
I’m amazed at all the stuff there is out of the Bushnell tanks area. I spent the day exploring around the area.

Mines: Little Daisy Mine & Golden Rule Mine
I took FR23 to the Golden Rule and the Little Daisy Mine. There some mining processing machinery still at the Little Daisy mine.
The Little Daisy mine is big and choked with vegetation. I started to push through the vegetation and came across the mine guardian :scared: . I heard a rattler, but couldn’t see where it came from :o . I kindly apologized and retreated from the area.
There are a couple of other mines in the area, but nothing worth mentioning.

Reno Pass to the Edward’s park
I took FR524 to Reno Pass. I downloaded JJ’s MT Ord to Brown’s peak route. The fun began when the road ended and the off-trail began. The off-trail is not that hard, it just seems like it takes forever. Long pants might be good idea for this section. The vegetation is not thick, but it eventually starts to aggravate your legs. The warmer temps didn’t make the bushwhacking easy. Near the end I deviated from JJ’s route. I noticed that he went out his way to go to Cypress peak. I skipped that and went to a drainage to Bear spring. I did this to avoid an unnecessary climb and to reload on water. I was drinking water and an alarming rate with the sun exposed bushwhacking. Bear spring had no bears :lol: , just a pool water. I filtered 3 liters and consumed 2 on the spot. I was never happier when I saw FR422 :y: ! If I do this cross-country again, I might redo the route to where I cut across to the Park Creek trail.

One thing I noticed is that my Delorme showed a road almost right next to JJ’s route. There is no evidence of a road out there.

I had a late lunch at the Edwards park. All the kids had gone home by the time I got there.

I took the AZT to the 2nd corral and bushwhacked across boulder creek to the boulder tank and picked up a very old road. I took the old road around three more tanks and back to FR22.

It was a warm day. I had packed 7 liters of water and consumed 9 for the day. There was a nice cool breeze once I got above 4,500 feet. Once the sun dropped , the temps were cool-ish.
Boulder Creek Trail
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We took Boulder Creek trail up to the junction with the AZ trail. Just before the two trails join we saw 2 deer take off up the lower slopes of Cypress Peak. From there we headed back along the AZ trail. About a mile later we hear dirt bikes coming towards us along this section of AZT (closed to motorized vehicles) :roll:
The rest was a nice hike along the excellent AZT tread and we saw the recent re-route to avoid the deep washed out section up above the Sycamore creek crossing. Very nice work Shawn.
Wildflowers along this loop were the best we've seen this year even though it is a down year.
Boulder Creek Trail
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I had no real agenda for the hike. I started out at the Bushnell tanks and headed North on the AZT.
I saw the AZT trailer sitting near the TH. I took the new minor redirect and followed the cairns to the Sycamore creek. The water was pretty deep and fast moving. I found a narrow spot and was able to make a crossing with a small tree trunk.

I headed north and literally tripped over a new area to go exploring!!! :y: As I crossed over FR393, I wondered where this well maintained road leads to. I went to the Cross F TH to see the new sign and had a snack break by the creek. I did some quick research on the GPS and discovered that FR393 went down to Bartlett Dam / Verde River! Score! :y: I changed my original plan of checking out the fire damage on Little Saddle MNT to exploring FR393.

FR393 starts about 1/3 mile from the Cross-F TH. It more or less follows the power lines and is very well maintained. The road passes by numerous camping spots and drainage's. After a couple of miles, the road go by Upper Alder spring and (I believe) this is the start of the Alder creek. After this point you can see the Alder creek below you to the south. There were some nice green trees down there. The views view fantastic. After a mile or two more, I could start to see the town of Cave Creek.
The road slowly loses elevation. The high point was 3,900 feet and it looks like it ends about 2,000 feet (at the lake).

I picked a turnaround time because I didn't have enough time to make it to the lake. Shortly after I turned around a family on quads/4x4 golf carts passed me. They went to the lake and returned. They said the road was about 14~15 miles one way and there were other trails where it ended. I had lunch by the Alder Creek.

On the way back (by the town of Sunflower) a couple of free-range horse started to follow me and got pretty close. I suspect they were looking for apples.

I returned it back to the Beeline/AZT 14 with 2 hours of daylight left so I went down the Boulder trail. I hopped off the trail and returned FR22.

There are 3 creek crossings on FR22. The first one (heading back) was low enough where I walked on the metal berm that defined the road. The second crossing was nasty. The creek was split into three sections. After I crossed, I realized that the creek was running down the road and the 2nd & 3rd crossing merged into one. I crossed again and found faint trails that lead me (dryly) to the cattle guard.

I was a great day! Once the sky clouded over, the temps were perfect. And I got to explorer a new area of the Mazatzal's!!!
Boulder Creek Trail
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We went along FR22 and Boulder Creek trail to its junction with the newer alignment of AZ trail. We took the AZT back before cutting thru to FR22. We met two backpackers doing a Mega-Mazzie trip: Roosevelt Dam to City Creek : app : They were a bit concerned about the forecast for Tue/Wed.
Boulder Creek Trail
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A little cool at 7AM at the trailhead. Didn't warm up until we got in the sun almost to the Dutchman Trail. Only saw about 7 other people on the all between Parker Pass and the TH. So it was a quiet morning. Almost no wildlife, 1 cotton tail rabbit and some quail. Boulder Creek Trail is getting fairly over grown.
Boulder Creek Trail
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What a great hike! This was my first time hiking Boulder Creek. The trail itself meets up with the Second Water trail of the Superstitions. If you venture off the Boulder Creek trail prior to this meetup, you will hike La Barge Canyon. The initial ascent up Boulder Creek is staggering but with phenomenal views. Descending down into the variety of options you find yourself at a wash. Hopping the boulders toward the pyramid shaped wall of stone should find you a nice adventure. Make sure to tell a friend if you will be alone.. those boulders can reach out and grab you!

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Phoenix, take the beeline to just past Sunflower and turn on the Bushnell tanks exit. PARK IN FRONT ON THE GATE.
page created by topohiker on Oct 27 2008 12:21 am
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