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Indian Spring Peak 4900 - Tonto NF, AZ

no permit
105 7 1
Guide 7 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,938 feet
Elevation Gain 932 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,069 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.65
Interest Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
29  2017-09-15 Steph_and_Blake
10  2014-11-22
Indian Spring Peak - Diamond Mountain Loop
21  2014-11-22
Indian Spring Peak - Diamond Mountain Loop
45  2012-03-15
Indian Spring Pk - Diamond Mtn Loop
Author Steph_and_Blake
author avatar Guides 98
Routes 59
Photos 2,511
Trips 175 map ( 749 miles )
Age 70 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Nov, Oct → Early
Seasons   Late Summer to Late Spring
Sun  6:14am - 6:23pm
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
What happened to the trail?
by Steph_and_Blake

While browsing HAZ for a relatively close hike that would get us into higher elevations and offer some new views (for us, at least), we found Indian Spring Peak 4900 right off the Beeline Highway. It's important to stick to the driving/hiking directions (below) to find the trail as there is no signage nor a cairn to point you in the right direction. Better yet, download the official GPS route and use that to get you on the trail.

From the "upper" parking area you'll see a small stick of a sign indicating that the area is only suitable for hikers and horses. As you're facing the "sign" with your back to the Beeline Highway, look to your right to find the beaten path. The path goes in a northwest direction for 0.7 miles to O'Neil spring and a concrete trough. It looked like, up to that point, the trail had been intentionally put in for cattle and horses to access the spring. It was always at least 15 inches wide and very easy to follow. There's nice shade at the spring and places to sit and take a break.

After the spring, the path has been "maintained", we presumed, by cattle heading over to and up a nearby stream (which was dry during our hike). It would have been pretty to see water flowing, but there would have been numerous stream crossings had it been running. Can't have it all! Be warned that the cattle haven't done a very good job pruning back what I call "desert holly" or the cats claw. It's not bush-whacking but there are some overgrown areas. Just wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt and you'll be fine.

So we're crisscrossing the dry stream, admiring the butterflies and prickly pear fruits when, all of a sudden, the trail just disappears and we're in a sort of meadow with low grasses and dead juniper trees. I guess the cattle didn't see fit to routinely go much further! However, at this point you could really see Indian Spring Peak.

With no trail to follow we checked our GPS and loosely followed the route. Basically, you want to find the path of least resistance up to the saddle to the right (north) of the peak. From there it's a scramble to the base of the peak. We stopped for lunch and took in the views of Bartlett Lake, Mount Ord, Four Peaks, Weaver's Needle, the Superstition Ridgeline, and a small glimpse of the Mogollon Rim. If you're so inclined, you can climb up to the very top of Indian Spring. Be advised that it looked to be about an 85 degree pitch of about 30 or so (very exposed) feet. If you're comfortable with heights and are adept at rock climbing it looked like there were plenty of cracks and hand/foot holds to use. We chose to stay in the shade and not take the risk.

Simply reverse your steps to get back to the beginning of the hike.

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2017-09-19 Steph_and_Blake
    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
    Indian Spring Peak 4900 - Tonto NF
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Diamond Mountain Summit Loop
    Clockwise so it was steep uphill from the start.
    Scared up two deer within 100 yards of TH, probably because I was upwind.
    Scared up three large does while on the first ridge. No photos either time.
    A brutal hike... 95° @8 am, 114° @2 pm.
    Emptied 100 oz bladder and 32 oz bottle of mix within 3 hours, had to stretch a 20 oz bottle of water for over 2 hours, ran out with 30 minutes to go. Leg cramps back at car.
    Drank a gallon of fluids and ate a meal before getting back home (~8 lbs) and weighing myself I was 4.5 lbs less than when I left. So how much did I lose?
    8 + 4.5 = 12.5 lbs!!!
    Indian Spring Peak 4900 - Tonto NF
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Indian Spring Peak - Diamond Mountain Loop
    Great to be back home for a day after 8 days of snow every day and temps 11 - 28 and picking up a killer cold.

    Joe threw out opt A, that I nixed, and then came up with this one that intrigued me. A new area to explore... yea!

    We started gaining elevation for 2.5 miles on FR1333 until Joe's track took us cross country to Indian Spring Peak. Some sweet views on the way and at the Peak. Joe's showed off his mad climbing skills while I stayed below to try and catch the video that would have for sure gone viral. No luck, he made it up and down without incident.

    Next, cross country following the Diamond Mountain ridge line. There were lots of sharp prodding plants that left me looking like a pin cushion, around the peak before peak 5013. If you try our route, go over the top instead of around the peak. Approaching Diamond Mountain Peak 5120, we noticed a person standing on top. We went over to meet Frank, who was camping up top and spends quite a bit of time up there. We had a nice conversation with him before having lunch and making our way down the side of the mountain.

    Because of the slow going we scuttled our plans to climb over Black Mesa and 3570. We got back to the truck just before dark.

    Video - :next:

    On the way home on we passed up HAZ'ers Tricold & Slowandshadey.

    We have a ridge & more left out there to 'splore some time soon.
    Indian Spring Peak 4900 - Tonto NF
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Indian Spring Peak - Diamond Mountain Loop
    Intense saguaros west of Black Mesa on the Beeline near Sycamore Creek have intrigued me driving north for decades. This route didn't hit the hotspot yet now I understand the scree and saguaro show layout! Portions of our loop offered outstanding views. The incredible weather probably would have made anything seem great today, it was nice to be in an area I anticipated exploring.

    We headed up the road in the crisp of morning. It was great to see Bruce after his week off for deer hunting. The off trail started out easy. We made it to ISP after dropping our packs at the saddle below. The peak has a short scramble to the top. Up the south end on the left of two crevices. Near the top slide right and up. Great holds, enough exposure to make you think, over quick if you keep moving, slight trust sliding back down to the ledge.

    Over to 5120 for lunch. The short leaf aloe type plants along the way were the only annoying part of the hike. In areas they cluster in large circles. Met Frank on 5120 and chatted for awhile. Basically he's retired. Basically to 5120. Lunch on the edge with sweeping views from Ord to the Superstitions. Just yabba dabba doo fantastic.

    Frank showed us a route down. We tried it. Off trail seemed easier and less brushy so we aborted back to the planned route. Heading SE off a tier below was steep, slick grass and oh heck it was awesome due to the weather.

    1,500 feet lower we picked up FR1700 for a bit then off trailed back to square one.

    Took 3 quarts, consumed 2. Pants are a must!
    Indian Spring Peak 4900 - Tonto NF
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Indian Spring Pk - Diamond Mtn Loop
    In my search for more hikes in the area between SR87 and Bartlett Lake there wasn't much to offer so I joined Indian Spring Peak and Diamond Mountain and made a loop hike out of it.

    Although I used Route Manager and flipped back and forth between map, topo and satellite I got off to a little bit less than a good start. At the end of FR1697 there was a large tree so I parked next to it while I prepared to set off on my hike. Looking at the GPS route it appeared the trail would be about 100 feet north (down the slope) from where I parked. So I followed what turned out to be a cow-path until the point where the trail should be but just found more cow-paths. Not knowing if the trail was still in existence I just set out in the direction of the wash I knew I'd have to follow.

    Although I had to vary the route due to the numerous ravines and ridges I tried to keep going in the same general direction. At about the half-mile mile point I was tiring of all the ups-and-downs so I figured I'd seek a higher elevation and try to follow a terrain line even if it meant winding in and out at each ravine. I hadn't gone but fifty feet or so when I hit what turned out to be a real trail. From there on the hike was far less demanding... especially knowing I had already racked up as much AEG as the whole hike should have been! (I'd find out how I missed the trail on my return trip)

    Now being on a reasonably well-used trail there was no need for the GPS and I just followed the trail until making a bee-line for the saddle just below the false summit of Indian Spring Peak. I took a few photos before heading to the peak but the closer I got the more I realized how sheer it was and I wasn't going to actually 'summit' it. I'm sure I could have gone another 30 feet higher if I took my time and carefully picked out the route but with the temp getting higher it was better idea to just climb into the first crevice and lay back in the shade for a short break.

    Break over, now I'm heading down to start the next up-and-down part of my hike. I would drop down between each and every peak and climb up to the next one on the way to the Diamond Mountain summit. After all the climbing early in my hike this seemed pretty easy, the only dangers were the small agave-looking plants (looked like sharpened french fries sticking up) that were everywhere! And they were sharp! I'd be lathering myself with aloe lotion to sooth the pain once I got home.

    After numerous ups-and-downs I'm at the Diamond Mountain summit. Wanting to figure out how I missed the first part of the trail I planned on dropping down toward the north until I hit the trail to follow it all the way back to the TH. But what seemed like a good route from below turned out to be very loose terrain so I ended up looping around the first terrace below the summit until dropping down a ravine toward the east. Afterward I realized I should have followed the route I had drawn down from Diamond Mountain because it hit the trail right about where I first found it on the way out. That route would have been almost directly east down from the summit.

    Now that I'm back on the trail I followed it all the way back to the trail head. Although it wound more than my more direct route, it had none of the ups-and-downs as I did and ultimately it was shorter as well. Oh yeah... as I approached the trail head the trail came to within 40' of where I parked... only it was uphill from where I parked instead of downhill. Oh well, it upped my AEG which has been lagging lately.

    Some of my photos for the day are in the photo set for this hike and two are tied to my 4x4 trip logs:
    [ triplog ]
    [ triplog ]
    All photos for the day are in one set here: ... .php?id=59

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Mesa, take the Beeline Highway towards Payson. Right after mile marker 217 there's a crossover on your left. Take that across to the asphalt road on the opposite side. The road is asphalt for about 50 yards, then becomes dirt. Take the very first right you come to. You can park there (what I call the "lower" parking area). Or, if you have a high-clearance 4x4 vehicle, you can continue past the lower parking area and up the hillside for another 1/3 of a mile to get to the "upper" parking area. The road is very rutted getting to the upper parking area, so be advised.
    page created by mazatzal on Sep 19 2017 3:58 pm
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