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

Mescal Ridge Trail #186, AZ

details
drive
no permit
forecast
route
stats
photos
triplogs
topics
location
14 4 0
Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson E
Rated
2
2 of 5 by 2
 
0
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,946 feet
Elevation Gain -154 feet
Accumulated Gain 268 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.09
Interest Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
13  2014-10-13
Bear Flat Trail #178 - Tonto NF
topohiker
12  2014-09-26
Bear Flat Trail #178 - Tonto NF
topohiker
9  2012-11-11 DarthStiller
5  2012-06-23 sventre
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:58am - 5:20pm
openimportsetbegin
Route Scout App
16684followactivity
Official Route
 
2 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Tonto Creek Bear Flat to Hellsgate
Tonto Creek Bear Flat to Hellsgate
0.6 mi away
14.0 mi
384 ft
Bear Flat Trail #178 - Tonto NF
Bear Flat Trail #178 - Tonto NF
0.6 mi away
8.0 mi
1,930 ft
Mail Trail - Christopher Mountain
Mail Trail - Christopher Mountain
1.1 mi away
1.0 mi
8 ft
Big Ridge Trail #177
2.6 mi away
8.5 mi
1,271 ft
Christopher Creek Gorge
Christopher Creek Gorge
2.7 mi away
1.0 mi
-200 ft
Christopher Creek Campground
2.7 mi away
Derrick Spur Trail #32
4.0 mi away
0.8 mi
413 ft
Naco Paleo Site - HWY 260
Naco Paleo Site - HWY 260
4.1 mi away
0.3 mi
30 ft
Hell's Gate Trail #37
4.2 mi away
10.1 mi
2,558 ft
Hellsgate 37 ( North ) to Tonto Creek
Hellsgate 37 ( North ) to Tonto Creek
4.4 mi away
14.1 mi
3,200 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flat this isn't
by sventre

Likely In-Season!
Note: Stats are for actual #186 one-way segment only.

This hike begins with a strenuous climb from the Bear Flat Trailhead. Once atop the ridge, it is a moderate roller coaster (mostly flat)all the way out to Horse Pasture Tank. Fate, in the form of the Forest Service, dictated that I make this hike today. Concerned with the extreme dry forest, the Service had closed practically all of the Rim Country trails north of SR 260; but, fortunately, they also cancelled the 2012 closure order for FR405 that had been occasioned by a "bear attack" (what constitutes a threat I will leave to your own judgment).


The hike: I began before sunrise in order to avoid the quick temperature increases that occur each morning in June. The TH (Bear Flat #178) is easy enough to find even in the dark, but once you have crossed the Tonto Creek (almost immediately as you begin) you will encounter the marker for trail #178. What was confusing for me was that the directional arrow on the sign points straight ahead, but with the minimal lighting available I could only discern a game trail to the right. For the next 45 minutes I zig-zagged across the slippery slopes from one game trail to another thinking these were some sort of switchbacks to reach the top. Pine needles covered much of this "trail" which altered from about 12 to 3 inches wide as I made my way up and then down again hopelessly trying to find the real trail. What I discovered on the return trip was that I should have began the hike by beginning with an immediate left turn after crossing Tonto Creek and following the fence line of the private property. The GPS route accompanying this description leaves out the "fun stuff"; but, if your into nearly vertical ascents with no firm footing, clinging to every sapling you can find in order to avoid sliding back down to the camground and crawling over deadfall then turn right at the trail marker.

Eventually, I decided to simply attack the mountain head on and made my way up...at which point I connected with the real deal, Trail #178. From there is was still more climbing along an abandoned jeep trail and into the Hellsgate Wilderness. Soon thereafter the jeep trail narrows and you will reach the intersection with Trail #186. The tough part is behind you and its time to enjoy mostly flat hiking. Bear right and follow the trail as it rides the ridgeline, passing 2 tanks and providing some fantastic views from on high across Hellsgate.

sventre

    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 $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Phoenix, drive east on Loop 202 and connect to Highway 87 north (Country Club Drive). Continue north on Highway 87 for about 90 miles to the town of Payson. Once in Payson, go right (east) onto Highway 260 and continue for 11.4 miles to the turn off for FR 405, Bear Flat Road . Continue on FR 405, for another 1.7 miles to the signed junction for Bear Flat and FR 405. Follow FR 405 for just over 3 more miles to the Bear Flat campground. FR 405 is a good dirt road but is narrow and has several abrupt hairpin turns and steep drop offs. There are ample pullout areas for passing but it is advisable to drive slowly and with caution.
    page created by sventre on Jun 23 2012 12:07 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker