register help

Goat Springs Trail #542, AZ

Guide 6 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  2.8 of 5 
1 Active
12 6 0
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,272 feet
Elevation Gain 552 feet
Accumulated Gain 755 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.78
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Possibly Connect
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
11  2015-09-05
Goat Springs Trail - Squaw Peak 6525 Loop
26  2015-09-05
Squaw Peak Loop-with Goat Spring
23  2014-04-27
Cedar Pine Wilderness
12  2012-06-24 skatchkins
Author skatchkins
author avatar Guides 2
Routes 22
Photos 3,278
Trips 222 map ( 770 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb
Seasons   Autumn
Sun  5:16am - 7:43pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

the redheaded stepchild
by skatchkins

The Cedar Bench Wilderness has been called the redheaded stepchild of the Arizona Wildernessi. In fact the Prescott National Forest Service purports it to be the least visited in the state. Even so, there are established and named trails in the area and at the right time of year you can find yourself amidst large shade trees nurtured by the many area springs and by Chasm Creek. The springs also tell of many types of animal visits by surrounding heavy-use game trails and muddy tracks around the water.

The Goat Camp Spring trail starts out carving a mark through thick scrub brush and then takes you along the edge of Chasm Creek. The contouring path does leave you exposed with not much shade for warmer weather hiking. Its little use means you'll find less visible maintenance but wearing shorts only fetched a negligible amount of scratches. You'll find a couple seeps from the hill side muddy the path in spots. A sign marks the split for Goat Camp Springs #542 and Hell Hole #541 but it was ill advised in its creation as its arrows both point straight ahead. Someone has since carved a more helpful arrow denoting Goat's true direction from the split to the left and even penciled in the approximate yards until the creek crossing. The correct trail is pretty obvious and the trail straight to Hell appears to be dwindling as the brambles take it back trying to make it more appropriate in name.

There can be decent water holes trapped in the smooth creek rock and even some small falls to shoot film at. In the heat of June, there was but one pool seen and green.

After the halfway mark at the Chasm cross, there is some elevation gain-back as you follow the creek upstream and above; Shade here and there keeps it interesting. The best view resides in the small plot of the destination as the growth overhead takes over and darkens out the ground cover. Game trails pop up everywhere and all feeling of being alone in the woods vanishes. This is a good place to stop and lunch, to wait and watch. Even in the summer with the creek dry, the spring keeps a couple indentations wet for the animals.

Turning your feet around, the hike out goes quickly. There are other trails around that could possibly connect but I'd avoid hiking the creek directly for too long as the rocky going is substantial slower.

In short, the 542 isn't a great trail and there are far better areas to be found (you're also not going to get a car back there on the 9602J), but it is a solid area that in the right season could keep one occupied and feeling like they may just be the first to add their footprints into the path in a long while.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2012-06-27 skatchkins
    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 $$

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    Steer onto the 1-17 from wherever you're at, exiting on to the 260 in Camp Verde heading East. At 1.7 miles, take Oasis where you'll be dumped out on Salt Mine Road. Stay on for 6.7 miles and turn right on to FR 9602J. After 2.2 miles of rough dirt, you'll see enough room to park 3 vehicles on the left. You're at the trailhead and it's shoe time.
    page created by skatchkins on Jun 27 2012 7:58 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

    end of page marker