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General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF, AZ

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Guide 95 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well
2.8 of 5 by 17
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 60.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,525 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,704 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 69.51
Interest Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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10  2019-09-14
Horton Promontory Rim Loop
6  2019-08-24
High - Drew - Woods - Vista - Sinkhole Loop
17  2019-08-24
High - Drew - Woods - Vista - Sinkhole Loop
11  2019-06-30
See Canyon - Drew Loop
9  2019-06-30
See Canyon - Drew Loop
21  2019-03-25
See Canyon Trail #184
5  2019-02-24
Mogollon Rim Vista Loop
22  2018-10-20
See Bear Beaver Rattlesnake
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 10
Author The_Eagle
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 789
Photos 9,103
Trips 1,065 map ( 10,158 miles )
Age 63 Male Gender
Location Far NE Phoenix, Az
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Aug, Jul, Sep
Seasons   Early Spring to Early Winter
Sun  6:09am - 6:28pm
Official Route
30 Alternative
Rim Views, Aspens and Meadows - V 55.5 - V113
by The_Eagle

Likely In-Season!
This historic trail currently starts in the high desert of 5000’, approximately 20 miles east of its original start at Ft Whipple in Prescott. It passes through the site of Ft Verde before climbing to the Mogollon Rim’s tall pines at almost 8000’. Its current eastern terminus at the Cottonwood Wash TH, is some 145 miles and 10,750’ in Accumulated Elevation Gain, from its start. The trail spans Prescott, Coconino and Apache-Sitgreaves. National Forests (Trails #64, #130, #140).

The original western start at Ft Whipple (now the Prescott VA Hospital area) to its current start around P20, is not established or marked, but the general path is known.
The original eastern portion of this trail from V113 to Ft Apache, is a little less known and may have used numerous routes.

Creation of the Trail
The Trail was developed as a supply route to Ft. Apache from Fort Whipple in Prescott. The scouting for trail was started in 1871 with General Crook and a small party leaving Ft Apache heading north, and then traversing the rim to the west, arriving at Ft Whipple on September 6th. Actual trail construction began in the spring of 1872 from Ft Whipple (Prescott) and from the Show Low area, both heading towards Ft Verde. By 1873 the first pack train with supplies made the trip from Ft Whipple to Fort Apache. One year later the first wagon trains made the journey.

For 22 years the trail was used by Crook’s men to patrol the northern border of the Apache Reservation. Infrequent Civilian use continued for another 24 years until the Rim Road was built in 1929.

This trail was designated as the state’s first Arizona State Historic Trail

The trail was marked for distances from Ft Verde. Markers to the west of Fort Verde were indicated with a “P” (for the Prescott side) and the Miles from Ft Verde (ie P7 was 7 miles west of Ft Verde).

On the East side, markers were indicated with a “V”. V20 would indicate 20 miles from Ft Verde on the way to Ft Apache. Distances back then were derived from counting the number rotations of a wagon wheel. Only a few of the original blazes remain. The best example is possibly 13 mile rock, (V13) which can be seen at the pull out on route 260 on the way up the rim.

Reestablishment of the Trail
The Grand Canyon Council Boy Scouts of America, Troop 26, re-traced and re-marked the current trail. They did this for their Bicentennial Project starting in 1976. In the western/lower elevations they marked the trail with rocks in wire baskets and Mileage markers on 4” x 4” posts. As of this description, many of the posts remain, but none of the mileage signs have survived.

Once in the higher elevations where trees are present, the trails location is indicated with white or red metal “V’s” attached to trees of posts. Mileage markers are placed on 6” diameter posts aprox. 4’ tall. Mileage is etched into the slanted top of this post (ie. V 21)

The Boy Scouts did a great job back in 1976 hiking and marking this trail as part of their Bi-Centennial project. Without this effort, it would not have been possible for us to hike it. The trail is a bit hard to follow in spots, Some spots are marked better than others. If you haven’t seen a “V” chevron on a tree for a while, turn around and check the back side of the trees and also check on some of the fallen trees. A GPS with a loaded track is a real important tool on this trail.

Additional Reference Material
“A Guide to the General Crook Trail”
Published by the Museum of Northern Arizona Press and the Boy Scouts of America
Copyright 1978
Hardcopy purchased online

“General Crook National Historic Study Trail – Study Report”
USDA Forest Service SW Region Sept 1986
Found on the internet

Water Availability
See Spring Reports

Additional Trail Segments
The remainder of the current General Crook Trail is made up of the following Trail descriptions.
Please see one of the following Descriptions and GPS Tracks for the remainder or the trails.

P21 – V0 (Ft Verde) General Crook Trail #64 - Prescott NF, AZ

V0 (Ft Verde) – V55.5 General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF, AZ

Now in Apache Sitgreaves National Forest, and still winding through forests, you’ll pass by Promontory Tree V63 (actually located at V62). The Promontory Lookout Tower is a short walk off the trail located on the Rim Road. At V64-1/2 you pass a large sink hole, a couple hundred yards around and about 80' deep, aptly named “Hole-in-the-Ground”

Some of the best undisturbed General Crook roadbed can be found between V68 and V70, most notable around V70. At approx. V71 (Marker not found), the trail crosses the FR300 and shortly thereafter SR260. We followed the Beige “V” markers here for the original trail, but Red “V” markers also exist supporting a more recent reroute.

On the south end of Lake #1 at approx. V72, you pass up the third Grave. This is the grave of Al Fulton - Shot 1901. His killing seems to be related to the Pleasant Valley wars. The trail continues to wind through the pines and aspens, crossing back over SR260 and routes through the Forrest Lakes neighborhood before ultimately crossing south back over SR260 to V80. Another large sinkhole, Jacob's Well is located around 75-3/4. Between V80 and Nelson Lake at V81-1/2, pay close attention to the markers or your GPS. The trail is a bit thin in spots here. Nelson Lake appears to be a popular camp site as was evidenced by the Elk Hunters using the area as we hiked through.

From V82 past Gentry Lookout at V85-1/2 to V95-1/2, the trail plays tag with and more or less follows FR300. If you have some time and want to check out the next set of graves, take a ½ mile one way side trip down the Hangmans Trail #500. This trail is located just east of the Black Canyon Rim Campground (aprox. V83-1/2) and will lead you to a small Cemetery. The Cemetery contains the grave sites for Jamie Stott, Jim Scott, and Billy Wilson. Three men lynched by vigilantes on Aug 4 1888, during the Pleasant Valley Feud.

At approx. V90 we also stumbled upon a much more modern grave, with a metal tube cross marker. All that was on it was the Initials “CTP” Also through this area, keep an eye out for wild horses. We spotted 5 on our hike through this area.

Phoenix Park is the next destination and is located around V99. This area was first used as a grazing area for cattle in 1873 by George Stinson of Phoenix. This is an expansive open meadow area that was used to camp and to provide the first real grass feed for the Wagon team’s Stock on the trip up the trail. On the north end of the meadow are the ruins of the Daniel Boone Holcomb Homestead. The chimney for the old homestead still stands.

The original General Crook Trail used to go through the Williams Ranch area. It has since been re-routed to the North at approx. V111. The Williams Ranch area has a 10' tall Elk Fences around it. There are quite a few buildings scattered across all the acreage. This is one of the oldest ranches in the area.

At Approximately V113 you will finish the current General Crook at the Cottonwood TH. As of this description, there was no indication whatsoever that this was the General Crook Trail, nor all or any of the history surrounding the trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2015-07-14 The_Eagle

    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 55 deeper Triplog Reviews
    General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF
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    Horton Promontory Rim Loop
    Checked off a couple of all-time uniques.

    292 is steep. A few spots of deadfall and one section in particular where there are many user/wildlife-created switchbacks that deviate from the tread.

    3 small groups at the spring.

    Highline was nice. I forgot how thick and lush some of the drainages down here are. It was farther to get across to 278 than I thought it would be.

    278 was nicer than I had been told. Steep for sure, but it's over quickly. Some nice views along the way too.

    76 has been closed to vehicles for a year or more. The FS has redone all the roads on the butte in preparation for 4FRI. Hopefully they can get through it next spring and get the road open again. Then again, it was pleasant walking out there knowing there was nobody else around.

    The rain came before I got back to Crook. It didn't last too long, but I had to get all geared up. Actually turned out to be nice since it knocked down all the dust on the 300 which made much nicer conditions to complete the loop.
    General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF
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    Drew see loop
    Wavered on options until late last night. This seemed to be a good compromise plan. I'd never taken Drew all the way to the actual Crook instead of cutting through the campground. That part of Crook is really pleasant and a much better option. Ran into a pair surveying the trail to submit it for historic trail status. Did you know the "V" markers don't stand for Verde? They are the roman number 5. Because General Crook led the 5th division or regiment, or whatever it's called. Hiking is educational!
    General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF
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    High - Drew - Woods - Vista - Sinkhole Loop
    Started 7:50am at the 260 TH. The hike over to Drew is one of the best stretches on the Highline. We took a mini break at the Drew junction before the only serious elevation on the loop.

    FR300 was busy. The hike to the lake is forgettable yet pleasant. Then boom. The half mile on the west side of Woods Canyon Lake is one of the nicer half miles of trail in Arizona. Hiking around the lake on well used trails we passed a group of 30+ scouts. We met and had a quick chat with one of the scout leaders Kevin.

    The hike out east of the lake in Woods Canyon low on notable characteristics. Like the Cabin Loop it's easy/pleasant hiking through a forest. Continuing offtrail we find ourselves out of the canyon following chevrons marking the General Crook Trail. This is glance at the gps every three minutes type of pain free offtrail. No bushwhacking.

    Iconic views along the Vista trail never disappoint, such a great place to take a break. Then the hike back down to square one on the Military Trail. The tread has a fair shake of ankle busters. Glad it exists and enjoy sections. 1.1 miles to go, Bruce tells the same horrible story about a tree in the ravine every hike.
    General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF
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    High - Drew - Woods - Vista - Sinkhole Loop
    A redo / variation of a loop I've done before.
    Starting from the 260 TH going clockwise

    Highline Trail #31
    Love me some of that super-highway Highline Trail. Temps in the upper 60's, great views, Trees and a breeze.

    Drew Trail #291
    This is the big climb for the day. Mostly in the trees and steep in a couple spots. 800' of gain in a mile.

    Woods Canyon Lake Trail
    Once on the Rim, we scoot over to Woods Canyon and follow that to the lake. We followed that CW around the North side of the Lake. Here we ran into a Hazzer Kevin, leading a group of 40 or so Boy Scouts the opposite direction. We stopped an chatted for a bit. Joe's day was made when Kelvin said "I'm not going lie, you made my day, meeting a minor celebrity"

    Down the spillway out of Woods Canyon Lake is a pretty area. We hopped out in a side canyon and went cross country.

    General Crook Trail #140
    This is one of Joe's favorites, so I make it a point to work in into hikes on top of the rim.

    Rim Lakes Vista Trail #622
    Always great views and few others seen farther that 300' of a parking lot.

    Military Sinkhole Trail #179
    This one get's you back to the TH. It's an old road for awhile up top, but turns into a trail through the trees.

    Good Day, Breezes kept it comfortable.
    General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF
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    Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to do this hike once again. This time, there were 6 of us with a meetup group that were on the hike.

    We did the loop clockwise, so as to avoid going up the Promontory Trail. On this trip, going up the Horton Springs Trail seemed more difficult than last time, and going down the Promontory Trail seemed easier than last time.

    Once we got on FR 76, I took a bit of a circuitous route getting to Promontory Butte -- a more direct route would probably have shaved a half mile or so off of the distance.

    The views at Promontory Butte were very nice, as always. Actually, it was a very clear day, so the views were even better than normal.

    When we started the hike the temperature was in the low 30's, and it was around 70 when we got back.

    One interesting thing about this hike was when we were hiking on Rim Road 300/General Crook Trail 140. We were walking east on the Rim Road and an off road vehicle came up behind us. When the vehicle got beside us, the driver told us that as he was coming up to us, a mountain lion went across the road just behind us. Since we were looking ahead, we never saw the mountain lion. I am just glad that the mountain lion was not looking for a
    General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF
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    I have wanted to do this hike, and I decided to do the loop clockwise so as to go down, instead of up, Promontory Trail #278 -- I think that was the right call.

    Starting at the Horton Creek TH, Tracie, my intrepid hiking partner, and I travelled on Horton Creek Trail #285 to get to Horton Spring, and then took the Horton Springs Trail #292 to get up to Rim Road 300/General Crook Trail #140. Then we went east on the General Crook Trail for a little over 2 miles, and then took an easy jaunt through the forest to get to Forest Road 276. We then took that to the Promentory TH, and then went to the SE to get over to Promentory Butte. At the Butte we stopped at the point where we saw a survey marker and the logbook that had been placed there by Joe Bartels back in 2003. From there we went SE to where the Butte juts out a bit, and saw 2 other survey markers. Then we backtracked back to the Promentory TH, and descended down to the Highline Trail on the very steep Promentory Trail #278. Then we turned left on the Highline Trail and after about 3/4 mile we took the Derrick Trail back to the Horton Springs TH.

    As advertised, all but 2 miles of the hike are on easy to moderate trails. The exceptions are the Horton Springs Trail #292 and the Promontory Trail #278. I had never been on the Horton Springs Trail, and it was easier than I thought that it would be -- the footing was mostly pretty good and the trail was generally easy to follow. But it was fairly steep, gaining around 1,200 feet over 1.2 miles. I had been up and down the Promontory Trail before, and it does not get any easier. This is a primitive trail that is poorly maintained, is hard to follow, is very steep (you go down 1,150 feet in 0.8 miles), has poor footing on much of the trail, and there is a lot of deadfall to negotiate. Other than that, it is a delightful trail to hike!

    Virtually all of the elevation gain on this hike is in the first 5 miles. In looking at a map, I could have shortened the distance by a mile or more by exiting the General Crook Trail sooner, and by not taking Forest Road 76 all the way to the Promontory TH and then backtracking back to Promontory Butte.

    We saw a couple of people on the Horton Creek Trail who were camping; other than that, we did not see anyone else all day.

    General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF
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    See Snow Bear
    Despite the latest storm being a dud, I decided to take advantage of the cold weather and spend the day outside. I don't think the temps got over 25. :y:

    Not much more than a dusting at the trailhead increased steadily to about 4" of new snow above 7k. At about 7500 feet, the previous snowpack required me to switch to snowshoes.

    I had followed the tracks of a pair of coyotes that had followed the trail for 3 miles. They were absolutely spot on the route-finding, which otherwise would have featured a few hiccups in the snow. But they didn't cut switchbacks and even went under/over/through deadfall sections to stay on the trail. It was actually a bit impressive to follow their tracks for such a long stretch.

    Once on the rim, I headed over to Forest Road 208 for the additional 2 miles to the lake. This was a challenging stretch because the existing snowpack had developed a thin crust and with each step I partially broke through the crusty layer under the new snow. Needless to say, breaking the trail through that was exhausting. (Snowshoeing should count for double miles!)

    The reward was the lake, which was much fuller than Knoll, only about 4 feet low. I'd guess there's enough snowpack on the ground right now to fill it.

    On the return trip, I stopped by the Promontory Lookout Tower and the Promontory Snotel remote weather site. A quick section on the Crook trail brought me back to See and a much quicker downhill than the morning climb!

    This was a good new winter destination. :)
    General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF
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    Highline-Horton-Turkey-Babe Loop
    We started this loop from the Hatchery TH and headed East on Highline. A brisk mid-40's in the shade, but warmed up quickly on the sunny Highline. We were passed by a dog with a tracking collar going East, as well. Then 2 more going West. One of them followed us to Horton Spring. We took a snack break and continued up Horton Springs #292, the pooch followed. She was friendly until this point. About halfway up, we heard yelling from below followed by a series of shocks sent through the dogs collar. The distressed & exhausted dog turned on us and bit Linda's thigh. More of a warning bite, but broke skin. The dog then lunged at Linda with force and I intercepted with a trekking pole into it's mouth, and held it back while Linda got away. It's bite was forceful enough that it lost a tooth on my trekking pole. I stayed in between them and attempted to get some separation. With the dog still pursuing us, I fired a warning shot to scare it away, and hopefully let the onwers know they need to come up the trail and get their dog. This is not the trail to have a tussle with a damn dog on. It's steep with sections of loose tread. Bleeding from the mouth and paw, the dog gave up and layed down in some shade. We continued up and into the peace and quiet of the Turkey Beaver Wildlife Area. Almost immediately we encountered a dozen elk. We wandered a bit and did some leaf peepin'. Exited onto some FR's and then down into Gentry Canyon after a lunch break. We watched a Pronghorn leap through the pines. Followed by a healthy looking coyote. The reds and oranges got better as we traveled West. We took FR115 South a bit before meeting Gen Crook. We attempted to follow it to Babe Haught, and did fairly well. It's mostly gone, with one nice stretch and a few blazed trees. We hit the Babe Haight junction and cruised on down to the TH. Enjoying the view of Rim Country fall along the way down. Irresponsible dog owners aside, it turned out to be a great day, overall. We enjoyed the sights of fall on the rim and a perefect day of weather. Plenty of off-trail and a crunchy carpet of mutli-colored leaves always makes for good tread.

    Moderate to substantial, depending on location. Aspens were popping. Great leaf litter.
    General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF
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    Drew Canyon to See Canyon Loop
    First time on this loop for the year. Temps were pleasant in the a.m. but warmed up nicely as the morning progressed. We saw cattle grazing along the Highline, first time I'd ever seen them this far east. The climb up Drew was nice, in the shade. We watched as the morning smoke dispersed. About a mile west of FR9350, we were exchanging bear stories when we noticed a bear off trail to our south. Kind of cool to watch it slowly disappear. Everything up top is really dry. See Canyon was the opposite, very green and lush. Shade and downhill made this a pleasant stroll. The See Canyon TH was busy but we had the trails to ourselves today. Great day in Rim Country.

    Columbines galore!
    General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF
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    After the Barnhardt Trail in the morning, I only had time for a brief stop to check out the snow conditions on the Rim. I knew that this was likely the last time I would get to use my XC skis for the season, so I went for about a mile through patchy, melting snow :(

    The good part: One of the unnamed ephemeral streams that flows into Gordon Canyon Creek was overflowing with water! It was a beautiful sight that reminded me a lot of Pine Top and the White Mountains. It was warm at 53 degrees, so it's no wonder the snow is melting away. It's always a joy see snow and smell the pines in the high country. And at a warm 53 degrees, who wouldn't want that? :)

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    This segment starts at the border of Coconino and Sitgreaves Forests, on FR300 (Rim Road) to the west.
    To the East, 100' off of SR260, before Clay Springs.
    Pick a spot to start your hike - We did this segment, as aprox 20 mile Day Hikes.
    page created by topohiker on Jul 14 2015 12:34 pm
    3 pack - loud whistle
    go prepared
    help comment issue

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