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Tule Rim Trail #162, AZ

Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 4.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,749 feet
Elevation Gain 886 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,099 feet
Avg Time One Way 2-3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.86
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1  2019-05-16
Oxbow - Cold Springs - Tule Rim Loop
20  2012-09-22
Cold Water-Tule-Oxbow Loop
15  2012-09-22
ColdWater 27 / Tule 162 / Oxbow 163 Loop
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 841
Photos 12,839
Trips 5,240 map ( 26,588 miles )
Age 52 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Preferred Oct, Apr, May, Sep
Seasons   Late Summer to Spring
Sun  5:44am - 7:20pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

Verde Jewel in the Rough
by joebartels

Connects Oxbow Trail #163 & Cold Water Springs Trail #27 just under the Verde Rim. Coldwater Spring is an oasis, and Cedar Spring intrigues. Most enjoyable October & March. Too hot for most in the summer.

Rarely traveled with unforgettable views.

Cedar Bench Wilderness is loaded with Utah Junipers which pioneers apparently thought to be cedars. Crack open a berry and you will find two seeds. The larger Alligator Junipers have four seeds. Live oak may torture you depending on recent trail maintenance. If you stay on trail gloves are not required, pants should suffice. Gamble Oaks are present in the mid west segment.

We hiked SE to NW. Immediately we encountered the Coldwater Spring area. After a dusty ascent up the cow pasture wilderness on #27, this was a welcome surprise. First, we entered a high canopy of trees. A four to eight-foot-wide swath seeps down through the forest. The origin is a twenty-foot-wide pool worthy of checking out.

The trail contours NW under the Verde Rim, which in this case is Tule Mesa. Cairns seem abundant in obvious areas, and light to non-existent where needed the most. It can be frustrating at times. Then you look out over the Verde Valley, and it all makes sense. The views are magnificent. If you are lucky, a few puffy clouds can really make the scene.

Finding a lunch spot was not easy. Each time I found a tree offering shade, it blocked the views. Finally, we made due. It lacked comfort. There just wasn't much in the flat, clear and soft department.

The final 0.4mi stretch to Oxbow opens up to grasslands.

This trail was tough, but it left a lasting impression.

Camping is permitted all along the trail. Only a quarter-mile from either end offers anything open and flat enough for most to pitch tent. There is one area flat sufficient in the middle where Tule Mesa melts down to Cedar Bench. A keen eye will spot it on topo, but don't expect a clear meadow.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2012-10-09 joebartels

    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 $$

    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
    Access is via Oxbow Trail #163 or Coldwater Trail #27
    page created by joebartels on Sep 20 2012 10:29 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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