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

Tule Rim Trail #162, AZ

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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Camp Verde > Dugas
3 of 5 by 2
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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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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
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 joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,825
Trips 4,256 map ( 21,429 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep
Seasons   Late Summer to Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:31pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Verde Jewel in the Rough
by joebartels

Likely In-Season!
Connects Oxbow Trail #163 & Coldwater 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 enough in the middle where Tule Mesa melts down to Cedar Bench. A keen eye will spot it on topo, just don't expect a clear meadow.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Tule Rim Trail #162
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Cold Water-Tule-Oxbow Loop
    This hike is not for 98% of you out there.
    It's not because of the views, they were expansive.
    It's not because of the potential to see wildlife, there was sign of Bear, Deer and Elk everywhere. It was not because there was nothing to discover, the Cold Water Spring Area was sweet as was the Gap Creek water fall area.

    It was the torture this jaunt put you through. For you 2% out there that are masochists, highly recommended! The trails are faint at best, non-existent in MANY areas. They are steep , rocky, loose, overgrown, blood robbing, clothes ripping, and patience testing. A copy of the GPS track I published for this loop will keep you from getting lost.

    It's sad that although I could rate these trails close to a 4 in spots, for the views, the work you have to put in just does not justify the effort.

    Other than wildlife, this area has not seen any traffic in years. All in All, I'm glad I did it, it was my first time back in this area to the end of Salt Mine Road.

    Another word to the wise, when you are driving in, and get to the area where you have to go through a gate with a sign that says "No turn around" Park right there. If you don't believe the sign (Like me), you will reach a locked gate for the Brown Springs Ranch. From this point you will have to back down a steep loose gravel road. We parked above the warning sign before the gate to the ranch and had a note on my truck saying I was parked on private property. There were no signs indicating that.
    Tule Rim Trail #162
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    ColdWater 27 / Tule 162 / Oxbow 163 Loop
    Cold Water Trail #27
    Steep at the bottom with loose footing. Junipers dominate. Good distant views. Not difficult to follow if you pay attention. We didn't and paid dearly. Foxtails are a hearty nuisance.

    Tule Rim Trail #162
    Cold Water Spring area is a surprising oasis. Turn around and save your sanity. The rest of the trail is a bushwhack and difficult to follow. Non existent in areas. Excellent views. Pants required.

    Oxbow Trail #163
    The top has a cool area at a tributary to the origin of Gap Creek. Great views. Majority of "trail" is a cairn hunt through cow pastures.

    Chalk Tank Trail #506
    "looked" semi promising, may take a few years to forget and forgive this area for a looksee

    Cold Water oasis is sweet. Lunch views rocked. Top of Gap Creek is intriguing. The rest is hellish. Understand why it's rarely visited due to lack of use and maintenance. Distant views are good to excellent throughout. I just couldn't recommend to anyone. Nice to see a new area. Happy to have experienced, no desire to return.

    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
    2+ mi range whistle
    blow it like you mean it
    help comment issue

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