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Chasm Creek Trail #164, AZ

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Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Camp Verde > Camp Verde
3.5 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 6.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,470 feet
Elevation Gain 2,267 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,469 feet
Avg Time One Way 3-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.93
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25  2012-11-03
Chasm Creek Daily Double
4  2012-11-03
Chasm Creek Daily Double
22  2012-11-03 joebartels
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,825
Trips 4,257 map ( 21,432 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Nov, Oct → 7 AM
Sun  6:12am - 6:30pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Best Cedar Wilderness Ascent
by joebartels

From the Verde Valley on FR574 this trail climbs the Black Hills in the Cedar Bench Wilderness over the Verde Rim to FR528.

Chasm Creek is crossed after a quick half mile. That's it for the namesake creek. The narrows you turn away from look inviting for a 1.6mi adventure up to Goat Springs Trail #542. Beware hip feral pig hunters if you go that route.

Instead this trail climbs the Black Hills, crests the Verde Rim then drops down to the Horner area. First contouring up the west side of Table Mountain. Having recently hiked Oxbow #163 and Cold Water #27 my expectations were very low. A few pines, lots of junipers and an actual trail was a welcome surprise! Views NW into Chasm Creek proper then North to NE of the Verde Valley are oustanding.

After a 1,500 ft climb & 2.65mi you arrive on the SW saddle of Table Mountain. Fading ridges offer nice views to the now visible east over a fence. This is a nice spot for a short break. Continuing on takes you up a ridge. Before passing 5,205 you pass a cool lichen covered rock. A red lichen segment has been idiot tested for authenticity by pecking. The footing heading up the ridge is a canal of ankle buster rocks. It's over before it gets to annoying then contours the north ridges of 5,924. Traversing the ravines you pass through oaks.

The reward after ascending 2,260 ft & 3.9mi puts you on an inline saddle of what makes up the Verde Rim. If you can get away from the cows it is pleasant. This would be a good turn around for most casual hikers.

From the rim-saddle you immediately leave the wilderness, manicured trails, mom and apple pie. The current cairned and worn trail does not follow what is depicted on topo. It appears to have been improved to accommodate backpackers with a more gentle descent. Roughly from 5,600 to 5,300 we were not entirely sure where the trail went. Not to worry as it's not difficult terrain to follow if you are map or gps savvy. 0.2mi before the 5,305 saddle you will pick up an old road. We noticed it had seen recent atv activity. Horner Tank is then soon passed. It turns into a single track on the south side of the ravine atvs use. Based on the low lying branches it seems cows are the main hikers on this thouroughfare.

We looked for Horner Cabin Spring. Only saw tubing under the nice sycamore canopy. A quarter mile from the west trailhead are some ruins.

Obvious looping options hamper this trail. The east end is currently well maintained. I think some would enjoy an out-n-back hike to the rim-saddle. The west end has a different personality. I enjoyed it, most probably would not. Long pants did not seem necessary, yet autumn foxtails were a nuisance. While trails in this area can be traveled year 'round, I'd avoid summer.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2012-11-05 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
    Chasm Creek Trail #164
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Chasm Creek Daily Double
    #164 turned out better than anticipated. With perfect temps and autumn foliage it's a solid 4 out of 5 IMO (for the east end up to the rim). For ascending the Verde Rim this one puts Oxbow Trail #163 and Cold Water Trail #27 to shame. Those are pasture walks, this is a hike in the mountains. If you are looking for solitude you will likely find it. Lack of established looping options are a shame and likely keep visitation low.

    The second part of our adventure was #508 then down Chasm Creek proper, skirt the Verde River then up #16 and back. Headlamps for the last couple miles.
    Chasm Creek Trail #164
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Chasm Creek Daily Double
    We parked just off of 574 and hiked to the official TH for Chasm Creek #164. If you don't mind a little pin stripping, you can drive the 1/4 mile to to the TH. This hike drops into Chasm Creek and stays in the creek for just a 100 yards or so, before it makes the climb to the high point of this hike, almost 2300' above. But it's a pretty area so take the time to enjoy it.

    Making the climb to the high point more than 3 miles ahead, the views behind are pretty darn good. We hit this hike about perfect between the weather and the colors. Table Mountain is the prominent feature as you make the climb up. The saddle for this peak/butte had some incredible views.

    At the high point, Joe had visions of $20's in his head, but I reminded him Denny was not around to collect from. To this point the trail was no problem to follow. A mile west of the high point, the trail disappeared. The Topo showed the track was down in the creek bed, so once we cliffed out, we scrambled down to the Creek Bed. (It's not in the creek bed). We followed the creek for .2 of a mile then hopped out to once again find the trail to the North.
    from here it was on two track. We checked out the "Ruins" indicated on the TOPO and they appeared to be that of an old cabin. (Horner Cabin, to match up w/ the nearby Horner Cabin Spring?)

    On the way back we stayed out of the creek and found the actual trail for awhile again before we lost it again. Our GPS's got us back to where we had previously lost the trail.

    Part two of this hike was to take us to the East of where we parked, down a little used Dripping Springs trail and into Chasm Creek drainage. We were on the hunt for some ruins, but we were running out of light. I took us to where I had no doubt they were... Nope.. We scanned the hillsides....Nope. Joe spots something in the distance. I took a picture, zoomed in, and it was a 40' tall ladder structure. We took a quick spin out to the Verde River to check it out. What a beautiful peaceful river.

    We went back to where we spotted the ladder and climbed up to check it out. We hoped to either find some ruins or at least gain a vantage point to see something. The ladder is probably 50 years old and rotted beyond use. It appears it was put there for easy access from the top of the Mesa to the river.

    Back down the side of the incline, to the river and we climbed up to the area known as the Viewpoint on the short trail #16. There are two interesting features next to the Verde in this area. First was the Verde River Gauge station and the second, was the remains of an old cable basket that transported people over the river.

    This was another really nice hike into an area that few travel.

    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
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From SR260 & Oasis Rd follow Oasis 0.5mi
    Turn right onto Salt Mine Rd (FR574) and follow 10.6mi
    Parking is maybe 100 yards right down dirt road
    0.25mi more of dirt road can be traveled to an inset turn around
    page created by joebartels on Sep 21 2012 11:25 am
    3 pack - loud whistle
    go prepared
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