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Salida Connection Trail #9263 is a multi-use with two access points; one for hiking and the other for ATVs. (The parking is different for each activity. Please refer to directions for routes to the proper parking location). The trail throughout is a 4 ft wide swath that is very easy to follow. The slopes were generally slippery because of the abundant loose rocks, but the flatter portions were relatively smooth. The trail is pretty exposed, with periodic shade from stunted pines.
The trail starts at the northern end of the parking lot next to the trail map. Within a few feet, a small stream ( that I believe is perennial) to cross and a gate to go through. After closing the gate, there is a split in the trail. The trail to the right is the Salida Gulch Trail #95. The trail to the left, which this description references, is the Salida Connection Trail 9263. This trail climbs a slope to be joined by another trail from the west, which is the access point for ATVs. The 9263 heads to the east, swinging to the north as it climbs a hill. It is a gradual climb, about 150 feet, but rocky with fist-sized stones. At the top of the hill, the trail turns south and follows the ridge. At this point, the view is limited to the Lynx Lake Valley to the west. There is an ok view of Prescott to the north and hills to the east and south. For a little over a mile, the trail maintains its elevation as it goes through several significant washes. At N34 31.439 W112 22.130, there is a sign indicating another trail. There is a sign in a small clearing at this location stating the trail behind the sign is for hiking only - no ATVs. There is no trail name that I could find and nothing on any maps. The Salida 9263 turns right (east) and starts up a steep climb. Halfway up, it will become series of switchbacks. After this hill, there is another shorter climb that brings you to the highest elevation of 6000 ft. The trail does not reach the highest point on the mountain but wraps around the north side to descend into a valley on the other side. As the trail descends into the valley, it ends at the juncture with the Prospector Trail #42 and the Salida Trail #93. At this point, you have the option of trying to make a loop out of these and other trails ( other sites indicate that this is a possibility, though a quick look at maps does not make this readily apparent) or heading back the way you came in.
There are no facilities at the TH, nor anywhere on the trail.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
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.