Another Bradshaw winner. Planned this months ago. All the mishaps put us in prime season. Water was flowing in several creeks, fabulous weather and wildflowers made it special. Bruce didn't care for any of the parking options around Crown King so we immediately shaved my six mile culture walk off the loop.
This is gps country, come prepared. Many of the trails from Lake Pleasant to Mount Union are motorbike trails. This means switchbacks are unlikely. It also means cat claw or any type of bushwhacking is rare as these trails really get used. If you find trail signage and it's still standing it's likely weathered out of readability. Roads are most used by SxS, ATV, UTVs.
Bullroad Trail #202
Shell shocked it was signed, existed and looked inviting! Starting off in cool dry sixties was oh so welcoming. The storybook pines simply couldn't last. When they reappeared at Hidden Spring it just seemed too good to be true. It warmed up a smidgen as we dropped 2,800 feet to #389. Bear Creek was flowing lightly most of the way.
We hiked the upper 6.5 miles in prime. The trail continues almost another 7 miles in much less fascinating terrain so I've opted for 3 instead of 4 out of 5 rating.
Battle Flat Trail #389
The beginning of our ascent. An old jeep road that jumps a ridge then goes through a creek over to Tuscumbia. Slender sky high pines scattered on the south bank are enjoyable.
Nearby Battle Flat is the 5k low point between 7.9k Mount Union and 7.6k Towers Mountain. Just 1.5 miles north of #389 is Turkey Creek which is the bottom of the Arrastra Pine Dandrea Yankee Doodle Loop
Tuscumbia Trail #215
The adventure of Tuscumbia Creek is easy hiking dotted with tall pines.
Bradshaw Trail #216
Expectations were low and lower after Bullroad Trail dazzled. It turned out to be another winner... for myself. Steep trenches in the upper section would have most swearing it off. Otherwise lots of nice areas. Along with many of the trails in the area this is on maps well over a hundred years old.
This helped me understand the Bradshaw puzzle from Lake Pleasant to Prescott. A four to eight day backpack loop from the fringe of the Valley holds a place in my mind now.Wildflowers
Redstar has taken over the Bradshaws. It is everywhere and thick in areas. Canyon Morning Glory is going bonkers. Fields of Princely Daisy. Dense Firecracker Penstemon ~ Cardinalflower type reds in many areas too.