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Oak Spring Trail #16, AZ

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Guide 31 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson N
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3.5 of 5 by 11
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance One Way 5.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,363 feet
Elevation Gain 327 feet
Accumulated Gain 950 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 8.27
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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6  2019-08-05 MountainMatt
4  2019-07-23 MountainMatt
8  2019-06-22 MountainMatt
15  2017-09-23
Good-Pine-Oak-Walnut-StrawBearyfoot
The_Eagle
24  2016-04-09
AZT: Roosevelt to Washington Park
DallinW
52  2016-03-12
AZT Trail: Picketpost to Pine
friendofThunderg
12  2015-07-18
Bradshaw Tank - Meadow
BiFrost
19  2015-05-03
Oak Springs from Hardscrabble Rd
winotron
Page 1,  2,  3
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, May, Mar
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
 
5 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby


Author Full Detail Guide
This trail is part of the Arizona Trail. Oak Spring is a beautiful wooded setting.


Traveling west from the Pine Trailhead, it is 3.5 miles to Oak Spring. Traveling south from Forest Road (FR) 428, it is 1.75 miles to Oak Spring.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2008-07-21
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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
Oak Spring Trail #16
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Nice big loop around Pine. Clockwise from the Strawberry trail head: BF13 > PC26 > OS16/AZT25 > W251 > PS15.

Bearfoot steadily improves along its length and the new bridge over Pine Creek is fiberglass art. Warm and very dry conditions, only a few meager patches of snow. The Pine-Strawberry fuel reduction program has done an incredible amount of work - several long stretches along this loop have nearly all the chaparral chopped down to a foot high, hundreds of acres have been thinned.
Oak Spring Trail #16
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Good-Pine-Oak-Walnut-StrawBearyfoot
Denny and Joe refused to hike with me 2 weeks in a row.
The Dbacks kept me up late. I slept in until 6:00 and didn't hit the trail until 8:00.

Got dropped off at the Good Enough Trail. First time on this one. It's in decent shape and a short steady climb to The Pine Canyon Trail. Passed up Wild Bill Spring on the way up.

Pine Canyon Trail #26 yields great views down to Pine and back into the canyon. It's a super highway. A brief stint on the Highline trail and I was at the Pine TH.

I had not been on the Oak Spring Trail #16 in over 7 years, since we did the AZT in 2010. It really has a lot to offer. You get to peak at "The Narrows" (on my list) on your way to the picturesque Bradshaw Tank and meadow area. The blind has been changed up from last time through, with the same familiar note inside.

The drop and views into Oak Spring Canyon is what I'd remembered most about this trail. It did not disappoint.

I was going to take a side trip to relive the Butterfly Whisperer moment [ photo ] [ photo ] , but I was on a timetable.

I'd forgotten everything about the Walnut Trail #251. I'm sure there may be some walnut trees here, but most of what I saw were Oaks and Maples on the cusp of their seasonal turning. Worth a visit for sure.

The Pine Strawberry Trail #15 is a MTB highway, yet I saw none. This is an enjoyable trail that has had some slight reroutes since my last time through.

I finished up on the Bearfoot Trail.

I saw 4 hikers total on an absolutely perfect weather day.

Foliage
Walnut Canyon's maples are just starting to turn.
Oak Spring Trail #16
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
AZT: Roosevelt to Washington Park
April 9th
Miles: 19
AEG: 6,413 ft

We started the climb from the 188 around 7:30 AM. The goal for the day was to make it to Pigeon Springs. The weather was great, and the views of Roosevelt Lake got more spectacular as we climbed out of the basin. After taking a break at Buckhorn Spring, the trail climbs relentlessly before topping out and contouring the mountain.

Eventually we turned a corner and BAM!, the four craggy peaks were staring us right in the face. Quite the view! The trail through the Four Peaks passage is very well maintained, except for a small stretch where we were pushing through overgrowth that nearly obscures the trail. Despite the large swaths of burned forest, this passage was one of my favorite so far. Eventually we reached Pigeon Springs and found a relatively flat spot to set up our tents.

April 10th
Miles: 19
AEG: 2,196 ft

The morning began with a clear sky. After packing up the gear we headed for Pigeon Springs Rd to begin the long road walk. I'm usually not a fan of road walks, but this was an exception. There were great views on either side of the Superstitions, Sierra Ancha, and Lake Roosevelt. The immediate area itself was very beautiful as well. Around 10 AM we could see clouds beginning to build on top of Browns Peak, and a storm hitting the Supes.

We stopped to take out the rain jackets and a white mini-van rolled up and asked if this road would take them all the way back to the 87. I pulled out my map and told them it looked like the road ended well before reaching the 87 and that they needed to turn around and take El Oso or the other forest road. The wife sitting in the passenger seat seemed concerned that we were about to be backpacking out in the rain. :roll: By 11 AM it was lightly raining, which was initially quite exciting (I needed to test the rain gear anyway).

Just as we reached the Boulder Creek drainage the storm began to give us its all. Heavy rain, wind, and thunder! By the time we reached Sunflower, the trail was a muddy slip and slide, my phone was soaked and unresponsive (may it RIP ](*,) ), and we were slightly chilled.

We waited under the 87 underpass for my brother to arrive, who was picking us up so I could take an exam for an online class I'm taking before returning to the trail the next day.

April 11th
Miles: 12
AEG: 2,643 ft

After finishing up my exam, we were back on trail around 1 PM. Under the 87, we did some last minute gear prep before heading out and ran into three other hikers, Giltch, Kegel, and Minus. They were 17 days into their thru-hike and were excited to get into Pine for some much needed beer. We were all aiming for McFarland Canyon for the night.

We started up Saddle Mountain and enjoyed all the green scenery in the area. Just before reaching camp, we passed the half way mark for the AZT and celebrated with the thru-hikers before settling down for the night in McFarland Canyon.

April 12th
Miles: 21
AEG: 5,249 ft

The thru-hikers were up and leaving camp just as we were beginning to pack up. We weren't sure if we would ever see them again. The trail gets a little hard to follow just after McFarland Canyon to Thicket Spring. The Guthooks app says to head straight up a wash but apparently there is an alternative route that is clear of brush and well defined that you can take at the first junction past McFarland.

Once we reached the junction for the Peeley TH we stopped to take a break and ran into Joe, a gentleman I had met at a trail maintenance event about a month earlier. Quite the coincidence, if we would have left a minute earlier we probably would have never seen him. He was meeting up with another fellow to remove some downed trees along the trail.

The views along the Mazatzal Divide from Peeley to Y-Bar were my favorite for the entire trip. The rugged peaks of the Mazatzals and expansive views on either side were exciting to see. We ran into Minus again at the Bear Spring junction taking a lunch break. After taking our own lunch break at the spring, we headed for Horse Camp Seep.

As we approached Horse Camp Seep, we ran into the three thru-hikers again. There was another hour or so of light, so they continued on, we decided to call it a day where there was water. Horse Camp Seep was a sweet spot and had great camping.

April 13th
Miles: 18
AEG: 2,907 ft

The goal for the day was to make it to the East Verde River, a relatively easy day that was mostly downhill. We made our way along the Divide trail and passed "The Park", an inviting stand of pines and great campsites. We stopped to take a lunch break at the Red Hills seeps. From here the trail descends steeply to the East Verde River. Not very fun for the knees.

We camped just across the river and enjoyed the warmest night of the trip. We were now done with the Mazzies, and I felt the proposed "overgrowth" was kind of blown out of proportion, or there has been a lot of trail work in the past couple of months. Probably a bit of both. ;) I never felt like the trail was hard to find (except for the stretch between McFarland and Thicket) or that I had to deal with excessive brush that I wouldn't expect on most wilderness trails.

April 14th
Miles: 23
AEG: 4,196 ft

With burgers and beer on our minds, we got up early to make it into Pine with sufficient time to hit up THAT brewery and the market. The rocks along Whiterock and Hardscrabble Mesas were annoying and it felt like I was constantly stubbing my toes or rolling my ankle. Otherwise the area is quite beautiful and welcoming. The rocks put these two passages high on my list of "one and done" passages.

We reached Pine around 5pm with plenty of time to get burgers and beer. Lo and behold, we run into Minus, Kegel, and Giltch at the brewery along with another thru-hiker, Thomas, who was taking a zero in town. We joined them and enjoyed the comradery. Thomas decided to join us at camp for the night near the Pine TH while the others reserved the cabin in the back.

April 15th
Miles: 17
AEG: 3,303 ft

We woke up with frost all over our gear. :yuck: After packing up, Thomas headed for the Highline and we headed for breakfast at the Early Bird. Just before we finished up eating we ran into Minus who was getting some breakfast himself.

We headed for the Highline. It was nice to be climbing on a well graded trail with less rocks, especially because a hole was beginning to develop in my right shoe. I could feel every rock under my foot on that spot.

At Red Rock Spring we made a quick stop and finished off the last bit of the Arizona Trail Ale we picked up the night before at the market.

Once we reached Webber Creek we caught up with Thomas who was drying out all his gear. We stopped to take a break, and eventually Minus came strolling down the trail to join us. Minus decided to hike with us for a stretch after the break. The Rim gets right up in your face along this stretch and red dirt contrasting with the green pines and cedars made for great scenery.

We were about 9 miles from the finish and a little antsy to finish up. Eventually Minus stopped to take a lunch break and we continued on after filtering some water. Now with only 5 miles left, we kicked it into high gear and made for the Washington Park TH. Clouds started to build along the rim.

We reached the trailhead and got ready to hunker down for a few hours of inclement weather before our ride would arrive. However, after a few snow flurries, the clouds broke. Eventually Thomas and the other three thru-hikers caught up with us, we exchanged information, and said our goodbyes. All of them were very enthusiastic about Arizona and couldn't stop commenting on the diversity of the state and how we had a pretty cool home.

---------------------------------------

Besides my foot issue due to my failing shoe on the last day, I felt great this entire trip. I never woke up sore or feeling exhausted. I listened to my body, and I was proactive about keeping my feet and knees happy. It really paid off and made the trip that much more enjoyable.

This concludes all of Southern and Central Arizona passages for me. I'm looking forward to the easy walking on the plateau to the UT border!

Wildflowers
Lots of lupine in the middle elevations, not much at the highest and lowest elevations.
Oak Spring Trail #16
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
AZT Trail: Picketpost to Pine
I was kind of looking to see where I was at for another big trek this summer and Karl was looking to experiment with a lighter weight higher mileage backpack, so I proposed Picketpost Mountain, or the beginning of section 18 of the Arizona Trail to Pine and the end of section 26 of the Arizona Trail. Karl was down for four days and had a somewhat flexible plan for ending his trip when he needed to. Meanwhile, I was about 50-50 if I could do the entire hike and was content with just seeing how far Karl and I could get and then playing the rest of my trip by ear, or I should say by body.

Day 1: 29.92 miles 6268 aeg

We made it to our planned first night's campsite on day one, Walnut Spring. Section 18 really exceeded my expectations. This is about the best time of year to be walking though that desert right now and Whitford proved to be a real treat with the flowing water and abundance of green. The climb was grueling and relentless but it offered some very solid views of the area and was really made manageable by liberal use of switchbacks. Karl was so confident with our performance at that point in the day that he insisted we bag Montana Mountain while we were up there. I agreed, but only because I was born in Montana and I said it had to count it as our break. Reavis Ranch looked like Daytona Beech and I had not apprehensions about making the short trip past it to my cozy little campsite at Walnut Spring. Got to Walnut just at headlamp time. Blew through camp chores, made a fire, ate and got to bed as soon as we could.

Day 2: 25.67 miles 6392 aeg

We came up a little short on our proposed campsite on this day, but the hiking was great so no worries. No stranger to the Eastern Supes, but Sunday still offered me all new areas after Two Bar Ridge. Cottonwood Canyon was great! No shortage of water in there and some cool little sites in this random little riparian jungle in the far corners of the northwestern Supes. A little bit of road and then it was the traverse from hell along the 188 waiting for that damn bridge to come into sight. From the bridge it was up the stairway to heaven. Where fittingly we had a trail angel waiting for us with tons of snacks and H20. After our sugar, hops, and caffeine binge at Mills Ridge we decided to just push for Buckhorn Creek. However, on that side of Four Peaks, pushing for a few extra miles usually entails a nice chunk of aeg as well, so we earned it. I did find a set of Indian ruins though along the way, so that was cool. We were both excited to learn that after carrying all that fresh water from Mills Ridge, there was water flowing in Buckhorn Creek. Oh well no filtering to do, quicker camp set-up, quick fire and in bed even earlier than previous night.

Day 3: 31.24 miles 5239 aeg

Day three was all new ground for me. Four Peaks makes you work, but alas the beauty of nature is enhanced by the ardor of the journey. I really enjoyed this section, an instant new favorite! I hiked through perhaps one of my nicest sunrises in a long time and marked several rock pile sites along the trail for future exploring. This section just kept getting better for me as we neared Four Peaks and started contouring towards Pigeon Spring. The lingering and previous snow had some of the creeks flowing nicely along this stretch and the trail got very nice as we approached its end. The road felt a little like Mad Max with the amount of Jeeps, trucks and atvs out. However, I must say not one negative experience with any driver and I do not think I have been offered as much water in such a short amount of time as I was along that 11 mile stretch of road. One guy asked, "is there anything else I could give you?" I said I could use some sunscreen and he offered up the whole bottle. The hike down into Sycamore was also very nice, again a great time to be in the lowlands, a little water, some flowers and green. However, it was hard to appreciate at times with the fatigue and anxiety over coordinating a last minute drop off of some additional things I felt I needed, if I was going to have any chance of reaching Pine. The drop and pick went smooth, a small adventure, but relatively smooth. We did not get an ideal spot to camp, but spirits were high after our resupply.

Day 4: 24.7 miles 6297 aeg

This was the day Karl and I would be saying our goodbyes. Karl decided on a Peely exit and I would push on to Bear Spring from there. More new trail for me to start the day and again I was not disappointed. The canyons on the way up to Saddle Ridge were picturesque, there was a lot of water and signs of some pretty extensive trail work in spots. I will admit things got a little dicey after we left the quaint McFarland Spring area, but we endured. The trails definitely need some work in there. I found myself kind of embracing the ruggedness and challenge the area presented. However, I could see that area becoming another hiker's hell if they were not expecting it. Karl and I parted at Peely. Losing Karl sucked, as he and I had a good thing going the first few days. Karl was keeping our pace in the areas where I tend to day dream and I was doing what I could do to keep us at a respectable place for some of the more stout climbs. But no time to dwell, I was solo now and needed to reach Bear Spring, just another 2000 feet of aeg and a shade under ten miles. There is no sense harping on the point, but the Divide Trail is getting nasty along there and I did make it to Bear Spring before head lamp conditions, but I was obliterated from that last little push from Peely. I replaced Karl with another Carl at Bear Spring. I am going to assume he spells his with a C. Anyways, I ran into Carl, better known as Spiced Rum on HAZ. He was on the final night of a backpack to gather some information for future work in the area. We chatted it up for awhile and I am not ashamed to admit I took some extra snacks from him. He was leaving a day early and I could not believe the amount of food I was going through on these long days, so I had no problem taking the charity. Superb stuff too, some great dried fruit, trail-mix and a Rice Crispy treat. Good guy all around and a source of wealth on some other major trails that I am interested in. And what a nice little spot to camp near Bear Spring, that saddle is great, I see why toughboots is fond of the place.

Day 5: 26.9 miles 4051 aeg

This was my make or break day. I had my city creek trailhead bailout option if needed, or I was pushing for the East Verde via the dreaded Red Hills and making my final push for Pine from there. The divide trail has its ups and downs, both in terrain and condition, but overall it was pretty smooth going. There is a section of Divide Trail that is now immaculate from about the intersection with Brody Seep to the intersection with Barnhardt. Kudos to that trail crew. I stopped for way too long to soak my legs and filter water and then realized I was looking at about ten more miles to include the worst part of the Red Hills and it was nearly three. My rational side said, "set up camp here, hike out LF or Saddle Ridge tomorrow," however, my other side said, "quit making excuses and finish the original plan." I am not sure what it was, but I was really dreading the last half of the Red Hills. Out of paranoia of being too exhausted to complete the entire section and having to dry camp somewhere I carried way too much water. This weighed me down and annoyed me even more as several of the creeks and main valleys I crossed had running water in them. As it turned out, while my worries were warranted, I did just fine and to be honest felt the area did not seem as bad as it had before and I must give props to the horse(s) whose tracks I followed through the entire Red Hills section, a doable stretch, just may require more time and detail. Camped at the Verde where I was serenaded to sleep by cows, frogs, chickens, maybe peacocks, cats and perhaps even a species of monkey. A very lively river at night.

Day 6: 23.08 miles 4329 aeg

This was the one I was waiting for, the "easy" day. A nice early start, I don't think there is a better place to be in the world than a half hour before light in the mountains somewhere, just pure serenity. There were ankle breakers abound on this day of Whiterock and Hard Scrabble. A nice steady pace was all I tried to keep and I followed a liberal break plan, as I crawled into Pine. The final two sections were not my favorite, but they were also the last two sections of a 160 mile trek so they would have had to have been perfect to really capture my imagination. Nevertheless, I got through both of them and endured the lava rock tread and bland road. I did find the last few miles to be more redeeming with the scenic Oak Spring and Bradshaw tank area. It was a reunion at the trailhead with Jackie and the pups, Del Taco and then home.

Final Notes

I need to work on a better nutrition plan for these big ones. I simply did not bring enough caloric energy for the type of days I was doing and the amount of energy I was putting out. I need to go healthier and more efficient, just a good lesson to learn.

Karl played a huge role in getting me through those first four days, very glad to have him through there, he was missed later.

A good song to have stuck in your head while hiking is Passion Pit, "Take a Walk."

I can definitely go lighter on these ones too, I packed light, but by no means did I make any attempts to go ultra-light. In the future, that may be needed to knock out some of these more ambitious multi day treks.

The hardest days by far were Day four with its nearly 7000 feet gained and day five with its 27 legit miles through the Mazzies without as much as a foot of road relief until the very end.

Wildflowers
About normal to not so great, to really good in spots. Most action in the first few sections though.
Oak Spring Trail #16
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My girlfriend and I were staying at a cabin in Pine for the weekend, and this hike was only about 5 minutes away, so we figured we'd check it out. Didn't expect a whole lot from this hike, but it turned out to be pretty nice. We were thinking we missed the trailhead, but it turns out we actually hadn't gone far enough down the road. The TH is very visible from the road and there's enough parking for several cars. It was a little warm when we got there but there was some cloud cover and a breeze.

Most of the trail meandered gently through the forest. The area is very lush with a lot of greenery. At some points we got some good views of the canyon. There were some nice patches of wildflowers here and there. The area seemed very vibrant and alive. I've never seen so many butterflies in one place!

I didn't do a whole lot of research on this one, so a couple miles in when we got to the sign pointing left to the Oak Spring Trail, we figured that was the way to the spring. You'd think the "Oak Spring Trail" would get you to Oak Spring, right? Nope. Lol. The trail immediately started switchbacking up out of the other side of the canyon and we knew we went the wrong way. We backtracked to the sign and just continued ahead on the Walnut Trail for a few minutes and saw the sign for the spring itself. There were a couple nice little meadows before getting to the spring.

The spring area was a very nice shaded setting, though it was loaded with yellowjackets. Looked to be a good amount of water coming from the spring, but it was hard to see it as it was almost completely covered in greenery. We enjoyed the shade, dodged the yellowjackets, and hung out for a while before heading back. The hike back was a nice stroll. Saw a good sized snake on the way back.
Oak Spring Trail #16
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Hardscrabble Mesa Lasso
Wanted to check out the Hardscrabble Mesa area so threw together a lasso loop using Oak Spring Trail #16, Walnut Trail #251, and FR's 1655, 1654, and 428. Really nice hike; the weather was great, 37 degrees at the start, warming up to a nice 77, saw a herd of 5 elk that actually weren't camera shy, and chatted with, a thru-hiker from Ohio, who, even with my bright florescent green shirt on, didn't see us until I startled him with a shout-out :)

I posted a water report for Oak Spring which was flowing very nice. All the tanks we passed were full but not sure I would drink from them. Even in dire-straights, Pine-Strawberry is just a stone throw away, and That Brewery is a much better choice.
Oak Spring Trail #16
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Mike and I started the summer hiking season by doing the Pine / East rim / Turkey Spring / Geronimo / Highline loop.

The Pine and Turkey Springs trails have a bunch of new dead fall on it. Nothing too hard to work around.
The only people we saw was two guys in jeans with a rifle on the Geronimo trail.
Oak Spring Trail #16
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I was bummed to find that Dave was not going to make it today :cry: , and that for my last hike with Jim (near term) that he'd come up with a better offer :zzz: (most likely because he got to sleep in).

The first part of this hike was on an exposed forest road followed by a long straight slog for the most part along a power line lined with fist sized rocks.

Once you turned off the power line the hike actually got pretty nice. The trees got taller and provided more shade and you got some changes in elevation.

We stopped at Oak Spring to check it out, and I got to see the Butterfly Whisperer in his full glory! The butterflies would not sit still for us to get a picture, so Denny, aka Tortoise Hiker, aka Butterfly Whisperer, stuck his arms out and said "Watch this". The butterfly landed right on his hand and stayed there for the better part of five minutes, until Joe Joe got "a bit frisky" with the butterfly trying to imitate the butterfly's tongue action. The scared butterfly flew away only to be coaxed back to the safety of Denny's arm by The Butterfly Whisper! Incredible.

New items learned on this hike if you are writing a HAZ book:
Joe was good looking as a child, with very blonde hair and vibrant blue piercing eyes (Information Provided by Joe)
The normally reserved Denny enjoys being Joe's backup singer.
The normally reserved Denny has the ability to break out the uncontrollable belly laugh.

As always the hike was a hoot with these two goof balls. I come along to lend some sanity on these jaunts.

(No Butterfly's were harmed during the photography portions of this hike)
Oak Spring Trail #16
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Oak Walnut Strawberry Salad
I really enjoyed this hike more than I expected. Jim got us up to the Strawberry TH (unmarked, at the 270 mile marker), where we met The Stillernator, aka Stiller, aka Chris, Tough Boots, aka Kyle, and set up the shuttle back to the Pine TH.

The first bit until you get to the Bradshaw Meadow Watershed Project was a bit bla, but then there was some great terrain and views. Not that tough of a hike but enough to get a workout. Views from Trail #15 (the Strawberry-Pine Trail from what I've been able to find) were pretty darn nice. Blue skies and Big white puffy Fraley's were a welcome site. We took a bit of lunch at the Strawberry TH and then started the journey across Rt 87 to what is now known as Rock Wall Trail 608T. This is an old jeep trail that starts at Rt 87 and cuts off some distance going north to meet Rt 87 once again. Someone put a bunch of work into this route building 20' tall rock retaining walls on the inside corners of the switchbacks in at least 5 different places. I was impressed. But then again I'm easily impressed. This trail had one rocky section that was a bit hard on the feet after a day of hiking, but it didn't last long.

A great day of hiking with new partners Chris (Stiller) and Kyle (Tough Boots minus the Beard).
Equally great to see and jab with Jim again and thanks for driving! (Beware of the gas station breakfasts)
Joe-Joe as always great hiking w/ you.
Oak Spring Trail #16
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Oak Walnut Strawberry Salad AZ
Okay, I'll go with the generic salad on this one. We did a shuttle starting at the Pine TH and took the Oak Creek Trail to Hardscrabble Road. We then hit trail #15 up to the Strawberry TH and then cut down the 87 to what Jim has figured out to be FR608T (an old jeep road). I had a great time meeting some of the HAZ crew.

Trail #15 turned out to be a nice little gem of a trail with great views over pine and the few people we saw on it were worth having conversation (or at least making jokes) about. I think most of us expected a flat, barren stretch of trail due to the seemingly lack of use, but we were pleasantly surprised.

FR608T was the real pumpkin of the day for me but worth getting up. The first stretch is rocky and steep as all get out and my lungs tried to tell me "no." Letting the crew go on with out me, I took a nice rest on a rock for 20 minutes and continued up. Pretty soon the road turns less rocky and into a more comfortable climb taking you into pine areas with a few really amazing views. This road is getting a new name by the crew and I personally vote for Jim's first idea but I don't think that one will win out.

Permit $$
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Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Pine Trailhead
87 north to Payson. Continue through Payson on 87 @12 miles to Pine Trailhead. Trailhead sign will be on your right.

Pine Trailhead is a very well maintained trailhead, with vault toilets and neat horse corrals. A very short distance from the trailhead is a mountain cabin where some lucky person lives.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 102 mi - about 1 hour 55 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 200 mi - about 3 hours 15 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 98.9 mi - about 1 hour 44 mins
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