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West Fork Trail #260, AZ

no permit
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Guide 24 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson W
3 of 5 by 5
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,710 feet
Elevation Gain 487 feet
Accumulated Gain 488 feet
Avg Time One Way .5
Kokopelli Seeds 2.53
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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10  2018-10-21
32  2017-10-29
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22
23  2017-06-11
S Mazatzal Roundup
13  2017-04-01
Cornucopia - Thicket Spring Loop
4  2016-10-22
Cornucopia - Thicket Spring Loop
20  2016-03-13
25A-Thicket Spring loop
20  2015-04-12
Saddle - Thicket - West Fork - Cornucopia
9  2014-04-23
Cornucopia via E. Fork Sycamore Creek
Page 1,  2
Author jacobemerick
author avatar Guides 31
Routes 71
Photos 795
Trips 96 map ( 1,037 miles )
Age 34 Male Gender
Location Gilbert, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov
Sun  6:14am - 6:23pm
Official Route
6 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
Quick Climb from Cornucopia
by jacobemerick

Steep climb up a manzanita hillside from Cornucopia to Thicket Springs Trail. A segment of AZT #22 (recently re-routed) and an integral part of the classic Cornucopia - Thicket Spring Loop. The 'trailhead' is not easily accessible unless you have a vehicle that can handle 25A.

If you're on this trail, chances are that you are doing some sort of thru-hike or loop (like the one linked above) and have reached West Fork Trail by hiking other trails. The alternative is that you drove (or walked) up 25A along Sycamore Creek until it ended, and then walked the short connector to the Cornucopia / West Fork junction. However you get there, this description starts at the east end of the trail.

A busy signpost marks the junction of Cornucopia / West Fork trails, with West Fork heading up and to the left. Seasonal pools may be found in the creek bed here along Cornucopia Trail - this is the only water source for a while. Start climbing up, heading back and forth along the one switchback, passing burnt trunks rising over the younger growth in an eery combination. Below there are views of Cornucopia dancing along the creek bank.

At .4 miles the trail turns west in earnest and continues uphill, with a few good angles of Mount Peeley to the north and Saddle Mountain to the southwest along the way. Route goes up through a saddle and then drops softly to end at Thistle Spring Trail. From here you can turn left towards Saddle Mountain and MacFarland Canyon or turn right towards Peeley. Lots of loop options and all-day meanders are available.

Water Sources:
Seasonal pools may be found along Cornucopia Trail.

No good flat spots are along this short connecting trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2017-06-27 jacobemerick

    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
    West Fork Trail #260
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    NOBO to Peeley TH on very well maintained trails. Minimal water - saw small pools and slight trickle flows: 1) north of the Cross F trail junction, 2) McFarland Canyon 3) lower end of Cornucopia.

    Exited down DC45. Intermittent / light water flow starts about a mile down from Peeley and persist nicely until near the canyon mouth. The first ~3 miles of trail have had some recent maintenance and are very pleasant, after that it's moderate thrash until you near the canyon mouth.
    West Fork Trail #260
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    South from Peeley Trailhead: Our 6th day of hiking the AZT this year, sad but true. This one we owe a big thanks to GuRa for helping us with the shuttle which saved us from an even longer day. Saw John9L's jeep at Peeley TH. Ran into 3 other hikers for the day all at the beginning.

    We started at Peeley, checked out Thicket Springs, hiked in and out of and through drainages and up and down hills, did some trail work, had a couple breaks and then hiked the last hill up to the old mining road which would eventually get us way back over to Mormon Grove TH. The trail is like heaven and hell as far as the tread and slipperiness (well not quite that dramatic but you know what I mean "wink"). There was water here and there too. And thankfully, even though it was a longer hike than expected and I had an issue, we all made it. So at least now we can string a few more segments together from 20 through 22. Ya I know, it's the two that skirt those sections that are gonna be tough for us.

    We have big plans for next year but we'll see. Anyway, a good hike and despite obstacles we got this section done.

    Videos: Part 1 from Peeley to what will be the 1/2 way point for the Arizona Trail [ youtube video ]
    Part 2 from what will be the 1/2 way point for the Arizona Trail to the junction with Mormon Grove [ youtube video ]
    West Fork Trail #260
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    This was only my second time to this area. I passed through the area in the spring during my thru hike of a chunk of the AZT. However, I did not take the nicely maintained Thicket Spring Trail and official route of the AZT, rather I completed the more rugged Cornucopia Trail. Despite not enjoying Cornucopia, I remembered liking the McFarland Spring area and since then I have been meaning to come back. Therefore, I was happy to find this hike idea and description. It was a perfect way to visit McFadden, hike the nicer Thicket Spring Trail and knock off a hike on the Mazzy's area hike list.

    The AZT leg of this loop is in pretty good condition and I really liked the Thicket Spring portion. There was actually a moderate amount of water along this stretch and that did the dogs well. The last mile into the McFarland area was really nice as well, with a small dash of some fall colors, cool shade and solitude. After a quick break at the campsite near the dry McFarland Spring, we resumed the loop. That area is very nice and I think it would make a great overnight destination when it is cooler and there is more water in the area. The Cornucopia portion of the loop is pretty nasty, as it is being reclaimed by post fire growth and erosion and I don't think most will enjoy its ruggedness. Rather I think most would enjoy an out and back utilizing Thicket Spring Trail the entire way. This would make it just over a ten mile hike.

    Tons of hunters in the area, along the roads and at the trailhead, but it did not impact me any. I talked to a few heading in, as I was finishing up, but other than that only ran into one other hiker along Cornucopia interestingly enough. Nice little loop, probably won't go out of my way to do Cornucopia for a third time, but the hike into McFarland from the trailhead is great.
    West Fork Trail #260
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Mazzie Mine Mega Loop
    Met up with Kyle for a lasso loop in the Mazzies. We've talked about this hike going back a year or two. I did some jeeping in the area back in 2006 and I was looking forward to returning on foot.

    We started hiking at the Cross F Trailhead and followed the AZT trail northward. It was nice going with steady uphill. We continued on and split starting our loop as we headed to the northeast towards the National Mine. I was curious to see the area after they removed the Sunflower plant. We got down there and found they cleared most of the debris off the site. The large turbine is still there and the foundation. Kyle has a photo posted.

    After the mine we continued north and took a lunch before connecting to the Cornocopia Trail. This led us away from the creek bottom and we eventually reconnect back onto the AZT. From there we were cruising back and decided to take a quick detour to see if anything remained at the Story Mine. Kyle and I both scoped out this area ahead of time looking at maps and satellite images. We made a short loop of this area and didn't find anything excect for catclaw and manzanita. It was borderline misery with lots of colorful language used by both of us!

    From the Story Mine we made a straight shot back to the trailhead. We took one final break a few miles out and then finished our return. Along the way back we got a good look at the trail work done by the AZT Volunteers. They did nice work thank you to all!
    West Fork Trail #260
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Nice loop hike on some of the lower trails/canyons in the Mazatzal's, although some areas were pretty overgrown and most of the trail signs are missing; Little Saddle Mountain Trail #244 :next: Saddle Mountain Trail #91 :next: Thicket Spring Trail #95 :next: West Fork Trail #260 :next: south at the Cornucopia/25A junction. Saw 4 deer along the way however they were camera shy. Saw some nice fall colors along the way. The cold water at the truck was very much appreciated as the temps warmed up later in the day. Great hike!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    FR 25A is ridiculous - 4WD, High Clearance, and lots of Grit required to drive. Either that or walk it from FR 25.
    page created by joebartels on Jun 16 2017 2:58 pm
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