Fan and I went from the Cottonwood TH to Browns Cave.
Lower Soldier Trail
It took a minute to figure the start of the trail, but once we did there was cairns to lead you all the way to FR401.
Along the way to the Cane's spring TH, we stopped at the shack.
Alder Creek Trail
The trail started out as an old road and was very easy to follow. When the trail hit the Long canyon, we stayed in the canyon
until the trail pulled away. Then we bushwhacked over the trail. There been some recent trail maintenance until you hit the
Crabtree cabin. It took us a couple of minutes to figure out how to get to the cabin. There was a sign-in board at the cabin.
Fan & I were the first people to represent HAZ. There was quite a bit of Crabtree relatives visiting the cabin.
The route finding was a little more challenging past the cabin.
The Jungle aka "Brown Cave"
We lost the trail as we approached the descent into Alder Creek. We found two stone walls leading down to the creek.
Then we had to fight the jungle to get to the Creek. When got the creek Fan was done. The plan was to
go to the Cave then have lunch at the river /lake. Fan didn't want the fight anymore jungle, so I went on alone.
Beyond the jungle
I pushed through the jungle and walked right past Brown's Cave and continued on down the creek. For a stretch the water went underground.
I made to the 10 foot waterfall then stopped. The sky clouded up and the wind started to blow.
It looked like the 20% chance of rain was going to hit. I didn't have any Jedi masters to talk me into
climb down and up the waterfalls, so I turned around.
The trip back
The temps dropped fast as we headed back. This time we took the trail instead of going in Long creek.
The trail was easy to follow and mostly free of vegetation. As we started to climb out, the rain started.
It poured pretty hard for about 10 minutes, then it backed off. It rained for the last 4 hours of the hike.
We made it to the shed at Cane's Spring in time to put on the headlamps. We took FR401 all the way back to the Jeep.
Along the we saw an abandoned quad-runner. As we approached the Jeep the rain started to dump on us.
The road out
I was concerned about driving out with 4+ hours of rain. The road was slick but I didn't have any major issues getting out.
The Jeep did fishtailed in a couple of spots.
Items that are MIA in the Jungle
- HAZ-tracks android phone (good thing it was only $29.99)
- GPS Lithium ION rechargeable battery
This is a cool area to explorer. The terrain is slow moving and you should have a GPS route to get to alder creek.
I had long pants with gators and the a couple of Foxtails still managed to get in my socks!
I want to go back to take Long canyon to the river.