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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Saddle Mountain #91, AZ

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Description 40 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
Rated
3
3 of 5 by 11
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 4.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,924 feet
Elevation Gain 590 feet
Accumulated Gain 905 feet
Avg Time One Way 2
Kokopelli Seeds 7.22
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
6  2018-09-30 KBKB
10  2018-01-04 mazatzal
30  2017-11-18
Sheep Creek Cabin
jacobemerick
32  2017-10-29
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22
tibber
23  2017-06-11
S Mazatzal Roundup
jacobemerick
15  2017-05-15
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22
mazatzal
14  2017-03-18
Saddle Mountain 6535 - Mazatzals
chumley
10  2017-02-17
Little Saddle Mountain Trail #244
mazatzal
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, May, Mar
Sun  6:33am - 5:50pm
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Copper Camp Loop
0.0 mi away
22.0 mi
5,875 ft
Sheep Creek Cabin
0.0 mi away
10.0 mi
3,844 ft
Saddle Mountain Easy Mines
0.0 mi away
7.6 mi
1,400 ft
Saddle Mountain to Plateau Overlook Pt
0.0 mi away
15.1 mi
3,600 ft
Saddle Mountain Trail to Squaw Flat
0.0 mi away
10.0 mi
2,093 ft
Saddle Mountain Mine Tour
1.2 mi away
6.5 mi
1,892 ft
Sheep Creek Trail #88
1.7 mi away
8.7 mi
1,832 ft
Saddle Mountain 6535 - Mazatzals
1.8 mi away
Sunflower Trail #344
1.9 mi away
5.1 mi
-500 ft
Thicket Spring Trail #95
2.1 mi away
2.6 mi
992 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Swinging around Saddle Mountain
by jacobemerick

Likely In-Season!
Overview:
Curving trail that follows the contours of Saddle Mountain and nearby hills. Integral part of AZT #22 and, thanks to the relative accessibility of Mormon Grove Trailhead, the start of many long loops into the north and west. Ends with an overgrown loop that goes by some old mining areas.


History:
Much of this area was damaged by the 2012 Sunflower Fire.

Hike:
Mormon Grove is an open spot perched on a ridge that offers great views to the south and east. The trail heads west and wastes little before climbing, gaining 100' in less than a quarter mile, before calming down and even dropping a bit to the Little Saddle Mountain Trail junction at .6 miles. This junction is well signed and has some pretty rock formations in the background.

Now part of the AZT, the trail heads north and makes a steady climb towards Saddle Mountain. Along the way it zigs and zags along the side of 5888, alternating between offering good views of the surrounding lands and protective drainages for a few large trees that were spared from fire. This section is overall pleasant and easy to travel if the steady climb doesn't wear too much on one's legs. The last outward zag shows off a now-overbearing Saddle Mountain before the trail swings towards Potato Patch and the end of the uphill grade at 1.9 miles.

A side spur branches to the west towards Potato Patch, a grassy clearing with some camping options along the fringes, and the main trail swings northeast and plays along the side of the mountain. Some of the in-and-out swings along the side of Saddle Mountain are quite drastic, though the views down the different drainages to the east are nice. At 3.4 miles the junction with Sheep Creek Trail shows up and the AZT follows that, leaving the final leg of this trail with less traffic and maintenance.

The final leg forms a lasso loop, with the end being the trail junction, and the loop of it being very overgrown. At 3.5 miles the loop starts - turn left to do it clockwise. After it curves around near Story Mine things get the most overgrown with catclaw (I gave up on finding the mine after fighting this lovely stuff). Things clear up on the other side of the loop and the last few hundred yards to close the lasso is fairly simple.

Water Sources:
None along the trail. Continuing on Sheep Creek Trail will take you to McFarland Canyon and a reliable water source.

Camping:
Potato Patch has several spots for camping, as does McFarland Canyon a mile beyond the northern terminus of the trail.

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.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To Mormon Grove Trailhead
    Driving from Phoenix, take the Beeline Highway (87) North toward Payson. Take the Sycamore Creek exit (just past mile marker 222), turning left across the divided highway and down the paved road 'Old Highway 87' for 1.2 miles to FR201.

    Turn right over the cattle guard onto the gravel road (FR201) and proceed 1.2 miles to cross another cattle guard just before a split in the road at FR25. Take the sharp left turn downhill (FR25) and proceed 2.6 miles to a Y in the road. Stay left again and downhill on FR25 (the right leg takes you onto FR25A). Proceed uphill for 2.2 miles (switchbacks) to the Mormon Grove Trailhead.

    Both FR201 and FR25 are gravel roads - FR25 is slow/rough- loose & hard packed rock, steeper climb up/down than FR201.

    The Mormon Grove Trailhead is not signed but is obvious since it is where FR25 ends at an old wooden corral.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 66.6 mi - about 1 hour 21 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 164 mi - about 2 hours 42 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 145 mi - about 3 hours 10 mins
    page created by joebartels on Jul 03 2017 8:28 pm
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