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Abbey's Way Trail #151, AZ

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681 44 1
Guide 44 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Young S
3.5 of 5 by 15
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,886 feet
Elevation Gain 847 feet
Accumulated Gain 861 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 4.67
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3  2019-09-03
Aztec Peak via Abbey's Way 151 Loop
2  2018-09-01 friendofThunderg
12  2018-08-18
Tour de Anca
8  2018-08-18
Rim #139 - Murphy #141 - Abbey's #151 Loop
16  2018-07-07
Aztec Peak via Abbey's Way 151 Loop
34  2018-06-30
Central Sierra Ancha Tour
11  2018-06-01
Abbey's Way Extended Loop
13  2018-05-27
Sierra Ancha wander
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Jun, Aug
Sun  6:08am - 6:29pm
Official Route
11 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
2017 Notice
Beware fallen trees plague this little gem. Read triplogs or call the Tonto FS for current conditions.

See label

The trail is surrounded by a beautiful mixed conifer forest. Edward Abbey (1927-1989) an environmental writer, worked for two seasons as a lookout at Aztec Peak and made reference to it in one of his books.

Abbey's Way leaves Workman Creek Road (FR 487) to the northeast and heads towards a mountain meadow, which was part of an old homestead ~1914 to 1939, Peterson Ranch (Glars Pete Peterson). The trail then climbs directly up the pine and Douglas fir-covered slopes of Aztec Peak towards the lookout tower. The trail wraps around the peak and meets FR 487 just east of the top of the peak.

FR487 Gate
Typically closed December 1th thru April 1st. Check with Tonto FS.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    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 of 11 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Abbey's Way Trail #151
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    Abbey's Way Extended Loop
    Almost 4 years since we'd last hiked on this trail so it was an easy choice for the last hike of our 2-day camping trip.

    Abbey's Way itself was in pretty good shape, probably due to some reasonably recent trail maintenance, cutting and removing numerous downed trees. Although we did some off-trail wandering again, we stayed away from the thickets.

    One item of note... unlike our last trip, there is now a tall fence around the fire tower topped with barbed concertina wire and it appears it is no longer staffed, which leads me to believe they may be using automated technology to scan for fires. Possibly infrared scanners?

    Other than that, nothing special about the hike so I only took a few random photos.
    Abbey's Way Trail #151
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    Aztec Peak via Parker Creek
    Met up with Kyle, Chumley & Claire for a nice hike in the Sierra Ancha. We left Tempe around 6:45am and made the drive to the Parker Creek TH & started hiking around 8:45. The Parker Creek Trail is in good condition & made for relatively fast trail as the trail climbs in elevation. We took a few breaks to admire the views & catch our breath. We continued on & took a snack break about two miles below the peak. From there we made the final climb & took a long lunch break on the summit. The summit had a lot of activity with at least one group car camping & several others making the drive up. After lunch we followed the road down & stopped to talk to a hunter & someone from the forest service. After that we connected back onto trail and bombed back to the trailhead. We had a light sprinkling of rain for the last mile or so & it was really enjoyable.

    Aztec Peak via Parker Canyon is a real nice hike. I really enjoyed climbing up into the forest and the cool mountain air. The views up top were nice & this would be a great spot for car camping.
    Abbey's Way Trail #151
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    Aztec Peak via Parker Creek
    I haven't done this hike in 5 years so I was happy to get back out there with Lily, 9L, Claire, and Chumley. Its uphill pretty much the entire way but I thought the grade was challenging yet pleasant. We never got caught in any rain even though we expected to and the temps couldn't have been more perfect.
    Abbey's Way Trail #151
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    Aztec Peak via Parker Creek
    Incredibly awesome weather for April 30. Highs on the peak barely hit 50. :y:

    The morning featured good breaks of sun, but by afternoon it was solidly cloudy with quite a few showers visible from the peak. This pushed our decision to skip the longer Rim trail loop and we only got sprinkled on a couple of times on the way down.

    Quite a bit of deadfall in the stretch of Abbey's above the ranch, but the last stretch to the peak was nicely cleared. A little poison ivy along Parker Creek kept those of us who are easily affected by this devil plant on our toes. Literally.

    Not sure why I'd never done this one before, but glad to knock it off the list. Thanks 9L for the idea, planning and driving. :)
    Abbey's Way Trail #151
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    Aztec peak via Parker Creek Trail
    This was a good hike with plenty to see. The scenery, the history and the wildlife really made this a memorable adventure. We started a little later around 10am which in retrospect could have been done better. The first half of this hike is straight up with no forgiveness so be prepared for that and the poison ivy that dots the trail. We saw no less than 4 owls, 2 deer, 4 rattle snakes and numerous other reptilian friends. This wilderness area is alive that is for sure. Abby's way takes you through what seems like a whole separate wilderness with the sink holes, walnut trees and wild flowers. I was relieved to be at the top, it was an effort to say the least for that last mile and a half. We saw the tower and the stone living room which was cool. Then after a quick lunch we headed down hill. It took much less time to go down hill. It just hit dark when we made it to the truck and I wasn't having any sleeping in a tent. We packed up and drove back to phoenix. It happened to be a friends birthday party so two very smelly guys showed up at The Yard and had a beer. Well deserved beers at that.

    The leaves were starting to go yellow/red
    Abbey's Way Trail #151
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    •••Sierra Ancha backpacking tour '15•••

    Meeting up with Wally at the Parker Creek Trailhead, Shauna and I climbed into his ride and continued up to Reynolds Creek Trailhead. The 3 of us started up the trail on an unusually cool May afternoon. Freshly emerged maple leaves and wildflowers were everywhere. Reaching our turnoff, Shauna and I stashed our packs, and then the three of us continued on toward a cliff dwelling. As we began to cross an open, rocky area, an unearthly scream pierced the air. Many more screams followed. Mountain lion was my first thought. Stopping, we scanned the rocks and located a distressed bear cub about a thousand feet away, very close to the cliff dwelling. Not wanting to run into the mama bear, we retreated. Ugh, so close to our goal!

    Back at our packs, the three of us parted ways, and Wally headed back to his vehicle. Shauna and I continued up the trail, and set up our first night's camp in Knole's Hole, tucked away among the aspens and ferns. Bean burros, chips and salsa, and cervezas were on the menu. A small fire provided warmth as the temps dipped into the 30's.

    We slept in on Sunday, which felt great. Shauna did a watercolor of our campsite while I destroyed all traces of our campfire and packed up. We hit the trail by early afternoon and continued south to Murphy Ranch trailhead. Reaching the windswept summit of Aztec Peak, we ate a late lunch with a view from a ledge near the Flintstone's furniture.

    The final leg of the day's journey took us down Abbey's Way Trail, which I had not hiked since the 2000 Coon Creek Fire. Old growth white fir forest had given way to locust trees and ghostly tree skeletons, but some coniferous recovery was underway in places.

    Arriving in Peterson Meadow, we dropped our packs and set up camp beneath an old apple tree, near a campfire ring. Water was located in Workman Creek after a short off trail jaunt. Dinner was spiral pasta with a gritty soil garnish, created after I managed to knock over my top heavy stove. Still tasty. Campfire, stars, and satellites provided entertainment.

    We awoke Monday morning to sun rays chasing away the night's freezing temperatures, and began to pack up. Stashing our packs behind a log, Shauna and I walked down Workman Creek road to the falls. She decided against the scramble, so I made a solo climb up to the Workman Creek ruin. We were soon trudging back up the road to our packs, and then on to Carr Peak Trailhead to descend Parker Creek Trail.

    As we hiked through the burn area, we were a bit warm for the first time all weekend. I fondly recalled the fun winter hike with Joe and John Chapman back in 2007 as I noticed numerous pottery sherds in the trail. The Pottery Magician returneth! I'm curious as to where the source of those sherds is. Along this stretch of trail, we were surprised to see a gigantic gopher snake in the middle of the trail, quite agitated, hissing at us and shaking its tail. I wasn't fooled and told it to move on, and so did we.

    The shady descent down beautiful Parker Canyon was a welcome break from the sun. I always forget how lush this canyon is. I don't care for the re routed, last half mile of the trail back to highway 288. Seems out of character with the rest of the trail, hiking through sun exposure and scrub oak.

    Arriving back at the Parker Creek trailhead, we happened upon a bizarre photo shoot with a young woman dressed as an anime pixie skank or something. I thought the heat had baked my brain. They moved on, we cooled off, and then headed for Globe to enjoy Mexican food at Chalo's for dinner. Delicious as always.

    Many thanks to Wally!!! Great trip!
    Abbey's Way Trail #151
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    Parker - Abbey - Murphy - Rim Loop
    Ray had never been to the Sierra Ancha's and I had a hankerin' get back to the Parker Creek Canyon Trail #160 to see is we could scare up any color what-so-ever. I also wanted to check out the part of the Rim trail that I hadn't be on yet from the Murphy Ranch area.

    The climb up Parker is a steady 2000' climb in 3 miles to get to the saddle. You climb through Sycamores, then some conifers, Maples and Aspen. We were lucky enough to have some of the Fall Rainbow left to accent the climb up. I really love the feel of this trail, even without the added color.

    While on the Abby Way Trail #151 I wanted to check out the old Peterson Ranch area, to see what was left. There are some sizable flat open areas that appear to have supported the ranch, but nothing of substance was found. Like a couple of shrews, Joe and Ray followed me on the “shortcut” back to the Abby Way Trail (don’t take the shortcut)

    Making our way up to Aztek Peak, we paused to take in the Flintstone furniture (Note to self, bring cards next time).

    A short Road walk got us over the Old Murphy Ranch area. All was quiet at the ranch, but the aspens were in their richest golden form. We hopped on the Murphy Ranch Trail #141. This trail is slightly overgrown, but not bad at all. We took lunch on this trail and enjoyed the perfect temps and the vast views to the east.

    I always enjoy the Rim Trail #139 for the views, but it does seem to drag on and had some patches of ankle busters. One such ankle buster took me down for a few minutes, my ankle is still swollen today, but surprisingly, it does not hurt.

    The hike back down the Parker Creek Trail was just as enjoyable! We had absolutely perfect weather and surprising great color for this hike. Thanks for driving Ray, hope you enjoyed your first foray into the Sierra Ancha’s

    Video :next:
    Abbey's Way Trail #151
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    Parker - Abbey - Murphy - Rim Loop
    Sierra Ancha in November after the height of Autumn foliage? A dismal forecast of 32 mph gusts and rain. Did we really think this over?

    For we are hikers, the chances taken are a roll of the dice. The perfect hike unexpectedly presented itself. A cloud worthy of dropping a raindrop never shadowed. Chilly is not an ingredient of perfect. There is wind and there is the essence of wind. Hiking in a breeze we could hear the wind howling through the high pines.

    Autumn snuck up on us. Color in the ravines. High fidelity creaking trees would have sent a brave sleeping boy scout into nightmares. There is no second chance on the confetti of Autumn. A leaf falls only but once. With that an occasional star of the show auto rotated safely to the ground. Dozens once, maybe twice. The Sierra Ancha Symphony played out.

    Parker Creek Trail #160
    A fifty yard stretch of large crispy sycamores leaves covering the trail provided the perfect crunch. Smooth Sumac was on fire. These may be the garnish or stepchildren of Autumn. Most appreciated if you haven't recently experience foliage overload.

    The SE stroll along Carr Peak is no longer the lunar landscape I recall from years past.

    Abbey's Way Trail #151
    Bruce wanted to check out the Peterson area. Then he introduced Ray to the darkside of off-trail hiking for a short quarter mile. Back on sound ground the trail is good to the top. We checked out the Bedrock Furniture Showcase then moseyed on.

    I was in disbelief Bruce didn't want to go check out the tower. Granted it was windy, it barely interests me, we'd been there numerous times, it was closed and the list goes on. I thought I knew this man. Seriously we are talking about Bruce. He has this built in hormone where he must check everything out then rub it like a cat or mark it like a dog.

    Murphy Ranch Trail #141
    Bruce altered the game plan mid-hike adding this trail. It sounded like a great idea so off we went. It's a tad brushy and you have to step over stuff on occasion. That aside I loved it. Keep in mind the symphony was playing and we were hiking down hill.

    Rim Trail #139 - Sierra Ancha
    The vistas keep this on the winners list. It still gets a bit draggy.

    Carried 2.5 quarts, consumed about 1.8

    Hanging on better than anticipated. Depending on the elevation full color spectrum on the oaks. Enchanting maples, not loads of incredible deep reds.

    Shocking variety for November. Likely due to the record summer precipitation.

    Bull Thistle is dominate. Crisp Mexican Silene in a two spots. Scrophulariaceae stuff fading on my memory.
    Abbey's Way Trail #151
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    Parker - Abbey - Murphy - Rim Loop
    I had the good fortune of being invited to join The Eagle and Joe on a loop hike to Aztec Peak in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness. Bruce and I had talked about a Sierra Anchas hike a couple of weeks ago while on the Pinal 4X. A hike in this area was high on my wish list (I hadn't been out there yet), so I was all too happy to take him up on the offer.

    There are good hikes and there are great hikes. This was a great hike on many levels. From the start we had clear blue skies, perfect temps and nice color all along the trail. The trails we took were in good shape and easy to follow. The elevation gain was stretched across so many miles that you don't really notice it. The steepest part was the beginning and end of the hike along the Parker Creek Trail, but it was gradual. Bruce led us on a side trip from the Abbey trail through a nice meadow in search of an old foundation. No luck on the foundation. We returned to the Abbey trail through some thick vegetation that we had to pick our way through, but even that was kind of fun.

    Along with the many beautiful colors we saw, the views in some areas were astounding. Coming up the Parker Creek trail, we paused for a look at the Four Peaks towering above Roosevelt Late. Atop Aztec Peak, the views from the "Flintstone Terrace" were amazing as well. We took our lunch about two thirds of the way down the Murphy trail. Sitting among the pines enjoying a PB&J sandwich and an apple, I couldn't help looking up at the tops of the trees against the backdrop of the beautiful blue sky. It just doesn't get any better than that. Along the southern facing portion of the Rim trail, we took a break to enjoy the views above a craggy chasm with some very interesting rock formations. That was breathtaking.

    I had a "walk much?!" moment shortly after turning onto the Rim trail. I was stepping over a tree laying across the trail, caught my foot on a branch and tumbled. I knew I was going down, so I just went into a barrel roll to make it look as graceful as possible. A fall is anything but graceful, but the roll softened the blow and the only injury was a little embarrassment. Joe took his camera out after the fall, hoping I might offer up a repeat performance, but I wasn't about to let that happen again! Bruce saw an elk around this same time, but it quickly disappeared, leaving only the dust it kicked up as evidence of its presence.

    I've only been hiking in AZ since moving here three plus years ago, so I'm still getting to know this wonderful state and the many outdoor adventures it has to offer, but this hike moves up near the top of the list, if not the very top. Great hike, great company, and a great day. Thank you Bruce and Joe for a most enjoyable day!
    Abbey's Way Trail #151
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    For an escape to cooler weather we decided to camp four days in the Sierra Ancha and take in hikes we hadn't done before, or at least Tracey hadn't.

    With the Cherokee stoked full Sunday night we took our time leaving Mesa on Monday morning so by time we had set up camp near Moody TH it was late morning, so because it was close and short enough to help Tracey get acclimated to hiking after a week of sitting at work we decided on Abbeys Way.

    It's been something like 6 years since I'd last hiked it so I was curious to see how it fared. Seems to be less-traveled as some areas were getting pretty well overgrown. Thankfully some elk and had been along the trail before us so much of the brush was pushed over. But still, there was quite a bit of pushing through thick brush.

    We saw a ranger in the fire watch tower but he appeared to make a point of ignoring us, so we didn't attempt to climb up to say hi and just continued on to the rock living room for a quick PB & J lunch. I took a bunch of scenic photos and one of Tracey in her Edith Ann pose then we headed back.

    As is the norm we wanted to return by a different route, yet not the long wide circle-loop back along FR 487. So we settled for dropping down the southern slope of Aztec hoping to take a leisurely stroll through the pines on the return.

    Ha! No such luck...there was so much brush between the bottom of the slope and the pines that we decided to head straight back toward the old Peterson Ranch meadow by following the myriads of elk trails through the brush. It wasn't as bad as expected but every once in a while it appeared even the elk had been boxed in and had to retrace, which of course meant the same for us.
    But we survived just fine, enjoying the sunshine and mid-70's temps along the way and it was a great start for the week. And it was dry... unlike what tomorrow would bring. (Stay tuned)

    Only 30 photos so I posted the full photo set on HAZ. Sorry, no videos today.

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    Map Drive

    To hike
    West End
    From State Hwy. 288 drive east on Forest Road (FR) 487 for 31/4 miles. There is parking for several vehicles on the west side of Forest Road (FR) 487 across from the trail.

    East End
    Near the end of Forest Road (FR) 487, a short distance from Aztec Peak lookout Tower

    FR487 Gate
    Typically closed December 1th thru April 1st. Check with Tonto FS if the extra 1.3 mi each way is too much for your hiker legs.
    page created by joebartels on Nov 24 2012 12:00 pm
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