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Park McFadden Trail #55, AZ

no permit
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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Young S
3.5 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Distance One Way 5.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,979 feet
Elevation Gain -1,693 feet
Accumulated Gain 118 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 5.74
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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20  2016-08-24
12  2015-09-19
McFadden Super Loop
19  2015-09-19
McFadden Super Loop
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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Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Nov
Sun  6:06am - 6:32pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Views of Park Creek Canyon and the Sierra Ancha Mountains. McFadden Peak Lookout Tower. Wildlife includes: mountain lion, black bear, wild turkey, deer, elk, and smaller animals.Vegetation consists of ponderosa pine, pinyon, juniper, gambel oak, scrub oak, and manzanita. This is a very scenic trail.

From State Highway 288 (north of Reynolds Creek and south of the private property) turn left and take Forest Road (FR) 3781- 1/4 mile to Circle Ranch Trailhead. Note: The turn-off to FR 3781 is difficult to see from the highway. FR 3787 is also not appropriate for trailers. The trail runs approximately 1 mile along private property, then climbs through pinyon/juniper woodlands, ponderosa pine and intermittent streams, to McFadden Peck Road/Forest Road (FR) 561. Continue uphill to the end of the road near the Lookout Tower where the parking area is located.

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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 Triplog Reviews
    Park McFadden Trail #55
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    McFadden Super Loop
    Redo of Bruce's masterpiece plus Cienega #145.

    McFadden Horse Trail
    Most will rate this lower due to the steep approach. The forest up top, eastern and Elephant Butte views win me over.

    Elephant Rock Arch
    Bridged the gap connecting McFadden to Elephant Rock. Shorts are fine, took under a half hour. We stopped above the arch then headed down. 1 class four downclimb. Ironically I climbed up it last time out of curiosity. I couldn't figure out the downclimb last time so I jumped 10? feet. Got the twist move on the first try this time then did it again for fun. Fairly certain you could backtrack a bit to avoid the obstacle.

    McFadden Peak
    Just a road walk up. Impressive views of the thick mogul berber carpet of pines.

    Park McFadden Trail #55
    Majority of this is an old road down to Circle Ranch. Without using Hank's track I would have missed where it leaves the road for awhile. The cairns at each end are faint and the trail is faint for that segment. Found a tank and added to the map. From Circle Ranch down it's a nice trail. The upper isn't bad but most would prefer the lower part.

    Cienega Spring Trail #145
    Just a road. A little closer and personal views such as from McFadden Peak.
    Park McFadden Trail #55
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    After returning from Glacier NP on 7/9, I was having AZ "re-entry" problems big time. So topohiker-Ken and I decided to do a little decompression in-between two of our favorite areas to hike: The Sierra Ancha and Salome Wilderness.

    This McFadden Park TR#55 has not had any plublicity on HAZ until now. Preston who wrote up the original McFadden Peak hike description via FR561(fm Hwy 288) sparked our interest level to try the longer version of this hike to McFadden Peak at 7135'.

    This quick access Circle Ranch TH and recently maintained 5.6ml(.29ml on FR561) hike to McFadden Peak turned out to be another winner! Just .25ml from the TH start we found a huge "backberry patch" just off the right side of the trail following seasonal McFadden Creek. Don't know when in AZ is considered peak for blackberry season, but this is the place to come IF you know when and enjoy blackberries!

    This easy to follow and somewhat rocky but cairned trail roams it way up through pinyon pine, alligator juniper, gamble oaks, and mountain mahogany. At approx 1.1mls you reach the private property across the fence line for the Circle Ranch homestead. Continuing on past a couple view points and crossing a few seasonal creeks and drainages you reach the first veiwpoint at 4.8mls for the historic 1968 built Fire Tower on the top of McFadden Peak.. your ending destination with a super 360 degree view of all! At 5.3mls you reach the intersection of FR561. It is just another ~.3mls up this well maintained dirt road to the fire tower. Ken and I were fortunate to find it occupied this time of year. While having lunch at the tower we had a nice conversation with Jay, who really does seem to have a less stressful life spending 5 days/nights a week here during our monsoon season. He told us that he had called-in a recent fire caused by a lighting strike just 3 days before or visit.

    As we finished our lunch visit, Sierra Ancha and Salome Wilderness monsoon weather was again quickly approaching. Jay looked up, smiled, and said "you two are going to get wet before you reach your vehicle". Guess that we were kind-of looking forward to some rain as we decided to extend the hike by 2.1mls and +/- 575' by taking FR561 to its end at Hwy 288 then back up to the TR#55 intersection. The sky let loose just about the time we turned onto TR#55. It rained for 2 hrs straight..just delightful! The creeks and drainages were flowing again and all the forest smells were alive! We saw little wildlife on our hike, but I am sure they saw us.

    A nice area and new trail to hike.. We do recommend it!

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    page created by joebartels on Nov 25 2012 10:54 pm
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