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Happy Jack - AZT #28, AZ

no permit
689 94 3
Guide 94 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well
3.2 of 5 by 17
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 29.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,833 feet
Elevation Gain 1,257 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,600 feet
Avg Time One Way 10-15 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 38.06
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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12  2019-08-29 mazatzal
9  2019-08-27 CannondaleKid
8  2019-08-24 DarthStiller
10  2019-08-17
Happy Jack - AZT #28
5  2019-07-25 mazatzal
2  2019-07-18 mazatzal
6  2019-07-16 Sredfield
16  2019-07-13 Sredfield
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 7
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   Apr, May, Sep, Oct
Sun  6:08am - 6:32pm
Official Route
8 Alternative
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Named place Nearby
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Meadows holding hands
by HAZ_Hikebot

Likely In-Season!
This passage begins at the intersection of Highway 87 and FR 138. From here the trail heads north passing Hay Meadow Tank, Hay Meadow Draw Tank and dropping into and following Jack's Canyon. It crosses FR 82, passes Waldroup Tank and then joins FR 93. After leaving this road the route passes Fire Line Tank, turns right in Willow Valley and re-joins FR 93. It leaves FR 93 and then joins FR 93A. It climbs, goes left at a fork and heads up over a ridge and then down towards Wild Horse Tank. It continues on to a junction with another forest road and then turns to the west and into Bargaman Park. After circling around the park, the trail heads west to FR 135D. It follows this road and turns right at Shuff's Tank. It heads north past Maxie Tank, climbs up to and traverses a relatively flat plateau, and then drops down to FR 135. After crossing this forest road the trail joins FR 135C for about one mile. It becomes singletrack again and works its way across several meadows and then up to FR 92 and the Gooseberry Springs Trailhead.

Southern Trailhead
Highway 87
From the intersection of AZ 87 and AZ 260 north of Pine, drive northeast 19.5 miles on AZ 87 then turn right (south) on FR 138. (This is about 0.8 miles west of the Blue Ridge Ranger Station on AZ 87.) Signs on the highway point to Moqui Campground. The trailhead is about 100 yards south on FR 138, on the left (east) side of the road.

Northern Trailhead
Gooseberry Springs Trailhead
From the turnoff leading from Forest Highway 3 to Mormon Lake Village, continue south on Forest Highway 3 for approximately 5 miles and then turn left onto a prominent road (FR 92) on the south side of an open meadow, and drive 0.25 miles to a sharp left turn in the road; the trailhead and a steel AZT sign are on your right. You can also reach this point from AZ 87 by driving north on Forest Highway 3.

Updated 2017-07-24

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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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 of 19 deeper Triplog Reviews
Happy Jack - AZT #28
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Headed back to AZT #28 to check the progress on the single track work. The southern end is now finished up to the azt gate near FR 93F/93K junction.

I started from FR 82 and went to the AZT gate north of Foot In Tree Tank, the last couple of miles were off trail but following the flagging.

On the way back I think a lightning strike started a small fire off to the southwest (plume of smoke and smell of burning)

Saw 2 young elk near the beginning, then 3 more with huge antlers just south of Foot In Tree Tank and finally a large heard of 15+ on my way back again near Foot In Tree Tank.

Great day, nice weather and lucky to dodge a couple of thunderstorms that were nearby. Temp was 70 at the start and 63 at the end just after the second storm.
Happy Jack - AZT #28
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It's Tracey's day off and she prefers cooler temps so this was a good option. Since we have hiked and biked the first 10 miles or so from southern end of #28 we chose an SOBO out-and-back from Gooseberry.

The upper-60's temperature was nice for a start and for most of the SOBO leg we were in the shade. Less than a half-mile from the start we heard loud crashing off to the side, which turned out to be a single elk. Unfortunately, although we encountered many fresh deer and elk tracks along the trail, that single elk would be the extent of our wildlife sightings for the day. Later we would encounter a trio of cows but they don't count as wildlife.

Tracey's usual eagle-eye spotted a hunting tree-stand right next to Maxie Tank. While as far as hunting regs are concerned that is ok. However, leaving private property on National Forest Land is subject to the domain of finders keepers, not that we had any use for a tree-stand.

We got off-track once at the FR6058/FR135D junction, where when traveling SOBO the natural thing is to continue straight ahead onto FR 6058 but the trail branched right continuing on FR 135D. We didn't go far before realizing there were no AZT stickers. This is of no consequence when NOBO not only because it's natural to continue on FR 135D but also because there are AZT stickers visible from that direction. If an AZT sticker were added on the north side of FR 135D sign that would alleviate the problem.

We had only planned on 5 miles SOBO before turning back, but we'd been moving pretty well so we decided to continue until we found a good spot for our lunch/nap break... all we sought were three features: shade, a rock to sit/lay on and a breeze. Luckily we got all three. The location was pleasant enough our usual 10-minute break extended to a full half-hour.

It was a good thing we spent the extra time to rest. I had a growing pain in the ball of my right foot so I took off my boots and gave my feet a rest after a quick massage. It worked wonders because I didn't notice any pain the rest of the hike.

By time we were headed back NOBO it had warmed up and now with little shade to be had, along with still-noticeable humidity we could feel the heat. With no new ground to cover I put my legs in cruise-control mode for the return trip.

When we returned to the TH there were two new piles of gravel, for what purpose, we could only guess.
Happy Jack - AZT #28
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Started from Bargaman Park and took the new single track southeast to Daves Tank and back.

The first section to Wild Horse Tank opened last year. The next section from Wild Horse to Daves isn’t officially open yet but ACE completed the section to Daves and onward to 93/95J junction a week or two ago. The tread is excellent and there is nice variety of ponderosa/meadows/juniper and some burned areas. There are good views south and southeast from the high point between Wild Horse and Daves just as you begin the descent. We saw one mesa off in the distance that I think was Chevelon Butte.

Great day, nice temps and the occasional cool breeze. Stopped at That Brewery on the way back.
Happy Jack - AZT #28
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Worked behind the mini-excavator doing finishing work as it makes the new "Happy Jack Single Track”.

Saw one hiker along the current route, FR 93D. There was a fire about 4 miles to the north and I saw a couple of fire trucks but no smoke.

Like Shawn reported there are a lot of trees with lightning scars.
Happy Jack - AZT #28
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A group of us (10-12 people) spent 2 days installing six gates and a sign along AZT #28, near Bargaman Park. Also cleared a deadfall and a tree stump near one of the gates. A third day was spent installing a gate along AZT #26 in solid sandstone near Bray Creek!

Day one we had to shelter for almost 2 hours during a rain and hail storm.

Day 2 and 3 we were lucky with the weather and completed all the work.

Happy Jack - AZT #28
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Three of us spent two days digging holes and preparing existing fence or gates for 5 of 6 new AZT gates (in the near future) along the passage #28 reroute. The digging for the sixth gate needs to be done at the same time as the gate installion due to grazing adjacent to the gate.

We were lucky that the rain held off for 99% of the time we were there :sweat:

Happy Jack - AZT #28
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Eight of us spent two days continuing work on this passage. On day one we dug the holes for four AZT gates and installed one of them. On day two we installed the other three and one AZT emblem sign. Great group of folks, all working hard but having fun as well.

Gate 1 was installed near where AZT crosses FR 6048, gate 2 just south of where AZT crosses FR 135, gate 3 about another half mile south from gate 2 and gate 4 between Maxie tank and FR 6058

Perfect temperatures up on the rim: slightly chilly early on but nice in the afternoon with pleasant breezes. Saw several deer and elk while driving up and back.
Happy Jack - AZT #28
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Six of us continued work on Happy Jack AZT #28. First up we installed another of the new kiosks - this one is at at Hay Meadow TH. We also removed the old sign in register and installed a new one.

After Hay Meadow we went over to Bargaman Park and installed another new sign in register alongside the AZT sign we put in last week then we pulled out an old sign in register near Pine Spring.

Very nice temps up on the rim today although the winds probably hampered the efforts to get more containment on the Tinder fire. Saw a single turkey and a few elk on the drive back.
Happy Jack - AZT #28
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Five of us went out to install a new kiosk at the Gooseberry Springs TH. After that we went to move one of the large metal signs from near Pine Spring to a new location at the edge of Bargman Park where the new reroute will be.

Weather was perfect - lots of snow covered pines but temps rising quickly from 30s to 40s to 50s and melting the snow rapidly. Great day on the rim with an excellent group :)

Happy Jack - AZT #28
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Fourteen volunteers traveled from all over the United States to volunteer to participate in the American Hiking Society and ATA's Volunteer Vacation. The AHS program matches trail volunteers with a wide variety of trail volunteer opportunities throughout the US and beyond. Many of these volunteers had never visited Arizona before, and most of them had not even heard of the Arizona National Scenic Trail before registering for the event. What starts as just a great way to get some volunteers on the ground building trail turns into a fantastic outreach program almost by accident. Now these 14 hikers will go home and brag about the amazing trail that they built through the scenic ponderosa of northern Arizona, and maybe a few new sparks of AZT fever will ignite.

The trail construction was the first part of the new Happy Jack Single Track project on the Coconino National Forest. Ultimately, this project will result in almost 18 miles of new singletrack trail construction to get the AZT off of the long road walks of the Happy Jack passage. The crew created 1.4 miles of new trail, nearly completing the northernmost reroute of the project. They hacked through oak thickets, dug out pine stumps and chopped through tedious grass flats to open up the corridor — even building some impressive stone retaining structures to finish the final climbs.

Ultimately this project will replace 18 miles of road walk with single track trail. Its a great time for those who want to participate in trail building to get out in a beautiful part of Arizona and give back!

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Payson or Flagstaff,AZ: Drive north on Hwy 87 to Clints Well OR drive 55 miles south of Flagstaff to Clints Well on Forest Highway 3 (Lake Mary Road), then drive 8.3 miles further north on Hwy 87 to FR 138; Turn east on FR 138 for approx .1 mile to the Hay Meadow trailhead(left/north side);
page created by Grasshopper on Aug 10 2008 4:49 pm
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