This trip was a few months in the planning to a new (for me) area south of Winslow, AZ, off Hwy 87 that I was totally unfamiliar. I have made numerous trips over the past years to our Mogollon Rim area off Rim Road FR300 to vehicle camp and day hike-explore for summer and early autumn visits, but never north on Hwy 87 past the Coconino NF- Blue Ridge Ranger Station at FR95.
With some valuable tips and advise from HAZ-ssk44, Oregon Hiker and I spent a considerable amount of time reviewing Google Earth, HAZ-TrailDEX Topo/Satellite Maps, and drawing up various drive and mostly "off-trail" hike plan options on HAZ-Route Manager to justify this five day trip (2 days driving with 3 full days to explore) to this interesting, higher elevation vast plateau area labeled on some maps as the San Francisco Plateau.
After deciding on our three days of planned day hike exploration areas, we settled on this "Camp Grasshopper - Hwy 87 No- East Clear Creek"
location centrally located within the Coconino NF boundary, 5.4 miles in on the east side of Hwy 87 at 6385ft elevation. It always take me a few nonstop hours to setup my Camp Grasshopper and doing so at a new location is always more interesting
I'm happy to say that this new campsite location is a solid contender for others to consider and the grouping of fairly large and numerous Juniper trees provides a nice wind break which is often needed camping in this higher elevation plateau area of Coconino National Forest.
It should also be noted that this campsite location is .40 miles from a historic ranching homestead with now abandoned outbuildings (possibly "Red Hill Ranch"?) with an active ranching water well that is not run by an historic windmill but rather by a huge diesel generator.. [ photo ]
that ran continuously for 24 hours a day for our 5 day stay. I mention this because when the wind blows in the direction of this G/H Campsite area, you will hear the distant hum of this pump generator.. not that annoying for our five day stay, but next might be introduced the ranging cattle herds
(we saw no recent signs of active cattle this stay).
(quoted from Oregon Hiker's trip log and I agree):
Despite having one night of bad weather it turned out to be another successful outing to a new Camp GH location. We found some cool Indian ruins, climbed a peak that wasn't a peak, explored the Hamilton Crossing Trail #45 into the bottom of East Clear Creek Canyon, and saw lots of awesome scenery on this high desert plateau.