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General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF, AZ

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Guide 69 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Camp Verde > Camp Verde
2.1 of 5 by 9
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 62.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,260 feet
Elevation Gain 4,780 feet
Accumulated Gain 8,600 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 91.16
Interest Historic, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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21  2019-07-27
East Miller AZT Loop
13  2019-06-20 Sredfield
23  2018-07-24
Fred Haught Houston Brothers Loop
10  2017-10-14
Highline-Horton-Turkey-Babe Loop
11  2017-10-14
Highline-Horton-Rim Wander-Babe Haught lp
9  2017-06-02
Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
38  2016-05-29
West Cabin Loop
12  2016-02-27
Drew Canyon to See Canyon Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Author The_Eagle
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 789
Photos 9,103
Trips 1,065 map ( 10,158 miles )
Age 63 Male Gender
Location Far NE Phoenix, Az
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Jun
Seasons   Late Summer to Early Winter
Sun  6:11am - 6:33pm
Official Route
14 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
From Fort to Pines - V0 - V55.5
by The_Eagle

Likely In-Season!
This historic trail currently starts in the high desert of 5000’, approximately 20 miles east of its original start at Ft Whipple in Prescott. It passes through the site of Ft Verde before climbing to the Mogollon Rim’s tall pines at almost 8000’. Its current eastern terminus at the Cottonwood Wash TH, is some 145 miles and 10,750’ in Accumulated Elevation Gain, from its start. The trail spans Prescott, Coconino and Apache-Sitgreaves. National Forests (Trails #64, #130, #140).

The original western start at Ft Whipple (now the Prescott VA Hospital area) to its current start around P20, is not established or marked, but the general path is known.
The original eastern portion of this trail from V113 to Ft Apache, is a little less known and may have used numerous routes.

Creation of the Trail
The Trail was developed as a supply route to Ft. Apache from Fort Whipple in Prescott. The scouting for trail was started in 1871 with General Crook and a small party leaving Ft Apache heading north, and then traversing the rim to the west, arriving at Ft Whipple on September 6th. Actual trail construction began in the spring of 1872 from Ft Whipple (Prescott) and from the Show Low area, both heading towards Ft Verde. By 1873 the first pack train with supplies made the trip from Ft Whipple to Fort Apache. One year later the first wagon trains made the journey.

For 22 years the trail was used by Crook’s men to patrol the northern border of the Apache Reservation. Infrequent Civilian use continued for another 24 years until the Rim Road was built in 1929.

This trail was designated as the state’s first Arizona State Historic Trail

The trail was marked for distances from Ft Verde. Markers to the west of Fort Verde were indicated with a “P” (for the Prescott side) and the Miles from Ft Verde (ie P7 was 7 miles west of Ft Verde).

On the East side, markers were indicated with a “V”. V20 would indicate 20 miles from Ft Verde on the way to Ft Apache. Distances back then were derived from counting the number rotations of a wagon wheel. Only a few of the original blazes remain. The best example is possibly 13 mile rock, (V13) which can be seen at the pull out on route 260 on the way up the rim.

Reestablishment of the Trail
The Grand Canyon Council Boy Scouts of America, Troop 26, re-traced and re-marked the current trail. They did this for their Bicentennial Project starting in 1976. In the western/lower elevations they marked the trail with rocks in wire baskets and Mileage markers on 4” x 4” posts. As of this description, many of the posts remain, but none of the mileage signs have survived.

Once in the higher elevations where trees are present, the trails location is indicated with white or red metal “V’s” attached to trees of posts. Mileage markers are placed on 6” diameter posts aprox. 4’ tall. Mileage is etched into the slanted top of this post (ie. V 21)

The Boy Scouts did a great job back in 1976 hiking and marking this trail as part of their Bi-Centennial project. Without this effort, it would not have been possible for us to hike it. The trail is a bit hard to follow in spots, Some spots are marked better than others. If you haven’t seen a “V” chevron on a tree for a while, turn around and check the back side of the trees and also check on some of the fallen trees. A GPS with a loaded track is a real important tool on this trail.

Additional Reference Material
“A Guide to the General Crook Trail”
Published by the Museum of Northern Arizona Press and the Boy Scouts of America
Copyright 1978
Hardcopy purchased online

“General Crook National Historic Study Trail – Study Report”
USDA Forest Service SW Region Sept 1986
Found on the internet

Water Availability
See Spring Reports

Additional Trail Segments
The remainder of the current General Crook Trail is made up of the following Trail descriptions.
Please see one of the following Descriptions and GPS Tracks for the remainder or the trails.

P21 – 0 (Ft Verde) General Crook Trail #64 - Prescott NF, AZ

V55.5 – V113 General Crook Trail #140 - Apache SitgreavesNF, AZ

The first 6.5 miles will be the lease favorite portion for most. Leaving the Fort, you are in the city for a ½ mile then walking next to SR 260 for 6 additional miles before you finally turn into Clear Creek Camp Grounds. Top off on your water here and enjoy the stream because you climb starts momentarily and continues to V16. Next reliable water is up on the Rim at General Springs.

A GPS is handy starting at this point, even though some remnants of the Boy Scouts work still survives. You may see 4 x 4 wooden posts (minus any signage), placed at 1 mile intervals. Cairns, caged cairns, and the "V" chevrons become more prevalent once the trees become more prevalent. The old roadbed/path is visible off and on.

The trail roughly follows the same path as SR260 during its 3,000’ climb. You’ll begin to notice a prominent peak during your climb out of Clear Creek. This is 13 Mile Rock Butte. This marks the 13 mile point out of Camp Verde. The original etching for the thirteen mile mark can be found on the Southside of the Butte and SR260. It’s in the pullout, but is not on the large rock with the plaque, but on a smaller one, a few feet to the northeast.

Wire Basket cairns give way to round wooden 4’ tall posts with “V**” Mileage Markers. Beige and or Red “V” start appearing as you get into more and taller trees. On FS144 at the place where marker V28 should be, we had trouble finding the path here. My reference material said to turn right at the Cow Guard. We did and were able to find our way, but we went a bit before finding any sort of trail markers.

Directly after the trail crosses SR87, you see the second of the many Trail Marker posts at V31 right next to SR87. You are now in the tall pines and on your way to Baker Lake. (The small mud hole right after you turn off of SR87 onto the Rim Road FR300). After a rough winter, the fallen trees may make passage a little more time consuming for the next 30 miles or so.

The grave of Andres Moreno can be found right off of FR300 before getting to the lookout. It’s not right on the actual Trail. See the waypoint in the GPS Track for location. On July 16, 1887, while traveling in a wagon trail to Prescott, he was shot in the back and killed by an ex-convict he had arrested several years before. He was buried on the trail. This is the first of 6 graves you’ll pass along the General Crook trail. 3 of them are actually about a ½ mile off the trail.

Baker Butte and the Lookout tower are the next landmarks you’ll pass around V34.5. Remnants of the old Military Telegraph lines can be seen in the way of white insulators high in some of the trees. These lines connected Forts Whipple, Verde, and Apache. My first example of this was as we crossed FR300, ¼ mile before getting to the Baker Butte Lookout Tower.

Starting at about V40, you begin to get some spectacular views off the rim. Take some time and leave the trail to take a break or lunch and swallow in the views.

General Springs at V43-1/4 is the area where many camped and rested on their journey along the trail. The spring was once much more reliable than it currently is. In 1941 a large fire camp was moved into the area. The heavy use caused it to dry up. The original Spring Box can still be seen.

At V55-1/2, just before entering the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest you pass the grave of G.D. Bantz- Died Oct 6 1895. He was killed when trying to get off the Rim quickly, attempting to beat an impending snowstorm. He hit it his mule with the butt of his shotgun when it discharged into his stomach, killing him. He was buried where he dropped.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2015-07-14 The_Eagle

    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 31 deeper Triplog Reviews
    General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF
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    Highline-Horton-Turkey-Babe Loop
    We started this loop from the Hatchery TH and headed East on Highline. A brisk mid-40's in the shade, but warmed up quickly on the sunny Highline. We were passed by a dog with a tracking collar going East, as well. Then 2 more going West. One of them followed us to Horton Spring. We took a snack break and continued up Horton Springs #292, the pooch followed. She was friendly until this point. About halfway up, we heard yelling from below followed by a series of shocks sent through the dogs collar. The distressed & exhausted dog turned on us and bit Linda's thigh. More of a warning bite, but broke skin. The dog then lunged at Linda with force and I intercepted with a trekking pole into it's mouth, and held it back while Linda got away. It's bite was forceful enough that it lost a tooth on my trekking pole. I stayed in between them and attempted to get some separation. With the dog still pursuing us, I fired a warning shot to scare it away, and hopefully let the onwers know they need to come up the trail and get their dog. This is not the trail to have a tussle with a damn dog on. It's steep with sections of loose tread. Bleeding from the mouth and paw, the dog gave up and layed down in some shade. We continued up and into the peace and quiet of the Turkey Beaver Wildlife Area. Almost immediately we encountered a dozen elk. We wandered a bit and did some leaf peepin'. Exited onto some FR's and then down into Gentry Canyon after a lunch break. We watched a Pronghorn leap through the pines. Followed by a healthy looking coyote. The reds and oranges got better as we traveled West. We took FR115 South a bit before meeting Gen Crook. We attempted to follow it to Babe Haught, and did fairly well. It's mostly gone, with one nice stretch and a few blazed trees. We hit the Babe Haight junction and cruised on down to the TH. Enjoying the view of Rim Country fall along the way down. Irresponsible dog owners aside, it turned out to be a great day, overall. We enjoyed the sights of fall on the rim and a perefect day of weather. Plenty of off-trail and a crunchy carpet of mutli-colored leaves always makes for good tread.

    Moderate to substantial, depending on location. Aspens were popping. Great leaf litter.
    General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF
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    Came up with this idea last minute and got to Washington Park TH just before sunset.

    Colonel Devin #290: Enjoyed the new stretch of trail in the lower portions. Definitely more scenic than walking under powerlines. Lots of green vegetation and more Columbines than I'd ever seen along the creek. Raspberries appear to be on schedule. New tread meets back up with old tread. Steep climb up the rim, but it's over quick.

    Fred Haught #141: Sunlight was fading quick. I remembered this canyon having ample tent sites so I walked into the darkness for a while before settling on a nice flat spot w/ plenty of firewood. Very peaceful night alone at the campfire. Started again in the a.m. Plenty of water in the canyon, nothing flowing. Green grasses and ferns dominated. Spooked 3 bull elk at Quien Sabe Spring.

    Houston Brothers #171: Highlight of the trip for me. Stopped for brunch at Pinchot Spring where I encountered people for the first time. A group of day hikers. Grass and ferns again dominate the landscape. After the fenced in Houston Draw area, the forest gets dense and tall pines loom overhead. Then into a thick Maple grove. Passed a group of about 15 backpackers headed North.

    Barbershop #91: Couldn't pass this up so I took a detour and did an out and back just to see the sights. Beutiful meadows and dense pine forests where enchanting. This might be my favorite Rim Country canyon.

    General Crook #130 / Rim Road: I started following the white chevron blazes immediately. Spent a surprising amount of time on the actual trail before it spit me back out onto FR300. There is a path there. No well-defined foot path, just remnants of a trail and a bunch of deadfall. Played leapfrog with 3 mule deer for about 30mins. 3 cars stopped and asked me for directions to various spots.

    Great day in Rim Country with highs in the 70s and plenty of sunshine.
    General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF
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    Drew Canyon to See Canyon Loop
    Felt good to get back on one of my favorite Rim Country loops. The dry, mild February enticed me start hitting this one a little earlier than usual. Temps were in the 60s accompanied by lots of sunshine. Great time to hike up here since there is no traffic on the Rim and tons of water present. My feet were wet all day but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

    Highline #31: Plenty of new deadfall and free of snow with some patches of mud.

    Drew #291: Dry and free of snow or ice. No recent deadfall. Good little exercise. Excellent views. My favorite part of this loop.

    FR 9350: Wet and muddy with patches of snow up to a foot deep. No access to campsite right now so it's quiet and empty. Stopped briefly to scarf down a sandwich on a rock outcropping overlooking Rim Country.

    General Crook: Snow increased considerably. 85% of the trail was snow with depths up to 20+ inches. Compacted so staying on top of the snow was fairly easy. The other 15% was mud and water. Every stream and drainage was flowing. A few of them across the trail. Plenty of elk running around in the trees all around me. Popped up to Rim Rd at the 'V Tree' to check road conditions (see photoset).

    See Canyon #184: Started off promising as the very top was a short reprive from the snow, that changed quickly. Once in the shaded, upper reaches of the canyon the snow got deep. Well over 2ft with even deeper spots. This snow was not as compacted and slow going. Water was flowing the entire length of the canyon. I took a few detours to check out some seasonal cascades. About 6 stream/creek crossings in total. Snow turned to mud about half way down. Passed 3 gentlemen at the 184/185 junction but otherwise total solitude all day.
    General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF
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    Drew Cyn - Bear Cyn Lake - See Cyn Loop
    I wanted to hike around Bear Canyon Lake from below the rim today so I started from a very busy See Canyon TH, took Highline towards Drew and then Drew up the rim. Walked FR9350 until it ends and Aspen Trail #411 begins. Took Aspen Trail to Carr Lake Trail #412 (not listed on HAZ?) briefly until weaving along Gen Crook to FR208 and down to Bear Canyon Lake via the Two-O-Eight TH. Walked along Shoreline Trail to the dam where I enjoyed a nutrition break. The lake was quiet today. Only a few fishermen and a bald eagle soaring around. Took the old jeep road on the east side of the lake to get back to Rim Rd, where I crossed and jumped back onto Gen Crook. After a short hike on Gen Crook I was at See Canyon Trail and on my way back down to the TH. Temps remained nice and cool, most campers I passed were bundled up and sitting by a fire. I was fine in shorts and a t-shirt as long as I was moving. The flat stuff on top of the rim was enjoyable today. Perfect weather, a pine - scented breeze and patches of fall foliage mixed with total solitude made it very pleasant. Almost all of the aspens have lost their leaves and the fall colors in the canyons are still about a week away from prime. Only encountered a couple of hikers on Highline and a couple more on my way down See Canyon. I was greeted by a few deer at the See Spring junction. Ended at a suddenly quiet See Canyon TH. Great hike on a perfect fall day in Rim country.
    General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF
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    Drew Canyon to See Canyon Loop
    Hit a quick loop in the afternoon since temps were mid-70's and storms threats have subsided, for now. Despite crowded campsites, there wasn't a soul on the trails today, aside from a few elk along Gen Crook and a few more at the bottom of See Cyn. It's definitely starting to look and feel like autumn. Leaves are beginning to change and Christopher Creek is has slowed to a moderate flow.
    General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF
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    Drew Canyon to See Canyon Loop
    Started at 5am, it was 55 degrees and dark. Elk were bugling and coyotes howling in the distance. See Canyon has been hammered by the last couple of storm systems. FR284 has some erosion and debris. The board that I typically use to cross the creek and join Highline has been washed away. Some new deadfall on Highline as well. Used a headlamp for the first 35mins. Within the first half mile I walked right through the middle of an elk herd. They all froze and watched me pass by, I could see all the pairs of eyes glowing in my headlamp. There is a ton of water right now. Christopher Creek is raging. Every little tank, marsh, wash and tributary has water flowing too. There were a few more muddy spots on the trail than usual. See Canyon was moist as expected. I walked through dozens of spider webs for some reason and even saw a gray fox scamper across the trail in the lower portion. Didn't see anyone else hiking until I got back to the TH. Made it home in time for breakfast. Good little morning exercise hike, as usual.
    General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF
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    Drew Canyon to See Canyon Loop
    Early morning exercise hike. Started about 30mins before sunrise and hiked with the rising sun. 60 degrees at See Canyon TH at the start and stayed nice and breezy all morning. Saw several elk, a lone deer & an owl by the time I reached the end of Drew Trail on top of the rim. It appeared as though every campsite on FR9350 was occupied. I had an encounter with a black bear on General Crook. Although brief, I was hiking fast enough and quiet enough to get within 50ft of the bear. Once we saw each other it dashed into the trees and quickly vanished. They truly are beautiful creatures. See Canyon was as wet and muddy as I anticipated after yesterday's rain, with lots of moss and mushrooms. I passed plenty of hikers heading up See as I made my way down. Only stopped to take a few photos and pick up trash. Temp was 75 at finish. Good start to the weekend.
    General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF
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    Drew Canyon to See Canyon Loop
    Hit the exercise loop to shake off some soreness from leg day yesterday. Kind of a late start but the See Canyon TH/Chistopher Creek area was surprisingly empty despite the ASU visitors across the highway at Camp T. Shortly after crossing the creek I ran into at least 20 turkeys shading under a tree. Eventually they dashed, half of them ran onto the trail and were right in front of me for 20yds or so going the same direction. It was nice and warm heading up Drew today. Lots of action on top of the rim. There were only 2 vacant campsites along FR9350 at the time I walked through. Once on General Crook I came upon 2 cow elk with their youngsters that let me get surprisingly close while they ate near a puddle in the trail. Enjoyed a much cooler and shaded trip down See Canyon which I had all to myself this time.
    General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF
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    Drew Canyon to See Canyon Loop
    Quick exercise loop under perfect temps, on and off clouds and a light breeze. All sections of the trails were in great shape except for a few muddy spots. Folks at a campsite I passed spoke of plenty of weekend rain. My route splits off from General Crook trail and takes me along the rim south of FR300 so I was able to totally avoid a busy Rim Rd. The trip down See Canyon was lush with vegetation, moss and fungi with Wildflowers becoming more numerous in the lower half.

    Most variety of flowers I've seen on this loop so far this year.
    General Crook Trail #130 - Coconino NF
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    Drew Canyon to See Canyon Loop
    Braved the holiday crowds and hit one of my favorite Rim Country loop hikes. Started at a very busy See Canyon TH and immediately crossed the creek to jump on Highline to Drew Trail. Then it's up the Rim via Drew. This first stretch is instantly rewarding with great views and unique vegetation. Once on the Rim I followed General Crook then started down on See Canyon and arrived at a suddenly quiet, but trashed, See Canyon TH. The scattered thunderstorms stayed far enough west to keep me dry. Although a little more sunshine would've been nice on this day, the solitude more than made up for it.

    Permit $$

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

    Fort Verde State Historic Park State Park

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Western TH starts at Fort Verde Historical State Park.
    Many access points along the way. We day hiked it in aprox. 20 miles sections.
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