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Alamo Lake BM Loop, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Southwest > Parker
4 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 10.26 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,253 feet
Elevation Gain 785 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,206 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5
Kokopelli Seeds 21.29
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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5  2017-02-23 kingsnake
33  2013-02-22 kingsnake
Author kingsnake
author avatar Guides 83
Routes 182
Photos 7,946
Trips 637 map ( 5,893 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
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Preferred   Feb, Nov, Jan, Dec
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:22am - 6:33pm
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0 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Where's Waldo's adit?
by kingsnake

Before I actually hiked this loop, I figured I would simply attach it to the Alamo Lake Campground description, like I had for BM H+B 1655, a few weeks ago. But after actually doing the hike, I think it deserves its own description. Parts of it are very similar to Ford Canyon, in the White Mountains, so that is what I based the difficulty and route finding ratings on.

Turn right out of the Bill Williams over look, descending towards the dam. There are two markers on the small hill south of the dam, and the best way to find the S-Axis is by going up the old gravel road just before the dam. Never did find BM 1278. After crossing the dam, BM 1276 will be in the rocks to your left. It, as with all but the Williams summit BM, are marked with a white sign on a metal stake. They're not hard to find. Sometimes, you can even see the next BM from the BM you are already at.

There's a short climb up a washed out jeep trail to BM 1351. If you want to make a diversion to H+B 1655, turn west up the ridgeline. It -- like all the ground on the north side of the lake, is mostly creosote and brittlebrush, without a whole lot of prickly things. The ground is smooth, compact, easy walking without a lot of ankle sprainers.

From BM 1351, continue north to BM 1279. From this point forward, you will be doing a combination of old jeep trail, goat trail, washes and cross country. There's a lot of 50 feet here, 50 feet there, type climbs as you move perpendicular to the washes feeding Alamo Lake.

After BM 1306 turn northeast towards the adit. It's on the topo, but I could not find it on the ground. Continue northeast hitting the BMs in sequence. BM 1226 is next to a rock with a hole in it, that's big enough for a self-portrait, but way to small to be dignified as an arch. The wash between BM 1226 and BM 1188 is steep, deep and loose, but it's not hard to find a way up.

After BM 1202, you will cross a wash full of dead trees, arriving at Alamo Rd. The dirt version, which is on the north shore of Alamo Lake. BM 1198's sign has been knocked off, but it is not hard to find, and is in a shady area that would make a good almost-halfway resting spot. You are about 4.5 miles and two hours into the hike.

From BM 1198, continue up Alamo Rd for a few hundred feet, before turning west into a wash that I refer to as Boulder Canyon. It starts out as an easy ATV run, but soon tightens up. About a mile and half of the canyon is bouldering resembling Ford Canyon. Some of the boulders are room-sized. This is one of two hightlights of the hike. Beware of bees near any pools that you spot.

A couple hundred yards after Boulder Canyon begins opening up, turn south up the north ridgeline of Williams BM. It is steep, loose in spots, and you will have to negotiate a few narrow ledges. Exposure is mostly not a problem, though beware the final few hundred yards are a sheer several hundred foot drop to the west.

The second highlight of the hike is Williams BM. Someone arranged it as a very comfortable rocky recliner, complete with arm rest and foot stool. Unfortunately, no remote or beer. Great views all around. Many wild flowers. Summit log is a bit old and brittle, so be careful when signing it.

Descending the summit, follow the east ridgleine for about a hundred yards before turning south along a somewhat steep and loose spur. Eventually you will descend into a branch wash, which will soon deposit you in the main wash, which is wide and sandy. From there, it is a freeway back to BM 1306, which closes the loop.

From there, simply back track to the dam and trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2013-02-23 kingsnake
    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
    Alamo Lake BM Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    It was cold as the dickens, so I wore the sweater I bought in Bouse six weeks ago, and which I now keep in our SUV’s “emergency box”. (Which contains survival stuff in case we stuck somwhere.)

    I ignored the road named after a crappy 90’s hair band, instead heading north across the dam.

    Alamo Lake is only down 25 ft., but due to being located in a flat bowl, that means it is only at 9% capacity. I found seashells and even an old fishing bob a quarter mile from shore, along the high water line.

    Two weeks ago, I skipped my planned hike up Casner Canyon, because of my bad shoulder, settling instead for hiking Walkin’ Jim Trail. Last week, because of the upcoming weekend deluge, my big “hike” was walking home from the physical therapist’s office. But the PT is working: I have more flexibility and experienced no discomfort while bouldering in "Boulder" Canyon.

    On top of Williams Benchmark, I relaxed in the stone "easy chair", enjoying Nature’s big screen: great 360° views of Alamo Lake, the Harcuvar Mountains, the Poachie Range, Artillery Peak*, the extensive mining activity of Maggie Wash, the Rawhide Mountains, and the Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge. I heard burro calls all around Williams Benchmark, spotting a loner on a spur.

    * I was surprised to find no Haz triplogs for Artillery Peak!

    The summit log is in a glass jar. Four years ago, it was so dry it crumbled as I pulled the paper out. Today, it was soaking wet and getting moldy. I did not bother signing. No idea if anyone has been up there since February 22, 2013. Certainly no one from HAZ. Back then, I was the first person to sign it in nine years!

    On the way back, I spotted a herd of 6-8 burros. I thought about climbing up a bit to get a decent photo, but by that time I was ready for my hike to end, so I settled instead for making some really bad burro calls.

    Hike Video: [ youtube video ]

    Lots of Mexican Gold Poppies in scattered small to medium sized patches. Some lupine on road between Bill Williams Overlook and Alamo Dam. Very few other flowers, all very tiny.
    Alamo Lake BM Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Time constraints prevented me from hiking the benchmarks out to (gravel) Alamo Rd a few weeks ago. In reviewing the topo, I noticed there was a BM a few miles northwest named "Williams 2038", so I turned the out-and-back into a loop to include it. Glad I did. When I took a break at BM 1198, I was already getting tired, but I figured I would at least press on into the canyon west of BM 1198, and if I was too tired, skip the summit and cut over a saddle to the highway wash.

    I had no idea the canyon would be as boulder choked as it was. I wish I could have taken more pictures in what I refer to as "Boulder Canyon", but I was running low on camera battery. The 1.5 mile stretch midway between BM 1198 and the ascent up the north ridgeline is Ford Canyon-like bouldering. In just about every case, you can find a way around the room sized boulders, and in others there may be a bit of climbing. By the time I got to the foot of Williams 2038, I was feeling somewhat re-invigorated, as Boulder Canyon had begun opening up. A look at my topo -- I always carry paper to back up my GPS -- told me that I would only save 200-300 feet by crossing the saddle, so up to the summit I went. Took me several tools on the Leatherman to pry open the rusted shut summit log. It was written on a musical score, and was so brittle pieces flaked off as I signed it. It had been nine years since the last logged summit. Wow, and for such a cool hike, that even Bob Martin and Bob Packard had done it! :D

    I had set out about 0900, and had told my wife I would not be back before 1300, which she interpreted as "will be back by 1300". When I finally showed up about 1530, she said she would have called out the cavalry if I was had not returned in the next 30 minutes. :o

    The ranger store unfortunately does not stock beer :roll: so I settled for chugging a couple of large V8s on the drive back to Wenden. Turned out they really hit the post-hike spot. (Probably because they are so high in sodium.) May have to take a few with me on future hikes. :-k

    Not sure how to change the "Water Reports" section, as it does not allow free form entry. Anyway, there is no water on this hike. HOWEVER ... beware that being in a canyon into which room-size boulders have washed, flooding is obviously a concern, or attraction as the case might be.

    Permit $$
    AZ State Parks more info
    2018 Day Use Fees range from $2–$30

    Map Drive

    To hike
    Two ways. Both about the same. 1) West on I-10 to Salome Rd. 30+ miles north to Salome. East on Hwy 60 to Wenden. 2) North on I-17 to Carefree Hwy. West to Hwy 60. Go through Wickenburg, Aguila and Gladden to Wenden. Once you reach Wenden, north on Alamo Lake Rd 34 miles to the state park. Help support futuer hikers by purchasing a (as of 2013) $7 day parking pass at the ranger station/store. Continue west on Alamo Rd all the way to the Williams Overlook.
    page created by kingsnake on Feb 23 2013 10:30 am
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