Where's Waldo's adit?
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.
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.
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