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Colonel Devin Trail #290, AZ

Guide 97 Triplogs  1 Topic
  3.3 of 5 
no permit
923 97 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,080 feet
Elevation Gain 1,166 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,166 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 5.89
Interest Historic & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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11  2021-04-14
Washington Park
10  2021-04-06
Colonel - Bear - Fred
10  2021-03-28 chumley
45  2020-10-29
Hunting Fall Color
12  2020-09-12
Devin - Railroad - Fred Haught
14  2020-05-15
Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
17  2020-05-08
Colonels Tunnel to Freds Box
5  2020-03-19 friendofThunderg
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Author azdesertfather
author avatar Guides 12
Routes 59
Photos 1,201
Trips 820 map ( 6,614 miles )
Age 47 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:35am - 7:27pm
Official Route
18 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 RIM 200911.3 mi*
🔥 2009 Rim Fire2.5k
🔥 2002 Packrat Fire3k
🔥 2002 Pack Rat15.9 mi*
🔥 1990 Dude Fire21.4k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

Great Gateway Hike with History Thrown In!
by azdesertfather

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Want a nice little hike up the rim with the pleasant sounds of the gently rolling stream waters next to you, and experience some of Arizona's history along the way? Then this is a trail to add to your list! With spectacular views, tall pines, majestic firs, and even at the right time of year some wild berries, how can you go wrong?

This trail is named after Colonel Thomas C. Devin, an Army officer who, in 1868, pioneered the route down off the rim. Fort Whipple military personnel led by Col. Devin used a trail in this location on a maneuver to find renegade Apaches. At the north access to this trailhead at Rim Road, there is an historical marker for the Battle of Big Dry Wash, wherein 1882 U.S. troops defeated a band of Apaches nearby after attacking some ranches in the vicinity.

This trail is truly an excellent gateway hike. On the south end at the Washington Park Trailhead, this trail connects to the Highline Trail #31 and becomes part of the Arizona Trail at this point up to the rim's edge. On the north end at the Forest Road (FR300) Trailhead, there is access to a wealth of trails, including the General Crook Trail, Fred Haught Trail #141 (which has its south trailhead access adjacent to the north end of this trail), the Blue Ridge segment of the Arizona Trail, and many more. This trail also is the only established trail providing access to the historical Railroad Tunnel Trail #390, which terminates at a historic, uncompleted railroad tunnel and powder house remains. I saw no one on the trail or at either trailhead on my outing.

The Col. Devin trail is accessible from trailheads at both its north and south ends. Since most I suspect will use the north access, the guide will begin from this trailhead ( reverse ). At the trailhead sign, on the south side of FR300 (across from the monument commemorating the Battle of Big Dry Wash), the trail begins. Follow the trail as it parallels the power lines to the west.

Trail reconstruction on some of the upper sections has changed some of the route. I suspect that the original trail followed the power lines all the way (as this is a water pipeline and powerline access road). Still, today the trail "officially" does not follow this road all the way (plus, it provides convenient access to the Railroad Tunnel Trail). Deadfall from old fires lies scattered throughout the area; thankfully the forest has been returning and is quite beautiful again.

At the second power pole, don't miss the turn to the left (the trail leads away from the power line). Shortly after descending the rim and making this turn to the left, there is a gate on the trail; please reclose it on the way down! (Note: there is also another similar gate that goes perpendicular to and underneath the power lines. If you come to this gate, you have just missed the turnoff; look back and to your left, and you should be on the right path!)

Soon after passing through the gate, you will come to a small wooden sign noting the turnoff to the Railroad Tunnel Trail #390. There are also some switchbacks in this area. If detouring from this hike to the tunnel, it is another quarter-mile of trail back up the rim and terminates at the historic, uncompleted railroad tunnel and powder house remains.

Continuing past the Railroad Tunnel Trail turnoff, the path winds down, descending past another open-air rock structure before veering to the right and back to the larger path alongside the power lines. (For those coming up from the south, there is a small sign marking this turnoff veer to the right.) The trail will soon get much closer to and parallel a part of the East Verde River as it descends to connect with Ellison Creek. Some of the most colorful and beautiful butterflies I have ever seen were in this south half of the trail, and others have reported at the right times of year to find wild berries (including raspberries, I am told) here as well. There are numerous little rushing waterfalls and rapids (keyword "little," most of the time)...nothing big, but enjoyable to view and listen to, too. This part of the trail is less steep.

As you get close to the Washington Park Trailhead, you will encounter one section of the water pipeline exposed as it goes over a wash. Just before reaching the trailhead and parking lot, there is a turnoff to the right for those continuing on the Highline portion of the Arizona Trail.

Hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers are permitted on this trail, although the latter two are not recommended. This trail is steep with loose footing in several areas.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2008-10-03 azdesertfather
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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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To hike
From FR300 (Rim Road) TH (north access): From Payson follow AZ87 north past Pine and Strawberry to the Rim Road (FR300). Turn right onto FR300 and follow 12 miles. Just past milepost 12 is the monument for the Battle of Big Dry Wash. No designated parking area, but you can park alongside the road next to the trailhead.

From Washington Park TH (south access): Washington Park Trailhead is reached by taking AZ87 to FR199 (Houston Mesa Road, just north of the roundabout north of town). Turn east on FR199 and travel 10.3 miles to FR64. Turn west on FR64 and travel 0.7 miles to FR32. Turn north on FR32 and 3.3 miles to FR32A. The trailhead is located 0.5 miles north of FR32A. (Once you get into the Whispering Pines area at the north end of FR199, you will see the signs leading to the TH.) Upon reaching Washington Park Trailhead, continue past the kiosk approximately 100' to the beginning of Trail #290.
page created by azdesertfather on Oct 03 2008 12:18 pm
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