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Rock Crossing Trail #18C - Blue Ridge, AZ

no permit
53 5 0
Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Clints Well
4 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.68 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,720 feet
Elevation Gain 331 feet
Accumulated Gain 331 feet
Avg Time One Way 30 min
Kokopelli Seeds 1.78
Interest Perennial Creek
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
5  2019-07-13 ALMAL
10  2019-06-29
Cabin Loop - Mogollon Rim
13  2018-08-18 ALMAL
5  2017-07-27
Fred Haught Trail #141
20  2017-06-24
Rock Crossing Trail #18
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Apr
Sun  6:12am - 6:23pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Named place Nearby

Likely In-Season!
Rock Crossing Trail #18 is split into three segments because it crosses Blue Ridge / C.C. Cragin Reservoir two times.

Segment #18C technically begins on the south arm of the lake, and ascends to FR139A, however most people hike it from the top down to the lake. Hikers may also hike 1.75 miles on FR139A to the junction of Houston Brothers, U-Bar, and Fred Haught Trails where FR95 crosses Houston Draw.

See also Segment #18A

See also Segment #18B

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    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 Triplog Reviews
    Rock Crossing Trail #18C - Blue Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Left at 4AM with my canoe and cruised into the lake. Road 751 is good, but wait until a few gully washing rains hit the last mile of it. The boat ramp was already busy at 6:30 but I did not have to wait. Lots of folks out fishing too. Just around from the dam as you enter the southern arm of the lake, the debris field of floating logs had me second guessing my destination of Bear Canyon. It was slow going for a bit but the debris was negotiable, would not want to be riding anything inflated though. After that, the lake really opened up, the water was much more clear, and just about every campsite was taken, except the one I like at Bear Canyon. Got some rain later in the day that lingered into the evening. Great night to hang under a tarp. Left plenty of firewood under the rock ledge for the next. Smooth sailing until back to the boat launch. Avoid this area on Sundays around 11AM!
    The signs prohibiting swimming around the boat launch are ineffective.
    Rock Crossing Trail #18C - Blue Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Decided to hit the Cabin Loop when it isn't raining for a change. Marched up the Col. Devin at 6:30am and hit the rim road down to Houston Bros. Quick stop at the B-shop turn off, then down to a favorite water spot for a refill. Some folks were camped at Aspen spring but Pinchot was empty and quiet. Continued on down the road to the turnoff for the lake and hiked into an empty spot. There were some folks camped a bit further down, but I like the first little spot. Hung the hammock and chilled, fished a little, caught 1 rainbow and lost two others on downed trees. I spoke to others that were catching "stockers" too. Quiet night, but the sun comes up early these days. The washout on FR95 is a pain. Fred Haught was quiet on the return as well.
    Rock Crossing Trail #18C - Blue Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Quick overnighter for some peace & quiet. Got started late, just as the storms started. Rainfall wasn't too heavy in Gen. Springs Cyn but lightning got a little too close for comfort. Took the side trip over to Fred Haught Cabin to let the worst of it pass, before hitting the upcoming ridges (Turkey Pen, Fred Haught & Telephone). 30mins later, the skies were quiet despite continued rain. The portion of Fred Haught Trail that dips in and out of Bear Canyon was pretty much entirely burned. Low intensity, though, and grasses and wildflowers were already filling in the landscape. The destination for the evening was Rock Crossing #18C at C.C. Cragin and a secluded camp spot reported by Chumley in a recent triplog. Walked to the end of FR139A and made it there just in time to watch a bald eagle fly over and shed a small feather that landed next to me. Definitely a scenic little spot to call home for a night. Made a nice fire and cooked dinner in the rain. It dispersed just as I began to eat and unwind for the night. The wet, chilly night was nice respite from the summer heat. Just as I finished packing up in the morning, a boom of thunder sent me on my way. Skies began to clear and the stroll back to the TH was pleasant. Everything was green and water was plentiful. Crossed paths with Lee and Jackie taking the dogs out to splash in some of that water. Overall, a successful little getaway into the pines.
    Rock Crossing Trail #18C - Blue Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Rock Crossing Trail #18
    Rock Crossing is a trail that preceded the construction of Blue Ridge Reservoir in 1965 (now CC Cragin Reservoir). The trail construction is absolutely phenomenal. National Parks don't build trails as nicely as this trail was built!

    Due to the reservoir filling the canyons which the trail previously crossed, the FS has officially divided the trail into three segments. Hiking the entire length would require swimming or using a flotation device to cross the lake between segments. At full pool, the distance between A and B at Rock Crossing is about 300 feet. The distance between B and C near the mouth of Bear Canyon is only 100 feet. Both crossings can be shorter at lower lake levels and the B-C crossing is often completely dry.

    I hiked Segment B out and back, followed by segment A from the out and back, and finally segment C out and back. The photos are in that order, which may be a bit confusing. The photos are geotagged so you can see their location on the map. The descriptions below are all described one way from north to south, which is also how the official gps tracks are set up.

    Segment A
    Starts at an unmarked pull-out along FR751, which is the main road leading to CC Cragin Reservoir. There's one long switchback and the trail ends at the lake on the east side of a small cove. Depending on the lake level, a little bit of room to picnic, dive, and swim is available. The west side of the cove features a nice campsite that is frequently occupied.

    Segment B
    Starts on the south side of Rock Crossing on a large flat area that features a couple of frequently used lakeside campsites. The track begins right next to a nice overhanging rock "cave" that has been made into a rain shelter for campers. The trail climbs gently to the top of Battleground Ridge and the intersection with the end of FR123 and a large pumping station which takes water from the reservoir and moves it to the East Verde river near Payson.

    The trail follows the road south for about 1/4 mile before a sign indicates the start of the route heading south to General Springs Canyon. It's another 1/4 mile along the old alignment of FR9709Q before the singletrack starts on the left and begins the scenic descent to the lake.

    Segment C
    This segment starts with a beautiful switchback that leads to a nice campsite above the junction of Bear Canyon and General Springs Canyon before following a steady traverse along the slope above Bear Canyon through a lightly burned fire scar. After a few minutes you reach an old double-track which leads the final stretch to the end of FR139A on Telephone Ridge. It's easiest to follow the double-track, but at the end it climbs more steeply than a nice hiking trail, because the original cut actually takes a more moderate route along a gentle grassy slope on the east side of the ridge. The cut here is indistinguishable except for some faint old blazes cut in the mature ponderosas.

    From the Segment C trailhead at end of FR139A, it's a short 1.5 miles to the Fred Haught Trail and the old Pinchot Guard Station cabin. I haven't been able to confirm this, but I believe the Rock Crossing Trail was originally connected to the Cabin Loop system and was part of a main trail leading from Washington Park to Blue Ridge. It can still easily be hiked that way now if you don't mind the two swims. You could even make a loop with the AZT which now largely parallels this old route, avoiding the two lake crossings.

    This one is a rarely used gem!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Clints Well drive north for 9 miles on AZ87. Just past the Blue Ridge Ranger Station, turn right (east) onto Forest Road 95. Follow Forest Road 95 for approximately 11.3 miles, until you reach the intersection with FR139A. Turn right and travel approximately 1.2 miles to its terminus.
    page created by chumley on Oct 14 2013 7:06 pm
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