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Bronco Butte - Carefree, AZ

no permit
107 7 0
Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.5 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 12.05 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,728 feet
Elevation Gain 1,126 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,436 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 24.23
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Historic, Seasonal Creek & Peak
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10  2019-03-16 DixieFlyer
19  2018-12-17 DixieFlyer
17  2017-01-28
Bronco Butte-China Wall-Rackensack
17  2017-01-28 rayhuston
16  2014-12-22 Oregon_Hiker
10  2014-12-22 mazatzal
18  2013-11-02
Bronco Trail #245
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   Mar, Nov, Apr, Oct
Sun  6:10am - 6:34pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Author Full Detail Guide

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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    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
    Bronco Butte - Carefree
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Bronco Butte-China Wall-Rackensack
    I needed this one to complete all the Seven Springs / Spur Cross Trails. I'd driven by the Bronco Trailhead dozens of times without stopping.

    On the agenda the 2nd Bronco Butte of the month, China Wall and some 'splorin'. Since I prefer Loops to OaB's, toss in Rackensack Canyon, which looked interesting.

    Ray and I started just before first light on a chilly, breezy, crisp, clear morning. We were on Bronco #245 for a bit over 3 miles before turning off on an old unsigned, cairned route to China Wall then Bronco Butte.

    China Wall is an interesting geologic feature. We followed along the top of the wall until we got to the area of the plane wreckage. Most of the 2011 wreckage has been removed. We made our way to Peak 4600 to check out the views to the west. This is a good vantage point to take in the overview of the Seven Springs, Spur Cross areas.

    From here, Bronco Butte was just a short climb. Here you have 360 views of the area. Snow Covered Mazzy's to the East, Supes to the SE, McDowells, Camelback, Squaw to the Southish, Snow covered Bradshaws to the WNW.

    We opted for the shorter route off Bronco Butte to Rackensack. Ray led us down, following some game trails into the canyon. It worked out well.

    Rackensack was an easy follow for the most part. Water was running for the majority of the length of it, with even some interesting cascades. Towards the end, we skirted some Private property. There were indications of recent, but not current activity.

    We improvised our route up and out of the canyon back to the Bronco Trail.

    We only saw 2 hikers all day, one with a golf club :doh:
    Bronco Butte - Carefree
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Bruce wanted to bag another Bronco Butte and invited me to join him. We started the hike a few minutes before 7am with only a hint of the sunrise to come and the hope that moving fast might warm our shivering bodies. It was cold!

    The hike in was was wonderful. We walked the China Wall for a ways, checking out the prospects and the remnants of the plane crash mentioned in previous posts. After gaining the saddle west of Bronco Butte, Bruce wanted to go up to the top of the hill to our right to check out the views. We found another old prospect while we were up there.

    We did not follow the China Wall trail to its end. We were on a schedule so we headed up to the Butte. Bruce signed the summit register for us. We took in some wonderful views under sunny skies before starting the really fun part of the hike, some creek hiking that Bruce drew up as an alternate return.

    From the summit, we headed down the mountain in a NE direction rather than returning the way we came. This would get us to the creek much faster. It was steep, but we found some nice game/cattle trails that took us to the creek without any blood letting. With the recent rain, the creeks were flowing nicely. The creek portion was fun; easy hiking and the sound of running water made it all the more enjoyable.

    Half way down the creek, an old, crumbling, grown over road that crisscrossed the creek became part of the hike. We used the road when the creek wasn't passable. The creek and the road ended on private property. We took a left (west) and looked for a route out of the canyon. The best option looked to be up and over a steep hill. That started a Six Flags roller coaster ride of steep up then down then up again. Soon enough we were back on the Bronco Trail and a return to easy hiking.

    This was a very enjoyable hike. I liked the alternate route back along the creek in the Rackensack Gulch area. It wouldn't have been as fun without the water, but Bruce picked the perfect day to do it. Thanks again for the hike, Bruce, and for driving us out there. I had a great time!

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    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    page created by mazatzal on Nov 03 2013 9:23 am
    3 pack - loud whistle
    safety first
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