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Bean Peaks Loop, AZ

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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott S
3.3 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 7.83 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,634 feet
Elevation Gain 854 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,405 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.51
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Creek & Peak
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16  2018-06-11 RowdyandMe
43  2014-07-21 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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, May, Nov
Sun  6:17am - 6:28pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Beans, Beans, They're Good For Your Heart
by kingsnake

Loop hike from the White Spar Campground, just south of Prescott, up a pleasant little canyon to the west flank of the Bean Peaks -- actually two small hills -- traversing the crest of the ridge, checking out some old mines, down to Upper Goldwater Lake, then on Trail #396 to Lower Goldwater Lake, before diverting down a very lush small canyon, with a trickle of water, before re-joining Trail #396 at its intersection with Trail #81, thence back to the campground.

Just inside the campground entrance is a "Road Closed" gate; start your hike by walking through it, along a jeep trail. You will pass by some broken up cement blocks, one stamped "USFS".

0.35 mi.: Turn left under the telephone wires. The jeep trail soon narrows into a nice foot path. Continue on that path as it slowly ascends a small canyon, towards the west slope of the Bean Peaks ridge.

1.66 mi.: You will pass by two stone structures, one looks almost like a small dam, the other more like a shelter. In a few hundred yards, you will encounter the first of many dozens of pink and orange trail ribbons. Why, I do not know. It's not like you could not figure out the way just by eye-balling the terrain.

2.15 mi. The top of the first of the Bean Peaks or, as I call it, Lima Bean Peak. It's rocky, and there are some modern inscriptions on the rocks. No geocache that I could find. Descend Lima Bean Peak, then cross a small saddle, following yet more ribbons towards the next peak.

2.83 mi. The "summit" of, as I call it, Pinto Bean Peak. Pinto is flatter and more open than Lima; no geocache either, that I could find. Head east off Pinto towards what looks like a fresh dig. That is an old shaft, likely ventilation for the adit just below it. Both are sealed off with grates. Continue down a rough jeep trail.

3.17 mi.: Turn left at a fence. You could crawl under it -- it's not a restricted area -- but instead divert around it, then continue up the jeep trail towards Upper Goldwater Lake.

3.95 mi.: Turn left, hopping a row of boulders, to continue on another trail more directly towards Upper Goldwater Lake. Follow the shore west towards the upper dam. When you reach the estuary, you can either turn left to continue the loop, or turn right continuing along the shore -- until you reach the "Do Not Enter" signs -- for a closer look at the dam.

4.86 mi.: Turn right through a wooden V-gate to get on Trail #396.

5.65 mi.: Turn right off Trail #396, down a small spur towards Lower Goldwater Lake. Follow -- but don't cross -- the fence, which may be down in spots. There should be an animal trail to follow, which will lead you into a small, yet very lush, canyon. It definitely beats dodging mountain bikes.

6.25 mi.: Re-join Trail #396 at its intersection with Trail #81.

6.90 mi.: Memorial to the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

7.83 mi.: Fini.

Hike Video


The fence around the dams may be down in spots -- such as just south of the chlorination pool -- but that does not mean you may enter. Also, beware the many mountain bikes on Trail #396.

Water Sources
Not that you are roughing it deep in the boonies, and there is not a Circle K just up the road, but the White Spar Campground does have a potable water pump.

Yes, with fee. The camp master's trailer is usually parked just to the right of latrine. I believe you pay him.

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.

2014-07-22 kingsnake

    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
    Bean Peaks Loop
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    All in all, the portion of the trail I did get to hike was in good shape, though some areas of this narrow path are quickly becoming obscured by grasses during this active monsoon. There's a serious erosion issue at 34.50103, -112.47960 where runoff from a steep intersecting trail has begun to do some damage and will continue to without some diversion. A bit further up, there's a couple of blow downs across the trail but nothing not easily surmounted (on foot, anyway). At 34.49055, 112.47353 is a significant blowdown which, at first, appeared to me to be a deliberate attempt by stewards to thwart users from continuing on that route. Seeing other possibilities that looked like detours, I tried a couple but they led elsewhere or nowhere. With time and confidence in my route both running out, I eventually trekked off-trail across a ridge to rejoin the dry creek channel (and, eventually, the trail) and backtrack to the location of the blowdown. From there, I returned to my starting point.
    Bean Peaks Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Avoiding 110° Phoenix, yet again, for the relatively frigid climes of Prescott.

    Morning shade was nice, but it got warm as noon approached, and part of the hike was through an old burn area. Did a bit of exploring, and ad-libbing, so my mileage is more than the official route. The little canyon up to Bean Peaks's west edge was a pleasant surprise, and MTB-free as well.

    The way across the Bean Peaks ridge was obvious, but it was still festooned with an incomprehensible melange of pink and orange ribbons. (Tie pink & orange ribbons around this burnt old pine, it's been two hours now, and it's half past nine ... la-la-la.) I searched both Lima Bean Peak and Pinto Bean Peak, it's northerly twin, for geocaches and summit logs, but found nuthink! There were some modern "inscriptions" on Lima Bean Peak, though.

    Like The Eagle indicated in a Trail #396 triplog, the dams on Upper and Lower Goldwater Lake were fenced and siged off, but I had to look for myself. You never know; sometimes things change. After checking out the lower dam, I got in the small, and very lush canyon below it. It was so thick with reeds and vegetation, that it was a bit difficult thrashing through, but worth it anyway to avoid the many MTBs on Trail #396. (Though I must admit the bikers were all polite, and not banzaing the trail.) There was a small trickle of water, ending in a pool just before the intersection of #396 and #81.

    Not sure why I was walking so slow, compared to last week's trip from White Spar to Mt. Francis, then down to to East Copper Creek. That was 12.2 miles / 1933 AEG / 2.57 mph, to 9.47 / 1599 / 2.28 for this one. Despite the stats appearing less, I was significantly more wore out by the end. Maybe it was warmer and less breezy? Next time I'll park at Upper Goldwater Lake so I can take a post hike dip. ("No swimming" sign, or not.) Recuperated with a wood-fired Mediterranean pizza and Blue Moon beer (BYOB) at the T-Bird Cafe in Peeples Valley.


    Hike Video: ... autoplay=1 (different pictures than the photoset ...)

    Permit $$

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Prescott, drive south on Hwy 89. Slow as you approach the "Prescott National Forest" sign. Just after that, on the east side of the road, is a sign for White Spar Campground. Park there.
    page created by kingsnake on Jul 22 2014 8:53 pm
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