We made the drive out to HAZVille and arrived to a mostly awake camp at 7:45.
After our quick hellos to the gang, a scan to see if we had any takers on our hike, Karl and I headed out with no takers.
I wanted to head up the Stringtown Wash from the east, to see if we could find any sign on the Stringtown Trail #9917
. The Prescott Nat. Forest web site description and the PNF GPS track don't come close to agreeing with each other. We did find remnants of the trail starting at about .75 miles from it's Western TH continuing to that spot.
On the Hyde Mountain Trail #6
now, I turn west off the Grapevine Springs Trail #9825
to try something new. The trail name didn't make any sense to me, because the actual spring is to the east and this trail goes to the west off of #6. Checking Sat. views now, it appears there's a faint unofficial trail that goes towards the spring, and what could be a spring box/s .1m off #6, a 1/3rd of the way to the spring location.
Anyway, Karl went up to the top of Hyde to check out the views and we met back up at the lush Brown Spring.
From Brown Spring, we were on a new to me section of the 7up to Hyde Mountain #5 Trail
. We went up the saddle and down to the western terminus of this trail by the dry, Camp Wood Tank. We were able to find a blood free route to the top of Pinetop Mountain to check out one of them most elaborate tanks I've seen. This covered tank, uses the roof to funnel the water into the tank. Chumley's math placed it at 22,000 gallons.
FR19 took us off the top of Pinetop Mountain, with it's big views to Juniper Mesa and the Apache Creek Wilderness area we'd be in next.
The 3 mile trek from the Springs to "The Swimmin' Hole"
, through the water, slots and boulders is the reason we were doing this loop. Wow is this a sweet little off trail jaunt!!
Highly Recommended..... I suppose with a little work you could avoid the water, and like us you'll try for awhile, but don't waste your time. enjoy it!
When we started the day, the skies were blue, with not a single cloud. With only a 30% chance of rain, there was no reason to bring the Chrome Dome, Rain Jacket or waterproof GoPro. Yep we got dumped on and had electric spears thrown at us for almost an hour (back at HAZVille, they did not see a drop).
There was a brief pause where we thought we were in the clear, then a Flash/Boom with zero delay. That was close. 50 yards further up was a Ponderosa that was struck and spewed a 7' section of pine, another 50' away. Based on some of the weather I've hiked in this year, I'm glad I don't have Astraphobia or Ombrophobia... but I should.
With the rain now stopped, we took a dip in "The Swimin' Hole". On the Apache Creek Trail #9905
it was clear sailing back to HAZVille now for some Burgers, Dogs and Barley Pops with the crew.