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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Apache Springs, AZ

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Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott NW
5 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 4.71 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,587 feet
Elevation Gain -1,122 feet
Accumulated Gain 30 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.81
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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25  2014-09-13
Stringtown - Pinetop - Apache Creek Loop
35  2014-09-13
Stringtown - Pinetop - Apache Creek Loop
40  2014-08-23
Granite Pinetop Apache Loop
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, Apr, Sep
Sun  6:17am - 6:35pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
This off-trail route accesses Apache Springs (the source of Apache Creek) via an old road that is now nearly indistinguishable. From the springs the route continues nearly 4 miles along the creek until it reaches the maintained Apache Creek Trail #9905. This is an off-trail hike and several steep drops in the creek require short down-climbs or bypasses. It is non-technical and can be accomplished without getting wet if you choose. Surface water may not always be present during dry seasons.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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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
    Apache Springs
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Stringtown - Pinetop - Apache Creek Loop
    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.

    Video :next:
    Apache Springs
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Granite Pinetop Apache Loop
    This area has caught my attention and each successive visit does not disappoint!

    I have now hiked the entire length of Apache Creek, from the source at Apache Springs to the confluence with Walnut Creek.

    I tried to cut some miles off my hike by driving up FR95B, but despite having hiked it just 6 days earlier, apparently I forgot what a hellish road it really is. I gave up after a mile or so and a tire pressure warning after scraping a sidewall on a really narrow section. Since I didn't want to have to drive out that road on a spare, I decided to park right there and head out.

    My first goal was Granite Knob, the most prominent peak in the Wilderness. It ended up being more choked with manzanita than I thought it would, but was still not too bad. The top was fun with a class-4 climb to the summit. No register or any sign of anybody else having been there. Despite not being the highest peak in the area, the views were spectacular.

    From the knob, I headed west and up Pinetop Mountain. Along it's flat top, I encountered Pine Trick Tank, by far the most impressive wildlife catchment/cistern/tank setup I have encountered in Arizona. From here a road leads down the mountain, and I followed it for a bit - encountering two bow hunters looking for deer. At the saddle I turned downhill on the old FR9890A road which is nearly non-existant. After a mile, the old road disappeared completely and water appeared in the drainage. I didn't see any actual springs, but groundwater is apparently feeding the surface water here, and has for a while. A bunch of corrals and fences indicate this area was used extensively for grazing in the past.

    Downstream from the springs was an adventure of off-trail creek hiking. It's been a wet monsoon, and the creek was flowing nicely. But it is generally shallow, with only some small pools, usually only a couple of feet deep. I did take the time to swim a couple of times when I encountered a pool that was 4-5 feet deep. The creek alternates between some flatter sections and some that drop dramatically, requiring some easy down climbs or short bypasses. There are countless cascades and small waterfalls, and a few 10-foot plus falls. The vegetation is sparse, so it's not at all a fight to get through.

    Eventually, I reached the deep pool we had been to last week, and I took the opportunity to jump and swim for a few minutes again before heading the last half mile back to the trail.

    I forgot how much uphill this trail is going south. Or maybe I was just tiring after so many off trail miles. I encountered fresh scat on the trail for BOTH bear and kitty. :scared: Hiking alone in this wilderness with the highest concentration of mountain lion in the state, I had my gun holstered at my side all day. If nothing else, it made me feel better.

    Ended up hiking the same road back to my truck that I had done exactly a week before, fighting daylight just as we had done last week. This time, my truck was a couple of miles closer, so I was enjoying a beer sooner, and back at camp with a fire going before dark. Not too bad!

    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
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    page created by chumley on Aug 25 2014 9:55 am
    3 pack - loud whistle
    go prepared
    help comment issue

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