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North Access to Apache Creek Wilderness, AZ

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Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott NW
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 0.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,330 feet
Elevation Gain -52 feet
Accumulated Gain 64 feet
Avg Time One Way 20 min
Kokopelli Seeds 0.91
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Backpack Connecting Only
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
13  2014-09-13
Walnut Creek Exploration
Author chumley
author avatar Guides 75
Routes 667
Photos 13,162
Trips 1,416 map ( 10,534 miles )
Age 46 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Any
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:15am - 6:37pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Asking is the hardest part
by chumley

Private Property Warning
This track crosses two pieces of private property. Both are active ranches with owners who live on the property. Property owners, guests, farmhands, horses and other stock are likely to be encountered.

Accessing the Apache Creek Wilderness using this route without obtaining permission from BOTH land owners is trespassing and subject to Arizona laws. Get permission first!

Park on the south side of Walnut Creek Road (CR125) at a rarely used and unmarked ranch access road. The property between Walnut Creek Road and the ranch gate is Forest Service property.

Hike east along the fence line toward some old vehicles and farm equipment. From here head south 200 yards across the first segment of ranch property, dropping down into Walnut Creek to the left of a single tree. Cross the creek (usually dry) and climb the south bank to the gated fence and a line of trees between two farm fields. Hike south 250 yards along the fence line between the two fields (the second ranch property). Cross the farm access road, and exit the ranch through another gate. The forest service wilderness is on the west side of the fence. The road that climbs the hill on the east side is ranch property.

Continue south 0.3 miles over the hill and turn east 200 yards along the fence line to another gate. An old wilderness sign exists here, and the new sign is 150 yards south of here along with the signed junctions of the Graver Wash Trail and the Apache Creek Trail.

** Don't hike here without permission from property owners **

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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.

2014-09-17 chumley

    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 Review
    North Access to Apache Creek Wilderness
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Walnut Creek Exploration
    After dropping off the group at Graver Wash for their Apache Creek hike, I decided to further research access to this wilderness from the north. The forest service doesn't have any indication of access, but it is so close that I just had to try. After all, the drive to the Graver Wash trailhead really is quite a chore, and if you hike the 95A road, it adds unnecessary and boring miles.

    I started at a nice turn out on FR95 at the east end of the valley, having previously seen an old roadbed that leads away from the Graver Wash trail just east of where it crosses Apache Creek. I got lost, turned around, chased by hungry horses, and eventually spotted by a farmhand working in the fields on a tractor.

    I quickly continued to the west, over a route that was much longer than I had remembered or expected from looking at maps. Finally I reached the wilderness and decided to investigate the more direct route directly north to Walnut Creek Road to exit the wilderness. My map showed that I had just 1/4 of a mile of private property that needed to be crossed. To get there, I had to hike nearly half a mile along the wilderness fence line over a small hill.

    From there, I passed through a gate and took the most direct route. I was back at the road in no time, but not before encountering some more horses as I got a bit closer to a corral and ranch home than I would have liked. I spent a little bit of time investigating better options before hiking the road back to my truck.

    At no point did I see any No Trespassing or Private Property signs. Some of the gates did have locks on them though. I got home and did some research. Contact information for the ranch owners is easy to come by, and having been there once, I think that's by far the best course of action before the next visit.

    Permit $$
    Information is listed below

    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
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Prescott, drive north on Williamson Valley Rd for 36 miles to the crossing of Walnut Creek on a historic truss bridge. Just 0.2 miles after the bridge, turn left onto Walnut Creek Road and proceed to 3.3 miles to the rarely used ranch access road on the left.
    page created by chumley on Sep 17 2014 6:31 pm
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