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Big Bug Mesa East Summit 6908', AZ

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Guide 4 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott S
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 7.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,039 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,971 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4.5
Kokopelli Seeds 17.26
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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50  2017-08-04 Peter_Medal
23  2016-08-20
Grapevine BB Mesa Loop
13  2016-06-09 AZHiker456
48  2016-02-19
Big Bug Mesa to Grapevine Falls
Author Peter_Medal
author avatar Guides 9
Routes 121
Photos 1,342
Trips 79 map ( 456 miles )
Age 48 Male Gender
Location Prescott, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, May, Mar → Early
Seasons   Autumn
Sun  6:16am - 6:28pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Freestyle Down to Grapevine Falls
by Peter_Medal

Big Bug Mesa (BBM) is 3 miles wide from east to west and 2 miles wide from north to south in the east central highlands of the Bradshaw Mountain Range. It is easily viewed from Mt. Union; Mt. Davis or Moscow Peak to the west. Grapevine Canyon carves out much of its NW quadrant. Its big. Its flat, and its top is covered with a thick pine forest. BBM average elevation is about 6900'. The mesa can be accessed via motor vehicle from the following routes: From Walker, AZ; take Big Bug Mesa Road to "Five Corners" then the southeast fork up and onto the Mesa; From Prescott; take the Senator Highway to Forest Road 261 east to "Five Corners". From Mayer/Dewey-Humboldt take Highway 69 to Poland Junction (MP 275); west through "Breezy Pines" to "Five Corners". Only Forest Road 261 would require a High Profile Vehicle. The roads on BBM are fairly tame.

Its prominent North USGS elevation is 7045' (overlooking Breezy Pines); East is 6908' (overlooking Grapevine Canyon to the north); Southwest is 6746' (overlooks Wolf Creek/Canyon to the south); and finally Southeast is 6743' (overlooking Taft Canyon). This hike description is for the BBM summit bag of its East prominence.

PARKING TRAILHEAD. From Highway 69 to Grapevine Road (just east of MP 274), go south on Grapevine Road for about 2 miles to a small parking lot. From this parking lot, it is 1.5 miles along Grapevine Creek Road to the Trailhead Sign for Grapevine Canyon. The jeep trail is rugged and requires High Profile Clearance. The jeep trail is also tight with overgrown and thorny Chaparral and Manzanita. Arizona Pinstriping is almost guaranteed if you choose to drive in. Alternatively, you can give yourself a nice 1.5 mile easy warm up.

GRAPEVINE CANYON TRAILHEAD: The sign describes the unique habitat the Grapevine Canyon maintains. This is also the official trailhead for Trail #4. Take Trail #4 for just about 1/3 of a mile until you hit a fork in the trail. Trail #9434 will fork left and south; Trail #4 will continue west, meandering along the north side of the Grapevine Creek. This junction will be your lasso loop if you will be returning from Grapevine Falls. Getting on the BBM east ridgeline trail from Trail #9434 is a little tricky. #9434 continues south; almost immediately after traversing the drainage you will need to veer right/west and look for the ridgeline that pushes up.

Once on the ridgeline trail it pushes up to the top of the Mesa, in 1.1 miles with about 1500' in elevation gain. Predominately folded crumbly granite this trail provides a nice footing and easy gripping. Its in full sun once above the tree line with little to no relief. Turnaround often, the views to Mayer; Dewey-Humboldt; Prescott Valley just keep getting better and better. Once on Mesa you will meander south and stumble upon the "Battleship Rock". Its a fun little playground for climbers and great place to stop for a break. Continue West to capture 6908' for another 1/2 mile.

GRAPEVINE FALLS OPTION: Once summiting the Mesa top; continue north for the edge of the Mesa, overlooking the Grapevine Canyon. The freestyle drop will have a few down climbs on big granite boulders. The best bet would be be stay outside the Oak thickets and follow the older Pines in a north-northeast line. About 1/2 way down into the Canyon you will hear the sounds of the flowing creek; springs and water falls. Stay on the south side and above the drainage; you will pick up previous paths. Once down by the falls; their is a creekside trail the runs on the northside of the creek that runs east and west; stay on this path east and it eventually connects to Trail #4 and back to the Trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2016-02-20 Peter_Medal
    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
    Big Bug Mesa East Summit 6908'
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Grapevine BB Mesa Loop
    I first stumbled upon this trailhead in 2012 while riding through on FS87A and always wanted to return on foot to explore the area further. I've studied the few trip reports on the area from Joe, JJIII, and Peter_Medal and put my on loop together. I recruited my most tolerant hiking partners to accompany me into the great unknown. We drove in on 87A all the way to the trailhead in my Jeep. There's a couple of spots I would recommend high clearance and if you're adverse to Arizona pinstripes, you'll want to hike that 1.5 miles in to the trailhead. The Grapevine Springs trailhead was wet and full of mosquitoes so we didn't waste any time and proceeded straight to the well marked and easy to follow Grapevine Springs Canyon Trail #4. There was plenty of water flowing in the creek and a number of muddy areas flowing from the adjacent springs. We followed trail #4 all the way to the saddle. Just before reaching the saddle we ran across a lone hiker with his dog who provided some valuable trail information (which altered my plan). As instructed, after reaching the saddle and passing through the gate, we turned left and followed the cairned route to the north along the rim of the mesa. Apart from the cairns, there was no footpath beaten in to follow. We would eventually run into another gate and the end of an old jeep road. This gate also held a carbonite sign indicating trail #4! I wasn't expecting that! We continued on the jeep road west/southwest until intersecting a more well traveled jeep road and parking area. Turning left we followed a faint jeep road for a ways until it ended and then bushwacked south to FS103. We went east on FS103 until we saw the sign for Wolfcreek #304. I was expecting to see 9434 before getting to 304, but a short stint on #304 and an opportunity to cross the barbed wire fence we bushwacked our way over to the 9434 trail I had GPS'd. We played around on the big rock pile at the edge of the mesa before dropping off the side on 9434. Storms were rolling in and we made great time going down the easy to follow 9434 back to the parking area. Great loop! Everyone was pumped up and starving so we blasted into Mayer and stopped at Teskey's for some excellent burgers and fries. We got to see some turkeys on 304 and a nice big horny toad. We also heard some heavy trees dropping near the intersection of Grapevine and Big Bug Trail that I suspected may be a bear in the trees, but no visual confirmation.

    Lots of clover and mushrooms!

    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
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Highway 69 to just east of Milepost 274 is Grapevine Road (south side of 69). Take Grapevine Road 2.0 miles to a small parking lot.
    page created by Peter_Medal on Feb 20 2016 1:46 am
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