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Little Jim Trail, AZ

no permit
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Guide 18 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NW
3 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 0.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,935 feet
Elevation Gain 200 feet
Accumulated Gain 800 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 3.57
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
7  2018-01-07 DarthStiller
14  2016-03-03
Walkin' Jim Trail at Cottonwood Creek
27  2014-04-06
Walkin' Jim Trail at Cottonwood Creek
12  2013-11-09
Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
12  2012-12-10 Nightstalker
10  2011-10-26 burntlizard
10  2011-10-03 burntlizard
11  2010-11-26
Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
Page 1,  2
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   Jan, Dec, Feb, Mar
Sun  6:17am - 6:28pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Culture Nearby

Author Full Detail Guide
Overview: This is a connector trail to shorten the Walkin' Jim Trail Loop by 3.5 miles. Same great scenery, but a little shorter. You won't miss the cutoff; it has signs.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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    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
    Little Jim Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    It started out as a beautiful morning but the humidity seem to rise quickly. I only planned on doing Walking Jim and Little Jim and that's what I did. Now if the humidity would have been lower, well I might have just kept going not sure where but this is such a beautiful and peaceful piece of paradise.
    I heard the Donkeys but never saw one and I never saw anyone :y: . There were two cars at the trailhead when I arrived and they were still there when I finish my hike and my beers.
    I am going to look at this area a little harder and find me some more areas to explore with Rowdy as he is my copilot.
    Little Jim Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I was looking for a fairly easy trail with solitude and some nice scenery and came across the Walkin' Jim. I was also hoping to see some water, so the fact that it was right next to Lake Pleasant was a bonus. 31 years in Phoenix and I've never been to Lake Pleasant, so this was a good opportunity. I'd never heard of this trail until a couple days ago. We just did the Little Jim Loop, and we had the whole trail to ourselves today. Not bad for a weekend. :)

    Getting to the trailhead was a nice drive...not a lot of traffic at all. The trailhead was full of trucks with empty boat trailers (even though it's on the opposite side of the road where the lake was...) so I wasn't sure at first this was the trailhead. It's not marked but it's the first big pullout on the left heading north on Castle Hot Springs Rd, and the CW and CCW trails start out right next to each other in the NW corner of the lot. We chose the CCW route.

    Starting out you have nice views of the Hieroglyphic Mountains and you soon cross the creek bed. Completely dry, of course, but a nice shady spot with some big Cottonwoods. The trail winds around and crosses a few washes. This area seems to be thriving...definitely more scenic than your average desert trail. The trail is faint in some areas but it is well-cairned. These first couple miles are mostly flat, but it's a nice stroll. We passed under a low wire fence and curved down into another big wash. After leaving the wash we heard a burro up on the ridge to our left and spotted a group of 3 of them up there, observing us.

    Getting on the Little Jim Trail you start to elevate, and this is most of the elevation for the trip. We started to feel the heat here with virtually no shade, but it's nothing too strenuous. You cross another big wash, and I was surprised to actually see a little water left here, with the water still trickling down slowly. Halfway through the Little Jim we saw another large group of 6 or 7 burros about 50 ft away in a wash, and a couple cattle hanging out under the shade of a large mesquite tree. The burros backed off as we went by and went up to the small ridge behind them and watched us walk on until we were out of sight. Pretty cool seeing such a large group of them. :)

    Once getting back on the main trail it is fairly uneventful and you mainly parallel the trail you came from on the other side of the wash. There are a few more little ups and downs but again nothing too bad. Climbing up to a small high point you have the best views yet (on this small loop, at least) of the Hieroglyphic Mountains behind you. You also have a view of the lake in the distance for a bit. The deep blue waters of the lake really stand out in the desert.

    This is a great area and a great hike. Loved the contrast in environments, and all the mesquite and cottonwood trees. Next time I'll try the whole Walkin' Jim Trail, and hopefully the whole Big Jim loop eventually. :) After the hike we stopped by Lake Pleasant to take a dip in the water and cool off.
    Little Jim Trail
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Pulled up to the trailhead at 5:27 am to find Spiderlegs ready to rock. We decided the north Walkin' Jim was a better choice for total darkness, so off we went, only losing about 5 minutes in a clearing trying to figure out where the trail went. Soon the sky began to lighten and we had a great clear sunrise just as we started the Big Jim trail. A perfect golden 3465' was in full view and I was geeked. It's not always practical or easy, but first light makes the boring interesting, and the interesting extraordinary.
    The trail ended and the cairns began - a moderate scramble with no exposure and few annoying flora passed quickly, and we were at the summit register.
    We spent about 20 minutes looking for the 1902 inscription, but failed to find anything anywhere near the top. :-k
    On the way down Big Jim we ran into sleepyheads NightStalker and his friend on their way up. We exchanged cookie recipes and wished them luck.
    We took the Little Jim on the way back for variety, and came across a spring that wasn't on the map. Spiderlegs waypointed it, but it's hard to say whether it flows year round.
    We got back to the parking lot before noon - a perfect hike of a cool mountain with another HAZ member I'm glad to have met. In the future I think I'll go back to accessing this range from Morgan City Wash though, the Walkin' Jim trails are a bit long and nondescript for my taste.
    I made a short video using the music of the late Walkin' Jim Stoltz, a prolific hiker who the trails are named after.
    Little Jim Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Where to start??? First of all let me say I love reading all the trip logs of the areas that I hike. Every trip log adds a new unique perspective to the puzzle. Often times, I read logs before and after a hike to try to connect the dots a little bit better. If you have never hiked in this area, you are missing out. Berry Swicegood did a fantastic write up for Pike's Peak (which I feel certain is the the same as Peak 3465-Hieroglyphic Mountain). In his write up, he provides a link Jim Stotlz for whom this trail is named after. I highly recommend clicking on that link or simply You Tubing Walkin Jim Stotlz. His music and photos are truly meaningful if you have any connection to the trails you are hiking on.

    As for the hike... Started off from TH going clockwise. This was a first. Previous times, I've hiked going counter clockwise. This changed things up nicely. Instead of catching glimpses of Lake Pleasant on this part of the trail I was treated to cacti covered views and jagged mountains in the distance. It was 2 miles to get to the Little Jim Trail. I was surprised that the trail to get to the Little Jim was as faint as it was. Because of the recent rains green growth was everywhere. The trail was evident, but it just had not been trodden on frequently. The same held true for the Little Jim Trail as it headed north over rolling hills. For all the healthy foliage, I was disappointed that the flowers were not more abundant. I encountered my first wildlife - a young steer, with budding horns - snorted warningly as I entered one of several washes that I had to traverse. This wash was the one just prior to the Little Jim connecting back to the Big Jim Trail. I was surprised to find what appeared to be a small, but active spring. The water originated just beyond where the trail turned up the bank, trickled for about 20 feet into a pool where it stopped.

    The hike back on Big Jim was uneventful, though I was startled by two burros. I was able to catch a couple of glimpses of Lake Pleasant, but the views of the lake are much better from the southern half of the Big Jim than the northern, the elevation being higher on that part of the trail. The trail back was much more evident, making me wonder if hikers are doing in and outs, rather than loops.

    My words really don't do justice for this area. There are very few trails, close to the valley, that are this easy to follow that get you this close to nature. And usually, you get this smorgasbord all to yourself. As I did today :D
    Little Jim Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This really is God's country. I came across a group of Javalina that had 2 adults and 5 babies. Further along I came across 6 wild Burros and I watched them for a few minutes. Deeper into the hike the trail becomes very faint, I lost it a few times while going across some washes, thank goodness for the Cairns. I saw another group of burros on the South side of the wash, they must be territorial because, they were in the same spot when I came back through.
    Little Jim Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I've been eyeing this one for awhile now. My son was home on break, so it was a perfect day to eat away at the over eating from T-Day.

    First....A big thanks to Bob Gregg, who has created and maintained the trails up here (quite recently actually). This was the first time I've hiked the northern portion of the loop and did not need GPS to guide me.

    We followed the Walkin' Jim Trail at Cottonwood Creek, to the newly created Big Jim Trail.
    The Big Jim Trail (Newly signed) takes off from the western most portion of the Wakin' Jim Trail.
    This trail takes you to the saddle almost directly north of Peak. 3465. From here, my son and I cairned a trail to the top of the peak. It's about .6 mile to the peak. We thought we'd be one of the first to ever get to this remote peak..... but after reading the peak log that was placed in 1993...... we were the first since 2008.

    Excellent 360 views from the top!

    We were very lucky to stumble across a rock that was engraved with the name H T Sprouse Jan 26th 1902 (See my pictures).
    So there was a 108 year span from first to last on the peak!
    Saw 6 wild burros on the way back to the TH.

    Great weather! Great Hike!
    Little Jim Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    My son was home from ASU for the day with the intent of going hiking with the Old Man. We planned to go back out to this track, as last time we tried it it was later in the day, with no map or GPS. That day we followed the faint trail an Carins until we lost them 3 miles or so out, and returned to the truck via the washs.

    So... with all the rain today we could have stayed home, watched some college basketball, or watched curling on the olympics... but we chose to go out and make the best of it. We were also on a mission to find the elusive wild burros that were rumored to be in the area.

    A couple of takeaways from the hike today... First, I have a great time hiking with my son. Next, there's a peak out there that my son and I have a decided we "Have" to climb (Pike's Peak, has anybody out there ever climbed that one?). Last....Is this really a desert? We were both amazed at how GREEN everything was out there. Check out some of the Photos. We had a couple of side trips on this hike. One was to get to the top of a smaller peak in the area to get some better views of the Lake on the way back in.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix, take I-17 north to the Carefree Highway (SR 74). Turn left on Carefree highway and drive west to Castle Hot Springs Rd (Lake Pleasant exit). Turn north and drive for approximately 5 miles to a large pull off on the left side of the road. Careful of deep sand in the parking area. The hike begins at the northwest corner of the parking lot on the other side of a fallen barbed-wire fence.
    page created by bobhike on May 06 2009 5:31 pm
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