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Beaver Turkey Ridge Wildlife Quiet Area, AZ

Guide 30 Triplogs  1 Topic
  4.5 of 5 
no permit
354 30 1
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,686 feet
Elevation Gain 400 feet
Accumulated Gain 400 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
30  2020-10-24
Highline - Horton - Beaver - Babe
16  2020-10-17 anmmille
10  2020-10-10
Turkey beaver
15  2020-10-04 00blackout
24  2020-09-28 outdoor_lover
6  2020-09-17 survivordude
12  2020-08-14
Beaver Turkey Loop
20  2019-10-12
Turkey Creek - Mogollon Rim
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author chumley
author avatar Guides 81
Routes 688
Photos 15,667
Trips 1,597 map ( 11,879 miles )
Age 48 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, May, Jun, Aug → Any
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:33am - 7:28pm
11 Alternative

More bear and elk than turkey or beaver
by chumley

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This is a 3300-acre gem of protected land surrounded by some of the most popular recreation areas in the state. Its boundaries are Forest Road 300 on the south, Turkey Creek to the west, and Beaver Canyon to the east. The northern boundary ends at the point where Turkey Creek and Beaver Canyon join. However, the east and west boundaries effectively extend up to the ridges above the canyons where the primary access roads encircle the area; to the west FR115 and FR91, and to the east FR89. Maps often still show FR92 and other roads within the boundary, but these are all now closed to motor vehicle use. There are also countless other old road cuts within this area that provide paths of easy travel.

The old 92 road is an excellent way to access the heart of this area, but I highly recommend exploring some of the many old side roads or simply making your own off-trail adventure in this fairly forgiving terrain. There are many wildlife use paths to be found, including well-worn paths in both Beaver Canyon and along Turkey Creek, both of which provide areas of perennial surface water.

History and the story behind WQAs
In 1983, the ASNFs and AZGFD began to collaboratively plan a habitat management program aimed at reducing impacts by establishing “wildlife habitat areas.” These areas were to improve the quality of habitat for wildlife as well as help protect soil, vegetation, and water resources. The expected benefits and objectives were:
• Reduce wildlife disturbance and stress, resulting in healthier animals and populations.
• Allow for the more effective use of all available and suitable wildlife habitats.
• Increase the value of the outdoor experience.
• Greatly improve the hunting experience.
• Lengthen the time big game animals stay in the area(s).
• Protect vegetation to help preserve soil and water resources.
• Reduce road maintenance costs.

In 1985, the first five areas were established and were called “wildlife quiet areas” (WQAs). The initial thinking was that the location of WQAs would be rotated across the landscape. In 1988 and 1990, WQAs and associated management objectives were evaluated. Findings included ongoing public support, increased use of the areas by big game and other wildlife species, and improvement in vegetation resources. Regarding rotation of WQAs, it was realized that re-signing new area boundaries every few years would be cost-prohibitive. In addition, State game managers and forest biologists were observing greater affinity (numbers and amount of use) and fidelity toward the areas by wildlife, especially big game and other large mammals.

Over the years, WQAs have been eliminated when results were not achieved. Additional WQAs have been added as well, now totaling 8 areas encompassing 2.2% of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Current proposals include the addition of up to 5 additional areas, reaching 2.8% of forest land.

The selection of areas consider the following:
• Young bearing and rearing locations
• High-quality forage
• Good hiding (resting and travel) cover
• Critical wintering locations
• Location relative to heavily used recreation areas
• Need for security within overall heavily populated areas

Forest Service reports indicate that visitors witnessed more wildlife in these areas than in non-WQA forest land, including increased numbers of large bull elk and black bear.

As of 2017, the 8 WQAs on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest are: Beaver Turkey Ridge, Hulsey Bench, Middle Mountain, Open Draw, St. Peters Dome, Upper Coyote, Willow Springs-Horse Trap, and Woolhouse. Proposed areas include Bear Springs, Cottonwood Seep, Carr Lake, Palomino, and Hidden Lake.

Information for this description was found in the following forest service publications, which provide much greater detail to interested readers:

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2017-10-03 chumley
    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Numerous opportunities for access exist around the area's perimeter, but the main access is from the south via the old (closed) FR92. A gate and signage there indicate that you are entering the WQA. Half a mile west of FR92, large power lines cross FR300, and you can easily access the WQA via the closed access road under the power lines.

    From Payson, travel east on AZ-260 for 30 miles. Turn left onto the Rim Road (FR300). Travel 15.3 miles to FR92 or 15.9 miles to the overhead power lines. There is no established trailhead or parking, but plenty of room to park on the side of the road.
    page created by chumley on Oct 03 2017 10:43 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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