|Guide||♦||1 Triplog||1 Topic|
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Oct 9th to Dec 31st
What is a "Campo Bonito"?
Open Draw is a short, shallow, canyon extending 3.6 miles from the intersection of FR 91 and FR 40F to Gentry Canyon. Like Turkey Creek and Beaver Canyon, just a mile or two east, Open Draw is a mostly mellow stroll.
This lasso hike is described counter-clockwise.
The hike starts with a 1.4-mile walk north on FR 91, from the trailhead near FR 115. FR 91 sees a fair amount of traffic and has many RV campers along it, so depending on the time of day, keep an eye out for traffic.
1.4 miles: Where FR 40F (left) and FR 91 (right) split, head straight across between the two, towards the low ground. There's a bit of deadfall, which is to be expected, but nothing major. The slope is very gradual. At the bottom of Open Draw, keep heading north. The next mile, there are stands of aspen, oak, maple, and -- of course -- pine, interspersed on grassy shelves along the canyon bottom.
2.7 miles: You will enter a narrow, ¾ mile long, prairie. I found a 15'x15' area with a totally collapsed fence around it. Just beyond that is a MUCH larger fenced area, 66 paces wide at the base, by 386 paces long. The fence around the large area is still somewhat intact and was once electrified. (What looks like a sign in the middle, is actually an old junction box.) At least part of the large area had a shorter inner fence. There is a rusted metal trough near the narrower north end of the fenced area. The canyon bottom, that had previously had small spot pools, spreads out in the large fenced area, seeping across the very wet surface, rather than flowing like a creek. A very old jeep trail runs from the north side of the large fenced area to FR 40. There are two 3'x3' fenced areas beside the jeep trail: not sure what they are for either.
3.5 miles: Open Draw crosses FR 40. There is a very small check dam, and many white rocks, probably to prevent erosion. You can either head back the way you came, or head west on FR 40, past Campo Bonito, then head south on FR 40F and FR 91 back to the trailhead. Either way is about 7.0 miles, 370 AEG. If you continue north in Open Draw it starts getting tighter, with more deadfall, but nothing serious. There is more pooling and several 6"-24" trickles.
4.5 miles: The thickest part of Open Draw is, as is to be expected, the final half-mile north to Gentry Canyon. But there are no major pours to be avoided, nor massive logs to be low crawled. Slow going, but not bad. If you want to avoid canyon bottoms of any tangled sort, FR 40G parallels Open Draw and Gentry Canyon, but about 100 ft. upslope.
5.0 miles: If you look back to your left (south), you will see a small game trail. Follow that 250 ft. upslope to the end of FR 40E. Halfway up is a grassy area split by an old jeep trail. (FR 40G on the FS Topo.) Rather than following the game trail upslope, an option is to make a true loop, by taking Gentry Canyon south back to the trailhead. It looks fairly clear on sat view, but who knows what it's like on the ground. FR 40E has good shade and a smooth surface.
6.4 miles: Turn left (east), on FR 40, which is a bit rocky. In a ½ mile, before you reach Camp Bonito, split right onto FR 40F, which also has some shade and a really nice grove of aspen.
8.6 miles: Rejoin FR 91. It is another 1.4 miles back to the trailhead.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.