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Frye Trail #12, AZ

no permit
22 4 0
Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Alpine S
4 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 3.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,172 feet
Elevation Gain 400 feet
Accumulated Gain 850 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.33
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
30  2012-07-11
Pinal Trail #713
25  2012-07-11
Pinal Trail #713
15  2009-12-11 PrestonSands
7  2009-11-06 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,534
Trips 1,317 map ( 6,690 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep → Early
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:05am - 6:16pm
0 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
delicious fryes
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
Overview: The Frye Trail #12 serves as a connector route in the Granville area trail system, in the mountains north of Morenci, Arizona. In addition to being a part of the Grand Enchantment Trail, the scenic Frye Trail offers distant mountain views, cool maple filled canyons, and opportunities for secluded backpacking. The connecting routes of the Pinal, Granville, and H.L. Canyon Trails create multiple opportunities for a loop hike. The Frye Trail is accessible on the south end by a 0.85 mile long high clearance road, and on the north end by a 1.3 mile hike on the H.L. Canyon Trail.

Hike: The south (main) trailhead for the Frye Trail is located at a dirt parking area where the trailhead access road forks, just inside Forest Service land. A trail sign marks the fork. Follow the left fork, which curves west and quickly comes to another sign for the Frye Trail. The Frye Trail departs from the north side of the road at this point (33.18028 N, 109.35751 W), heading west.

A short initial climb brings the Frye trail to a winding traverse of the pinyon pine covered eastern slope of Pinal Point, along the upper reaches of Cave Canyon. To the east, one can look down Cave Canyon into New Mexico.

Climbing out of the Cave Creek drainage, the trail crests a low saddle, and enters the gentler terrain of upper Fry Canyon. Here it meets the Pinal Trail #713 on a hill side at around 1.5 miles. A sign in a tree marks the junction (33.19376 N, 109.36061 W). Just past the junction, the Frye Trail dips into Frye Canyon, where pines, bigtooth maples, an old cabin site, and water from nearby Fry Spring make for an attractive backpacking destination. Fry Spring, which appears to be perennial, is tucked into a short little side drainage that branches north from where the Frye Trail crosses its namesake creek. The approximate location of the spring is: 33.19601 N, 109.3612 W.

From where it drops into Frye Creek, the Frye Trail heads east along the creek bed for a few hundred yards, before climbing the north bank. The hike then levels out somewhat, roughly following the 6400 foot contour through a forest of mature pinyon pines. The trail gets a bit scarce as it contours around a couple of ridges, but never disappears entirely.

At 2.5 miles, the Frye Trail meets the Granville Trail #572 at another signed junction in a ridge top saddle (33.20152 N, 109.35593 W). At this point, the Frye Trail begins its descent into Sardine Canyon. The Frye Trail first heads north, following a ridge line down from the saddle, then drops off of the west side of the ridge to weave in and out of maple filled draws, ultimately reaching the floor of Sardine Canyon at 3.25 miles. The trail gets a bit vague as it leaves the canyon floor to climb a brushy hill side, so watch carefully for cairns and marker tape.

Following a 200 foot climb to a little brush covered bench at the 6400 contour, the Frye Trail comes to an end upon meeting the H.L. Canyon Trail #11, at a signed junction at 3.5 miles (33.20927 N, 109.35956 W).

If you continue west from the H.L. Canyon Trail junction, it is a 1.3 mile hike up Sardine Canyon on the H.L. Canyon Trail to the Sardine Saddle picnic area on U.S. Highway 191. Another option is a loop hike using the Pinal, Granville, or H.L. Canyon Trails.

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2009-12-21 PrestonSands

    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
    Frye Trail #12
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Running low on time to pull off my spur of the moment hike plan, I stashed my bike in the trees at Sardine Saddle, then drove back down the icy Coronado Trail to the southern trailhead of the Frye Trail. I set off down the Frye Trail just after 3 pm, knowing I would be making the return trip on my bike after dark. I made great time, despite 3 inches of snow and ice. Bobcat prints in the snow kept me company for the first 2 and a half miles. I had hiked the middle mile of this trail earlier in the year, and was looking forward to finally hiking the rest of it.

    The sun set as I reached the bottom of Sardine Canyon, and bobcat prints were replaced with fresh mountain lion tracks on the snow covered trail. The snow grew to about 8 inches deep, and I reached the highway at Sardine Saddle after dark.

    Mounting my bike, I layered up, reluctantly turned on my l.e.d. headlamp, and began my frigid ride down the highway. I stopped about a half mile down the road to put on thicker gloves, just in time for a truck of hunters to drive past. They stopped and asked if I needed a ride. At first I politely refused, but this friggin' cold and windy bike ride in the dark sucked, and they seemed friendly, even insisting I put my bike in the bed of their truck. I hopped in back, and they drove me back to the Chase Creek overlook where the trailhead spur road left the highway. I jumped out, thanked them, and offered them some cash, which they refused. I stashed my bike again, then hiked back to the trailhead.

    It was a great evening's adventure, made even better by the kindness of strangers. Thanks dudes, whoever you were!

    The Frye Trail is a winner if you are looking to backpack into a scenic and secluded forest area.
    Frye Trail #12
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hiked from Granville Campground to Frye Spring on the Frye Trail. The spring looked to be in great shape, with a gallon a minute or so of clear water flowing from a metal pipe. I had not noticed the huge patch of maples near the spring/coral area before. Most of the leaves were down, but there was still a lot of bright color. Saw no one (as usual), and got back to the trailhead at dusk. Fun hike!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    SOUTH (MAIN) TRAILHEAD (HIGH CLEARANCE): From Safford, head east on Highway 70/191. 10 miles from Safford, the highway splits, turn left onto Highway 191 and follow it for another 23.75 miles to a highway junction known as 3-Way (old drive-in movie theater and store). Turn left onto Highway 191 and follow it north for approximately 27.5 miles to milepost 176.3, where there is a square brown and white hiking logo sign on the right (2 miles before Granville Campground). Make a sharp switchback turn to the right onto the easily overlooked trailhead access road (2 wheel drive high clearance), and follow it to a fork at about 0.85 miles. There is a sign at the fork indicating Frye Trail to the left, and Sardine Trail to the right. Park at the large turnaround at the fork. (see hike description)

    NORTH TRAILHEAD ON HIGHWAY 191 (ACCESSIBLE TO ALL VEHICLES): From Safford, head east on Highway 70/191. 10 miles from Safford, the highway splits, turn left onto Highway 191 and follow it for another 23.75 miles to a highway junction known as 3-Way (old drive-in movie theater and store). Turn left to remain on Highway 191. From the 3-Way junction, head north for approximately 31.9 miles to Sardine Saddle picnic area, where there is a roadside sign for Trail #11. The H.L. Canyon Trail begins at the north end of the parking area. There is a trail sign nailed to a tree there. Follow H.L. Canyon Trail for 1.3 miles to reach the Frye Trail. (see hike description)
    page created by PrestonSands on Dec 21 2009 12:17 pm
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