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Reavis Canyon - AZT #18, AZ

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Guide 79 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Superior SW
Rated
3.6
3.6 of 5 by 17
 
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Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Distance One Way 18.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,399 feet
Elevation Gain 2,720 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,099 feet
Avg Time One Way 8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 31.86
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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8  2019-04-12 toddak
5  2018-06-05
Reavis Trail Canyon #509
mazatzal
9  2018-02-08 Sredfield
4  2018-02-08 mazatzal
19  2017-12-21 Grimey
14  2017-11-07 Sredfield
5  2017-11-07 mazatzal
9  2017-03-23 writelots
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
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
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Preferred   Mar, Nov
Sun  6:09am - 6:29pm
Official Route
 
7 Alternative
 
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Cholla Whispers in the Mist
by HAZ_Hikebot

Overview
From the Picketpost Trailhead the trail proceeds to and then under Highway 60. It climbs and descends to Queen Creek, crosses it and follows a fenceline. It continues on to FR 357 and then crosses a railroad line. It crosses a dirt road, passes under high-tension power lines and then climbs up to a ridgeline and follows it. After passing just east of Barnett Camp the trail enters Whitford Canyon and then crosses FR 650. The trail parallels FR 650 and finally crosses it again and reaches Reavis Canyon Trailhead. It follows this trail (#509) along a streambed and then up towards Montana Mountain. The trail passes south of the peak and then again connects with FR 650. It continues west on FR 650 to FR 172A and then north to the Rogers Trough Trailhead.


Southern Trailhead: Picketpost TH

Northern Trailhead: Rogers Trough TH

Note
This page is open to authors. Hike must be listed South to North as one-way. Do not include an overview as the above is permanent.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Note
This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    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 of 21 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    A group of us went to AZT #18 (Hewitt Station Road TH) to move the FS Notice board “kiosk” from there to Picketpost TH which is the new location for LOST connector trail into Superior. The new road drove the decision to make a new LOST trail, should be very nice trail as it will go through Arnett Canyon.
    Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Four of us went to Rogers Trough to install wilderness signs on the reopened old Reavis Trail south from Rogers Trough TH. We cut two juniper posts attached the signs and installed the posts at either end of the new trail.

    After doing the south post, Gordon and I walked the trail to the north end to gather up some remaining flagging. It's a really nice half mile trail.
    Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hiked north from FR #357 to the first gate where I met SOBO thru hiker David from Calgary. He is a good friend of my brother. He sends daily SPOT messages so I figured out which day he would be approaching Superior and planned to see if I could meet him. It worked out well and I gave him a ride into Superior where we had lunch at Porter’s. Then he planned to resupply and spend a night at the motel.
    Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    AZT Trail: Picketpost to Pine
    I was kind of looking to see where I was at for another big trek this summer and Karl was looking to experiment with a lighter weight higher mileage backpack, so I proposed Picketpost Mountain, or the beginning of section 18 of the Arizona Trail to Pine and the end of section 26 of the Arizona Trail. Karl was down for four days and had a somewhat flexible plan for ending his trip when he needed to. Meanwhile, I was about 50-50 if I could do the entire hike and was content with just seeing how far Karl and I could get and then playing the rest of my trip by ear, or I should say by body.

    Day 1: 29.92 miles 6268 aeg

    We made it to our planned first night's campsite on day one, Walnut Spring. Section 18 really exceeded my expectations. This is about the best time of year to be walking though that desert right now and Whitford proved to be a real treat with the flowing water and abundance of green. The climb was grueling and relentless but it offered some very solid views of the area and was really made manageable by liberal use of switchbacks. Karl was so confident with our performance at that point in the day that he insisted we bag Montana Mountain while we were up there. I agreed, but only because I was born in Montana and I said it had to count it as our break. Reavis Ranch looked like Daytona Beech and I had not apprehensions about making the short trip past it to my cozy little campsite at Walnut Spring. Got to Walnut just at headlamp time. Blew through camp chores, made a fire, ate and got to bed as soon as we could.

    Day 2: 25.67 miles 6392 aeg

    We came up a little short on our proposed campsite on this day, but the hiking was great so no worries. No stranger to the Eastern Supes, but Sunday still offered me all new areas after Two Bar Ridge. Cottonwood Canyon was great! No shortage of water in there and some cool little sites in this random little riparian jungle in the far corners of the northwestern Supes. A little bit of road and then it was the traverse from hell along the 188 waiting for that damn bridge to come into sight. From the bridge it was up the stairway to heaven. Where fittingly we had a trail angel waiting for us with tons of snacks and H20. After our sugar, hops, and caffeine binge at Mills Ridge we decided to just push for Buckhorn Creek. However, on that side of Four Peaks, pushing for a few extra miles usually entails a nice chunk of aeg as well, so we earned it. I did find a set of Indian ruins though along the way, so that was cool. We were both excited to learn that after carrying all that fresh water from Mills Ridge, there was water flowing in Buckhorn Creek. Oh well no filtering to do, quicker camp set-up, quick fire and in bed even earlier than previous night.

    Day 3: 31.24 miles 5239 aeg

    Day three was all new ground for me. Four Peaks makes you work, but alas the beauty of nature is enhanced by the ardor of the journey. I really enjoyed this section, an instant new favorite! I hiked through perhaps one of my nicest sunrises in a long time and marked several rock pile sites along the trail for future exploring. This section just kept getting better for me as we neared Four Peaks and started contouring towards Pigeon Spring. The lingering and previous snow had some of the creeks flowing nicely along this stretch and the trail got very nice as we approached its end. The road felt a little like Mad Max with the amount of Jeeps, trucks and atvs out. However, I must say not one negative experience with any driver and I do not think I have been offered as much water in such a short amount of time as I was along that 11 mile stretch of road. One guy asked, "is there anything else I could give you?" I said I could use some sunscreen and he offered up the whole bottle. The hike down into Sycamore was also very nice, again a great time to be in the lowlands, a little water, some flowers and green. However, it was hard to appreciate at times with the fatigue and anxiety over coordinating a last minute drop off of some additional things I felt I needed, if I was going to have any chance of reaching Pine. The drop and pick went smooth, a small adventure, but relatively smooth. We did not get an ideal spot to camp, but spirits were high after our resupply.

    Day 4: 24.7 miles 6297 aeg

    This was the day Karl and I would be saying our goodbyes. Karl decided on a Peely exit and I would push on to Bear Spring from there. More new trail for me to start the day and again I was not disappointed. The canyons on the way up to Saddle Ridge were picturesque, there was a lot of water and signs of some pretty extensive trail work in spots. I will admit things got a little dicey after we left the quaint McFarland Spring area, but we endured. The trails definitely need some work in there. I found myself kind of embracing the ruggedness and challenge the area presented. However, I could see that area becoming another hiker's hell if they were not expecting it. Karl and I parted at Peely. Losing Karl sucked, as he and I had a good thing going the first few days. Karl was keeping our pace in the areas where I tend to day dream and I was doing what I could do to keep us at a respectable place for some of the more stout climbs. But no time to dwell, I was solo now and needed to reach Bear Spring, just another 2000 feet of aeg and a shade under ten miles. There is no sense harping on the point, but the Divide Trail is getting nasty along there and I did make it to Bear Spring before head lamp conditions, but I was obliterated from that last little push from Peely. I replaced Karl with another Carl at Bear Spring. I am going to assume he spells his with a C. Anyways, I ran into Carl, better known as Spiced Rum on HAZ. He was on the final night of a backpack to gather some information for future work in the area. We chatted it up for awhile and I am not ashamed to admit I took some extra snacks from him. He was leaving a day early and I could not believe the amount of food I was going through on these long days, so I had no problem taking the charity. Superb stuff too, some great dried fruit, trail-mix and a Rice Crispy treat. Good guy all around and a source of wealth on some other major trails that I am interested in. And what a nice little spot to camp near Bear Spring, that saddle is great, I see why toughboots is fond of the place.

    Day 5: 26.9 miles 4051 aeg

    This was my make or break day. I had my city creek trailhead bailout option if needed, or I was pushing for the East Verde via the dreaded Red Hills and making my final push for Pine from there. The divide trail has its ups and downs, both in terrain and condition, but overall it was pretty smooth going. There is a section of Divide Trail that is now immaculate from about the intersection with Brody Seep to the intersection with Barnhardt. Kudos to that trail crew. I stopped for way too long to soak my legs and filter water and then realized I was looking at about ten more miles to include the worst part of the Red Hills and it was nearly three. My rational side said, "set up camp here, hike out LF or Saddle Ridge tomorrow," however, my other side said, "quit making excuses and finish the original plan." I am not sure what it was, but I was really dreading the last half of the Red Hills. Out of paranoia of being too exhausted to complete the entire section and having to dry camp somewhere I carried way too much water. This weighed me down and annoyed me even more as several of the creeks and main valleys I crossed had running water in them. As it turned out, while my worries were warranted, I did just fine and to be honest felt the area did not seem as bad as it had before and I must give props to the horse(s) whose tracks I followed through the entire Red Hills section, a doable stretch, just may require more time and detail. Camped at the Verde where I was serenaded to sleep by cows, frogs, chickens, maybe peacocks, cats and perhaps even a species of monkey. A very lively river at night.

    Day 6: 23.08 miles 4329 aeg

    This was the one I was waiting for, the "easy" day. A nice early start, I don't think there is a better place to be in the world than a half hour before light in the mountains somewhere, just pure serenity. There were ankle breakers abound on this day of Whiterock and Hard Scrabble. A nice steady pace was all I tried to keep and I followed a liberal break plan, as I crawled into Pine. The final two sections were not my favorite, but they were also the last two sections of a 160 mile trek so they would have had to have been perfect to really capture my imagination. Nevertheless, I got through both of them and endured the lava rock tread and bland road. I did find the last few miles to be more redeeming with the scenic Oak Spring and Bradshaw tank area. It was a reunion at the trailhead with Jackie and the pups, Del Taco and then home.

    Final Notes

    I need to work on a better nutrition plan for these big ones. I simply did not bring enough caloric energy for the type of days I was doing and the amount of energy I was putting out. I need to go healthier and more efficient, just a good lesson to learn.

    Karl played a huge role in getting me through those first four days, very glad to have him through there, he was missed later.

    A good song to have stuck in your head while hiking is Passion Pit, "Take a Walk."

    I can definitely go lighter on these ones too, I packed light, but by no means did I make any attempts to go ultra-light. In the future, that may be needed to knock out some of these more ambitious multi day treks.

    The hardest days by far were Day four with its nearly 7000 feet gained and day five with its 27 legit miles through the Mazzies without as much as a foot of road relief until the very end.

    Wildflowers
    About normal to not so great, to really good in spots. Most action in the first few sections though.
    Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    AZT: Superior to Roosevelt
    This was a trip I have been waiting a long time for. A traversal from the valley, through the Superstitions, and out the other side.

    The group consisted of me, my usual hiking partner (Bradley), 2 other cousins (Blake and Braden), and a friend (Buster).

    We left Thursday night around 7pm and hiked in about 5.5 miles to get away from the 60 and to get a head start on the big climb up Montana Mountain the next day before the heat really kicked in. We set up camp near Whitford Canyon, where there was a light flow of water down the drainage.

    We decided before going to bed that tomorrow the goal would be to make it to Reavis Ranch.

    March 3rd

    After a warm night, we woke up around 6:30, ate a quick breakfast, broke camp, and were off on the trail around 7:15 AM.

    Back on the AZT!

    We made good time through the canyon, enjoying the moderately dense wild flowers along the trail. Before starting the climb up Montana, we took a short break and filtered some water from near the Reavis Canyon TH.

    The easy going trail didn't last for long. As I approached Montana Mountain, the climb didn't look too intimidating, but once I got a few miles in it started to feel a little endless. I haven't had a climb kick my butt like that in a long time. For the last mile of the climb I was stopping every 1/10th of a mile to catch my breath.

    I topped out and sat under some shade where Bradley and Buster had been waiting. After resting for a few minutes, I got some serious cramps in my legs and I locked up for about 5-10 minutes. I don't think I've ever cramped up that bad before. After I wasn't in agony and could move again, I popped an electrolyte pill and ate some lunch.

    Eventually Braden topped out, and joined us in the shade for lunch. He said him and Blake had seen a rattler near the bottom of the climb. Buster was out of water, so he took off to Rogers Trough to see if he could find some water in the drainage by the TH.

    After a good while, we began to worry about Blake. By now it was getting really hot. Bradley decided to head back down to look for Blake, while me and Braden sat around in the shade, taking turns cramping up. Eventually, Bradley and Blake topped out.

    After Blake took a short break, we all put on our packs and headed for Rogers Trough. The views along the forest road to the TH were pretty cool. Large sweeping views of the Western Supes and Queen Valley below.

    Once we reached Rogers Trough TH, we filled up on water at the pools right next to the TH. We saw in the register that Buster had already headed for Reavis Ranch. Blake wanted to take a longer break here, so Braden stayed behind with him. I took another electrolyte pill for the upcoming climb up Reavis Pass, and then me and Bradley took off down Reavis Trail.

    Lots of pools exist along the trail as you descend into Rogers Canyon.

    I felt great on the climb up Reavis Pass except for the last couple hundred feet where I began to lock up again. After topping out we enjoyed the smooth sailing into the ranch. Me and Bradley hit Reavis Ranch just at sundown, around 6:30. Braden and Blake came in not too long after.

    It was pretty cool starting out in saguaros at the beginning of the day, then ending in ponderosa pines. I think this was the largest amount of AEG I've ever done in one day with a fully loaded backpack. It ended up being ~4,300ft of AEG for the day. Everyone was a little beat up in one way or another but still in good spirits. With only ~22 miles left, we had set ourselves up for a couple of easier days to finish up the trip. We enjoyed a fire, ate some dinner, and rested up for the next day.

    March 4th

    We slept in on the 2nd day, deciding the night before that we would only go ~14 miles to Cottonwood Spring. By the time we were packed up and off on the trail, it was around 10:00 AM.

    I was excited to see the far eastern side of the Superstitions. It was a virgin location for me.

    I started the day with my IT band giving me issues, but after slowing down a little and popping some Tylenol at Pine Creek, the pain didn't progress and I felt pretty strong for the rest of the day. Me and Bradley were making the all the climbs without stopping. When we topped out, we would wait for everybody else to catch up, which helped give me the downtime I need to keep my IT band situation from getting worse.

    The views on the ridge walk along Two Bar were AWESOME. It ended up being my favorite part of the trip. Beautiful views of Four Peaks, Apache Lake, Roosevelt Lake, and the the STEEP drops on the backsides of the Supes.

    We reached Cottonwood Spring and found a crammed spot to lay our tarps out and set up camp. Just before going to bed, we discovered a family of rats (about 3 of them) in the dense leaves and dead branches nearby.

    March 6th

    The final day we woke up around 7:30 AM and were off on the trail by 8:30 AM. I felt pretty drained of energy from all the climbing we had done over the past 2 days, and that feeling persisted til just about the very end of the day. Thankfully the day was an easy one, with only ~7.5 miles and maybe 1000 ft of climbing left.

    The trail continued to follow the rocky Cottonwood Creek before eventually merging onto a rocky forest service road. Just before hitting the Vineyard TH, the trail makes you climb up and around three topographical "fingers."

    After everybody reached the TH, we headed to Globe/Miami for some victory Mexican Food.

    This was definitely some of the hardest AZT miles I've put in far, but also some of the most scenic.

    Wildflowers
    Light to moderate at the lower elevations, isolated to none at the higher elevations.
    Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    February 13, 2016: Legends of Superior Trail Fest!

    We started this segment with our Housholder Family Hikers attending Ras and Kathy Vaughan's inspirational talk titled: "Across Arizona As One, Twice!" The Yo-Yo hike from Mexico to Utah and Back was fantastic to hear about first hand. It helps give our small band of hikers some perspective on our segment hiking. We got it easy to say the least. After the program we were able to meet and chat with Ras and Kathy taking pictures together with Sirena and Wendy and came away with some fantastic stories! Thanks Everyone :y:

    The next item on the agenda was to go scouting and take the backroad number 4 out to Telegraph Canyon. Since we have two high clearance vehicles a 4X4 Sequoia and a Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner non 4WD we decided to take the Sequoia. The road leaves Superior south west of town into the rugged area on the southern side of Picketpost Mountain. AZT Trail Steward Wendy had warned us about the rough 4X4 conditions of her section she manages and she was right! We decided after a few slopes and rocking and rolling to turn back because even if our 4WD Sequoia made it back to Telegraph Canyon, our shuttle Tacoma would not have done well without 4WD! What that meant is we would have to hike the Telegraph Canyon to Picketpost Section another time!

    Enter Back Up Plan 1: Hiking from Picketpost north 2.5 miles to the tall powerlines starting what we were planning on a three segment hike of AZT Section 18: Reavis Canyon! It was getting too late in the day to do much more after having to back track from our Four-Wheeling adventure. We can only day hike up to 8 miles with our six year old Bainka so we plan these segments around her and in doing these 2.5 miles it would break the remainder of section 18 into two 8 mile segments later on. (See attached pictures).

    Crossing north over the 60 Freeway just west of where Queen Creek crosses the 60, turn right by the parking lot and current construction onto the what is Forrest Service Road 650. Locals call it the Montana Mountain Trail or the road through the water in Happy Camp Creek! In a short distance FS 650 crosses the RR Tracks and you will find the powerline road to the left or West. We followed it a short distance and parked at the corner of a dirt track off right that lead north. (Pictured) From here we hiked a short distance west to the AZT, then south to Picketpost. FS 650 gives access to the Reavis Trail Canyon TH and later on winds up over Montana Mountain at elevations over 5000 feet towards Rogers Trough Trailhead. There are many hairpin curves, nice tight moguls, and a few sweet boulders for Jeepers ONLY after the trailhead access points in north of Whitford Canyon and into Wood Canyon.

    Earlier in the morning we already left the truck at Picketpost Trailhead, so we headed next out to the Powerlines shown on the pictures with a GPS Label. We parked the Sequoia and hiked over a short distance along the powerline service road to the AZT 18. From this point it was easy going all the way to Picketpost Trailhead. After passing underneath the Large Powerlines you cross under the lower phone lines and over the railroad tracks. Ras and Kathy used the Railroad Tracks to walk into Superior as their re-supply route, when they did their 93 day Yo-Yo hike from Mexico to Utah and back! Once across the RR Tracks we hiked easterly through a few cattle gates and away from some ranches, through some washes and over some ridges until the trail comes downhill and underneath the US 60 Freeway. This shaded double tunnel made for the perfect spot to take our snack break and cool off from the unusually hot 85 degree mid February sunshine! After a quick 30 minute break we hit the remaining half mile or so back to the Picketpost Trailhead and our truck shuttle. The entire desert area was a VERY LUSH GREEN from the extra 4 days of rain received back in January 2016, so we really enjoyed it. There will no doubt be a blanket of wildflowers in the next couple weeks ahead!

    Whitford Canyon aka Reavis Canyon Trailhead to Powerlines: Scouting trip Saturday, February 20, 2016

    The next Saturday saw us back again at AZT #18....this time it was to scout out the backroad to Reavis Canyon Trailhead. Here are the directions:

    North from the US 60 just west of Queen Creek.

    Turn right immediately after the parking lot to the right. Head north east across the railroad tracks.

    I set my trip to zero here.

    The first thing you come to after crossing the tracks is the road off left we took along the main power lines which gives access to the AZT section where we just hiked.
    Second is a fantastic Boondocking spot real close to the location marker off right before crossing under the tall power lines. This free camping location sits on a ridge and is big enough for a couple rigs. Only thing is it is a little bumpy getting them back to the spot. The sunsets here are fantastic. See the three pictures!

    Next the road crosses underneath the large power lines and a bit further look for the split onto Forrest Service Road 650 pictured...turn Left and continue northward.
    After crossing some small hills and climbing up a nice ridge the road drops down into beautiful Whitford Canyon!
    I snapped a couple pictures of the AZT crossing in Whitford. There is nowhere to stage a vehicle at this crossing, perhaps a little further north.

    A little bit further you arrive at Happy Camp with a windmill and corrals off right. The road enters Whitford Canyon and follows Wood Camp Creek with some easy fords for our HCV 2WD Tacoma Prerunner truck. The final rocky slope leading out of the creak is your biggest and in my opinion bumpiest obstacle. After climbing up out of the wash there is a marker for Reavis Canyon Trailhead aka the 509. Here the AZT crosses and leads down an easy hill to the trailhead. The Reavis Canyon TH has a brand new shinny cool AZT Trail interpretative sign and parking for two or three vehicles. I snapped a bunch of pictures along the way. The next time out we will be hiking this section from Reavis TH back to the power line crossing, roughly 8 miles south :)

    Friday March 4th, 2016: Total Miles: 4.5

    We decided to break the Reavis Trailhead to Powerline car shuttle point into two shorter day hikes! Friday we staged a truck back at the powerlines full of ice cold drinks to inspire us. Then we traveled back up the 650 to the AZT Whitford Canyon trail crossing point. There is parking off road just east of this crossing where we staged our other truck. This turned into quite a surprising Friday late evening "Rush Hour" special 8) After starting at 4:30 PM, we had the trail all to ourselves and I thought it was a great thing not to be sitting in traffic back in Phoenix!

    Whitford Canyon was exceptionally beautiful during late evening rays of sunshine which helped to enhance the red rocks and surroundings. There were verdant green shrubbery from January's 2016's nonstop four days of rain as well as abundant wildflowers that Bianka and Karolien loved! I was very impressed with the beauty of Whitford Canyon including it's remaining patches of water crossings. There were great photo opps all along the way.

    The first couple miles were super easy hiking south along Whitford, crossing what I think is Wood Camp Creek three or four times. After crossing over the Barnett Camp mining access road the AZT started to gently climb topside up to a beautiful ridge line sunset at the Gate! We enjoyed exceptional scenery and cooler temps since we decided to hike after they peaked out at 90 degrees in the 3 o'clock hour. In no time at all we were breaking out our flashlights finishing the final mile under starlight, back underneath the powerlines and the short distance east where we parked the Sequoia loaded with goodies.

    Sunday March 6th, 2016: Total Miles 3

    Reavis Canyon Trailhead to Whitford Crossing was an enjoyable and short 3 quick miles that we made into a great after church, Sunday family picnic activity. First of all we loaded up our picnicking supplies at Chompies Deli Saturday afternoon. This was a super delicious choice from their famous sliders to a mile high Brooklyn fully loaded with corn beef, brisket and pastrami...toss in a side of potato salad some yummy coleslaw and a mixture of fresh fruit and to top it all off a gently flowing creek side to enjoy it all beside! Life's Good!!!!

    After scarfing down the good eats we hit the trail with plenty of energy. Bryce's friend Danny came along for his second hike with us and as we were leaving the Reavis Canyon Trailhead parking lot climbing up a ridge or two we came across Aaron from Pennsylvania who was through hiking the AZT making good time at around 20 miles per day. He started around February 18th, and was at this section 18 by Sunday March 6th, 2016. Aaron was hiking what he called the Big 4, Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the AZT and one other. Happy Trails and may the wind be at your back Aaron!

    In no time at all we had hiked up ridge from the 509 trailhead south towards the AZT road crossing just 3 miles away. The scenery was fantastic, with an overcast sky and gentle breeze from a cold front cooling us down. There were nice Sonoran Desert scenery all along the way and a Giant Saguaro pictured pointing in every direction. Camp Creek Cattle Ranch was down below and remote Picketpost Mountain in the distance looking South. We were hit with a fast moving downpouring of rain that lasted only a few minutes and the kids decided it best to quickly put on their ponchos mostly for fun, as the skies quickly cleared and the chances of more rain were minimal.

    After passing a couple gated cattle crossings we enjoyed some photo opps, including plenty of wildflowers along this stretch of trail. There was one other group a couple guys on Spring Break from Massachusetts that were hiking from Picketpost to Roosevelt Lake that we passed near the 3 mile crossing point. In no time at all we knocked out the three miles arriving at our truck shuttle for the ride back to the Reavis Trailhead, where we enjoyed some more snacks and drinks creek-side before heading back to the valley.


    The concluding hike from Rogers Trough to Reavis Canyon Trailhead coming soon!.......
    Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The plan had evolved over some months. I’d wanted to revisit Reavis Ranch, but come in from the south. My only trip to Reavis’ apple orchard had been 2 years ago entering from the north (http://hikearizona.com.... Mary Jo (MJ) had never backpacked but wanted to try. She found the thought of a camp with less than a thousand pounds of gear extremely intimidating, but slightly intriguing. And the idea of bragging to her friends about backpacking to Reavis Ranch sealed the deal.

    The south Reavis trail offered options to visit other sites on my wish list – Rogers Canyon Ruins, Elisha’s grave, Circlestone, perhaps even Mound Mountain. The scope of the trip expanded, becoming both more difficult and yet more appealing. It was definitely going to be a demanding first backpacking trip for a woman north of 60. But MJ seldom backs down from a challenge.

    At Angela’s recent birthday bash, I mentioned the evolving plan to Kelly. Reavis was on her sort-o- bucket list (only high places are on her real bucket list). After revealing the other possible destinations (Mound Mountain being a real draw for her) she was definitely in. We happily welcomed the Trekkin Gecko to join our adventure. Larry overheard the conversation and mentioned he was interested as well, never having explored that portion of the Supes. Visions of obscure and almost never visited ruins were obviously dancing through his head. Our foursome was formed.

    We rendezvoused at the Rogers Trough trailhead, empty of vehicles on this Monday morning. We’d day hike to Rogers Canyon Ruins and return to camp at the trailhead and then head to Reavis the next morning. Just as we shouldered our day packs, a lone figure with a massive backpack came up the trail. This young man had been out for almost a week and his plan had been for nearly a week more. Events had not gone as he had planned apparently. He ask with some eagerness in his voice if we might happen to be driving out since his planned ride home wouldn’t be there before Saturday. Larry was preparing to drive him at least as far as it took to get a message out when Kelly realized she had just enough cell reception to send a text message. Once the young man had established contact with his support, Kelly left him her phone and we set out for the ruins. The triplog for that hike is here:http://hikearizona.com...

    The night at the trailhead passed uneventfully except my finicky inflatable sleeping mat deflated during the wee hours. It would be impossible to reflate the mat inside the confines of our 2-person Big Agnes tent and to do so outside would wake everyone. I’d placed a microscopically thin closed cell foam pad below the inflatable pad to protect from punctures. While offering no cushion, the closed cell pad did keep me insulated from the cold and very hard ground of the trailhead parking lot. At least it was a full moon. The huge moon in the clear sky combined with the classically orange Big Agnes tent creating the effect of trying to sleep inside a brightly lit jack-o-lantern. Meanwhile, my newbie backpacker wife snored contentedly through the whole thing. We were off to a great start.

    After a seeming eternity, morning finally broke. Kelly popped out of her tent. Larry opened the hatch on his FJ. MJ crawled from our tent, stretched and asked if I had coffee made. All appeared so disgustingly rested. After breakfast and coffee and repacking our packs and securing the vehicles, we were off like a herd of turtles.
    We visited Elisha Marcus Reavis’ grave fulfilling one of my primary desires for the trip. The arduous slog up to the saddle was slow, but rewarding as we topped out on to the pretty portion of the hike. MJ handled her 30+ pound pack well. We snapped the obligatory photos at the huge alligator juniper with Kelly climbing into its branches as she is prone to do with anything large and vertical. Good water began flowing shortly before the Fireline Trail intersection. We dropped our heavy packs at the southern end of the Valley and scouted for a good camp spot near water settling on a well-used site near the old cattle chute. The orchard was disappointingly bare, not a single apple to be found. After a snack for four trail-worn hikers, camp went up quick. Larry and I fussed with our gravity water filters down at the nice clear pool near camp. Dinner was a variety of Mountain House’s finest recipes. By 7 p.m., the other three were ensconced in their tents. I elected to sleep under the stars beside our tent. That way I could add air if need be to my expensive unreliable mat. Besides, sleeping out provides a deeper connection to a place, at least for me. The mat held through the night and I snored enough to exact some portion of revenge for the previous night.

    With only a day hike planned, we slept in until 5 minutes after sunrise. The morning was cool and bright. Oatmeal and coffee seemed to be the breakfast du jour amongst the group. Finished with her oats, MJ mentioned we had neglected to have dessert the evening before. She seductively dangled the unopened Backpacker Pantry dehydrated Coconut Key Lime Pie. I won’t say Kelly actually drooled, but …. If you’ve never had Key Lime Pie for breakfast, gotta say you have missed out.

    We set off for Circlestone and perhaps an attempt at Mound Mountain. Triplog for that day hike is here.http://hikearizona.com...

    Back at camp, we lounged for a bit. Kelly wanted to see the intersection of the Reavis Gap trail. We found another well-used campsite just up the Gap Trail. Someone had abandoned a fairly heavy tarp. MJ laid claim to the property and Larry drug it back to camp with us, everyone else bringing along some firewood. Dinner was a variety of dehydrated Italian concoctions. Backpacker Pantry makes a decent dehydrated Crème Brulee so we shared our second dessert of the day. I got a fire started. Some packets of apple cider were prepared. A flask of Fireball appeared miraculously from the recesses of someone’s pack. We recounted a very good day, discussed the impending weather, and changed channels on our backpacker TV (i.e. added firewood to the fire). We lasted to nearly 8 pm.

    Just after 3, a rain drop interrupted my slumbering dreams of peaks and trails and camps. Low heavy clouds were moving quickly from the South. I tapped the side of the tent. “Make a hole. I’m coming in.” Rolled up my sougan and dove into the tent. Rain pittered on the camp off and on. About daybreak there was a slight pause in the precipitation. Kelly’s voice, a tent away, mentioned that tarp MJ acquired would make a nice shelter. I was already scrounging in my strewn about gear for some ridgeline cordage. Larry was already about in full rain gear. Together we strung a half decent shelter. Breakfast was quick. Gear got organized and packed inside the tents for the three of us hiking out. Larry, who planned to stay on a few more days, helped filter water for our hike out. Everyone was glancing skyward trying to read the weather. We donated a couple of packs of food and a partial flask of Fireball to Larry. He might have to spend some hours in his tent or under our new shelter over the next couple of days, but at least he’d be happy and full.

    At 9ish, MJ, Kelly and I shouldered our packs under a sky with some hopeful areas of blue sky between some unhappy gray clouds. At least it wasn’t raining on us now. MJ led out with a pace that amazed both Kelly and I. We spotted a whitetail doe within the first mile. She seemed more curious than scared, unusual since it is hunting season. A brief shower hit us about an hour into the hike, but it was light. We took one of our quick breaks at the Saddle overjoyed to see mostly blue sky in front of us. We were flagging a bit on the climb up to the trailhead. Kelly suggested a 30-second break. She praised MJ’s pace and mentioned since we were doing so well there might be time to take a side trip to Guayo’s El Rey for some Mexican, her treat. MJ fairly levitated the remaining distance. We hit the trailhead still dry only 3 hours and 38 minutes after bidding farewell to Larry back at Reavis.

    Having spent the previous three days in the same clothes, we took the opportunity to clean up quickly and change. The drive out was just as bumpy as it was driving in, but the views are impressive. Significant wind and rain hit us before we reached pavement. Our quick hike out was obviously a good decision. We hoped Larry stayed dry and safe.
    Guayo’s is the perfect post hike stop. MJ marveled at the whole concept of running water and a real bathroom. Her new appreciation for chairs and tables was clearly evident. We inhaled a cheese crisp and individual plates of tasty cheesy foods with names that ended in “o” or “a”.

    This was a good adventure with a great mix of people. MJ had successfully completed her first backpacking trip, picking up an appreciation of the challenges and rewards. We’d definitely cemented a friendship with Kelly and have no doubt there will be plenty more adventures we will share. Getting to know Larry was a treat. Our differing experiences and common passions are a good mix. In the end, we all got what we came for. Doesn’t get better than that.
    Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
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    Have been wanting to check out this area so we decided on Friday afternoon that this would be our Saturday hike, which I am labeling as "The Wildlife Hike", as we saw 4 white tail deer, 2 javelina, and 2 snakes all in close proximity :D Since we didn't have a shuttle set up to do the entire section we hiked the first half to Reavis Canyon TH (or Montana Mountain TH), had lunch under a nice shade tree, stripped down to summer hiking attire, then made the trek back to Picketpost TH. We only saw 3 other hikers on the trail. Very nice day out on the Arizona Trail :y:
    Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
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    Southbound, north section Thx to all the shuttlers who made this last 1/2 of AZT 18 possible. A special thanks to Jack for helping with the middle shuttle set up on Saturday.

    We started an hour earlier than we needed to but it all worked out fine. It was not as cool as I anticipated and in fact, the weather was pretty much perfect the whole day... other than the breeze which makes my video editing a pain.

    The hike up from Rogers Trough to the Reavis Canyon TH is on the road so it's not as difficult as it might be on a trail. The views as you go up are far and wide as you go around turns or reach a temporary high point. The smell of the high country was so nice :) especially cuz I'm sucking a little extra air :lol: on the hike up in the steeper sections.
    We did encounter some hunters riding in their pickup with their radioed dogs running in front. The hunter dogs seemed a bit thin to me. By the looks of the guys I thot the dogs should be drivin' the truck and the guys should have been running along side!

    Shawn did his cairn maintenance at the turn off on the saddle before you skirt this (west) side of Montana Mountain. This was a fun part of the hike and then you hit the ridge and head down to the wilderness gate. And as they say, it's all down hill from here and indeed it was. However, the switchbacks are gradual with some flat in-between. You are hiking thru the remnants of the burn but it's not bad. The green tall grass is quite prevalent. We did see some deer thru the trees but couldn't get a good enough visual for a photo.
    By the way, does anyone remember what year Montana Mountain got burned? I can't find anything on it.
    We stopped about 3/4 the way down for a snack and to enjoy the view. Soon you wind your way down next to a deep drainage that will converge with the main drainage we will take to the lower 509 TH. Not soon after here we ran into Karl and Kathy. It was noon so we decided to have our lunch... not realizing we would get two lunches today. From here we seemed to hit the really pretty part of the drainage with lots of flora and some cottonwoods both in fall and spring. I would look up and to the east occasionally as the rock formations on the mountainside were pretty 8) .

    Eventually you come out of the creek and hit an old road. As you come up it Peachville Mtn looms above with the gold colored grass on its top. It always seems to glisten up there; hard to photograph though. Soon we would come upon the tall stone corral. I looked on the net but couldn't find any information about this awesome corral. The walls seem too high for just cattle unless the builders just got carried away :-k . And before you knew it, we were at the 509 TH and just a tenth mile away was our ride.

    We got done an hour sooner than I had planned so we had time to kill. We went to Picketpost where I put my gear in Karl's truck and drove it out to the entrance off the highway and then we all headed for lunch at Los Hermanos. We waited a long time before placing our order. It was quite busy but mostly with folks finished their lunch. They have non-stop re-fills on the pop and chips :D so you can't beat that.

    After being at the restaurant longer than anticipated, we headed back to get Karl's truck and then to the meet up place just off of the 60 on N Queen Valley Road. We had barely gotten out of our vehicles when Karl and Kathy pulled up; about 45 minutes sooner than I expected based on where we had met them on the trail. We brot out the beer and toasted our success in completing a segment of the AZT. It was a good day and we got done in time to avoid the Renaissance traffic.


    Video 1 from Roger's Trough to Superstition Wilderness gate: [ youtube video ] _...
    Video 2 from the gate switch-backing down Montana Mountain: [ youtube video ] ...
    Video 3 to and in the drainage: [ youtube video ] ...
    Video 4 finishing off the bottom half of the hike to the southern 509 TH [ youtube video ] ...
    Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
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    Southbound - south section Shawn and Tracy suggested doing AZT# 18 over two weekends. Sounded good to me and I looked forward to it. Shawn said we wouldn't have to meet at PPost TH until 9 so Angela wouldn't have to get up too early; Thanks Shawn. As it was we all would end up at the TH around 8:30ish. Jenaya, my cousin, came along for what she was told would be and 8-9 mile hike... oops again as we've done that to her two other times now; but she's young and a strong hiker.

    We left Ambika's vehicle and Tonto at PPost TH and headed up to Reavis Canyon TH arriving there in about 1/2 hour. That road 650 is a doozy! I think you can barely break 20 for very short spurts.


    It was nice to get started after that ride. Still having the calve problem but thankfully it goes away after about 1/2 hr. It really hurt today :x . It was fun to hike toward Picketpost as we would see it off and on all day except when we were in the canyon. The air was crisp and we had a breeze blowing most of the day.

    We hiked above the corral and crossed MANY washes today. Shawn was doing his duty and sending pictures to a master website about some of the "needs fixing" areas of the trail. The unexpected highlight was going thru the 1.2 mile Whitford Canyon :DANCE: starting at the wide wash area that has leafless sycamores standing on its sides and then the red wall part. I just don't recall reading in trip reports anything about that. Anyway, it was quite impressive. Shawn pointed out a stone wall on the east side. As we got deeper we heard lots of bees buzzing but we kept walking and soon you couldn't hear the buzz anymore.

    As you come out of this part you come up to a plush cactus and saguaro garden :) . It's quite lovely. From this vantage point, we could see a little bit of water. I think it was here we saw that a bunch of dirt/gravel had come down the hillside and was part way up the trunk of a large cholla. We passed by a perfect dead old cottonwood with a hole in it big enough for an owl. We would continue a little further until we came down to the stream where we would break for lunch.

    After lunch we crossed back and forth across the creek a couple of times. And then it was back up above the drainage we would go continuing on a set of roller coaster hills up and down, up and down many times (8 crests over 2 miles according to my new Arizona National Scenic Trail book). It was all very gradual though. Our views of the Superstitions and Picketpost and Apache Leap would entertain us along the way :D . We saw several downed saguaros (looks recent). We also went through MANY gates on this trek.

    And then when you see across to the TH, it seems you take a hard right west and hike as far away as possible :lol: before finally making a left hand turn and head southeast again. Finally the tunnels and then out of the wash getting up a little higher with our now, even more magnificent views of Picketpost with the sun shining on its eastern face. We ran into a couple horseback riders (English style) that Shawn knew before reaching the TH and then we had our pumpkin spice beer and TibberSnacks.

    Ambika let me off the hook and I didn't have to ride the shuttle. I was glad so that I could now have time to visit my mother at the home and I told mom so; she was glad too. About 1/2 way thru the hike I thot of some more options for setting up our Sunday shuttle (We'll be coming from Rogers Trough TH to slightly south of Reavis 509 southern TH while Karl and Kathy will be hiking from PPost to Rogers). We will need a trail angel (Jack :A1: has agreed to fill that bill :) )to help set a vehicle Sat for our hike on Sun.

    It was a great day on the Arizona Trail; had fun with everyone :DANCE: . Lots of video on this trek. I need to put my glasses on more often as I thot my sceneline said I had 1:55 of video but it was only 1:05:55.

    Video 1 from 509 TH first hour - [ youtube video ] ...
    Video 2 finally getting to Whitford Canyon (10:48AM - 11:26AM) [ youtube video ] ...
    Video 3 Whitford and up to ridge 11:28AM - 1:28PM [ youtube video ] ...
    Video 4 finishing off the rolling ridge and down to Queen Creek [ youtube video ] ...
    Video 5 Queen Creek to Picketpost TH: [ youtube video ] ...

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