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Willow Springs Basin, AZ

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26 16 0
Guide 16 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
Rated
2.5
2.5 of 5 by 4
 
0
Statistics
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Distance One Way 2.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,921 feet
Elevation Gain -177 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 2.9
Interest Seasonal Creek
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
25  2019-05-27
Willow Springs Loop
CannondaleKid
20  2019-03-26
Lost Souls Loop
markthurman53
19  2019-02-08
Willow Basin - Cyn Lariat
Mr_Squishy
14  2018-02-18
Goldfield Combo
trekkin_gecko
15  2018-02-18
Goldfield Combo
johnlp
74  2014-11-02
Jack's Back 2014
tibber
28  2012-01-14
Triple Arch via Black Glass Canyon
jochal
18  2011-12-27 AZLumberjack
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
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov
Sun  6:14am - 6:23pm
Official Route
 
2 Alternative
 
Water
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Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby


Author Full Detail Guide
Overview
This is a relatively flat loose gravel wash hike that is between Willow Springs Canyon Upper and Willow Springs Canyon Lower. It can be driven or used to set up a shuttle if you have a capable 4 X 4. Getting to it is strickly 4 X 4 from the trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.





Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2010-01-12

    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
    Willow Springs Basin
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Goldfield Combo
    one of the best things about haz is the ideas you get from other people
    @hikerdw, @hikingaz2, @azlot69, and @cannondalekid have all posted triplogs, photosets and gps routes for two hikes i've been wanting to do
    thought we could combine razorback knob and camouflage tanks with triple arch via black glass canyon
    doing it this way would eliminate the nasty bushwhack down the exit wash, eliminate a duplicate approach, and give us a lot of bang for the buck
    after my route manager skilz scared jj off, john and i set out around 0715 on dave's track, hooking up with a trail i belatedly realized i've been on before: rough n ready canyon
    we found the point where the off trail began, and took the path of least resistance up to the base of razorback knob
    neither of us were feeling the summit due to steep and sketchy terrain
    great views from the base
    headed off to the camo tanks, exploring the area and taking a snack break
    bigger than i pictured, some animal paths leading toward it, interesting setup
    i also had hikingaz2's route of black glass canyon, and it was a very simple matter to drop down to it
    that was the piece i was missing, so perhaps my track can help the next person connect the two
    nice to see triple arch, then continue into the canyon
    boulder hopping and a little bit of finding the best way down
    only one real drop that required a work around
    beautiful in there and a fun descent
    a few pools of water
    came out in willow springs basin, and immediately saw a couple in a jeep doing some four-wheeling
    a couple miles of walking in gravel, then took one of the horse trails back
    some gratuitous aeg on this; would try the other trail another time
    saw three groups of horseback riders along here
    the entire hike was only 10.2 miles - i had thought it would be closer to 12
    while i was a tiny bit disappointed not to summit the knob, i got to see four cool goldfield landmarks up close
    thanks for being willing to come along, john
    i always enjoy hiking and exploring with you


    Willow Springs Basin
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Jack's Back 2014
    Kelly and I finally made our decision to cancel our Sedona double due to weather concerns. If I'm going to climb two mountains, I prefer near excellent conditions. So we scrambled to do this year's "Jack's Back" :DANCE: hike with the hopes of getting out in the Goldfields. And then we bugged Kathy to come join us and even Karl came. kingsnake couldn't make it; hopefully he'll make the last "Jack's Back" hike next fall.
    It was a bit of a gloomy day weather-wise but we were all glad to be out; especially in a new area. I picked up K&K and we me the others at the designated parking area across from where we would start our hike. I am not sure how this trip log got so long for a 10 mile hike :sorrry:


    And off we went soon sliding into the wash of Willow Springs Canyon. We all seemed to instantly like the area with the mixture of flora and rock and views of which the most prominent in front was Gonzales Needle (a historic landmark named after a grand nephew of the Peralta family. Gonzales Needle marks the northern limit of the Goldfield Mining District.) Off to our right it was fun to see the Little Four Peaks too.

    Soon we would encounter the first of several troughs this day and then we would hike thru a section with beautiful non-native fountain grass; it's always so pretty and was on each side of us. Next we would pass what we assumed was a long narrow trough that once had a sign above it. We then saw the first of several trail sign 12 markers (Trail 12 is also FR12, didn't know that at the time).

    Our first stop would be the caves which we checked out; it's quite an extensive system. Fortunately there was little to no trash around most of the area. We continued down the drainage and around the corner we encountered metate holes and another trough. This trough had quite a bit of water in it. A little further we found the community grinding center with at least two dozen metate holes below the west wall. You can also see the old pipe hung from it.

    Next was the narrows section. Actually there were a couple of these. We came to this one area where the others had gingerly gotten down and decided surely it was easier to go up and around so Kathy and I decided to do some 'sploring. We went up (adding to our AEG ;)) only to discover we couldn't get down where we thot. So we had to contour this rather difficult landscape until we could find a place to get down and join the others. Well now that our little adventure was over we could move on to an area where we encountered yet another trough. This one was completely devoid of water and had dried mud at its bottom.

    We continued on in the wash for about another 10 minutes; saw a place to come up and out but continued for a bit and decided to climb up and out the hard way. Now mind you, this was totally unnecessary but of course we didn't know that at the time (Kelly and Kathy went back to the easy walk up). Not sure why we opted out of the creek bed :-k . BUT it turned out to be quite the nice adventure as once we started going UP the road the views were terrific BUT then it started getting a lot steeper and pretty soon we were at what you might call a cul de sac. So as long as were up here, Karl climbed up Peak 2348 or Karl's Peak :D as it has now been designated. We got cool pics of him on top.

    Once he was down we realized we should have made a left at the drainage that was draining to the Willow Creek Canyon we had left 1/2 hour previous. No big deal as we would get a little AEG for this one. And the views were superb. So back down the hill we went, caught the drainage and headed west back to Willow Springs Canyon. In this little drainage we came to a cool pour over cut into the landscape. This little drainage had lots of cool flora too. And to be truthful, you should just stay in the canyon but what's the fun in that.

    Once out our mission continued as we headed down the canyon. We came upon a tree that had some sort of puffy flora growing up through it. We have no idea what it is of course. Reminded me a bit of Cliff Rose but it wasn't that. We passed by some interesting walls along the canyon and then veered slightly right back onto Trail 12 that we had been on and off of a couple times. None of us realized there was a trail number. We continued north on the road bed that was fairly wide but somewhat rocky. We passed by one of the most incredible Christmas cholla clusters I have ever seen.

    The clouds were breaking up pretty seriously by this point providing a different view of the landscape we had been seeing :) including views to the NW of Dome Mountain. Once Karl locked his GPS onto Bagley Tank, he would update us as to our progress while HAZTrks would let us know how far we had come along with other statistics (you can hear her in the video even... by the way, I would prefer a male voice; can I get that changed or have it as an option? ;))

    Finally we made our destination, Bagley Tank (END movieing). It was really pretty and was showing off its reflections. We went to the other side to have our lunch in the shade. It was a great place for lunch with lots of green grass on the berm below our feet. About 1/2 hour later it was up and at 'em to hit the trail back straight this time. After spotting a gila monster (I didn't see it) and trying to coax it into view with no luck, we continued including up a hill that provided a great photo op to the Superstition Ridgeline. We were getting views of the whole Ridgeline off and on during the day.

    I showed Kathy the big bunch of Christmas Cholla I had seen earlier (the others were ahead) and then we passed back thru the remnants of a Chain Cholla forest. Heading more in a southernly direction now, the sand got a little deeper along the way. We were seeing the landscape with the sun rather than the filtered light of the morning. We hit the narrows and that one section Kathy and I had avoided this AM. It was a little tricky getting up it but we made it. There were some big pools of water here as well but they were hidden within the rock.

    We got closer to the cave section which is the only shade along this route. We stopped just for a moment to enjoy it and look at the caves once again before completing our hike. The others ahead of us, Kathy and I at the back. We hit the parking lot and cracked open our beer. Kelly gave us the good news about the Cardinals :) . We observed a fellow reading his book over on the sidewalk in like the only place where there was no view. And then he started stretching :o or whatever that was. And as the HP drove by we hid our beer not knowing the rules of drinking in the parking lot.

    Yep it was 2 o'clock and we had another hike in the books in a fun area with the most delightful people :y: . I took WAY too many pics but I like to do that when a group of us gets together, and after all "Jack's Back!"

    Unfortunately, I had slipped my movie mode into AVCHD so the quality isn't nearly as good though I just read there shouldn't be any difference between that and mp4 HD. So now I'll have to run a comparison and see.

    Video 1 to the caves - [ youtube video ]
    Video 2 to Karl's Hill - [ youtube video ]
    Video 3 pending upload to youtube tonite 11/4/2014 after dinner and finally some Picacho Pecan Pie Brown Ale 6.0% - Pecan Pie in a glass! at the Arizona Wilderness Brewery
    11-5-14 wow is that beer awesome! now to Video 3 link from Karl's Hill to Bagley Tank - [ youtube video ]
    Willow Springs Basin
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    A very interesting hike would be an apt description for this day's trek. I have often been intrigued by the Goldfield Mountains but thought they were just running areas for ATV's and Jeeps, and as it turns out, I was right. I parked my truck at the Weavers Needle Vista parking area along the Apache Trail, just a short distance from First Water Road.

    I got into my hiking gear, cleared the GPS and struck out, going North across Hwy 88 and into the dry wash. The immediate area was a series of horse trails, jeep/ATV tracks and some hikers boot prints. The wash was wide and ideal for walking with a mix of sand/gravel and stretches of solid rock. The Jeeps & ATV's seem to have little regard for the scenic area and are trying to climb every ledge and steep grade in sight (and it would only get worse further in) :o .

    I decided to stay off the Jeep/ATV trails and stay in the wash, which proved to be the exciting part of the hike. Soon I was in a very narrow canyon area which had a white solid rock base, cut deep in places by the erosion effects of the water. Holes in this rock were filled with standing water from the last rains but were useful as steps to descend to the lower levels. A length of Galvanized pipe ran for a long distance along the West side of the wash that at one time carried water to Tanks further down the wash.

    It wasn't long before the wash widened with a continuous sand/gravel base and a lot of dense green foliage dominated the sides. Further up, the mountains provided outstanding scenery with a lot of Saguaro and stands of Cholla dotting the sides. Slot canyons had been formed by the streams entering the wash and I investigated some of them and found them to be very interesting. One of these canyons had a drill rod stuck in the rock above a 15 foot falls.

    As I continued on, the jeep/ATV trail joined and left the wash at several places, so there was a lot of traffic that ran the wash rather than the trails. I was beginning to see more plastic water bottles, plastic ATV parts, even a rider's glove littered the wash. At one place I came across some doggie poo in a zip-lock baggie (When dog poo will dry up in a couple of Arizona days, why would someone put it into a zip-lock bag to preserve it for a thousand years?) :yuck: .

    I continued down the wash enjoying the quiet (the Jeeps & ATV's weren't running today) and the scenery. There were a lot of birds around and they seemed to pay little attention to my presence. At places the sides of the canyon closed in with cliffs towering high above making for some beautiful stretches of the hike.

    When my GPS told me I reached the 5 mile mark, I had now overlapped the Willow Creek to Saguaro Lake posted hike. Along the West side of the wash, another canyon was showing itself and looked pretty tempting, but I was running low on time and put this in my memory banks for a future hike (coordinates 33-deg 32.448, 111-deg 28.948) :) . So I reluctantly made an about face and headed back up the wash.

    When I got to the white rock area again, I had to climb up the rocks and in doing so, my new camera somehow slipped out if its bag and fell on the rocks, landing in the sand below. :o I can't repeat what I said then, :--: but after retrieving my camera, the lens cover had come off and the optional ND (neutral density) filter was cracked across its face. ](*,) Now I know why I bought a $25 screw in lens filter, that fracture could have been my $400 camera's lens. Fortunately the camera still works and I was able to take some photos of fall foliage that still existed along the wash. :FG:

    So I had an interesting day and an almost expensive lesson, but there's still hope for the regions within the Goldfield Mountains, if you can find the remote trails where the ATV's can't travel. :y:
    Willow Springs Basin
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    A very interesting hike would be an apt description for this day's trek. I have often been intrigued by the Goldfield Mountains but thought they were just running areas for ATV's and Jeeps, and as it turns out, I was right. But I parked my truck at the Weavers Needle Vista parking area along the Apache Trail just a short distance from First Water Road to explore the area.

    I got into my hiking gear, cleared the GPS and struck out, going North across Hwy 88 and into the dry wash. The immediate area was a series of horse trails, jeep/ATV tracks and some hikers boot prints. The wash was wide and ideal for walking with a mix of sand/gravel and stretches of solid rock. The Jeeps & ATV's seem to have little regard for the scenic area and are trying to climb every ledge and steep grade in sight (and it would only get worse further in) :gun: .

    I decided to stay off the trails and stay in the wash, which proved to be the exciting part of the hike. Soon I was in a very narrow canyon area which had a white solid rock base, cut deep in places by the erosion effects of the water. Holes in this rock were filled with standing water from the last rains but were useful as steps to descend to the lower levels. A length of Galvanized pipe ran for a long distance along the West side of the wash that at one time carried water to Tanks further down the wash.

    It wasn't long before the wash widened with a continuous sand/gravel base and a lot of dense green foliage dominated the sides. Further up, the mountains provided outstanding scenery with a lot of Saguaro and stands of Cholla dotting the sides. Slot canyons had been formed by the streams entering the wash and I investigated some of them and found them to be very interesting. One of these canyons had a drill rod stuck in the rock above a 15 foot falls.

    As I continued on, the jeep/ATV trail joined and left the wash at several places, so there was a lot of traffic that ran the wash rather than the trails. I was beginning to see more plastic water bottles, plastic ATV parts, even a rider's glove littered the wash. At one place I came across some doggie poo in a zip-lock baggie (When dog poo will dry up in a couple of Arizona days, why would someone put it into a zip-lock bag to preserve it for a thousand years?) :yuck: .

    I continued down the wash enjoying the quiet (the Jeeps & ATV's weren't running today) and the scenery. There were a lot of birds around and they seemed to pay little attention to my presence. At places the sides of the canyon closed in with cliffs towering high above making for some beautiful stretches of the hike. :)

    When my GPS told me I reached the 5 mile mark, I had now overlapped the Willow Creek to Saguaro Lake posted hike. Along the West side of the wash, another canyon was showing itself and looked pretty tempting, but I was running low on time and put this in my memory banks for a future hike (coordinates 33-deg 32.448, 111-deg 28.948). So I reluctantly made an about face and headed back up the wash. :-({|=

    When I got to the white rock area again, I had to climb up the rocks and in doing so, my new camera somehow slipped out if its bag and fell on the rocks, landing in the sand below. :o I can't repeat what I said then, :--: but after retrieving my camera, the lens cover had come off and the optional ND (neutral density) filter was cracked across its face ](*,) . Now I know why I bought a $25 screw in lens filter, that fracture could have been my $400 camera :doh: . Fortunately the camera still works and I was able to take some photos of fall foliage that still existed along the wash.

    So I had an interesting day and an almost expensive lesson, but there's still hope for the regions within the Goldfield Mountains, if you can find the remote trails where the ATV's can't travel. :y:

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
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    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Special Use: This Trail is part of the Bull Dog Canyon OHV area and an administrative permit can be obtained at no cost from the Mesa Tonto Forest Office. The permit will allow further access beyond the gate for those with a four wheel drive vehicle. Apache trail Northeast from Idaho Road in Apache Junction. About 10 miles northeast to highway marker 204. Just before the marker turn left into parking area. A reference point is the Needle Vista viewpoint on the south of the highway. The trailhead is not marked but is a clear pulloff area just before the 204 sign.
    page created by AZLOT69 on Jan 12 2010 1:54 pm
    help comment issue

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