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Rocky Ridge Trail #153, AZ

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261 36 1
Guide 36 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NW
2.9 of 5 by 13
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7 feet
Elevation Gain 244 feet
Accumulated Gain 310 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 - 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.03
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
7  2019-07-13 Nightstalker
10  2017-08-19
Dry Lake Hills Loop
15  2017-08-19
Dry Lake Hills Loop
6  2017-08-19
Dry Lake Hills Loop
10  2016-09-24
Mount Elden - Dry Lake Hills Loop
14  2016-09-24
Mount Elden - Dry Lake Hills Loop
12  2015-07-12
Lost Burrito - Jedi Loop
37  2015-07-12
Lost Burrito - Jedi Loop
Page 1,  2,  3
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Jun, Aug, Sep
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:14am - 6:25pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby

Likely In-Season!
This rocky path over rolling terrain leads through a forest of ponderosa pines interspersed with stunted Gambel oaks and gnarled alligator junipers. Also found on this arid south slope of the Dry Lake Hills are a number of hardy shrubs and ground hugging desert plants. Among these are cliffrose, broadleaf yucca and prickly pear cactus. Combined they add a bit of desert ambience to the surroundings. In season, colorful wildflowers add a splash of brightness to the rocky slopes. From mid-spring to late summer along the trailside you'll see a number of varieties of paintbrush, a creamy yellow flower called butter and eggs and lots of bright red penstemon.

Though this trail is quite close to town, evidence of wildlife is none the less common. The tracks of coyote and elk are frequently mixed in with the tracks of joggers, hikers and mountain bikers. In mid-summer the sweet notes of the area's resident songbird, the hermit thrush echo through the forest. As the trail roller coasters over the shallow dry washes that crease the lower slopes of the Dry Lake Hills it offers good views of Flagstaff and its western suburbs. The upper reaches of Oak Creek and Sycamore Canyons are visible in the background. So is Mormon Mountain.

Rocky Ridge Trail provides a convenient connecting route between Schultz Creek Trail and the Oldham Brookbank trails.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-06-11 HAZ_Hikebot
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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 16 deeper Triplog Reviews
Rocky Ridge Trail #153
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Dry Lake Hills Loop
This typically easy for me hike was among my most difficult, in the end it was among the most rewarding.

2.9 mi on Rocky Ridge Trail #153
Appropriately named compared to other tails in the area. I'd imagine some mountain bikers enjoy the course as the rocks have a firm hold making it more fun than irritating.

left 0.25 mi on Oldham Trail #1

left 3.5 mi on Brookbank Trail #2
Immediately climbs up into the Dry Lake Hills. The only good ascent picking up 700 ft in 1.25 mi. Lots of courteous mountain bikers passed by announcing their presence and the number remaining in their group.

right 0.35 mi on Sunset Trail #23 - Flagstaff
Pines thinned for this short 200 ft descent. Passed several runners throughout the day. Two chicks at the top of this trail got our attention minutes after passing. We realized how impressive their pace was considering they just topped out a 200 ft ascent.

left 3.55 mi for the entire Little Bear Trail #112
Dense pines returned. Then they thin before what looks like a monster descent. Views of NE Flagstaff are scenic, especially now with fields of yellow wildflowers.

I deemed this trail the "find" of the day 1.55 mi in, the next 3 miles slapped back hard. The monster descent joke was on us. This trail drops 1,118 feet in the subtle fashion. There was no quick drop. The grade is steady throughout. Most will enjoy, the dragged out switchbacks were just wearing on me.

Anyone that has hiked with me knows I can whine like no other. This slow down grade just wasn't pumping blood thus amplifying every ache along with lack of sleep. B & D absorbed more of my nonsense than any human should fall victim.

left 4.9 mi on Little Elden Trail #69
Bruce thought this would be a 500 ft ascent to Schultz Tank. It turned out to be a ridiculously subtle 350 ft. In all fairness these trails are designed for mountain bikers and ascending period was better than slow descending.

I mentioned earlier our friendly mountain bikers would give way to afternoon riders. Less announced their approach, none notified group number remaining and their speed was blazing at times. No issues, we're friendly aware hikers. Just pointing out morning nets better results in my experiences when hiking popular mountain bike areas.

continue 4.2 mi / -920 ft for the entire Schultz Creek Trail #152
This is a cool trail weaving next to the dry creek and nearby road. Pines provide shade throughout.

Bruce knew I needed an easy course. As much as it dragged out and amplified various pains the net result was monumental. After the hike my left fist which had been clenching for months is now sometimes at ease. I can move my fingers outward for the first time. Albeit ever so slow, this new hope is a lot to take in. Huge thanks to B & D for putting up with the world's biggest baby. They monitor me, the footing, among other tasks helping me sit, stand and the constant struggle with my pack.

One improvement on hydration was a success. I have an idea that should put pack stress to rest and we believe a little change in nutrition will make it easier too.

Substantial in areas with an excellent variety. Extreme fields of yellow looking down at NE Flagstaff.
Rocky Ridge Trail #153
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Dry Lake Hills Loop
Up to the High country to enjoy the Temps.
53 degrees to start, mid 70's most of the day, hitting the low 80's in the exposed sections

Along the Rocky Ridge #153 trail there has been a lot of thinning going on. This trail roller coasters up to the Lower Oldham Trail, that we were on for just a stones throw.

Brookbank #2 climbs to the NW, affording good views of Mt Elden. Once you get up around peak 8747, the views open up to "The Peaks". On the Sunset #23 Trail for a snippet of time, we made our way over to the Little Bear #112.

This was my first time on Little Bear #112 and it had some big pluses and minuses. It goes through the old burn area, so you loose the trees. For me at the top, this was actually a plus. The views are huge as the trail follows on the side of the mountain. There of signs of reforestation, with scads of cone protected, 18" tall pine saplings planted everywhere. This trail drops almost 900', taking more than 3.5 miles, through exhausting switchbacks. I say exhausting, because the JBM was in full force once again.

The Little Elden Trail #69 / AZT, is a pleasant trail making its way up to Schultz Tank and the Sunset TH. We passed Thelma and Louise on Horseback.

The Schultz Creek #152 Trail is a gentle downward grade, in the pines, taking us back to the truck. We saw 5+ elk on the way down.

I couldn't count the number of mountain bikers we saw on this hike. They were out in full Fource...

The phrase that pays, two weeks in a row.
"What I meant to say was, Thanks"

Did we have a good time,
There's no Talon.

Substantial in pockets. there was a cornucopia of color.
Rocky Ridge Trail #153
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Mount Elden - Dry Lake Hills Loop
This is one of our go to hikes now for color.
This seems to be the correct week for this one based on our previous 2 trips here.

We hit the Elden Lookout Trail #4 at about 8am and started the more than 2400' climb to the Lookout. Once you hit the saddle where the Sunset Trail ends, the Aspens were all aglow. There are nice tunnels of Aspens leading you up to the Lookout. This is the first time the Lookout was open while I was up there and I took legal advantage of going up into the tower. The gentleman manning the tower said he would pack it up Tuesday the 27th for the season.

A short road walk on the Lookout Road and we rejoined the Sunset Trail #23. Golden views back to Elden Mountain to the SE and other Aspen stands to the West are.... Nice... This is an enjoyable trail that takes you through Sunset Park, stands of Aspen and then lower to old growth conifer and some grassy areas.

We had never done the the upper portion of the Brookbank Trail #2 before. It will be in the rotation, as it was quite enjoyable. Mostly tall Ponderosa and smooth trail.

Once out to the Little Gnarly Trail, we headed westish across another new section for us, Dry Lake Hills. We took this to it's drop to the Rocky Ridge Trail #153.

The Rocky Ridge Trail #153, is a pleasant roller coaster through mixed conifer and deciduous.

The 1600' climb back to the top, starts in earnest on the Oldham Trail #1 and then Upper Oldham Trail. A steady climb at first and then gets steeper by the switchbacks approaching Oldham Park.

It was nice to be at the top again on the Sunset Trail, albeit a tad cold. We changed plans on our return to the truck to attempt get a good sun setting on the Aspen section of the Sunset trail. We missed prime light by 20 minutes or so. But, were able to catch a bit of golden light on the Eastern end.

All in all a nice new version of this loop.

On the upper portions of the Elden Lookout Trail, above the Sunset Trail the Aspens were almost completely prime yellow. The Sunset Trail also was popping yellow!
Rocky Ridge Trail #153
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Mount Elden - Dry Lake Hills Loop
Based on a couple subtle observations it felt like Autumn might be a week early. We rolled the dice and lucked out.

Elden Lookout Trail #4
It wasn't cold enough to warrant long sleeves, simply perfect weather. The nearby dog food plant really stunk up the place for our first hour. My feathered naysayer companion held firm until we were surrounded in a lightbox of yellow atop Elden. On the same token he was kind enough to patiently wait while I took a crash course in insta media relations.

Sunset Trail #23
We religiously take a wrong turn off the summit and this year was par for course. Should we happen to get it right in the future an honorary fudge is in order. The views over to Humphreys never get old. Did I mention the weather? Phenomenal Autumn breeze, sweet yet slightly tangy. Away from Lookout #4 we only encountered a few hikers, such a shame. It got chilly enough to put on long sleeves for a half hour before Brookbank.

Brookbank Trail #2
We've hiked the lower portion of this trail many times. We changed the loop and got to explore the upper. Wow, what a great stretch of forest.

Flats & Gnarly Descent
Near the flats of Dry Lake Hills Bruce took a page out of a previous Tibber-Gecko hike. After working across the flats we lunched on the edge of a descent with nice distant views. The descent was semi ferocious. Albeit a trail it appeared blocked off when we bottomed out with Rocky Ridge #153

Rocky Ridge Trail #153
Neither bad nor exceptional... I barely recall our ~2 miles.

Oldham Trail #1
I've always enjoyed this one. We even have our break spots down to a science.

Lasso's Rock
On 2 previous loops we've returned on the Heart and Christmas Tree trails. We mutually agreed the only thing cool about the Christmas Tree trail is the name. In addition we'd never hiked the upper most half mile of Sunset #23. Considering it was a sea of yellow aspen the decision to change the loop to a lasso loop was easy.

Unfortunately we missed the fading sun by ten to fifteen minutes. Half of the stretch was still in full glory and it was great to mark off the trail as complete.

Elden Lookout Trail #4
The descent was shaded all the way down. We finished right at 6pm when Bruce told Debbie we'd finish. This was my first time descending and it reminded me Camelback... not a fan. Exactly like Camelback I love the ascent!

Perfect weather ruled.

the top of Elden is brilliant aspen yellow
Rocky Ridge Trail #153
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Lost Burrito - Jedi Loop
Sometimes it pays to be snoopy when someone is on the same trail as you but arrived from a totally different direction. Two weeks ago I encountered some hikers that I saw near the intersection of Brookbank and Little Gnarly Trails and I asked them where they came from. The Lost Burrito she says. The "what"? So the next day I started googling "Lost Burrito Trail", in particular, a gps track. To find that turn off of Rocky Ridge, you need that track.

I was glad Kelly was willing to give this and the other route I found, The Jedi Trail, a shot. I prefer to do new discoveries of unmarked trails with others; altho my track following skills are much better... provided I've been given the right track. Saturday afternoon's hike got us nice and acclimated for the 1100 elevation gain we would have to do in what I thot was 1.66 miles but fortunately it was over 1.9 miles except that the last 1/2 mile was almost all of Shaw Butte :sweat: .

Anyway, it was a nice morning and we headed out from the Schultz Creek TH up the Rocky Ridge Trail. In about 10 minutes I pulled out HAZel (the HAZtraks narrator now has a name) so that we wouldn't miss the turn. And it's easily missable. The Lost Burrito Trail (one of Flagstaff's oldest bike mountain biking trails) is definitely a trail once you make the turn. It does start to go up right away but not bad and there are several flatter areas to catch your breath. We were delightfully surprised at how nice the trail was through this bottom section. There was only one spot where we ran into a route discussion as the the track (from 2011) we were following wanted to go up a drainage but you could see where the trodden trail kept going straight (though it split for just a moment). So KEEP ON THE MAIN TRAIL and you'll be fine.

You go thru this little boulder area that is pretty cool as you meander your way up switching directions from time to time. It's hard to believe they ran sheep through here. It is mostly shaded which is nice and as you get up a little higher you get momentary views of varying vistas though I'm not sure what we were looking at so maybe you will be able to tell by the pictures I post. One thing we could see was one of the telescope observatories; not sure if that's the one that saw Pluto first.

Well I'm thinking, this climb is not too bad but then again, we had only made it to the first little summit. NOW the real work would begin : rambo : . It was a doozy getting up one section of that last 1/2 mile; plus it was slippery. I'm sure that's why the hiker I met two weeks ago on the trail said NOT to go down it. Up, up, up we went with an occasional breather to check out the expanding views and take a picture of course. The last bit I did the TibberShuffle where I would hike a few steps, breathe, breathe, hike a few more, breathe, breathe but I felt good and knew the top was near. We had a breeze too for this last section so that always helps.

The top area is pretty with some wildflowers scattered about and a nice long log to have a seat and re-energize. There were some beetles there too. They were checking out my track on Kemosabe. After re-fueling it was on with our adventure as we walked thru the woods looking for the first dry lake. And it opened up beautifully to a graceful grass meadow surrounded by the forest. We walked along the north side of it and then up and over a knoll where we found an additional trail that seems to run north/south.

We saw a bike rider over on the other side but were unsure as to where he was going. I thot this might go to the trail Jake had done in 2010 that he called (Little Gnarly to Lost Burrito). So whether or not the Lost Burrito also goes on the south side of that western Dry Lake is a question. However, my track said we were on the Lost Burrito. Also at this intersection of trails is a nice grove of aspen. Little did we know we would get treated with more of this later today.

Anyway, you come to the next open meadow where there are lots of slash piles. Two weeks ago I saw these from the far side on the Brookbank Trail. The Brookbank Meadow is just lovely as we continued to the eastern side of the Dry Lake where there is a pond full of water right now. We checked that out and then headed back to the intersection with the Lost Burrito, Brookbank and Jedi and headed on the Jedi Trail. Off to the west is another pretty grove of aspen. We pulled over for a snack on a rock and in the shade of some fir trees.

Next it was to the kitchen sink but not before a father and son went through on their bikes. I had seen the kitchen sink on my hike here two weeks ago when I, for some reason, decided I was going the wrong way. It's a great hike through here as well but then you get teased with some more aspen only to walk a bit further to a small grassy meadow with aspen spread before you :DANCE: . It was breath-taking (the good kind!). We took picture after picture here. We were so pleased; mostly because it was so unexpected.

The trail continues through the aspens and then the forest as it contours down around the hillside. You will encounter a couple very short slippery sections and some interesting bike jumps/bridges as you make your way to the Little Gnarly. We had two bike riders pass us by on this section. You get occasional views of the SF Peaks too. From the Little Gnarly it's just a hop, skip and jump to the Schultz Creek Trail. It was starting to get a bit more overcast now. It's still very green here and there were spots of various flora including Columbine and Arizona Rose (LOVE the smell, clove-like).

The bike traffic was significant and not quite as polite as I had two weeks ago. Kelly kept us going as I tried to remember what was coming up. I mostly remember that last 1/2 mile before you get to the intersection with the Fort Valley trail. It's quite impressive that big re-route they did about a mile from the TH. The trail is in great shape but you do have to be mindful of the bike traffic.

A great day of discovery and we lucked out because the scenery was great. Thanks Kelly for helping me check it out. There are lots of loop possibilities out there. And who knew bike routes could actually be fun to hike.

Part 1: Lost Burrito to the top ... 9To8
Part 2: Lost Burrito cont'd thru Dry Lakes area ... TaDU
Part 3: The Jedi Trail (it's a beauty) ... obg8
Part 4: rest of Jedi and Schultz Creek Trails - ... -Bjg

some columbine, lupine and purple loco along with some ground daisies
Rocky Ridge Trail #153
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Lost Burrito - Jedi Loop
the featured hike for the weekend :)
angela had done a similar loop a couple weeks ago [ photoset ]
she found a couple of obscure mountain biking trails and put together this loop
after a big girl breakfast, took off from schultz creek trailhead around 8:30
took rocky ridge for a half mile, then up lost burrito, which is not on any map that i've seen
decent trail through pine forest, with a steep scree section toward the top - best to go up this
took a little break where the trail plateaued, then went through open meadow and past two of the dry lakes
i had never been up there, so it was a nice visual surprise
continued over to brookbank meadow and checked out a small pond
saw a few mountain bikers and two hikers up top
another break after turning onto jedi, mostly to enjoy the scenery
took jedi down to little gnarly
jedi is a nice singletrack trail that has a few jumps and drops
one beautiful small meadow ringed with aspen along the way
little gnarly led to schultz creek trail, leaving 3.5 miles downhill back to the trailhead
i don't mind this trail, but i don't really like having to watch out for mountain bikers so i would probably find another way to do some of the other trails
much more to explore
angela picked a good loop
i had only been on the schultz creek trail (mountain biking, 15 years ago :o )
lots of wildflowers throughout the hike
clear skies at first, clouding up toward the end
pleasant temps the whole day
nice weekend getaway for sure, almost all of it on new trails
thanks for driving, angela - good times
Rocky Ridge Trail #153
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Schultz Loop
what to do, what to do? I was going to do Slate and Red Mountains as it has been since 2011 that I did those with johnr1 but then I looked at the temps and decided, "Nope, surely there has to be something cooler." So then I looked at the eastish side of Elden but nope, the temps were higher than I wanted and then I remembered I had put together lots of trail possibilities on the westish side. So I did some Rx and built my route; tried to get various people to go with me but to no avail. I considered doing a workout on Sunday AM but decided I really needed to hike as it had been two weeks.

After Rxing further I decided I would try and find the Schultz Creek TH (didn't realize what a main TH that was). I started on the Rocky Ridge Trail at around 9:30, it was already warm. I started feeling light-headed and nauseous fairly quickly. I was hoping this was not the new me and hiking as this happened a couple weeks ago. Anyway, I kept on hiking, checking out the wildlflowers, smelling the wonderful air, taking video and occasionally stepping aside for bike riders. Eventually you get up on more of a ridge with views to the SW and Flagstaff. The trail is really pretty nice but then again, it appears to be well traveled by bike riders.

I heard some dogs and then people and then looked down and saw a couple houses, what? but then a little later I saw the road and realized the track follows pretty close to the road to Elden Lookout so that would explain a few houses. I reached the intersection where the trail continues to Buffalo Park and as part of the AZT it continued that way too or you hang a left and head on the Brookbank Trail altho at the time I wasn't sure if I was on the Brookbank, Rocky Ridge or a connector Trail. Which reminds me, I learned that when I have all of the various trails as one on my route to waypoint where each one starts so I know which one I'm on.

It's kind of weird being next to the road like that and then you cross it to what looks like another major TH as there is a big sign and such. Here you hang a left and continue for awhile past a climbing area and then you cross the road again and continue on the trail. I paused for a moment to listen to the birds before beginning the climb up Brookbank (which after researching the bike riders call it Lower Brookbank). I saw a bike pusher ahead as the trail got steeper. He didn't go much further before turning around for his ride down. I found a nice rock to sit on for about 5 minutes before finishing my hike to the top but not before encountering 3 hikers before the junction with the Sunset Trail.

I could see blue sky so I knew I was near the top. There were a lot of ferns in this area and after walking the trail between the ferns you are greeted with a meadow. Walking further you can see lots of slash piles off to the left and then as you clear the trees, there are the San Francisco Peaks. This whole area was a delightful surprise :DANCE: There is a trail that splits off to the right and I believe that takes you to Upper Brookbank via the other side of the pond which K&K and I did in 2013.

As I continued walking straight, to my right I thot I could see a pond and though I thot the trail continued straight there was a path over to the pond area so I went over to investigate. There seemed to be quite a bit of water in it. And then I headed back to what appeared to be new kiosk-like signage that talked about the Brookbank Meadow which is actually owned by the Navajo.

I encountered some hikers who came up the Lost Burrito Trail. "The what?" I said. And they explained how it came off at about the .6 mile mark of the Rocky Ridge Trail and it was steep. They said they were headed down the Little Gnarly. I guess I didn't grasp that they were going one way to the LG and I was going a different. So I continued straight from where I had turned right (the way the other hikers were going). It was really pretty here as I started heading down the mountain.

For some reason I decided to check my HAZtraks and I quickly discovered I was going the wrong way ](*,) and that the other hikers were going the right way. So I retraced my steps where I did encounter two bike riders coming down this trail. Well come to find out after getting home and checking out some maps, the trail I was on is The Jedi; it would have been a different right way. ;)

So back I went and past the pond where apparently the Little Gnarly Trail starts back into the forest. I then started to recognize the trail from when I did this with Kathy and Karl back in 2013. By this time I was getting pretty hungry so I pulled over to have some lunch. I listened to and filmed part of a bird conversation. The skies were darkening. Two bike riders were heading up. I was soon on my way again. I would start seeing columbine which I thot was odd as it was along the road. I eventually encountered what I thot was the junction with the trail I had originally been on at the top as it does merge with LG (after studying the bike map when I got home). Soon you reach the junction with the Sunset Trail which is what K&K and I took two years ago because that's where we started. I, on the other hand was parked at the Schultz Creek TH so I opted to continue to Schultz Creek. Here I encountered two out of town bicyclists.

So now after re-calculating, I probably had about a little less than 4 miles to go on the Schultz Creek Trail since I bypassed the Sunset u-turn. The thunder would rumble from time to time and I knew the chance of rain was 30% but I had my 100% rain cover in my umbrella if I needed it. I stopped to smell the roses a couple times, the scent was simply lovely :) . I feared this trail would be noisy and crowded but it was really nice almost the whole way; other than 3 racing bike riders and a car of people sharing their music with Mother Nature. There was miscellaneous flora along the way and the cloud cover made it quite pleasant despite the rise in humidity.

Not too far after reaching the junction with the Arizona Trail, it did start to sprinkle so I did get my umbrella out for about a quarter mile. There was another couple forks in this trail that take you to the right but I stayed left and confirmed it on my HAZtraks. If you went to the right you'd just end up on the road so not a big deal. There would be bike riders off and on but most rang their bell and were very nice which makes up for the bad experience I had on AZT34 last summer.

Once again there were lots of slash piles along this part of the trail too and some re-routes it looked like. Over to my left I saw some cement foundations so I went over to investigate. After researching, those are the remnants of the CCC camp for the workers that helped build the Schultz Pass road. I could only find one picture online though and none of the camp back in the 30s. This trail is also part of the Fort Valley system as there is a sign posted at another trail junction.

So all in all a very good day. I don't mind the bike riders so much, especially when I'm hiking alone because then I know I am on a trail and not off somewhere I don't want to be. And this day, other than the 3 bikers, everyone was very nice. I took lots of video which means lots of narration like when I got off track etc. My new camera is still at the warranty company for repair or replacement or so their website says. So far two emails to Square Trade Warranty inquiring about status have gone unanswered (me and the new camera had a close encounter with the beach in Oregon).

Part 1: Rocky Ridge and beginning of Brookbank Trail ... hZL4
Part 2: Brookbank Trail to meadow ... dBVA
Part 3: Brookbank Meadow to Little Gnarly ... EnRQ
Part 4: Little Gnarly ... NYMQ
Part 5: Schultz Creek Trail, Part 1 of 2 ... NMik (stabilizing 7-1-15)
Part 6: Schultz Creek Trail, Part 2 of 2 including CCC remnants ... STI4 (stabilizing 7-1-15

Rocky Ridge Trail #153
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A nice loop hike around the Dry Lake Hills. Expected to see a lot more mountain bikers on this hike, which we saw some on the Schultz Creek Trail, but then didn't see any on the other trails. Little Gnarly and Brookbank Trail were the highlights of this loop. The meadow area off the Brookbank Trail was really nice, so nice that we initially missed the sharp turn in the trail so had to back track slightly. Since Ryan was still pack-less he kept a pretty good pace so we made good time.
Rocky Ridge Trail #153
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Did a loop hike at MT. Eldon. I started at the Mt. Eldon TH and headed to the peak. I saw a forest crew doing trail maintenance on the Sunset trail. The wind was pretty cold on top, so I took the first route down, the Upper Oldham trail. The Upper Oldham is a nice single track trail. I then took the Brookbank trail. The plan was to take the Brookbank to the Sunset, to the Schultz TH. Somewhere in the Dry Lake area, there's a bunch of un-signed intersections and I took a wrong turn and wound up on the Schultz loop trail. No big deal.

Then I hiked to the Schultz TH and saw that the Little Eldon trail and Eldon Spring road are open. I went to hike the Waterline TH, but that's closed due to flood repair. So now I did plan B, the AZT # 34. I went in for about 4+ miles. About 3+ miles in, then AZT splits. I returned to the Schultz / Sunset TH(s) and had lunch. Then I took the Schultz trail to the Rocky Ridge, to the Oldham, to the Pipeline, back to the TH.

Along the way I saw the AZT connector(on the Schultz trail) from AZT 34 section. This new connector lets you cut-off about three miles by skipping the Schultz / Sunset THs. On the Pipeline trail, I explored Eldon gravesite / homestead area.
Rocky Ridge Trail #153
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I hiked over Mt. Eldon, and then returned around the base.

I parked at the Mt. Eldon TH and took the Elden Lookout trail to peak. Then I hiked the Brookbank trail,then to an un-named trail that's on my paper map(but not on the TH maps). This trail went to an un-named water tank. There's a couple of old jeep/ single track trail in this area. I followed the main trail that dropped elevation. The trail was rough in some spots with downed trees, but it looked like the mountain bikers still use it. The trail dropped into the Schultz's Creek trail. I took the Schultz Creek to the Schultz's Pass TH. The forest service posted that FFR420 (pass the TH), FR 556 and the waterline trail are closed till April 2013. I went down the new section of the AZT a bit and had lunch.

I started heading back. I took the Schultz's creek to the Sunset TH and did the Schultz's loop back to the Schultz's creek. I then took the Rocky Ridge to Easy Oldham and went to Buffalo Park. I returned and took the pipeline back to the Jeep.

This was my first time on most of these trails. The spur trails can cause some confusion. Twice I got on a spur trail and had to backtrack.

The weather was great. I felt like I was back in the mid-west on a fall day. One minute it was hot then it was chilly. It depended on the wind and the clouds.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Location: Just north of Flagstaff off US 180

Access: Drive north from Flagstaff 2 miles on US 180 to FR 420 (Schultz Pass Road). Turn east and follow FR 420 about a mile to a gate and cattle guard. Turn right down over the hill toward Schultz Creek and park. The trailhead is marked with a sign near the creekbed.
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