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Hyde Mountain #6, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott NW
3.5 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,900 feet
Elevation Gain 1,392 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,418 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.29
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes
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25  2014-09-13
Stringtown - Pinetop - Apache Creek Loop
35  2014-09-13
Stringtown - Pinetop - Apache Creek Loop
21  2014-08-16
Hyde Mountain - Apache Creek Loop
30  2014-08-16
Hyde Mountain - Apache Creek Loop
31  2014-08-16
Hyde Mountain - Apache Creek Loop
11  2014-08-16
Hyde Mountain - Apache Creek Loop
14  2004-07-25 Abe
Author Abe
author avatar Guides 17
Routes 0
Photos 296
Trips 59 map ( 426 miles )
Age 61 Male Gender
Location Prescott, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Mar
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:19am - 6:30pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Awesome View On Top
by Abe

"A bear! I am shaking from fear and excitement! Sitting on a rock to change from sandals to shoes (hiking), I heard heavy slow crashing thru the brush. I thought it odd because it was heavy so I looked up from tying my hiking boots up.

Studying the trail ahead for more sounds and to see movement, I held my breath. It is light enough, but no shadows, a new day coming.

Suddenly movement behind brush and a bears head, shoulder appeared and stopped about 25 yards away.

I froze. The bear froze. And we studied each other. Primal fear welled up deep inside me as I watched it. A brown bear.

A minute passed.
And then it turned around and ambled off.
A dove called out.
Of course now I am scared to death of going up Hyde Mountain Trail."

Excerpt from my hiking journal. July 18th, 2004

Thus my day began! I had come here to climb Hyde Mountain, to visit the old fire lookout on top, and I see a bear! Totally caught me by surprise as I sat on a rock surveying the area around me. Scanning through the brush and trees I was hoping to catch a fleeting movement of the bear. My ears straining for the sounds of paws striking the ground and breaking twigs. Instead, I hear only the sounds of the forest, birds singing, a lone dove calling, and the trees rustling lightly from a gentle breeze flirting with them.

My heart was pounding and I was controlling my breathing. I was keenly aware I was alone, no weapon, other than my walking stick. My cell phone tucked away in my daypack, out of sight, out of mind.

I reviewed in my mind what had just happened. It is light enough to see clearly, the colors and features of the surrounding landscape. The trees, brush, and rocks; however, no shadows, the sunlight blocked by early morning clouds over the eastern horizon. The air was pleasant, slightly muggy, with the feel of an early afternoon storm in the air.

I had clearly seen the bear, brownish in color, and I could swear I seen black rings around his eyes as he faced me. I am sure he didn't see me to well and he wasn't lifting his nose to sniff the air. Yet, I am certain he sensed my presence as he studied his surroundings, showing no fear, yet slightly concerned it seem. Watching him with both fear and awe, I could not help but feel he was an old timer, having spent many years in the area, roaming unmolested, unchallenged, wise.

And I was scared to death to go on the hike. I briefly wrote in my journal to relate the experience and nursed a cup of coffee I just poured out of my thermos. To give some thought as to what I was going to do and give the bear the opportunity to continue on his trek around me. I wanted to get of the area, but common sense told me the bear would be no problem. I hope.

After about fifteen minutes, I convinced the bear had left my immediate area. I threw on my pack, locked the Jeep up, grabbed my walking stick, and began my stroll up Hyde Mountain. A small sign indicating where the forest road ends and the trail begins. A multi-use trail I was glad to see very little signs of trail bikes and quads heading up the mountain. Maybe folks knew about this bear.

The trail starts out easy and begins a slow steady gradual climb through the pines, juniper, manzanita, and assorted brush. I was in no hurry walking slow and steady, enjoying the quiet solitude engulfing me. Occasionally I would pause on the trail to look around behind me; the bear on my mind. The sun started making its appearance when I looked up toward Hyde Mountain and seen it blazing afire with sunlight. It was going to get warm soon.

Almost an hour into the hike I come up on a gate and took a bit of a rest, dropping my pack on the deck and looking around the area. On the post a sign stated "1/2 WAY GATE". I chuckled to myself thinking that was good to know as I looked up the trail.

After passing the gate the trail began to steeping and open up for the final assault to the top. It was warming up as I worked my way uphill, passing the lower saddle and hooking left following the trail. At one point I glanced at my small thermometer attached to my shoulder strap, the red liquid resting on the 80 degree mark. It wasn't even eight in the morning yet. Nevertheless, I leisurely pushed on, slow, uniformed steps, enjoying the view as I went. I was in no hurry to reach the top. Passing the upper saddle the trail is clearly exposed through the brush as it worked its way up the western side of the mountain. I looked up seeing the antenna the lookout used during their summer days watching for fire.

Not long after, I was on top. Opened, exposed to the winds, the elements, and the awesome 360 degree view. I stopped and thoughtfully looked at the sparse building with its auxiliary equipment scattered about. Everything locked up. Empty, silent, a shell of its former self, a ghost of its past; I felt a breeze softly touch my face. After a moment I stepped off to have a look around the immediate area of the former fire lookout built in 1936.

After a moment of looking around I sat on a rock in the shade of the old building. I began to pull out the essentials from my pack, mainly my hiking journal and trail mix. I regarded the landscape to the west. Rugged, broken, mountaintops scattered about with no rhymes or reason as far as I could see.

And even in the shade I felt the warmth of the day and humidity, my back cooling down from the sweat having soaked my shirt now drying. Pondering a little I looked down at the trail below to see if I would catch movement of hikers, or hear any sounds from their conversations coming up to me in the breeze. I didn't ponder long! Stripping off my inhibitions, I soon sat sunbathing, writing in my journal, and munching on my trail mix. The breeze felt even better.

Later, I walked around alone with my thoughts about the hay days of this lookout. I felt it would have been awesome to man this post in the middle of God's country. The most amazing thing to me as I looked over the distant scene and noting the prior week of monsoons cleaning the air, I estimated the visibility from the top of this 7,272 foot mountain at least 100 miles. I could see the Bradshaws, Granite Mountain, Mingus, Bill Williams, the red rock country of Sedona, and San Francisco Peaks.

My eyes then rested on Juniper Mesa almost thirteen miles to the north. I spied a small grayish white cotton puff floating in the air above. The conditions were right for another active day of storms and I was witnessing the birth of a baby boomer; the creation of a life giving, fast moving, terrifying, vocal, tempestuous storm. I hope so! I wanted to feel the wind buffeting my body, to hear the low rumbling sound of thunder, smell the earth as it rained. I said a silent prayer requesting the storm to mature.

However, I did not relish the thought of being caught on top of this wonderful mountain with no shelter. Without hurrying, I went about making myself presentable and putting my gear together into my pack, I hefted it on. I looked at the lonely building and its surroundings one last time. It is sad to see it empty, alone, leaving it to the storms and vandals.

It was time for me to go.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2004-07-25 Abe

    Prescott FS Details
    This trail is primarily a service trail to the Hyde Mountain Lookout, but is always open to hikers. Hyde Mountain at the fire lookout (7,272 ft.) is the highest point in the Santa Maria Mountains and offers excellent vistas of the Santa Maria Mountains and northern Arizona. The lookout is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as exemplifying CCC era construction.

    The entire trail is a primitive or semi-primitive road. Motor vehicles less than 40" wide permitted.

    Maps, other resources: Prescott National Forest, west half; U.S.G.S. topographic 7.5' quad for Camp Wood.

    Trail layout: The trail climbs directly to the lookout on Hyde Mountain. The latter third of the trail is steep and difficult. A lookout is normally on duty during May, June, and July and visitors are always welcome. The trail branches about 1/4 mile south of the lookout, descending to the west for about 0.8 miles and joins the Brown Springs Trail #5 just northeast of the saddle between Hyde Mountain and Pinetop Mountain.

    Precautions: This can be a hot, difficult climb. Take frequent breaks and carry plenty of drinking water; none is available on the trail or at the lookout on Hyde Mountain.
    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
    Hyde Mountain #6
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Stringtown - Pinetop - Apache Creek Loop
    We made the drive out to HAZVille and arrived to a mostly awake camp at 7:45.

    After our quick hellos to the gang, a scan to see if we had any takers on our hike, Karl and I headed out with no takers.

    I wanted to head up the Stringtown Wash from the east, to see if we could find any sign on the Stringtown Trail #9917. The Prescott Nat. Forest web site description and the PNF GPS track don't come close to agreeing with each other. We did find remnants of the trail starting at about .75 miles from it's Western TH continuing to that spot.

    On the Hyde Mountain Trail #6 now, I turn west off the Grapevine Springs Trail #9825 to try something new. The trail name didn't make any sense to me, because the actual spring is to the east and this trail goes to the west off of #6. Checking Sat. views now, it appears there's a faint unofficial trail that goes towards the spring, and what could be a spring box/s .1m off #6, a 1/3rd of the way to the spring location.
    Anyway, Karl went up to the top of Hyde to check out the views and we met back up at the lush Brown Spring.

    From Brown Spring, we were on a new to me section of the 7up to Hyde Mountain #5 Trail. We went up the saddle and down to the western terminus of this trail by the dry, Camp Wood Tank. We were able to find a blood free route to the top of Pinetop Mountain to check out one of them most elaborate tanks I've seen. This covered tank, uses the roof to funnel the water into the tank. Chumley's math placed it at 22,000 gallons.
    FR19 took us off the top of Pinetop Mountain, with it's big views to Juniper Mesa and the Apache Creek Wilderness area we'd be in next.

    The 3 mile trek from the Springs to "The Swimmin' Hole", through the water, slots and boulders is the reason we were doing this loop. Wow is this a sweet little off trail jaunt!!
    Highly Recommended..... I suppose with a little work you could avoid the water, and like us you'll try for awhile, but don't waste your time. enjoy it!

    When we started the day, the skies were blue, with not a single cloud. With only a 30% chance of rain, there was no reason to bring the Chrome Dome, Rain Jacket or waterproof GoPro. Yep we got dumped on and had electric spears thrown at us for almost an hour (back at HAZVille, they did not see a drop).

    There was a brief pause where we thought we were in the clear, then a Flash/Boom with zero delay. That was close. 50 yards further up was a Ponderosa that was struck and spewed a 7' section of pine, another 50' away. Based on some of the weather I've hiked in this year, I'm glad I don't have Astraphobia or Ombrophobia... but I should.

    With the rain now stopped, we took a dip in "The Swimin' Hole". On the Apache Creek Trail #9905 it was clear sailing back to HAZVille now for some Burgers, Dogs and Barley Pops with the crew.

    Video :next:
    Hyde Mountain #6
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Hyde Mountain - Apache Creek Loop
    Big loop in the Apache Creek Wilderness. This was my first time in the area and I was pleasantly surprised. The hike had a bit of everything including a fun swim hole near the halfway point.

    We started from a large car camping area that would be worth returning to. We made good time to Hyde Lookout which was very cool! From there we continued north and entered the Apache Creek Wilderness. This was my favorite part. The trail is easy to follow but faint in places. Some route finding was in order and it helped carrying the GPS track. The landscape is rugged and dense. It had a unique beauty in itself. Great area!

    Around the halfway point we had lunch and then detoured to the swimming hole. This was the highlight of the trip. The water was cool and refreshing. I need to do this more! Afterward we continued our hike and we headed east at this point. The trail was still faint but it was well cairned. There were large piles of rocks every few hundred yards. It was easy to follow. After a while we turned to the south and continued.

    We eventually hit a road and from there had eight miles to go. We basically put our heads down and hiked. A group of jeeps passed us about an hour later. They looked like they were having fun except I didn't see any alcohol. Weird! The last couple of hours blended by as we grinded back to the vehicles. All of us were happy when back to the car to Flat Denny waiting for us.

    This was a great area and fun group. It was great to hike with Bruce for the first time. Let's do it again soon! And nice job putting this route together. I really enjoyed it! Thanks Lee and Chumley for driving!
    Hyde Mountain #6
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hyde Mountain - Apache Creek Loop
    Chum's and I had been tryin' to get in a hike, for what seems like forever. Our schedules never meshed. We'd both scoped out the Juniper Mesa and Apache Creek areas and had ideas on some hikes.

    We decided on a loop I'd put together, with an exploration portion for a future adventure.

    Somehow Toughboots, 9L and Boy with Dog found out and joined us.

    After they wrote letters to their moms, blew their noses and made sure to put on clean underwear, we were off ... slightly late.

    We started from the Camp Wood area. Some great camping areas back here! It's a 16 mile drive on a dirt road (FS21, ie Camp Wood Rd) off of Williamson Valley Rd. When dry, this road is doable by just about any vehicle.

    After the ladies got all their food, beverages, skirts, snacks, etc.. ready, we were off like a heard of turtles just after 8am. Blanco is a good dog an listens to everything lee says. He did a good job of pointing out the Fauna to us. Numerous deer, Rabbits, Squirrels, Lizards were spotted.

    The hike started by gaining 1/2 our daily AEG in the first 4.3 miles to the top of Hyde Peak at 7270'. The Hyde Mountain Trail #6 was slightly overgrown but easy to follow except one short section just below the Lower Saddle. 360 views from up top were just spectacular.
    The lookout building from 1936 has a brand new Generator Unit and never used outhouse, but the property does not seem to have been used for a year or more.

    Next down the 7 Up to Hyde Mountain Trail #5. This got us into some more tall pines, green grass at the Brown Spring area. At this point Hyde Creek was next to us on the pleasant walk in the pines on no longer used FR52. There was filterable water the entire length.

    Off of 52B and on to the Apache Creek Trail #9905. There is no indication for the southern TH. We built a few cairns just off the road for future hikers. The trail is obvious once you get in a 100'. The southern portion area is a bolder wonderland, reminiscent of theWilderness of Rocks trail.

    Once we got to Apache Creek we took some lunch and then took the .6 mile hike to what appeared to be a pool of water on the satellite views. We were all surprised to find lot of water on our way up there. For the highlight of the day, we arrived at 30' x 20' and 10' Deep pool of the best swimmin' water around. We took a 1/2 hour cooling off, jumping off the rocks and cooling down.

    It's now 2pm and we're only 10 miles into a 25 mile hike, time to move on.

    The scenery was not arizona-like at all. More water, pines, deciduous trees, grasses and tall flowers.

    We hit the Gravers Wash Trail #9904, and made the turn to the barn.

    FR 95A was a slog, but not as bad as first feared. There were views to be had, some shade and even water along the way. It was the ankle busters that get tiresome hiking on. Not everywhere, but enough in the final 8 miles to say... enough.

    Short Video from Hyde and the Swimmin' Hole :next: ... UA&index=3

    Chum's shared some of his private stock of Natural Lite with us at the end and it was appreciated!

    Good to finally hike with Chum's, 9L, Boy With Dog and again with Bootsie.

    Thanks for driving Chum's. We have unfinished business out there
    Hyde Mountain #6
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hyde Mountain - Apache Creek Loop
    When I learned that Joe had bequeathed an eagle to me while getting his affairs in order before heading out to go Bass fishing, I decided I better take it out and see if it could fly without him.

    I was happy to see that things went well. I had previously known that I can rely on him to do everything and all I have to do is show up. Worked great! I had come up with an alternate plan, but I'm glad we stuck with the original -- with a short detour just to get a little taste of the area I had proposed. Turned out to be a highlight of the day. And by highlight, I mean bright, pasty white, blinding, sunlight reflecting... Luckily the water was perfect and we spent a while diving, swimming, and just having a good time in the middle of our hike.

    Apache Creek was flowing for it's entirety, and the monsoon has obviously brought enough moisture here to spring this area to life. It was loaded with green grass and flowers everywhere. It appears to be a healthy ecosystem, with numerous deer sightings, tons of birds, and plenty of scat from coyote, bear, and kitties.

    The return portion of our loop was a long road hike that none of us were looking forward to. It ended up being much more tolerable than we thought, but I wouldn't want to attempt to drive it. No stock vehicle could do it. We did pass a group of 6 Jeeps that were making a day of it. I'd have to say that it won't be too many more years before not even Jeeps can make it.

    I drank 4.5 liters of water. I think Bruce said it hit 97 in the sun, but I don't think it was ever out of the 80s for real. There was plenty of shade to be found, the breeze kicked up when needed, and late afternoon shadows saved us from getting baked on the road hike. My GPS decided to take a nap for a while, so I'm stealing Bruce's stats.

    Great day. I'll be back here for certain.
    Hyde Mountain #6
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    The first entry this morning from my hiking journal:

    "A bear! I am shaking from fear and excitement! Sitting on a rock to change from sandals to shoes (hiking), I heard heavy slow crashing thru the brush. I thought it odd because it was heavy so I looked up from tying my hiking boots up."

    And thus began my day today hiking up Hyde Mountain. Standby by for summary and pics, later this week.

    Permit $$

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    Offical Abe Access: From Prescott Valley at the intersection of Glassford and 89A.
    *Turn left on 89A.
    *@ 9.0 miles, turn right on County Road 5. Williamson Valley Road.
    *@ 29.0 miles, turn left on County Road 68. Camp Wood Road
    *@ 44.8 miles, turn right on Forest Road 95.
    *@ 45.1 miles, turn left on Forest Road 95C. This portion is a bit rough; however, a passager should be able to handle it.
    *@ 47.2 miles, the trailhead. The road runs into the trail. Very little parking area and not much room to turn around in. No facilities.

    Access and trailhead location: The east trailhead is the main access to this trail. Take the Williamson Valley Road north from Prescott for approximately 22 miles to the turnoff to Camp Wood (FR 21). It is then 16 miles more to Camp Wood. There, turn north on FR 95 for about 0.3 miles. Turn west on FR 95C and go approximately 1.75 miles to the trailhead near the end of this road. Vehicle parking here is limited, as is turn-around space.

    Travel time: 45 min. from Prescott to Camp Wood. Road condition: Paved to FR 21, then dirt
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