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Murray Basin, AZ

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35 17 0
Guide 17 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Eagar S
Rated
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 15 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,400 feet
Elevation Gain 700 feet
Accumulated Gain 800 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 19
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
4  2018-09-14 Sun_Ray
5  2010-01-24 azbackpackr
3  2010-01-09
Round Mountain - Eagar
azbackpackr
15  2009-08-01
Water Canyon to Sipe
azbackpackr
8  2004-11-22 BelladonnaTook
Author BelladonnaTook
author avatar Guides 12
Routes 9
Photos 1,291
Trips 58 map ( 568 miles )
Age 71 Male Gender
Location Lakeside, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:20am - 6:29pm
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Water
Hills, knolls and mountains
by BelladonnaTook

Murray Basin Recreation Area is one of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest most recent projects. So recent, in fact, that it's not mentioned on the official website; and the people who answer the phone at the Springerville Ranger District know next to nothing about it.


Murray Basin and the surrounding hills, knolls and mountains appear to occupy about 5,000 acres of pinon and juniper forest and grassland just south of the conjoined communities of Eagar and Springerville. The basin itself lies at about 7,200 feet elevation, and Flat Top Mountain, the highest point reaches above 8,100 feet. The trail system comprises three trails - Homestead, Windmill and Murray Basin - and, possibley, a fourth to the top of Flat Top Mountain, totalling about fifteen miles.

All or portions of these trails can be combined into various loops; but the terrain is so gentle and the land so open that it's possible to walk a great many miles here without using a trail at all. Long views in all directions are available from the summit of oft-mentioned Flat Top Mountain, otherwise the scenery is pretty close in with a preponderance of sky. The trails pass a couple ruined homesteads dating from the early twentieth century, but human occupation of this area extends back many centuries, as evidenced by nearby Casa Malpais, and Spanish settlement began locally not too long after Coronado came this way. Pot sherds litter the ground in some places; but remember, this is strictly catch and release country, so after you look at it, drop it and let someone else have the pleasure of discovery. The bad news is this is not a good rainy day hike, as the soil is mainly clay and becomes slick and sticky when moisture is added. The good news: Murray Basin is completely free of ATV depredation. Why? Because it abuts the Saffel Canyon OHV area, and all the crazies with ATVs go over there to get their thrills.

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

2004-11-22 BelladonnaTook
    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.

    Permit $$
    None


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

    To hike
    From the traffic light in Eagar: (1) Drive south until street ends forcing turn to right. Continue about 1 block to first intersection, which is Water Canyon (also FR 285). Turn left and go 2 miles to signed turnoff to Murray Basin and Saffel Canyon. Turn left and drive about a mile to trailhead at end of road. or (2) Drive east. Highway curves south (right) at the rodeo grounds. Continue south, now on highway 180, about 2 miles to trailhead and large parking area on the right.
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