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Oak Springs from Hardscrabble Rd, AZ

Guide 21 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  3.6 of 5 
no permit
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,500 feet
Elevation Gain -552 feet
Accumulated Gain 534 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.17
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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13  2020-10-28
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19  2015-05-03 winotron
8  2013-10-13
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5  2012-10-28 writelots
7  2010-07-25 DarthStiller
23  2010-07-25
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Page 1,  2
Author te_wa
author avatar Guides 3
Routes 0
Photos 1,156
Trips 336 map ( 3,414 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Mesa
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Early Spring to Early Summer
Sun  5:32am - 7:32pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2021 Backbone Fire114.9 mi**

Beautiful wooded setting
by te_wa

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This small and short hike will take you to a beautiful wooded setting at Oak Spring. It starts on the Hardscrabble Road near the town of Pine and takes you into a shaded creekside area, and continues at a mildly downhill rate for 1.75 easy miles. A large meadow neighbors the area around Oak Spring with tall grasses, the usual junipers, manzanita, and of course, oaks. The spring was flowing in May, and I imagine it would be enough to fill a bottle even in dryer months.

At the Oak spring area, two trails are connecting. One is the Oak Trail #16 to Pine trailhead 3.5 miles long heading due East. The other is the Walnut Trail #251, part of the AZT, which heads Southwest towards Tonto natural bridge.

Continue down the trail into Oak spring canyon to reach Pine creek near a small community, and access Tonto natural bridge by boulder hopping downstream if you wish. The stream was dry and wide enough to make the going a little slow but enjoyable. There are some small bluegill filled pools.

If you are feeling froggy, near the point where the trail meets Pine Creek, you can explore upstream about 1/2 mile to the "narrows." This point seemed impassable without some severe scrambling and perhaps rope-assisted climbs.

It is possible to pick up the "narrows" from the Pine Trailhead side. Ditching the trail and heading directly into the canyon would make a cool 2-3 day clockwise loop hike. However, not much info is available besides the Buckhead Mesa quad, so I cant offer mileage info at this time. I would classify this as a "quick getaway" or a great date hike.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2005-05-23 te_wa
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Fountain Hills Drive
    North on the Hwy 87 (Beeline Hwy) past Payson to the town of Pine. You will see the sign for Hardscrabble Road- turn left onto this road and drive 1.8 miles (the last 0.8mi is well-graded dirt) to a small turnout on the left and a trail marker as well. There is room for 2 cars only.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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