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Horse Trail - LCR Gorge, AZ

Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 2.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,004 feet
Elevation Gain -1,695 feet
Accumulated Gain 426 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.82
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
3  2012-05-06 toddak
14  2011-02-19 toddak
20  2008-06-03 suzaz
19  2006-11-16 suzaz
Author Zort
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 23
Photos 94
Trips 18 map ( 245 miles )
Age 52 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov
Sun  5:34am - 7:31pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

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by Zort

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The Route
As with finding the trailhead, getting started on the route required a wee bit of looking. A cairn is visible from the parking area that leads you west and down to a flat layer above the drainage. I was tempted to contour left toward the top of the obvious drainage to the south, but that's not the cairned route. Instead, stay pretty much west until hitting the edge of the drainage and possibly seeing another cairn on the way. It might take a bit of glassing the terrain for cairns, but they are there, and they will take you down to the gravel in the wash/creek bed. From there, the route will be quite evident for folks familiar with traveling down washes and canyons. There are a couple of pour offs that will force a go-around to one side or the other. The main obstacle is a considerable pour off that is maybe a third of the way down the canyon. The trail stays creek right and traverses quite a ways until it is necessarily heading steeply down into the creek bed again. (This is strenuous on the hike out!) You'll cross over to creek left again, half to 2/3 of the way down, and then just above the river, you come to the odd bridge of small logs and flat stones that presumably protects a semi-technical move of stepping left around a protruding rock/wall and then down to a ledge. Below that, you end up crossing to creek-right again, traversing above the river for a bit and then finally making the last drop through a steep layer to the river.

My moving time on this round-trip hike was about 2h 10m, but that was double-timing it down the canyon with a mostly empty pack with no time spent for photos or much drinking in of the steep, jagged beauty of the place. Unless you have a train to catch, I would recommend spending four hours or so, depending on fitness, pack, etc. It's a strenuous climb out.

As others have said in triplogs, this is the easiest route to reach the LCR from atop the impressive gorge. It is hard to picture horses going down it, but it is child's play compared to Blue Spring Trail, and both easier and shorter than Hopi Salt Trail. I plan to use it as access for caching, but others have used it to connect with Salt Trail as a loop hike, and that would be quite pleasant, too. I love the idea of using mountain bikes to shuttle between trailheads!

Be sure to pack enough water for the return/continued trip. Any water found in this part of LCR is sure to be nothing but chocolate silt.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2017-10-10 Zort

    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.

    Permit $$
    no fees or permits reported

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    Navajo Nation Reservation
    Navajo Permits & Services

    Map Drive

    To hike
    From Country Club & SR89 out of Flagstaff AZ
    1. Head northeast on US-89 N toward N Cummings St 46.7 mi
    2. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on US-89 N 1.3 mi
    3. Continue straight to stay on US-89 N 0.9 mi
    4. Continue straight to stay on US-89 N 14.8 mi
    5. Turn left onto Indian Rte 6134 0.5 mi
    6. Continue onto Indian Rte 6134 8.9 mi
    7. Continue onto Indian Rte 6134 4.0 mi
    8. Turn left 0.9 mi
    9. Continue straight 0.9 mi

    GPS Route - Drive from Flagstaff

    Basically, you take US 89 to Navaja 6134, follow it west 13-14 miles, then while crossing Navajo 6133, juke left onto a small two-track road and follow it to a right turn onto another small track with a cairn. This was the only side road that was cairned, and the only way I found the trailhead. So, many thanks to whoever placed that cairn!
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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