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Grapevine Springs Canyon Trail #4, AZ

Guide 38 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,250 feet
Elevation Gain 849 feet
Accumulated Gain 849 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2-3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.75
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
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23  2019-06-22
Little Wolf - Pine Creek - Grapevine Loop
13  2019-06-22
Little Wolf - Pine Creek - Grapevine Loop
14  2019-06-22
Little Wolf - Pine Creek - Grapevine Loop
16  2018-01-18 kelly14
50  2017-08-04
Big Bug Mesa East Summit 6908'
6  2017-05-13 arizona_water
6  2017-03-01 MountainMatt
23  2016-08-20
Grapevine BB Mesa Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 242
Routes 836
Photos 12,083
Trips 4,885 map ( 24,932 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Feb, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:37am - 7:34pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2017 Goodwin Fire49.0 mi*

Heard it through the HAZ Forum
by joebartels

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2020 Note
Prescott NF has apparently decommissioned this trail. Likely due to Grapevine Road crossing the Butternut Mine property. You may hike the unmaintained trail, access from the lower end at your own risk.

Grapevine Canyon is a Prescott National Forest Botanical Protected Area. It lies on the eastern flank of lava capped Big Bug Mesa on the edge of the Bradshaw Mountains. This mostly pleasant out-n-back hike takes you up to Grapevine Springs. On this trip, there was still some light snow cover on the south canyon slopes. The creek was flowing at maybe one gallon per second. Which is just enough to keep things interesting.

Unlike the barren drive in through the rolling hills, this is grade "A" creek/forest/mountain country. It's a well-mixed forest with several pine species. The creek flow was intermittent for the first few minutes, apparently going underground. After the first bend, it resurfaced and was flowing for the entire length of the hike.

The lower canyon has a few patches of uncommonly large stands of Alders. A few small cascades keep the creek gurgling throughout the hike. I noted several animal tracks through the snow/mud and to my delight, not one human footprint. Around 1.1 miles in the trail abruptly leaves the peaceful creek setting to bona fide Arizona blood-sucking chaparral. Actually the trail is well cut but even in February, you feel the sun pounding down. After a short steep climb, the trail levels out and soon enters an oak forest.

Soon you pass through a research experimental plot. Here you are asked to respect the area and not disturb anything. (I guess outside the fenced area, it's fair game to raise hell.) Past the research plot the trail crosses the creek to the left, then high banks it over to the springs. The ground is very soft in places, especially around the multiple springs lining the left slope. Try and stay on the hand-laid-rock trail.

The topographical map plots several springs in the area. On location it looks like the side of the mountain is gently dispersing water from a large swath.

The trail continues(apparently connects to FR103A). I'd seen enough and headed back. I'm unsure if the springs flow year 'round. There are remnants of an at least 4-inch diameter pipe that must have funneled water 30-40 years ago. Most pipes I've seen in other parts of Arizona are in the 1-inch diameter category.

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2007-02-21 joebartels
    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 $$

    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
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From I-17 take SR69 towards Prescott. Turn left onto Grapevine Rd 3.15 miles past Central Avenue of the town of Mayor. Grapevine Road is marked but it's a tiny street sign. There's no indication when turning left. Grapevine turns into FS87A follow it to a green gate, then about a half mile beyond until the road peters out. The hike starts when you can't drive anymore.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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