Accessing Cobra Arch from within Buckskin Gulch

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Zort
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Accessing Cobra Arch from within Buckskin Gulch

Post by Zort » Apr 21 2016 3:44 pm

Has anyone ever tried to clamber out of Buckskin Gulch, trek to see Cobra Arch, maybe camp up top, and then drop back into the slot to complete the loop hike? I get these really bad ideas sometimes...

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chumley
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Re: Accessing Cobra Arch from within Buckskin Gulch

Post by chumley » Apr 21 2016 3:56 pm

@Zort
I haven't done it, and have only been in the area once, so I'm far from an authority. However, the exit at Middle Trail shouldn't be too difficult if you're into that kind of thing http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=562812 and once out of the gulch I would think the 2-3 miles of hiking to get to the arch would be reasonably easy to accomplish while dipping in and out of the various drainages you'll have to traverse. (If off-trail desert hiking is your thing).

The main challenge would be probably be water, as you'd have to spend the night somewhere out of Buckskin Canyon or on the small slab area near Middle Trail before continuing downstream.

Edit: This wasn't linked to the post yet, so you might not have seen it: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=13507
Profound observer

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Zort
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Re: Accessing Cobra Arch from within Buckskin Gulch

Post by Zort » Apr 21 2016 4:24 pm

Thanks @chumley. It was quite a few years ago when I went through Buckskin, but we ended up pulling out prematurely for our first night's camp, and I suspect we did that at the Middle Trail access point. It was a scramble, but nothing terrible. I'll give this some thought. Thanks again!

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nonot
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Re: Accessing Cobra Arch from within Buckskin Gulch

Post by nonot » Apr 23 2016 6:42 am

I had a plan to do this, just to visit the arch, not camp, but wasn't sure where the middle trail was. I found a possible location but it is not marked with a sign or anything, so I gave up and continued on my trip.
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Re: Accessing Cobra Arch from within Buckskin Gulch

Post by PaleoRob » Apr 23 2016 7:48 am

As long as you don't mind the hike in-out of the canyon, it should be doable. The arch itself is not far from the canyon, and you avoid the nasty sand slog that is the rest of the trail to/from Cobra Arch if you're just coming and going from below. We looked for the route a bit when we were there years ago (see the description and trip logs that have been linked) and didn't actually see the Middle Route itself.
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Zort
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Re: Accessing Cobra Arch from within Buckskin Gulch

Post by Zort » Apr 24 2016 1:06 pm

PaleoRob wrote:you avoid the nasty sand slog that is the rest of the trail to/from Cobra Arch
Thanks, Rob. Reports of the deep sand were giving me...pause. ;) I'll go back to trying to work this into our itinerary! Off trail travel, route finding and navigation are becoming much more desirable than coloring inside the lines all the time. This sounds like fun, so thanks again!

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