3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

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Jimmyr78
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3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by Jimmyr78 » Mar 21 2017 1:17 pm

Heading to Scottsdale for work in mid-April and just decided to extend my trip a few days to get a quick backpack in from Thursday - Saturday. I was just in Sedona and the Grand Canyon with my family last week, but am looking to get away from the hordes of people in those areas. Would prefer something within 2-4 hours of Phoenix/Scottsdale

I'm an experienced backpacker but not as experienced in desert climates (other than a few treks in Utah). Decent fitness level.

- Really wanted to do the Aravaipa Canyon for a couple of days, but permits are all booked. Any idea if there are any walk-ins permitted?
- Or should I head to the Superstitions?
- Or....???

I've used the trail finder, but it's a bit intimidating with the sheer amount of trails available. Any suggestions from Arizonans is greatly appreciated!

This forum is great, BTW. I'm on a couple of national sites, but the depth of knowledge here is impressive.

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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Mar 22 2017 12:09 pm

@Jimmyr78
I am surprised no one has answered you. I assume they must all be out enjoying the flowers and flowing water we currently have. Regarding the Superstitions stay on the eastern most trails during the hot weather of April. Rogers Trough trail head from the south and Reavis trail head from the north. The eastern most trail heads would require more drive time. Visit Reavis Ranch, Reavis Falls, Circle Stone, Rogers Canyon, Angel Basin, Frog Tanks, Etc.

Normally the apple trees blossom the 2nd week of April at Reavis but they may blossom early this year.

View and read about recent visits to the area for up to date info.

Rent a proper vehicle if your planning on going to the Rogers Trough trail head.

Read about the road conditions for Forest Service Road 172 and 172A.
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joebartels
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by joebartels » Mar 22 2017 1:22 pm

This is a great loop, throw in Frog Tanks or such to add days.
https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=724

Here are all the Superstition Trails. For reference the above is far east or right on this map.
https://hikearizona.com/map.php?X=17
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midwest2southwest
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by midwest2southwest » Mar 22 2017 2:11 pm

Just outside of Payson is the Highline Trail #31, which itself is just over 50 miles one way, but has a slew of intersecting trails you can turn into loops or various out-and-backs. It follows the base of the Mogollon Rim, hits a number of springs and water sources, and the 260 trailhead is less than 2 hours from Phoenix/Scottsdale.

I recently did an overnight loop to Horton Springs using the Horton Creek trail #285 to the springs, a little bit of the Highline Trail #31, and back on the Derek Trail #33 back to where I started by the trailhead and Tonto Creek Campgrounds. The rim country stays cool through the spring, and its more of a wooded area rather than desert/cactus terrain

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Jimmyr78
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by Jimmyr78 » Mar 22 2017 2:17 pm

Thank you for the replies! It was hot as Hades last week in the Phoenix area, and it definitely makes me want to go high. Hiking in Sedona with kids even in the 80s was tough, except for the West Fork trail.

I looked at the map for the Reavis area, but can't tell if there are reliable water sources. Is that something that I'll need to check just before I hit the trail? I've carried 3 days' worth of water before, and it's not exactly a fun exercise!

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ALMAL
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by ALMAL » Mar 22 2017 2:34 pm

If you're not looking to rack up mileage, and elevation gain is not a must, and don't want to carry a ton of water you might check out https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=15734

There are creek side campsites all along WCC. Maybe you'd feel up to hiking upstream to Maiden Falls? There are plenty of other cool spots along the creek. It's flow is comparable to Oak creek, minus the crowds of people. After the 3rd crossing you may not see anybody... Bring a fishing pole!!!
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Jimmyr78
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by Jimmyr78 » Mar 22 2017 9:06 pm

I'm leaning toward the Superstiions, perhaps setting up camp at Reavis Ranch (appears to be water there) and using it as a base camp for day hikes. Solves the problem of lack of H2O in the area. The Highline looks cool, but here in Missouri, we get lots of walks in the woods, but there is no desert to explore!

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ALMAL
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by ALMAL » Mar 22 2017 9:13 pm

Where in Missouri? I have spent hundreds of nights along the Current river.
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Jimmyr78
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by Jimmyr78 » Mar 22 2017 9:28 pm

I'm in St. Louis City, but have also spent hundreds of nights along the Current River. Ozarks are quite beautiful. Usually do 4-5 Current trips per year.

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ALMAL
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by ALMAL » Mar 23 2017 8:56 am

I lived a half hour east of you in Edwardsville.
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flagscott
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by flagscott » Mar 23 2017 9:26 am

Jimmyr78 wrote:I'm leaning toward the Superstiions, perhaps setting up camp at Reavis Ranch (appears to be water there) and using it as a base camp for day hikes. Solves the problem of lack of H2O in the area. The Highline looks cool, but here in Missouri, we get lots of walks in the woods, but there is no desert to explore!
FWIW, Reavis Ranch isn't really desert. It's mostly pine-oak woodland and chaparral/scrub around there. It's nice area, but if you want to see the "real" Sonoran desert, with saguaros etc., you need to get over to the central or western Supes, which are lower and hotter.

I wouldn't bother with the Highline. The parts I've done (about half now) were meh. There is much better hiking in Arizona.

BTW, I wouldn't write off the Grand Canyon. If you can get a permit to do a section of the Tonto, you will find that the crowds disappear once you step off the corridor trails.

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Jimmyr78
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by Jimmyr78 » Mar 23 2017 9:41 am

Tried to get permits to camp on Tonto, Grandview, Boucher...struck out on all. Just re-submitted permits for primitive camping zones a few miles off the corridors as well to see if that gains any traction, but I don't want to drive up there to try to score a walk-in since I was just there a week ago.

I'm willing to take the trade off with Reavis Ranch to avoid the heat and lack of water. It seems like an interesting area that will serve as a good exploration point for the upper Supes.

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Jimmyr78
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by Jimmyr78 » Mar 24 2017 12:40 pm

Just got a surprise email today that a permit for Clear Creek in GCNP went through. However, I only have two nights, both in the Clear Creek AZ9 open camping area. It seems that most do this hike in at least 4 days, with a stay at a corridor camp in the way in and out. Ranger's email to me was ominous, to say the least (see below). I'm sure this is standard language, but it was sufficient to make me think twice. No wonder permits were available! I've done up to 25 miles in a day with a pack on, but not in a hot area, so 12-16 with 2-3 water sources en route seems doable.

I'm thinking I'll watch the weather and play it by ear and decide the day before whether to go to the Supes or GC.

Would probably take Bright Angel to the first available spot on the Clear Creek trail the first night, use that as a dry base camp and drop gear there. Explore Clear Creek itself and restock water the next day. Leave via South Kaibab the following day.

This is the hike:
https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=253

Ranger's forewarning (yikes!):
"However, before we accept a $42 non-refundable payment from you, we want to make sure you understand what you requested. Experience has shown that trips such as the one you requested all too often result in off-itinerary camping, injury, and occasionally even death. Please do not accept this itinerary merely because it is available. Make sure it is what you really want and well within the capability of all group members."
Last edited by joebartels on Mar 24 2017 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: corrected link from Clear Creek PA to Clear Creek GC

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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by cactuscat » Mar 24 2017 1:45 pm

They always include that warning for solo hikes, among other things.
Seems doable to me. Some will question your going up SK, but I liked to go up it ... just have tons of water.
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Jimmyr78
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by Jimmyr78 » Mar 24 2017 1:48 pm

I can just as easily go up BA and go down SK. Excited that I got a permit this close to my trip!

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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by johnlp » Mar 24 2017 7:34 pm

My 2 cents. Go down SK because it's the shorter route. Take very little water. Fill up on water at phantom ranch. Camp at clear creek the first night. Play around the area day two, but camp on the way back to phantom the second night to save on the distance hiking out the last day. Start very early to avoid the midday heat (both ways). Going up BA is a good option as it is less steep and has water along the way. SK is shorter but steeper and no water available. Awesome trip if you do this one.
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by rcorfman » Mar 25 2017 3:42 pm

I like the plan by @johnlp. It will give you most of the second day to check out the Indian ruins and perhaps Cheyava Falls. I've gone to Clear Creek twice. It's a great trip. I went last year end of April and beginning of May. There were snow flurries on the rim when we started and lots of rain the third day. Pack light since you'll have a couple of longish days and canyon miles tend to be more difficult than non-canyon miles.
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Jimmyr78
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Re: 3-Day / 2-Night Backpack Suggestion for April?

Post by Jimmyr78 » Mar 25 2017 4:27 pm

Thanks all for the advice. Great site and members here. I'll be traveling to the area more for work so look forward to enjoying your amazing state. If anyone here wants something off-the-beaten path, I've got some incredible multi-day Ozarks river/canoe trips that I can help with.

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