Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

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SAMBA
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Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by SAMBA » Dec 06 2012 1:16 pm

A few of us HAZers are thinking about doing a backpack south from Picketpost to the Gila River and maybe all the way to the Kelvin Bridge (Alamo Canyon - AZT #17 and Gila River Canyons - AZT #16) during the Christmas holidays. Our plans, though, are contingent on the availability of a strategically located water source or two. Have any of yooz guys been on these sections of the AZT recently enough to absolutely GUARANTEE us we would find water somewhere betwixt Picketpost and the Gila River?

If you can't GUARANTEE water, then can you tell me if there is a road that comes close to the southern terminus of AZT #17 which could be used to resupply us with water? When I zoom in using GoogleEarth Telegraph Canyon Road is quite evident. I biked on TCR to its intersection with the AZT many years ago, and as I remember the road was a pretty easy ride/drive. Unfortunately at my age, one's memory tends to be a tad problematic. Is TCR as I remember it? While I was GoogleEarthing (so I take a few liberties with the English language) I noticed what seemed to be a road which turned directly south right at the point where the AZT intersected with TCR. If in fact it is a road, it looks like it could be used (not "utilized") to resupply a group of backpackers camped near the southern end of AZT #17. Yes? No? If the road is a figment of my imagination, then are there any roads from Martinez Canyon which could be used (not "utilized") in our resupply efforts?

Thanks in advance for any insights you might offer.

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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by writelots » Dec 06 2012 1:52 pm

There is a spring near the junction of AZT #17 and TCR(Forest Road 4), but when I was by in October it was bone dry so I would not consider it dependable. Otherwise, there is no water on that passage, and from my explorations earlier this year, really no other sources until the river. That being said, it isn't that big a stretch to carry enough water for a winter hike all the way to the Gila. That's how Sirena and I approached it in January.

As for the condition of TCR, it is passable by a good high clearance vehicle. There's a chance that if you're a very skilled driver you could do it with a 2wd, but I personally wouldn't try it without 4wd. It's very rough - it took me over an hour and a half to reach the junction when I drove it in October, but I made it with no damage to the vehicle other than desert pinstriping and a little dent from a rolled rock on the rocker panels.
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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by CannondaleKid » Dec 06 2012 3:44 pm

@SAMBA Writelots is pretty much right on... I've seen stock small SUV's drive TCR but it is quite rough. I've done it with three different vehicles and from Superior to where AZT17 crosses it takes me about 45 minutes.

FYI, there is NOT a road straight south from the TCR/AZT17 intersection. HOWEVER, there IS FR976 that heads south about a mile (and 15 minutes) farther along TCR. From that point to the AZT 16/17TH on FR976 is DEFINITELY for VERY capable 4WD with high clearance. I've done it 3-4 times with my Samurai taking about 30 minutes for the 3 miles, but it is an absolute fact, you WILL get some nasty AZ pinstripes.

Speaking of which...
JJ3 and I will be climbing Ajax Benchmark either Wednesday or Thursday of next week (12th/13th) . I will be driving my Cherokee all the way to the AZT#16/17 TH and plan on dropping off 10-12 gallons of water while we are out there. It will be for public consumption so whether it will still be there around Christmas, who knows.

Also... as far as I know, there is still water cached on AZT#17 where it hits Rincon Road just north of the Gila River. It's possible I MAY be in that vicinity again before Christmas but I'm not sure yet.
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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by SAMBA » Dec 06 2012 5:07 pm

@writelots
@CannondaleKid

Thank you for the input. Both responses were very helpful. So I e-mailed the link to this discussion to the Norbys, and I'm waiting their feedback.

Thanks again.

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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by CannondaleKid » Dec 08 2012 1:50 pm

FYI: Current information shows 4 gallons of water are still at the AZT16/Rincon Road location.

Also, I will be dropping off 12 gallons for public consumption at the AZT16/17 connection this Wednesday, 12/12/12 (12 cubed?).
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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by hikeaz » Dec 10 2012 9:56 am

I noticed on the AzT site that there is/was a "full stock tank" (as of October) at " NE corner of section 8 (~25 yards)". This is merely 3 miles from Trough Spring.

Conversely, you may consider hiking the 'old' AzT routing which would include the artesian well.
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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by SAMBA » Dec 11 2012 11:47 am

Thanks guys for all the worthwhile info, but, it turns out I won't be using it over Christmas as I mentioned in my first post. My HAZ backpacking buddies have decided on spending the holidays at Hannah Hot Springs, in stead. Although I/we won't be using your info this Christmas, we are already talking about a car camping/backpacking adventure in the area betwixt Superior and the Gila River for early in 2013. Even though the water caches will most likely be a distant memory when we do venture into that area, the info will still be valid and useful. Thanks again.

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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by CannondaleKid » Dec 14 2012 10:19 am

On Wednesday 12/12 when JJ and I were out that way I placed a public-use water cache of 12 gallons near the barbed-wire gate at the beginning of AZT passage #17.

N33.18100 W111.13716
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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by SAMBA » Dec 15 2012 6:59 am

@CannondaleKid
You dah man!!!! Even though I probably won't benefit from your efforts this time, my guys and I are planning an adventure along AZT #16 & #17 in early 2013. So, if the cache ain't drained at that time, then thank you much; and if the cache is drained, thank you for the effort, anyway.

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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by writelots » Dec 16 2012 7:44 am

CannondaleKid wrote:On Wednesday 12/12 when JJ and I were out that way I placed a public-use water cache of 12 gallons near the barbed-wire gate at the beginning of AZT passage #17.

N33.18100 W111.13716
Awesomeness. I plan on taking a group through there MLK weekend. It'll be nice to know there's water if we need it! If you happen to be heading out that way again (not sure why you would, but whatever) let me know...
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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by SilverPIC » Feb 20 2019 7:55 pm

OK, I know this is an old thread but it applies to my current question. My son and I are planning to backpack passages 16 and 17 late March and I was wondering about the water situation. Never too early to ask about this important resource!
Any ideas about the spring near FR4. Any water cached?
We flying in from out of town and don’t want to leave anything to chance.
Thanks!
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Re: Are There Any Reliable Water Sources on AZT #16 & #17?

Post by SilverPIC » Feb 21 2019 6:39 am

@SilverPIC
I’ve downloaded the app and have been looking it over this morning. Great resource! This a great hiking community!
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