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Whiterock Mesa - AZT #25
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mini location map2010-04-16
10 by photographer avatarMEWhiteman
photographer avatar
 
Whiterock Mesa - AZT #25Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 16 2010
MEWhiteman
Backpack16.20 Miles 1,385 AEG
Backpack16.20 Miles   8 Hrs   43 Mns   1.86 mph
1,385 ft AEG
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hiazny10
We did this as a leisurely 3 day backpack from north to south as it was mostly downhill except for the road back to the Doll Baby Trailhead. We began at FR194 after lunch at the trailhead. We hoped for water in Rock Creek where Saddle Ridge comes down to Whiterock Mesa based on input from the Forest Service office in Payson. However, Rock Creek was dry. We continued on to Whiterock Spring which was flowing nicely and camped at a flat spot nearby. That 7.9 miles of trail was rough because cows used it during the mud season and their footprints dried into the trail. It was also quite rocky and overgrown with catsclaw in places.

On our second day we hiked to the East Verde River where we camped on the north side near an tributary. This section of the trail was still rocky, and had a steep, slippery decent off Polles Mesa. The trail on Polles Mesa while not always obvious was well marked with cairns. The GPS track downloaded from the AZ Trail Assoc. website was very helpful here and during the entire trip. I'm not good enough with a map and compass to find the trail again quickly when I stray off it due to animal paths. This was a short day so we waded in the river, read and generally lounged around. While we could have hiked out, we preferred to camp another night as originally planned. The campsite at the river's edge was nice but was quite noisy due to cows & roosters and various wildlife during the night and early morning. No need for an alarm clock here!

On the third day we waded across the river and headed out on the road to Doll Baby Trailhead. There was a fair climb on this making it a 830' AEG day. At N34 13.439 W111 30.972 the road left the AZ Trail to the left. This trip could be made as a long day hike or a one nighter, but we wanted to try out some new gear and get back into the backpacking routine after a long layoff.

A nice surprise was that much of FR406 from Country Club Drive in Payson to Doll Baby Trailhead was paved instead the dirt we expected.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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