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Eagletail Mountains Wander
13 Photosets

2020-01-25  
2014-12-07  
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2013-10-16  
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mini location map2012-02-22
8 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
photographer avatar
 
Eagletail Mountains WanderSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking5.30 Miles 593 AEG
Hiking5.30 Miles
593 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my second day in the Eagletail Wilderness. Spent the night camped in the back of my FJ Cruiser in a dry wash near the Courthouse Rock trail head. Nice spot - out of the wind, not visible from the road and a great view of Courthouse Rock in the morning sun. I was tired from the previous day's 9.3 mile wander so didn't wake up until 7:30am. I started today's wander by heading southeast around the east side of Courthouse Rock following a jeep trail. The jeep trail wasn't headed where I wanted to go so took off across country to investigate what appeared to be a fenced enclosure. It was a game water hole with a concrete apron to catch the water and direct it to a concrete trough. There was also a large fiberglass water tank which required filling from a tank truck. It was empty and from the lack of tire tracks looked like it hadn't been filled in a long time - maybe since it was enclosed by the wilderness boundary in 1990. There was water in the trough - more like pea soup. There were many game trails converging from all directions on the tank site.

I continue my wander deciding to do a complete circuit of Courthouse Rock. On the southeast side of the rock I encountered fresh jeep tracks meandering at random across the desert and leaving deep ruts where it climbed out of a wash. Either this guy was lost or had a total disregard of the wilderness boundary since it was a half mile away. My guess is that it was a hunter trying to find the game water tank because his off road wandering was in that general direction. Continuing on I came across an old jeep road and decided to follow it towards the mountain southwest of CH rock. There were random bulldozed troughs along this road - maybe looking for mineral deposits. I spotted a natural arch on the skyline to the west - discovered later that it is labeled in the TOPO Zone map. I continued to the end of the road - there was a picturesque monolith to the SSW but have not been able to find a name on USGS topo maps or on Google Earth.

At this point I reversed course and struck off across country around the west side of CH Rock. It's easy to get around off trail in this country but requires dipping in and out of many washes. As I rounded the north side of CH Rock I encountered a foot trail with fresh foot prints (human) so I decided to follow it - it ended up back at the game water tank. From that point I retraced my earlier track back to my campsite in the wash. As I drove out of the wash I encountered three ladies sitting in the shade of the trail head kiosk enjoying cold drinks - they had been there for at least an hour. I asked "Aren't you supposed to be hiking?" They responded that they were doing just fine enjoying the view from the shade. Seemed like a long way to drive just to sit in the shade of the kiosk and have a chit chat.
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