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Indian Springs Trail #627
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mini location map2012-04-01
30 by photographer avatarJuanJaimeiii
photographer avatar
page 1   2
 
Indian Springs Trail #627Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 01 2012
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking14.00 Miles 1,450 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   3.11 mph
1,450 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
After taking a short lunch break and doing the West Fork Black River Hike I headed across the "Connector Trail" to do Indian Springs. I chose to go counter clockwise which may or may not have been a mistake. The trail where the connector joins it is on top of an old Rail Road grade. This was put here in the 1940's and was used as a logging railway. The tracks were later removed in the 1970's. It makes for a great hiking path and continues on for a good little ways. Once around the bend I hit a large meadow and came across about 30 Elk. Two of them were splashing around in the stream having a good time until they heard me. At that point there was a brief moment of silence as they all turned and looked and then thunder as they ran the other direction.

It was shortly after this that I ran into a little trouble. The trail so far was easy to see and follow even with a little downed timber. Once I hit a section that was badly burned the trail just seemed to disappear. I looked for it and then looked at my map. It seemed as though I needed to continue further before turning north. I did and simply couldn't regain the trail. Travel was easy but ultimately I went too far and ran into a road which is how I knew that I had over shot the turn. No big deal but it added some distance. I made my way back on track and found the trail a little further on up. This area near Spillman Spring really took a hit from the fire and the trail was just obliterated. It parallels the road that goes up to the fire tower and ultimately I just ended up hiking up the road.

Then came the Lookout Tower. Oh my gosh did that ever tell a story. It was horrific! I made my way down and headed toward the main trail and somehow in the mess got completely turned around and started walking 45 degrees in the wrong direction. Needless to say when I saw the road I thought it was going to be number 24. Upon arrival I saw a sign down the way do I walked down to see what it said and to my surprise I was on 249. Ooops!

I walked down 249 to 249E and then to the actual trailhead for Indian Springs. There is no triplog book nor any forest signs like there were at West Fork. I decided to take the trail down to where I should have met up with it just for future reference and then turn back and finish the loop. I almost feel as if I had started at the Trailhead proper and taken extra care I may have been able to follow the actual trail for the full loop. That is with the exception of the area by Spillman. I'm not sure how many years it will take for this area to look the way it once did but it's going to be awhile.

After taking the short trip down to the side trail for the Lookout Tower I headed back and finished the rest of the loop. The main trailhead back to the connector trail is in pretty decent shape.

Back at West Fork Trailhead and ready for the long drive home. I look forward to returning in a year or two and then again later on. It will be interesting to watch nature do its thing on the road to recovery.
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
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