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Groom Creek Loop Trail #307
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mini location map2012-07-17
2 by photographer avatartibber
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Groom Creek Loop Trail #307Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 17 2012
Hiking9.35 Miles 1,606 AEG
Hiking9.35 Miles   4 Hrs   27 Mns   2.47 mph
1,606 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On my way out of Phx I heard screeching tires and a thud, sounded like an accident but I couldn't see it until I came upon it in the intersection ahead of me. Fortunately both drivers got out but the vehicles didn't look in very good shape. I didn't see the accident so I continued on my way but it left a knot in my stomach. And then on the way to Prescott, the traffic was a lot thicker than I thot it would be at 6:30 in the AM. And then of course, the Senator Highway is being remodeled so it took me a bit to figure out that I should just follow the detour signs rather than trying to find a way around it :doh: .

The last time I had been in the Groom Creek area was the early 90s so it didn't look all that familiar. I took the day off since the weekend weather scared me off as I didn't want to drive 4 hours to not hike because of rain or be caught in the rain. Essentially this was a training hike for my hike of the Gunsight Trail in Glacier Park on Aug 4.

This, though not a tough hike, was one of those where it was a mind and body over matter struggle. I knew this could be a long hike when after the first 1/2 mile I was hoping to be done with it already :o . I took the advice of many and decided to go counter-clockwise; definitely the wisest choice for this loop. I think it took me about a mile and 1/2 before I got out of my really grumpy state and into a rhythm. The trail is so nice in some sections but other sections, I think mostly due to the heavy rain over the weekend, were not pleasant at all as the terrain was very rocky.

The grade slowly takes you up 900 feet over about 3 3/4 miles where you level out at a top before making your way across ( a couple more miles) toward the tower. I thot it was funny that I looked at Scout with mileage of 3.77 and the number for the Isabella Trail was 377. I took a quick yogurt break. From here there are some additional up sections but nothing difficult. I was delighted at some of the sections along the way as the terrain was very nice and I could pick up some speed :) .

As I got closer to the Tower area, I ran into quite a few, mostly elderly hikers... wait, I guess I'm kind of one too :lol: . A group of women were concerned that I was hiking by myself; how sweet. No one was home at the tower but I sat below it with views toward Granite Mtn to enjoy a snack.

And then it was time for the trek down on a very rocky mountainside. I was going to practice taking small steps to see if it would help me avoid sore quads like I got from coming down Kendrick a few weeks prior. I should have pulled out the poles but decided it didn't look that steep. I did encounter some hikers on the way down and thot, "better them than me climbing that 1/2 mile rocky and steep section to the top".

I did encounter an elderly man probably about 2 miles from the TH. He was at an old intersection (It appears they've done a lot of re-routing out here). He said he had gone down this other part of the trail and there was a lot of downfall. He had come up from Peoria to hike. I saw that he had plenty of water, as he looked a little tired) and continued on my way. He said he was heading back but I didn't seem him when I turned around to look. It definitely got warmer toward the bottom. And I agree with those who say that boulder section is really cool looking :D ; it seems to come out of nowhere.

The drama today which I assume you all go thru from time to time :-({|= :
    my right ear plugging up as I got to the top and for awhile as I was coming down
    my right lower leg just wanting to give out
    my left hip flexor was hurting after about 3 miles
    my hands swelled up to the point it was hard to flex my fingers (never have had that happen before).

I tried my new boots (Keen is discountinuing the boot I currently use) which seemed fine except for the right boot that didn't have as much room as the left boot. I also tried out my new slimmer more compact camera case that besides holding my camera it holds 3 additional camera batteries, 4 AA batteries, Scout, meds, memory card case, camera cloth, huckleberry lip balm, and my HAZ printout as well as a rain cover.

I did forget a memory card so please, be prepared when you look at the photo set. This was a training hike anyway so not taking pics was not a big deal :o . As I mentioned at the top of the trip report, I am preparing for my 13.5 mile Gunsight Trail hike where there will be two passes to go over which is not necessarily a bad thing except that the passes come toward the end at the 9.2 (1,686 feet in 3 miles) and 12.1 (1,104 feet in 1.2 miles) mile markers.

You (Bruce ;) ) can't even imagine what I ordered at What A Burger on my way out of town... and who ever thot to have two sides of a town on both sides of the highway; gosh it takes forever to get out of Prescott/Prescott Valley :sk: :M2C: !
Named place
Named place
Upper Goldwater Lake
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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