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Spud Rock Camp/Manning Camp Lollipop, AZ
mini location map2012-09-01
34 by photographer avatarSarae
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Spud Rock Camp/Manning Camp Lollipop, AZ 
Spud Rock Camp/Manning Camp Lollipop, AZ
Backpack21.11 Miles 5,609 AEG
Backpack21.11 Miles3 Days         
5,609 ft AEG
1st trip
Had a fantastic time on our first Rincons trip!

Saturday -- Got to Turkey Creek Trailhead at 5:30. Parked the Matrix, which did okay on the dirt roads, and said hi to the campers who had set up their compound at the th. We geared up, making sure we had packed all of our water for the dry camp at Spud Rock, and headed out on the trail around 6 to start the uphill climb. The morning light was fabulous and we made good time to the forest service trailhead at 1.5 miles, and then to the National Park border at 3 miles, and then the trail register. Then the real climbing started. We took our time heading up the exposed slopes, and made it to Mud Hole, which is nicely shaded, around 9:30am. The spring was dribbling a bit and there is a small pool that is mostly clogged with water plants. After fueling up, we continued up the slopes, gradually getting into cooler temps and piney woods. We arrived at Spud Rock Camp at around 1:30 and took a moment to locate the campsites and find the perfect set of trees for setting up both of our hammocks under one tarp, then quickly set up camp. Of course, nap time was soon to follow, but I couldn't sleep, so I took a walk around the campsites and checked out the spring, which was dry. We had set up at campsite #1, and it turned out to be closest to the toilets. Sites 2 and 3 were a bit further down slope and tucked in amongst large boulders. If we hadn't been so tired, I would have moved camp to one of those. I got back to camp and we made dinner, played some cards, and fell asleep by 7:30pm.

Sunday -- Got up bright and early. We were skimping on water, so we skipped coffee and had our breakfast that used the least water, Texas scramble breakfast burritos, yum! We quickly packed up camp and started up the Switchback Trail around 7:30am, where I almost stepped on the first rattlesnake of our trip. He was easily bypassed, and we made our way along the trails, settling in to Manning Camp around 9am. The cabin was deserted, so we got to work filtering water, setting up camp and checking out the surroundings. Around noon, we decided to try to explore some of the trails around Mica Mountain, even though the clouds had been forming since we had arrived at camp. Well, we got about half a mile down the trail before being pelted by quite large amounts of hail and then the lightning started. So, we turned around and ran back to camp, so at least we got that exercise in :) We waited out the storm and then spent the rest of the day around camp and scrambling down the nearby stream. We found some great spots with pools and small waterfalls to enjoy. We found some boulders a bit south of camp that have a good view of Rincon Peak, so we decided to cook and eat dinner there, and it was perfect. We saw our only other person as the day ended. He had come up from Douglas Springs and was pretty wiped out, so there wasn't much socializing.

Monday -- Tried to get up early... we are so bad at that. Cooked up a big breakfast to super-fuel up, and managed to hit the trail around 7am. We were feeling pretty good, so kept up a good pace. We passed Devil's Bathtub and it was running enough to have a nice falls. We also passed through several park areas that made us wish we could stay. Soon we got to the intersection with the East Slope Trail and followed it down to Turkey Creek Trail. The East Slope Trail actually provided me with another rattlesnake stepping opportunity :o , this one was a much closer call and I"m afraid I upset the poor snake. So, we quickly went our separate ways. Whew! As we dropped elevation, the temps got warmer of course, and we started moving slower. We eventually passed through a burnt area that I believe might have been the Fox Fire that happened back in June. The end of our hike came at 12pm, topped off with a free beer from the campers.

What a fun trip! We definitely need to get back up there and check out some more of the trails. I'm thinking in the Spring, when the water sources are more likely to be reliable.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

dry Deer Head Spring Dry Dry
soil was damp, but that's it

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Devils Bathtub Quart per minute Quart per minute
water was filling up the tub at the top and trickling down to fill the large pool at the bottom

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Manning Camp Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
There was a good flow and large pools in several locations along the stream

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mud Hole Spring - Mica Dripping Dripping
dribbling a bit and there is a small pool that is mostly clogged with water plants

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir

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