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Abineau - Bear Jaw Loop
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mini location map2012-09-28
7 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
photographer avatar
 
Abineau - Bear Jaw LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 28 2012
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking7.00 Miles 2,115 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
2,115 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I got to the trailhead at 10:00 am after driving from the Lockett Meadow campground where I had stayed two nights. The morning started out clear and I stopped several times on the drive along FR418 to take pictures. Several hiking and one backpacking group showed up at the parking area while I was getting my gear ready and just generally procastinating. By the time I started up the trail the other hikers had all departed except for an older couple (older than me anyway). They passed me on the trail when I stopped to tighten my shoe laces and I never saw them again. All the hikers doing the loop that day must have chosen to start with the Abineau trail as I did because I never passed anyone going the other direction. The Abineau trail is much steeper than the Bear Jaw trail so I reasoned that it would be easier on my knees to go up that trail than down. The Abineau trail soon became a grueling climb through a long section of dead fall. The trail kept crisscrossing back and forth across the canyon probably to bypass areas of heavy dead fall and had some very steep sections on which I made good use of my trekking poles to avoid slipping backwards. There were good views to the north across the painted desert to the Grand Canyon. I had a real struggle making it to the high point of this trail where it ends at the water line road. The two previous days of 2000+ AEG hikes at elevations from 8400 ft to 11200 ft must have sapped my energy reserves.

I stopped for lunch just before reaching the water line road. I was sitting on top of a large flat boulder facing up hill looking at the mountain side above me when I heard something coming up the trail behind me. Quickly turning around I saw a medium sized dog with light blue/gray eyes staring at me from about 30 feet away. Shortly there after a remarkably attractive young women (the dog's owner) came around a corner of the trail from behind some trees. When she saw me she immediately turned around and called for her husband to come quick. Evidently the sight of a grizzly old man with 4 days of stubble on his face leering at her from the top of a boulder had spooked her. :scared: The dog was much friendlier and joined me on top of the boulder. Trusting her dog's instincts and embolded by the presence of her husband, the young women stopped for some friendly chit chat while her husband stood silently behind her.

The remainder of the loop was thankfully all downhill. There were some good views to the north from the road. There were also views of Aspens in several drainages crossed by the road. About half of the Aspens were in full autumn colors and the remainder still having their green leaves. The Bear Jaw trail started down hill through a grove of Aspens with some fairly steep sections before leveling off and crossing picturesque meadowlands with towering Ponderosa Pines. Returning to the trailhead at 4:00 pm I found myself totally whipped by three days of 2000+ AEG hikes at high altitude. I decided to find a nearby quiet campsite and take some down time on the next day.
Named place
Named place
Humphreys Peak
Meteorology
Meteorology
Avalanche
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