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Boulder Bob's Cabin Trail
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mini location map2013-02-03
12 by photographer avatarSredfield
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Boulder Bob's Cabin TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 03 2013
Sredfield
Hiking12.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Paintninaz
Four of us set out for Boulder Bob's cabin Sunday morning. We parked at the Bushnell Tanks gate and made our way down the road and Kitty Joe creek to Sycamore Creek. The recent rains and flooding have re-arranged this riparian area yet again since the summer monsoons and debris flooding from the Sunflower Fire upstream.

Crossing Sycamore while keeping our feet dry was tricky, but with some impromptu engineering we made it, and then headed south on the recently brushed (!!!) AZT. Views of the creek bottom from the trail on the southwestern slope of the canyon are impressive. We carefully crossed Sycamore Creek again, passed the used car lot and dropped into the bottom along Boulder Creek, which was flowing nicely. Our navigation was courtesy of HAZ and GPSJoe's track, although we didn't track it exactly. We cut off from the AZT and followed the track, more or less, sometimes more less than more, up to the pass. There really is an old trail but it is much more visible on the way back than the way up, and it is marked with one-rock cairns, often quartz rocks, on top of boulders.

On top of the pass there is a gate, then more route-finding down the hill to the cabin site. The first thing we noticed was the intriguing arrastra contraption. What was Bob trying to grind? Did it ever work? There is a lot of rock work apparently intended to direct water to drive a wheel to turn a crank, to grind whatever, to extract the more whatever. A visit here leaves lots of interesting questions about Boulder Bob's activities up here five miles beyond nowhere. We also saw his two cabins, one of which was built to use a rock for the floor and back wall. He must have spent some time here.

Following a drizzle-shortened lunch we headed back, this time the route was more obvious, and the trail down the north side of the pass very evident. We reached the bottom along Boulder Creek and continued southeast on the AZT for a mile or so to a connecting two-track which creates a nice loop route. As we climbed out of a valley five riders crossed our path; they were going east and we were heading north. A bit later at a gate we heard them coming up on us so we held it open while they came through-looked like a family out for a ride.

The road eventually drops back along Sycamore Creek; two crossings were badly washed out but navigable on foot. The final crossing was too deep to rock hop, more impromptu engineering and we made it across with dry feet. Back at the gate we loaded up, talked to the horse people as they put all five animals in their trailer, and headed to the El Encanto in Fountain Hills for late lunch.

This makes a nice close-to-town hike with some exploring and history thrown in. Another great day on the trails!
_____________________
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
HAZ Member
Sredfield's
165 Photosets

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