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Hackberry Spring Loop
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mini location map2013-03-10
45 by photographer avatartibber
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Hackberry Spring LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 10 2013
tibber
Hiking5.66 Miles 633 AEG
Hiking5.66 Miles   3 Hrs   28 Mns   2.29 mph
633 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 
Partners none no partners
Had thot of doing the BM Loop with a variation but based on a report; since there didn't appear to be any wildflowers, I decided to try something else. What I came up with is this hike and Massacre Falls. It worked out swimmingly!

It was the perfect morning for a hike after the rain we've had. The trail still had a little bit of water running in it and there would be water in many, many places... oh and mud. The mud would come in two variations: the fun squishy kind and the "it's eating my boot" kind. At one part of the trail as you head up toward Garden Valley, there was so much water coming down the trail I didn't think it was the trail :o .

Initially walking into Garden Valley I thot maybe I would get lucky and it would have dried out enuf to avoid the mud but about five minutes later I was stopped in my tracks as to avoid the big pools of water on the path. The question was go left or go right. I lean right so that's where I chose to go though I don't think it would have made much difference. I did my best to avoid the mud but to no avail (see the video http://youtu.be/wO2uv_mA8-I?hd=1). I could feel the weight of the mud that was accumulating on my boots and when all was said and done, I had mud everywhere.

I cleaned off the boots a little on a rock and later found a stick to get some more off. Finally I made it to the other side of the Valley and headed down the trail that was also still a little wet. I made pretty good time until I got distracted by some lupine and then by the snow on the Four Peaks. It is such a contrast between the desert and the saguaros and the snow on the Four Peaks and further north to the Mazatzals.

Once again I was treated to hearing water while I was hiking in the desert. That's 3 hikes in a row :DANCE: . I made my way down to the Creek where the water was flowing pretty good and seemed pretty deep. I got clawed trying to get in for a closer look. Very annoying as it bothered me for rest of the day. When I got to the spring there were some folks looking for it but they had hiked a bit too far and realized their error. It was a little tricky crossing here too.

Next, it was to try and get up the creek, something I had never done before. I learned that you need to cross the creek to the west side before heading up so I had to do a little backtracking. There was A LOT OF WATER here. Once I finally got to the other side of the pools and boulders, I decided a quick snack was in order. I couldn't have timed it better as a group of nearly 30 folks :o were passing through the area. What happened to group size in the Supes? And if they thot it might be a little tricky before, it was going to get even more so.

I came to what I thot was a fork where one would go straight to get to the Ranch but I saw a trail off to the right so I decided I would go that way not realizing I would end up at the ranch. So I wonder where I would have ended up if I had continued straight? Anyway, this part of the trail eventually puts you right up next to that big slab of rock you can see from many different vantage points out here. I thot this was totally cool. Also, the area narrows quite a bit and instead of getting cliffed out, you get watered out and have to cross or walk up a little on the bedrock. It was all sorts of fun :y: going thru here.

I ran into a group of four or five and the leader commented this is the most water he had ever seen. All I knew is "this is awesome!". I saw the trail that I think led off to the Horse Lot but I continued straight staying mostly in the creek area. I thot I was blazing my way but then I saw a trail. That would happen off and on again until I reached the Second Water Trail. Eventually I ended up at the Ranch. I thot I would be to the right of it but I ended up to the left of it. Now I could have finished off the hike by heading out of the ranch up the hill but I was feeling adventuresome; after all there was all this water.

I continued up the creek and noticed that I was parallel to the fenceline. And once again, when I thot I might be by myself on this trek, I ran into a group of three and then a guy and his dogs that I had seen earlier coming up the Hackberry Trail toward GValley. From there it was back on the trail until Second Water. The trail came out in a different area than I thot which was even better as it was just a hop, skip and jump back to the TH.

I ate part of my lunch at the TH while looking at Weavers Needle before heading on to Part II of my day. I was looking for wildflowers based on a posting I saw in FB. Didn't find wildflowers but did get a very pleasant surprise.

Video 1 thru Garden Valley: http://youtu.be/wO2uv_mA8-I?hd=1
Video 2 from Garden Valley to Hackberry Spring: http://youtu.be/Uix2sJYlHX4?hd=1
Video 3 from Hackberry Spring to Junction with Horse Lot Trail: http://youtu.be/lAZ3jSGOOOs?hd=1
Video 4 from Horse Lot Junction up First Water Creek to Second Water: http://youtu.be/jKDM0NvRxzU?hd=1
_____________________
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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