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Bill Williams Mountain Trail #21
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mini location map2013-08-03
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Bill Williams Mountain Trail #21Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2013
Hiking8.91 Miles 2,554 AEG
Hiking8.91 Miles   6 Hrs   25 Mns   1.93 mph
2,554 ft AEG   1 Hour   48 Mns Break
1st trip
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Kelly put a great weekend conquest for us and this was the start. Still don't know why this was on my wishlist but with Kelly leading the way and with her words of encouragement, I would make my way up yet another mountain :sweat: : rambo : .
After stopping at Q-T for coffee, frozen and hot, we got out of Phx a little before 6:30AM. We had a pleasant drive to the TH as the traffic wasn't too bad. I had read several trip reports and stuff on the net about this hike hoping someone would say it's not as bad (steep) as you would think but NOPE... it is a mountain after all :doh: .

It started out with a short flat section before you make the initial climb. It does level out after 3/4 mile for quite awhile as the trail slowly takes you upgrade for a period of time... too long actually because you know you have another 2000 feet :-({|= or so yet to go. We did notice quite a few slash piles on the flatter section. We did encounter some other hikers along the way too; one was doing some trail drainage maintenance.

The trail was in great shape and when you're climbing, I say a big "KUDOS" to the trail crew : app : . There is a nice change of topography as you make your way up the mountain including some unusual plants; one that we would really notice on the way down though we have no clue what it was or is. You finally start hitting the switchbacks. They aren't super hard but I gotta dig in with my poles. And like most switchbacks, occasionally you get a chance to barely catch your breath in-between.

It was very cool when we finally hit the aspen too. And the flora would change as we got up higher. We were surprised at what little bird sounds we heard especially in the morning. Soon we were finally at the top. Have you ever noticed the top can never come soon enough ;) . Kelly went out on the rock outcropping the hard way but found the easy way for me to join her for a quick snack before we hit the tower. It was a great place to fuel up. One more mountain more or less done.

Another couple joined us and we strongly urged them to go to the tower but apparently, they chose not to. We hiked UP the road to the tower and hoped the keeper of the tower would be there to let us in. I yelled up a couple times but perhaps he couldn't hear us. Kelly had almost reached the top when he heard us and opened up the door. It really is a small tower but the views, despite the humidity haze were pretty spectacular. We saw the smoke from two lightning started fires (one to the NE and one to the SE). The wind really hollers thru that little tower. We said thank you to Jeff and headed back down as it was lunch time.

We took pics of the lady bugs that had enveloped a couple bushes below and then walked down the road with the hiker who had been doing maintenance work. He showed us where the old trail used to go to get you to the top. It is slightly overgrown now. We had our lunch at the rock outcropping :DANCE: before heading back down the mountain. It was a wonderful hike down. The greenery on both sides of the trail is so lush too. I took most of my movies on this part of the hike since I don't need to use my poles.

We noticed some new things and revisited some things we saw on the way up. This is a good out and back as there is a lot to entertain you in the way of flora and in this case, a tall tree stump that had been stabbed by branches. Kelly did a rock climbing demo (on film). We decided we would try the Clover Spring trail on our way down and that was a nice detour plus you get to finish off the hike in new territory. I really liked that bottom half once you get back to the Clover Spring intersection back to the TH.

We got out the Tibber snack box and Kelly had her root beer and I had my usual 1/2 of my pumpkin spice beer. The picnic table could stand to be in a different place as you would get an occasional whiff from the outhouse. On the drive out, I actually turned around and came back toward the station as I wanted to get a pic of Bill Williams from just below it. There was also a meadow of wildflowers :D that got my attention.

On our way back to Flagstaff, we spotted rain off in the distance to the SE. Little did we know the hiking area we would be going to tomorrow was getting pummeled. We also encountered rain as we arrived in Flagstaff but it didn't last too long. We checked in at our very comfortable motel and then headed to one of my favorite eating spots Buffalo Wild Wings of Flagstaff :) . The waiter was kind enough to indulge my craving of wings and one slammer by letting me order off the Kids Menu. It was a great day with one more yet to go.

Video 1 -
Video 2 -
Ladybug beetle
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
a few columbine, 1 lupine, some mushrooms, lots of meadow rue
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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