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7 Photosets

2013-08-17  
2007-05-16  
Buckskin Tower / Black Canyon Loop, AZ
mini location map2013-08-17
18 by photographer avatartopohiker
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Buckskin Tower / Black Canyon Loop, AZ 
Buckskin Tower / Black Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 17 2013
topohiker
Hiking35.30 Miles 1,955 AEG
Hiking35.30 Miles   11 Hrs   42 Mns   3.30 mph
1,955 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I parked at the General Crook TH across from Black Canyon Rim campground and took the old Crook/rim road over to the Buckskin road. This time I found the historic tower. The tall and thick forest obscures the tower. You don't see the tower until you’re almost on top of it. There's an abandoned house right by the tower. The ranger(s) must have stayed in there. The house has two rooms and it was riddled with graffiti. My GPS showed that there was a hiking trail south of the tower, called "Western Buckskin trail." I founded the road down a while, but there was no hiking trail. The road turned into a rough ATV trail. The sky clouded over and the thunder started, so I headed back to rim. It started to rain as I approached the rim. I saw some wild horses again. This time I followed them until I got a good picture.


I took a series of forest roads to the Black Canyon Lake. There are parts of the forest here that are the lushest I've seen in Arizona. Along the way I stopped at the Baca historic ranch site and the Baca family cemetery.


Eventually I made it to the Black Canyon Lake. When I moved to AZ from Cleveland, I re-calibrated my concept of a lake. The lakes are smaller in AZ, but my first impression of Black Canyon Lake was that it was a pond! It looks like I could skip a rock across it. There are two trails that parallel the lake. The Three Oaks trail is .5 miles long and follows the shoreline to the west. The Rocky Bluff trail is .7 miles long and end at the dam. From the dam, the lake looks much bigger, but I think it's one of the smaller lakes in the area. The two trails don't connect, but it looks like a moderate bushwhack might do the job.


I headed back the jeep via the Hangman trail. It was too dark to locate the three gravestones. When I got back the jeep, the rain was coming down harder. It rained almost all day long, and it was a constant rain the last couple of hours.
I had to wear my rain jacket and crank the heater all the way till Payson!

It was a pretty eventful and fun hike. There's a lot to discover in the Apache / Sitgreaves forest! :y:
Fauna
Fauna
Wild horse
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"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
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