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Sawtooth Ridge - Spencer Loop, AZ
mini location map2013-12-26
15 by photographer avatarThe_Eagle
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Sawtooth Ridge - Spencer Loop, AZ 
Sawtooth Ridge - Spencer Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 26 2013
Hiking7.82 Miles 3,300 AEG
Hiking7.82 Miles   8 Hrs   45 Mns   1.01 mph
3,300 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break14 LBS Pack
1st trip
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When Joe and I did our Cuff Button loop a month or so ago, I saw the look in his eyes when he stared across the at the Saw tooth Range. His jaw dropped, his eyes went glassy, and I think he actually added it to his Christmas list.

I knew he’d be trying to coax me into making the trek (or is it hike) across the ridgeline. He is a crafty little HAZ Master and knows how to work the angles with me. He pointed out a large ruin at the very beginning of the hike which he knows interests me. I don’t ever remember anyone elso talking about this one. Using GE I measured the perimeter of the ruins to be aprox 600’. For comparison purposes, Circlestone is only aprox 430’ around. Circlestone is located 5 miles due north of this location.

Joe painstakingly crafted a 40 point track to get the adventure started. I was surprised (and very happy) that Karl became a late addition to this “Adventure”. First.. to help me keep Joe in line, and second, my two wheel drive would not have made it down the FR650 portion on the drive to the TH, saving 6 miles RT of road walking. The drive in on 172 was the roughest I’d seen it, but still not all that bad.

We parked right up next to the ruins on the other side of the fence. The ruins were not as impressive as I’d hoped, with none of the walls that we witnessed more than 18” – 24” or so high. It appears there are aprox 12 rooms in the ruin. On the way down the ridge we passed another small ruin at I believe at Peak 5144.

So now were making good time along the ridge, talking about what we are going to hike next today since this is only planned to be a 10.5 mile hike and conditions are much better that we had thought. Conditions started getting “Thicker” from 4932 on the way to 4784. Then came 5204. There were portions going up that Karl was making so much noise, I’d swear he had a machete out. It was a bit slow to get to the top. We took our lunch up top and contemplated what we were going to do….. complete the planned loop, or bail down the side. After Karl had his lunchtime beverage, taking the lead, he was flying over, past, around and through the brush. It was determined that before we got to 5010 and 5046 we were going to bail for Spencer Spring Trail. A lot of this decision was made because of the reports for the choked out hell on the last two miles of the Spencer Spring Trail.

The ridge we bailed down was thick. Real Thick. Luckily I’d brought shin pads in anticipation of the brush we’d be going through, but nothing could have prepared me for the hell ahead. This is first hike where my torso took the brunt of the punishment. Going down through the tangled mess continually pulled up my shirt exposing and further etching my skin. Relieve came as we hit our first “Trail” of the day. Spencer Spring Creek is a very picturesque area. There was sign of Bear everywhere on this trail… good…. now I had a new excuse for the scratches all over me..

There was an old corral, spring box and feed box at Cement Spring (circa 1939). Luckily for us the advertised hell on this trail never materialized. If you paid attention and followed a decent GPS track (Irv Kanode’s track was very helpful) there are no problems. It’s not that there was not any brush, but it was nothing like what we’d come through earlier.

We stopped at Spencer Spring (circa 1936), on the way out where it was flowing nicely at more than a gallon a minute.

Thanks for joining and driving Karl…
Joe, Is that itch scratched now?

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cement Spring Dripping Dripping
The actual spring location is east of the Spring Box, across the creek. It appears to be wet coming down the side. The pipes and spring box no longer contain flow from the spring.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Spencer Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Flowing nicely
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
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