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Devil's Hole loop between Horseshoe & Bartlett, AZ
mini location map2014-01-03
23 by photographer avatartopohiker
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Devil's Hole loop between Horseshoe & Bartlett, AZ 
Devil's Hole loop between Horseshoe & Bartlett, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 03 2014
Hiking38.21 Miles 6,987 AEG
Hiking38.21 Miles   14 Hrs   10 Mns   3.04 mph
6,987 ft AEG   1 Hour   35 Mns Break
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was the first adventure hike of 2014. The plan was to check out the old jeep trails between Horseshoe dam and Bartlett lake. From looking at the topos the I saw that I could loop it and get to Devils hole as well.

I started at Indian Springs wash. The gate was locked and the info sign said that all of the ATV traffic was not allowed until the trails were updated. I took a couple of trails/jeep roads to Horseshoe dam road (by Mt. Saint Clair Mountain). Then I headed down Horseshoe dam road to where the FR42 should have been. I've always seen FR42 on the maps, but I could never see the start of it when I drove by. This time I found a wash that that leads to a camping area, then it turned into a path. About a 1,000 feet from the road, I found an old FR42 sign post :y: . Then about another 500 from there was a brand new info sign/booth. It had the new same info about the trails being updated. Just beyond that was a brand new locked gate. The forest service went out of their way to hide this trail/road. FR42 is a main trail/road between the lakes and it hugs the Bartlett coast for a bit. There’s a new fence line along FR42 for the first quarter mile. All of a sudden I saw something that I've never seen before (outside the Grand Canyon), a forest ranger on the trail :o ! It was a dune buggy with two rangers. They came up behind me. The ranger chatted for a bit saying that they frequently check out the remote trails for people. I told him what I was doing and he said that he was driving that route and to follow his tracks. The ranger also said that they just built the trails.

FR42 has some awesome 360 views. You get another perspective of the Mazzys/Verde from here. There are new trails signs every quarter mile or so. Sometimes I would see the original signs as well. I found a spur trail to the river. Soon I made it to Devils hole. This a great camping / fishing spot. With the water flow being turned off at Horseshoe dam, Devil’s Hole is a pond now. It did make a great lunch spot. I wandered around a bit before continuing on the trail. The trail had a couple of more spurs to the river and then the lake.

At one point FR42 hit another trail and followed that. Then it turned back towards the lake and tread went that way as well. Then the sign posts and tread stopped in a canyon that narrowed up. The tread back tracked and followed the other trail. After about a mile and a half on the other trail, I didn't see any FR42 posts and the GPS didn't have this trail on it. I backtracked to the canyon where the tread turned around and found a severely washed out road. My GPS confirmed I was on the right path. I guess the rangers couldn't get past this point or they didn't figure it out.

Now the adventure begins! The forest service didn't get this far on the trail restoration. This was a road at some time, but it hasn't been used in a long time. The trail/road was pretty washed out in parts and overgrown/gone in others. I shortcut-ed across the shores of Jake's Cove. The adventure got really interesting when the sun dropped :scared: . By this time the ‘trail’ was crossing washes and would disappear at washouts. I had to rely on my GPS and route finding skills to get through this. Ironically I would come across old trail post signs from time to time. Eventually the trail ended and I was on blacktop!

I was a long day, but it was fun. The lesson learned is to start on FR42 from Bartlett and head to Horseshoe.
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
HAZ Member
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