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Needle Rock rec center to Riverside CG loop, AZ
mini location map2014-01-12
15 by photographer avatartopohiker
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Needle Rock rec center to Riverside CG loop, AZ 
Needle Rock rec center to Riverside CG loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2014
topohiker
Hiking34.48 Miles 4,051 AEG
Hiking34.48 Miles   11 Hrs   45 Mns   3.28 mph
4,051 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
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My goal was to hike from Needle Rock recreation site to Riverside campground by the Bartlett dam. In order to loop this, the plan was to hike Needle Rock to Bartlett Dam road, then drop down to the Bartlett Dam to Riverside GC. Then return to Needle rock.

I started out on FR143, which is Camp Creek road. It's a wash all the way through. I keep on eye out for my return trails, but I never saw them. I saw them on the GPS, but nothing obvious. Camp Creek road is also a part of the Great Western trail. The views are not exciting and the wash gets old fast. I hopped off onto FR388 to hit Bartlett dam road faster. About 1/3 of the way down, I caught a ride to the dam road.

The dam road takes you right behind the dam and to the Verde river. I got as close as I could to the dam without getting a visit from the FBI! I then went through the Riverside campgrounds and took lunch in a spot overlooking the Verde. Now I was on unnamed/un-numbered ATV trails. They were much better than hiking in a wash and the views were great. I did a bunch of exploring while working my way towards the Needle Rock area.

I got to a point to where I was about 60 feet above Camp Creek road/FR143 on a ridge-line. I then figured out why I didn't see this trail in the morning. It was above me and it technically the two don't connect. I saw a bunch of tire tracks, bike tread and footprints, so I knew there was down. I 'explored' until I found a suitable route down.

The almost full moon and the sandy wash made night hiking a blast! I didn't need to use the flashlight.

The first part of the hike was boring and drawn out. The second half was a lot of fun with great views. I will be back for more exploring on the trails between Needle rock and Bartlett Dam.
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"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
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