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mini location map2014-01-20
45 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Lime CreekPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 20 2014
Backpack19.10 Miles 3,528 AEG
Backpack19.10 Miles3 Days   4 Hrs   15 Mns   
3,528 ft AEG44 LBS Pack
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This was a 4 day (3 nights) backpack trip into Lime Creek Canyon to explore the canyon from the Lime Creek Cabin down stream as far as time and interest would take me. That ended up being only a 3 mile stretch of canyon because of my leisurely pace and the many side trips to look for Indian ruins. On the descent into the canyon there are great views all the way to its mouth at Horseshoe Reservoir (which actually has water in it now)and beyond to the Mazatzals. Sunset Mountain dominates the view on the east side of the canyon. I wondered if anyone on HAZ bagged that peak but I could find no record of it in a quick site search. The first night I camped at the cabin site and then moved my camp down canyon 1.8 miles to a spot near the creek. I stayed at this campsite for the next two nights exploring the surrounding area on both sides of the creek over the next mile downstream. Over three days I found 6 small Indian ruin sites and pottery sherds in a few areas with no ruins. This canyon with its perennial flowing creek must have been a popular place with the ancients.

At 3.4 miles from the trailhead on the way to the cabin I came across a sign at a fork in the trail. I haven't seen any mention of this sign in previous LC Cabin triplogs so wonder if it is new. The sign indicated that it was 1 mile to an old smelter and 5 miles to the Verde River on the trail fork which headed down canyon. Entries in the cabin log book indicated several guests had arrived on horseback by that trail. I used this trail in my explorations down canyon over the last two days but never got much further than the old smelter. The first 0.3 miles of this trail led from the sign down to the creek where it crossed and proceeded down the east side for about a half mile before crossing back to the west side. The first 0.3 miles had recent maintenance where rocks had been removed and sometimes dug out of the trail and placed in a line outlining both sides of the trail. After the creek crossing the trail showed no recent maintenance and was faint in areas marked by the occasional orange faded to white marker tape. Both the cabin trail and the trail to the Verde showed signs of fairly heavy use with lots of recent human foot prints and older horse shod hoof prints.

I could not find any signs of mining despite the presence of the smelter. The only evidence of cattle ranching I found in the canyon were the upper corrals at the cabin which had a chute with cow squeeze for holding the critters during branding and vaccinating. However there was no evidence of current use for cattle, i.e. no cow pies. The lower corrals by the cabin are obviously being used for horses as a horse riding group from Glendale visits frequently and does upkeep on the cabin and water supply line from the spring.

It was a long 1900 elev ft slog back up out of the canyon on the last day. Even with a pack lightened by no food and only carrying 1.5 liters of water (I had cached water on the way in) my shoulders and back were beginning to ache. Adjusting the heavy items in the pack closer to my back fixed that problem but it was still slow going. Maybe I'm getting too old for backpacking but the rewards of solitude in a beautiful place will get me out there again.
Sugar Sumac
Camp-fire HAZ Rides
Named place
Named place
Sunset Mountain
HAZ Member
515 Photosets

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