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Trilby Wash - HW 60 to HW 74, AZ
mini location map2014-02-16
19 by photographer avatarblack_toes
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Trilby Wash - HW 60 to HW 74, AZ 
Trilby Wash - HW 60 to HW 74, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2014
Hiking6.90 Miles 440 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   4 Hrs   11 Mns   2.45 mph
440 ft AEG   1 Hour   22 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Set out with MJ about 1400 and headed north at the two US 60 bridges east of Circle City. Had done segments of this large wash but never gone "upstream" north of this point. Wanted to lay down a track of Trilby and to see where precisely it came out at Arizona 74, aka the Morristown-New River Highway, west of Lake Pleasant. Estimated the distance at 3 miles. It turned out to be 3.29 by my GPS.

Once we got past the brush and three taut barbwire fences near the bridges and the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe trestle, the wash opened up. It cuts a wide swath through pristine desert, 30-40 yards wide in places and, for the most, is straight as an arrow. Like a super-highway of sand and gravel. The area is lightly inhabited in the southern segment. Saw no development in the northern part.

About a mile and a half out, two coyotes crossed in front of us, traveling west. The smaller one appeared first, ambling along about 25 yards ahead. But when I began pulling the camera off my shoulder, it quickly darted up the bank out of sight. A moment later the larger coyote crossed several yards above the other, loping at a good pace. Both appeared well-fed and in good shape. The only other unusual wildlife we saw were three phainopeplas, those little black-crested birds with the red eyes. Hadn't seen one for quite a while.

The banks of the wash are lined with palo verde, mesquite, a few ironwood trees, scattered saguaro, brittlebush and creosote. Skeletons of numerous large and long-dead trees dotted the way. Had never seen anything quite like that. Disease, perhaps, had hit them all at once.

After two hours of dawdling along and negotiating three more barbwire fences, we hit the busy 74 highway. The Trilby goes under a small bridge here and continues its fairly level course north toward the Heiroglyphic Mtns, or Buckhorns. Marked the bridge with my GPS. The wash drops 440 feet, or 71.5 feet per mile, to our starting point at US 60.

Had lunch in the "badlands," just below the bridge where flooding has created small rock sculptures. At one point in here, the usually wide Trilby slips through an opening only 3' wide.

The return trip cleared up a mystery. About 6/10 of a mile from the US 60 bridges we had seen three large upscale residences above the west bank. Turned out they were homes with hangars along an airstrip, in one of those so-called "fly-in communities." This one is apparently called Thunder Ridge Airpark, according to a later search on the Internet.

We got past the six fences much quicker this time and reached the car about about 1815, greeted there by a fabulous sunset. This is not a hike I'd like to do again anytime soon. But exploring this marvelous wash was a treat.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Some fiddleneck and a few lupine growing in the middle of the wash. Smattering of creosote and brittlebush in bloom along the banks. Nothing exciting.
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