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mini location map2014-04-12
18 by photographer avatartopohiker
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Verde Hot SpringsCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 12 2014
Hiking38.36 Miles 7,263 AEG
Hiking38.36 Miles   13 Hrs   55 Mns   3.07 mph
7,263 ft AEG   1 Hour   25 Mns Break
Partners none no partners
The Drive.

There a couple of ways to get to the Verde Hot Springs, and I choose the long dirt road way. I took Cave Creek road (FR24) to Bloody Basin to FR16.
There was a lot of camping activity at the Seven Springs area. The large group camp site on the east side of the road was open, and it looked near full. This is the first time I’ve ever seen the large group camp grounds open.

About 2/3 of the way down Fr24 I came across a couple of cows that I think came from Florida. They were in the middle of the road and wouldn’t budge. I was lucky that the road was a bit wider and was able to get around them. They were following the "Stand Your Ground" law.
I made to Bloody Basin / FR24 / FR16 intersection. FR16 is not a bad road, its rougher than FR24. After I passed the 3 hour drive mark, I got fidgety like my son and started asking are we there yet. I figured I was close enough and parked at a big corral.

The Hike.

From my research on the HAZ route manger, I determined that there are two routes to the hot springs on the west side of the Verde. One is to take FR16 to FR57(Dugas) road, which winds around the hot springs. Or take FR16, which is more of a straight shot to the hot springs. The road ends at the Verde about a 1/2 mile south of the springs. From the satellite view, I could see a path from FR16 to about 1,000 feet from the hot springs. Then the Verde narrowed up. From using the satellite and topo views a drew up two options to get across that 1,000 foot gap. This was my plan. Take FR16 to the Verde, then the path and cut-across to the hot springs.

FR16 started off with great views of Pine mountain. Soon I dropped into the horse camp. There is an outstanding cabin there. If the LF cabin is the Hilton, then this cabin is the Scottsdale "W" resort. The Cabin had two twin beds with pillows/sheets, propane stove, water and a concrete pad. See the pics for more detail. Soon the road starts to drop down to the Verde. As you drop Squaw peak comes into view and stays with you for almost rest of the hike. I saw three black helicopters going back and forth over the mountains ranges. I wasn't sure if there were doing exercises or looking for something.

I dropped about a 1,000 feet and FR16 went through some nice tree stands. There’s was a nice tree canopy for a while. I was surprised how cool and shady it was at the 3,000 foot level. Then FR16 went up and over a pass and then I started getting views of the Verde and the power plant. Soon I was at the Verde.

The foot path was an old ATV/jeep path. It followed the river and its washed out at two point. It ended at an old fording point on the Verde. There were a lot of foot prints along the path. I was able to cut across 4 foot of the Verde to another flat area. I was very close to the hot springs! The flat area ended .15 from the Verde! The walls here were too tall climb. I thought about walking up the Verde, but it looked too fast to do that. FOILED!

I back track to one of my possible bushwhacks and the canyon was too tall and steep. FOILED :tt: !

I back tracked again to a drainage and followed that. I found a lone cairn in the drainage. The drainage started to climb to the top of the canyon and then it started to have small water falls. I climbed the water falls until it came close to my comfort level. I then started to climb canyon walls, but there was very loose dirt. FOILED ](*,) for a third time!

Well the best laid plans of mice & men. I decided not to bushwhack to the hot springs. It was late in the day and I had a long drive home.
I returned the way I came. I pumped 2 liters of water at the Houston creek. It was cool hiking back under a full moon.

Even though I didn't make the hot springs, it was still a fun day. The morning was on the cold side with the cool wind and being @ 4,000 feet. It did warm up a lot the closer I got to the Verde. The only people I saw for the was campers on the east side of the Verde. If I try it again, I'll have to drive much further down FR16 or come in from Camp Verde and cross the Verde.
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
HAZ Member
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