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Rose Spring Trail #309
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mini location map2014-05-30
23 by photographer avatarfriendofThundergod
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Rose Spring Trail #309Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar May 30 2014
friendofThundergod
Backpack18.35 Miles 3,711 AEG
Backpack18.35 Miles3 Days         
3,711 ft AEG
 
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chumley
I returned to Bear Wallow Wilderness this weekend with two friends, Chumley and Kim. We left Tempe at about 2:30 and were arriving at Rose Spring TH right around eight. I know as Chumley pointed out around hour two or three into the drive that there are comparable areas closer to Phoenix. However, I fell in love with the area last year and had been dying to get back. The remoteness of the area, lack of people and its historical connections to Leopold and his old stomping grounds is just enough to keep me coming back to this area.

I really had no solid plan. I had nixed my original plan to visit Pacheta Falls via Gobbler Point and a long off trail route earlier in the week, so I was content with just a nice trip into the wilderness and a little exploring. Took in some nice view along the rim, before dropping down Schell Canyon Trail into the narrow wilderness area. Nobody was smoked, but I think the general consensus was the rolling grade of the first three miles or so of Rose Spring coupled with hovering around 9000 feet certainly got the heart going early in the morning. We ended up making camp off Bear Wallow Trail, from there we headed up Reno Trail to the fire tower.

The Reno Trail did not disappoint. We saw what most of us agreed were perhaps a few of the largest Pine we have seen in the state, along with a quaint little spring area, and a flowing side drainage that was surprisingly still pushing a lot of water to feed Bear Wallow Creek and ultimately the Black River. Signs of the fire were few in this area. The lookout tower offered some spectacular and sobering views of the surrounding countryside. Chumley hammed it up with the watch tower guy for a bit while I finished off my lunch and Kim enjoyed the views. We returned the same route we took to the tower.

The rest of the evening included scrubbing our bodies in an attempt to remove any lingering urisol oils courtesy of the relatively thick in spots dreaded poison ivy we encountered in several spots. We then just enjoyed a picturesque "backpacker magazine" spot along the creek, had some dinner, chatted a little and kind of half crashed around 7 or 8 for myself..

The next morning Kim and I explore further down the creek a little while Chumley packed up. We opted for an off trail route to reach the TH. Rather than Schell Canyon to Rose Spring, we opted for the route the crow flies. We headed up the South Fork of Bear Wallow Creek until reaching the most obvious X-fill route and then headed up a steep but manageable ridge line to the road leading to Rose Spring TH completing our loop. The South Fork decision proved to be a great one, as we came across a few picturesque area and the hiking proved to be pretty standard off-trail creek hiking.

Final Notes: Was happy to complete Reno Trail as it lead to a 100% completion percentage for myself in Bear Wallow Wilderness. I can now legitimately say I hiked (not linked ;) ) every mile of trail in Bear Wallow Wilderness, my first fully completed wilderness area.

Disclaimer I know the kind of guy Chumley is, he will almost certainly blame his poison ivy on my dogs, however, remember it was not the dog's decision to wear shorts on Saturday despite several warnings.
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