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Gaddes Canyon - Ash Creek Loop, AZ
mini location map2014-08-09
27 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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Gaddes Canyon - Ash Creek Loop, AZ 
Gaddes Canyon - Ash Creek Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 09 2014
Hiking17.20 Miles 3,940 AEG
Hiking17.20 Miles   10 Hrs   30 Mns   1.86 mph
3,940 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
1st trip
This summer adventure falls within 80 miles of the valley. It opened my eyes to a few opportunities south of Mingus. It was nice to get in a cooler weather hike after months in the skillet.

The drive in is easily within 2wd-HC in dry conditions. Looks like it could get sloppy under deluge.

We headed up to 6959. Unexpectedly witnessed stellar views of Mingus with a San Francisco Peaks background. The Verde Valley was filled with smoke and Fraleys to round out the scene. The idea was to beeline down to #114. Bruce didn't care for my planned route through chaparral. The bypass started off wicked cool through storybook oaks. Our feet crunched through eight inch deep leaves. Which made the steep descent enjoyable. I was tempted to take the Nestea plunge. Unfortunately part of getting old involves wisdom. Those underlying rocks would have wrecked havoc.

At the bottom of the disneyland of oaks we unknowingly entered private property on a well maintained dirt road. Within minutes a calm yet understandingly disturbed property owner let us know we were trespassing. In my posted GPS Route I have included a legal alternative through "Burnt Canyon".

Onwards to Black Canyon Trail #114 for a short stint then on to one of my favorites Gaddes Canyon Two Trail #9037. Then into new terrain on the southern two-thirds of...

Gaddes Canyon #110
Wow. Roll the dice and watch the money fly. I've hiked the upper third many times without a clue about this gem. Sweeping views. Gorgeous stretches under canopy or aside enchanting trees. Somewhere in the 7,300 foot range is just dreamy.

Nearby sounds of birds chirping to not so distant rapid fire automatic rifles held our attention. Naturally I allowed Bruce to block, I mean enjoy, the artillery side of the trail.

Kendall Peak
"Nice", no comparison to 6959.

Ash Canyon Trail #539
This is a great canyon. Trail maintenance is not great, certainly not difficult either. Our route continued past the designated trail. Which looking back is probably why the cairns stopped.

Thumping rain drops entered the mix. The mind races through thoughts. The "I'm tired" mentality turned to please let this be over. With a ten percent forecast I opted to forego the umbrella in favor of a dollar rain jacket ( plastic bag ). More of a concern was the route "out" of this loop I created... it was seriously messing with my enthusiasm. The plastic rain bag worked well. Uphill would be a sweaty mess. Downhill was perfect. Better than an umbrella in keeping you dry from brushing friendly foliage. I would opt for an umbrella though as the crunchy bag noise was slight torture. Ear plugs!

In the end it all worked out. We got lucky. Aside from the private property segment I recommend this loop for those seeking to see the terrain.
Tree Tags
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Ash Canyon Spring Dripping Dripping
We didn't see the spring specifically. It may be under a pool. There was plenty to filter.
- joe
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