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Willow Springs Lake/General Crook Loop, AZ
mini location map2014-08-10
9 by photographer avatartopohiker
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Willow Springs Lake/General Crook Loop, AZ 
Willow Springs Lake/General Crook Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 10 2014
Hiking35.26 Miles 1,773 AEG
Hiking35.26 Miles   11 Hrs   50 Mns   3.25 mph
1,773 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
1st trip
I had no real agenda for the day. I just needed a good hike after a 55 hour work week. I parked at the Rim top TH and planned on going east on the good old Gen. Crook trail.

Pre-hike survey
As I was putting the second rain cover on the Jeep, a forest service person approached me. She was doing a survey for the forest service / congress. Every 5 years the FS picks a national forest and draws random sites to survey how the forest is being used. The survey is used to determine how the forest service spends its money. The survey is sent to congress to determine the level of funding. The FS lady asked where I was hiking and for how long. I told her about the historic General Crook and how a turtle and an eagle transversed it last year :sl: .

The Hike
I crossed the 260 and took the Grey Wolf trail to the Gen Crook over to Willow Springs Lake trail. I went to the Dam and saw an old abandoned road. I followed the road and saw a couple of cairns on it. It lead me to an Aspen fence area. The aspen fence was right by the Willow Springs trail, so I followed that to another FS road that lead me to an overlook of Deer Lake Canyon/Chevelon Creek. Along the way it rained pretty hard. The rain stopped by the time I reached the overlook. I had lunch here and the temps dropped to the point of where I wished I had a second jacket.

Along the way back, I noticed a bunch of red ribbons on the trees and old forest roads leading to the east. The GPS showed that FR 237(aka Larson road) was about a mile and ½ away. I explored a couple of these ‘roads’ and they seemed to lead to canyons. Eventually I decided to bushwhack over to FR237. Doing the bushwhack, I ran across old cairns, ribbons and then another old FR. The FR took ended at FR237 behind a closed gate.

I took FR237 the Gen Crook to the Sardine trail to 235 road trail. Along the Sardine trail I saw a huge light in the woods and wondered who had a spot light at their campsite and then realized it was the super moon! About a half hour later, the moon rose and the clouds started to part. I hiked by the super moon light for the last 20 minutes of the hike! It’s always an awesome thing to hike by moon light :y: !
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
HAZ Member
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