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Inner Basin Cirque Plus, AZ
mini location map2014-10-04
20 by photographer avatarThe_Eagle
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Inner Basin Cirque Plus, AZ 
Inner Basin Cirque Plus, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2014
Hiking13.40 Miles 3,882 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   7 Hrs   25 Mns   2.05 mph
3,882 ft AEG      53 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
1st trip
I needed a color fix and had not been to Flag in awhile. The Aspens in the Inner Basin (I always want to call it the Inter Basin) should be at their peak and the Inner Basin Trail is a favorite.

Jake's Cirque hike had always held my curiosity and well as checking out some of the spring areas.
A cirque
1) a semicircular or crescent-shaped basin with steep sides and a gently sloping floor formed in mountainous regions by the erosive action of a glacier
2) (from a French word for "arena") is an amphitheatre-like valley head, formed at the head of a valley glacier by erosion. Alternative names for this landform are corrie (from Scottish Gaelic coire meaning a pot or cauldron) and cwm (Welsh for "valley", pronounced coom).

A 6:00 meet at Happy Valley Park and Ride had us to the TH by a bit after 8am and a glorious 44 degrees! Temps never got over 75 on the day... Perfect.

There were some campers and a only handful of day hikers on the trail already.. Good. We were worried that parking may be a problem.

The Inner Basin Trail to the Waterline Trail/Road #146, is just laid out perfect in my eyes. It switchbacks gently affording some spectacular views of the golden goodness. It was slow going on the way in, both in full Tibbermode.

The first side trip was up Beard Canyon, looking for Bear Paw Spring. There is a sign indicating the Spring about a 1/2 mile shy of it's location on the map, complete with a sealed metal container with the City of Flagstaff Logos. I followed the steep rocky canyon up, to try and find the map indicated source. There were remnants of old ceramic pipes going close to the spring area, but I could find no spring.

Next, it was time for the Cirque, so back down to find the old road leading towards the Cirque. Not much of a road but defines the path to the Flagstaff Spring area. After this area, the trail climbs steeply to the Cirque. You top out and breakout of the pines to views of Agassiz and Humphrey! Your reward for the steep climb up.

Another couple of side trips on the way back, and we hit the "Corridor" trails.

There was so many people, I didn't have a clue where they had all found parking spots. I was having fun watching the many different types of people out hiking. Jeans vs brand new straight out of the Columbia Catalogs outfits; Huge backpacks vs no backpacks (or water), dozens of dogs, Cellphone Cameras vs expensive setups; 70 year olds vs crying 2 year olds (thought it was Joe at first). Some hate this type of hiking, I was glad to see so many people enjoying the day. If you get tired of the masses, just walk 100 yds off trail.

There is least a week or so left to view the colors up here... Get out and enjoy

37,000 Steps aprox = 13.4 miles

Video at the Cirque :next:
Named place
Named place
Humphreys Saddle - Kachina Peaks
Autumn - Color Foliage Forecast
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
70-80% of the aspens are in prime color. 5% are past prime, and the rest are a week away from prime.

dry Bear Paw Spring Dry Dry
Not Observed

dry Beard Canyon Dry Dry
Not Observed

dry Beard Spring Dry Dry
Followed the remnants of the old pipeline to the source as indicated on the Topo. The actual spring was not found. There was some moisture in the area, but this could be attributed to recent rains.

dry Flagstaff Spring Dry Dry
There's water there, but it's all locked up and unavailable

dry Raspberry Spring Dry Dry
Spring was not obvious
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
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