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mini location map2015-01-10
10 by photographer avatarDennisWilliams
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Charlebois Loop IIPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2015
Hiking17.50 Miles 2,855 AEG
Hiking17.50 Miles   8 Hrs   45 Mns   2.41 mph
2,855 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
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1st trip
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HAZ - Event
Can't add much to the guys' trip logs except some personal anecdotes. My first time on this big loop, and what a loop it is!

Heading out before dawn on the Dutchman into Barcley Basin is lovely. Such a short walk from the TH and entirely new vistas open up. This would make a great spot for short day hikes. It was warm in the morning and I felt no need for my hiking gloves as I mentioned to Ray, commenting prophetically that I only take a fall near the end of a hike, on the flat, when I am tired and have relaxed my vigilance.

From Barcley it is a short hike around Miners Needle and up over a saddle and down into Whiskey Spring along the eponymous trail, though it was still too early to enjoy it's namesake. Great views of Coffee Flat Mountain. Then down to La Barge Creek and several miles through the canyon, all the while enjoying the big cliff faces of Herman Mountain, Trap Canyon, and Music Mountain. Charlebois Spring is a nice, deep pool below some rocks. Frogs were living it up in there just feet from us while we enjoyed lunch. See Joe's video.

After lunch we re-traced a mile south to the Dutchman again and on through Bluff Spring Canyon. We visited the old saguaro, though it has clearly lived through better days. It probably only had 30 arms when Geronimo rode by, and only 10 when the great Mangas Coloradas played in it's shadow, or one like it, as a boy. We have all seen much smaller dead saguaros. I think this one just got tired.

From there we took the Bluff Spring trail around Bluff Spring Mountain and into Barks Canyon. Terrific hoodoos and rock faces there, with Weaver's just peeking up over the ridge top. Stopped for a refreshment at a nice lookout, then on down to the TH. It was at this point, with the TH in full view and probably less that a mile away, that my prophecy came true and I took a spill. By this time I had donned my hiking gloves and so came away with nothing but a few scratches and injured pride. I swear by hiking gloves!

A great hike in great company. Pretty much a running commentary throughout the 17+ miles and more than a few laughs. These guys keep up a pretty stiff pace, faster than mine if going alone. I would have been an extra hour getting it done. Nice to be pushed and wonderful to have such good company. Happy to hike with them again any time.
Named place
Named place
Barkley Basin Trap Canyon
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
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