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1 Photoset

2015-03-07  
Big Oak Spring to Black Bear Saddle, AZ
mini location map2015-03-07
10 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Big Oak Spring to Black Bear Saddle, AZ 
Big Oak Spring to Black Bear Saddle, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2015
CannondaleKid
Hiking10.00 Miles 3,676 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.58 mph
3,676 ft AEG      10 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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trixiec
At the end of our weekend of camping two weeks ago we drove around as recon for upcoming hikes in the area and we happened upon a great campsite within a hundred yards of Oak Creek near Big Oak Spring. So, with a good weather forecast why wait any longer?

But where to hike? Everything is steep uphill!
With only one trail leaving Big Oak Spring what choice did we have? Oak Flat Trail #123 up to Four Peaks Trail #130 (AZT #20). From there we decided to continue south along the Four Peaks Trail at least as far as Black Bear Saddle before backtracking.

No time to warm up, it was quite a slog from the word go... as mentioned in the hike description, Oak Flat Trail has no switchbacks!

At the #123/#130 junction we saw a backpacker sitting next to the trail a few hundred feet uphill. Since we weren't going that way we just waved to him and made our turn south.

We met three more backpackers taking a break while filtering water where the trail crosses a drainage above Dan Neal Spring. When I asked if they were through-hikers they said they started at Reavis Trailhead and were headed to Lone Pine, where they who have a ride waiting after a 4-day 3-night trip.

We continued on to Black Bear Saddle, where we were quite surprised by the awesome view of the back side of Four Peaks. A fitting spot to eat lunch before heading back.

Of course instead of the uphill slog we were now faced with the steep downhill, and trying to keep from falling on our face. But we made it safely back to Big Oak Spring.

From there we had a short drive to our perfect campsite... close enough to the creek to hear the rushing water over the rocks, making for a very relaxing evening.
:y:

One video:
Black Bear Saddle panorama
Named place
Named place
Browns Peak Four Peaks
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