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Juniper Flat - Sierra Ancha, AZ
mini location map2015-03-26
6 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
photographer avatar
 
Juniper Flat - Sierra Ancha, AZ 
Juniper Flat - Sierra Ancha, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 26 2015
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking6.90 Miles
Hiking6.90 Miles
10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I decided to stretch out my trip to the Sierra Ancha for a couple extra days after 6 nights of camping in Upper Cherry Creek Canyon Mar 20-25 at Camp Grasshopper. GH headed for home and I headed for Juniper Flat off of HW288 to explore this large mesa area. There are a couple of roads that lead out into the Juniper Flat mesa from HW288 which I notice are not shown on the HAZ Mapdex "My Topo" or "FS Topo" which means these roads will probably be off limits to motor vehicles after Tonto Nat. Forest implements their Travel Management Plan. Probably a good thing since it's an easy hike out into this area from HW288. However I decided to take advantage of the roads and find a place to camp in my FJ some distance away from HW288. I hadn't driven far off HW288 when I started encountering some big mud puddles in the road still left over from the rains a week ago. After driving through a few shallow ones I encountered a really big one and got out to check its depth with a trekking pole. The water level was above hub height which to me means it's time to get off my lazy butt and walk. I parked in the shade of some trees and started hiking east towards the rim overlooking Cherry Creek Canyon following the road for about another 0.7 miles then striking off cross country. It's fairly easy to wander around off trail up here in the juniper and pine forest with few brush thickets. The canyon overlooks on the edge of the rim are awesome with unobstructed views into CC Canyon and east towards Gunsight Butte. I hiked north along the rim and checked out some SE facing cliffs in the mouths of two canyons using my superzoom camera hoping to find some cliff dwellings but with no luck. Then it was back to the FJ to set up camp and fix dinner.

Early the next morning as I was crawling out of the sack in the back of the FJ a man and his 19 year old son came walking down the road. He was showing his son areas in the SA where he had hunted in his younger days. Had a nice chat and then they continued on their walk - the only people I would see in this area in two days. After breakfast I hiked east to the rim again this time following the rim south to the mouth of "NoName Canyon" for some great views of the areas GH and I had been hiking earlier in the week. Then it was back to camp for a hot lunch and coffee before starting the drive home.
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