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Bonanza Bill Trail #23
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mini location map2015-07-18
19 by photographer avatarFOTG
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Bonanza Bill Trail #23Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack26.37 Miles 4,519 AEG
Backpack26.37 Miles
4,519 ft AEG
I really liked the setting of the Mark's Cabin/Franz Spring area that I had came across during my Bear Mountain loop the previous day. After hearing that its guest would be leaving, I decided to make it my backpack destination via the Bonanza Bill Trail #23. I moved my car camp destination from Sawmill Trail #39 to Bonanza Bill Trail #23. I stayed in the somewhat established camping area about 25 feet inside the New Mexico border.

I planned to hike into Franz Spring relatively early and then complete an afternoon day hike after some rest and getting settled in. Although the cabin was locked, the porch would provide a nice covered area in the event some torrential rain rolled through. There was also a nice Army cot on the porch and I could have totally pictured myself just sleeping on that under the porch. However, when I got there Terry was still there. We chatted for a long time and he told me several cool things about the area including the locations of some Indian ruins on the other side of the Blue. He was planning on staying there one more night and I kind of had my heart set on my own site and some solitude, so I decided to just push on and make a loop utilizing WS Lake Trail #54 and the southern section of Bonanza Bill Trail that I had yet to cover.

WS Lake Trail was in great shape, however, Bonanza Bill's southern half was downright miserable at times. There was: nearly no water, Devil's Monument was a bust and between erosion, dead fall and route finding the trail was never easy going. I kept thinking how sad it was that I added like 12 miles to my day and risked stormy weather all to avoid sharing a campsite. I did see another bear on the New Mexico side of Bonanza Bill and there were at times some breathtaking views, however, overall this was a somewhat unpleasant portion of my day and probably trip for that matter.

I camped at Hinkle Spring and decided to hike Tige Rim Trail back the next day. I set up camp very fast trying to beat a storm that never came. There was a period of lightning and thunder, but I was already in my tent. I found counting the seconds between flashes and booms to be similar to counting sheep and somewhat therapeutic. I fell asleep probably not too long after it got dark. It rained pretty hard for about a half hour during the early morning, but had stopped by the time I got out of bed and was sunny for most of the hike out. Tige Rim offered perhaps some of the best views of the trip and was generally a nice trail one that continued to get nicer as you neared its intersection with Bonanza Bill.
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Mule Deer
 Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Campsite
 Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Crepuscular rays

dry Devil Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Franz Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hinkle Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Water in creek bed, not much, but light trickle can be tough to reach steep walls..

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Tige Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
A light trickle/seep near spring feeding a couple of mud puddles.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max W S Lake 1-25% full 1-25% full
Muddy water, good for dogs and livestock.
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