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Powers Garden & Cabin - Galiuro Mountains, AZ
mini location map2015-10-09
23 by photographer avatarJohn9L
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Powers Garden & Cabin - Galiuro Mountains, AZ 
Powers Garden & Cabin - Galiuro Mountains, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 09 2015
Backpack28.16 Miles 5,729 AEG
Backpack28.16 Miles3 Days         
5,729 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners 8 partners
Our original plan was to head to the LCR for a few days in the Grand Canyon. That plan fell through because a storm dumped a ton of rain up north and flooded the LCR with muddy water. We decided to reschedule and settled on Powers Cabin. Claire, Kyle and I drove up on Friday morning and started hiking in. The others will head in on Saturday morning and will stay one day longer.

The dirt road to the Deer Creek trailhead is roughly 36 miles and is in excellent condition. We made good time and started hiking before noon. The first mile was relatively easy. Our plan was to take the East Divide Trail towards Kennedy Peak. Right before the intersection we talked to some people on horseback who said that route suffered major damage from a fire and the rains have washed out the switchbacks. We decided to keep it simple and head in on the Tortilla Trail and this turned out to be a good choice. The going was relatively easy but we had to fight our way through tall grass and be on the lookout for the correct route. Carrying a GPS with the route loaded helped keep us on track. At one point we passed a herd of cattle that was a tad aggressive & angry at us passing. Kyle kept Lily on a leash and we pushed through.

The next few miles ticked on by as we dropped into a drainage and then wrapped around to the high point to the west. There was lots of water out there as there was heavy rain the week before. After the high point we started the drop towards Powers Garden. We made good time and eventually walked up on the cabins. We noticed several tents in the field. This turned out to be a trail crew working on the West Divide Trail. We picked a campsite to the southeast of the garden nestled in the trees. It was a perfect site with lots of shade, a fire ring and close to the creek which had a good flow of clear water.

The three of us settled in for the night with a fire and yummy dinner. The next day we slept in and then had breakfast. Kyle decided to hang out near camp while Claire and I made the hike to the south to see Powers Cabin. We started off on the road and made good time as we crossed the creek several times and admired this beautiful canyon. There was lots of bear scat but we didn’t see any bears. The hike to the cabin is about 5.5 miles and most of it is fast travel. We topped out just above the cabin and that’s where the fun begins. It’s .4 miles to the cabin and you drop 400 ft but the trail has lots of catclaw to fight through. Claire and I were both wearing shorts and our legs were cut to shreds! It’s was borderline awful! With much effort we reached the cabin and admired the area. We both felt the history of this area after watching The Powers War a few months ago. Four men were killed here in a shootout back in 1918. That must have been quite a sight in this remote part of the Galuiro Mountains. We soaked everything in and checked out the mine and then had some lunch.

After visiting the Powers Cabin we made the return. The catclaw wasn’t as bad on the return up to the high point. From there it was very easy going back toward the garden. Along the way we ran into Chumley and Patrick who were on their way in via the East Divide Trail. They said the route was really overgrown and tough to follow. The washouts on the switchbacks were nasty. Claire and I were both glad we opted for the Tortilla Trail. We all returned to Powers Garden and the rest of the group trickled in as well. There will be twelve of us camping tonight. We all settled in for the evening an enjoyed another campfire. It was a very relaxed evening. Everyone who joined us was really tired after the tough hike in. Pretty much everyone turned in before 10pm.

We woke fairly early on Sunday morning and enjoyed coffee & croissants (Thanks Chumley!). The rest of the group was prepping for day hikes while Claire and I packed up to return to Phoenix. I had to work on Monday. We started hiking a little before 9am and made good time on the hike out via the Tortilla Trail. The going was a little easier considering we pushed a lot of the grass out of the way on the hike in. Claire and I took a few breaks and eventually were back at the jeep in the early afternoon. From there we made the long drive out and stopped for dinner & beers at Arizona Wilderness Brewery.

Powers Garden and Cabin are a wonderful destination with fascinating history. The Galiuro Mountains are rugged and beautiful and one of the highlights of southern Arizona. I’m really glad we made the trip and hope to return another day.
Camp-fire Campsite
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Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Lots of foliage in bloom
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