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Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
mini location map2015-10-30
43 by photographer avatarchumley
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Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ 
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 30 2015
chumley
Backpack25.91 Miles 3,873 AEG
Backpack25.91 Miles2 Days   2 Hrs   5 Mns   
3,873 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
BiFrost
clairebear
John9L
nonot
slowandsteady
Headed out for a couple of nights in the magnificent Santa Teresa Wilderness :y: What an amazing place!

We drove up the 4x4 road to the start of Reef Tank Trail #68 and headed into the wilderness with hopes that the rain was mostly done. When we reached the amazing overlook into Holdout Canyon, our luck ran out and the sky water began to fall. Fortunately it wasn't heavy, and didn't last too long.

Good thing Holdout Creek Trail #69 isn't on the AZT or the forum would be full of comments about how it would only be another year or two before it was lost forever. As it is, it was in reasonable shape for a trail that gets so little use -- but did take a sharp eye from time to time and some cat claw made me zip my pant legs on for the last couple of miles. Many of the marker ribbons are gone, and it seems that the ribbons don't follow the original trail cut in some places anyway -- opting to direct the hiker through less overgrown terrain rather than marking where the tread was built.

We got to Black Rock just as it was starting to get dark and set up camp on the beach next to the creek. In the morning we opted to explore the GET to the north, and were a little surprised to learn it really doesn't exist at all. A single cairn marks the turn up Fisher Canyon, and from there it is a 100% off-trail creek scramble up to the old road cut where the GET heads east. Fisher Canyon was fun but unexpected since it is actually a section of GET! There is no trail here at all!

We continued north along the old road with some exploring goals in mind, but this roadbed has been largely taken over by catclaw and we decided to turn around and explore the GET to the east. That portion of road was in much better condition and after a short sample we turned around and headed back to camp.

In the afternoon we hiked a mile or so back up Holdout and then dropped into the creek. Sections of the creek are pure magic! With pools, cascades, carved rocks, plus some fall foliage, the next couple of hours were a highlight. When we reached the section of the creek where it drops about 250 feet in a quarter mile in a drainage full of house-sized boulders, Karl decided to take the low route, while I carried his pack and tracked his status up above. I will come back more prepared next time to make the underground descent he made. It looked incredibly fun and is the most unique terrain I've seen in Arizona.

Back at camp, 9L was busy gathering firewood to make sure that our fire was not disappointing to the artist formerly known as pyrokopelli. He did not disappoint!

Sunday we all hiked out together via Black Rock #292, which is not a trail in any sense of the word, but follows a picturesque and easy creek bottom for almost 5 miles before climbing via some old Jeep trails up over a hill before dropping to Reef Tank and the trail back to the trucks. This was another incredible hike. The creek is fantastic! The hill climb sucked, but the views over the wilderness from up there were second to none and the weather was ideal.

It was great to see Nonot again, and always a pleasure to hike with the rest of the group. I really enjoyed my first foray into the Santa Teresas and I will definitely make plans to return here!
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot Camp-fire
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Sycamores and cottonwoods just getting started. Poison ivy at peak!

dry Black Rock Dam Tank Dry Dry
No sign of a tank here

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Fisher Canyon Light flow Light flow
Flowing at least a mile up from Black Rock

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Holdout Creek Light flow Light flow
Flowing the entire length

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Laurel Canyon Light flow Light flow
Flow along Reef Tank trail and visible through the narrows downstream. No flow at lower elevations.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Reef Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
green and nasty
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