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2 Photosets

2015-12-18  
2015-12-18  
Old Apache Trail Loop, AZ
mini location map2015-12-18
21 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Old Apache Trail Loop, AZ 
Old Apache Trail Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 18 2015
rayhuston
Hiking5.89 Miles 967 AEG
Hiking5.89 Miles   4 Hrs   10 Mns   1.79 mph
967 ft AEG      53 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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AZLumberjack
Jack and I hooked up for a nice meander along a section of the old Apache Trail east of Tortilla Flat. This was a slice of history, with plenty of evidence of early Arizonan's enjoying themselves along this section of the trail.

The road itself has been mostly reclaimed by the desert, but is still easy enough to follow. Rusty old cans with opposing triangular openings or knife punctures (no pop tops here) could be found along the route. On one hillside overlook, we found at least a dozen cans. Workers along the trail or a group simply having fun, I couldn't tell, but someone had a good time there! Jack came across a large, flat rock outcropping with holes drilled into in and concrete pours likely used to secure posts. There was some kind of structure here at one time, just above a chasm several hundred feet deep and a couple of hundred feet across.

When you finally return to the new highway, about 3.5 miles into the hike, you can turn around and return the way you came, or cross the highway and return along the route Jack and I took. There is also parking available near the turnaround point if you want to make this a shuttle.

On our return route along the north side of the highway, we followed some jeep roads in spots, made our own way in others, scrambled down and back up a ravine to reach another jeep road. We talked about taking one of two routes along creek beds, but that would have been a disaster in each case. The creek beds terminate at culverts that run beneath the highway. Our northern route back ended with a short scramble down a hill when we reached the highway, a few hundreds yards from our starting point. Fortunately, no traffic so we had a nice walk along the highway to conclude our trip.

After a post hike cold beer back at the truck, we decided to head to the Blue Bird Mine gift shop for a burger and another cold beer before heading home. The Blue Bird was quite busy on a gorgeous Friday afternoon. The burger was excellent, as was the company.

Jack, thanks for driving. It was good to see you again and that was a great choice for a hike!
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