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West Leonard Cny Loop, AZ
mini location map2016-06-04
9 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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West Leonard Cny Loop, AZ 
West Leonard Cny Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2016
Hiking7.00 Miles 744 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   4 Hrs   54 Mns   1.43 mph
744 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Chumley invited me to join him and several others for the weekend on the Mogollon Rim near Knoll Lake. The plan was to camp at a dispersed site somewhere in the 2 mile long dispersed camping corridor along the Knoll Lake road, FR295, just north of the turn off to the lake. The motivation was to escape the high temperatures forecast for the valley that weekend. I drove up Friday afternoon to find a lot of other people had the same idea but was able to secure a nice campsite at the very end of the dispersed camping corridor 2 miles north of the Knoll Lake turnoff. There was lots of room for tents and cars, a very large NoNot sized firepit, and a nice stack of split firewood. It was also the last available campsite of any size out of sight of the road. Surprised to discover cell phone reception, I texted Chumley the location coordinates and settled in to prepare a pan pizza for myself while I waited for Chumley to show up around 8:00 pm. It had been short notice to other prospective campers so only Hikergirl81 would join us later that evening and Rick, a friend of Chumley's with his two kids joined us the next evening.

The following day Chumley and Hikergirl81 headed for Knoll Lake while I went on a hike up West Leonard Canyon which was close to our campsite. Descending to the canyon bottom from camp, I found it had a modest flow of water maybe 2-5 gpm. There were many picturesque pools as I hiked up canyon. All the pools had minnows. The largest I saw were about 2 inches long. I didn't see any crawdads which I though odd because Leonard flows into East Clear Creek which is full of them. After going up canyon about 1.3 miles and taking a short side trip up Sandstone Canyon, I decided to head back to camp making a loop out of the hike by following a couple of old logging roads. My route took me past the back side of several large camping areas on the west side of FR295 near the Knoll Lake turnoff. This turned out to be not so pleasant as it happened to be the bathroom area for these campsites and was littered with toilet paper and unburied human waste. :yuck: What the :pk: is wrong with some people??? I came upon a lady doing her business but pretended I saw nothing and quickly side tracked into a thicket of small pine trees. Either she didn't give a :pk: or didn't see me. Note to self: Don't take shortcuts through the back side of dispersed campsites.

I followed FR9715N back to camp. This road is not approved for motor vehicle use but it appears many people either ignore or don't know about the MVUM restrictions. There were 3 occupied campsites with cars along this road. This road has some choice campsites so I can understand why people would camp there rather than in poop alley along FR295 near the Knoll Lake turnoff. Our campsite was at the north end of this road where it intersects FR295 at the north end of the camping corridor. It was a pleasant evening back in camp with the usual Chumley campfire.
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