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2016-06-19  
Bray Creek Ranch and Highline/AZT 27, AZ
mini location map2016-06-19
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Bray Creek Ranch and Highline/AZT 27, AZ 
Bray Creek Ranch and Highline/AZT 27, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 19 2016
tibber
Hiking3.23 Miles 671 AEG
Hiking3.23 Miles   2 Hrs   37 Mns   2.11 mph
671 ft AEG   1 Hour   5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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Sunday after completing the ABC (Arizona Backpackers Club) campout and hike on Saturday we headed down the road FR300 to the 260 and picked up the Control Road past Kohls Ranch for our drive over to Bray Creek Ranch. I've never been on that control road before. It's in very nice shape and there's lot of things to pique your interest along the way as well as some nice views up to the Rim.

The purpose was for Wendy to do some preliminary review of the possible work camp area for an Arizona Trail Working Vacation. We had the AZTmobile which made our trek up the forest road a lot easier. We stopped at the forest gate and donned our hiking gear. It was 95 degrees. And little did we know we would be hiking UP the road to the ranch :sweat: . Fortunately it was just about a mile when we arrived at the ranch. The owners were in and we were greeted by them and the 8 dogs.

The road was in pretty bad shape due to a deluge of rain they received in a 20 minutes time frame. I could see bottlenecks of pine needles that had been pushed around by the rain and stopped suddenly in their tracks when the water stopped flowing. I would actually see this as well up on the Highline Trail when we got there. Wendy asked some questions about the ranch and possible staging areas for a Fall work crew. The owners and their visitors were quite nice. We really enjoyed our short visit but needed to get going because of the heat.

With their guidance we walked out their back yard (the public uses the bypass route) and up thru the fern field to where we encountered the Bray Creek horses Callahan and Midnight :) . Wendy had figs (I never asked her why) so we offered them up to the ponies. They seemed to get a big kick out of that delicacy savoring it in their mouths for a bit. We continued up until we crossed a trickling of water and as we continued further we saw the big ditch. There is a Ditch Trail apparently but I don't know the history. There are long pipes exposed in this ditch carrying water from Bray Spring still up quite a bit from where we were. We found a trough with running water and then some kind of water cachement tank where there is a sign for Ditch and Highline Trails.

Eventually as we walked north we hit the tree line (and the shade) meandering our way until "eureka", here is the Highline Trail. We went west to where the creek/spring crosses the trail. Wendy walked north up the hill hoping to find the source but no such luck. I have to say, I don't remember walking past here at all a month ago. We took a short break and then took the Highline/Bray Creek Ranch bypass trail (there is a fire ring here) which took you up and out of this low area. This trail hasn't been maintained too much as it is becoming more of a route.

You end up going back down along Bray Creek (dry for now) and once you cross that you're on the old road that takes you to the ranch. Everyone was outside and offered some watermelon which was great. We visited them some more. If it hadn't been so hot and we needed to get back; I think I could have hung around with these folks a lot longer. They laughed at all our silly jokes and just made you feel so at home. They are Phoenix residents just up here for a long weekend this time.

So down the road back to the AZTmobile. It was 100. Now Wendy has more beta for the AZT work event Oct 9-15. If you ever want to volunteer to help out, first of all, it's hard work! but here is a link to the schedule. You can flip thru the months to see if there is something that might interest you: aztrail.org/calenda ... html

the 3 minute video with Bray Creek horses Callahan and Midnight: https://youtu.be/3r ... mfLs
hike from the Forest Road to the ranch and out the back https://youtu.be/0P ... 7Qn0 (includes the horses)
looking for the Highline Trail https://youtu.be/wc ... Q2Bc
the Highline Trail and bypass https://youtu.be/eR ... ScKo

Also, here is information about the fire around the ranch in 2006 that also includes pics: iafc.org/files/3Feb ... .pdf

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max East Bray Creek Light flow Light flow
light flow from the spring thru to Bray Creek Ranch.
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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