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2016-07-09  
Poland Walker Tunnel Loop, AZ
mini location map2016-07-09
29 by photographer avatarNightstalker
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Poland Walker Tunnel Loop, AZ 
Poland Walker Tunnel Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 09 2016
Nightstalker
Hiking5.90 Miles 1,503 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   2.09 mph
1,503 ft AEG      41 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I was looking to do something different, and I got a whole lot of different!! It's been years since my last visit to the Poland-Walker Tunnel and a quick review of the topo revealed a dotted line running up to the top of Big Bug Mesa and connecting up some "roads". Looks like a great 4 mile or so loop.

I parked at the intersection of Poland Junction Road and the Jeep road that runs up to Poland-Walker Tunnel. The tunnel was completed in 1904 and ran over 8000 feet connecting the towns of Poland and Walker. It was to be used to transport ore to the Poland stamp mill and then onto rail cars destined for Prescott. The tunnel collasped in 1949. The Poland side is still accessible but is filled with water and silt.

From the mine, I followed an old jeep road back to the main Poland road and followed that for 8/10 of a mile to an unmarked intersection with an abandoned jeep road / parking area. I followed the abandoned jeep road past the no motorized vehicles sign for 4/10 of a mile to the fire break that runs straight up to the top of the mesa. You can continue past the fire break to an old mine, about 1/10 mile round trip. It's a 6/10 of a mile climb up 800 feet of elevation gain with a fair amount of bush wacking. Once on the ridge, it's another 6/10 of a mile of up and down with even denser bushes to wack.

I eventually came out on a faint old road, and shortly there after, to a camp site with a tire swing and an old crumbling travel trailer. Following the faint road to the west I ran across an old mining camp with a couple of buildings, one of which was marked "EXPLOSIVES". I got a little off track at this point, there was an unexpected fence that blocked my intended route, but the topo showed that I'd run into another road. We'll I didn't and ended up jumping the fence at a convenient spot where a tree had fallen on it and then bush wacked it back to my intended path and the same faint road.

The faint road eventually lead to a rugged, atv road that appears to see some use. This steep, rocky, trail would eventually switch back it way to the Poland-Walker tunnel and then my jeep.

Just the loop I was looking to do!!

I followed up my hike with some 4x4ing up to 5 Points and the rugged road up to Mt Union. From there to Senator Highway and Walker road. Treated myself to Culver's in Prescott before attacking the road of a thousand traffic lights known as Highway 69 and back to the sweltering temps in Phoenix.
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Poland-Walker Tunnel
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