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2017-09-04  
2017-09-04  
2016-07-16  
2016-07-16  
Boneyard Canyon Loop, AZ
mini location map2016-07-16
11 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Boneyard Canyon Loop, AZ 
Boneyard Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 16 2016
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking7.60 Miles 430 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   6 Hrs      1.27 mph
430 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my fourth day hike while car camping in the White Mountains roughly 12 miles east of the Mt Baldy Wilderness. The day before I had set up camp in the late afternoon beside a little used ATV/4x4 track that led toward Boneyard Canyon from FR586. This campsite provided easy off-trail hiking access down a wide meadow covered drainage to Boneyard Canyon. I relaxed in camp cooking dinner that evening as the shadows cast by the setting sun slowly enveloped the large meadow gently sloping down to the southeast. Large patches of blue sky were opening up as the afternoon thunderstorm clouds retreated to the east. I was hoping to see some elk venture out into the meadow as dusk approached but no such luck.

The next morning I scanned the meadow for elk shortly after sunrise but only spotted a lone coyote crossing the meadow near camp. He stopped and stared at the camp for sometime before deciding to retreat back to the forest. He would come back at sunrise the next morning with the whole pack to serenade me with their howls. The hike down the drainage towards its confluence with Boneyard Canyon led past a pond (tank) full of water. The drainage narrowed to a canyon with several springs which provided a couple of small pools but the stream bed was mostly dry. The drainage entered Boneyard Canyon where it widened out into a large meadow. A fence indicated this may be private property but I didn't see any signs and my Garmin gps topo map didn't show it as being private. Route Scout's CalTopo did show it as private property so I decided to minimize my intrusion by only crossing the north west corner to continue my planned hike down Boneyard Canyon. A fairly large ranch house with a separate garage and shop was located about a half mile away on the other side of the meadow. A small reservoir, Lake Sierra Blanca, lies on the southeast side of the ranch property. I don't know if the lake has public access. From the lack of cars and boats I would assume not.

I followed Boneyard Creek down stream for about 1.2 miles before turning around. The stream is small enough to leap over except in the slow running stretches where there are wider pools. It looked like a trout stream but all I saw were minnows, crawdads and one unidentified fish about 4 inches long. This is a very picturesque canyon with the stream meandering through lush meadow dotted with wild flowers. There were several small fenced enclosures to protect the wetland habitat. The plants looked just as lush outside the enclosures so I don't see the need to mar this beautiful landscape with those ugly fences. At my turnaround location I encountered two other hikers, the only ones I saw in 4 days. On the way back I continued up Boneyard Canyon past my entry location then looped back to camp. By then the thunderstorm had rolled in and I had to hunker down in a drainage while lightning struck the ridge tops above. Nothing like a couple of flash-booms to add a little excitement to a hike.
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Boneyard Canyon Overlook Loop, AZ 
Boneyard Canyon Overlook Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 16 2016
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking6.90 Miles 470 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.53 mph
470 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my third day hike of a 5 night car camping trip to the White Mountains. My car camp was on FR586 on the ridge between the East Fork Black River Canyon and Boneyard Canyon. My plan was to hike off road to the east of FR586 to scout out an entry point to Boneyard Canyon and get a look down into the canyon. I planned a route following a fairly gentle descent based on the Garmin topo map which would lead to a drainage descending into Boneyard Canyon. After hiking a short distance down FR586 to the planned start of the off-trail route I was surprised to find an old logging road not shown on either my Apache-Sitgreaves NF map or my Garmin gps map. It appeared to be going in the general direction of my planned "off-trail" route so I followed it for much of this loop hike. Although the road lead to the edge of Boneyard Canyon and followed it for a short distance before looping back towards FR586, it never provided a good view of the canyon because of all the trees. So no BYC overlook as originally planned for this hike or as implied by the hike's generic name. I would get a good look at BY Canyon on a hike the following day.

The hike passed through scenic predominantly Ponderosa Pine forest with some spruce and Douglas Fir mixed in. It meandered along the western edge of a vast meadow stretching across the drainage that leads to BY Canyon. I found a scenic place to car-camp at the edge of the forest on this drainage and moved my camp there that afternoon to provide a closer starting point for a planned hike down Boneyard Canyon the following day. Although this was a Saturday, I only encountered two vehicles and no hikers. The vehicles were an ATV leading a 4-Runner along this old logging road. Some conversation with the ATV driver revealed that he was a local knowledgeable on this area. I asked him about the status of the Apache-Sitgreaves Motor Vehicle Use Restrictions for this area. His understanding was that no restrictions were being applied at this time because of delays caused by the Wallow Fire except in some high use recreation areas. Some research after I returned home came up with a 2008 Proposed MVU Map for the Alpine Ranger District that showed the roads I had hiked on as being approved for all motor vehicles. I suspect that when they come out with an updated MVUM this old logging road will no longer be included because it is not shown on my 2011 Apache-Sitgreaves NF map. So I may have to scratch it off the list of places to car camp but it will still be a beautiful scenic hiking trail.
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