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Reynolds-Murphy-Center Mountain Loop, AZ
mini location map2017-06-03
20 by photographer avatarThe_Eagle
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Reynolds-Murphy-Center Mountain Loop, AZ 
Reynolds-Murphy-Center Mountain Loop, AZ
Hiking15.88 Miles 3,782 AEG
Hiking15.88 Miles   8 Hrs   35 Mns   2.10 mph
3,782 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
1st trip
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The Sierra Ancha is a special place. If it were closer to home, I'd be here all the time. But then if it were closer to home it would be too over run with people. We saw no no hikers and only 3 occupied camp sites along the FR's during our hike.

We started at Cienega Spring and walked up FR 410 to the Reynolds Creek TH and Reynolds Creek Trail #150. A GPS will help get you through the overgrown sections and sections that have dead fall. Nothing too bad at all. The Falls were but a trickle but still a neat area. At the wilderness boundary it's a steady (steepish) climb towards the Old Murphy Ranch. There are 2 trails in the area that cut across directly to the rim here. One of these days I'll have to sample those. I'm not sure if they are named. This whole area is mixed conifer and deciduous trees, with plenty of Maple. There was no sign of the 2016 Juniper fire until you get up to the Ranch. The locust saplings seem to be what is going to take hold here.

At the old Murphy Ranch, we hit the FR's towards Aztec Peak and over to Peak 7662. Great views of the old Ranch from up here as well as an overview of the Ancha. This is a must do if you are in the area.

Next to Murphy. On top, we took a casual look for the Peak Marker with no luck. After reading the @FLYING_FLIVER triplog from last year just now, I'm glad we didn't spend any time REALLY looking.

Next up was the Center Mountain Trail #142. From the south this trail is thin in spots. Another one that a GPS with a track will help. You are basically following the ridgeline. It will obscurely drop to the saddle and then continue down the west side of the saddle. If you reached the intersection with the 2 crosscut trails (like we did) you went about 70 yds to far. Back up and look for the sign-less post for the turn. On this climb, you will be rewarded with some breathtaking views. A great place to catch your wind. The trail continues up, but along the edge of the cliffs making frequent stops mandatory. The trail gets thin in spots where new growth pine and dead fall has occurred. The top of Center Mountain is void of trees in one area, allowing for some pretty sweet views.

The drop towards the Lucky Strike Trail #144 is also rocky and steepish, but once again the views make up for it. We followed the old path/road along the rim to the North past the Metate Mine trail that @Oregon_Hiker has frequented, then dropped down to FR 145 for our return.

Another Great day in the Ancha
Video :next: [ youtube video ]

** Note ** For anyone planning on driving FR 145 to the Billy Lawrence TH in the near future.
This road is currently closed just past The Cienega Spring TH. The road is dug up and blocked off while they fix the Spring source that has eroded the road. As of 6/3/2017, there had been recent activity with the repair.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Cienega Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Go ahead, drink right out of the pipe

dry The Switchbacks Spring Dry Dry
Dry in the location on the TOPO Map. No moisture or sign of a spring in the location shown. Just go to nearby Reynolds Creek, anywhere on the climb towards Murphy Ranch to filter.
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