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2017-07-29  
Groom Creek-Mt Davis, AZ
mini location map2017-07-29
10 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Groom Creek-Mt Davis, AZ 
Groom Creek-Mt Davis, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2017
rayhuston
Hiking14.67 Miles 3,315 AEG
Hiking14.67 Miles   7 Hrs   35 Mns   2.36 mph
3,315 ft AEG   1 Hour   22 Mns Break
 
1st trip
The Eagle treated me to a lite version of one of his classic multi-trail, multi-peak hikes, this one in the Bradshaws. The plan was to hit Spruce, Davis and Union utilizing the Groom Creek Loop, Isabella and Dandrea trails.

We started at the Groom Creek trailhead and started the loop in a clockwise direction. On the way up, Bruce mentioned a shortcut that bypassed Spruce. I'd been to Spruce but not on the shortcut trail, so we lightened the already lite version further by bypassing Spruce, taking the Transcendent Mine shortcut noted in MEWhiteman's Isabella Loop description. The trail had some downfall and is steep, but was easy to follow. It shaved about a mile off the loop.

Back on the Groom Creek loop trail we came across a flock (rafter) of wild turkeys: 4 hens and about a dozen chicks (poults). What a sight that was as they motored along the trail ahead of us before disappearing into some brush.

We continued on, taking the Isabella trail down to the road, then through Potato Patch before picking up the Dandrea trail. The Dandrea trail was probably the least favorite part of this hike. It's an old road covered with ankle busters, but it gets you to the saddle between Davis and Union. We turned north at the saddle, opting to bag Davis first. Once on top, we looked for the ammo can that contained the summit register, but couldn't find it.

On the way down from Davis, I told Bruce that I would bypass Union. I haven't hiked much lately ('cause I'm a "slacker") and we still had a long way to go. I took a nap at the saddle while The Eagle bagged Union and checked out the tower. We ate lunch when he returned and extended the break. Thunderheads started to blossom to the south as we enjoyed the serenity of the saddle. Rain was in the forecast. Time to get going.

We headed back down Dandrea, back through Potato Patch and up Isabella. The Isabella trail is one of the best trails I've hiked in the Bradshaws. Moderately steep in spots, but easy walking through a mostly shaded pine forest.

When we reached the Groom Creek Loop, we turned south and coasted the last five miles on good trails with a gentle descent. A great way to finish a long hike. Somewhere in the distance, the sound of drums could be heard. Bongos at first, then something like the drum corps of a high school marching band. They were pretty good.

As we closed out the hike, storms were brewing all around us, but we were spared until the last mile or so when light rain brought the umbrellas out.

Bruce, thank you again for the invite. I had a great time!
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