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Aztec Peak via Abbey's Way 151 Loop
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mini location map2017-10-08
26 by photographer avatarJim_H
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Aztec Peak via Abbey's Way 151 LoopGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2017
Jim_H
Hiking4.80 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles
900 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Apples! and lots of them! I wasn't able to come out Friday and camp, which more than likely ended up being a good thing, but I came for a long day trip to the Anchas, my first time. My reward was a large brown paper bag of apples, but because I ate many, a stomach ache, too.

The gate of FR 487 is wide open, and my guess is that this is normal, so I drove right past the loop description's TH, and found the extremely worn, and shot at sign for #151 and parked at the FS TH. Starting up, the orchard was easy to find, heading right in to it on the sort of trail. Delighted, I spent over an hour eating and picking apples. I shook trees, used a stick to knock apples down, and climbed up to get at them. They needed pruning and fertilizing, oh, for the last 50 years, but there are apples there, and a number of them are pretty good. Most of the nasty ones I knocked down seemed to be eaten by the elk around sunset. Cleaning crew!

I took my big brown bag of apples back to my car, and because I do not have a GPS( I always borrow routes when I edit and post those) and I was unable to locate where an obvious trail exited the orchard, I opted to hike up 487 to the peak and descent 151. Aztec Peak was great, the Sierra Ancha are very nice, the views were really fun, but the descent down 151 was a big mistake, save perhaps for encountering a herd of elk with at least 2 males bugling, back at the orchard.

Quite windy on Aztec, and it felt colder than the day before on Humphrey, but that was the wind, not the temperature. Looking east, it strikes me how relatively flat the land is until one gets to the higher terrain of Baldy. Lots of canyons, and rugged eroded land, but compared to the area from the Anchas west to the Mazatzals, the Bradshaws, and other ranges, this central and eastern part of the state is pretty flat. It's also mostly Apache Reservation; San Carlos and White Mountain.

Looking back at logs from the last 2 years, it appears Randy and Jack didn't hike 151, and others like JJ found it in a far better condition than I did. Had I known, I would have stuck with the road. 151 probably should just be decommissioned, but I guess that isn't how things are. There isn't a big issue with large dead and down, but with lots of small dead NM Locust, and tons of rubus spp. grown over the trail, this ended up being an entirely unnecessary trip down a thorny slope navigating around, over, and under a tangle of thorns. Even when right on the old trail and going past cairns, in many cases. In spots, people have clearly hiked this, but in others it looked like a seldom used game trail or unvisited all together. After doing it once, I would just take 487 both ways, and skip that hellish thorn covered slope. I mean, the road is right there!

Still a great area, and I wish I had come here sooner. Perhaps I will spend more time here next year, when things warm back up. Yesterday's wind and cold front has me thinking that I am getting less and less likely to be out visiting higher terrain for the season. This is related to schedules, too, and not just the weather. Still, fall goes fast, November is soon to be here, and the days are getting a lot shorter.
Flora
Flora
Apple
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
If you love NM Locust, you'll love this hike, and they have some yellow in them.
_____________________
I await my deprogramming, my master.
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