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Verde River / Red Creek, AZ
mini location map2017-11-05
15 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
photographer avatar
Verde River / Red Creek, AZ 
Verde River / Red Creek, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2017
Hiking28.54 Miles 3,340 AEG
Hiking28.54 Miles   10 Hrs   55 Mns   3.16 mph
3,340 ft AEG   1 Hour   53 Mns Break
Partners none no partners
Last time I tried this area I got two flat tires on Lockwood Mesa. This time I went slower and reached FR 16 in 3 hrs (from south Gilbert). Glad I pulled a fresh audiobook beforehand.

FR 269
Not terrible for a road walk. Probably could have driven down it, was no worse than FR 24 with how dry it is, though that would have ruined my planned loop. Tangle Creek crossings and watching the sun light up East Cedar helped pass the time. Only two vehicles to deal with, quiet morning. Last three miles dragged, couldn't wait to get to the bridge. Saw a handful of tents along the river.

Verde River #11
Tons of prints and wide trail to Sycamore Creek, and then nothing. As expected, this (and almost every other) wash meant hunting for a trail on the other bank, because the Mazzies don't believe in straightforward crossings. Was really impressed by the scenery at the wilderness boundary, with the verde Verde supporting lush trees, White Bluffs just coming in view, and dry desert filling in the gaps. Trail got faint in Dry Wash, ended up just aiming for the bluffs and picking it back up there. Good views from atop the bluffs. Then things just kinda rolled on until Wet Bottom Creek, which was pretty yet quite dry, and then the Wet Bottom Trail junction, when it was time to headed down to the river. Trail gives up there so I rock-hopped to Red Creek Rapids, hung my boots around my neck, and crossed in thigh-deep current. It was surprisingly strong.

Red Creek
Got buzzed by a landing plane (so cool) while eating a luxuriously slow lunch and rehydrating. Eventually got my feet back under me and started up Red Creek. I'm not sure if I enjoyed this part of the hike - it was ridiculously pretty, and I kept tripping over my jaw, yet I was running low on energy and the frequent water crossing / climbing up on banks was tedious at best. Maybe two weeks for color, still a lot of green. After leaving the creek it was four dusty miles back to the van just so I could start the slow drive back in evening light.

Another quiet day. After leaving Sheep Bridge there was only the plane to break the solitude.

Mazatzal Miles: 172.3/275 (63%)
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Scattered yellow, mostly in Tangle. 99% green in Red Creek.

dry Dry Wash Dry Dry
Like, super dry.

dry Horse Creek Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Middle Red Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Surprisingly clear and robust flow along the length.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Red Creek Rapids Heavy flow Heavy flow
Over 2' deep in middle, challenging to cross.

dry Spring Wash Dry Dry
Some huge sycamores, but no water, at crossing.

dry Sycamore Creek Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Wet Bottom Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Only saw one small pool at trail crossing, no trickle.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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