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Fuller Seep Loop, AZ
mini location map2017-12-29
15 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
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Fuller Seep Loop, AZ 
Fuller Seep Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 29 2017
Hiking30.74 Miles 7,366 AEG
Hiking30.74 Miles   16 Hrs   43 Mns   2.18 mph
7,366 ft AEG   2 Hrs   35 Mns Break35 LBS Pack
1st trip
This was supposed to be a three day backpack, sort of a reverse Midnight Mesa Loop, but the lack of water out there forced me to turn around early. So I guess it turned into sort of training dayhike?

Mazatzal Divide #23
Car camped at City Creek Trailhead to the hum of Doll Baby Ranch. It was teeth-chatteringly cold out when I started at 5:30, definitely below freezing, and I didn't stop shivering until I was two miles up the trail and I got away from the lowlands. Trail is in great shape, as expected. The grade is constant and easy to maintain a decent pace going either up or down hill, although my uphill rate was annoyingly slow thanks to my pack weight.

Red Hills #262
The first two miles were breathtaking (literally, the temp must have dropped twenty a short distance into valley). This spared forest is beautiful and beats The Park hands down. Trail conditions continued to be great even after leaving the AZT on the far side, where footprints faded and horse tracks took over. Another stand of mostly-untouched pines lurk right before the drop off. Speaking of, that drop is ridiculously steep and I didn't look forward to climbing back out at all. Path was easy to follow all the way to the old corral and there was barely anything trickling through Fuller Seep. Took a quick break here to filter water and eat an early lunch.

Getting slightly worried about water conditions I pushed onwards, enjoying the easy trail to Midnight junction (which seemed to be in great shape from here) and beyond. 500 yards further west (at the saddle) is where things started to get dicey, and it did so slowly. First it got overgrown with some deadfall, though the tread and cairns were still easy to pick out. Then it got more dicey. A thousand yards to Wet Bottom Creek, while dancing along the ridge, is when elk tracks and two sets of cairns all diverged. Eventually I found a way down and found the anticipated majestic pool of awesome all but dried up.

This was the breaking straw. If this was dry, I figured there was no way that the branch of Sycamore Creek along my route or Dutchman Grave would have water, so I probably wouldn't see water again until Mountain Spring. That was too far out of my comfort zone, especially as my planned camping (and cramping) site was near Sycamore. Drank some water and turned around, slowly hauling my way back to Fuller Seep for an afternoon snack. Climbing up the overgrown hillside was no fun, and then climbing up the steep drop on the way back to Brush junction even less so.

Brush #249
First mile was beautiful and gave me a few good views north, then the second mile got a bit steep and rocky and I had to slow down. Bumped into two AZT section hikers near Brush Spring (there are other people who hike in the Mazzies?!?) and had a quick chat before starting those little climbs out. Sun fell while we were chatting so I only had a third of my loop to do after sunset, he he. Managed to reach the saddle between 5556' and 5610' before I finally gave in and pulled out my headlamp and sweater. Then it was some steep switchbacks in the moonlight until the next junction. All in all this trail was easy to follow, had some good views, and with the exception of that one steep rocky section during the first half, downright enjoyable.

Bull Spring #34
Had braced myself for a tough downhill on this trail and was pleasantly surprised to find it sandy, gradual, and easy on the knees. The views seemed good too, from what I could make out in the moonlight. At this point I was starting to get a bit heads-down so I'll have to hit this section again (heard the LF Hilton takes walk-ins). Last mile got a bit rocky and hard to track by headlamp, especially the little hop over Copper Mountain.

Doll Baby Road
Did not like. Those rocky sections were worse than anything on the last two trails, and the repeated little climbs after so many miles was just mean. Had to keep my headlamp on to help with navigating all the rocks and only turned it off once I hit Doll Baby trailhead. Speaking of, the road between City Creek and Doll Baby was impeccable compared to City Creek and the pavement - if you're willing to drive your vehicle of choice to the humble City Creek trailhead, the extra mile to the much more established Doll Baby is nothing.

Mazatzal Miles: 196/275 (71%)
Named place
Named place
Fuller Seep

dry Brush Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Fuller Seep Dripping Dripping
Several small pools of clear water w/ some green stuff on bottom, easy to filter from, barely dripping from pool to pool before sucked back into the ground.

dry SE 5395 Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Wet Bottom Creek - Red Hills #262 Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Two tiny, stagnant pools above the trail crossing, barely worth mentioning.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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