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Fig Trail and a Kayak, AZ
mini location map2018-02-11
15 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
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Fig Trail and a Kayak, AZ 
Fig Trail and a Kayak, AZ
Hiking14.59 Miles 1,108 AEG
Hiking14.59 Miles   8 Hrs   49 Mns   1.82 mph
1,108 ft AEG      49 Mns Break30 LBS Pack
1st trip
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Well, this is one way to do Fig Trail and avoid an out-and-back.

Met sister at SB Cove and we took a vehicle up to FR 42, starting down the road with the sun. Great views along the way, I had fun pointing out Horseshoe Dam and the ranch, as well as the different peaks of the Mazzies, to an increasingly bored sibling. We took a roundabout way down to the river, ending at the gauge, and then stared at the Verde. Instead of trying to ford it we decided to kayak across because, well, we were carrying inflatable kayaks and they're cool. Those become more important later. Anyways, we spent an hour inflating/deflating for a sixty-second crossing and then started up FR 477 to the trailhead.

Fig #92
Found the twisted stump marking the beginning and followed a shockingly well-defined tread east. The old road that the trail follows is washed out at the second wash crossing and we had to find our own terrible way up the other bank, and then we re-discovered the trail on the other side of the next hill. We'd follow the tread few a few hundred yards, get slightly confused and/or make stupid decisions, and then pick it back up a short time later. Along the way I built a few cairns and we admired the views. Overall we were just impatient to reach the cabin.

Sheep Creek
Sheep Creek was terribly overgrown, as any Arizona creek should be, and we fought our way towards the cabin, not spotting it until we were twenty feet away. Cabin is in great shape - someone recently cleaned it out and added a photo of the builder. Cool stuff. After that we still had another half mile of battle along Sheep Creek (which was flowing great, by the way) until things dried up and died down and we could stroll the rest of the way to the Verde River.

Verde River
Now to the water stuff. We inflated our vehicles and set down the river. There was a decent amount of rapids due to the low level of Bartlett, at least six sections in all, and three of them were shallow enough to force me out and walk it down. Sister weighs at least fifty pounds less and had no troubles... I blame it on a different model of kayak. She also moved way faster in the flat water and soon left me in the mist. There wasn't enough watercraft in the north end of Bartlett to give us much trouble, though I did snap my paddle near the Flats and bailed early. Worked out fine - I deflated, packed up, and met my sister just as she was loading up at the dock. Walking > kayaking.

Mazatzal Miles: 199.6/275 (73%)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Fig Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Dripping/pouring down the bank and created a steady stream down into Sheep Creek.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Fig Trail Spring Dripping Dripping
Good dripping flow from source of spring heading down the wash. Several large pools, including rock tanks, of clear water, more than deep enough to pull from.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sheep Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Was flowing great near Fig Cabin, dries up about 1/2 mile downstream.
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