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The Pocket-Fossil Springs Wilderness, AZ
mini location map2018-03-17
8 by photographer avatarMountainMatt
photographer avatar
 
The Pocket-Fossil Springs Wilderness, AZ 
The Pocket-Fossil Springs Wilderness, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 17 2018
MountainMatt
Hiking13.55 Miles 1,798 AEG
Hiking13.55 Miles   7 Hrs      2.27 mph
1,798 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break30 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A return to “The Pocket” was in order from last short teaser trip and this time it was for good reason.
An old local told me it was a hotspot for elk and game of all kind so I was eager to see what spring in the area would be like.

A friend of mine that’s a hunting guide helped one of his clients kill a 140lb lion here earlier this week with a bow and arrow so there definitely conformation of recent game activity on this unique slab of land.

A chilly 34° to start out the hike but once out of the dense ponderosa pine forest and out into the chapparl, pinon and juniper area it quickly warmed up although the high winds kept up all day.

I made my way all the way to western most end of The Pocket and soaked in the expansive views above the confluence with Calf Pen and Sandrock.

I spooked 4-5 whitetail lounging in the tall grass of the more desert like section of the plateau.
During my lunch break I looked back and noticed a herd of elk slowing making their way up back to the mid level of The Pocket .
Whipped out my cheap binoculars and saw a large bull leading and he was still holding both his antlers so that’s definitely a reason why I did a near 14 mile loop without finding any sheds.

On the way back I took an obvious old trail on the southside of the mesa I spotted from afar and then confirmed on satellite imagery which is completely opposite of the north side trail that topo maps show.
This trail was a super highway compared to the followed topo route which had me fighting through some serious spots of manzanita and scrub brush.

After that I quickened my pace to get back to the car because I was super hungry and had a heavy pack from picking up obnoxious amount of trash.
Great morning/early afternoon overall though!
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