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Mormon Lake - AZT #29
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mini location map2018-05-18
15 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar May 18 2018
kingsnake
Hiking15.66 Miles 1,074 AEG
Hiking15.66 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   2.98 mph
1,074 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Despite being slightly ahead of the curve for my 50 monthly miles, this week I was looking for a longer hike in a cooler clime. Hiking Arizona Trail segment #29, just west of Mormon Lake in the Coconino National Forest, is what I came up with.

The Coconino National Forest is under Stage II fire restrictions — no campfires or smoking in the open — but I was unaffected as I neither camp nor smoke. While I was doing the hike, the Forest Service actually closed several areas in the CNF, including Mormon Mountain, the east slope of which AZT #29 passes through. 🚫🔥

Rather than take AZ-87 through the Payson traffic jam, then get stuck behind slow people on the two lanes north of Pine and Strawberry, I followed Google Maps’ recommendation to take I-17 north, then cut across on Stoneman Lake Rd. / FR 213. Rather than taking nearly three hours, I made it to the Arizona Trail’s Allan Lake trailhead in one hour, 45 minutes!

Overall, there were not many flowers on Arizona Trail #29. The southern third of the hike, was almost all dandelions. The middle third there were a few more species, but still mostly yellow flowers. The northern third had the most variety, with some brilliant claret cup and a huge patch of spreadfruit goldenbanner.

The only grab & stabs I saw, besides a few small cacti, was about a 200 yard wide patch on Mount Nestor’s north slope. Those were tall, brittle, vines with rose bush-type thorns, rather than catclaw. Take care to avoid involuntary blood donation, as the AZT passes right through the middle of the patch.

Arizona Trail #29 is always well-defined. Plus, there are plenty of AZT signs to show you the way. Cairns can be a useful tool, but here they are totally unnecessary. It appears a particularly strong microburst may have blown a few of them over. 😇

I did not drink much water, so I did not need to refill. But at Double Springs Campground there was a tap running out of the ground. There was no “non-potable” sign, so I figured what the heck and opened the spigot. I was expecting clear, cool, tasty well water. Instead, what I got was so cloudy it was gross. 🤢

I poured the water out. I carry bottles, and had several more waters, a couple of Gatorade G2s, and a trail beer (Peroni), so I was good.👍

I took my second break at Double Springs Campground site #14, which was where I saw all the spreadfruit goldenbanner flowers. Verizon reception at Double Springs was only 0-1 bars. I was barely able to get a text out to my wife, telling her I would soon be at Mayflower Spring for pickup.

Going to be tough finding a decent hike this week, in moderate temps, with all the closures ... 🤔

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Mormon Lake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Mostly dandelions in the southern third. Tons of Spreadfruit Goldenbanner in Double Springs CG site #14. Brilliant claret cup in final miles. But overall, light coverage.
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