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Woodchute - Martin Canyon Loop
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mini location map2018-05-25
15 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Woodchute - Martin Canyon LoopPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 25 2018
kingsnake
Hiking9.71 Miles 1,474 AEG
Hiking9.71 Miles   3 Hrs   51 Mns   2.52 mph
1,474 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I parked at the lower Woodchute Trailhead as it has a pit toilet, and my wife was along with me. But cars could easily drive 0.7 miles to the upper trailhead at the Woodchute Mountain Wilderness gate & info kiosk. Plus, there is more shade there.

It was a pleasant 62° when I hit the trail. There were a number of RVs camping along FR 102. Powerline Tank had water, but barely. Anyway, it's close to both trailheads.

Though not totally shaded, Woodchute Trail #102 had plenty of quality shade between the trailhead and the Woodchute Wilderness sign. The trail was well-maintained, and mostly smooth. As it winds slowly up a spur of Woodchute Mountain, Trail #102 alternately reveals great views of the Verde Valley and Prescott Valley. For better photo ops, there are numerous little use trails to better observation points. Southwest 25 miles, past the Viewpoint Fire burn scar, I could pick out Granite Mountain and Little Granite Mountain. Northeast 50 miles, the San Francsico Peaks were quite distinct.

The density of flowers gradually increased from none to dense as I hiked north on Woodchute Trail #102, peaking just short of the Woodchute Wilderness sign. Most of the flowers were bush flowers, rather than ground flowers, but color is color! 💐

Lower Woodchute Tank was dry and Upper Woodchute Tank had very little water.

Rick Tank Cutoff Trail #104 descends 1000 ft. in 1.2 miles, between Woodchute Tank and Martin Canyon. It is narrower, and less-defined, than Woodchute Trail #102, particularly where leaves or pine needles having fallen on it. Take your time, though, and you should have no problem picking it out. As Trail #104 meanders down, alternating between grassland, junipers and gambel oak, the views down canyon are fantastic. My favorite part of the day! 🤗

Martin Canyon Trail #103 starts off as half decent jeep trail, but rapidly becomes very technical off roading, only for skilled drivers with high clearance 4x4s. I saw the vehicle tracks, and lost parts, of those who tried. Probably ATVs.

Martin Canyon has plenty of shade, and good sitting rocks, so I stopped to eat lunch (a prickly pear pecan R Bar energy bar). As I headed out, I almost stuck my hiking pole in a dead gray fox. He was desiccated, and in one piece, so my I’m thinking rabies got him, rather than a predator, which would have left fox parts scattered for a hundred yards.

I enjoyed the sun glinting through the leaves, but Martin Canyon has almost zero flowers.

There were quite a few flies throughout the day. Thankfully just annoying house fly type flies, not biting horseflies. 👏

From Turkey Tank, Martin Canyon Trail #103’s surface begins improving, and becomming less technical for off roaders. It also pitches up, climbing 300 ft. in a half mile, to just above Hickey Tanks. (Which were both bone dry.) There is still shade, but it is much spottier than deeper in Martin Canyon. I got sunburned.

After post-hike refreshments, my wife & headed back down AZ-89A and AZ-69 to I-17. Southbound to Phoenix, the Black Canyon Freeway was pleasantly smooth sailing, despite the presence of at least eight DPS troopers on holiday radar duty. They needn’t have bothered the northbound drivers, as it was worse than rush hour gridlock headed north out of the Valley for the Memorial Day weekend. 😳

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Fauna
Fauna
Gray Fox
Culture
Culture
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Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire - Wildfire
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Overall, moderate on Woodchute Trail #102, starting light then gradually getting denser as you head north. Otherwise, almost non-existant.

dry Hickey Tanks Dry Dry
Bone dry. Not even moist.

dry Martin Canyon Tank Dry Dry
Bone dry.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Powerline Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Turkey Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
Lots of water, though it was muddy.

dry Woodchute Tank Dry Dry
Nada.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Woodchute Tank Upper 1-25% full 1-25% full
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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kingsnake's
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