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Davey Gowan Loop
11 Photosets

mini location map2018-08-26
10 by photographer avatarkelly14
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Davey Gowan LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 26 2018
Hiking2.65 Miles 1,283 AEG
Hiking2.65 Miles   3 Hrs   40 Mns   0.80 mph
1,283 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Was torn on going to the Bradshaw’s or Mazzies this weekend but went with the mazzies. Haven’t been here in a while and saw they have gotten decent rain the last few weeks. Decided on ATTEMPTING the Davey Gowan loop and failed miserably. Incredibly beautiful terrain and overwhelmingly rugged are how I would describe this hike. The Mazzies are a butt kicker!

Knew that this trail was not really a trail anymore but wanted to explore it and see how far we would get. The loop was a pipe dream to say the least. Not 50 yds in and already was saying “where the heck is the trail” lol. Pretty much described the entire hike. Hiking on the ridge in the beginning stretch wasn’t horrible but we decided to drop down into the pines and avoid bushwhacking. Worked out well and eventually met up with the Davey Gowan trail on the nicest tread we saw all day! Lasted 50 yds 😳

Directly after this spooked a huge bull elk! Huge! Wasn’t expecting to see elk here. So much sign of them they must really like this area.

Like the description said we dropped into some manzanita and it was a maze. So many game trails and washes were confusing the daylights out of us. We managed to stay relatively on trail during these switchbacks mainly in part to the Ribbons! They were life saving. After this the only way to describe the rest of our hike was borderline torture.

It was 95% bushwhacking with 5% OMG the trail! Oh nvm😢. I knew it was gonna be rough but not that rough. The wet ground combined with all the re growth from the monsoons created natures muddy slip and slide with thorns prodding at you as you slid down. It was borderline impossible to locate the trail at times.

We had a later start then we wanted combined with it getting cloudy made us nervous. We were not ready to be bushwhacking for 3 more hours. And so finally at the biggest washout we encountered yet decided to call it. With the huge elk shed I just found in 1 hand and walking stick in the other we climbed the side of that mountain and made it back to the truck. The Climb out was incredibly tough and steep but better than who knows how many more hours of bushwhacking.

My wife and I love a good adventure but that was just a little bit too much today! Had to have fallen 20-30 times. But funny thing is we already talked about going back the other direction and seeing how far we can get 😬. Guess we are crazy. Saw 2 deer as well and some bear crap so lots of wildlife here!

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