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Blue Ridge - AZT #27
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mini location map2018-10-06
40 by photographer avatartibber
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Blue Ridge - AZT #27Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 06 2018
tibber
Hiking8.91 Miles 894 AEG
Hiking8.91 Miles   4 Hrs   44 Mns   2.24 mph
894 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Tracy and Shawn had set up the shuttle the night before so thank you to them plus we got to stay at their place on Friday nite where we enjoyed a little wine. We had hoped to hike to the truck on Sunday but the weather forecast caused us to just do the hike for Saturday so we would have to sadly unwind the shuttle for what would have been the perfect shuttle for a two day hike :( . But at least @mazatzal saved us a few miles as they were hiking the bottom part of Passage 27 and would drive Shawn's truck back to the TH at General Springs cabin.

Arizona Trail in A Day finally arrived but not before we got some of Shawn's homemade pancakes and homemade prickly pear syrup. NOW I'm ready.
I really looked forward to this one as I have seen so many pictures and trip reports and there's just something about the allure of Clear Creek even tho it's dry most of the time. We got started around 8:30 I think. We took some pre-hike photos in our matching shirts and hats and headed up the road that had pretty good forest on both sides. We noticed the prescribed burn areas and stopped at a pond alongside the road for a piece and then continued to where we think there should be a fancy Arizona Trail gate before the descent to E Clear Creek.

This is a beautiful descent thru the forest as you can see the creek area below and the forest wall on the other side. The trail is in pretty good shape considering how steep it is in parts and with all the rain so kudos to the trail maintenance crew. I was delighted to be able to hear water when I was about half-way down and then at the bottom, we found quite a bit of water in the creek. We would have to detour upstream a bit to find a crossing to avoid getting our feet wet. We admired the area for a bit before we headed UP the 505 foot hill in less than a mile.

You pass through the fairly open forest and the trail elevation seems pretty gradual. I found I was making pretty good time as it would also level out just a tad here and there. It was a lovely day temperature wise as the clouds started to roll in. We took a short break half way up before finishing it off. I seemed to recall there was another up somewhere along our route but there really wasn't.

You get brief views across the way but it is limited. There is one area where we stopped for a photo op including a sit-down so that was fun. Our view was to the southeast. We continued on our way past some beautiful junipers and then to the intersection with Rock Crossing; another one of those areas I've heard about. Wish we would have had time to check it out. We checked in at the register next to FR 751. After that we were treated to a beautiful meadow with what I think was Purple Lovegrass. I also spotted an Abert's Squirrel that I filmed for a bit. There were a few pretty wildflowers here too.

We took our snack break around the 5 1/2 mile mark. I was trying out some pumpkin goat cheese to go with the Wheat Thins and grapes. I probably wouldn't buy the pumpkin goat cheese again. From here it was 3 miles to the TH as we passed alongside a bit of a rim where you could look to the northwest before coming to the area we worked on only a year ago for an ATA event. I thot it had been two years but it was just last summer. The trail work we did is holding up really well. We reminisced about the event and Tracy and I showed off our work on one particular area to Ambika. We passed thru the new 1/2 circle gate, paid our moos to the cattle and passed by a couple of the campgrounds. We saw a funky tree and later some cows over by a tank.

We did do two bits of trail work including taking down a large tree trunk that was hanging over the trail. We basically had to swing it to get it to fall and then Shawn decides we can move it to the side of the trail. Well actually HE can move it as we weren't much help though we tried. The second piece of work is where we nature littered up a trail that had been created when a downed tree was in the way.

And now to unwind the shuttle. FR 300 is not in good shape so we weren't too thrilled about having to ride it three times in eight hours. However, it is a beautiful drive especially on a day like today with the foreboding clouds. There were quite a few people out camping and one wedding. We did see some elk as well including one beauty.

FR123A to FR751 [ youtube video ]
FR751 to Blue Ridge TH - [ youtube video ]
Flora
Flora
Redroot Eriogonum
Fauna
Fauna
Abert's Squirrel
Named place
Named place
Elk Tank

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Elk Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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