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Oversite Ida Canyon Loop, AZ
mini location map2018-11-01
19 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Oversite Ida Canyon Loop, AZ 
Oversite Ida Canyon Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 01 2018
Hiking7.17 Miles 2,238 AEG
Hiking7.17 Miles   3 Hrs   56 Mns   2.16 mph
2,238 ft AEG      37 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Headed down to the Huachuca Mountains west slopes south of Parker Lake to complete two trails I haven’t been on before. The Oversite Canyon and Ida Canyon Trails to the Crest trail were meant to form a good loop hike. This is a 7.3 mile loop with an AEG of about 2000 feet and impressive views to the southwest. I chose to start at the junction of Cave Creek and Ida Canyon on FR771 off of the West Montezuma Canyon Road. Definitely need a high clearance vehicle to get the last .5 miles of FR771

From my starting point I headed South up a two track along Cave Canyon to the Junction with Oversite Canyon and the Miller Peak Wilderness boundary. The Oversite Trail officially starts here. I did not see the cabin that is near this junction but I wasn’t really looking because I was unaware that it was/is there. Ben Telly in his description of the Oversite Ida Canyon Loop has more details and a photo of this cabin. The Oversite Trail is fairly easy to follow with cairns marking some of the tricky spots as it crosses the creek. This trail is a serious uphill climb the whole way but not unreasonable with switchbacks along the steeper climbs. I like trails that know where they are going and don’t waste a lot of time meandering around needlessly. This trail has an elevation gain of about 2111 feet and an AEG of about 2133, that’s just 22 feet of aimless meandering, COOL! After reaching the Saddle between Oversite and Ida Canyons the trail levels off quite a bit as it heads along the upper reaches of Ida Canyon to the Crest Trail. There was a short 100 to 200 yard stretch just about .5 miles up from this saddle that is a bit overgrown. I thought it strange that for a trail that was so easy to follow that it would suddenly become faint and overgrown. With knowledge of where the trail is heading and a little bit of imagination getting through this section wasn’t a problem. There was no water flowing in Oversite Canyon except at the two springs, one at the beginning of the trail and the other just before the ascent up to the Saddle. There were a few small pools and it looked like the creek may have been running a week or so earlier.

Once on the crest trail it was a quick .5 miles to the junction with the Ida Canyon Trail. The upper portion of the Ida Canyon Trail is steep as it descends down to Bear Springs. Easy to follow and I considered it a well maintained trail. The trail around Bear Springs gets a little faint hidden by pine needles but wasn’t an issue. I saw another bear, Ironically at Bear Springs, standing in front of the Bear Springs Sign. The bear saw me first because I was busy looking for the trail and I was unable to get a photo. It was a very nice looking Black or very dark brown bear. I also saw a couple of White Tail Dear in this area. There was water at the spring. From the spring the trail heads around the ridge that separates Bear Canyon from Ida Canyon and then descends down into Ida Canyon. There were remnants of a mine and some mining equipment along the switchbacks going down into Ida Canyon. I thought the switchbacks along this trail were a little overdone taking way too much time to get where they were going, Might make ascending this trail a little easier though. The creek in Ida Canyon was dry on the lower end. The Ida Canyon Trail ends in the creek and it was a short .3 miles to where I parked the vehicle at the junction with Cave Canyon Creek.

I really like the Huachuca Mountains, Especially the west slopes. The expansive views to the west and south leave you thinking that a time warp could have transported you back 150 years and you would never have known it. Borders are a man made phenomenon and in this area the US and Mexico just kind of blend together on the grasslands of the San Rafael Valley. Sounds kind of science fictiony but why not since I just got done hiking two trails that have some kind of space time warp occurring that allows the travel in one direction of the trail to be shorter than travel in the other direction (at least that’s what the signs say).

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bear Spring Dripping Dripping
Seepage at spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Spring - Oversite Canyon Dripping Dripping
Water in pool at spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Spring - Prospector's Cabin Dripping Dripping
Not sure what the flow rate was but I could here it running
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