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Lost Souls Loop, AZ
mini location map2019-03-26
20 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Lost Souls Loop, AZ 
Lost Souls Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 26 2019
markthurman53
Hiking11.40 Miles 1,691 AEG
Hiking11.40 Miles   5 Hrs   42 Mns   2.35 mph
1,691 ft AEG      51 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
On my last day before heading back to Tucson I had plans to hike an assortment of trails from the Willow Springs Canyon Trail Head on Hwy 88, Apache Trail at Mile post 204. I loaded my GPS with trails from HAZ and a couple I traced out from Google Earth. I was on a mission to log some of these trails that weren't documented. Got to the trail head before sunrise had my can of sardines, drank a bunch of water and turned my GPS on. WHAT THE HECK! My Garmin GPS erased all my routes, my tracks from the previous day were still there. This has never happened to me before. I know what caused it though, I was reading a post on HAZ Forum about someone with issues with their Garmin doing the same thing. My Garmin was sitting by the computer while I was reading these posts and my Garmin 650T thought that was neat and didn't realize it could do that so it decided to try it. Nothing I could do now so I decided to go ahead with the hike and try to find these trails with what I had in my memory from Google Earth. This worked fairly well but I did have to do some wandering around to cut the trails. When I got home I changed batteries and noticed that the SD card was not seated all the way and upon seating it all my routes showed back up. Should of been the first thing I checked when I had this issue.

I started out on the Lost Souls Trail that heads out right at the Trail Head. didn't see the trail at first but with a little wandering around I finally came across the trail. This is actually a horse trail but not heavily used. Once found it is fairly easy to follow. This trail follows along side the Willow Springs Canyon Trail but further to the east higher up on the hills and eventually crosses the two track to Bagley Tank. From this crossing the trail heads west to intersect Willow Springs Canyon just north of Willow Springs Basin. I lost the trail at the two track to Bagley Tank and never found it again so I just headed west cross country to Willow Springs Canyon. Turns out the trail follows the two track north for about 100 yards before heading west. This trail is an alternate route to Willow Springs Basin, it has a lot of ups and downs as it crosses multiple stream beds but the trail isn't a sandy stream bed like the Willow Springs Canyon Trail.

Once in Willow Springs Canyon I headed down stream to the junction with what I will call Rough N Ready Canyon and the Rough N Ready Trail. Probably the most interesting portion of the hike. The canyon gets narrow with high canyon walls of light colored Tuff and Black volcanic rock. Does not look like a very hospitable place in the summer. The Rough N Ready Trail heading up canyon is more of a rock scramble but no climbing. There was still water in pools along this portion of the canyon. I continue down the Rough N Ready to a Trail that cuts back to the east and over to Willow Springs Canyon and Willow Springs Basin. The problem was with out a route I wasn't sure where this occurred. I ended up going cross country until I cut the trail. Once on the trail I followed it back to Rough N Ready Trail then back tracked along the trail to Willow Springs Canyon. I call this trail the Rough N Ready Willow Springs Canyon Crossover. Really nice trail, no wonder it showed upon Google Earth so well.

From Willow Springs Canyon I follow a trail that is called the Willow Springs Tank Trail on some web sites. This trail will eventually head back to the Javelina Trail (portions of this trail are also Called the Golden Eye Trail). This trail crosses a 2 track near Willow Springs Tank and I take that down to the tank and continue south along what I am calling the Willow Spring Basin Trail. This trail will continue down to the Gold Eagles Nugget Trail (parts of this trail are referred to as the Little Chance Loop). I only follow this trail for .7 miles to a spur trail that heads down into Willow Springs Canyon. These trails are easy to follow and appear to be fairly heavily traveled. The .1 mile Spur trail down to the Willow Spring Canyon Wash is marked by a cairn but is not much of a trail but you can see your destination, just follow the steam bed.

Back in Willow Springs Canyon I follow the trail back but on this trip instead of following the trail which follows along a 2 track that occasionally leaves the wash, I stay in the wash. This is the way to go if you are on foot. The wash is much more interesting and you get to pass By Willow Springs. The canyon gets a little narrow near Willow Springs with a little rock hopping but no climbing. Just 20 feet before the Trail Head gate I came across the Lost Souls Trail. It is a little faint but it is there. I took that trail in to where I Connected up with it earlier in the day and then returned to finish this hike.

Great hike in spite of the issues with the GPS. I am tempted to write some trail descriptions with what I have learned about these trails and make some sense out of the seemingly senseless maze of trails. There is a web site I found that lists all the trails in this area but the names are a little different. mtbikeaz.com Nice map of all the trails. This is a mountain bike web site so their names are a little more colorful but the trails are there.
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