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Thumb Butte - Potts Creek to West Spruce, AZ
mini location map2019-04-20
10 by photographer avatarjoebartels
photographer avatar
 
Thumb Butte - Potts Creek to West Spruce, AZ 
Thumb Butte - Potts Creek to West Spruce, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2019
joebartels
Hiking17.03 Miles 3,220 AEG
Hiking17.03 Miles   7 Hrs   53 Mns   2.61 mph
3,220 ft AEG   1 Hour   22 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Bruce put together this loop with a couple options. Only 3 hikers heading up Thumb Butte. Which seemed extremely light for 7:30 am on a very nice April Saturday morning.

Butte Creek was running light. Which apparently starts down in the neighborhood. Potts Creek Trail #327 zigs around following Butte Creek for a good stretch but no named place on topo that I could figure out for the name Potts. Fabulous hike through the pines.

Then on an FS road before what the FS declares as Sierra Prieta Trail #366. Not sure but looks like the intriguing detailed guide Preston wrote from a book reference is outdated or the book never had a firm grip on it.

The short FS designated #366 is pretty sweet. We took a break at my request. Lots of mtn bikers out riding this segment. Nearly all acknowledged us and kept us informed of pack traffic. No race #s so maybe practicing for the end of month Whiskey 50 Mountain Bike Race?

Sierra Prieta Overlook wasn't a refueling/aid station either. Graffiti central is covered up. After a short peek of the views we continued on FS373 just under a half mile.

Turned onto West Spruce Trail #264. Hiked the subtle rollercoaster with another granted break request. Then over to the base of West Spruce Mountain for lunch. The energy infused eagle darted up to the peak while I enjoyed a nice break. Several friendly ATV riders went through the gate below my perch.

Just 2 hikers on #264 heading back. Passing a large ant hill I almost gave the colony some of my water. As we all know ants don't have lungs. They may have wicked some up but figured I best not interfere. Lessons learned from a failed ant farm in '79... enough said.

The hike down Miller Creek proper was cool. A trail. Semi primitive to the surrounding network of Thumb Butte area trails. Passing numbered dispersed camping sites The_Angel_Eagle lent his phone to a camper that couldn't get a T-Mobile signal.

Finished out along old familiar favs to wrap up the outstanding mid sixties gift of temps throughout the hike.
_____________________
- joe
HAZ Member
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