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Thompson Trail #629
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mini location map2019-06-05
16 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
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Thompson Trail #629Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2019
DixieFlyer
Hiking11.10 Miles 1,206 AEG
Hiking11.10 Miles   4 Hrs   47 Mns   2.88 mph
1,206 ft AEG      56 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
I had hiked on the West Baldy Trail 0n June 4, and was looking for a hike to do before heading back to the VOS. The Thompson Trail has been on my radar screen for a while, so we decided to hike the Thompson Trail and the West Fork Black River Trail.

What a delightful hike this one turned out to be! I like mountain streams and alpine meadows, and this one has both!

The Thompson Trail is definitely a 5 star trail! It never strays far from the West Fork of the Black River. Along the way there are 2 large rock barriers in the river known as gabions. These are designed to protect Apache Trout (which are one of 2 species of trout native to Arizona) by keeping non-native trout from swimming upstream.

We hiked for 2.7 miles on the trail, and then got our feet wet and crossed the river at Deadman Crossing (the water was about half way up to my knees). Then we went on the West Fork Trail for 2.3 miles to the West Fork TH. This was an enjoyable trail also, although you can see some of the effects of the Wallow Fire in 2011. Fortunately the aspens are coming back, and there are numerous aspen trees that are 6'-15' tall.

While at Deadman Crossing, we went for a ways on the Black River 628A-630 Loop. This was a easy to follow trail for about 1/4 mile or so, and then the route went off trail. After about 1/2 mile we decided that we had seen enough of the trail and reversed course back to Deadman Crossing.

I plan to go back up to the area in the fall and do an out-and-back hike on the Thompson Trail and West Fork Black River Trail -- it should be about 10 miles with 1,000' of AEG, so it is not a difficult hike. It should be a nice hike if we time it right to see the aspen leaves turning.

Here are a couple of videos showing the West Fork of the Black River:
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]

To get to the trailhead, we took FR 116 off of 273, and this forest road is easily the best forest road that I have ever driven on. In fact, it is better than many paved roads.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
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DixieFlyer's
313 Photosets

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