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East Fort Trail #31 - Prescott NF
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mini location map2013-09-03
3 by photographer avatarnancyesan
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East Fort Trail #31 - Prescott NFPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2013
nancyesan
Hiking2.10 Miles 388 AEG
Hiking2.10 Miles
388 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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East Fort trail is the only hike in the Horse Thief Basin area that we've tried that isn't choked with thorny bushes. It is wide and steep downhill for the first half mile to the wilderness gate, then much narrower and easy up hill the rest of the way. While the narrow trail is somewhat overgrown with manzanita bushes, which don't have thorns, there are cairns placed frequently on the boulders marking the way. The trail across the boulders near the top is also well marked with cairns. To reach the 360 degree view you have to step up through the ruin wall to the flat area above it.

It took us nearly an hour and a half to drive our Jeep 9.3 miles from Crown King to the well marked trailhead sign. The road is so rough there were very few places where we could go faster than 5 mph. Since the trail is only 2.2 miles round trip, after the hike we drove further south on the road and took FS696 to the Jim Creek trailhead to check it out. 696 has a steep hill that does require 4WD to get back up it. Jim Creek trail starts out as a road up to the wilderness fence, then a narrow path after going through the gate, and quickly becomes choked with thick bushes so we decided it wasn't worth continuing. Back in the Jeep, we started driving further south on 696 to check out the Willow Creek trail but quickly came to a steep, badly washed out hill and decided it wasn't worth the risk, especially not knowing what lay ahead. A short visit to the lake in the center of Horse Thief Basin was a nice respite during the grueling ride back toward Crown King.
September 12, 2019
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