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Davenport Trail Scouting, AZ
mini location map2019-10-15
8 by photographer avatarBiFrost
photographer avatar
 
Davenport Trail Scouting, AZ 
Davenport Trail Scouting, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 15 2019
BiFrost
Backpack23.44 Miles 5,699 AEG
Backpack23.44 Miles2 Days         
5,699 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Headed up to Barnhardt trailhead Tuesday morning and met with trail crew leader Jake for some scheduled Davenport Trail maintenance. The crew is from ACE (American Conservation Experience) who does a lot of AZT trail maintenance. Our goal was to hike in and scout the area and I was there to share my knowledge of trail conditions being familiar with the trail. We also had a packer Bill that hauled in 150 pounds of food and gear for the crew to Chilson base camp.

We started in about 830 and made good time arriving at Chilson Camp before 11am. Bill let the horses graze a bit and we talked about the trail scouting plan for the day. We then said goodbye to Bill and he headed back down to the trailhead. Jake and I headed down Davenport Trail to scout the condition. Of course, this trail is in serious need of maintenance since it has not seen any formal attention in probably 25 years. The Willow Fire in 2005 also caused considerable damage to much of the trail.

We spent most of our time finding the old tread and collecting waypoints. Jake’s goal was to have enough data to flag the trail for his trail crew and give them all the instruction they needed to manage the project. Eventually we made it down to South Fork Deadman Creek about 2.5 miles from Chilson and took a break. The creek crossing is a tough stretch because it drops about 1000 feet to the crossing but there are old switchback cuts on the downslope that Jake was able map out for the crew.

Once across the creek we continued another 1.5 miles which has some decent old tread and very visible trail cuts. However, that tread eventually runs out and hits a wall of manzanita, scrub oak and various brush. We ventured into the brushy section a bit so Jake could see how difficult this leg would be. Realistically the brushy section will probably not get completed at least this go around but he said they would most likely get a route flagged through the section.

After scouting what we need to see we headed back to Chilson Camp arriving just before sunset. Then hiked to Chilson Spring and filtered water before settling in for the night. Next morning, we left early and hiked back out to Barnhardt trailhead. Jake had to meet the crew who was scheduled to arrive late morning. It was a productive day scouting and gathering the information needed for the project. Honestly I didn’t think a trail crew would ever do maintenance on Davenport so it’s awesome to see these guys out there!! And I can't forget about Shawn Redfield who got all the paperwork for the grant pushed through. Many thanks for that effort :D
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