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Slavin Gulch Council Rocks, AZ
mini location map2019-12-02
28 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Slavin Gulch Council Rocks, AZ 
Slavin Gulch Council Rocks, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2019
Hiking14.94 Miles 2,306 AEG
Hiking14.94 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   2.59 mph
2,306 ft AEG   1 Hour   44 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Sticking close to home again I headed back to the Dragoon Mountains. This hike was a mix of established trails and some use trails located on Google Earth. Perfect weather for a Dragoon mountain hike, clear skies high wispy clouds to add depth to the photos and plenty of water. Water everywhere even in the small streams. Was thinking about the water report and decided for Slavin Gulch measuring in gallons per minute wouldn't do so I figures I would measure it in barrels per minute. I just couldn't figure out how many barrels but it is a few. There was still a scattering of snow on the north slopes at just below 6000 feet.

Started out on the Slavin Gulch Trail #322 just after sunrise. Took me a while to figure out how to get here, the most direct road on google earth turned out to be across private property so I had to use Middlemarch Road. By the way that is the only access point if you don't know someone that owns property on the west side of the Dragoons. It is deer season so there were some hunters. If I had known that I guess I would of wore a red hat or something instead of my desert MARPATS. I don't really look like a deer though. Slavin Gulch trail follows an old road that went up to the Abril mine (1900 to 1953) but all that is left is a well defined trail. Only had issues a couple times where it crossed the creek but was able to pick up on it again without much issue. At 2.7 miles you come to the Abril Mine. I didn't climb the last 100 feet up the hill to see the actual mine because the trek up the steep hill was a bit more than I thought I should be doing alone. With the wet ground and a bit of snow it seemed as I was climbing up the ground it was sliding down faster. About half way up I decided I really didn't need to see the hole in the mountain. You seen one hole you seen em all, besides there is a two track road that leads up to the mine from the other side, maybe on another trip. Great views to the west of the Huachuca, Whetstones, Mule Shoe, Santa Ritas and Rincon Mountains. The recent storms made the visibility perfect.

I headed back down the Slavin Trail and took a route I saw visibly on Google Earth that it called the Sky Island Traverse. Easy trail to follow, it heads up a small ravine, over a low pass and then heads across grass land to the Council Rocks area. Very impressive oak trees along this section. Saw a set Mountain Lion tracks that was also using this trail but no lion. I couldn't help but look up every so often in the magnificent oak trees to see if there was a cat watching me. I'm probably too old, tough and skinny to be of much use for it though.

Once at the Council Rocks area I just meandered around on all the user trails. Very interesting and fun area. This can also be reached via the Middlemarch road that also continues on into West Cochise Canyon. I took a side trip to visit the ruins of what was called the White House. Didn't actually find it on this trip because I didn't have it marked on my GPS. Trying to locate it from memory of 20 years ago when I last was here didn't work very well. When I got home I looked at my route on Google Earth and I walked within a couple hundred yards of it.

From Council Rocks I headed back along another use trail (mainly by cows) to the Slavin Gulch Trail Head. Lots of flat grass land walking and a couple of crawls under barb wired fences. Nice walk as the sun was low in the sky. Clouds from the next storm could be seen far to the west. Made for a nice sunset on the drive home.
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