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Az Trail passage 22B, AZ
mini location map2020-02-18
8 by photographer avatarmuskybankr
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AZ Trail passage 22B, AZ 
AZ Trail passage 22B, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 18 2020
Hiking9.50 Miles 2,337 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles   5 Hrs   10 Mns   2.04 mph
2,337 ft AEG      30 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
We parked vehicles at both TH’s and swapped keys at the junction of the Thicket Springs/Cornucopia loop. I will note that the signage at this junction moves the AZ Trail over to the longer Cornucopia trail(see photo) while the official GPS route takes the shorter Thicket Springs Loop trail up to Cornucopia, a difference of 0.9 miles on my GPS although the official route had about 50 more feet of AEG in this section. We met a through hiker with the delightful trail name of “Miles Kilo” on this longer section. He had hiked up from Mexico in the last month and was just about to the half-way point. This is the second through hiker we’ve met in our desultory attack on the AZ Trail in the last two months.
The routes into the trailheads will keep your attention. While the Mormon Grove road crossed Sycamore Creek two or three times, at least there was no snow and ice on it and the foundation of both roads were very firm, no erosion (unlike the road to Roger’s Trough which has some severe erosion.) Probably passable with a two wheel drive car(at least to Mormon Grove, maybe not so much on the Mt. Peeley road which had a half dozen sections of snow and ice. (see photos)

The trail itself had a half-mile or so of 3” deep mud and water on the southern portion with no real way to avoid it, along with the usual complement of deadfall trees of impressive magnitude closer to the West Fork of the Sycamore Creek attempting to block the trail. We went under, over, and around them. There were also more rolling rocks in this section although not in the class of the trail up to Black Mesa in Spur Cross, which consists of nothing but grapefruit sized rolling rocks. McFarland Canyon, with its tall trees inviting campers, and two mine shafts inviting four–legged squatters, is a favorite camping spot but you may need to put up with the neighbors at night which Kilo told us were big and noisy.

We actually saw a few flowers above 5500 feet but they were all huddled together and we saw no others on the lower climes. Trail angels were active in this passage as we saw several jugs of water. The maintenance crew had recently passed through this section with one of their wheeled trail machines.(Thanks to info from Ranger Doug we now believe those tracks we're made by a dirt bike) One of our guys surmised that the machine’s on board computer had a new cairn app which sorted rocks to fit the algorithmic cad/cam cairn designs, as we saw several spiffy cairns. This is what happens when you’ve been out in the sun too long and you’re hiking with an old guy who’s so slow your mind starts wandering off.
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Wildflowers Observation None
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