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Parker - Moody - Coon Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-04-04
36 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
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Parker - Moody - Coon Loop, AZ 
Parker - Moody - Coon Loop, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 04 2020
Backpack30.02 Miles 7,970 AEG
Backpack30.02 Miles2 Days         
7,970 ft AEG
1st trip
Souped-up version of a classic Sierra Ancha lasso. I can imagine this being done as a day hike if one trimmed some extra out.

Parker Creek #160
This trail was a dream, if a cold one. Creek was rushing loudly and trail in 'okay' shape - some non-prickly overgrowth and at least a dozen deadfall - on the way up to the saddle. Can imagine this being a real winner in the summer months. Past the saddle the overgrowth got more pokey and that last little climb from the Rim Trail junction is just mean. Reached the east end and pulled some water from a spring off of FR 487 before Peterson TH.

Abbey's Way #151
First half mile was fantastic, open meadows and seeping water around the old ranch site. Sections of the trail were flooded. Then the climb starts, and with it the deadfall and prickly stuff. Trail is in much worse shape than it was in the summer of '18 during my last visit. It's not bad enough where you'll get lost or have to route-find, just be ready for bloodshed and tears, etc. On Aztec Peak I stopped for third-breakfast at the stone patio area and shivered in the wind. Descended down FR 487 to the ranger cabin and the unmarked Moody TH.

Moody's Point #140
Dreary switchbacks through heavy fire damage for the first mile. Well-maintained, and good views, but dreary surroundings. Glad I did this section heading downhill. Closer to Rim Trail things liven up, mixed forests and plenty of green, and I was back in love. Trickling water along sections of trail east of Rim. Once I dropped off the 'tip' I was shocked to see recent maintenance on the trail, huge cairns and clean tread. It was fabulous. The maintenance stopped about 500' above where I turned around last month... yeah. That burned. Fought for a half-mile through thick stuff and then cruised along the ridge. Having now finished this trail, I'd say that's no worse than any other trail out here, get the right mindset and push through the half-mile of nasty.

Deep Creek #128
Little roller coaster through numerous tributaries of Deep Creek. After the visual overload of the last few hours this one felt a bit bland. Plus, there was no flowing water on the creek beds, only a few standing puddles, which, given the busy state of Parker Creek, I had been expecting more. Never Go Dry made for a decent water-pull / lunch spot. Oh, and there were some neat campsites along the tributaries. Cruised the last few miles to the TH and debated life decisions.

Coon Creek #124
First 1.5 miles was easy going on the old roadbed and I kept staring ahead at Coon Creek canyon, wondering if it was reasonable to attempt tomorrow or if bailing on forest roads made more sense. Then the trail twists and plunges down to the creek itself, and half of the descent was cairn-less guesswork down washed-out gullies. Found a few markers before the creek and pulled to full capacity before climbing the other side. Either the afternoon shade or the frequent copses made the climb much more pleasant than the drop had been. When I got to the wilderness boundary I found a used campsite with a flat pad and decided to call it for the day.

Camp: did a basic cowboy setup, as it's lighter than my current hammock gear. Used a new pad and melatonin to attempt to get a decent sleep - as an anxious side-sleeper, I rarely get more than hour-long stretches outside. Vast improvement. Woke up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle Coon Creek.

Coon Creek #254
Returned to junction and sped north. First half mile, over the saddle and down to the drainage, was pretty darn easy, and the saddle itself was dreamy. The drainage is where route-finding starts to get difficult, with brush and disuse hiding the way forward. Had to stop frequently to look for cairns. The burn got bad 1.1 miles from junction, where the pines were scorched, and route-finding got more difficult, as sections of tread were washed out. At 1.5 miles the trail drops down to the creek and it stays there, jumping back and forth on frequent crossings. I lost count after a dozen. Sometimes I followed it on the banks until I lost it (or the thorny stuff got too painful), other times I'd just rock-hop. The trail is definitely still there, and with a trimmer and some rebuilding of creek-crossing cairns it could be revived, and I saw no evidence of major wash-out or irrevocable damage. Pretty sure it jumps up on the west bank around 6155' and stays there, though I stuck to the creek bed until the far side of Trailside Spring drainage (where the creek flow pretty much trickled to nothing), and had to do some mild scrambling before hacking up to the old trail and crawling/crying through large swaths of truly terrible thorny thickets. At least I think I found Mud Spring along the way.

Parker Creek #160
Switched over to auto-pilot mode. This is a fun one to trot down. Two groups of day-hikers, the only other people I saw all weekend #socialdistancing

Sierra Ancha Miles: 38.8/59.1 (65.6%)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Coon Creek Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Creek and spring and tank were all quite full / overfull.

dry Deep Creek Tank Dry Dry
Like, super dry.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hunt Spring Dripping Dripping
Few puddles at Rim Trail crossing. Still haven't found the 'real' dependable source.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mud Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Water trickling down rock face into Coon Creek, lots of grass and moss makes me feel like this could be dependable throughout much of the year.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Never Go Dry Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Both tanks along trail full, source of tanks was trickling clear water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 South Fork Parker Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
Great flow throughout the entire creek.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Upper South Fork Parker Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
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