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2020-04-25  
2016-06-25  
2015-04-19  
2014-03-04  
Volunteering, AZ
mini location map2020-04-25
15 by photographer avatarchumley
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Volunteering, AZ 
Volunteering, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2020
chumley
Hiking11.75 Miles 1,309 AEG
Hiking11.75 Miles   4 Hrs   20 Mns   2.90 mph
1,309 ft AEG      17 Mns Break
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1st trip
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John9L
I had traced out a route that looked interesting for a high-country wander, and it turned out to be a nice day. We started by dropping into a drainage just off FR526 and headed downstream. It became quickly apparent that there was an old roadbed that followed this drainage, making travel quite pleasant. Within the first half mile we realized that it was not actually an old roadbed, but instead, an old railroad grade, as evidenced by places with remnant railroad ties and occasional rusty things.

Where this side canyon intersects Volunteer Canyon, we discovered the remains of a really impressive railroad structure. A huge old truss bridge, now in ruins, once existed here. The grade continued down Volunteer Canyon until we reached the military depot and had to detour along the boundary fence. We ran into a square of private property signed no trespassing and had to deviate off track a bit farther before returning to Volunteer Canyon near the military boundary and the point where Coconino and Kaibab National Forests meet where we also found an old cabin.

The next few miles followed Volunteer Wash as it meandered toward the rim. There was nice clear water in it the whole way, and we periodically encountered the old railroad grade. We took a lunch break at the edge of the rim before heading back east making use of Little LO Canyon as the primary route. It was a bit overgrown for the mile west of FR527, but again we found another old railroad grade and eventually some double-track to follow back to the truck.

I assume all the railroad grades are related to the timber industry from early in the 20th century. It would be interesting to know if there is a map of where all these old railroad grades once existed. I'm sure there's more artifacts and history to be found along those old routes.
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