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Medlar Springs Trail #9706
2 Photosets

2020-09-10  
2014-01-08  
mini location map2020-09-10
14 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Medlar Springs Trail #9706Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 10 2020
kingsnake
Hiking7.54 Miles 913 AEG
Hiking7.54 Miles   3 Hrs   27 Mns   2.19 mph
913 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Mid-week, Phoenix was in the midst of an unseasonable, but welcome, cold snap. Well, “cold” by Phoenix standards: Overnight lows were in the mid-60s! 🥶

In researching Medlar Springs Trail #9706, I chanced upon a map of the Prescott National Forest’s 2017 plan for the Black Canyon Trail: https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/n ... 990062.pdf . All the trails in the Black Hills, both motorized and foot / hoof were included. Trail #9706 seemed to indicate it was being decommissioned. Satellite view showed minimal trail, other than where Trail #9706 was co-located with forest roads skirting a ranch. Further, HikeArizona only showed one triplog for Trail #9706 and two or three for Ash Creek Trail #9705 — none more recent than 2014.

I was not expecting much.

And I found it.

Driving in, I stopped short of the trailhead at a “No Trespassing!” sign. I knew I was on Prescott National Forest land and was probably okay to at least hike down FR 531 to the Medlar Springs Trail #9706 trailhead, but I opted for discretion, working my way around the fence. Twenty minutes and ¾ of a mile later, I was where I wanted to start … Which still wasn’t the official trailhead, which is just feet from the ranch house. Close enough. I don’t like guns being pointed at me. 🚫🔫

I followed a horse trail north across a meadow, but when I realized it had begun bending west, I started bushwhacking east. I low crawled a barbed wire fence, then worked my way around a spur into the dry bed of Ash Creek.

There was some nice pines and shade along Ash Creek, but I still was not actually on Medlar Springs Trail #9706, which is supposed to be jeep trail as far as Ash Creek Well. After low crawling another barbed wire fence, I was where I was supposed to be all along. The well is at the 1.5 mile mark, but it took me 2.5 miles to get there.

Ash Creek Well serves as the trailhead for Ash Creek Trail #9705, and the trail appears to continue that way, but, ducking under another barbed wire fence, I instead turned northeast towards Medlar Springs. 🧭

Medlar Springs Trail #9706 only appeared in short bits the mile between Ash Creek Well and the spring. Otherwise, it was more bushwhacking, or rocky creek bottom travel. (Though not too rocky.)

Besides the usual array of scratches and scrapes, I twice banged my head hard on heavy branches and cracked my shin hard enough it was still sore 60 hours later. The one that pissed me off though was the tension tab on my Leki hiking poles snapping off, gouging my hand. I’m sick of tension settings on hiking poles that collapse the pole (usually at very inopportune moments). My old Black Diamond poles did that as well, until I duct-taped the 🎃s into permanent position. I need to find pinned hiking poles.

Officially, Medlar Springs Trail #9706 is 2.4 miles long. By my route, it was 3.3 miles, and with no pay off at the end: It was bone dry, with little shade and minimal view. Rather than dally, I took a few quick photos and bailed back to Ash Creek Well for my break. 🍺

Properly refreshed, and with no desire to double down by continuing up Ash Creek Trail #9705, I was back at my SUV in an hour, then home by 2:00 p.m.

Most of the trails I hike have something for everyone. As I alluded to above, this has nothing for anyone.

Unless you like cattle corpses, not recommended.

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/465388999
Fauna
Fauna
Cow
Named place
Named place
Ash Creek Well Medlar Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
None that were worth photographing.

dry Ash Creek Well Dry Dry
Does not look like it has pumped water in decades.

dry Medlar Spring Dry Dry
No evidence of water at, or below, the spring.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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