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Crest Trail #270 - Barfoot Park Rd to Jct Sdl
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mini location map2020-11-12
24 by photographer avatardesertadapted
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Crest Trail #270 - Barfoot Park Rd to Jct SdlTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 12 2020
desertadapted
Backpack36.00 Miles 9,700 AEG
Backpack36.00 Miles3 Days         
9,700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Given how far the Chiricahuas are from the Valley, I've only had a chance to visit once before, on a brief backpacking trip with my family. My plan was a bit diffuse initially, but I ended up deciding to use the Crest to backstop two loops, one east, one west: Herb Martyr and Mormon/Saulsbury. Given the colder temps we've been having (finally), I decided to camp low to stay warm.

Day 1. Started at Bootlegger Park. Started immediately on the Crest Trail, which has had some work done on it over the last couple years. Several years back it had been washed out in portions. It's now solid, and no overgrown. I was struck at how slow that area has been to come back from fire. I took a hike over Flys Peak, which does not improve on the crest itself in terms of views. Anita Spring is full. Unsure of what kind of water I'd be seeing at Herb Martyr, I overfilled. I'm the poster child for the backpacker who has incredibly expensive lightweight gear and screws it all up with overly conservative water carries. So it goes. After Anita Spring I continued on the crest to Snowshed Trail. Snowshed is thin, angled and exposed. There's very little post-fire growth in this area, leading to notable erosion. Pine Park is lovely, however, and the Herb Martyr Trail was perfect in all respects. After crossing Cave Creek (flowing nicely), I continued around on FR713 to head towards Greenhouse Trail. I found a nice campsite. Hadn't seen a soul all day (even at the Herb Martyr Campground).

Day 2. The hike up Greenhouse was steep. Winn Falls is flowing slightly. Cima Creek was flowing and I was able to refill my still-ample water supply. I encountered my first (and only) backpacker heading down from Chiricahua Saddle to Mormon Ridge. Route finding was generally fine on Mormon Ridge but I did manage to briefly get off trail towards the beginning, and was glad for GPS. I'll note that Mormon Creek had a ton of deadfall at the start, so I opted for Mormon Ridge instead. There was ample water in Turkey Creek where the Ridge Trail connects to the road. I curved around and headed a bit up Saulsbury, but was gassed from the morning's climb.

Day 3. Saulsbury up to Saulsbury Saddle is relatively well-maintained and easy to follow. The stretch from the Saddle back to the Crest Trail has need seen attention for a while. I frequently had to course-correct with GPS, and push through overgrowth, deadfall, and brambly evil. It's also steep, though that might have been my legs giving out. Once back on the Crest I had a quick walk over to Flys Park and took that road back to Rustler Park. Given how much I struggled up the second segment of Saulsbury, I was ready for some easy hiking.

I'm truly bummed that it's such a drive to get to the Chiricahuas. Living in the Valley, it's tough to commit. I look forward to getting back there in another couple years. I'd like to start out of Rucker on the south side to do some more exploring.
Named place
Named place
Anita Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Anita Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Tank is full and clear.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deer Spring Dripping Dripping
Spring was dripping across the trail. Did not go up to spring - a bit sketchy post-burn.
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