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Little Pan Loop from Table Mesa Road TH - BCT
17 Photosets

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mini location map2021-01-03
8 by photographer avatarrmartin
photographer avatar
 
Little Pan Loop from Table Mesa Road TH - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 03 2021
rmartin
Hiking9.70 Miles 1,070 AEG
Hiking9.70 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   2.59 mph
1,070 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is an enjoyable lasso loop that a buddy and I did on a gorgeous Sunday morning.

The start and finish at the Table Mesa TH are the least pleasant part of the hike. Trash, RVs with barking dogs, and the sound of being on a target range are the main reminders of civilization on an otherwise beautiful loop.

We hiked the loop counter-clockwise. The fork only has the clockwise portion of the BCT marked but the counter-clockwise trail is obvious. The trail footing, cleared vegetation, and grade were very pleasant and the views were outstanding. We didn't see anyone else on the section of the trail until the first Agua Fria crossing. The first descent to the Agua Fria went through a nice shaded area for a break. It looks like others have used it as a camping spot in the past. There was both water flowing in the river and in pools along the rock wall.

Trail finding after the first CCW Agua Fria crossing was not particularly difficult but I can definitely see where those going CW on the loop would have trouble finding the trail on the other side of the river since there is a small river walk to get there. The road walk after the crossing was as fine as a road walk can be. We did not run into any vehicles on the road.

Once we got back on the single track, we ran into three mountain bikers doing a multiday southbound bikepacking trip along the BCT. We had a nice conversation with them about the overall trail and how they were camping on the trail. Getting going again, we had great views as we went in and out of the draws and canyons. There was one particularly gorgeous canyon with what would be waterfalls if water actually fell from the sky.

Coming down to the second Agua Fria crossing was interesting for me. The "stairs" that seemed to be cut out of the rock face were a surprise but pretty cool to see. There was no water in this very wide section of the river. Given the water only a couple miles upstream, I assume it was flowing underground in this area.

Overall, the hike was a great way to spend the morning. Once a quarter mile or so past the trailhead, the beauty of the upper Sonoran desert is really on display. I'll happily do it again while just pretending the area around the trailhead doesn't exist.
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rmartin's
3 Photosets

  2021-01-03
  2020-08-07
  2020-06-06
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