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Algonquin - Horsethief out and back, AZ
mini location map2021-03-20
14 by photographer avatar6ixgun
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Algonquin - Horsethief out and back, AZ 
Algonquin - Horsethief out and back, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 20 2021
Hiking10.00 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   3 Hrs   55 Mns   2.55 mph
3,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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First off - to the person or persons who have traveled this trail in the past few months- THANK YOU for cutting back the catclaw and manzanita ! What a difference. First Bradshaw hike I've done where I did not come out ripped to shreds!

We had 10 people. 3 dogs. Perfect day - 70s and breezy. I read the beta for this hike was not sure what to expect. We are all seasoned Grand Canyon hikers and have put on a lot of elevation gain per year. Trail conditions were good - some minor bushwhacking and route finding in the Horsethief creek - but overall pretty easy. We started off on Algonquin and made it all the way down into the creek bed very quickly, passing the mine and a couple of old buildings. Beautiful trail so far & the dogs loved the water! We then made our way to the intersection of Horsethief basin trail - we are about 2.5 miles in. This trail cuts in and takes off toward horsethief basin. There is a sign. This is where it gets real. Roughly 2000 feet of elevation gain in 2.5 miles. The beginning was gradual and that soon yielded to a steep rocky grade. Overall it was not bad - we plowed through that in short order and were on the snow-covered summit adjacent to the trail.

We made a quick fuel and pee stop, sat in awe of the view, threw a few snowballs with the dogs, and then reversed direction and headed back. Not surprisingly, the downhill was quick. We stopped at another waterfall for lunch, and then headed back through the creek, and. back toward Algonquin Tr. Once we connected with Algonquin Tr, the ascent started almost immediately. The ascent up was not bad, we were blessed by a nice breeze it kept us cool. Most of us wore long pants because we heard about the brush, but that was mostly gone. I was worried that I'd overheat but the breeze saved us. It was roughly 70 degrees with a 15 mph breeze.

If you are considering bringing your dog - our Aussie LOVED it - and had a blast but she is a highly experienced trail dog with lots of miles every week (i..e her paws can handle it). We had two other dogs with us that were not as experienced - another Aussie and a rescue rez dog Aussie mix. The too did great but the young Aussie was sore at the end of the hike. Use your best judgement - there is water - but the trail is rough and rocky in a lot of places. I would not take a dog on this hike if the temp went above 80. While the air may be 80, the ground is MUCH warmer in the sun and since a dog cools themselves through breathing and their paws they will overheat.

Overall this was an amazing hike and amazing day with dogs and friends. We stopped for some cold beer at the Cleator Bar & Yacht Club after and enjoyed a big crowd without the idiotic face diapers and people paranoid over dying from the flu. It was a great day to be in the Bradshaws !
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