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AZT-21 Boulder Bob cabin loop, AZ
mini location map2021-05-22
3 by photographer avatarAndrewrdc
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AZT-21 Boulder Bob cabin loop, AZ 
AZT-21 Boulder Bob cabin loop, AZ
Hiking avatar May 22 2021
Hiking10.62 Miles 1,809 AEG
Hiking10.62 Miles   4 Hrs   34 Mns   2.47 mph
1,809 ft AEG      16 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
1st trip
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Decided to explore the Boulder Bob Trail (BBT) to check out this area south of the Mazzies. Intended to start the trail from the south by driving up FR1704 from the 87. Discovered this 4WD trail was in pretty bad condition and fully required all the clearance my Jeep Wrangler had to offer... frankly didnt have the time to spend an additional hour+ on this trail so turned around, drove up to Sunflower and started the trail from the north.

The northern end of the BBT also happens to be the northern terminus of Arizona Trail (AZT) section 21. Parked at FS22 (which is gated off about 100yards in) and started hiking down 22. About 1/3 mile in, you run into a connector trail that drops you onto the AZT... this was too much to pass up, so I crossed over and followed the AZT section 21 south instead. Roughly 2.5 miles on and shortly after re-connecting with the BBT, I was surprised to find a graveyard of old cars from the 50's! Soon after this, the BBT breaks away from the AZT and roughly follows the Boulder Creek south until you cross over and curve to the west (right) up toward Boulder Pass. This section was very slow-going because the trail completely disappears and its fairly overgrown for about 1/2 mile... not a cairn in site (I am not fond of trailblazing so did not love this section). Fortunately, Boulder Pass is fairly obvious up ahead and to the SW so you just have to soldier on. Once out of the creek bed and starting to climb, I stumbled onto the trail which, from this point on, is very well marked with cairns.

After cresting the pass and starting down the other side, I was fortunate to catch site of an "unnatural" shape which turned out to be one of the many "foundations" apparently built by Boulder Bob for his cabin. I headed over to investigate and was pretty amazed by how many rock walls were constructed here... including an actual well! I spent some time investigating and, after a rest, decided to make this my turn around point.

On the way out I made two "adjustments" to my route. First, when I got back down to Boulder Creek, instead of trailblazing back up the creek for 1/2 mile to the AZT again, I crossed straight over the creek to the AZT which was clearly visible from the slopes while descending from Boulder Pass... much less trailblazing. Second, instead of following AZT all the way back, I made a right onto BBT at the intersection, just pass the car graveyard. This trail follows an old 4WD trail which, frankly, is barely visible... fortunately, it goes up a wide open, grassy hill and you can just make out the indentation of the road on the hill. This "4WD road" intersects with another at the top of the hill which is much more established and then runs into the 22 which you follow all the way back.

All in all, I would say the BBT trail is rarely traveled anymore... didnt see a single footprint and most all the cairns up to Boulder Pass had fallen over. Like I did, most hikers probably prefer to take the AZT. I would, however, highly recommend taking the journey especially if you are looking for some solitude. I didnt see a single other hiker over the entire 11 mile round trip... not even a boot print.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Kitty Joe Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Plenty of clear, flowing water!
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