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AZT in A Day FR 418 to 523, AZ
mini location map2021-10-09
33 by photographer avatartibber
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AZT in A Day FR 418 to 523, AZ 
AZT in A Day FR 418 to 523, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2021
Hiking6.55 Miles 41 AEG
Hiking6.55 Miles   3 Hrs   31 Mns   2.40 mph
41 ft AEG      47 Mns Break
1st trip
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
We last did this on Sept 3, 2018 except this time, instead of Ambika, the AZT Section Crew had Guru aboard. Working the logistics was the usual challenge but we finally put it together and after car tricks, started our way on a slightly brisk late morning. (The parking at FR (Fire Road) 418 was full so we had to drive up the road just a piece to find a place).

The trail is narrow as you make your way out of the aspens getting close to various forest roads from time to time. Right off the bat I was surprised to see bright and healthy lupine still blooming so vibrantly. There was really a lot of wildflowers on this hike, just like in Sept 2018. We were hoping to get some views of the peaks and I eventually recalled that there is even one area where we could view the autumn color on Kendrick Peak. Just past here the old double track (via ATVs) is now gone as it has been covered by pieces of burnt tree lumber for at least a mile. The trail director was pleased. He said the Forest Service had taken care of that and certainly an interesting solution.

We stopped several times to admire the view back to the snow capped SF Peaks and the dressing of fall colors :FG: as we made our way south of the White Horse Hills and toward Kelly Tank. We would encounter a few thru hikers and bikers along the way and for the rest of the hike. Hopefully they will all be able to deal with the cold temps coming into AZ in the next couple days. There was a very interesting erosion area at the tank.

Tracy decided to do our group photo at the, new to us, AZT gate near the cache box. From my 2018 trip report:
As we approached Kelly Tank, we saw the perfect place for an Arizona Trail gate that could prevent motorized entry
However, now that I think about it, I'm not sure where the gate is now is where we were thinking... It took a bit to set up the group shot without a tripod but after trying a couple different possibilities, mission was accomplished. We also had a snack here. The next mile or so was near FR 514.

There were various wildflowers :) along this part of the route due to the broken soil; thus a lot of pictures. I really put my phone camera to work and I would give it a grade of C, the windy conditions didn't help. Google Lens didn't do a very good job either and apparently dealing with seed headed flowers is not in its wheelhouse. I was still surprised to see so much Lupine blooming (meadows of it; altho not quite to the level of 2018 but that was the beginning of Sept) and still lots of Prairie Sunflowers and Asters. Of course, the Fetid Goosefoot was showing off with it's great maple like colors.

On our drive out we saw a group of about ten deer off to the side of 523 and not too far from there, we stopped to take a picture of Kendrick. The protection around the new plantings looked like lanterns with the back glow from the sun. We also stopped on the 180 and 418 for additional fall color pictures. The traffic was insane on both of these roads; especially 418 as it's part of the Hart Prairie driving loop.

We had a nice dinner before driving back. Shawn and Tracy got to miss the traffic jam we hit on our way into Phoenix (they went to Pine) but fortunately, not nearly as bad as 2018 where it was a 4 hour drive home.

WATCH: 6.48 miles. (Lowest point 7730, highest 8744) Burned 1020 calories. Starting temp 72.8 with 41% humidity finishing at 2:05PM.
Named place
Named place
Humphreys Peak Kendrick Peak
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
the Aspens we walked thru were moderately turned but up on the hillsides you could rate it Substantial. The fall color was definitely present in the Goosefoot.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
surprisingly, spring flowers were out and about - quite a surprise for October.
Yellow Salsify, Western Yarrow. I'd say you could go for moderate level based on the lupine.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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