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Hyde Mountain Loop, AZ
mini location map2022-03-23
14 by photographer avatarLJW
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Hyde Mountain Loop, AZ 
Hyde Mountain Loop, AZ
Hiking26.51 Miles 3,707 AEG
Hiking26.51 Miles   10 Hrs   20 Mns   2.84 mph
3,707 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Thinning operations are taking place SW of the Hyde Mountain area around Camp Wood and Yolo Ranch. Thinning will be taking place for approximately two months, with logging traffic on the road. The closure area will spread north as thinning continues into the slated 627 acres. From now until monsoon season, I would consult PNF on closure status for accessing Apache Creek Wilderness.

Wanted to remix a hike from last year to include Apache Creek from the springs down, as well as try out an alternative ending using an old ranching track and Dead Steer Basin Trail. Got going with Stringtown Wash heading toward Hyde Mountain.

Memories of Stringtown only a year old undersold. Tight walls and a bed of slick rock in the middle turns into relaxing open pine forest on the upper end. Good flow of water where it mattered, some of the way it was underground. Catching the trail on the upper end from the creek bed is tricky.

Hyde Mountain trail rocky and loose to hazy views. Almost no snow left on the shady slopes. Down 7up to Browns Spring and then up to the saddle and onto Pinetop Mountain. Followed the fenceline up and found a gate on top near the end of the road. Delighted by the big junipers and pines on top. Easy road walk to Apache Springs.

Apache Creek along the trail is easy going, defined by the grassy meadows, open pine forest, and lazy creek flow. From the springs to that point it's a gnarly canyon of granite boulders and outcroppings, forested but with healthy undergrowth. Can follow the water down except for in several spots where the water pours off and work-arounds are necessary. Some scrambling, light bushwhacking. The best of the creek is above the trail.

The Upper Graver Wash/Apache Creek jct is grassy and could be confusing heading up. Graver and the way down Apache Creek Trail is obvious. Decided not to cut it short and went all the way down to Graver, then walked the road back to Upper Graver TH. To the east there is a corral and an obvious trail. The trail leads down into Hyde Creek and dead ends at another corral. At that point I went over the ridge and into Dead Steer Basin, where I found the trail.

Dead Steer Basin Trail is an old double/OHV track. It is less pretty than the trail to Hyde Creek; it got burned over pretty bad. It's easy to follow and in good shape until the last creek crossing near where I picked it up. Once to the TH and FR95, the diversion started to make sense. The rest of the roadwalking back to Stringtown is through some awesome forest. The new sections and route finding made for a more engaging but difficult way to end.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Apache Springs Quart per minute Quart per minute
Total guess, good enough creek flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pinetop Trick Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Stringtown Wash Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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