|Apache Creek Wild Explore, AZ|
|Apache Creek Wild Explore, AZ|| |
Apache Creek Wild Explore, AZ
|Backpack||23.60 Miles||1 Day 5 Hrs 37 Mns |
|2,750 ft AEG||23 LBS Pack|
|There are two ways to get to the Apache Creek Trail #9905. I drove to both ends to check them out, connecting by driving the length of FR95 which is a good road, but I was glad I had 4WD, as there are 4 running streams to cross.|
You can start at the north end at the Graver Wash #9904 Trailhead. As indicated in previous reports, the last bit of FR95A is not very nice, but it was no problem in my Jeep Cherokee 4x4. Or you can start at the south end, from FR95B. The three miles of FR95B from Stringtown Wash to the trailhead would be possible but very challenging in my Cherokee 4x4. I think a stock Wrangler could do it no problem. I chose to walk it.
Walking in from Stringtown Wash, once you get to the intersection of FR95B/95A, the corner of the wilderness, the countryside becomes very pleasant. Upon entering the wilderness at the trailhead (there is a sign there now), it gets even better. In mid-April, there was filterable water in the stream at the trailhead.
Climbing to the first pass on trail #9905, I found the trail well marked by cairns, and the forest a pleasant mix of alligator juniper, prickly pear cactus, scrub oak, and pinyon pine. The trail drops to Apache Creek at 2.4 miles from the trailhead. There is good camping here and for the next mile or so along the trail.
I continued following the trail north, as it follows along the wilderness boundary. In mid-April, this section was OK, but not very exciting to me. It is a broad valley bottom, and spring does not seem to have arrived yet. The walking is easy, and there are many creek crossings. At the intersection with Graver Wash Trail #9904, I turned around and returned to the point where Apache Creek and the trail diverge.
This time I followed the creek off-trail upstream 0.7 miles to “The Swimmin’ Hole,” near which I spent a very pleasant no-trace night. In the morning I was serenaded by owls and woodpeckers. It was an easy off-trail route. Going upstream I stayed mostly to the north of the creek and going downstream I stayed mostly to the south of the creek. The going is much easier to the south of the creek.
On day 2, I hiked back out to my car, about 6.6 miles including FR95B.
I drove north on FR95, encountering 5 cattle who blocked the road and stared at me expectantly, as though I would offer them something to eat. After a couple gentle beeps of my horn, they wandered off. Coming around to the Graver Wash #9904 trailhead, I hiked down to the intersection with Apache Creek Trail, effectively closing the loop.
So, which is the best way to the middle? It is a tough call. I thought the scenery of coming in from the south superior to coming in from the north. However, coming in from the north is much easier, flatter hiking.
||Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Nothing worth photographing.