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Dutch - Whiskey - Bluff Springs Loop, AZ
mini location map2022-08-27
54 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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Dutch - Whiskey - Bluff Springs Loop, AZ 
Dutch - Whiskey - Bluff Springs Loop, AZ
Hiking15.55 Miles 2,272 AEG
Hiking15.55 Miles   10 Hrs   44 Mns   1.87 mph
2,272 ft AEG   2 Hrs   25 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
The road rides like the Autobahn for half, then it's rutted from recent rains. A few bad ruts but cars didn't seem to have trouble getting over... I was behind a five-car parade of sedan crawlers. 10 cars at the trailhead in August on a hot humid buggy morning. They all turned left on Peralta and that was the last human life.

Dutchman Trail #104
I usually despise Barkley Basin. It's so lush that it would make a nice two to three-mile out-and-back morning hike now. Lots of spider webs to bust through, a few with spiders waiting for a fly or such. New Mexico Locust is 6 ft tall in the ravine coming down from Miners Needle. Luckily it's not mature, I waded through it blindly without mishap.

Whiskey Spring Trail #238
No agony of wet feet all day as I experienced in the wetlands up at Rogers. Minimal catclaw on the Dutchman to Whiskey junction, either untangled or easily avoidable. Waist-high friendly vegetation wading in the upper switchbacks at Miners.

catclaw gets vicious a good quarter mile before Whiskey Spring. I had an early lunch at Whiskey Springs because the hike I had planned was seeming like a bad idea with 'Bama humidity and more catclaw than expected early on. Switched from shorts to pants. No breeze but boy howdy was the shade nice. The bottom mile or so on Whiskey was unfriendly catclaw.

Red Tanks Trail #107
Trickling water down at the junction with Whiskey/Red Tanks. Clear pools, red/orange dragonflies, blue damsel flies, butterflies, general peaceful easy feeling.

Red Tanks is a jungle. Perhaps more so now with the creek trickling at various points.

8.47 miles - 11:54 am
Unexpected cool breeze and sprinkles. This never happens and no helicopter flying in Bear Grylls.

8.87 miles - 12:10 pm
10 to 15 minutes of rain was the highlight of the day, if not summer. The death star laughed and cranked the humidity dial past murder. So much for dry feet too, all this damn vegetation is wet now... Lol

Bluff Springs Trail #235
Stopped for a break at the saddle up from the Terrapin junction. Out of water with ~2.4 miles to go, nice to be at minimal weight. Switched out of pants to shorts hoping that was the end of the catclaw. It was like ditching a dump truck for a Ferrari.

Low AEG hikes are a drag but I was excited to finally ascend. By far the quickest mile of the day at 20m20s.

Took a short break before heading down because it was the first internet I had all day. In the short span heading down, I got caught in a good old-fashioned deluge. Just my truck upon return, there were three cars at Wave Cave.

All the ravines crossing the road we're running well on the way back. One flat section over the length of a football field was a lake.

[ youtube video ]
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Barkley Basin  Whiskey Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
wiry lotus, lots of wolfberries, a large patch of red spidering below Miners Needle, and also occasionally the trail later in the hike. Sandmat, desert globemallow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bark at Dutchman Crossing Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout A large pool and the sound of a waterfall that I couldn't see. The creek was not running.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 LaBarge Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Overflowing, it's a b**** to get to it now. Several fallen trees and a mini jungle. Something vicious in the mix. Similar to the fine thorn canes of raspberry but I doubt they grow in the desert.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Upper LaBarge Box Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Trickling downstream by the Whiskey -Red Tank Catclaw Hell Trail junction
Another attempt to stab the beast with Dan's steely knives in the master's chambers is on the horizon.
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