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Holmes - LaBarge - Oak n Back, AZ
mini location map2022-12-24
30 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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Holmes - LaBarge - Oak n Back, AZ 
Holmes - LaBarge - Oak n Back, AZ
Hiking12.88 Miles 2,111 AEG
Hiking12.88 Miles   7 Hrs   32 Mns   2.02 mph
2,111 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
The road looks like it was graded yesterday and is skateboard smooth. Just a little bit of hydroplaning over 70 mph. The lot was only half full at 8:00 a.m.

Clear pooled water in the creekbed at Terrapin - Bluff Springs junction. Recent catclaw trimming in the mile past the Terrapin junction. Pooled and trickling water near the large boulders on Bluff Spring Trail before the Dutchman junction.

Decided to check out Holmes Springs for a change. Heading down I encountered a thicket of catclaw but the density was shortlived along the bank of the creek. The exact location of Holmes Spring is questionable. Big boulder and cactus terrain in the exact topo location. The other side of the ravine seems to be near the source. Damp soil, a Sugar Sumac, and ivy vine of some sort.

Instead of going back up to the trail I just headed down canyon to LaBarge. Slow going for myself but the canyon opened up in stunning fashion. My rendition of The Sound of Music Mountain Looming Overhead should be available next week at Zia, Circles, and Tower records locally.

I wasted a good amount of time trying to approach LaBarge Spring trough from the unpathed left because it was a jungle back in August from the right. On the bright side, the standard path has been beaten down. The two fallen trees I could barely crawl through are gone now and the pipe at the trough is flowing well.

DA3 inquired about the oaks at Oak Springs so I headed over and checked it out. As figured I'm thinking they were Live Oak. Most are familiar with bushwhacking the shrub. They grow into full-size trees in the right environment. A tall slender tree is providing foliage now, I'm guessing it is an ash.

Originally planned on looping Bluff Spring Mountain. With all the exploring on a late start, the day was burning away. My growling stomach switched it up to an out and back. So I took another stab at locating Oak Spring. A machete may suffice but a baseball bat would get the job done too.

The first people I passed on trail was with 3.7 mi to go. They had that suspicious disposing of a body essence to them, guessing they were camped nearby. A group of four friendly backpackers around 1.9 mi to go with a dog, kitchen sink, and the works. One guy with a crash pad in the final furlong.

Nice day. Merry Christmas to all!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Ash tree at Oak Springs
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Desert globemallow, wiry lotus, purple daisies

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Barks Canyon Light flow Light flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Nice clear flow and I could see the sun glaring off pools further down out of the wilderness.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bluff Spring Dripping Dripping
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout The pipe has been out of repair for some time now. Two guys out of view behind the bushes of the pipe, I figured they were pumping water with tents nearby. Instead of invading their space, I just asked if there was pooled water, which they confirmed.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Crystal Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Nobody's ever found the spring that I'm aware but the creek is flowing crystal clear over a gallon a minute.

dry Holmes Spring Dry Dry
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Nothing visual. The area is damp and there are some vines growing next to a Sugar Sumac. I'm guessing the untapped source is underground. Clear trickling water in the creekbed a hundred yards away... The fountain of youth LaBarge Spring is nearby too.

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 Over a gallon a minute and somebody has cleared out most of the nasty stuff to reach the water trough.
- joe
HAZ Member
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