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Hackberry Spring Loop
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mini location map2009-01-17
38 by photographer avatartibber
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Hackberry Spring LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2009
Hiking5.15 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking5.15 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.14 mph
700 ft AEG
Partners none no partners
We decided to do this Loop counter-clockwise from the Horselot where you can always find a place to park. We were able to find our way easily to the Hackberry Trail by heading east and down into the wash. It is even easier when you see that lime tag hanging from a tree indicating to turn left (north) rather than going straight where you end up at First Water Ranch.

We did spot the arch (as we were heading east) mentioned in the previous hike of Garden Valley Loop by another poster. We got some pictures and I think this is what was being talked about. From the other side, my brother had called it a claw last weekend. Looking again at the other poster's photo - it looks like the arch she saw was closer to where you climb up to the Garden Valley. Nonetheless, It's always interesting to see different formations from different angles... like Weavers Needle.

We got down to the spring somewhat along the trail. One of my co-hikers somehow missed one of the turns that takes you south and over the creek so we ended up going straight. It made for an easier creek crossing. We had lunch on the other side of the spring along the creek where you could hear the water and see such beautfiful scenery.

We headed along the creek and then turned east and south as we made our way toward the hill up into Garden Valley. We also spotted the mine tailings this time. Along the way, we ran into a few hikers that told us about a hiker with a broken ankle up a little way and did we have cell service...which we didn't but would attain at the hill just before climbing up to the Garden Valley. These hikers weren't familiar with the area and asked me to write down where the injured hiker was and they would try and hike out or keep calling to get help. Thanks to my prolific reading of this site, I pretty well knew exactly where we were (1/2 between the horselot trailhead and the 1st Water Trailhead on the Garden Valley horse trail toward Hackberry Springs). I would later see this fellow driving the road between the horselot and the trailhead. He told us the Sheriff's office was at the First Water Trailhead earlier.

We finally came upon the injured hiker and her hiking party. There were two other seasoned hikers who had stopped and said they had called and help was on the way. They had a big orange signal flag and a flare and a pain killer for the injured hiker (her foot was not facing exactly the right way :scared: ). So thinking everything was under control we made our way 1/2 way up the hill at a leisurely pace but then decided to try and call 911 just in case. After 3 patches, we got Maric Co Sheriffs office on the line and gave them the details.

Once we got to the top of the hill in Garden Valley, we saw a helicopter and waved the white jacket I had and jumped up and down but to no avail. The helicpoter went east on 2nd Water Trail told Boulder Cany. So we called 911 again and finally via 5 patches, they got the helicopter to come back toward our direction. So my friend waved the jacket again, I went to the edge of the top of the hill so I could point them in the direction of the hikers (they were down slightly in a ravine) as my brother had to talk to the dispatchers so they could tell the pilot to go straight, now a little west and further north etc.

Interestingly enuf, I had discussed with my companions where I thot a heli could land so that they wouldn't have to carry her up the hill and lo & behold, that is where they landed (took two tries tho). It is a cairned area where you can continue north to Hackberry or go slightly SW to First Water Ranch. About 20 minutes later, the heli had rescued the hiker and all was well. (2:30-2:45ish)

The rest of the hike seemed somewhat anti-climatic. We did run into a few horse back riders who asked about the trail out of the Garden Valley but we told them it was a steep hill down to Hackberry - they turned around. The view of Weavers was spectacular as it was later in the day as it seemed more clear. There were a few people now and again on the trail but not bad. I got a lot of good pictures as the sun was in a good direction on that last part of the trail.
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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