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The Best Hikes of Deem Hills Recreation Area

676 Triplog Reviews in the Deem Hills Recreation Area
Most recent of 74 deeper Triplog Reviews
4.12 mi • 590 ft aeg
After work jog. Wanted to get a run involving the Palisade. Started from the east side off of W Pinnacle Ave. Went CCW on Circumference to where it connected to the Basalt Trail. The Basalt "T" ed into the Palisade. First, I headed up the hill following the trail south and then east to where it ended at the Circumference. Then took the Circumference to the first trail connector that connects the Circumference with the Palisade. This put me back on the Palisade and caused me to redo some of the Palisade (about .5miles), but this brought me back to the part of the Palisade that I needed to finish the Palisade. The Palisade ends at the road leading to the watershed. Took the road back to the Circumference and that back to the TH. Saw one other trail runner :) . No wildlife. A good breeze made for a very pleasant day.
4 mi • 268 ft aeg
Short after work jog. Started from the TH on the west side off of 39th Ave. Went clockwise on Circumference, then Basalt, then Ridgeline and then back "home" on the Circumference. The trails seem to be getting more bikers, which is making these very rocky trails smoother. That being said, these trails are still very rocky for jogging. I do like how the elevation changes, especially on the Ridgeline. Very ideal for my level of running. Saw a chuckwalla when I first stepped onto to the trails, but that was about it. Saw 3 bikers and 4 hikers. Weather was perfect today! Nice temps with a breeze.
58.15 mi • 5,714 ft aeg
BCT Yo-Yo No Go
My plan was to hike from my home, to the south end of the BCT, then hike the BCT to its north end at the Prescott NF boundary, turn around, and head home. The goal was four days out and three days back for a total of ~166 miles.
Salida Gulch Trail #95 - Bradshaw ...
Salida Gulch Trail #95 - Bradshaw Mountains - Prescott Arizona

In preparation, I stashed a gallon of water and food resupply at the Big Bug trailhead, 2 gallons at the Glorianna TH, 2 gallons near the Table Mesa TH, 2 gallons at the Emery Henderson TH, and a gallon at the southern end off of Carefree Hwy. I also performed some trail maintenance trimming brush from the southern end of the BCT. It's not maintained and is overgrown and I wanted an easier time through there on my return which I expected to be in the dark.

Day 1 - Sunday, 15 miles
I left my house about 2pm and saw my neighbor unpacking from a trip along the Escalante Route, GCNP. We chatted for a minute before I continued. I took my trail access into the SE side Deem Hills Park, and got on the Circumference trail and followed it up to the saddle and then took the Basalt trail down to the other side of the Circumference trail and followed it to the NW of the park where I got on the Canal road to 51st Ave, crossed the bridge over the CAP, and continued on 51st to near the 303 where I diverted east a bit to cross under it. From there I headed to Gibson Tank, an old cattle corral and watering station that was fairly large. I think it was last worked in the mid 80s, so about 30 years ago. From there, I finished my walk NW to the Carefree Hwy and about 57th ave, where there is a locked gate just west of Carefree Hwy mile 28. A bit west of the gate is a wildlife crossing in the fence that I took, then I headed east on the dirt road until I turned north onto where I believe the BCT is supposed to start, there the Bob Bentley TH may one day be built. There are no trail markers until reaching the Maricopa Trail, (which aligns with the BCT about a mile north of Carefree Hwy and a bit west of 51st Ave, north to Pioneer Rd.), not long after that, the first BCT trail signs are seen.

It was getting dark where the BCT and MT part ways and there was thick brush to the west filled with birds making quite a racket. I stopped and listened to them for a few minutes. I was able to make it past the federal pen before turning my headlamp on. The only tricky part in the dark was crossing New River. Normally I'd look for trail signs across the way but wasn't able to in the dark, so I depended on some GPS tracks I had on my GPSr to pick the trail back up on the other side.

I made it to the Emery Henderson TH a bit past seven and found my cached water and set up camp under the north most ramada. Technically, there's no camping at the TH but I figured I'd be in and out without anyone knowing I was there with a minimalist footprint. There is a camp host there now too, something I haven't seen there for a few years.

Day 2 - Monday, 23 miles
I don't know when I got up, but there was a beautiful sunrise. I was on the trail about 7. The sky was overcast and temps were perfect for hiking through the morning. I took the west side of the Boy Scout loop and then enjoyed walking through a stand of giant saguaros along one of my favorite sections of the BCT. The sun came out and it started to warm as I headed up and over the hill into the Table Mesa area. I had took a short food and water break at my water cache in Table Mesa. When I reached the Little Pan Loop, I went right to the east side. It was getting warmer as I finished the loop and I was ready for a break by the time I reached Cottonwood Gulch, about 17 miles in.

From there, I knew I could make it to the Agua Fria before 5 so no night hiking today. This is the part of the trail I'm most familiar with too as I've done it several times. I passed the only crested saguaro I know of along the BCT. If you know of any others along the BCT please let me know. Most of this section is all up hill until the final descent to the Agua Fria. When I reached the descent, I decided to call home and check on some things before finishing, as I wasn't sure I'd have phone service by the river. I did, so it didn't matter but it was nice to relax for a few minutes before finishing up for the day.

I enjoyed the day's hike, but my legs were bothering me all day, I got a blister on my right heel which totally surprised me, and a mild case of chafe which I didn't notice until I stood up after my break at Cottonwood Gulch. Thank goodness for Body Glide to finish the hike with and medicated powder before bed.

Day 3 - Tuesday, 20 miles
I was slower getting out of camp this morning than yesterday even though I started earlier. Ugh. After about 2.5 miles, I reached the next Agua Fria river crossing and stopped for a few to clean up some. I didn't feel like cleaning last night and it was a bit chilly this morning. Plus, I was stopping for water anyway as there was no reason to carry extra water for the distance from camp to here. The past few years, there has been a large pool of water here but it seems to have got washed away since last spring. The river is always changing. Slate Creek was dry and then it was warm walking to Soap Creek. I felt like I was moving okay, but I was slow. Then from Soap Creek to Black Canyon Creek I was loosing muster and halfway up from Black Canyon Creek to Maggie Mine Road, I was really flagging and stopped in some small shade and drank a bunch and ate some. That helped a bit, but I was still dragging. By the time I reached the Glorianna TH, I was ready for another break and my water cache, especially so after walking through the scorched desert from a summer wildfire. At least the trail is in good shape.

I had about 10 miles left from Glorianna to General Springs, the next water and my day's target. It was looking like I'd finish in the dark. The trail continued in and out of the burn and I was not enjoying myself at all. the whole day I'd had little energy and was wanting off trail. When it took me well over an hour to hike 3 miles and all I wanted to do was lie down, I figured it was time to go home. I tried calling my family but no answers, so I sent a text to come get me and I turned around and headed back to Glorianna TH. My wife was there waiting for me and we headed down the hill and had dinner at Chileen's in Black Canyon City. Just so you know, it was Taco Tuesday with $1 tacos.

Aftermath
Not sure what my problem was. I think I'm getting a cold as my nose is getting stuffy. Perhaps it was that, perhaps not. This morning I went and picked up all my cached water and resupply. It was nice not walking today.

More water reports
I crossed the Agua Fria in three places: The north east end of Little Pan Loop, going south from BCC TH and going north from BCC TH. The BCT crosses it in five places (in addition to the three I mentioned, the SW end of Little Pan Loop [usually has water] and way north [normally dry]). There was flowing water at all three crossings I passed. The Agua Fria goes above and under ground many times on its length, so perhaps there should be a few Agua Fria water sources?
13.17 mi • 2,038 ft aeg
Deem Hills Blanket Statement
So last Friday I saw a neighbor out in Deem Hills hiking all the trails in the park. That sounded interesting, so I decided to do the same today. I started about quarter past 8 so it was pretty warm when I finished exactly four hours later. I covered every single trail in Deem Hills, including all the crosscut and access trails along with Water Tank Road. Well, all except the CAP Road Trail (except where the Circumference Trail follows it. I stopped for a couple minutes at the east entrance and sucked down a Gatorade under the ramada, then I stopped for maybe a minute to use the restroom at the west entrance. Obviously, I had to hike some of the trails twice but I tried to keep that to a minimum. Fun day!
4.81 mi • 890 ft aeg
Plan was to the Circumference Loop starting from the west side. Ended up making a wrong turn on the east side and missed out on a mile and the easiest part of the run. :( I've done this loop numerous times, not sure where my mind was....Still, a nice uneventful run. Only saw two hikers as I was ending my jog. No wildlife, not even a lying lizard.
10.42 mi • 1,669 ft aeg
What a nice morning for a walk. Deem Hills trails were fairly busy on this Sunday morning, but not bad. I passed one couple three times throughout the hike. Twice is common, but not thrice.

The bees are swarming. A swarm flew directly over me on the west side of the park on the Circumference Trail above the ball fields. They were about 10' above and very noisy as they passed. Then, a second swarm flew directly over me on the east end of the Circumference Trail. Again they were very noisy but this time they were right above me and I bent down a bit as they swarmed past. The pucker factor was real.

Later as I approached a couple hiking, the lady screamed and ran past me. I hope it wasn't me; I try not to be that creepy guy.
10.78 mi • 1,241 ft aeg
Pyramid Peak Circumference Trail
Well I decided on Pyramid Peak today and decided to do it using the Deem Hills Circumference Trail. I am glad that I have a handicap sticker as it was the only available parking space left.
The trails were busy until I made the exit for Pyramid Peak. I uploaded Barret's route for this hike but when I got to the spot to start my ascend I did not see a trail. So I decided at this point to do a circumference of the mountain and look for trails leading up, no luck.
I did how ever notice to hikers heading up from a different side of the mountain. Oh by the way there is a flag flying at the top. I also did see two bike riders out on the trail.
As we crossed over the canal I really wished we could just jump in as it looked so inviting.
Once we were back on Deem Hills it was busy all over again and the parking lot was still full.
7.58 mi • 1,291 ft aeg
Never been here before, and was staying at my girlfriend's house who lives a cannon's shot away, so decided to check it out. There were lots of letters, but I remembered my friend telling me to stay to the right, so we followed the 'C' trail until we hit a small parking lot at the bottom of a hill. I decided to turn around and go back up. From there, we hit the 'P', the 'B', and the 'R' trails. We kinda looped all around, which is what I think part of what we did is when people post about the figure 8 loop, so I added that as a link.
6.11 mi • 890 ft aeg
After work, CCW jog on the Circumference Trail. Started from the west side by the soccer fields. Really enjoy running this trail from an elevation stand point. A nice variation in rises and flat sections. But it is extremely rocky. I'm constantly having to make sure that I "pick up my feet" and that I watch were I place them. Saw 2 hikers, a biker and about 20 lizards. Beautiful weather. Great evening to be out.
4.8 mi • 159 ft aeg
After work run. One of those days where going into the run I wasn't feeling it, so my goal was just to keep the legs churning. Started off from the Deem Hills Park (west side) and did a loop incorporating Circumference - Basalt - and then back on the Circumference to get back to the TH. Not the best trail to run on...very rocky in places and going clockwise that south side climb on the Circumference is a :pk: . Saw one other trail runner while I was out there, but otherwise it was just me some chipmunks and a handful of lizards.
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