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Mormon Lake - AZT #29 - 16 members in 60 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 24 2015
Sredfield
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 Guides 3
 Routes 26
 Photos 1,414
 Triplogs 416

male
 Joined Sep 08 2002
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2015
Sredfield
Hiking
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The usual suspects installed AZT super-gate numbers 22 and 23 today at the Lake Mary Road crossing. The usual drill; removal of the old structures on the west side was bit much but all went well. The group convened to the restaurant at Mormon Lake Lodge for lunch, then headed home. My condolences and extreme appreciation for their drive from TUCSON.

Conversation in the car on the way back to Pine:
Me: God I love this country up here; sure doesn’t look like what you think of when you think of Arizona. Ya just think of desert and whack-job politicians when ya think of Arizona. We could do something about the politicians but probably not the desert.

David: I think it would be easier to do something about the desert.
_____________________
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
2 archives
Aug 01 2015
garyc57
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 Routes 27
 Photos 312
 Triplogs 71

62 male
 Joined Mar 20 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 01 2015
garyc57
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles   2 Hrs   50 Mns   2.12 mph
10 LBS Pack
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Back in June 2014, I hiked the Mormon Lake Segment, #30, of the Arizona Trail (AZT). At that time, they were doing forest thinning operations on part of the trail near Mormon Lake Lodge, and I was forced to bypass 5 miles of that segment. Well, we finally got 'er done!

The plan was for my trail angel, sweetheart and wife (all the same person! :lol: ) to drop me off at the horse corrals near Mormon Lake Lodge, then drive on to Double Springs Campground, and walk up the AZT to meet me, then we'd walk back to the campground together.

We arrived at the lodge shortly before 8:00, suited up, and started hiking.

Just behind the High Mountain Trail Rides offices, there is a kiosk, showing the Mormon Lake area, and the numerous trails one can hike. I was surprised to see the AZT NOT listed. Hmmm... I noticed a "Lake View Trail" going east out of Double Springs campground. I warned my wife, that if the AZT wasn't clearly marked, to NOT continue following this "Lake View Trail". No telling where she would have ended up. My wife later reported that the AZT was VERY clearly marked where it left the Lake View Trail. She had no problems at all seeing the junction.

It was bit hard figuring out which of the numerous trails behind the offices was the right one. I took a guess, trying to remember the trail I had followed two years ago, and got the right one.

My wife walked with me a short ways, then returned to the car. It's always nice to hike with her.

The morning was overcast, which made for a nice hike. My only wish was for a bit of a breeze. Today, there was no breeze at all, and we sweated - a lot!

The entire day, the trail was easy to follow. I don't believe I looked at my GPS for trail reference at all.

Once or twice, the AZT crosses a forest road, but the trail is clearly marked with carsonites and/or rock cairns.

About 2.4 miles from the end of the trail, I saw my sweetheart hiking towards me! WOW! That was fast! She's getting to be a pretty good hiker!

We got a tiny bit of rain a couple of times. Just a bit of a nuisance. Nothing major.

We passed several burn sites - apparently where they burned the thinning they had done.

The trail stewards have done an excellent job in marking where the trail enters and leaves the forest roads. They've laid branches across the road to "herd" the hikers off the road and onto the trail.

We were hiking along one of those roads, when my wife lets out a scream, and jumps about 3 feet into the air! She almost stepped on a horny toad. She wanted to pick him up, and I wanted a picture. She let me take the picture.

All in all, a great day for hiking, great company, and a great trail.
_____________________
4 archives
Sep 06 2014
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 342
 Photos 7,026
 Triplogs 816

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2014
BiFrost
Hiking34.42 Miles 1,789 AEG
Hiking34.42 Miles   12 Hrs   17 Mns   3.06 mph
1,789 ft AEG   1 Hour   1 Min Break
 
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slowandsteady
Early start to get this hike in with shuttle added. We left a vehicle at Marshall Lake end point and then drove to the southern end Mormon Lake AZT #30 at Gooseberry turnoff. Finally off and hiking at 715 and within the first mile we made a mistake missing a turn and adding an extra mile to the hike. Back on track we kept a quick pace as small arms fire echoed throughout the forest. This continued for about first 6 or 7 miles until we were closer to south side of Mormon Lake. Once the trail gets closer to Mormon Lake it moves away from Lake Mary Road and traverses the west side of the lake.

First break at mile 13 near Double Springs campground recharging a bit before continuing the west side traverse. As we hiked around to north side of the lake things start to open up with some nice meadows. Around mile 18 we came across the old railroad grade which was apparently in operation from 1923 to 1927. Besides the meadows we thought this was the coolest part of this AZT section.

At mile 23 the trail crosses back over to the east side of Lake Mary Road and then immediately climbs up on Anderson Mesa. Once on top the trail joins a road which it follows for 4.5 miles. We were able to knock out these miles pretty quickly before it turns back to single track at mile 28. We made mile 31 by sunset and took one last break before finishing the last 3 miles. Had to hike last 30 minutes in the dark but not bad considering the mileage. Definitely one of the easier sections of AZT with the middle section from about mile 14 to mile 23 being the most interesting.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horse Lake 1-25% full 1-25% full
looked like decent water for filtering
_____________________
3 archives
Sep 06 2014
slowandsteady
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 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

45 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2014
slowandsteady
Hiking34.42 Miles 1,789 AEG
Hiking34.42 Miles   12 Hrs   17 Mns   3.06 mph
1,789 ft AEG   1 Hour   1 Min Break
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BiFrost
Due to the length of the hike, the drive and setting up the shuttle, we left for Flagstaff at 4:30am. We left a car at the Marshall Lake Trailhead and then drove down to Gooseberry Trailhead to start our hike at 7:15am.

We had on HAZ Tracks today to try and keep ourselves (me) from dropping to a real slow pace. Karl thought we could keep at 20 minutes and not get up to 25.

Around mile two we followed a road instead of looking for carsonite signs and added an extra mile to our day. For the next 10 miles we listened to gunfire and the sound of ATV's. Two trail runners made laps around us. The cows in this area seem extra skittish.

We stopped for lunch at mile 13 just before Double Springs Campground. It's hard to lunch knowing you still aren't even halfway. Continuing on, Double Springs Campground was surprisingly deserted, it seemed like a pleasant area. The three miles along the old railroad were a highlight. It was a peaceful walk in the pines, the gunfire had stopped and we came upon a small herd of elk and then later a few deer.

As we crossed Lake Mary Road, HAZ Tracks flipped over 23 miles. I declared break time, but Karl said there would be less mosquitos if we got up Anderson Mesa first. Hmmmm, highly suspect. We did get a little break on top and as we neared a dirt road we saw the only sign for Marshall Lake which said 9.7 miles to go! Whoo hoo. We walked the dirt road for about 4.5 miles and even clocked a 16 minute mile at 26! That road was in great shape and the end was near.

The AZT book says Horse Lake is mostly dry, but it looked like it was a wildlife refuge and we saw flocks of ducks.

Turning off the road back onto trail, you realize the road was very spoiling. The trail was easy to follow but the cows had beat it up while it was wet. It was rough on the tender feet bottoms. The cows over here were skittish too. No one wanted their picture taken.

At mile 31 I got one more real brief break. The mosquitos were relentless. At mile 32 we turned on the headlamps. We could just make out the water in Prime Lake and see the Observatory. There was one car in the parking lot and as we searched for the carsonite sign, we woke up a guy sleeping next to his car.

It was about a mile down to FR 128 and then it was a cruise down the road to the end! We did manage to end up with a 3 mph pace, thanks to the lack of elevation and excellent trail/road conditions.
_____________________
Aug 16 2014
tibber
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 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,759
 Triplogs 851

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 16 2014
tibber
Hiking14.80 Miles 1,095 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles   8 Hrs   3 Mns   2.08 mph
1,095 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 
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desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Goose TH to Dairy Spring Campground. Not sure if this was Plan B or C, but Ambika and I just followed Shawn and Tracy. Plan A was a bust since getting to the original meeting place of Gonzales Tank was not possible. So Shawn and Tracy met us at the Happy Jack Lodge as we were enroute to the Tank to pick them up as part of the shuttle we were going to set up between the 87 starting point and the Tank.

We eventually ended up at Dairy Springs Campground to drop our vehicle and then headed back to Gooseberry Springs TH to start the 14.3 mile hike, at least that's the mileage Tracy told us ;) . So off we went, I didn't know much about where we were heading but remembered in my reading trip reports about the old railroad bed we would be near and how much other hikers had enjoyed that part of the hike. We also knew the elevation would be nothing too serious.


So the AZT Section Crew set off at around 8:10AM in a northward direction, across the highway and past Allen Lake Tank which was a pretty area with a mass of coreopsis wildflowers and water :) . You're on a bit of a road for awhile as we would be for much of this hike off and on. Off to the sides were lots of Butter and Egg wildflowers. We would also see lots of mullein which is normal for up in the high country.

About 8:45 we encountered the Arizona Mineral Belt railroad grade which we would get to hike off and on it (found this blog about the RR: http://arizonarailsrui...). There were a couple holes in the grade which you had to detour off and then you would hike back on to it. We would also see lots of Rosehip bushes with brightly colored berries along the way. We would continue hiking in and out of the shade as we would also do much of the day. This was quite nice of course. We also would notice all sorts of kinds of mushrooms mostly just starting to blast out of the ground.

We would pass by the fenced-in Van Deren Spring that also had water. It seems the monsoon season has either kept the springs with water or replenished them. And then it was back on to the single track into the thinned forest. There would also be small meadows scattered about.

At 9:15 AM, we would reach the first of 9 saw jobs :gun: the chief AZT Steward would tackle. I can't remember the exact count for sure (will know after I look at video). Anyway he carries a saw in his pack and it worked perfectly for many of these nuisance trees that had fallen across the trail. The Section Crew would offer assistance where we could as far as clearing debris and helping to move the tree as well as removing the saw from his pack. It was like working with a head surgeon to help him perform his job a little easier.

And then another gate to pass through. As our occasional AZT buddy Slowandsteady said of AZT 29,
Think gate, pasture, forest, gate, pasture, forest....and repeat.
was also true of this part of the AZT 30. We continued through the shade of the forest until Tree #2 at 9:38AM, #3 and #4 (double cut required) within ten minutes. At 10:07 it was tree #5; it was rather big and took us awhile to clear it and the debris from the trail before crossing the Forest Road toward Patch Tank and thru some more forest with a little meadow.

Not quite 1/2 hour later Shawn got to cut #6, a long arched tree branch. We said timber very slowly on that one as it slowly dropped from the trunk. Shortly thereafter we took our first break near the railroad grade. After we continued on the track before ending up on the forest road where you can walk and gawk for a bit. And then it was up a gradual hill on this same road before hanging a left back into the forest.

Toward 11:30 we hit the section where they apparently did thinning as there was some of the hugest slash piles I had ever seen :o . And there were many. Check out this video that shows the machinery they used including the tractor that pulls out the stump: http://www.azcentral.c...
Needless to say the forest and forest floor looked pretty good through here. Here is a link to see updates on the thinning project in the Coconino: http://www.fs.usda.gov....

The wildflowers were still out in abundance; though short, they would carpet the ground in large sections. Eventually we headed down another ravine where you could see some of the wood ties from the railroad grade... though I didn't notice them at the time, they showed up in a flower picture I took :lol: . Shortly from here is the Navajo Spring Trail which we reached around noon.

We arrived at one of the interpretive signs that we found a major mistake on as it talked about the railroad grade in front of you when it really was in back of you :doh: . Go figure! However, the area was very interesting so we pondered that for a bit. We had lunch around 12:30 where the trail intersects what looks to be major forest road 90N. Here another casual day hiker passed through where we were sitting. I had seen her from the top of the ravine.

At the next railroad grade interpretive sign we investigated some of the old parts laying around. They were large and very heavy! We continued hiking on the old grade for a bit. For the last several miles it seemed there were lots more oak trees. I just love the ones that grow in a circle. In fact, Tracy spotted a grove that had encircled a ponderosa that was sticking out thru the top. As we continued along we saw some more cattle wondering what we were doing in their territory. They seemed a bit annoyed but then that always gives me the chance to tell my stupid cattle stories :SB: .

We went down, around and up a ravine and to our left was some more of the old railroad grade with what looked like stone siding. You could still see the long pieces of wood in the side. And then we hiked through another section of huge slash piles. From here looking NE you could barely make out the prairie and water of Mormon Lake too. We had to stop by one of those huge slash piles to get some people photos for scale. Oh and we came up with a few good jokes too so you'll have to see that photo once I post it... or unless someone else beats me to the punch.

And then according to a painted sign on a boulder, we were entering Bambi's place and should respect it as such. At a little before 3, it was time to move tree debris : rambo : from the trail; no saw required. Mind you, along the trail Shawn is always kicking off debris (rocks and branches) or using his poles to move debris from the trail. The AZ Section Crew will do their best to do some of that as well. It takes awhile to get the hang of it without the fear of falling.

After coming down a rocky decline, we finally arrived at Double Springs campground. It is quite lush as you come into it and pass by the Pumphouse and on the bridge over the creek. We pause here for a moment for a restroom break. We take a group photo sitting on a large log and then head on out to finish off the 14.3 mile hike. Technically we've done about 13 1/4 miles (tho it's only supposed to be 12.5 to this point) so we're thinking only 1 3/4 of a mile left but Shawn checks his GPS :-k to discover... uh, not quite. He says we're looking at more than 2 miles. (I think it's because our start point was Gooseberry TH) Oh well, let's start hiking.

So out of the campground we hiked and slightly uphill, with a switchback to the top that provided a nice view. And then it was into the forest again. Shortly thereafter Tracy and Shawn spotted what they said were elk but from my vantage point, they looked like deer. However, visualizing back on it, they may have been too big to be deer. (You see, I never have seen elk when with the Crew so it's a quest.)

We were all getting into that "are we there yet?!" mode wondering when we would arrive at the campground. We finally heard voices and came to an intersection with the Mormon Mtn Trl. So we hung a right and headed down to the campground. We did encounter some folks out for a stroll and then arrived at a very nice interpretive sign about Life in Old Growth. We thot we saw Ambika's car just down the gravel road but it was a ranger's truck so we went back thru the campground and with Shawn's gps skills, found the TH area where we had parked (we should have just kept going down the gravel road :doh: ).

We had 4 GPS units with us this day and got 4 different readings. We did have different time recording settings too. ](*,) . Mine had 15.86 mi which was very close to the 15.73 mi HAZ loaded up. Anyway, it's a nice hike really even though it was almost 1.5 mi further than expected. I think we all felt good that we did that amount as over Labor Day we will be doing a 14 and 13.5. And during this time we also did trail maintenance along the way as well. So hats off to our AZT Section Crew; we're getting it done and having a good time :y: .

8-19-2014 All videos are pending. I still haven't even looked at a lot of my video from my summer road trip.
Will be ready for viewing 8-29-2014:
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
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.
6 archives
Aug 16 2014
Paintninaz
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 Guides 1
 Routes 2
 Photos 70
 Triplogs 199

57 female
 Joined Feb 04 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
AZT #30 Goose TH to Dairy Sprg Campground, AZ 
AZT #30 Goose TH to Dairy Sprg Campground, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 16 2014
Paintninaz
Hiking15.73 Miles 1,019 AEG
Hiking15.73 Miles   8 Hrs   3 Mns   2.22 mph
1,019 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
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desertgirl
Sredfield
tibber
It had been awhile since the AZT Section hiking crew had been on the trail, but with a plan in place we intended to remedy that with a weekend of back to back hikes. Well, you know what they say about best laid plans…as it turned out, lack of road maintenance and recent rains made the road to where we wanted to go impassable; even after nearly an hour, in parts crawling over the road in granny low, Shawn and I were 2 miles short of our destination when we decided this wasn’t going to work. We backed out, set up camp on the forest road and looked for a Plan B. Saturday morning we were able to intercept Angela and Ambika as they were on their way to our original meeting location and proposed our new plan (this turned out to work well, but did involve a bit more mileage, both on foot and in car tricks, than originally planned)

So, Plan B…Passage 30 - Drive to Dairy Springs Campground and drop vehicle at the Trailhead parking lot, pile into Shawn’s truck and drive to Gooseberry Springs TH where we will start our hike. With 4 GPS devices to track our mileage (in an attempt to figure out why Angela and Shawn continue to have discrepancies between their devices) we set off Northbound for an intended 14.3 miles (I’ll leave the accuracy of the final mileage to those with the GPS’s), it turned out to be a tad more. Along the way, we encountered 28 different wildflowers, 9 trees blocking the trail, that Shawn cut and we moved (and 2, or was it 3?, large ones that were beyond the capability of the saw we had, Shawn made note of those, along with several gates in need of repair), several varieties of brightly colored mushrooms, a couple of interpretational signs by the Forest service, though ill-placed (be sure to look behind you, rather than in front of you as directed by the sign) still provided interesting information along with the remnants of the old railroad. As we reached the Dairy Springs CG, it was a little tricky to locate the vehicle we had left behind. There is a sign pointing to the campground, another to the trailhead (though it doesn’t say which TH), if you follow the sign to the Trailhead, you come to a nice big kiosk at teh Mormon Mtn TH, with an AZT Steel sign…but it’s not the TH where we left the vehicle! Presumably, if you follow the road further you will eventually come out to the Trailhead parking where we had left the vehicle, but my feet were tired, so we did a shortcut through the campground (which is clearly visible by this point to your left) and walked to the entrance where the TH parking lot is located. A quick stop at the Mormon Lake store for a soda and an ice cream bar and we were soon on our way back to Gooseberry Springs. We found a nice camp spot across the meadow, set up our table with a magnificent happy hour spread, and called it an early evening. Sleep came quick, and so, it seemed, did the morning daylight. But with Shawn's pancakes on the breakfast menu it's not hard to get up early and ready for AZT Section hike, round 2!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
Paintninaz
Aug 16 2014
desertgirl
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 Guides 20
 Routes 1
 Photos 3,098
 Triplogs 438

female
 Joined Mar 31 2002
 Chandler, AZ
AZT #30 Goose TH to Dairy Sprg Campground, AZ 
AZT #30 Goose TH to Dairy Sprg Campground, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 16 2014
desertgirl
Hiking15.73 Miles 1,019 AEG
Hiking15.73 Miles   8 Hrs   3 Mns   2.22 mph
1,019 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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Paintninaz
Sredfield
tibber
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
May 12 2014
sirena
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar May 12 2014
sirena
Backpack32.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Backpack32.00 Miles3 Days         
2,000 ft AEG
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Skindy500
Arizona Trail Trek

This is a guest blog that was written by my friend India (Skindy500)about the Women's Backpacking Trip on the AZT Trek.

Ten women, one mini-donkey and one therapy dog came from across Arizona—Tucson, Tempe, Sedona and Flagstaff—to join Sirena on a multi-day, 32-mile backpack as she traversed most of Passage 30 (Mormon Lake) and a portion of Passage 31 (Walnut Canyon), leading her ever closer to Flagstaff on her Arizona Trail Trek thru-hike. We came singly, or in pairs; some to support Sirena and promote the trail, some because of a prior professional connection and ongoing passion for the trail, some under the guise of a Mother’s Day retreat, and others to test their gear and skills in preparation for thru-hikes of their own, on the AZT and PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). All of us came to hike hard, camp under the stars, and create a shared experience on a beautiful high elevation, ponderosa, pinon and juniper lined stretch of Arizona’s National Scenic Trail.

We gathered at the end point (Sandy’s Canyon trailhead) and were shuttled to the start point at Mormon Lake Lodge by volunteers including Jim and Carol McFadden and Sirena’s dad. Larry Snead, former Executive Director of the Arizona Trail Association, was there to send us off with good wishes. After brief introductions we were on the trail, eager to get to know one another while logging some miles and trying to keep warm—a front was blowing through and had lowered the expected idyllic high 70s/low 40s to a much crisper high 50s/low 20s, accompanied by a relentless wind.

We hiked the short spur from Mormon Lake Lodge that connected us with the AZT. From here we passed our first grove of aspen, snacked at Navajo Spring, and followed an historic railroad bed built for the logging industry in the early twentieth century. Interpretive signs dotted the trail and added to the experience. Water was flowing from Wallace Spring as we passed by Double Springs Campground and rejoined the old railroad bed through a canopy of ponderosa pines.

We knew the first day’s hiking was nearing its end when Leigh Anne & Jasmine and Bonnie & Dr. Otis greeted us on the trail for the hike into our first camp near Lake Mary Road. What a welcome treat to be joined by these AZT legends! We awoke the next morning to Jasmine’s braying and fresh coffee “in bed.” How did we get so lucky?!

On day 2, the trail continued to follow the historic railroad grade. As we headed north, the tree canopy began to thin and we made the short climb up onto the lava flow that mantles Anderson Mesa. We passed a very chilly black-necked gartersnake and found a wind-blown, handwritten "trail 'hello!'" note that was possibly intended for cowboy Terry, before stopping for lunch near the Horse Lake trailhead, where we left our four-legged friends and their handlers for the trek across the basalt (but not until after they’d filled us up with water that we hadn’t had to carry, cookies, and kettle corn!).

Into the wind and along the road we continued, past Horse Lake, until we could no longer take the biting wind. We found a somewhat protected spot tucked amongst the junipers where we soaked up the last rays of the sun, watched the full moon rise, and sheltered for the night.

The next day we were treated to repeated stellar, sweeping views of the San Francisco Peaks looming ever closer in front of us as we continued our trek through the pinon and juniper woodland of Anderson Mesa, past Vail Lake. We were also afforded lovely views of Upper Lake Mary and Mormon Mountain before turning north towards Prime Lake, and on to our lunch spot near Lowell Observatory, where we were reunited with Jasmine and Otis and the gang, who once again refilled us with water, cookies and companionship.

One cow elk was spotted, and Sirena had several close encounters with horned lizards as we hiked past dry Marshall Lake. Continuing north, we began slowly descending through Kaibab Limestone and Coconino Sandstone, and through very recently burned areas, the result of April’s Fisher Fire.

Finally, we descended a few switchbacks into Walnut Canyon where we were awed by cross-bedded sandstone cliffs basked in an orange sunset glow. We spent a long while inhaling the panorama, avoiding what we knew was coming for all but Sirena—the end of our backpacking escape. A short hike up and out of Walnut Canyon, past early blooming irises, brought us to our waiting cars and inevitable goodbye-for-nows.

All of us were grateful for the support afforded us on this trek by co-hikers and volunteers, and envious of Sirena as she continued northwards without us.
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_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
May 09 2014
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 495
 Photos 5,912
 Triplogs 412

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
AZT #29 Dairy Spring to Double Spring, AZ 
AZT #29 Dairy Spring to Double Spring, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 09 2014
markthurman53
Hiking4.60 Miles
Hiking4.60 Miles   2 Hrs   8 Mns   2.63 mph
      23 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Short hike on last of 6 days hiking. Not really too much to say about this little section of trail. If I had to do this again I would plan to do the Lake Mary Road at Allan Tank to here and return in one trip. This would of coarse assume there was no logging going on along the section near Mormon Lake.
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May 08 2014
sirena
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

45 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Blue Ridge - AZT #27Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar May 08 2014
sirena
Backpack55.10 Miles 5,367 AEG
Backpack55.10 Miles4 Days         
5,367 ft AEG
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1st trip
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Arizona Trail Trek

After I had a day to recover from my Very Bad Day on the Highline Trail, I was ready to keep hiking. But as I was getting ready to leave, I got a call that a news station in Phoenix wanted to do an interview with me. After some technical difficulties, I got the interview done around 10:30. I decided to dayhike southbound so that I could still get my miles in. My neck and back were still pretty sore from hitting my head on the Highline Trail. My dad, support crew extraordinaire, dropped me off on the Blue Ridge passage.

This area marks a stark transition from the rugged deserts and mountains of Southern Arizona for one big reason- the Mogollon Rim. The Rim is an escarpment of cliffs that marks the edge of the Colorado Plateau. Once you are on top of the Mogollon Rim, all of a sudden you're in the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world! The trail is at 7000 feet elevation, the weather is cool, and the walking flat and easy. It's like a whole different trail.

I descended to the East Clear Creek crossing, only there was sadly no water to cross. All thoughts I'd had of taking a nice break near the creek vanished and I hiked on. I spent some time catching a horned lizard, one of my favorite trail activities.

The trail meandered among the pines and then came to the highlight of the passage: hiking in General Springs Canyon. What a beautiful piece of trail, next to a running creek on a perfect day with big fluffy clouds in the sky. I had to take a break to dunk my feet. My body has been holding up well on this hike, except for my middle toe on my right foot. It started hurting a week or so ago and now won't stop. I keep it ensconced in a wrapping of Band-Aid Blister Bandages to cushion it. I hurt it during river season last year and the endless rocks of Arizona have given it quite a pounding.

After my creekside break, the trail followed along the stream until it reached General Springs Cabin, built in 1918 as a fire station.

I hiked toward FR 300, which runs along the edge of the Mogollon Rim. The trail descended steeply and then crossed the East Verde River, the same river I'd played in near the LF Ranch in the Mazatzals.

The running creek was too good to resist, so I dunked my feet again and enjoyed the sound of rushing water and birdsong.

I reached Washington Park and my dad right as it was getting dark, he had just seen a bear cross the road nearby. We went back for one last night in Pine.

The next day, I didn't get on the trail until 11:30, I had a bunch of emails and planning for the upcoming segments to do. My dad dropped me off where I left off so that I could backpack for the next three days to Mormon Lake.

I had a small piece of the Blue Ridge passage left before crossing Highway 87. It was a gorgeous day, the weather was fantastic and after a while I realized that I could hike in a skirt instead of pants. I stopped to change and eat a snack and continued hiking.

After a while, I came to a road crossing and trailhead that looked way too familiar. How could it be- I ended up back at the trailhead I'd been dropped off at!! I had gotten turned around after my break and I walked right back the way I came! Since the sun was overhead and the pine forest looks all the same, I hadn't realized my mistake. Feeling sheepish, I turned myself around again and hiked the next half-hour of trail for the third time.

Finally I crossed 87 and the trail continued on singletrack toward Jack's Canyon. I reached the 500-mile mark of the trip and had a little celebration.

The trail through Jack's Canyon was pleasant, winding along the canyon bottom. Took a break to enjoy some strawberry jalapeno goat cheese and crackers and goat milk fudge from Fossil Creek Creamery- yum!!

The singletrack ended and I hiked along a series of two-track roads for the rest of the day. My right foot was really sore, sometimes sending shooting pains up my middle toe if I stepped on it wrong. The rocky roads didn't help matters any. I found a spot to camp among the pines with soft needles covering the rocky ground.

The next day was spent traveling a series of two-tracks. I thought I'd see people out for the weekend but maybe they were kept away by the cold, incessant wind. Only saw two guys camped near Bargaman Park. Stopped to talk to them and they filled up my water bottles and gave me a cold pineapple juice. I saw many groups of elk and lots of birds, often when I would approach one of the water sources. One red-tailed hawk sat in a tree, screaming over and over again to others in the area.

I hiked until it got too dark to see the trail and set up camp. My feet were killing me, having been relentlessly pounded by the rocky ground. Made dinner and called my dad, who suggested he meet me tomorrow morning and take my pack so that I could carry minimal weight for the final 9 miles into Mormon Lake. Sounded good to me!

The next morning it was cold with a biting wind and overcast. The remaining miles to the end of the passage were pleasant singletrack through bright green grasses. My dad met me at the trailhead with a second breakfast and a coffee- yay! I offloaded some of my stuff and continued on to Mormon Lake. Thanks Dad!!

I crossed Lake Mary Road and made my way along the windblown trail. I was all layered up and still chilly while hiking! The trail wound through the ponderosa pines and soon I was at the junction for Mormon Lake Lodge. Hiked down the mile-long access trail to meet my dad at the lodge and say hi to Larry Snead, former director of the Arizona Trail Association. It was snowing! Just flurries, but remember just over a week ago I'd been overheating hiking out of the East Verde River valley. My dad groaned about the weather, he lives in the Chicago area and they'd had the worst winter ever and now here he was, back in the cold again!

It was always such a treat to see my dad at the end of a day of hiking. He would drop me off, then go on his own adventures exploring the area, then we'd get together and share stories and pictures. He's definitely where I got my sense of adventure from. So glad he has been such a big part of the hike, he's the best support crew ever! He came out and helped me a lot when I was section-hiking the trail in 2008-09 and it's so much fun to be able to do it all over again. It's been almost 20 years since I moved away from the Chicago suburbs, so to spend this much time with my dad is definitely something I'll cherish about this journey.

My dad and I went into Flagstaff for the night to warm up and got dinner from my favorite- Pato Thai- and checked into a hotel with a hot tub. It was just what I needed for my windswept, chilly, footsore self.
Named place
Named place
General Springs Canyon
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
May 08 2014
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 495
 Photos 5,912
 Triplogs 412

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
AZT #29 Navajo Spring to Wallace Spring, AZ 
AZT #29 Navajo Spring to Wallace Spring, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 08 2014
markthurman53
Hiking6.10 Miles 583 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   2 Hrs   31 Mns   2.88 mph
583 ft AEG      24 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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This hike was suppose to be from Dairy spring to Navajo Spring but when I got to just past Wallace Spring the trail was closed because of logging. I manage to continue walking until the risk of being seen was too great and returned to the starting point(made it to Wallace Spring). I continued on with the rest of the trail via a road south of the logging area and finished the trail to Navajo Spring and returned back to where I started and headed north to as far as I could go in the logging area. Was within 200 yards of where I had to stop earlier. I am sure the trail is open now being this was almost three years ago. The trail through the logging area was pretty much non existent but I assumed they restored it when they were done.
_____________________
May 08 2014
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 495
 Photos 5,912
 Triplogs 412

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
AZT #29 Double Spring to Wallace Spring, AZ 
AZT #29 Double Spring to Wallace Spring, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 08 2014
markthurman53
Hiking4.10 Miles 713 AEG
Hiking4.10 Miles   1 Hour   55 Mns   2.48 mph
713 ft AEG      16 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Hike started at Double Spring and was suppose to continue on to Navajo Spring but Logging at Wallace Spring closed the trail. I continued on to Navajo Spring from a road south of the logging area. I'm sure the logging is done by now and the trails restored since this was three years ago.
_____________________
May 07 2014
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 495
 Photos 5,912
 Triplogs 412

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
AZT #29 Lake Mary Road to Navajo Spring, AZ 
AZT #29 Lake Mary Road to Navajo Spring, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 07 2014
markthurman53
Hiking11.90 Miles 942 AEG
Hiking11.90 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   2.94 mph
942 ft AEG      42 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Arizona Trail from Lake Mary Road at Allan Tank to Just south of Navajo Spring near Mormon Lake. Fairly easy walk through pine forests with and elevation drop of 150 feet then up 300 feet to Navajo Spring. More old train beds along this trail, they appear to be scattered through out this region. A lot of logging at one time. There were places along the trail where the Forest Service was piling up wood for later burning to reduce the fire risk. Mormon Lake area is a popular summer camping spot. After hiking in this area a bit now and the ease of travel, I realized I could of broke these hikes up in to 10 mile sections making these one day hikes 20 miles instead of the 14 to 16 mile sections I did. Oh well, live and learn. I can see how through hiking doing 25 miles a day one could do the rim to Flagstaff in 3 to 4 days fairly easy.
_____________________
May 06 2014
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 495
 Photos 5,912
 Triplogs 412

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
AZT #30 Dairy Spring to Pine Grove Hill, AZ 
AZT #30 Dairy Spring to Pine Grove Hill, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 06 2014
markthurman53
Hiking7.60 Miles 927 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   2 Hrs   58 Mns   2.96 mph
927 ft AEG      24 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Finishing up my last day of hiking doing a section of trail I wasn't able to finish the day before. Easy hike from Dairy Spring to near Pine Grove Hill and returning via the Mormon Lake Hwy. As you approach Pine Grove Hill the trail follows along an old logging trail route.
_____________________
May 05 2014
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 495
 Photos 5,912
 Triplogs 412

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
AZT #30 Pine Grove Hill to Horse Lake, AZ 
AZT #30 Pine Grove Hill to Horse Lake, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 05 2014
markthurman53
Hiking22.00 Miles 1,392 AEG
Hiking22.00 Miles   9 Hrs   56 Mns   3.00 mph
1,392 ft AEG   2 Hrs   36 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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This hike started at Lake Mary road at Forest Road 82 (Pickett Lake) and heads north to 2 miles north of Horse Lake, returns to start point and heads south to near Pine Grove Hill. Probably some of the easiest walking on the Arizona Trail (at least those to the south). Don't know how I accumulated an AEG of 1392 (even though this is round trip), must of been a lot of little peaks and valleys. The trail is characterized by large open areas that accumulate water from winter snows and inhibit tree growth (that's my guess). Very level walking with great views of San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff. The second part of the day, South along the trail from Lake Mary road the trail follows along Ponderosa Pine forests and the last 2 miles along an old logging train bed. Very interesting and scenic hike.
_____________________
May 04 2014
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 495
 Photos 5,912
 Triplogs 412

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
AZT #30 Horse Lake to Walnut Creek, AZ 
AZT #30 Horse Lake to Walnut Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 04 2014
markthurman53
Hiking21.20 Miles 2,008 AEG
Hiking21.20 Miles   9 Hrs   8 Mns   3.03 mph
2,008 ft AEG   2 Hrs   8 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Marshall Lake north to Walnut Canyon and return to Marshall Lake, South to 2 miles north of Horse lake and return to Marshall Lake. Very scenic hike to Walnut Canyon with great views of San Francisco Peak. There was no water in Walnut Creek. Most of the elevation change on this hike was along this portion of the trail, dropping from Marshall Mesa (150) and again dropping into Walnut Canyon (550). On the section of the hike south of Marshall Lake on Anderson Mesa the elevation doesn't change more than 20 or 30 feet. Great views from Anderson Mesa of Upper and Lower Lake Mary and Mormon Mountain. If I was doing through hiking on the Arizona Trail I can see how a 25 to 30 mile day could be done along this section. I normally limit my days to 16 to 20 when doing multiple day hikes Caring a pack (I ain't no spring chicken anymore).
_____________________
Jun 07 2013
garyc57
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 Routes 27
 Photos 312
 Triplogs 71

62 male
 Joined Mar 20 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 07 2013
garyc57
Hiking33.40 Miles
Hiking33.40 Miles   14 Hrs      2.90 mph
   2 Hrs   30 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Whoo Hoo! I did it! :y: I hiked this Passage in 3 days, and I had a blast! Here's what happened...

Preparation

A new pair of boots. My current boots feel like the sole is as thin as tissue paper. Yuck. I needed a pair that could withstand the rocks. So off to REI we went. We'll see how they stand up to the trail.

I knew I couldn't hike the entire 33+ miles in a single day, so I decided to split it up into 3 segments of about 10 miles each, hiking one segment each day.

I scoured HikeDEX, looking for likely start and end spots for these three segments. I quickly settled on Double Springs campground, since the trail goes right through there, and PineGrove campground, as the trail goes past there. Looking at the distances, from the southern trailhead at Gooseberry Springs to Double Springs campground was about 12½ miles. From Double Springs to PineGrove was about 9 miles, and PineGrove to northern trailhead at Marshall Lake was about 11½ miles. That looked like a good three-way split.

I knew we couldn't "check in" to the campground until 2:00, so I was wondering what to do with the extra time on Monday, our first day. I noticed that the trail crosses FR91 after 1½ miles. Hmmm. At the northern end, I noticed the trail goes very near the observatory about 1 mile from the end. Hmmm. If I hiked these two short segments on Monday, I could shorten those two long days - just a bit. Sounds like a plan.

Then, a just a week before the trip, I read on the AZT website that part of the trail would be closed due to a logging operation. ARRGGGG!! Yes, the forest service had arranged for a bypass trail down the mountain, along the Mormon Lake Road, then back up the mountain to re-join the trail. But, :yuck:

OK, with all the planning done, here's how it went!

Day 1 - Monday

We left Mesa at 8:00, and arrived at the southern trailhead at 11:00. I got out, and started hiking. My wife drove to FR91, then hiked back looking for me. After I missed a turn and walking 0.3 miles too far, I joined up with her at 11:55.

We then drove to the observatory. I got out, and started hiking at 12:30. She drove to the northern trailhead and waited for me, petting a horse while she was there. She enjoyed that! After I arrived at 12:50. We loaded up, and drove to the Double Springs campground, checked into Site # 14 (the trail goes right past it!), and settled in for the night.

Day 2 - Tuesday - Hiking South to North

The alarm went off at 3:15. I fixed my breakfast, packed the backpack, made sure everything was ready, and woke up my dear sweet wife. She drove me to FR91, and dropped me off, drove back to camp, and went back to sleep (she's no dummy)! My boots hit the trail at about 4:45. It was cool in the predawn hours, and the hiking was great. After about 30 minutes, I realized I wasn't feeling the rocks! So I started looking for sharp rocks to step on. Yeah, I could tell I had stepped on a rock, but no pain. Nothing! The boots were great! With the cool temps, I made good time.

I saw two elk cows, and numerous squirrels.

It was a really nice trail - easy to follow, very nice views; it made hiking a joy!

All too soon, I came to a trail junction. The sign said "Mormon Lake Lodge 1.1 miles". I knew the bypass was shortly ahead, and that my wife said she would meet me at the lodge, so I wouldn't have to walk down the Mormon Lake road. So I turned off the AZT, and followed the trail. Soon, I saw TONS of hoof prints. Obviously, this trail was used by the stables at Mormon Lake for their guided rides. Whenever I came to a junction in the trail, I simply followed the hoof prints. I arrived in the village at 8:00.

I called my wife's cell - no answer. I called my daughter in Mesa, and we chatted for a bit. She asked if the trail gods had required a blood offering. "No, not yet." I tried calling my wife again. Nothing. I guess I hiked faster than we'd planned. So, down the road I went to Double Springs.

Oh, a funny. I was walking on the "proper" side of the road, facing on-coming traffic (what little there was of it), minding my own business. Suddenly, a horny toad whipped past me on my right, cut in front of me, and into the grass! I burst out laughing! I knew I was slow, but to be passed by a horny toad! Jeez!

Three miles later, I arrived at the Double Springs campground at 9:00, turned in, and walked up the road to our campsite. I was almost there, when here comes my wife, driving the Suburban! Great timing!

It was then that I realized that I had forgotten to turn on the tracking on my GPS. ARRGGG!

Because of the good boots and the cool temps, I made really good time - about 11 miles in 4 hours, including rest stops.

Since it was just 9:00, we decided to play "tourists", and drove to Flagstaff. We stopped at the Canyon Vista campground, which has a nice access trail to the middle of the next passage, #31 Walnut Canyon. That's my next planned hike.

We then drove to the northern trailhead of Walnut Canyon Passage, at the Cosnino exit on I-40 to checkout that trailhead.

Then on to Buffalo Park to find the memorial to Dale Shewalter, father of the Arizona Trail. After asking and a bit of looking around, my wife found it. (see the photoset) :thanx: Dale!

We then tried to drive to the northern trailhead of the Mt. Elden Passage, but the Shultz Pass road was just too rough, so we turned around and went "home".

Day 3 - Wednesday - Hiking North to South

Again, up at 3:15. I ate breakfast, packed, and woke my dear sweet wife. Today, I was going to hike from the Pinegrove access trailhead back to Double Springs. When we arrived at the trailhead, I realized I had forgotten my boots! Oops. They were still back in the tent. Back to Double Springs, grab the boots, then back to Pinegrove. I suited up, and hit the trail at about 5:00. I made sure to turn on my GPS tracking before I started!

I enjoyed the scenery, the great trail, cool temps, and watching the railroad bed. Suddenly, I saw half a dozen little black specks scurrying around the railroad bed about 30 yards in front of me. What the...??? Just then a turkey stood up. Oh, that's what those specks were! Turkey chicks! Of course, Mamma Turkey spotted me instantly, and started walking away from me. I got a couple of pictures of her, but the babies were too hard to see. Neat!

Later I spotted three elk cows through the trees. Dang, they're quick!

Throughout the morning, I saw lots of evidence of trail maintenance. Deadfalls had been cut and moved. Thanks to all the workers! The trail was great!

About then, I realized that the entire morning, I had been hiking uphill. It had been a gradual incline, so gradual I didn't notice it, but as the morning wore on, the trail got steeper and steeper. I knew this segment was about 9 miles long, so I kept an eye on my odometer, knowing that I would have to go downhill to drop down into Double Springs campground. Six... Seven... Eight... Finally, the trail started going downhill. About then, I met my wife, coming up the trail to meet me. I followed her the last mile back to Double Springs, arriving in camp at 8:50. About 9 miles in 4 hours, including rest stops.

Now, we had to pack up the camp, and move to PineGrove campground. It was then I realized how tired I was! That gradual uphill all morning long had really worn me down. I was bushed!

Day 4 - Thursday - Hiking North to South

I had been worrying about this day all week long. I knew this segment was up on the plateau and there was very little shade. I wanted to start this segment as soon as possible, and hike as fast as I could, to get off the plateau, and down into the pines before it got hot.

I prepacked everything in the car before going to bed (including the boots!) Again, up at 3:15, a quick breakfast, and on the road. We arrived at the observatory about 4:15, and started the morning ritual of "The Taping of the Heels." I have bone spurs on both heels that quickly develop blisters, if they're not protected. So my wife puts gauze pads on duct tape, then puts the tape around my heels. If there are any sore spots, she tapes those up, too. Just in case.

We sat and waited for enough light to see the trail. By 4:35, it was light enough to see, and with a kiss to my sweetheart, I was off.

The trail is rocky, but every chance I got, I picked up my pace, and walked along as quickly as I could. I stopped to take a picture of Lake Mary from the edge of the plateau. After taking the picture, I realized I hadn't recently heard the reassuring beep of my GPS as I passed the waypoints. I looked at it, and the track was gone! HUH?! I zoomed out, and the track was 0.15 miles off to my left. Dang! What was this nice, beautiful trail I had been following? Grumble, grumble. So, off trail I went, watching my GPS to find the "real" trail. Soon enough, I came to where it should have been. Nothing. Just a faint two-track. I turned, and followed the GPS track. As I hiked along, in the back of my mind, I vaguely remembered a discussion I read about the trail being re-routed closer to the cliff for "a better hiking experience." Dang! I guess I didn't get the most recent track from the AZT website. About a mile later, there comes the trail, from my right. Grrrrrr... I guess it was my own fault.

A couple miles later, the trail suddenly turned right, and went around a fenced-off area, while the GPS track went straight ahead. I stayed with the trail this time (like I had a choice?), and the track consistently stayed about 100 yards off to my left. Soon, the fence ended, and the trail swerved left to meet up with the GPS track. Hmmm... Another re-route.

[After I got home, I downloaded the current track from AZT's website, just to check. It doesn't show either re-route. Grumble, grumble. However, HikeArizona's "official" track does! Yeah!]

Almost from the beginning of the hike, I began to see the same boot print in the dirt on the trail. It was comforting to see that same boot print mile after mile after mile.

In this section, the trail seemed to go from one stand of trees to another. The shade they provided was nice. I really appreciated that.

I turned the corner around one stand of trees, and there in the trail ahead was an elk cow grazing. I froze in place, and she lifted her head and stared at me. I stared at her. She finally took off, and through the trees, I saw another elk cow with her calf running beside her. How cute!

The trail eventually met up with a two-track road, and began to follow that. In numerous places, the road split, and there was no carsonite or rock cairn to indicate which way the trail goes. I just had to follow the track on the GPS, and hope for the best.

It was along here I saw a snake track in the roadbed. I'm no herpa... herpto... snake expert, but it looked like a sidewinder track to me. That severely slowed my pace for a while. I kept an eye out, looking at anything that even resembled a snake.

Just for the record, I'm 0 for 5. I've hiked 5 AZT Passages and haven't seen a single snake. (You do realize, I probably just jinxed myself!)

I saw several cows in this section. I just whistled and shouted "Heya!" acting like a cowboy. They stared for a while, then took off running. I kept an eye on them; I didn't want them sneaking up and goring me from behind!

The last few miles on the plateau are out in the open with only a tree or two to provide any shade.

I knew that the trail follows this two-track for quite a ways, then suddenly makes a right-hand turn off the track, and down into the trees. I kept an eye on the GPS track. I didn't want to miss the turn!

Soon enough, the GPS showed the turn coming up ahead. There is an AZT carsonite at the turn off. If you're not careful, it looks like the directional arrow on the carsonite points straight ahead - down the two-track. However, if you look carefully, the carsonite is angled - it points off the two-track and down the trail.

I glanced at my watch - 8:01. Into the trees and shade. Yeah! Coming down the hill, I met my wife hiking up the trail, coming to meet me. A quick kiss, and down the trail we went, walking to the AZT access trailhead. We finished at about 8:40.

I looked at my GPS. My moving average for this day's hike was an amazing 3.1mph! Whoo Hoo! :y: For me, that's impressive! (Yes, I know, for JJ, that's a leisurely stroll.) I was glad to get this section done before the day got too hot.

A huge THANKS! to this Passage's stewards and volunteers. It's a beautiful trail - well cared for and in great condition. It would have been nice to have the GPS track match the trail, but I survived. That's all that's important.

AZT by the Numbers:
Miles Hiked: 115.3
Miles To Go: 684.7
Percent Complete: 14.41%

Segments Hiked: 5
Segments To Go: 37

One last note... Do your hikes have a "theme song"? I was listening to some church hymns, and heard these words:
Does the journey seem long,
the path rugged and steep?
Are there briars and thorns on the way?
Do sharp stones cut your feet
as you struggle to rise
to the heights through the heat of the day?
I had to laugh! That sure sounds like some of my hikes! Whodathunk? A song about hiking in a church hymn!
Named place
Named place
Upper Lake Mary
_____________________
1 archive
May 16 2013
AZWanderingBea
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 62
 Photos 2,620
 Triplogs 700

63 male
 Joined Jan 23 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar May 16 2013
AZWanderingBear
Hiking7.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   2 Hrs      3.50 mph
500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Camping near Mormon Lake with friends to attend the Overland Expo. Great secret campsite away from the crowds up in the pines fringing a huge meadow. Also very close to the AZT, which we took advantage of. And then of course the elevation took advantage of us. Great trip all around though.
_____________________
All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
May 13 2013
pops c
avatar

 Triplogs 52

male
 Joined Jan 27 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar May 13 2013
pops c
Backpack33.40 Miles
Backpack33.40 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Class of 2013 thru-hike
_____________________
AZT Class of 2013
Arizona National Scenic Trail Steward
Segment 9a Hope Camp
Saguaro National Park (Rincon Wilderness)
Sep 29 2012
ihikeaz
avatar

 Routes 3
 Photos 60
 Triplogs 224

60 male
 Joined Jun 08 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 29 2012
ihikeaz
Hiking34.00 Miles 1,269 AEG
Hiking34.00 Miles
1,269 ft AEG40 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Our 3rd passage along the AZ Trail. Hikers on this trip included Dillon, Cherie, Dan, Andrew, Gary H, Smokey, and myself.
Our group met on the north end of Mormon Lake the day before the start of our hike. We wanted to camp close to the trail and also let Smokey run free, so we opted out of staying at a public campground. The campsite we found was great. It had lots of firewood, a nice fire pit and was within 500 yards of the AZT. That night was cold. I had all kinds of issues with my sleeping bag and never slept very well. Also it was a Full Moon night and the sounds of Elk and Coyotes all around the camp didn't help.
On day 1 we drove one vehicle to the Alan Lake TH to start our journey. Our goal was to make it back to camp before dark. About a mile into the hike Cherie fell. Fortunately she wasn't hurt. After a short rest, we moved on. We followed the remains of old train tracks for several miles, but most of the first day was spent hiking through the woods. At one point we look up to see a large Elk standing in the trail. He was just looking at us, but no body could get their camera out fast enough. We passed several areas where the Forest Service was doing some clear cutting to thin out the trees, but it did not stop our progress.
About 2 miles from camp, Andrew took a wrong turn and we were treated to him blowing his whistle to get our attention. After getting the group back together, we continued on to camp. We cover about 15.9 miles the first day. That night we treated ourselves to a nice dinner at the Mormon Lake Lodge before going to bed.
On day 2, Andrew and Gary H were unable to continue. Gary's knee starting hurting at the end of day one and he decided it would be best if he didn't push it. Andrew didn't feel he could make it all the way. Dan, Dillon, Cherie, Smokey and myself headed out on day two.
After a short up hill climb, we leveled out and were treated to some outstanding views. We were once again following train tracks and I gathered up an old stake for a souvenir.
About 3 hours into the hike we cross Lake Mary road and after a short but steep climb we came to an open field and a Forest Service road. Several miles on this road and we were back on single track. Just before reaching the Observatory, the trail overlooks Lake Mary. We stopped here to take pictures of the group before moving on. The trail crosses the road right next to the Observatory before heading downhill to the Marshall Lake Trail Trailhead.
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average hiking speed 2.58 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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