username
X
password
register
for free!
help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
1, 2  Next
34 triplogs
Mar 17 2005
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Grand FallsNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 17 2005
montezumawell
Hiking3.00 Miles 210 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.50 mph
210 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Friend Peter and I went out to Grand Falls on St. Patrick's Day 2005. No, nothing's green out there but it seemed an appropriate activity.

There is a surprisingly large amount of water still flowing over The Falls. At least 1,000 cfs, maybe 2K! Based on the upstream hydrographs, I'd hazard a guess you could enjoy this unique, amazing, incredible vista for at least the next two weekends, if not longer.

Right now, it is a tad surreal in that the cinder cones out in Flag's "rain shadow" are fringed in snow left over from Monday's vigorous storm. That's VERY unusual!

We were lucky today, the wind was coming from a direction that blew the infamous spray plume away from the bottom of The Falls. So we got to go down there with water conditions that would normally cover you with airborne mud. Even the talented ravens were landing in the bottom of "The Pit."

Unfortuately, we parked Peter's Honda CRV in the wrong spot and it was encrusted with the legendary Grand Falls mud when we returned from our 2 hour hike.

The guide books all talk about the little teeny-tiny trail that goes down to the bottom of The Falls. There is ANOTHER trail of sorts that goes downstream. Rather than describe it, I'd just say that we will answer any PM's regarding this superb hike.

I hope that Peter B. will post up some of his MOST excellent digitals from today. You're in for an armchair treat if he does.
Honestly and truly, folks, if you haven't seem this place, please do go check it out this spring. It easily qualifies to do righteous justice to the word: INCREDIBLE!

j

PS--Res Road #6910 is in FINE shape. No problems. No worries.
_____________________
Mar 16 2005
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Woods Canyon Trail #93 - SedonaSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 16 2005
montezumawell
Hiking6.50 Miles 255 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   4 Hrs      1.63 mph
255 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well, The Red Ledges are as "hot" as ever. Water is STILL running here after all these wet months. As near as we can figure, this place has had "photo op" water since October 26! That's nearing 20 weeks. Too weird? Yeah, too weird. Afterall, this place ain't called "Dry Beaver Creek" for nothing!

Believe it or not, the place is still running "photo pop" water, even after all these weeks. As of mid-March, it's STILL worth the trip. If you haven't ever done it, we have to wonder "WHY?"

It's a "magical" place, truly. Why not go there and find out for yourself?

j

PS--We've been up to see "The Wizard of Woods" at about a dozen times this winter, probably more, we're not keeping a "count." Sometimes we have to go over The Hot Loop Trail when the Lower Woods is flooded. It's been a "Great Trip" since October--no matter which way we go. And the water is STILL there. You STILL have time to go see it. Once seen...well...the rest is up to you!
_____________________
Mar 07 2005
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Margs Draw Trail #163Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2005
montezumawell
Hiking3.00 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.50 mph
200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Marg's Draw Trail situation has changed a lot since Joe wrote the above report back in 1997. It has long been an "official" Sedona "system" trail. That means it now geets maintained, signed, marked, etc. There are actually three trailheads accessing Marg's Draw.

The guidebooks list the Sombart Lane Trailhead as the main TH for this trail. Sombart Lane is right next to the Circle K on Highway 179, roughly a mile south of the Oak Creek Bridge in Sedona. This TH is rather smallish with no facilities.

The Schnebly Hill Trailhead also "works" as a Marg's Draw TH. This extensive TH is located at the end of the paved portion of Schnebly Hill Road, almost exactly one mile from Highway 179.

There is ample paved parking, a toilet, two signboard, some picnic tables and a solar-powered Red Rock Pass dispenser.
This end of the Marg's Draw Trail offers of more rolling topography, traversing in and out of some small washes that drain off of the Snoopy Rock outcrop.

The third Marg's Draw TH is known as the Broken Arrow Trailhead--accessed off of Morgan Road. Most people using the Broken Arrow TH are heading out to Chicken Point or Submarine Rock. However, Marg's Draw does, indeed, terminate here as well.

On March 7, I led a hiking group of about a dozen people onto Marg's Draw from the Schnebly Hill TH. We walked past the Sombart Lane intersection to a fairly large drainage that creates a handsome waterfall. We chose this spot as a turn around point for our return to the Schnebly Hill TH. We figured the RT was about 3 miles and it took about 2 hours.

Personally, we prefer to access Marg's Draw from the Schnebly Hill TH. We'd recommend you check out each of the three options and decide which one is best for you.

The trail is now well-maintained with an excellent tread. It is well marked and frequently used by joggers from the local neighborhoods. It offers very nice views of the various rock formations for which Sedona is famous. The vegetation and topography screen out most of the "urbanized views." However, it is definitely NOT a pristine "wilderness" experience. You will see signs of man's presence off in the distance.
_____________________
Dec 31 2004
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Grand FallsNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 31 2004
montezumawell
Hiking1.50 Miles 210 AEG
Hiking1.50 Miles      53 Mns   1.70 mph
210 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The recent rain on the snow did a "number" on the flows of East Clear Creek. Late Wednesday night water at Blue Ridge Reservoir was over EIGHT FEET above the top of the dam! The Chevelon Fork at Wildcat was running over 10,000 cfs! Thursday morning, the Little Colorado River at I-40 near WInslow rose TEN FEET!

Naturally, Grand Falls addicts everywhere were hyperventilating.
We figured the flow would get to the Falls in the middle of the night so we left before sunrise Friday morning, New Year's Eve.
Managed to be the second "party" to arrive at the falls and quite a caravan of gawkers followed us in. We talked with one party who had spent 5 hours on Thursday waiting for the flow to arrive. It didn't and they returned again Friday morning. That's the way it is with Grand Falls--that muddy water gets in your blood and you're hooked forever.

We call that place Mesmerizing Magic. There ain't nothing like it nowhere that we know of. Anyway, back to the facts. The flow in the LC is pretty good and The Falls will continue to run for a few days. It will still be running big on New Year's Day and Sunday. But it will be worth a trip probably at least until mid-week before it begins to taper down to its typical winter trickle.

Yesterday we tried something different. Instead of taking the so-called "trail" down to a point below The Falls only to get literally plastered by a thick patina of incredibly clingy MUD, we decided to take off downstream on the "river left" side. We climbed a short black sand dune to get on top of a bowling alley-flat limestone ledge and then leaded downstream until a short, steep side canyon blocked farther progress. Sure, we could have detoured around the canyonette but we then dropped down the inner canyon's basalt cliff and had a wonderfully leisure walk back through the black sand dunes there. Looking upstream at The Falls gilttering in the sunlight have it a whole new perspective. And the black sand dunes themselves were spectacular. We think you'll like this pleasant side trip when visiting The Falls. Be sure to bring a telephoto so you can get the LC in the foreground with The Falls highlighting the background when shooting from roughly .5-.75 miles away. Great shot! There's a lot more to see and do out there than just the Main Attraction. So tear yourself away from the thunderous glory and go roam around a little. It is magnificent high desert and that snow-covered backdrop of The Peaks towering in the distance makes it all the more mesmerizing magic.

PS--It's always hard to estimate the CFS at The Falls. You can check the USGS AZ Water Resources page and look at the Cameron and Winslow gages to get an idea. If we had to take a wild guess at the flow now it would be in the 1,000-2,000 cfs range. Oh, yess, the road was great. Be sure to take Navajo # 6910--see directions in another log post below. Here's a picture.
_____________________
Nov 30 2004
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Bell Trail to the Crack - Wet Beaver CreekCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 30 2004
montezumawell
Hiking6.00 Miles 280 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   3 Hrs      2.00 mph
280 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
December 1-Update--The IS a new toilet at the trailhead. Two rooms, twin stack, precast concrete. Nice production and long overdue.
There are few people on that trail now--on 11-30-04 we saw no one in 5.5 hours and there were no cars in the TH lot all day.
Beaver Creek peaked at almost 2,000 cubic feete per second on 11-21-04. It went from 10 cfs to its peak in an hour! As of 12-1-04, it is now back to its spring-fed baseflow of 8 cfs.
-----The info below was posted 11-13-04-----
We have hiked up to the Weir and back 3 times since the fall color started turning. On our 11/6 hike, we saw no other people, a "first" for this trail! We are posting today a description of the new parking lot and also (elssewhere) the new Bruce Brockett Trail and parking area. The colors are just now beginning to fade away but they are still worth visting yet this fall. You probably have until Thanksgiving Weekend to get a great view.
------
The Bell Trail Head has a new parking lot. It is a major improvement over the previous so-called parking area. The new parking area is very large and includes a easy turnaround teardrop. About 25-30 cars and SUV's could easily find space in the area. The lot is about a 3-5 minute walk from the old parking area, adding less than a half mile to a round trip hike onto the Bell Trail. Unfortunately, there are still no vault toilets or drinking water at the parking area.
Forest Service crews constructed the lot in late 2003 and early 2004.
National Trails Day volunteers were assembled to revegetate the old and new areas, as well as help construct the new Bruce Brockett Trail. The Bruce Brockett Trailhead is now the "officially designated" trailer parking area for equestrians. Forest Service recreation managers hope separation of the horse people and the hiker people will enhance everyone's efficient and enjoyable use of the Bell Trail #13 it's "relatives," the White Mesa #86 , Weir #85, or Apache Maid #15 Trails.
Interestingly, Forest Service posters on display in the Sedona area proudly point to the use of Red Rock Pass Fee Demo proceeds to construct this new parking lot and the Bruce Brockett facilities. However, there are no fees or passes required at this time to use either area.
_____________________
May 03 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Secret Canyon Trail #121Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar May 03 2003
montezumawell
Hiking6.00 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.33 mph
400 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We went hiking up Secret Canyon with a large group of former HAZ-ites. The trip was organized on a website other than HAZ.

The "bad reputation" of the TH parking lot is not necessarily deserved. We saw several low-slung "rental-car" make it easily.

We went up to the creek bottom just before the HS Trail turnoff and waited about 45 minutes for the group to arrrive.

We hiked with them until lunch above the first noticeable, remarkable, photogenic slot rocks. This is the obvious small slot carved into red bedrocks. You can't miss it.

We figured this location was probably 2.5-3 miles, plus or minus, from the TH. As Mangum states in his book, this general locale is a good place to turn around and go home.

We'd recommend this hike ONLY on OFF DAYS--like WEEKDAYS! I told Susun, "It's only a matter of time until we see an SUV doing 50 mph on this road." It didn't take too long for my "redneck prediction" to come true. Driving out, we came around a curve and some Yahoo was doing AT LEAST 50 mph in a Jeep Liberty SUV.

Granted, this is a rather smallish vehicle to call a legit SUV, but it is nonetheless an SUV--think of it like a bullet!

Luckily, we were in an appropriate location to take safe evasive action and continued on our way untouched by the Slings and Axles of Outrageous SUV's!

J&S
_____________________
Apr 30 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
East Pocket L.O., AZ 
East Pocket L.O., AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 30 2003
montezumawell
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles   5 Hrs      1.20 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Normally, this would be classified under the A.B. Young Trail. It is posted here today under the "East Pocket" moniker in case anyone might happen to search for such a destination.

You get to the East Pocket Lookout by hiking up the 1600 foot climb of the A.B. Young Trail, a nice, pleasant walk up the side of a very steep portion of the West Wall of Oak Creek Canyon. Due to brilliant 1930's CCC-engineering and nearly three dozen switchbacks, climbing up this trail doesn't seem like much of a chore.

When you get to the top of the switchbacks you turn left and proceed through a pleasant 2nd-growth Ponderosa Forest on a clearly obvious trail.

This trail proceeds to a 1942 "historic" fire lookout. You gain another few hundred feet in ambling over to the lookout but you really don't care--the Forest is so nice, you wouldn't mind walking another mile or so just to admire its splendid trees and occasional glade-like atmosphere.

As chance would have it, the fire lookout is now manned and has been for the last week or so. No more than 2 people can ascend into the cupola atop the WWII-era wooden framework of the old tower. There they will be treated to a gracious host--the fire lookout himself, Scotty, we think his name is. Homey!

He gave us directions to go find a viewpoint supposedly looking down into the Secret Canyon region but we bumbled around for awhile and couldn't find it. If you go there, take a TOPO and it will help him give you better advice on how to find this site.

Anyway, the A.B. Young Trail itself never disappoints. It is in near pristine condition. A few errant rocks are all that keeps it from getting a 5 Star rating. As it is, it ranks a SOLID 4 Stars.

Even my Wise and Astute Hiking Partner today, Peter B, observed, "This is a well engineered trail!"

We spent 4:45 roaming around between Highway 89A and the East Pocket Lookout and beyond. It would have been easy to extend that time into a full day...or more!

j
_____________________
Apr 22 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Bell RockSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 22 2003
montezumawell
Hiking4.00 Miles 547 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   1 Hour   35 Mns   2.53 mph
547 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The many moods of the Bell Rock Courthouse Butte Loop are fascinating. Arguably the best times for this hike are during or right after a storm. Today's storm provided the impetus to keep an eye on the NEXRAD radar and time a visit to Bell Rock as the trailing edge of the storm passed overhead. The scudding clouds over Sedona were breaking apart, allowing the sun to beam down like a spotlight sweeping the stage of a rock concert. Suddenly we could see the Cockcomb lit up, then Cathedral Rock, then Wilson Mountain, the Bear. What a laser light show!
The fast moving cloudcover soon vanished and those puffy, brilliant white cotton globs took their place in the sky screen above. The blue following a storm is such a brilliant blue it must be the result of God colorizing Bell Rock with Photoshop!
We don't really know of anywhere when the sky is as brilliant blue than around Bell Rock and Courthouse IMMEDIATELY on the tail end of a storm. It takes on a few hours for the blue hue to change back to normal. But, if you can catch it RIGHT on the tail end of a storm, you're gonna see Big Time Blue, Baby!
We continue to think that the Bell Rock-Courthouse Butte Loop is a vastly underrated hike in most people's minds. They whiz by to bag bigger "headliner" hikes. Hope you set aside a couple of extra hours on your next Sedona visit to check this one out.
Don't worry about crowding. It's not relevant. Today, there were 50 Japanese tourists sitting in the yoga meditation pose beside the trail surrounded by fluttering white primrose flowers with all their faces (flowers AND people) upturned toward the storm-cloud-draped rock. Hey, that's not crowding, that's "hiking fung shei!"
_____________________
Apr 20 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
A.B. Young Trail #100Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2003
montezumawell
Hiking5.80 Miles 2,025 AEG
Hiking5.80 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.66 mph
2,025 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The A.B. Young Trail is a great trail. It could easily become one of our "favorites." We went there on Easter Sunday 2003 for several reasons. First, we wanted to do something memorable. We last hiked this trail as a couple with HAZ members in January 2002. I hiked it on on Groundhog's Day 2003. But, as a couple, we hadn't been back since the HAZ Hike documented in text and photos elsewhere on this fine website. Susun loved her return to the A.B. Young. It's in great shape and it over-wintered very well. The trail is was fully brushed back to a VERY wide configuration last year. All the slide areas were repaired. For all practical purposes, the trail was "restored" in 2002. The USFS did an excellent job and deserve some rare credit.
We also went there on Easter to find out just how bad the crowds would be. Ironically, we saw only 10 people on the A.B. Young Trail, all coming up when we were coming down. Elsewhere, Oak Creek Canyon was a complete and total zoo. The Slide Rock Parking lot was signed "FULL" but there were 10 cars waiting in line on the hopes someone would leave and they could get in. EVERY parking area along the road was full. It was a madhouse.
However, the A.B. Young Trail was pleasant and wonderful.
We parked about a half mile upstream from the Bootlegger area.
We recommend you do the same. Drive upstream to DOn Hoel's Cabins, make a U-turn in their parking lot and then go back downstream to the obvious paved pullout on your right. There's a TOTALLY EASY stream crossing there and then you get to walk a half mile of the "old Model T" road. It's the one that existed about 80 years ago. Believe it or not, there was no one enjoying all the wonderful pools along Oak Creek there. Empty!
It was strange walking along this road with no one else around, as well as having an empty trail all to ourselves for most of the hike while the rest of the area was Grand Central Station.
We also hiked up there to test a theory about going "right" instead of going "left." When most people get to the top of the switchbacks, they turn left toward the fire tower and the overlook described on the TrailDEX. We turned right this time and we recommend you give it a try. There is an informal trail that goes out to a rockoutcrop and it is SUPERB! You can see the Peaks and West Fork Canyon (even the West Fork Parking lot--which was jammed). You get the same panorama as you do with the other site only about doubled in visual treats. The flowers and butterflies were abundant on Easter. Quite a treat!
This is a very HOT trail so don't plan on hiking it during the hot season. Even today it felt quite warm. We wouldn't want to be hiking it during any higher temps that we had today. We took our time goofing off and talked to a couple of inbound hikers for at least 15 minutes and still made the round trip from the car (parked one mile RT from the TH) in 3:30. It felt like a Sunday stroll and that's what we were looking for today. Afterall, it's Easter!
J&S
Pictures will soon be posted at:

http://fromthedge.com/2003/abyoung

PS--The trail was named for the CCC Supervisor, not a local rancher. That was common practice nationwide in the CCC days.
_____________________
Apr 16 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Rim Trail--Grand C., AZ 
Rim Trail--Grand C., AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2003
montezumawell
Hiking3.00 Miles
Hiking3.00 Miles   1 Hour      3.00 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a note about a new section of the Rim Trail at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Rim Trail has existed for decades.
For the past many years it has streatched from Mather Point to Hermit's Rest. During the past few months, the NPS finished a new 1.5 (or 1.3?) mile stretch of the Rim Trail from Mather Point east to the Pipe Creek Vista pullout. The Pipe Creek viewpoint lies between the main entrance road and the turn off to Yaki Point (The South Kaibab TH).

We recently read that this new trail was finished so we went up the day after a spring storm. The air was crystal clear. However, since it was Easter Week, the South Rim was packed with as many cars as during the peak of the summer tourist season. A real zoo scene.

However, there was practicaly no one on this new stretch of trail. Far less than 50 people. That might sound like a lot but bear in mind we had to practically elbow our way through the throngs of people everywhere else. The waiting line for the Hermit shuttle, for example, was over 200 feet long.

The new portion of the Rim Trail is a real sweetie. It is paved and quite wide. There is some real heavy-duty rock work to keep the grade of this trail suitable for wheelchairs. The new views from this portion of the Rim are fantastic (aren't they all?)

One of the real nice "perks" of this trail is the excellent view it provides of the South Kaibab Trail. The trail's signage indicates it is 1.5 miles one way but other information published by the NPS says 1.3. It's probably neither. No matter how long the trail is, figure about an hour round trip because there are so many places to stop and gawk.

This new stretch of the Rim Trail is signed as being part of the relatively new Grand Canyon Greenway. The current issue of The Guide contains no mention of the new trail or the Greenway. The centerfold map shows it but there no descriptive narrative telling about it.

It makes for a great stroll upon your arrival at the South Rim.
We suspect the lack of information about this new trail will keep usage numbers low for awhile. So, even when the South Rim looks like street scene from a cheap Hong Kong movie, this particular stretch of trail makes for a nice little "getaway."

For contrast, we went over to the Bright Angel Lodge to watch people watch condors and then decided to hike a portion of the Rim Trail that goes from the BA over to the "Trail View Point."

That's probably a little less than 2 miles RT and it's a real crowd scene compared to the new stretch. Since the Rim Trail there is barely wide enough for two people, we had to deal with lots of jostling along the trail.

By the way, if you are planning to hike the Bright Angel, you oughta take a stroll over to the high side of the Bright Angel Fault and peer down upon your quarry. That spiffy little Trail Viewpoint is a real sweetie and you can see every little twist and turn of the BA Trail. Neat spot. Kinda puts the South Rim zoo scene into perspective that way, too.

Oh, one other tidbit: They have added a shuttle stop on the South Kaibab Trail Head shuttle bus line. It now stops going westbound at the Pipe Creek Vista. So, now you could park in the "downtown" portion of the South RIm and hike out to the Pipe Creek Vista and catch shuttles back to you car. There never was a shuttle to Mather so that meant you had to an "out and back" if you were doing that portion of the Rim Trail.

J&S
_____________________
Apr 15 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Buckskinner Trail #130Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2003
montezumawell
Hiking2.00 Miles
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour      2.00 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a very pleasant little trail next to Williams. As the USFS writeup above notes, there are several ways to do this trail. Last fall, we walked it from the City of Williams itself. Today, however, it was snowing pretty good so I drove out to the Taj Mahal Ranger Station building here and started from the Bill Williams TH. There was about 4-6 inches of snow on the ground. We learned last fall that USFS people here take a lot of pride in their trail work. Consequently, I had no fear of walking a new trail in fresh snow. Other places, I'd have to be on guard for loose rocks and poor trail tread. Not here! Nary a rock encountered under the snow in an hour around the loop. Signs were all properly placed and actually pointed in the correct direction! What a novel idea! You go up the Bill Williams past the first intersection to the second one. Turn left here and then go to the next intersection. Clover Spring is actually 100-200 yards farther along the trail that goes toward Buckskinner Park. Last fall it was dry. Today it was producing a stream about the size of one or two #2 pencils. Still neat to see it running in the snow. The loop I did today goes up onto a basalt ridge, traverses along the ridge and then drops back down to the BWTH. It's probably a little less than a couple of miles.
Very pleasant in the fresh snow with patchy sunlight sending down bright beams of light through the snow-laden pines. Of course, the wonderful thing about day hiking in or near Williams is the new indoor swimming pool where one can go after a hike. Bliss!
_____________________
Apr 13 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Keyhole Sink TrailFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 13 2003
montezumawell
Hiking1.20 Miles
Hiking1.20 Miles      34 Mns   2.12 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Keyhole Sink Trail between Williams and Parks is the perfect "Sunday Stroll." Although the USFS says this trail is 2 miles round trip, it appears to be slightly more than a mile round trip.
The trail tread is in perfect condition. There is water in the pool amid the basalt bluffs. The aspen grove is bright white in the spring sun. And those petroglyphs are as haunting as always.
The trail register shows people from all over America taking this short hike in recent weeks, all registering glowing comments.
This is not a wilderness experience. You can hear traffic noise from I-40 and the distant whistles of the Santa Fe R.R. But it is a pleasing short jaunt to a really neat place.
The Oak Hill Snow Play area across Old Route 66 from the TH is well marked from both directions.
Simply get off at the Parks exit and then head west on Old 66. Park at the Snow Play lot and then walk across the old highway to the TH gate. The round trip walk itself will take about 30 minutes.
How long you spend at the Keyhole depends on your interest in this enchanting site.
_____________________
Apr 12 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Bixler Saddle Trail #72Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 12 2003
montezumawell
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,040 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   2.55 mph
1,040 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a "good news" - "bad news" kinda trail. Good news is that the trail itself is Outstanding! Really a sweetheart trail in every way. Bad news is that the road has declined in condition and its back to its SOB self. (SOB = Same Old Basalt)

From the saddle between Bixler Mountain and the various volcanic outcrops that comprise Bill Williams Mtn. the trail winds 2.5 miles to an intersection with The Bill Williams Trail #21. The USFS says the trail is 2 miles. It is CLEARLY more than 2 miles.
The info sign at the trailhead is one of the most detailed we have ever seen.

It appeared on Saturday that we might have been the first users of the season on this trail. The tread survived the winter in PERFECT shape. It is a pristine tread. We are pretty critical about trail treads and we could see or think of nothing to improve on this one!

The trail's route is a delight. The views of nearby rock outcrops and distant horizons are SUPERB! The vegetation is wonderful. Spruce, fir, old growth ponderosa and plenty of aspens. But the real star of the show are the gambel's oaks.
There's a HUGE forest of them flanking one portion of the trail.
What an enchanted forest!

The trail is engineered so well you don't feel like you're climbing too steeply. It is also an easy trail to travel back down on. Not slippery like so many volcanic trails tend to be.

We couldn't drive all the way to the TH because of snow drifts in the road. The first big one had turned to mostly ice and we didn't see how we could get traction on it. So we parked and walked the last mile of road to the saddle. There were several other big drifts along the road. If you have aggressive tire tread on your 4x4, it would probably be no problem for you.
We have a Suzuki with a 150000 miles on a tired clutch and highway tread tires. So the drifts were out of the question.

There were a few small drifts along the trail. But the big surprise came on the last 200 yards before it joined the BW Tr.
Solid snow. Deep snow. The BW Tr. at that elevation and location is still drifted over and passable only by people with the proper snow equipment. We didn't see any tracks on it either.

It's a bit tricky finding Forest Road #45. You will be on FR#108 after you get off I-40. When FR108 makes a sharp right turn, look for FR45 about .15 miles later on your left.
Also, when you are driving up FR45, don't get suckered into taking an unmarked road to the left. Supposedly the road was in pretty good shape as recently as a year or two ago. Most likely summer monsoons eroded it pretty badly once again and it is rather rough in places.

Despite the rough road for the last 2.5 miles to the TH, we plan on going back to this "Sweetie" again and again.

J&S
_____________________
Mar 29 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Grand FallsNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2003
montezumawell
Hiking1.35 Miles 210 AEG
Hiking1.35 Miles   8 Hrs      0.17 mph
210 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well, we were able to finally get out to Grand Falls this Spring 2003. It was worth the effort and the time. It NEVER disappoints. It is truly magnificent, powerful and soul-stirring. DOn't be fooled by the short distance of this hike and the abnormally long time to get there to do it. Once you have hiked down below these falls and stood staring up at them, you will soon become convinced it is the best short hike you have ever done in your entire life. There's really no way to describe it. It is truly the most powerful place in Arizona when it is running. Make no mistake about it. Have no doubts.
There is an alternative access route that is much nicer than Navajo #70. (See Below.)

Happy Trails

J&S

PS--We want to get this information to you. Don't bother following the final directions here on HAZ or in Mangum's book, "Flagstaff Hikes." The road is HORRIBLY washboarded. Continue about 5.1 miles beyond the boundary of the Navajo Reservation to a left turn onto Rez Road #6910.

The distance from the pavement here is only about a mile more than Navajo #70. You've only driven an extra five miles, perhaps 6-7 minutes. Trust us, this road is regularly bladed and it is GREAT! You can cruise 40-45 mph with no fear. If you truly want to abuse yourself, your passengers and your vehicle, then stick with Navajo #70.

There is one tricky turn toward the Falls overlook area. Most people miss this turn, drive all the way to the river's edge and then backtrack. They usually wind up taking a very rough track instead of the "main" access route.
_____________________
Mar 15 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Bald Hill (Clr Ck), AZ 
Bald Hill (Clr Ck), AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2003
montezumawell
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This entry is logged under The Bald Hill Trail because that was our destination and objective today. Technically, it should be logged under the West Clear Creek Trail #17 which is the trail that takes off from the ever-popular Bull Pen area near Camp Verde.

The Bald Hill Trail is technically the upper terminus of the West Clear Creek Trail #17. However, all of that jargon is too technical for us. We've always known the Bald Hill Trail as the Bald Hill Trail and the West Clear Trail #17 as that heavily populated hiker highway that runs through Bull Pen.

You get to the Bald Hill Trail by turning off of FR 618 onto FR 214 and driving 5 miles uphill on the Cedar Flats Road. You come to FR 214A and turn right. If you have high clearance and don't care about possible ruin of your tires, drive another mile on FR 214A to the Trailhead. If, however, you are like us and happen to enjoy and appreciate your vehicle, you will park just off of FR 618 and walk the extra mile to save the wear and tear on your vehicle and its tires. It only adds 40-60 minutes round trip depending on your hiking speed.

The Bald Hill Trail is the shortest, steepest way to drop into the West Clear Creek Canyon Wilderness in its lower reaches. The Blodgett Basin Trail also dives into West Clear Creek but it is a longer trail and comes out almost in the lap of Bull Pen. The Bald Hill Trail drops you into an area out of reach of casual hikers coming up from Bull Pen.

It is VERY steep and the footing is trecherous, to put it mildly. As always when traveling on volcanic cinders and basalt gravels, the footing bears some passing resemblance to greased ball bearings, especially when cautiously stepping downhill. Coming uphill isn't nearly as bad. However, the Bald Hill Trail is quite steep, laughably so in some places. At one point in a lens of ancient volcanic ash, the so-called water bars are spaced so closely together they resemble ladder rungs. And you do kinda feel like you are climbing a ladder out of that pleasant wilderness canyon.

We went down there today because we are intent on seeing as much waterflow this month as possible. After eyeing Oak Creek, The Beaver Creeks and the Verde River it was time to look longingly at West Clear Creek's copious flows.

We weren't disappointed. Previous visitors to this area know of a prominent area of conglomerate rocks broke off in enormous chunks. The best rapids were in this area. All that snowmelt rushing and squeezing through such a tiny area produced the predictable showy display of whitewater we sought.

We purposely waited until an overcast, high humidity day with a steady breeze to hike this trail. This cut down our water consumption to realistic levels. West Clear Creek's south facing canyon wall trails can be brutally hot even in spring under full sunshine. They are to be totally avoided when temperatures climb above 100 with full sun.

West Clear Creek is running rather large with the product of this year's snowmelt. It can't be crossed and shouldn't be attempted at these levels. Wait until the water drops if you are planning to criss-cross the creek on the normal route between Bald Hill and Bull Pen.

We saw only three people and a dog. They signed the trail register on their way out at Bald Hill with only two words: "worn out."

We think Bald Hill is an excellent destination for those who seek to experience West Clear Creek without having to interface with the hordes of humans who populate Bull Pen seemingly year-round. The Forest Service says the elevation gain is 1800 feet but our GPS pegs it at 1675. Figure about an hour down to the bench and about an hour up. Give yourself at least another hour to roam around down there and add extra time if you are walking in from FR 214. You probably also ought to figure 30-60 minutes each way from Camp Verde or I-17.

We did encounter a rather excessive number of ATV's on FR 214. If you are not paying attention, it would be easy to collide with one or more of them. Beware!

Well, here are four (out of 26) pictures we took today, as well as the link to the USFS website that specifically mentions Bald Hill. Please be sure and go to the TrailDEX's "West Clear Creek Trail #17" for further information.
--------------------------------
What a pleasant Wilderness Canyon!

34°-33.651'N
111°-38.250'W
Elev: 5775 feet
_____________________
Mar 12 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
The Crack, AZ 
The Crack, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 12 2003
montezumawell
Hiking6.50 Miles
Hiking6.50 Miles   3 Hrs      2.17 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Technically, this triplog entry belongs on the TrailDEX as part of the Bell Trail. We thought we'd log it as "The Crack" in case someone is specifically looking for The Crack. We've heard people over the years call this hike, "The Crack on Beaver Creek" without ever mentioning the Bell Trail. It can get confusing. So that's why it's here instead of over where it really belongs.

Anyway, you have to hike the Bell Trail to get to The Crack. It's a little over three miles and take a little less than 1.5 hours generally. Don't turn off at the Apache Maid Trail intersection. That one climbs a steep hill with no water.
Keep going to the next reigster box and turn left and go to the end where you can't go any farther upstream without being a rock climber or someone who likes to swim upstream.

The Crack is a basically a narrow spot in the creek where the water has cut through red rocks like they have in Sedona.
It's a big "party" spot on weekends and can be pretty popular during the week, too. The rocks are real neat and it's a fun and easy place to go. It's not exactly a flat trail as you climb well above the creek level between the Weir cutoff and The Crack. But it's not a big climb and it's a real pretty view.

Anyway, we hiked up there 3/11/03 to see how the higher flows were behaving at The Crack. We have posted up a thumbnail page at:

http://fromthedge.com/2003/thecrack

There were two campers who tented right at The Crack and we saw 9 other hikers and 3 dogs on the way out. There was a backpacking group of 8 in the parking lot getting ready to go. Probably to The Crack.

Beaver Creek is real pretty right now. Green grass, trees beginning to leaf out. Beautiful water flows. Neat stuff.

J&S
_____________________
Mar 08 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Verde Falls, AZ 
Verde Falls, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 08 2003
montezumawell
Hiking5.00 Miles
Hiking5.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.25 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Here's a really neat destination on the Verde River below Camp Verde. It's FAMOUS in river runner circles but virtually unknown in hiking circles. It's the biggest rapid on the Verde River from tip to toe. Today it was running a little more than 1,000 cubic feet per second, a "great play level," as river runners are wont to say. The obvious routes to hike into Verde Falls are closed from 12/1-6/30 of each year because of nesting bald eagles downstream from the Falls. The boundary of the closure actually begins at the Falls but the roads and trails that normally lead there are closed miles before they get anywhere near the place. So today, we found a new bushwhack route to the Fall without setting foot in the official closure area. It's too complicated to describe here but if anyone is serious about hiking out there, PM or EM us and we will tell you how to legally do it.

Here are 5 pictures from today:

http://fromthedge.com/2003/verdefalls/

Hike ON!

J&S

Oh--almost forgot, we figure the hike was 5 miles RT and the four hour ET includes a LOOOOONG time hanging out at the Falls.
_____________________
Mar 07 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Bell Trail to the Crack - Wet Beaver CreekCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2003
montezumawell
Hiking6.00 Miles 280 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
280 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We hiked to the Weir today. We wanted to go to The Crack but had already spent 3.5 hours helping a neighbor work on a "private trail." Anyway, it was 52 cubic feet per second when we were there. It was beautiful! The previous midnight peak was close to 200 cfs and, as of this writing, it's already back to 128 cfs. But 52 cfs was GRAND! Oddly, there was NO ONE on the trail. It was errie. Fridays are normally pretty crowded.
We passed a solitary Forest Service worker on the way out and, near the trail head, three college-age party people with beer in hand. But, up at the Weir, it was as peaceful as a Day in Heaven!

J&S
_____________________
Mar 03 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Woods Canyon Trail #93 - SedonaSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 03 2003
montezumawell
Hiking7.00 Miles 255 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   4 Hrs   22 Mns   1.60 mph
255 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
(This was added on March 6-7th--We put together a webpage to help you understand the hydrology of this drainage. It's at:

http://fromthedge.com/2003/drybeaver/

Here are some subsequent notes added at 5:55 a.m. 3/7:
The warm temperatures had the normal, expected results yesterday--they plumped up both Wet and Dry Beaver Creeks. We can hear the flow nicely from our home on Wet Beaver. It is such a welcome sound.
When the snowpack melts like this, the creeks usually peak at their gauges about midnight, plus or minus an hour or so. That represents the previous day's snowmelt passing the USGS gauges. Then they recede until the following evening before beginning to rise again to their midnight crest. We don't know what the "daytime low" will be this time around but you can bet it's going to be a "healthy flow" that will be higher than the previous day's low flow. As the temperatures increase in the next few days, so to will the overnight flow peaks. The Baker BUTTE SNOTEL shows the current low temperature as 26 degrees, which is quite warm for 7,300 feet. A low temperature at that high level isn't sufficient enough to "tighten up" the snowpack from the previous day's meltage. SO, it's looking real good for hiking along either Wet or Dry Beaver Creeks.
We doubt that the Dry Beaver flow will get high enough to close off the trail by the register box. However, if the flow surprisingly exceeds about 350 cfs, it could be impassible at about the one mile park because of water filling a stream braid.
--------------------------------------------------
Below is the text of the original report--
-----------------------------------------
Revisited Woods today at roughly 50-60 cubic feet per second flow. The snowpack upstream on both Woods Canyon and Rattlesnake Canyon virtually guarantee this stream will run beautifully for at least days if not a week or two. Since we at the Rattlesnake USGS gauge yesterday, we wanted to see how much water was coming in from Rattlesnake compared to the flow from Dry Beaver Creek (aka Woods Canyon). We'd say at least forty percent of the flow was from Rattlesnake. Maybe more.

It's a wonderful hike that leads to a great destination.

We're posting again to note that a portion of the trail rec'd some serious maintenance. After the Hot Loop intersection for about 2/3rds of the distance to Red Rock Beach. Waterbars, treadway maintenance, outslope amendments. Good stuff by people who obviously had the proper tools and training. The trail register box indicated no one had been up the creek, so to speak, since 2/24. We were the only people there today.

We've been talking a lot about how this just might arguably be one of the longer "creekside" hikes in this region (not including Payson).

Anyway, we're posting back up on this trail because we'd suggest you schedule an outing here in the next week or two and see for yourself.

J&S
_____________________
Mar 02 2003
montezumawell
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 36

74 male
 Joined Feb 03 2002
 Montezumawell, A
Rattlesnake Canyon - SedonaSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 02 2003
montezumawell
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,080 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
1,080 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a most interesting hike. FR 647 takes off from the Stoneman Lake ext's southbound pullout. It used to be a nice, graveled road for about 3/4 of a mile. A summer storm must have washed out the portion right after the cattle guard at the exit.
We wouldn't recommend it for a passenger car but high clearance is OK. We traveled in .6th of a mile before parking. The whole area was snow covered and we could see the road was, in essense, a large lake for the next quarter mile or so. We walked the rest of the way down to the USGS gauge. We spent about 25 minutes admiring the huge waterfall and then walked back. It was a real mud-snow-flowing water slosh going and coming. RT time, including the layover was 2:09. We've always heard about the waterfall and figured today would be a good day. It was really spectacular! And Rattlesnake was still flowing kinda small--only 3.35 feet on the gauge. We wouldn't want to try to see the waterfall when it was really running as it would be dangerous to go near the edge to get a good look. Sections of the trail were frozen ice and many of the basalts were coated with ice. There were icicles forming underneath the basalt ledges from water dripping down. The brush was covered with heavy wet snow and we got wetter from side-swiping the bushes than we thought we would. It's really, really muddy up there now. But it was well worth it! Can't imagine why anyone would want to drie past the end of the grey gravel under these conditions--it'd be terrible for their vehicle and would really ruin what semblance of a road remains. Someday, maybe somebody can enlighten us on how one supposedly gets around that 30 foot waterfall. Maybe there's a route on the far side but one can't safely cross the creek now without risking limb and/or life.
Neat place, though, and we both said it was worth the mud slogging.

J&S
_____________________
average hiking speed 1.86 mph
1, 2  Next

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.

helpcommentissue

end of page marker