It's been too long since I have visited this area.
Hiking clockwise, a couple in the group took loppers and hand clippers, but Fraser (Woodbury/Dripping Trails) did not need too awful much trimming - we still did some major preventive damage though. Then... off to the raging torrent that was/is Randolph Canyon. WOW! What a flow - it was awesome; Randolph along with about every side canyon was flowing - it was a sight to behold. We did considerable catclaw damage in this portion!
Then, just about when we had had enough of the wet-shoe, creek-cross mamba we arrived at the J.F. trail junction for the up-and-over back to Woodbury.
I would suggest a visit soon if you have ever wanted to hike this area; with all the water flow it is an oasis.
Took the creekbed for the upper section of the hike; water trickling/flowing in most of the slickrock sections - really beautiful!. Further on, easy bypass of the falls just to the right (LDC). Beautiful fall-emblazoned sycamore and cottonwood trees lined the creekbed all the way to Toney Ranch. Sunday morning dawned with some 'frost on the pumpkin', but warmed shortly. Retraced our steps back out on Sunday.
Notes: 342 Road (from FR 650) has a couple of rock ledges shortly before the saddle that may dissuade some stock vehicles - low range is near-mandatory for these ledges.
Manzanita and whatever those holly-looking bushes are are reclaiming the old 'trail', which when I hiked this 20 years ago was pretty decent, now it is nearly obscured. There was clear-sailing down the drainage, more so on the return, as I spent about an extra 1.5 hours with hand clippers on the way in, although nearly no catclaw!
Road: Road is dry and not too badly rutted! We were held up by the 1st Nation guys. $25 R/T.
Water: Pools, some holding quite a bit in the slickrock about 20 +/- minutes after entering the RA drainage from the Esplanade. No other water observed until shortly before RA.
Rappel site has new rigging (we down-climbed/handline).
Roaming around the EB shortcut? intersection with S. Bass trail I came across a gal I had not seen/spoken with in 13 years (Her 1st time in GC in 14 years!). What are the odds.
Although it is obviously a pretty well-used bike trail, the only other human was one trail-runner over the whole 5 mile loop (includes the 2 linked trails and hiking out-and-back to Chicken Point on the Broken Arrow Trail as well). Cemetery is an interesting stop-over with some older headstones, although the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition should invest in spell-check - as on a multitude of their expensive signs they have it marked as cemetary. igallery/image_page.php?id=5269 For an urban(ish) hike this little loop has some decent views.
Hiked a bit of a "T" hike, starting at Hardscrabble down to Oak Spring then eastish on the Oak Trail #16 and headed down-and-back the Narrows about an hour each way and then over to the Pine T/H.
Leaves are about 3 weeks past prime but still colorful, especially the maples.
Saw Shawn R. and a couple of com-padres apparently scouting a trail re-route near the Narrows intersection. Also saw the AzT section steward out for a walk on the Oak Trail.
A bit early for the fall colors but there were a few pockets of oaks and maples that were vibrant. Trails are in good shape although some overgrowth on the eastern sections of Rattlesnake and some deadfall further down in the lower sections of Rattlesnake.
Beware if you are going to the shootout cabin; from the saddle down to the cabin...cat-claw abounds, in some areas two c.c. bushes on either side of the trail had intertwined themselves - hacking through will take some tenacity (and blood-letting).
Apt description... Done as a shuttle. North parking is at MP 288 of SR288. McFadden sign is small and nondescript, be alert.
Took a Geiger counter but was dismayed how few 'hot' rocks we found - even in/around the mines.
The Rim Trail 139 portion of this hike is not seeing much if any use. It seems in a few areas that the locust may be winning the fight - you will need tenacity to power through these few sections.
The grass is growing back after the fire... problem being is the grass is about 3' tall whereas the cairns are 2'.
But with those small whines out of the way, the hike has terrific views, wildflowers galore and solitude.
Pleasant trail up through the woods to a scenic hot spring. Trail is nicely wooded although about 100% of the spruce were killed off by beetles a few years ago, so be prudent, especially if you camp near the springs*.--------------------- (* actually I would avoid it if you have loved ones).
Terrific backpacking trip up to the hot springs. (Note: These are the highest natural hot springs in North America) About every type of flower known to Colorado is blooming right now along this trail. Springs are about the perfect temp for me. Met a few other backpackers there - all-in-all a worthwhile trip with pretty camping and nearby peak-bagging opportunities.
Note: Heard but was unable to locate a moose (or mooses) in the tall, thick brush.
Wonderful hike, albeit a bit busy for my taste (twas a weekend). It just happened to be in the right time slot as we were headed over Independence Pass that day.
Trail is in pretty good shape and hiking counter-clockwise from the eastern trailhead each of the first two lakes stays hidden until you crest the grade and then... BAM!- there it is. Grade of the hike is steady, nothing drastic. A+ for wild flowers and as most trails are in the area, a nice walk along a creek.
fs.usda.gov/Interne ... ,792
I loved this hike. The dip down into/out of Chino Canyon is kind of a pain but the riparian oasis at the bottom makes it better. Terrific bomb rock near the summit made for confident scrambling, even for the less-experienced in our group. Saw no one all day, and it was a nice one. Recommended!
What a terrific hike!
Whoever built this trail trail did a bomb job...VERY well-constructed. The brush is attempting to reclaim the trail (pumpkin, and here I am without my lopers!), but it is still very nice. With a couple of exceptions the grade is very manageable - I love the way the trail is routed as well.
Saw some plane wreckage on the slope north-west-ish of the peak and also a memorial about 1/4 mile down from the peak (north)just adjacent to the trail.
Some after-hike checking seems to indicate that the plane was/is a B24 Liberator; it seems all 11 on board perished when they overshot Tucson on a night-training mission. It appears that the memorial is disassociated from the wreckage.
For anyone familiar with the area, I have a question.... From what I could tell looking South-ish from the peak the trail seems to continue down and then along a ridgeback. On Caltopo the trail seems to merely end which seems doubtful to me. Can that be accurate? Or maybe it bears east over to Bear Canyon (npi) or SW to Jackson and is just a blank section on the map? [ gps route ]
Came armed with hand trimmers and lopers but there was little to do - although I did do some cat-claw eradication just to keep in shape for it.
Trails were awesome and water was flowing in every drainage of note - a beautiful time to do the hike. No trail sign at either end of the Paradise Trail, but it it pretty obvious.
Coupled this loop with an additional out-and back two miles of the Four Springs Trail above Kent Spring.
Trails are in terrific condition and well-marked. I was interested to read while in Madera the history of 'Whiskey High Ball' Kent..... quite the fella and namesake of the spring.
A wonderful loop up the Carrie Nation Trail, across Agua Caliente and down the Super Trail. Some of the upper trails are 'closed' due to bear activity, but of course the bears cannot read and we saw, count-em, FIVE on the upper section of the Super Trail between Josephine and Sprung Spring.
Trails are in pretty good shape although the Super is getting pretty beat-up by significant equine use.
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.