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681 triplogs

Oct 31 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Murray BasinAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 31 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking15.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
800 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Back again to the closest hike to my house, Flat Top Mountain, which is a part of the Murray Basin Trail System. It has a separate trailhead, not signed--see directions in my other trip logs. This time only a little different--I was trying out my new Mountainsmith Oasis 35 "fastpack." It fits pretty well, but my old trusty A-16 external frame pack is still a LOT more comfortable, and I could comfortable tote a lot more weight in it than the 30 lbs. I had in the new pack. I bought the Mtn.smith so I could do more scrambling/bouldering/ledging/canyoneering type hikes. It is pretty small, but ok for a 3 day backpack, which is all I usually have time for, anyway. I think it will work pretty well for a trip to South Canyon in Grand Canyon in Dec. The thing I dislike most about the pack is that the belt digs into my ribcage. I don't know why they made it so wide right where it would hit your ribs. I try to wear it lower on my hips, that helps a little. It's a women's small, and my waistline is not too skinny, maybe around 29 inches, but if I still had the 23 inch waist of my youth I'd be pulling that packbelt all the way in as far as it goes, so I don't see how they can call it a women's small. I'm not that short, either, almost 5'3". I think the waistbelt is a bad design.

Anyway, Flat Top is always a nice 4 mile r/t hike with a view if you are visiting Eagar/Springerville.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Oct 20 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Romero Canyon PoolsTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 20 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking5.60 Miles 980 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles
980 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I camped two nights at Catalina State Park this past weekend, attended a family reunion, but I managed to find time for a hike to Romero Pools on Sat. morning, and to Montrose Pools on Sunday morning. I took a dip in Romero Pools--a couple of the pools are deep enough again after having been filled with silt washed down from above after the big fires. It was fun to revisit this place. I had not been there for more than 7 years, since I have moved away from Tucson. I used to swim there quite frequently in years past. It looks much different than before, and I had a little trouble picturing which pool used to have the rope swing and big trees next to it. It is very different now!

Montrose Pools had a lot of black silt--I assume this has something to do with the fires as well. It is a lot shallower than it used to be, also.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Oct 11 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
South Fork Trail #97Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 11 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking14.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles
1,500 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Hiked up the South Fork trail yesterday, turning to the south at about the 8,000 ft. contour, following a small side creek to an area known locally as Hamblin Draw or Melissa Springs. On the way back to the main South Fork I took another route, scared up a big bull elk with twisted antlers. I think I've seen him before.

The main creek is up due to recent rainfall, the quakies (aspens) have all gone to yellow and so have the other deciduous trees along the creek, willows, ash, etc.

I had the place to myself until I was almost back to my vehicle. Then I saw several other hikers. I thought that was a bit unusual for a Tuesday--to see four other hikers there.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Oct 01 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Fatmans Loop Trail #25Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 01 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking2.50 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
600 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Hey, this was a pretty nice short hike. I had an errand to run in Flag today, so I thought I'd catch another quick hike. I've been trying to learn the trail system there--a little at a time. The hike took less than an hour, and the trailhead is right in town, on the east side, very convenient, especially if you have other errands to run! It was pretty--lots of Gambel's Oaks, and of course pines and many interesting shrubs. Lots of really neat big ol' boulders, too. There are still some wildflowers hanging on, too.

Since the trail connects to so many others, most notably Elden Lookout, I will be back soon! The parking lot had three cars in it at 8:15 a.m. but was full when I returned. I didn't expect much solitude in that area, however!
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Sep 25 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Oldham Trail #1Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking5.50 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles
2,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This was a quick trip to Flag, so I got in a quick hike. However, I drove to the upper trailhead and hiked DOWN to Buffalo Park and back up again. Saw about 5 mtn. bikers--they were very polite, three equestrians and about 6 other hikers. It was a nice quick workout, and gave me an idea of the area--I had previously hiked only the Humphreys Peak trail and mtn. biked in Ft. Tuthill area. So it was nice to learn about this big trail system right next to town. I will go back to the area, but will continue to explore the rest of the trail system--Mt. Elden, Fat Man's, Brookbank, Rocky Ridge, etc. My daughter is in college at NAU, so I do a lot of quick trips to Flag.

Right now fall is coming on, but there are a few flowers left over from the monsoon. Weather was clear, sunny and brisk, in the 60's, I would guess. Perfect hiking weather!
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jun 07 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
South Fork Trail #97Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 07 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking14.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles
1,500 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Hiked up the lower trail about 4 miles (one way) last Sat. June 3rd. Following bike tracks all the way, then ran into a friend of mine on a bike. He said that there still are not many people going up the right hand fork of the trail, along the creek, past the fork in the trail. (The left fork goes to Mexican Hay Lake, which is dry. The right fork, the one we were on, follows the creek.) I have followed the creek past the "end" of the trail. You can keep on going for quite a distance before you run into a lot of deadfall. You can keep going, but you have to keep climbing over the deadfall. Eventually you'd get up to FR 409, if you wanted to keep on negotiating the fallen logs. It is a good place for a weekend backpacking trip, which I have done there twice, including one time in Feb. (!!!) It was a mild Feb. that year, temps got down to only 30 degrees at night so not really cold, and it was dry--no snow.

The best time to backpack there is in May and June. If you wait until monsoon then the poison oak plants get really big and you have to wade through them! But right now they are small and you can dodge them. I'm allergic to that stuff. I took my dogs there one time in the summer, had to bathe both of them and myself afterwards! My poor Lab got poison oak on her nose! I guess I missed that part when I bathed her! I didn't know dogs could get poison oak, but one thing is for sure--they can give it to you after they run through it! This is because the poison on the leaves is in the form of an oil, which rubs off onto the dog's fur. Then you pet the dog and you get some of that oil on yourself. By the way, in case you didn't know, poison oak and poison ivy are almost the same thing--one is just a subspecies of the other. They look very similar, three leaves, etc. I think poison ivy is found in the Eastern US and poison oak in the West, but they are just about the same. If you know the look of poison ivy in the East you will probably recognise poison oak as well. Three leaves, sort of shiny, etc. If you know you've been exposed then you need to take a shower as soon as possible, and scrub really well with a washcloth and soap. Use cool to cold water so your pores don't open as much. You can get it again just from handling the clothes you wore, so wash them right away, also.

Since this trail is about 20 minutes from my house I go there often. But I hadn't been up the creek route for several years, mostly I take the Mexican Hay route because it is a lot steeper and gives a very good workout.

As for the bears--someone mentioned in another post he was worried about carrying a sandwich. The bears in this area are very shy, it is extremely unlikely they'd attack you over a sandwich! You should hang up your food at night, however, if you are overnighting. Mostly because of the squirrels and mice, but also away from bears.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jun 02 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Murray BasinAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 02 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking15.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
800 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Well, I seem to be just about the only one posting for this area. I rode the Murray Basin 8 mile loop on Wednesday this week. I have ridden it dozens of times before as the 180 trailhead is only 2 miles from my house. However this time was different--I rode it on my new bike. It is a pretty fun trail, with quite a bit of single-track, lots of little ups and downs. And the new bike rides like a dream. It's a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR comp. Fox float suspension, disc brakes, all the bells and whistles. Before, I was riding a $400 Schwinn Mesa. What a difference!

I like this trail but I don't think it is going to be very popular with people coming up from the Valley for several reasons. For one thing, the loop I ride has never been properly posted (I should mention this to the recreation person at the Springerville Ranger District, I guess.) So you just have to "know" which turns to make. Another reason is that this area is pretty dry, with junipers and pinon pines, and lots of open grasslands. It's very pretty during August and September, when the whole area greens up, and there are lots of wildflowers. But the rest of the time it has this really dry look to it--not much color I guess you could say.

In fact, it is so dry that the pinon pines have been dying off for the past couple of years. There is a rest stop with two benches in the shade of a grove of them, and about 6 or 8 of those have died, with several lying on the ground.

Another reason is that people who come up here to go mtn. biking either want to be up in the cool spruce and aspen forest, or they want to downhill. This ride is just plain old crosscountry singletrack, with no technical parts at all. It is fun, though. For hiking, it is not very challenging. Do the Flat Top portion of it and at least you'll get some elevation gain.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
May 28 2006
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Mount Baldy LoopAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 28 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking15.00 Miles 2,044 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
2,044 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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The East Fork Baldy trailhead is only about a forty minute drive from my house in Eagar. I left this morning at about 5 a.m. After going out to the car I realized how chilly and windy it was, with a few clouds forming, so I went back inside and got a stocking cap. I also had a fleece jacket, windbreaker and poncho. I should also have taken some gloves--on the hike up I kept my hands in my pockets most of the time.

I started hiking at 6 a.m. I saw two elk right away at the edge of the meadow, about 1/2 mile from the trailhead. I had also seen several small groups of elk on the drive up. As I am trying to get in a little better shape for a backpacking trip in the Sierras in Calif. a month from now, including Mt. Whitney, I had decided this was to be a fast hike, and I would time myself. I made it to the saddle where East and West Fork trails meet in 2 and 1/2 hours. Another few minutes of hiking and I was at the "white man's summit." This slightly lower summit was closed several years ago, but has been open to hikers, with all the "no trespassing" signs removed, for about 3 years. Total time was 2 hours and 43 minutes to the summit. I huffed and puffed a little going up that last stretch, but still kept a pretty good pace. The wind and cold was a lot fiercer up there than it had been in the woods. However, for most of the hike I did wear my lightweight fleece jacket and stocking cap, adding a windbreaker some of the time--especially needed that windbreaker on the top! The views are marvelous on the top, and if you have only been to the saddle because of the former "no trespassing" signs I highly recommend that you go back there again so you can summit!

There is no snow at all on any part of the East Fork trail. However there was a big patch near the airplane crash site, and another big patch near the summit, which you have to hike around as the trail goes right through it. But not nearly as much trouble as last June, when we post-holed through quite a few patches along both East and West Fork trails.

I was back at the car at 11:25 after a short break on the top and another short break part way down. (I did not do the loop, I only went up and back on East Fork Trail.) It got a lot warmer toward the bottom. I didn't see any other hikers until about halfway down. It was nice to have so much solitude on Baldy, for a change. It seems I usually hike there with friends, and they don't start as early as I usually do. Usually in summer it is warm enough to hike in shorts, but one should always pack rainwear and possibly a lightweight fleece--storms come up fast sometimes and they are pretty chilly.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
May 15 2006
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Escudilla TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 15 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking6.60 Miles 1,315 AEG
Hiking6.60 Miles
1,315 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Hiked to fire tower yesterday morning. Trailhead is 1/2 hour from my front door, so I have done this hike many times. I do wish somebody would fix the original write-up--there are a lot of peakbaggers out there, and as has already been pointed out, the fire tower is not at the true summit.

There is no view at the true summit--too many trees--but there is a very large rock cairn and hikers' register. It is probably necessary to use a map and compass or GPS the first time you go there, but after the first time I could always find my way there. It's about a 1/2 hour walk from the tower if you know the way.

It is still very early spring on the peak, the aspens aren't even leafed out yet, although they are at the trailhead. It was a very pleasant morning, and I saw no one coming or going, except for the fire tower guy.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Apr 17 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Fish Creek Trail #60Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking5.50 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles
1,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I led a hike here for the Southern Arizona Hiking Club in early June of 2004. It was just as this HAZ write-up describes. However our eventual destination was a deep swimming hole in the Black River, about 1/2 mile upstream of the confluence of Fish Creek and Black River.

The creek was running at a moderate flow when we were there, so no Tevas were necessary to cross it, just boulder hopping. We disturbed a bear within about 1/2 hour after starting the hike. It was down in the creek bottom and when it saw us it took off up a steep open hillside, giving us a view of its backside for about a minute or so. Those bears sure can run fast!

Last summer we went to the same swimming hole, but this time hiked down Black River from Bear Creek trailhead. Both hikes very easy and rewarding. You just feel like you are a million miles from anywhere.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Apr 15 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Casa MalpaisAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking0.25 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking0.25 Miles
50 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Since moving to the Springerville/Eagar area in 1999 I have twice been employed as a tour guide at the ruins, and I am also a member of the local chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society which is affiliated with the museum and ruins.

The description given in the write-up was pretty good, but the museum never did charge to get in as long as I have been here, although the ruins tour always did have a fee. (And yes, the guides do appreciate tips! They are not well paid!) The phone # for the museum is 928-333-5375. (The phone # given in the write-up is for the Chamber of Commerce in a side room of the museum.)

There have been a lot of fanciful notions about "Casa" that gave it notoriety, especially during the early '90s when it received a lot of publicity, an article in Smithsonian, etc. I think a lot of the talk about "catacombs" and such has died down. Thank goodness the archaelogists now have a lot more scientific means to study things, and hopefully a lot of those fluffy "New Age" notions will just fade away. It's true there are some cave-like areas on the site which used to contain bones and artifacts. These were all looted long ago by the locals.

One thing seems clear in these new studies. Most Puebloan sites were not occupied for very long, often for less than 100 years. The reasons for this could be due to poor farming methods wearing out the soil, over-hunting of the area by the inhabitants, etc. As for whatever happened to these people, well they just moved on. Their descendants are probably now living in Zuni, Hopi and the many pueblos in New Mexico.

Casa Malpais is worth a visit for sure. Around Springerville there are said to be about 28,000 archaeological sites. A site could be just one pottery shard, or a lithic scatter (flint chips from making arrowheads) or a petroglyph panel. There are many hundreds of petroglyphs within about 10 miles of town, but none of them has a sign pointing the way to see them.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Apr 15 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Havasu Canyon TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking21.00 Miles 2,496 AEG
Hiking21.00 Miles
2,496 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I went last weekend, April 7-9. I had been there a number of times before, so I knew what to expect. However, it was fun taking my 20 year old daughter there for the first time. I always let people get a little bit ahead of me when approaching the first view of Havasu Falls. I want to to see their faces when they go around that bend and see it for the first time!

I always take off my boots as soon as a campsite is chosen, and put on my Tevas. I wear them to go down the ladders to Mooney Falls and I wear them to hike down to the Colorado River. I don't put my boots back on until it's time to pack up my gear and hike back to the car. I don't hike to the Colorado every time I go to Supai, though, because it is an all-day venture. Sometimes it is nice to just relax and do some swimming.

I noticed on this trip that there were fewer dogs running around, and the ones that I saw looked pretty healthy and happy. The Indians' horses still looked overworked, though.

They have gone back to the Magic Flying Potties system of restrooms. They fly portapotties in and out by helicopter. All the portajohns are equipped with harnesses and hooks to be easily picked up by the copter. Anyone who ever experienced a Havasupai outhouse will appreciate this! The portajohns stink, sure, but if you saw the old outhouses you'll not complain.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Apr 05 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Wupatki Ruins National Monument TrailsFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking1.60 Miles 775 AEG
Hiking1.60 Miles
775 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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A backpacking trip in Wupatki National Monument? Yes, there is one, but there's a catch. You have to make a reservation early, and the hike is only done on weekends in April and October. And it's led for you by one of the rangers. It costs $50, which does not include food or anything else, just the guide service of the ranger. It goes to an isolated ruins called Crack-in-Rock, so called because in order to ascend to the mesa top where the ruins are you must climb an ancient stone "staircase" up through a crack in the side of the mesa. I did the hike with my son in 2001, but recently I checked the website, and the details are still the same.

The hike goes onto the Babbit Ranch most of the way. The ranger will point out a number of other mesa-top ancient villages along the route, which is pretty much cross country--there isn't much of a trail. However, it is not a difficult hike for people who do a lot of hiking. There will undoubtedly be people in the group, however, who are non-backpackers, or even, non-hikers. They tend to slow the whole group down a lot, so you have to be patient, which was a bit hard for me. It's about 8 miles to the campsite, which is waterless. You will carry in a gallon or two of water to last you the weekend.

There are a lot of really remarkable petroglyphs near the ruins. These were just as interesting to me as the ruins themselves. Although the area appears very dry and rocky, the ancient ones were able to make do there because the Little Colorado River runs very nearby, and its bottomlands were used for farming corn, beans and squash, the three main staples of the diet of Southwest Puebloan peoples.

I don't recall the exact age of the pueblo, but the ranger will explain all that. I highly recommend this hike, especially if you like ancient cultures. As for scenery, it's a fairly bleak area on the Colorado Plateau. Wide vistas, big sky, with lots of mesas poking up everywhere.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Mar 31 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Murray BasinAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 31 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking15.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
800 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This morning before work I hiked the Robinson Hollow Trail up and around to where it connects to the Flat Top Trail, and then back to the car. I accessed this via the non-signed trailhead off 12th St in Eagar. Take Main Street in Eagar to School Bus road--(where Main St. bends to the right it then becomes School Bus.) Immediately turn left onto Water Canyon Road. Then take the first left, onto 12th St., just past the big old saw mill bldg. Where 12th St. turns a corner and becomes Line St. you'll see a small dirt driveway off to the right. Park in the small dirt area there, surrounded by fences, in front of the self storage units. You'll see the gate with Forest Service signs and the trail. Once you go thru the gate the trails are signed. (The folks who live near the trail are used to the hikers, horse riders and mtn. bikers going by along the first few hundred feet of the Flat Top fork of the trail.)

Today, just getting over a 6-week bout of a bad cough, I opted for the Robinson Hollow Trail, looping around to catch the Flat Top trail and back down to the car. Pretty much my first real exercise in 6 weeks. I followed this trail, which I helped to build in 2000, around and up through the little canyon called Robinson Hollow to the top of a saddle. A few minutes hike past the saddle you'll come to a junction. Take a left here and go up the hill to the Flat Top Trail. (If you take a right at this first junction you'll end up down in Murray Basin.)

After climbing several switchbacks you'll reach the Flat Top Mountain Trail. Turn left to get back to your car. Or turn right to go to the top of Flat Top, about a mile, for the nice views. The loop itself is around 3 and 1/2 miles.

The surprising thing about this morning's hike was that after a bout of coughing during the first 5 minutes, I got into a rhythm and felt pretty strong. I didn't feel that I had lost a great deal of my fitness during the six weeks of illness. I kept my usual brisk pace and didn't get winded.

This area is pretty dry right now. It has always been a dry area, but right now it's really looking a bit forlorn. The main vegetation consists of junipers and pinon pines, with some ponderosa pines in Robinson Hollow. Recent extreme windy conditions (around 60 to 90 mph two days ago, according to local talk) have knocked down a few dead old trees along the trail, but nothing was blocked. I don't like hiking here in summer except in the very early morning or in the evening. It is pretty hot and dry on these slopes--none of the high alpine feel you'd get at the higher elevations above 9,000 feet.

If you just want to climb Flat Top, you can skip Robinson Hollow altogether, and just follow the signs at the trailhead to the top of the old road, which has been converted to a trail. At the top of the road to find the actual summit is a bit of a challenge, but basically you turn to the south and find the highest ground. It is pretty flat up there, and the summit is way over on a point on the south end. I usually just go to the top of the rim and sit on the rocks overlooking the towns of Eagar and Springerville. I can see the roof of my house from there. And when I get home, I look out my living room window and see Flat Top.

This is a good early morning hike for me. I do it on my mtn. bike, too, but I'm not completely well yet, am not ready to ride just yet. I can start at 6 a.m., hike for a little over an hour, and be back home to get ready for work. It was chilly and cloudy this morning, but not too cold, probably around 39 degrees. I am really glad to be hiking again after being sick for so long! I have a backpack to Havasu Falls coming up in a week, and it looks as though I can get myself ready for it!
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Mar 13 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
South Canyon RouteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 13 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking13.00 Miles 2,588 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles
2,588 ft AEG
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1st trip
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Did this as a two night backpack (plus spent the night before on the rim) in Oct. 2001. Ditto what everyone else says about it. There were 6 of us, we did not use ropes, but helped each other by handing packs down ledges. I would add that using an external frame pack not advisable at all. I realize most people don't use these old dinosaurs any more, but I like mine very much--for trail hiking! But this is more like canyoneering.

We visited all the sites, the Anasazi ruins. (I had to tell one of my companions she couldn't keep a pottery shard she had found! And she was supposed to be this incredible outdoorswoman.) Stanton's Cave--knowing what happened there is more interesting than the cave itself, due to it's being gated. It's worth reading the wonderful book Down the Colorado by Robert Brewster Stanton, after which the cave is named. This book will give you some historical perspective, and is a darned good yarn to boot. Of course, Vasey's Paradise is as gorgeous as they say. And the rafters are cool--they gave us beer.

But we also spent our layover day hiking downstream to see Redwall Cavern. This was not mentioned in the previous write-ups. You will be able to see it across the river. Needless to say, do not attempt to swim the river to get to it, you can see it just fine from the opposite shore! It takes quite awhile to hike there due to the fact you are climbing over big and small boulders the entire distance. Probably at least 2 hours each way, as I recall, even though the actual distance is fairly short. It is a huge shallow cave, well known to Powell buffs and river runners.

This trip is not for the faint of heart, as they said, and also I would recommend training with a heavy pack on very steep terrain.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Mar 09 2006
azbackpackr
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67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Keet SeelNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 09 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking16.00 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles
1,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I did this hike during June of 2000 also. If you are used to backpacking the Grand Canyon this is a really easy hike, especially if you stick to the trail, and don't walk in the creekbed and quicksand. I led a group of 8 plus myself, and there were 2 or 3 who were not hardcore backpackers, and although they were extremely slow they did fine. It is flat most of the way, even a bit tediously flat, and there is some sand that makes for slow walking. The only steep part is at the beginning when you drop down into the canyon (and of course have to hike it on the way out.) The canyon itself is fairly flat. It's a remarkably beautiful area, with gorgeous red cliffs all around. The rangers do recommend you carry two gallons of water per person. I had a hard time convincing a couple of the folks to leave their tents in the car, as there was no forecast of rain and tents were completely unnecessary, and why carry that extra weight if you don't need to? The water did look a bit dirty, but several went swimming anyway.

The bad part about this hike is there is nothing to do except see Keet Seel. You are supposed to stay in the little campground the rest of the time. You are not supposed to go exploring around because if you go outside the fence you are on the Navajo Reservation. There is a FENCE around the campground, and although it is very pleasant there under the trees it gets boring. Also unless you like hot weather you are pretty much out of luck. I managed to get a permit the weekend after Memorial Day, and it was never much warmer than 85, but usually it's hotter than that during the summer there. And as it is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day you don't have the option of going in April or October, which would be a lot more pleasant.

Although this is a remarkable cliff dwelling I will probably not go again--for me it was sort of a "been there, done that" type of experience. I don't think, in light of some of the other really difficult hikes you have on this website, that you should allow that "difficult" status to remain on this hike. Most of the people who do this hike do it as a 17 mile r/t dayhike, so it can't be all that hard, can it? In fact, since the campground set-up was so boring, several of my group said if they had to do it over again they would opt for doing it as a dayhike.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Mar 09 2006
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
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67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Indian Spring Trail #627Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 09 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking7.50 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles
300 ft AEG
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BIKE IT, HIKE IT OR OVERNIGHT IT!

I have ridden this every summer for years on my mountain bike. The 7.5 mile loop would be considered a beginner/intermediate ride, whereas if you add in the West Fork Trail it becomes an intermediate ride. I highly recommend that you do turn off on the West Fork Trail, go as far as you can ride and then hike the last 1/4 mile down to the Black River. (Only the best riders will want to ride that last part.) We always leave our bikes right near a wooden boardwalk that crosses an area of very sharp stones, then walk to the river, and have lunch. Then we hike back up to our bikes and ride back to the Indian Springs Trail, and finish up the loop. This gives us a total of about 13 miles.

If you are hiking the Indian Springs Trail is awfully easy. It's good for taking small children and for those who like a very smooth surface to walk on. There is a short spur trail to the top of Big Lake Lookout mountain that adds interest to the hike.

The 7.5 mile loop might make a good beginner overnight backpack for young Boy and Girl Scouts, or any other beginners. There are several springs along the way to obtain water, and numerous areas flat enough for camping. And it is gorgeous high alpine forest, with aspen, fir, spruce and pine trees, interspersed with open meadows. There is always a good chance of seeing elk or bears. In the late summer it is very green, with lots of wildflowers in the meadows. You could also bicycle camp as riding with all that gear on your bike would not be that bad on this well-surfaced trail.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Feb 01 2006
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
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67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Los BurrosAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Feb 01 2006
azbackpackr
Mtn Biking14.00 Miles 500 AEG
Mtn Biking14.00 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   5.60 mph
500 ft AEG
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1st trip
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I mountain biked this trail at the end of Sept '05 and again two weeks later. Both times with riders better than I am, but I did fine. There are two places where I had to walk the bike. One is called "Collarbone Drop" by the locals, because a guy broke his collarbone there one time during the Tour of the White Mountains. The other is a right angle downward turn over big rocks. I got a new bike after these rides, a much better bike with full suspension. I think I could ride that right angle turn now with the new bike, but I'm too chicken for Collarbone Drop! It is a very steep, short slope. There are two ways to ride it, but I saw both my friends take the right hand way. They say it's easier, not as likely to fall.

This ride is best in the dry parts of the year--late spring, early summer, early autumn. The rest of the time it is too muddy, and the locals discourage riders from tearing up the trail when it is wet. During this very dry winter it has been rideable quite a bit of the time, however.

The campground where this ride begins is very nice, and usually has empty spots. There are elk bugling in the forest in the fall--if you camp there you will hear them.

This trail connects with other trails. Get the info about this at the Lakeside Ranger Station on weekdays. If you can't go there on a weekday, call them and ask them to mail you the info in advance. Their phone # is: 928-368-5111
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jan 29 2006
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Murray BasinAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 29 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking15.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
800 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hi, I'm new to this site, don't know all the ins and outs of how you do things.

I go to Murray Basin all the time. I can ride there on my bike from my front door in Eagar in about 10 minutes. I know the people who built it. In fact, I helped build the Robinson Hollow portion of the trail. There are three trailheads. One is at the end of Saffel Canyon, off Water Canyon Road in Eagar. Another, unsigned one, mostly for Flat Top Mountain Trail and Robinson Hollow Trail, is to be found off Water Canyon Road also. From Eagar, take Main Street to School Bus Rd. Take the first left, which is Water Canyon Road. Again take the first left, which is 12th Street. At the point where you are forced to make a left onto Line St. look for small dirt road on the right, there at the exact corner of 12th and Line. You'll see the self storage place right there in front of you. Park in this small dirt area and go thru the gate. The trails are signed once you get inside the forest boundary. These two trails connect to Murray Basin on the other side of Flat Top Mountain, a very smallish, very flat mountain that dominates the skyline in Eagar. For those of us who live here, the Flat Top trail is our quick fix hike, the one we like to do when we don't have time for anything else but really need to get a hike in! You gain a bit less than 1000 feet elev in two miles, so a fast uphill hike, not terribly steep but good enough. Very nice view from the top. And if you want to find the actual summit, better have a map and compass! For peak baggers, there is a sign-in jar. For geo-cachers, I'm told there was a cache somewhere up there, not sure where it is. My son found it just lying there in plain sight, so it has probably been stolen by now.

Another trailhead is on Hwy 180. Head out of Springerville or Eagar toward Alpine on 180. After you pass the rodeo grounds on the outskirts of town go about another mile and watch for the trailhead sign on the right. Very easy to find.

The reason this trail is so boring for hiking (especially over in Murray Basin) is that it was not designed for hiking! It was built and designed by a mountain biker, with the help of some horse people. I have hiked, biked and ridden horseback on it. But mostly I bike on it. Some day I would like to cross country ski on it, but so far there has never been enough snow since I learned to xc ski 5 years ago. You would have to catch it just at the right moment. Parts of it would work well for skiing, so one can always hope!
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jan 29 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 388
 Photos 4,841
 Triplogs 744

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
South Fork Trail #97Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 29 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking14.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles
1,500 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
If instead of going to Mexican Hay Non-Lake (it's dry this fall and winter, although it had water in it spring and summer of '05, but was never full) you take the right fork of the trail at the sign by the side of the trail that is about three miles in you are in for a treat. To find this sign, hike 2 and 1/2 miles up the trail until you get to it--the sign says that Mexican Hay Lake is 4 miles to the left, and that the end of the South Fork trail is one mile to the right. BUT the right-hand trail goes a lot further than just one mile! That is the area to overnight backpack to! There are many places to explore up the South Fork. There is no trail to speak of after another two or three miles but you can still follow the creek all the way up to Forest Road 409. There are a lot of places to camp there along the creek.

This right fork of the trail is best suited for hiking or horseback, not mtn. biking.

Another option is to hike up until you get to the dirt road which crosses the trail after about 2 miles. This is FR 8070A, aka Phone Line Road, and is closed to vehicles. If you turn right and hike awhile you will get to Greer Lakes.

I hiked South Fork to Mexican Hay twice in the past month, before this last snow. The creek is frozen. It is very beautiful, even in this dry winter, but right now it would be hiking in the snow. I go there four seasons, not just three. But I live only 20 minutes away from the trailhead. I prefer to hike it. I find that my mtn. biking skills are not up to riding this trail, but many people do love to bike it.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
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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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