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41 triplogs
May 06 2014
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Temporal Gulch - AZT #4Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 06 2014
evanshiker
Hiking12.30 Miles 3,870 AEG
Hiking12.30 Miles   6 Hrs      2.05 mph
3,870 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We started working on the passages of the AZT south of Tucson last January, doing in-and-out day hikes. We hike on Tuesday's and have been doing about two hikes a month in this area. We have now completed Passages 7,6 5, and 4, in that order.

When we started, there was snow on Mt. Wrightson and on shady parts of these passages.
Over this time we have seen the snow melt, the dormant vegetation come to life, and the wild flowers blossom. We have found these Passages to be beautiful. Neither my hiking partner nor I had spent any time in this part of the state before this, and we have fallen in love with the area. Beautiful wooded, rolling grasslands with magnificent vistas: to the east are valleys between different, identifiable mountain ranges and to the west is Mt. Wrightson and its sister peaks. We've become familiar with the proposed Rosemont open pit mine (and signed the online petition against it); encountered illegal's going south (south ??, BP said they were probably smugglers going back to Mexico with their loot); did part of one passage on mountain bike (and after one of my spills yielded a sprained ankle, learned this old geezer should give up that form of seeing the trail), learned some of the history of that gold mining area; saw three different persons/groups actively sluicing for gold; was impressed with ALL the mining claims signs in Passage 5; looked unsuccessfully for Greaterville so renamed it "Lesserville;" explored the old Greaterville cemetery keeping a lookout for old ghosts; found a rentable "bed and (no) breakfast" cabin at Kentucky Camp that I may try in the future; and met a few hikers including a trail runner who was trying to go from Mexico to Utah in a continuous hike, averaging 40 miles a day (impressive and embarrassing). Our one disappointment was that we never sighted the jaguar that has been caught on camera in the area.

I have posted the set of pictures that my hiking partner and I took on Tuesday's (5/6/14) hike on Passage 4 from Gardner Canyon Road (the north trail head for Passage 4) south to just north of Bear Springs (6.2 miles one-way; 12.4 miles rt) because it finishes our work on that passage, the 4th of the passages we have done, and the last hike we probably will make in the area this spring as the temps go up. We plan to come back and begin Passage 3 this fall after cooler temps set in.

Out of the approximately 500 miles (one-way) on the AZT that I have finished, these southern passages are as pleasant as any others I have walked. The trail is in very good condition and the peace and serenity encountered are priceless. Besides, you are always under the watchful eye of the BP.
Named place
Named place
Mount Wrightson
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Dec 22 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Table Top TrailSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 22 2013
evanshiker
Hiking7.56 Miles 2,133 AEG
Hiking7.56 Miles   5 Hrs      1.51 mph
2,133 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
In place of our Tuesday hike this week (it's Christmas eve, if you don't know - you still have 1 shopping day left), we hiked yesterday. My hiking partner suggested the Table Top (TT) Trail - she and her husband had hiked it about 4 years ago. I checked earlier trip reports but found that nothing had been filed since Jan of this year. So much for current information.

TT Trail goes up TT Mountain in the TT wilderness, all part of the Sonoran Desert National Monument. This latter area, encompassing about 500,000 acres, was made a NM by Pres. Clinton in Jan of 2001. The trail is accessed from Vekol Valley Road, a dirt/sand conveyance extending south from exit 144 on I-8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend. Vekol Valley, which Vekol Road follows, is a favorite path for smugglers and illegals entering the US from the US/Mexican border. The number of gun fights and murders in this area has been increasing as other routes into the US have been tightened. The smugglers and illegals use Table Top Mountain as a reference point for navigation as they try to get to I-8 where they might be met by their cohorts.

Call us naive, dumb or daring (we might be a combination of all 3), but we decided to take a shot at this hike. ;) Vekol road was very good into the ranch turn off that you pass, but from then on it hasn't had any recent work. Most of the washes it crosses were well eroded, making high clearance necessary if you want to make decent time on the 15 mile drive. All were dry, so 4W was not necessary.

We saw no one on the drive in and only one vehicle on the way out - they did't shoot at us and we didn't shoot at them (actually, we hike unarmed).

This is a challenging hike - the trail seems to be getting steeper as you go (that's because it really is). But you are rewarded with beautiful Sonoran desert vegetation, interesting rocks, and splendid vistas on top.
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Dec 10 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Deer Creek Trail #45Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 10 2013
evanshiker
Hiking6.50 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles
900 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to get some mileage on the old legs, but nothing stretching them too much, so we chose to hike the Deer Creek Trail in the Mazatzal's, which I had never done. It never appeared all that wonderful from 87, but it was close and about right. So we set the Gowan grave as the turn around point. Weather was cool - in the high 30's at the trailhead. Didn't know how hard the grave would be to find.

At one point about 2 miles in we missed a turn - the trail looked like it took to the drainage which is very rocky going. In reality, the trail made a hard left, and being somewhat overgrown, we missed it completely. In addition the "official" GPS track maker must have missed this same turn, as the track also took to the drainage. So we just thought that this must be the "official" trail #45.

Anyway, we kept going - slowly due to the required rock hopping and some easy creek crossings. When we got to about where the the grave was, we couldn't see it from the creek. I had the USGS quad topo on my GPS, so I set a waypoint at the cross representing the grave on that map and let the technology take us there. Hit it dead on, you might say :sl: .

We were surprised by two things: one, the grave area has had little or no vandalism (which is good), and two, the "official" #45 trail goes right by the grave. Thus, if we had not missed the turn and taken to the creek bed we would not have had to search for it.

For the return, we decided to follow the #45 back to the trailhead - and this made it obvious where we had missed the turn. Oh well, we got to make a partial loop out of it - and we would not have enjoyed the sights along the creek bottom.

I will upload a GPS track that has both routes on it, so others can choose which to use or make a partial loop hike out of this.

I will say that the first, approximately, one mile of the trail (from the trailhead until you reach Deer Creek) seemed to confirm my negative impression gained from many drive-bys on 87. But after that, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is a rather neat cool weather hike. I would recommend it.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Clear Ice
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Sycamores had not dropped their leaves as yet, although they were well past their prime.
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Nov 30 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Saddle Mountain Easy MinesPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 30 2013
evanshiker
Hiking7.60 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles
1,400 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a little tardy and I apologize, but I thought I should post it anyway since there has been no trip report on this hike since last summer when the trail and trailhead were still closed in the aftermath of the Sunflower fire of 2012.

Two friends, one of whom I had not hiked with since the '70s, wanted to give their legs some exercise. I suggested this trip, as defined by GPSJoe (another of his many contributions to this site and the hiking community, bless his soul). They thought it sounded great and set it up. I had done this hike back in 2010 and enjoyed it very much. Then I remembered that the Sunflower fire in 2012 had burned over this area, and wondered if a trip now would be that enjoyable. I checked the trip reports and found that none had been filed since last summer (2013) and it said that the Mormon Grove trailhead, the starting point, was still closed. What to do? We decided to see if it was open, and if it wasn't to go to plan B which meant another destination.

We were pleasantly surprised to find the trailhead and trail OPEN! So we decided to go with plan A, and to check on how the area was recovering. The old corral at the trail head is essentially gone, as are the signs at the intersection of the trail in with the AZ Trail.

But we were also pleasantly surprised to find that the fire was spotty, hitting some areas and not others (not uncommon in wildfires). The trees were burned badly in the fire areas and will never come back - but the undergrowth is bouncing back in surprisingly fine fashion (in our opinion).

I left my camera in the car, but BobF, one of my hiking partners, took lots of photographs which he kindly allowed me to post on this site. You can see for yourself, how the area looks, thanks to Bob.

One problem that remains is that trail erosion has resulted from rains since the fire (also, not uncommon after wild fires). In places, the trail is in poor shape, but passable.

Two other surprising things resulted from this trek:
First, the mercury processing plant and most of its artifacts have been removed from the site. This includes the rock crushing equipment, the buildings, the old truck, and the mercury condenser. Still left are the concrete pads and the steel ball mill. I suspect the ball mill is packed with re-hardened rock dust and weighs way too much to attempt to remove. I don't know when and how this removal happened. The roads in and out don't look like there has been big equipment brought in, so it remains a mystery to me. Maybe someone on this site knows the answer to this mystery. Helicopter?

The second thing is that in another act of forgetfulness, I left my hiking pole at one of the mining audits up canyon from the processing site (this is not at all surprising to my wife). I didn't realize that I didn't have it until several miles away on our trip back to the trailhead. I wasn't going to extend the trip by 4 miles just to get it.

But, to turn this lemon into lemonade, SuzanneT and I decided to hike into the site on the following Tuesday, our regular hiking day, to attempt to find my pole. But we decided to go in another way. We chose to use FR 25A, so we parked at about the intersection of FR25 & 25A and treked in from there. I'm glad that I didn't drive this road, since there are several areas that involve rock crawling, which my Xterror is not equipped to do. But it is an interesting hike (and a shorter route in) along Sycamore Creek, which was flowing. There were lots of fall-painted Sycamore trees along the creek bed.

Suffice it to say, that I did find the hiking pole on this trip, giving cause for celebration - mission accomplished. Thanks for listening.
Geology
Geology
Cinnabar
Culture
Culture
Memorial
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Oct 10 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
White PocketNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2013
evanshiker
Hiking1.70 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking1.70 Miles
200 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Made my second trip to this fascinating place last Thursday. Last time we were here in July it was at least 100F and, although we had nice clouds, no one wanted to stay to capture the place in the late-day sun. It was too hot for most of the party.

This time we started at 6 am from Mesa, drove through snow and slick roads just south of Flag and ate lunch at a place along 89A after the Navajo bridge. We went with the intent of capturing late sun and clouds. This time, it had to be in the 40F's and with stong winds - and a little too many clouds. In fact, the clouds built up on the western horizon so much that it cut off good light way earlier than we had desired. But we did capture a little of what we wanted if we were willing to wait for those short periods when the sun broke through. But there was much that we didn't get to.

We had planned on doing Wire Pass Trail on Friday and then driving on to Canyon de Chelly, where we had arranged a guide to take along on a 4W outing up Canyon del Muerto on Saturday. So we couldn't really try to capture more at White Pocket the day after we had gone in. But we'll be back.
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Sep 03 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
See Canyon TH - Highline - Rim Loop, AZ 
See Canyon TH - Highline - Rim Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2013
evanshiker
Hiking11.00 Miles 1,800 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   7 Hrs      1.57 mph
1,800 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Started at the See Canyon #184 Trailhead:
Highline Trail #31 east for about 2.5 mi.
Drew #291 north for about 1 mi.
FR 9350 west to Gen. Crook Trail west for about 4 miles
See Canyon Trail south 3.5 miles to complete the loop

Left Mesa in t-storm but arrived at the See Canyon Trailhead (SCTH at the end of FR 184 just north of the village of Christopher Creek) with beautiful cloud-free skies and temp just under 70F. Found no signs identifying trails at the TH, but after exploring, found that you needed to catch the trail out of the southeast corner of the parking lot in order to get on the Highline and not be above it - that route brings you right onto the Highline past an intersection for the See Canyon trail on your left. Crossed Christopher Creek (i.e., the creek, not the village :) ) and found the more aggressive inclines on the Highline to be wet, muddy and slick from very recent rains - two steps up and one slide back, if you know what I mean. In these sections, we carried about a pound of mud on each boot - I mean, hey, let's give those legs a real workout! But soon got to the Drew trail. It's in good condition except that the last long switchback seems to go east forever. But once you make the turn back west, it's a much shorter walk to the rim. Then followed the FR that goes by the upper Drew TH, past the first closure point and on to the next closure point. Hang a left there (don't turn right and follow the Willow trail - I think that is what it was labeled) and you should be on the Gen Crook trail that is marked by silver chevrons nailed to the trees. This will take you all the way See Canyon TH. About a mile from the Upper SCTH, clouds began to set in - nothing threatening, just some welcome shade. Once you get to the Upper TH you'll say, "Only 3.5 miles to go to the car and a nice lunch in Payson." Yea, sure. Upper parts of SCT are rocky and steep. We found it slow going and we way underestimated the time to hike down. But we did finally make it down (obviously :) ). This beautiful canyon looks like a jungle in places - it's beauty is well worth the effort to see it. It did begin to sprinkle on the lower half of the SCT, but not even enough to call it a rain.

All told, a combination of cardio and endurance and quad workouts. But a beautiful day on the trail. Oh, did that food in Payson taste extra good!
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise Virga
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Apr 16 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
West Pinto Trail #212 - SuperstitionsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2013
evanshiker
Hiking8.00 Miles
Hiking8.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Tuesday already? Gotta get on the trail then. This week we hiked the first 4 miles of the West Pinto Trail (from the east end) and back. Trail is in very good condition and offers some peaceful hiking along a babbling brook. We turned north when we reached the intersection with the Campaign Trail, only to find our path blocked by an Arizona Black Rattlesnake. It so "rattled" our lead hiker when she stepped very close to it before noticing and hearing it rattle, that she wouldn't continue (see photos). So we returned to the West Pinto Trail to continue our hike (the Campaign Trail was much more overgrown than the Pinto Trail). We spotted some Arizona Grape/Canyon Grape vines and young fruit along the trail - again a new discovery for me (see photos). All-in-all a great and exciting day in HAZ country.
Named place
Named place
Kennedy Ranch West Fork Pinto Creek
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Apr 09 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Brins Mesa Trail #119Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2013
evanshiker
Hiking9.80 Miles 541 AEG
Hiking9.80 Miles
541 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Did GPSJoe's loop Tuesday a week ago, but didn't have a chance to post anything before now - after all, I am retired! It was a cool, but overcast day, making lighting tough for good pictures in red rock country.

Started from the west BM trailhead and started the BM trail but turned onto the Soldiers Pass Trail which took us past the seven sacred pools to the Devil's Kitchen. We then followed the Jordan Trail and the Cibola Trail to the BM trail at the BM east trailhead. Took the BM back to the West BM trailhead and the Xterror. While on the BM trail we took an unmarked side trail out on the BM to an overlook of Mormon Canyon and (when flowing, which it was not) Bridal Falls. The latter should be quite a sight if you could ever time the visit right AND you didn't get shut out by flowing strems that must be crossed to get there. This latter excursion on BM added about 1.5 miles to give a total for the loop of a little under 10 miles. Not a sunny day, but an otherwise great hike.
Fauna
Fauna
Mexican Jay
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Mar 19 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Two Bar Ridge Trail #119Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2013
evanshiker
Hiking8.00 Miles 2,600 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
2,600 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
If it's Tuesday, we're destined to be on a trail somewhere in AZ. So where do we want to go this week? I have never been in the NE corner of the Supes so decided to give the Two Bar Ridge Trail/(part of the AZT) a look, and bag a few more miles on the AZT. Got to the TH about 8:30 am and it was already warming up. FR 83 was OK, but I would advise high clearance and good tough tires for the last, steep part up to the TH. 4W is not absolutely necessary, but nice. There was a 2W drive pickup, with new, but not off-road tires, at the TH, so it can be done. My stock Xterror with BFG "All Terrain" tires took it all in stride.

This trail is exposed to the sun for much of it's distance, save for a very nice stretch about 2/3rds of the way to the Tule Trail intersection, which has some nice size trees. Once you hit the ridge (about 3 miles in), you're back to full exposure. We hiked about half a mile beyond the Tule Trail intersection and then returned the way we came, making an 8 mile RT. One of our hiking group doesn't like temps above the mid-70s when there is lots of sun involved and we were pushing above that.

There were very, very few flowers in bloom, but the vistas were spectacular and worth the effort to get into this trail and to hike it.

Another good day on the trail.
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Mar 12 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Vineyard Trail #131Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 12 2013
evanshiker
Hiking6.10 Miles 2,167 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles
2,167 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We hiked this trail from the Mills Ridge TH down to 188 on Tuesday. It was one of many missing pieces we have left on the AZT. We dropped a vehicle at the north end of the bridge on 188 and drove a second one on to the TH arriving there about 9 am. A FS crew w/horses was already there and more were to arrive. They were setting out northward on the trail (opposite to the direction we were headed) to where the overgrowth has become "mean." Their mission was to clear the trail, with an intent of finishing this by April 15th in time for an organized hike as a part of some big national scenic trails meeting. One of my hiking partners had hiked this passage down from 4Peaks a few years ago and found it choked with overgrowth - not pleasant in her mind - if you're going to give blood, you might as well do it at the Red Cross.

Trail south from the TH is in good shape and the spring flowers are just awaking. One spot had lots of yellow poppies. We passed the Payson Packers [didn't ask them what they were "packing" ;) ], who were hiking up. Later as we were retrieving the car at the TH we passed them again hiking down the FS road which accesses the TH.

Weather was fantastic and the views exceptional with some snow still visible on 4Peaks, Mt. Ord (I think it was Mt. Ord) and the Sierra Anchas on the east side of Roosevelt lake.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Poppies are out in bloom.
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Feb 26 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Cooper Forks Canyon Cliff DwellingsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2013
evanshiker
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles
1,200 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Other Ruins: SADJL-Hilltop Ruins; Cooper Forks Canyon

Back in December of 2012, my hiking partners, Audrey (my grand-daughter), Lyne, Suzanne, and I hiked to the spectacular Cooper Forks Canyon (CFC) cliff dwelling ruins in the Sierra Ancha mountains of central Arizona (see the pictures I posted on this site for the December hike). On the hike in, we spotted some "hilltop" ruins from several points on our trek, ruins which, at the time, we just assumed were part of the CFC ruins we would see shortly. When we arrived at the CFC ruins, it became clear that the ruins we had spotted on the way in were not a direct part of what is known as the CFC ruins, but stood alone. We could not spot them on the way out until we were at a distance from the CFC ruins where we had to turn around to see them behind us. We didn't have the time or the energy to go back and to try to actually find them. Another trip would be required - after we did some research.

In addition to pictures, I posted a trip report on that December hike, thinking that someone on this site probably was aware of the existence of these "new" ruins and knew a little of their history. Although several people responded to my postings, especially the last picture posted in the set, no one seemed to know about them. We did generate some discussion about the "find" which started us, and a responder or two, looking at GoogleEarth (GE) in hopes of finding a clue as to their actual location. Grand-daughter Audrey and Oregon Hiker did locate something that looked man-made and was in about the right area. With this clue from GE we started thinking about when we might be able to embark on a discovery hike to "ground verify" their location and condition.

Last Tuesday (2/26) provided that opportunity. JoeD, who had hiked with us before, joined Lyne, Suzanne and me as we headed out to the CFC trailhead - unfortunately my grand-daughter was unable to join us, but we'll get her there in the near future - after all she was there when we spotted the ruins on our Dec. hike and she did uncover a clue as to where they might be. She is an important part of the team!

It turns out the clue we had was spot on, although we did have a challenge in getting to the location defined by the clue. These "new" ruins (new at least to us and we couldn't find any work documenting the site) were perched on a small hill or knoll west of the CFC ruins and just a little north of the trail that is most commonly taken to the CFC ruins. I thought that the easiest approach to the top of the knoll would be from the southeast, climbing up from the CFC trail to what looked to be a saddle and then following the saddle over to the knoll. But I was out voted by my hiking team when we got to a point where we could visually confirm the layout of the terrain around the knoll - my team wanted to climb up a chute or gulley we spotted on the northwest side of the knoll (the chute separated the knoll from a "sub-knoll," or sister-knoll, to the north) and approach the top from there. Once we got up the chute we still could not access the top of the knoll because of the very steep sides. And the climb to this point caused lots of torn clothing and pierced skin - bushwhacking at its best ;) . So we kept working our way eastward and southward around the knoll until we were on the southeast side where we found an access route to the top - it was the one I had originally thought we should use, based on my viewing of GE. Ah, life is living and learning, but no sour grapes here.

Once we got near the top we found the remains of what might be called a hilltop ruin; it was not a cliff dwelling as such. There were remains of at least 5 rooms, all formed by walls made of neatly stacked rocks. Some of the walls were in severe disrepair, and no roofs, or remains of roofs, were apparent. Whereas the walls of the CFC ruins had mud mortar between stones, these hilltop ruins did not. The rooms were laid out adjacent to one another in a north/south direction, the largest being about 18x18 feet (roughly estimated by pacing the distance) and the smaller ones about 15x15 feet. Of the exterior walls that were west facing, the ones on the middle three rooms were mostly gone. These west facing walls of the two end rooms are what is visible as you hike in from the trailhead toward the CFC ruins. The back of the rooms on the east side seemed to be formed by the natural rock outcroppings on the top of the knoll. There was one south facing exterior door on the south wall of the south-most room, but it had no lintel or wall above it. This door was narrow enough that my day pack touched both door jams as it passed through. Unfortunately, I didn't plan well enough to have taken along a measuring tape and a sketch pad to make a more accurate assessment of the structure. We'll do that when my grand-daughter does the trip.

Not wishing to be presumptive, we have chosen to call these the SADJL-Hilltop-CFC ruins, SADJL being a pronounceable acronym made from the initials of our five first names (Suzanne, Audrey, Don, Joe, Lyne).

I have posted pictures from our discovery expedition here on this site.

Maybe this "discovery" will start the hypothesizing about the purpose of these ruins. Were they built by the occupants of the CFC dwellings? If so, what was their purpose? Was it storage facilities? The CFC dwellings have no storage space, so is this where they would have kept their Christmas decorations out of the holiday season? :sl: Or was it a first line of defense from marauding tribes? Other Sierra Ancha ruins have some similar structures near the living quarters, so this type of out-building is not unprecedented. If it wasn't built by the CFC occupants, who did build it? Was it built earlier than the CFC ruins? Was it the precursor to the building of the CFC dwellings? Now the fun begins. Chip in and help us solve the mystery.

Beautiful weather (cloudless sky and temps in the 50s), combined with a well-defined purpose, a successful expedition and great hiking partners, made for another memorable day in the Sierra Anchas. Indiana Jones leads a dull life compared to us! Oh yes, we did leave the gold goddess statue hidden away just as we found it. We just didn't want to have a large spherical stone rolling down the knoll toward us as we hiked out. :sl:
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Feb 18 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Coon Creek RuinsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 18 2013
evanshiker
Hiking4.50 Miles 579 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles
579 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We did this hike from FR38, down FR 1076 to the ruins and returned the same way. We found some changes in the roads since the hike description and even the last trip report were filed. We left Mesa about 7 am and were at the trailhead (for us, the intersection of 38 and 1076) about 9:30 after a stop in Miami/Claypool. It was a beautiful, cloud-free day with temps in the low 60s.

We drove right by FR38 while tooling up FR 203, but suddenly realized that we had probably passed it by and backtracked about 1/2 mile. Lo and behold, 38 is now signed where it intersects with FR203. But the first 1/4 mile of 38 remains the most difficult - especially if you are driving something other than a high-clearance vehicle, you will have to be VERY careful. 4W is not necessary. After that, 38 is a piece of cake - unless it is wet (which is wasn't for our trip).

Even FR 1076 is now signed, so finding it is no problem. In addition someone has been at work with a bulldozer cleaning up 1076 - presumably so that ranchers can get transportation in to get their cattle. You could easily drive nearly to Coon Creek! But we wanted to put some mileage on our legs so we hiked this road.

The short trail down Coon Creek from where the FR 1076 turns up creek, is very quaint and nice. Wish the whole trail was like this. The trail up the canyon wall to the ruins seems well used and steep. We were expecting some catclaw, but didn't encounter any overgrowth. Our clothing remained free of new snags and rips.

The ruins are quite nice, in spite of some people defacing them (primarily carving names, etc., into the ceiling beams - shame on you Ashton of "Ashton Jan 2012" - and a recent fire pit in one of the rooms). I hope the newly improved roads will not lead to an increase in vandalism. For what good it would do, I would like to see a warning/informational sign on the steep trail up to the ruins, but does anyone know how to request this from the forest service? Or can a sign be erected by others? I'd like to volunteer or contribute. But then, it would most likely be used for target practice.
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Feb 12 2013
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Hieroglyphics Trail #101Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 12 2013
evanshiker
Hiking3.00 Miles 588 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
588 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did this trail on Tuesday. I needed a fairly easy hike since I just had cataract surgery and was not supposed to pop out one of my new lenses by exertion - and I didn't. It was a beautiful day - high of about 60F - and a fair number of people were on the trail. The hike was of particular interest to me, since my last hike in this canyon was in the '70s (1970s, not the 1870s) when I did it with my dad and my (at that time) young son. The parking lot is "new" and the trail is much different that it was then. Overall good improvements.
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Dec 11 2012
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Cooper Forks Canyon Cliff DwellingsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2012
evanshiker
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
1,200 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We've been wanting to visit the Cooper Forks ruins for almost a year, and thus complete our quadfecta (quadrafecta?) of the big 4 ruins in the eastern Sierra Ancha's (Devil's Chasm ruins, Cold Springs Canyon [lovingly referred to as the "crack house"], Pueblo Canyon and Cooper Forks ruins). Yesterday two of my hiking partners and I completed that item on our "bucket lists." My grand-daughter accompanied us and completed her trifecta having visited all but the Pueblo Canyon Ruins.

We left Mesa a little after 6 am and arrived at the trailhead at about 10 am, after a couple of stops along the way. FR203 is in fairly good condition, including the part beyond the Ellison Ranch. We found the Cherry Creek crossing at the Ellison Ranch to be the easiest I have seen it in my many visits to this area. Flow in the creek and, especially in the side stream that comes out of Devil's Chasm to be small trickles compared to other times - a sign of the continuing drought no doubt. The temperature was ideal - I could have hiked in short sleeves were it not for getting all scratched up by catclaw and worse.

I had studied the HAZ trail description and all the triplogs (the last of which was in filed in Oct of 2009), to see what wisdom I could gleen from them. We had been to the old mining road that crosses FR 203 several times so knew where to find the best embarkation point according to the reports. The only problem we (I) ecountered was that owner of the Xterror (me) we drove in forgot to lock the car and didn't realize that until we were down (and I mean down) the trail nearly 1/4 of a mile - so back to the top went the dummy (me) to do what should have been done before starting down. But hey, who is going to raid the car out in these remote parts - some of the famous cows we always see along FR 203?

We knew that Grasshoper recommended staying on the west side (the trailhead side) of Cherry Creek until after passing where the drainage for Pueblo Canyon intersects the creek. This was great advice, as the other side would have been much harder going. We started out following a track from the HAZ site which started up the Cooper Forks Canyon drainage but the climb out of the canyon to get up on the ridge that runs toward the ruins was a chore - lots of energy wasted here. It did, however, lead us to find a packet of maps and HAZ writeups that were printed out in 2009 and dropped by someone (in 2009?) near the start of this drainage - the contents of the packet were in very good condition to have been there for 3 years.

After reaching the ridge, we got lured into following an occassionally cairned trail up the ridge instead of the track I had. This trail seemed to meander around, but eventually ended up at the ruins - it sure beat bushwhacking through the catclaw and worse.

I won't keep you in suspense any longer - the ruins are still there ;). The ones farthest left as you approach, are in the worst condition, some with just partial walls still standing, but they get better as you go to the right (from the approach). My grandaughter entered the first full room from the left but quickly exited, warning that she heard bees becoming distressed and that we could get swarmed. But they must have calmed down after she left and we were not bothered, even when shooting a couple of flash pictures through the door. But we did not re-enter.

The part of the ruin that is the most visible from several points along FR203 and from a couple of points along the trails that go to the "crack house" and Pueblo Canyon, is higher up in the rock outcropping, and seemed too challenging for us to try to get into. At my age, you don't take chances that far from modern civilization. So we left that part unexplored.

On the trip out, we followed the occassionally cairned trail clear to the creek, which seemed to be the best option of all routes available. But where this trail enters the creek bottom would be hard to find on a trip in. So I will post my GPS track recorded on our hike out for others to use. I might mention that we saw some ruins up on top of the hill above the ruins we visited. These were visible on the way in and on the way out from a couple of points along the trail. These were not "cliff dwellings" but rather, looked like the walls of buildings out in the open on top. We didn't have the time or energy to try to reach them.

We got back to the Xterror about 3:30 pm and headed for a late lunch in Claypool/Miami. Another great day in the Arizona outback.
Named place
Named place
Cooper Forks

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cooper Forks Light flow Light flow
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Nov 20 2012
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Parsons Trail #144Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 20 2012
evanshiker
Hiking6.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We hiked this trail last March and were impressed with the beauty even though the foilage was just coming out of winter dormancy. We made a mental note that we wanted to come back here in the fall to catch the canyon in its fall splendor. All those reflecting pools produced where the creek spreads out and becomes almost ripple free should mirror the fall colors, if only we could time our visit right. From looking over the past picture sets posted for this hike, we determined that about the 3rd week in November should yield optimum colors.

The photo history locked into this HAZ site didn't lead us astray. We took a look at this trail today and found that mother nature cooperated with our prediction - the fall colors were about optimum and beautiful. Some trees were past peak some were at peak and some were yet to reach optimum, as evidened by our picture set we have posted.

We left Mesa at 6 am and were ready to hike at about 8:30 to 9:00 am. The wind was blowing at the trailhead making it quite chilly combined with the 40'ish air temperatures. Looking down into the floor of the canyon revealed that the sun was not yet peering over the eastern canyon wall so lighting would not be good just yet. But we started the hike, knowing that somewhere along the trail the sun would begin to reach the trees in the bottom of the canyon as we progressed. Besides, we could capture the first of the trail on the way out. As soon as the sun found its way to the bottom the temperatures warmed up and we began peeling off layers. Combined with the excellent visibility and cloudless sky, it was great hiking in only shirt sleeves. Another great day on the trail - what more can be said?
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Oct 23 2012
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
West Fork Oak Creek Trail #108Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 23 2012
evanshiker
Hiking3.80 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles   4 Hrs      0.95 mph
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well, the leaf painters have been at work along the West Fork Trail. We got on the trail at 9 am after being one of the last cars into the parking lot. Didn't expect to see this many folks on the trail for a Tuesday, but everyone was pretty well spread out along the its length.

Now is the time for "leaf-peeping" as it is referred to in New England. So get thyself to the West Fork. Some trees are past their peak, some at their peak, and some yet to peak. All told, it's probably optimum now, but should continue past the weekend. I think most of the red maples may be "well done" by then (should I say "put a West Fork" in them? Ok, I won't), but yellow and goldens will be taking their place. After hiking to where you have to take to the water about 3.8 miles in, with many, many stops to capture the sights on film (oops, my age is showing, I mean on digital media), we headed back to the trailhead. Then on to lunch in Sedona before returning to the valley.

All told, a great day. I'll post some pictures tomorrow
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Oct 09 2012
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2012
evanshiker
Hiking9.20 Miles 2,398 AEG
Hiking9.20 Miles
2,398 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Oregon Hiker's triplog of 9/26 clued us in that the Aspen were displaying their fall colors in the Inner Basin, so we headed out to do the Inner Basin Trail on Tuesday (10/9), our first chance to do it. Fortunately, there were lots of trees that were in their seasonal splendor, although the Aspen higher up had already given up their leaves. That large grove of Aspen that are found between about half a mile in on the trail on up to where the trail hits the waterline road (about 1.5 miles in) were just beautiful, as were scattered patches highter up. A few trees at the start of this grove still had some green, but the majority were well on their way and were the most golden I can recall seeing. Perfect timing. But, with the front forecast to move through today and tomorrow (Th & Fri), these will probably be giving up their leaves quickly. Forecast calls for 1 to 3 inches of snow above 8,000 feet, which is all of this trail.

We hiked on through the Inner Basin and up the north side of Agassiz to where the Inner Basin Trail meets the Weatherford Trail. Although I have been into the Inner Basin many times over the past 30 years, this is the first time that I have continued on up the trail. Great views!

Now I have to plan next week's hike. How can I top this?
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
Sep 25 2012
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
U - Bar Trail #28Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2012
evanshiker
Hiking5.00 Miles 450 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
450 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Since I had done the U-Bar trail twice before, and we had just done the stretch from the Pinchot Cabin to the botton of Dane Canyon, I thought it would be interesting to take the U-Bar north from the Dane Spring/Cabin to where it crossed Dane Canyon, then turn north and bushwhack down Dane Canyon to its confluence with Moonshine Draw/Canyon. Then we would take Moonshine Draw out (south) and find our way to the car at the Dane Spring parking lot along FR 321A, just above Dane Spring. What made this potential trek interesting? Well, we wanted to verify that West Moonshine Spring and Moonshine Spring, both located along Moonshine Draw, were aptly named -- i.e., did either one produce moonshine. We only wanted a small sample since we didn't want to get stopped by the hiking police for a HUI ticket. Wouldn't want to lose our hiking licenses or have an interlock put on our boots and packs.

Of course, the U-bar trail north from the Dane Spring is an easy hike - all downhill to the bottom of Dane Canyon. Dane Canyon north from there was fairly easy also, with only an occasional encounter with downfall and lots of game trails to follow. I had put waypoints on my GPS for the confluence of Dane Canyon and Moonshine Draw and that turned out to be a good idea. Moonshine Draw comes in sharply from the right and behind you and could easily be missed otherwise.

Moonshine Draw, on the otherhand, was littered with LOTS of downfall to climb over, around and under. Plus, there were lots of rocks to scramble over. Nothing approaching canyoneering, but slow going for just over 2 miles. West Moonshine spring didn't seem to be flowing (darn, no sampling of this baby) and Moonshine spring was fenced off to keep cattle, deer elk, and us out (again, no sample possible). Plus, the stench from something dead near Moonshine Spring was so bad we didn't even slow down going by.

Once you reach Moonshine spring, the trail becomes very nice, following an old roadbed. It is an easy walk back to the car at the Dane Sping parking lot. So, "mission unaccomplished," but so what? A day in the high country with nary another person sighted all day provides the solitude and exercise necessary to refresh the batteries. Plus, the deciduous trees are just beginning to show their fall colors in this region.

I've posted a picture set and gps track if anyone is interested.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
May 15 2012
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 15 2012
evanshiker
Hiking7.00 Miles 950 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
950 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We decided to go up on the rim for some (hopefully) cooler hiking on the day it was forecast to be 106F in Phoenix. We were going to drive to where the Fred Haught trail crosses the side road off FR 95 very near the Pinchot cabin, where we would hike part of either the Houston Bros. trail or the U-Bar trail, but I missed the turnoff on the side road coming from the north on FR95. Actually, I remembered the FH trail crossing point on this side road being much nearer to FR95 so when I went by that turnoff, I told myself this wasn't it and went on south on FR95. Oh me of little faith. So we parked where the FH trail crosses FR95 a little south of there and hiked this trail north to the Pinchot cabin. We then headed south on the Houston Bros trail to Aspen springs where we stopped for a snack and then retraced our steps back to the car. Only about 7 miles round trip but we had a nice cool (high 70s with a nice breeze) hike.

A week ago we had talked about hiking some more of the Highline Trail starting to the east from Washington Park. But a forecast of 90F in Pine for today (Tuesday) caused us to rethink that and to go on up on top of the rim. On the drive up smoke covered most of the area below the top of the rim - not bad enough to obscure the road, but not a pretty sight for hiking. This meant that if we had gone ahead with the Highline hike that the vistas off the side of the rim would show nothing but a lot of smoke. The top of the rim was smoke free, which made our decision to change even better.

On the return to the valley, the smoke plume from the Sunflower fire was quite spectacular, as the intense heat from the fire coupled with the winds that came up during the day, made the plume look like a mushroom cloud from a bomb burst. I have included in the photo set a picture taken from a small hill on the north side of Payson looking south to show the extent of the plume. Another fire is NOT what the Mazatzal's needed, so let's hope that it can be contained quickly. But the fire is growing rapidly.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire - Wildfire
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
May 01 2012
evanshiker
avatar

 Routes 16
 Photos 921
 Triplogs 41

male
 Joined Jan 22 2007
 Mesa, AZ
Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 01 2012
evanshiker
Hiking15.00 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   9 Hrs   15 Mns   1.62 mph
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've been wanting to do a through-hike of Aravaipa Canyon but the east entrance is so far from Mesa/Phoenix that it is hard to do in a day hike. So last Monday (4/30) we drove two cars to the east trailhead and dropped one at the parking lot there. We then returned to Mesa/Phoenix after a day-long drive which included a drive up Turkey Creek to the Salada ruins. On Monday, my wife dropped us off at the west trailhead and we set out through the canyon to the dropped car 12 miles up creek. We left the trailhead at about 8:45 am and rolled up 15 miles, reaching the car at 6 pm that evening - 9 hr 15 min on the trail. Got home at 10:30 pm after lunch/dinner in Globe. What a looong day!

But we took our time and absorbed all we could, including about 1 1/2 mi up Hell Hole Canyon (that excursion added 3 mi to the trip and took us 1 1/2 hours to do). But is was worth it.

Spotted lots of birds, plus one rattlesnake. Met two parties as they were coming out of Hell Hole when we were going in. One of the parties had seen desert bighorn high up above the cliffs. We kept scouring the terrain up there (what we could see of it) but saw nary a sheep. We did see one coatimundi.

Temperatures were in the mid to high 80s, but with the breeze and lots of water to walk and play in, who noticed the temperatures? Skies both days were very blue and cloud free (at least what we could see of them from within the canyon).

I had read "snakemarks" triplog recommending Hell Hole Canyon and I'm glad I did. Thanks for the tip.

BTW, the 45 mile dirt road that takes you from route 70 to the east trailhead is in good condition except for being very dusty. If you plan to follow someone in on that road, be prepared to eat a lot of dust. A few washboard sections are present but they are small in size and number. You can make good time.
_____________________
To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a wilderness, they call it peace. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56 AD – 117 AD)
average hiking speed 1.54 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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