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21 triplogs

Jan 26 2018
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Tortilla Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 26 2018
bballard
Backpack23.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Backpack23.00 Miles2 Days   12 Hrs      
3,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I came back for some unfinished business on these trails after getting rained out a few years ago. An incredible, remote backpacking loop in the Superstitions! Friday night was a late night start hiking FR 213 which put me camping at the Cedar Basin area on the Hoolie Bacon Trail. From there the next day it was following the loop clockwise, hitting the very scenic view at Horse Ridge saddle before dropping into Horse Camp Basin. After joining the Red Tanks trail, the upper LaBarge Box never disappoints. Then it was cruising along the dry stream bed- hardly a drop of water to be seen in any of the creeks which is crazy for this time of year. LaBarge and Charlebois are thankfully dependable of course.

After topping off, I huffed it up to a high knob on the Peters Trail to make my second night camp with a wonderful panoramic view centered on Bluff Springs Mt. A fierce windstorm complimented the very full moon that night. Then it was off to explore Peter's canyon for the first time. This is a beautiful experience in the Supes, offering a lot of variety in terrain. Backpacking solo allows one a great chance to reflect and take in the subtle details of the environment. Only one group of three gentlemen were encountered. Highly recommended!

dry Brads Canyon Dry Dry


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Charlebois Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max LaBarge Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Peters Mid-Upper Along Trail Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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Jan 15 2017
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Whiskey West-Red Tanks LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 15 2017
bballard
Backpack13.40 Miles 2,150 AEG
Backpack13.40 Miles2 Days         
2,150 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With a lot of rainfall over the previous couple of days, and more in the forecast, I lead my wife out into the Supes this MLK weekend with just a slight feeling of trepidation. Overall, we were very lucky, with slight amounts of rain, and the only downpours occurring later in the night while under the cover of our tent.

The views were surreal, with cloud formations cloaking the mountains, a dynamic presence giving us incredible perspectives the entire way. Both needles, Picacho Butte, Music Mountain and Bluff Springs Mountain were all uniquely beautiful given the dark clouds and ominous wispy fog and mist.

We camped at a really nice high spot, 20 yards off the trail a bit east of Trap Canyon. Upper LaBarge Creek swelled significantly during the night as the rain came down hard. Sure enough crossing the creek with the trail towards LaBarge Spring proved to be really challenging and we veered off a couple times to test our fate with cat-claw. The rest of the trip was straightforward, with the clouds finally breaking towards our completion of the loop. Another memorable journey into the heart of the desert.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bluff Spring Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow
more water than I've ever seen in the Superstitions

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max LaBarge Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trap Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Whiskey Spring Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow
with recent rainfall, more water than I've ever seen in the Superstitions
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Nov 04 2016
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Royal Arch RouteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 04 2016
bballard
Backpack35.00 Miles 8,000 AEG
Backpack35.00 Miles4 Days         
8,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
bcollins11
Most likely my favorite backpacking trip ever! But we knew we were in for it when the rangers warned us we were seeking an aggressive itinerary by completing the loop in 3 nights.

Drove up late Thursday evening in the rain (worried about the road) but no problems. Debated the Outback, but glad we had the very high clearance Tacoma for big rutted sections on the reservation. Incredible camp at SE2 on the edge of the rim- a breathtaking way to view the dawn light as we hurried out.

Beginning of the loop was super easy and fast. Cached some water at the junction, which is recommended. We avoided the "ledge" by going to the right and didn't even debate the trickier section. Once down in this area it becomes actual (non-technical) canyoneering = slow going. The potholes were full of water, better the further you went. But our goal was to make it to the arch night one.

Debatable routes, down-climbing and pack-lowering are unavoidable. Again... very... slow... going... we realized why this is not recommended. If we had reached water in the royal arch creek, we would have camped on the spot. But it was dry and the spring is far along almost right next to the arch. After nightfall we finally reached it and camped nearby.

A truly epic location, we slept in and enjoyed the beautiful arch, the water, and inspiring views below the drop-off before carefully backtracking to the trail to head out. The next section down to the rappel is magnificent- sweeping views as you exit the royal arch canyon into the basin of the Colorado with incredible panoramas. The rappel was actually pretty straight-forward, with a perfect anchor carved into the adjacent rock. We tied harnesses out of webbing and were well-prepared.

Toltec was a pristine deserted beach, no humans in sight. In fact we didn't see anyone for almost three days on this trip- a rarity in this age. The route to Elves Chasm is challenging, even without packs. Definitely a very special grotto in an otherwise arid world.

Day three: we loaded our packs with water and picked our way eastward to make it up along the Tonto Trail. Tough going until the plateau is reached, and some very challenging step-ups and scrambling sections to break-out. Once on the real trail everything changes and you can pick up speed, albeit through the long winding and gorgeous route of the Tonto. We set up a dry camp in a saddle directly north of Tyndall Dome. A fantastic view into Shinumo Amphitheater and beyond.

The rest of the trip back to the rim was challenging, but as expected- equally energy draining and magnificent. Route finding everywhere is pretty good once you hone-in your cairn spotting skills. This is an incredible trip that combines many challenging aspects of Grand Canyon backpacking into a breathtaking and incredibly remote journey. In my opinion, the Royal Arch Loop is an example why this is the greatest national park of all, because so many different adventures lie around each and every facet of this other-worldly geography.
Named place
Named place
Elves Chasm
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1 archive
Mar 05 2016
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Mount Ajo PeakSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 05 2016
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Hiking9.00 Miles 2,800 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   7 Hrs      1.29 mph
2,800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
bcollins11
Phenomenal day hiking Mt. Ajo. Saw a friendly guy walking to Tucson on our drive to the trailhead(!) But the weather was great. After we got through the first section of real trail quick enough, we decided to make a run for the summit. The path is cairned extremely well- very easy route finding. Other than a few sections of loose rock, the journey was a lot more accessible than we thought it would be. Phenomenal 360° views all around from the ridge and peak. Absolutely loved Bull Pasture on the way back.

Our first trip to Organ Pipe- but this has to be one of the best / most accessible excursions in the monument. Highly recommended.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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1 archive
Apr 23 2015
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
New Hance TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 23 2015
bballard
Backpack20.00 Miles 4,435 AEG
Backpack20.00 Miles4 Days         
4,435 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Fresh off our first trip into the canyon last fall- my friends and I could not resist the urge to plan another! This time BJ, Shep, and I descended the New Hance trail- a painful knee-buster! We ran into a couple large groups at Hance Rapids where we spent our first night and witnessed kayaks running the rapids. Beautiful beach-side spot to appreciate the river in all it's glory. The next day it was on to the Tonto heading west, where we ran into our first bout of rain. Sporadic at first and windy, it didn't bother us much. Second night was also busy at Hance Creek. Plenty of water and a great side excursion up the canyon. The wind that night was intense, knocking our tents around, but not too much rain. On our third day we made our way around to the beautiful Page Spring and loaded up on water for the excruciating trek upwards to our last camp on Horseshoe Mesa. After setting up amidst bouts of rain, we headed off to Cave of the Domes. What an adventure exploring a real cave for the first time! On the way back the real rain hit, and throughout the evening all night... Grandview Trail up the next day to our bike-shuttle.

Wonderful journey. The magic of the canyon once again cannot be described in words. The intense weather only added to the mystique- views of cloud formations and rain constantly filtering our views and perception of light, shadow, contrast, color, and depth. Cannot wait until we are lucky enough again to immerse ourselves in this world.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
beautiful and constant display of many wildflowers.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hance Creek Medium flow Medium flow
flowing really well.
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Feb 22 2015
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Brown's PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 22 2015
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Hiking5.20 Miles 2,064 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles
2,064 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
bcollins11
Finally made my first summit of Brown's with bcollins11! We foolishly and optimistically thought the clouds would "burn off" later on this cold day. And my friend had only shorts and t-shirt, but that wouldn't stop us. The road is quite the test of patience. We mistakenly followed a group out the parking lot down the Four Peaks trail when we meant to go straight up Brown's. (Just because you see people camping, don't assume they're not directly on the trail). But we took what I believe was the start of the Amethyst trail when we realized we were off track according to GPS. Reconnected to the main trail after a challenging ascent. This area isn't described well, but I believe it to be the blue route on the map attachment.

WOW the clouds were mystical, magic, and magnificent. Halloween special effects. They would come and go and offer ominous glimpses at and around our destination. They broke just so slightly at the peak to offer rewarding views, but we didn't get any complete panoramas. Safety George recommended our climbing helmets for the chute, which we donned, and were nice to have, if not for the added warmth. Great day. We survived the 4 wheelin', shootin', beer drinkin' masses on the way back.
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Feb 07 2015
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Marsh Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 07 2015
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Backpack16.25 Miles 2,330 AEG
Backpack16.25 Miles2 Days         
2,330 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Solo backpacking is an experience unlike any other. A man and his thoughts... self reliance and awareness. An amazing retreat for clarity and contemplation. The Marsh Valley Loop has been on my list for awhile, and I figured this would be a good choice since it's nearby many other areas I've already visited, pretty far out, yet a new experience.

Gorgeous, very warm weekend in the Supes. Water water everywhere from recent rainfall and especially the previous weekend. Did the loop clockwise and tried to follow many of the sights highlighted in Carlson's & Stewarts Guide to the Superstition Wilderness. (great book, crazy to follow at times). Saw a couple other big groups of people in the beginning, and once I was away from them there was good solitude until near the end of the loop.

I tried to find the holding corral and old camp nearby the junction of Cavalry Trail and La Barge Creek. Apparently there are 4' wide walls I was unable to find. Anyone else have better luck? Was still fun stomping around off trail hunting for mysterious things. But exhausting.

Then I went partly up Squaw Canyon. Tried to find any evidence of the old Z Trail that Crazy Jake apparently used. Didn't find much for a trail, but it was a beautiful vantage point. On the way back a 7' monument is described, and I did find a huge rock cairn, perhaps 3' tall. Not sure if that's what they meant, but I enjoyed finding something significant that far off track.

Dropped pack and set up camp nearby Cavalry and Dutchman junction. Then took off for Charlebois spring which I've never been to. Frogs all around, cool to see a turtle splash down in the water. Again, tried to find the petroglyphs described right nearby, but no luck. The book says they're even signed. Must have been delusional from a long day on the trail. Oh well, it gives me a future goal.

Nice camp. Surprising how fast the cold settles in after sunset. Heard a roaring/screaming sound before going to bed. My best guess is a big cat mating call... mountain lion? Unsettling to say the least, but pretty far away. There was a responding call as well.

Sleep, yoga, more exploring. I WAS successful in finding the massively long rock wall nearby the wash down from the Dutchman and Cavalry junction. Very impressive. Then tried to find the old prospector's claim sign 6+5 up above. To no avail of course. Off-trail hiking becomes super strenuous and exhausting, physically and mentally. I did find what I thought was the horse trail shortcut nearby that area.

Went up Bull Pass trail and Black Top Mesa on the way home. Probably did over 20 miles all said and done. Overall amazing trip. Supes never disappoint. Gorgeous. Concerning how warm it was for February. Achilles really sore afterwards though unfortunately, so I might have overdone it :-P Until next time...

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boulder Creek - Superstition WA Medium flow Medium flow
for the Superstitions, a medium flow is a lot of water. Heavy rains consistently over the previous weekend really helped the situation everywhere.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boulder Creek at #103 / #236 Jct Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max First Water Creek - Upper Turnoff Medium flow Medium flow


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Little Boulder Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Second Water Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max West Boulder - Dutchman Crossing Medium flow Medium flow
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Jan 24 2015
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Elden Lookout Trail #4Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 24 2015
bballard
Hiking5.40 Miles 2,422 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles   4 Hrs      1.35 mph
2,422 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
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Somehow convinced my casual hiking friends to go from the "easy two mile loop" to the top of the lookout trail and back. No matter how much flack they gave me afterwards… hey, I didn't hold a gun to their heads! :) Nice day, beautiful views. Some snow and ice on trail but overall very passable. Which is probably somewhat concerning seeing how little snow Flagstaff has gotten so far this winter.
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Jan 04 2015
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
First Water Upper Creek LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 04 2015
bballard
Hiking7.20 Miles 710 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.11 mph
710 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fantastic and challenging day hike below the beautiful snow dusted Superstition Ridgeline. The trail started off cold, finding spots of snow and ice along the way, but warmed up nicely in the afternoon. A good amount of water in First Water creek, certain pools very full, with some flow in between. Although the biggest waterfall was dry, other falls were flowing and very scenic. Things became fairly difficult towards O'Grady Canyon, especially for the wifey who stated she would never do this type of hike again. (eek!) Although some areas were okay to traverse and there were sporadic cairns, it was hard to link together a straightforward route, diverging in and out of the creek, into cat claw and thick vegetation from time to time.

Perhaps we missed the beginning of the Tim's Saddle (?) "trail" which would have helped. One word of caution- it is easy to continue your way down O'Grady Canyon at this point but you must pick your way up the slope towards Tim's saddle unless you want to take a longer loop. A faint trail does become more defined in this area the higher you hike. I'm glad I had a GPS route to get back on track here.

Overall a wonderful exploration into a remote area of the Supes nearby the frequented Dutchman trail.

PS: came across a funny New Years balloon just beyond the First Water canyon. Seemed to be purposely placed next to the trail… or an amazing coincidence?! :)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max O'Grady Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Decent amount of pools, some large.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max O'Grady Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Good amount of water and pools from recent storms.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Upper First Water Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Large pools and some flow. Melt-off and run-off from previous storms.
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Dec 12 2014
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Tortilla Out and Back, AZ 
Tortilla Out and Back, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 12 2014
bballard
Backpack13.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Backpack13.00 Miles3 Days         
3,500 ft AEG45 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
bcollins11
Like any backpacker worth their salt, we ignored warnings of the impending storm and marched right into the heart of the Supes. The fear of our wet condition on Saturday morning however turned our Tortilla Superloop plan into the "Tortilla out and back a couple times" plan. I prefer to avoid mutiny, so my big mileage trip will have to wait for the future.

My Grand Vitara & lack of 4 wheeling experience created an opportunity for an additional 3 miles right off the bat via FR 213. At the trailhead we were greeted by friendly bow hunters on the first day of the season. Hearty folks, I commend their efforts. First camp above Night Hawk Spring, back the next morning, second camp near Kane Spring. Thankfully Friday evening and Sunday were dry but mother nature pounded us Saturday early/late morning with her anticipated mega-storm. We encountered a kind soul clearing Peters Trail and building cairns Sunday afternoon. Overall the trails were fairly well defined but pretty full with lovely cat-claw.

It was a rewarding feeling to withstand heavy rain, cooler temps, and wet gear. A different adventure with every Supes trip. Beauty in all forms and conditions. Looking forward to the next opportunity.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Cedar Basin Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Observed some water in pools and perhaps slight flow the night prior to a big storm. The next day after the rainfall it was flowing quite well. Yellow color to the water after filtering - either from soil runoff or because my filter needs to be changed.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Kane Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Flowing really good after heavy storm the night prior.

dry Night Hawk Spring Dry Dry
Was hopeful to camp here and have water but none was flowing at an otherwise wet time in the Superstitions overall. Cedar Basin Canyon nearby had available water at this time however.
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Nov 29 2014
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
La Barge Lowest LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 29 2014
bballard
Hiking6.00 Miles 925 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   6 Hrs      1.00 mph
925 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
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Another wonderful day in the Supes. Have never hiked from the Canyon Lake trailhead, so figured this loop involving the off-trail La Barge Canyon and Boulder Canyon trail would be perfect. This is very close to trip 35 of Carlson's Guide to the Superstition Wilderness- it is the longer alternate to Paint Mine direct through the canyon.

A warm day and beautiful magical moments in the creek- plenty of water and glimpses of incredible remote Superstition wilderness. There were times when the water appeared to be non-existent, but around the corner we would find large pools and small streams. Some very deep areas, but nothing was continuously connected top to bottom. Just when you think you have a path figured out to one side, it would become overgrown and blocked by water. So, very slow going through the canyon, but once we reached Boulder Canyon Trail things were much easier.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boulder Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Good amount of water intermittently throughout.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boulder Creek at #103 / #236 Jct Medium flow Medium flow
Good amount of water if you hunt around for the right spot.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max La Barge Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Good amount of water intermittently throughout.
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Nov 09 2014
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Hermit TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 09 2014
bballard
Backpack7.00 Miles 3,400 AEG
Backpack7.00 Miles5 Days         
3,400 ft AEG50 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
We backpacked Hermit, Tonto, and Bright Angel as a five day, four-night loop. What an incredible experience- a bucket list trip that has wet our appetite for more Grand Canyon adventures. Personally, this was my first time venturing below the rim and everything went wonderfully according to plan, including above average temps for this time of year.

The Hermit trail is a very difficult descent and it took the group most of the day. I felt the trail was in good shape however and we were going easy on our legs while soaking up the views around every corner. Cathedral Steps pushed us to the edge through the red wall layer. Thanks Hikearizona for the geologic descriptions of all the rock formations! Camping at Hermit Creek the first night was pleasant besides our position downwind of the latrine.

It was onto the Tonto trail the next day to Granite Rapids. Reaching the river and camping there one night was very rewarding and exciting. A high flow event happened to be scheduled for the morning and we curiously watched the water levels rise, the river turn to brown, and the rapids become an even more incredible torrent.

Tonto trail to Cedar Spring: very enjoyable short day. Monument Creek is also a nice camp and extremely picturesque. Cedar Creek has an interesting little slot canyon overlook at the edge.

Horn Creek was our next camp along the pleasant Tonto Trail. The only drawback was hauling our camp water from Cedar to avoid the radioactive flow from the old mine. The deer and skunks didn't seem to mind the water.

Overall this was an amazing trek through more remote areas west of the corridor. There was a ton of variety and amazing views along every section of the trail. We broke up our journey so we could enjoy and make the most of our time. It's nice appreciating some solitude before meeting the crowds at Indian Garden. It forced us to upgrade gear, pack more efficiently, and become more creative with our dehydrated menu. This trip no matter how you plan your camps is whole-heartedly recommended, and will easily tempt us back for more exciting future journeys.
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cedar Spring Dripping Dripping
Small flow and good clean pools to filter from.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Hermit Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
Lots of nice water flowing.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Horn Creek Light flow Light flow
Decent looking flow, useful for cleaning up from camping, but not recommended to drink because of radioactivity from old mine. Note, the camp is actually the east side of this drainage area.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Monument Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Looked like there was good water but we didn't take a close look at the creek area near the camp.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Salt Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Light flow possible, not recommended because of salty mineral taste. We didn't bother with water here.
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Sep 27 2014
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Little Granite Mountain LoopPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 27 2014
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Hiking6.70 Miles 1,370 AEG
Hiking6.70 Miles   4 Hrs      1.68 mph
1,370 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
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Heeding no weather warnings, we headed out (figured it wouldn't come in as bad as predicted). Well we were socked a good one! After waiting out the first squall a mile in, the sky started to break, sunshine appeared briefly, and we continued on. But shortly after lunch and "nearby the halfway point of the loop" (according to me) we kept going into impending threatening clouds and torrential rain. Marble sized hail assaulted us. Fierce winds. We carried on, drenched to the bone.

All in all it was an incredibly adventurous way to try this trail for the first time. The scenery is surreal, like a lot of the surrounding Granite Mt. area. Half burned trees added to the effect. It was incredible seeing the passing clouds gathering and swirling about the mountains, tempting us with brief vistas. Flash flooding in drainage areas added another level of danger and it was easy to mistake the trail in spots for adjacent streams.

We were very cold by the end of the experience however and had to keep moving. Not the smartest move on our part, and I can see why hypothermia could be dangerous even with warmer temperatures. But what an incredible memory!
Flora
Flora
Sacred Datura
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Aug 29 2014
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 29 2014
bballard
Backpack24.00 Miles 2,940 AEG
Backpack24.00 Miles3 Days         
2,940 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
This trip has helped redeem the rim area for me concerning crowds and noise, even on a holiday weekend. I had heard a lot about these trails and they did not fall short on expectations.

It was a casual 3 day trip with friends, going counter-clockwise from General Springs Cabin and doing the big loop on the Barbershop Trail to U-Bar and back on Fred Haught. We camped the first night at the General Springs Cabin trailhead to the distinct sound of party-bass nearby. Not the best night's sleep but we made due. The actual General Crook trail is hard to follow with the chevron markers and the official GPS route we downloaded on this site didn't follow the official trail all the way. But we made a side-trip to the dramatic views of the rim. It was much better to make due with this instead of following the dusty over-ridden 300.

We made it to Barbershop Trail and camped at it's spring. What a gorgeous meadow and just enough water to make camp comfortable. One word of advice- do not leave your plastic lid in your dualist stove while cooking unless you want a sticky plastic mess:(

I mistakenly told my friends the trail was "mostly flat". I never heard the end of that one over the course of three days! :) There are indeed many ravines and small creek-washes that are a definitely challenging. But overall it wasn't really too bad and it actually made the trek that much more interesting.

U-bar south of Dane Spring is incredibly beautiful. There is also an fantastic spot to camp at the bottom of Dane Canyon that perhaps we'll try for next time. We continued on to Fred Haught trailhead. I was surprised there were not more campsites nearby this junction.

Our tired feet were happy that the last 6 miles on day three were easier then what we had previously done. Overall the loop boasts a dramatic interplay of fern covered meadows and thick pine forest cover. Truly magic.

This is a wonderful and big backpacking opportunity slightly tucked away in the middle of a lot of RV, truck, and ATV party-camp big subwoofer bass activity. [which has become my most hated bane while traveling to the outdoors. And seems to be growing in popularity. I'm curious how other people here might deal with it, other than knowing where to completely avoid it]. But thankfully we didn't see many other people overall once away from 300. The only drawback might be the lack of "remoteness" while crossing many roads and hearing traffic here and there. We saw elk, turkey, and many horny toads. Very good water opportunities.
Fauna
Fauna
Horned Lizard
Named place
Named place
Barbershop Spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Barbershop Spring Dripping Dripping
A very small but moving pool of water from the spring. Just enough to safely filter and make camp.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Coyote Spring Dripping Dripping
A good amount of water around, but the perfect spot to filter is a bit hard to find. We didn't use this water but it would be doable.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Dane Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
good amount of water coming from the pipe. But popular spot nearby a road and we didn't care to take it when we saw kids playing with it like a fountain.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max General Springs Dripping Dripping
definitely wet ground- I'm not sure where to filter. There are a couple spots where old wells have been created.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pinchot Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
good amount of water here.
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Aug 24 2014
bballard
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Sunset Brookbank Loop, AZ 
Sunset Brookbank Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 24 2014
bballard
Hiking5.14 Miles 1,855 AEG
Hiking5.14 Miles   4 Hrs      1.29 mph
1,855 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
A very pleasant loop hike! Beautiful Flagstaff temps, quite a few bikers, decent wildflowers.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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1 archive
Aug 02 2014
bballard
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 02 2014
bballard
Hiking8.80 Miles 2,130 AEG
Hiking8.80 Miles   5 Hrs      1.76 mph
2,130 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another campout at the rim- and the rain gods smiled and laughed at us once again. A pleasant morning heading up the Horton Creek trail turned into a refreshing downpour and light thunderstorm which we waited out while many other hikers scurried back. Reaching the spring, the drizzle continued past lunchtime, but as soon as we ascended the nearby steep section all hell broke loose. Earlier we joked and laughed at what a pleasant change of pace it was from our usual summer scorcher in Phoenix but it soon turned out to be even too much for our native Washingtonian to handle. The trail turned to a mud-bath but we continued on.

All in all, it was still a great hike, and the rain slowed down and allowed us to oversee some incredible misty views up and around the rim. If not for the rain, I would've ventured out on the super-loop so I'm glad that didn't happen on a much steeper trail. Overall, the rim country still impressed and beckoned a return trip for further exploration.
Flora
Flora
Yellow Columbine
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
I'd like to find out what type of beautiful yellow wildflower we came across. See photo log.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horton Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
garden of Eden.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horton Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
water all around
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Jul 12 2014
bballard
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Abineau Bear Jaw LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 12 2014
bballard
Hiking7.00 Miles 2,115 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   5 Hrs      1.75 mph
2,115 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fantastic loop hike- the four of us headed counter-clockwise up Abineau, over and then Bear Jaw. The Abineau canyon is impressive and a good challenge. Tons of downed trees. Excellent weather on this day. As others have said, this whole area feels like Colorado and reminds me of my time living there. Aspen groves have a magical quality that is hard to describe.

We camped at Lockett and almost debated lasso-looping this from the Inner Basin Trail to the Abineau Canyon road. Glad we didn't do that though when we later discovered that segment is almost 5 miles one way.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Avalanche
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Nice amount of various wildflowers, especially on the Abineau trail.
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Jun 21 2014
bballard
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
See Canyon Trail #184Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2014
bballard
Hiking6.90 Miles 1,874 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   4 Hrs      1.73 mph
1,874 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I am describing this as a hiking trip, but a friend of mine and I tried to be adventurous and bike from the rim down. Let's just call it a hike-a-bike. Although there was some very fun riding to be had towards the bottom trailhead. We stowed those bikes in the bushes to be picked up later.

Very beautiful trail. Very scenic. Very dry. Very steep. After we reached the bottom we wisely decided to return the way we came instead of doing a loop to the Drew trail. I ended up ascending the trail myself after my friend started having a lot of pain and cramps in his quads. I didn't mind- I really hauled, and got worked by this challenging hike up, which I did in just about an hour.

I will say there is a trail sign at a certain point claiming the rim road is two miles further. It feels like a lot more than two miles!!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max See Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Lots of water, especially more towards the bottom trailhead. Very dry however towards the top of the Rim Road.
_____________________
May 11 2014
bballard
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 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Pine Mountain Short Cut Trail LoopCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar May 11 2014
bballard
Backpack12.50 Miles 1,665 AEG
Backpack12.50 Miles1 Day         
1,665 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Escaped the stress of the city for a quick solo backpack trip (and to successfully complete this loop which my wife and I got lost on previously).

Upon arrival at the trailhead at approximately 11AM I ran into a surveyor for Mexican Spotted Owls. He told me his plan to begin hiking that afternoon, set up sensors in various places, then return after nightfall for the results. I thought my trip was interesting enough going solo- I could only imagine what his night was like trekking around off-trail. Good for him!

Very pleasant loop. Cool temperatures! Windy! Views at the top outstanding. I really enjoyed the topo map available on this site, but carried the GPS just in case. I found the Verde Rim trail south of Pine Mountain to be in much better shape than two years prior when we got lost and cut up by manzanitas. More cairns and easy to find.

Camped somewhere nearby the "best kept secret of Pine Mountain Wilderness" . Beautiful solitude.

I love this area- 18 miles of tough road helps to keep it isolated. Next time I'd like to extend the loop by going further around the Nelson trail to Pine flat trail and forego the shortcut. Or try the 76 trail to the road. Or try the bushwhack and Verde Rim further to the north. What is Cloverleaf exactly?

Very little water to be found other than the bountiful Sycamore Creek. The forest is extremely dry and dead wood is everywhere- ominous seeing the remains of past fires in the area.
Culture
Culture
Campsite HAZ - Selfie

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Beehouse Spring Dripping Dripping
thought I saw some stagnant pools... but wouldn't count on it.

dry Bishop Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Nelson Place Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
garden of eden in this area.

dry Pine Spring Dry Dry

dry Willow Spring Dry Dry
_____________________
Apr 06 2014
bballard
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 336
 Triplogs 21

38 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2014
bballard
Hiking11.50 Miles 4,480 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles   7 Hrs   45 Mns   1.64 mph
4,480 ft AEG      45 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
First time doing the Ridgeline! Was an epic journey that we knocked out very fast (thanks to a couple marathon pace-setters leading the way). Loved the views and hoodoos! We skipped up to Superstition peak and Flatiron. A demanding trip- good workout, and test of endurance if you push yourself. Not too hot, although high was 80 in Apache Junction. Took 170 ounces of water and drank every drop. Beers at Wilderness Brewery afterwards to celebrate!
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
slight, but nice bursts of color here and there.
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average hiking speed 1.46 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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