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5 triplogs
Mar 22 2003
Barry Dale
avatar

 Guides 2
 Photos 33
 Triplogs 5

male
 Joined Nov 28 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Secret Canyon Trail #121Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 22 2003
Barry Dale
Backpack13.00 Miles 400 AEG
Backpack13.00 Miles2 Days         
400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Secret Canyon - Wet and Wild

A large group of us, adults and young men in Boy Scout Troop 6 out of Phoenix, started from the trailhead about 10:30 on Saturday, March 22, 2003. Keep in mind that this was shortly after several weeks of what counts in Arizona as fairly decent precipitation. Right at the start we encountered our first stream crossing. It was but a taste of many to come. On this first crossing we were able to cross on rocks and stay dry. Not so further in the canyon.

The first two miles of this hike is about as easy and pleasant as hiking can be. A nice soft, easy to follow trail, and decent scenery - red rocks and all that - and only two more stream crossings, both with well placed boulders and stones to keep your boots dry. At just about the two mile mark we enjoyed our first head-on view into Secret Canyon. At about the same point, is the trail junction with the Dave Miller trail. Up to this point, the trend of the trail has been generally northward. At this trail junction, take the left fork and head west into Secret Canyon. For the next four miles (from mile 2 to about mile 6) the trail generally runs in a westerly direction, sometimes in the bed of the canyon and sometimes on the benches above on one side and then the other.

Within the first quarter mile after the trail junction, we were greeted by the first view of a ravine cut through the red rock of Sedona with a roaring stream running through it. We were high on a bench above. Pressing westward into the canyon, we now started numerous, frequent stream crossings. We were able to stay dry through the first several of these. Further on, we encountered our first of several crossings that lacked convenient boulders for hopping and stepping across. From here on every crossing required wading. The creek was high and the water was cold. Very cold. Foot numbing, bone chilling cold. After all, this water had started the day as snow and had not warmed up much past the melting point. My son and I changed from boots to sandals before the wading started, but the rest of our group had to slog through the water in their boots.

We made camp at about mile 3 on a bench high above the creek on the south bank. Four of the young men and I then went on with day packs. (We were working on a ten mile hike for the Hiking merit badge, which requires five 10 mile hikes and one 20 mile hike.) In the next 3.5 miles, only once were we fortunate enough to cross the stream without getting wet - on a fallen log spanning the stream. The views got better and better. Deep cut ravines with pour offs. And at about the 5.5 mile point a thundering waterfall. (Photos 9, 10, 11 and 12) The photos do not do the waterfall justice. It was far deeper than the photos depict and filled with flotsam and foam in the deep pools at the base. By the way, photos 11 and 12 show my young companions jumping around at the top of the falls. This was not part of the trail. It was a side excursion engineered by youthful exuberance.

Moving on deeper into the canyon, and now about a mile high, we found large patches of snow. Perfect for a snowball fight. Though sandals may be superior to boots for the stream crossings, I cannot say the same for crossing snow fields. But sandals did not seem to detract from the fun of one snowball combatant.

Somewhere after the waterfall, about mile 5.7 the canyon takes a turn to the north. Two side canyons come in from the left (west). Up to this point, the trail was really pretty good, distinct, easy to follow and generally fairly clear of fallen timber. Now the trail began to deteriorate, becoming harder to find and follow, overgrown and blocked by timber fall. We struggled on with this for a while until we achieved our mileage goal and then headed back to camp at mile 3, arriving about 5:30. The water seemed even colder on the way back and the air was certainly chillier.

This hike is one of the Arizona's hidden treasures. I guess that is why it is called Secret Canyon.
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Feb 27 2003
Barry Dale
avatar

 Guides 2
 Photos 33
 Triplogs 5

male
 Joined Nov 28 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Frog Tanks Trail #112Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2003
Barry Dale
Hiking6.80 Miles
Hiking6.80 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did the Frog Tanks trail in late January 2003 with three eleven year old boys. This was part of a three, day two night backpacking trip. We started at Rogers Trough trailhead, camped the first night at Angel Basin, did the Frog Tanks trail the second day and camped at Reavis Ranch the second night. The next morning we packed out to Rogers Trough. A great loop trip. Before going, I had read this trail description and was concerned about the catclaw and other vegetation. The catclaw and other vegetation posed no problem. Water, on the other hand, was scarce.
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Dec 22 2002
Barry Dale
avatar

 Guides 2
 Photos 33
 Triplogs 5

male
 Joined Nov 28 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Weaver's Needle Loop from Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 22 2002
Barry Dale
Hiking12.20 Miles 3,122 AEG
Hiking12.20 Miles
3,122 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This circumnavigation of Weavers Needle affords excellent views of the Needle from all sides. It is quite a treat to see the markedly different profiles of this pinnacle as one walks around it. Seven of us (3 men, 4 boys (ages 11 to 12) and one dog) did this loop on the chilly, overcast day of December 21, 2002. We did the loop counterclockwise, just as Teva describes. The chill and threat of rain kept the crowds away. We saw only one other hiker. As Teva notes, watch for the flat slab of rock in the intermittent stream bed on the Bluff Springs Trail. The boys were well in the lead at this point (as they were throughout the hike) and blew right past this point. Up Barks Canyon they went. Following them a ways back, I did not catch the error because the route they took was a good looking path and well cairned. I noticed the error when my GPS showed we were getting further, rather than closer, to the waypoint I had set at the Bluff Springs/Terrapin junction. We had to scramble cross-country eastward over two ridges until we overlooked the junction and got on the Terrapin Trail as it heads northwest from the junction. This did not add much distance to the hike, but it sure added some time. That was the only tricky part of the route. The Terrapin, Dutchman and, of course, the Peralta are easy to follow. This was a great introductory hike to the Superstitions for the boys. My Topo! software measures this route at exactly 12 miles (2.27 on the Bluff Springs, 2.77 on the Terrapin, 1.02 on the Dutchman, 3.82 on the north Peralta, and 2.12 on the south Peralta). We started at 10 am and finished (the straggling men) at 5:30 pm.
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Dec 07 2002
Barry Dale
avatar

 Guides 2
 Photos 33
 Triplogs 5

male
 Joined Nov 28 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Pine Mountain Verde Rim LoopCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2002
Barry Dale
Hiking8.80 Miles 1,574 AEG
Hiking8.80 Miles
1,574 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have done the hike up to Pine Mountain twice, once in the 1980's by myself and again on October 6, 2002 with five others. Both times I have done the loop counterclockwise (the opposite of the route described by Teva in his trail summary). The first time was before the forest fires. The forest was green. There was water in the creek for a considerable distance - up as far as Willow Spring, if my memory is correct. The second time, there was no water after Nelson Place Spring. The forest was blackened. The ground charred. But still the vistas from the top were superb. However, we did encounter a black bear on the way back down. The bear was feeding in the brush near Nelson Place Spring, only about a half mile from the trailhead. Maybe this was the same bear seen by Lizard on his April 29, 2002 hike report. This was the first bear I have seen in the wild in Arizona in 25 years of hiking and backpacking. I have uploaded a photo of the bear.

Do go up to the top of Pine Mountain. It is only 200 or 300 feet of additional hiking off the main trail on a well defined spur trail. In his trail summary, Teva states that later in the hike, after passing Pine Mountain, he was hiking on a trail higher than Pine Mountain and could look back and down on the peak. This is only partly true. :lol: According to the topo, Pine Mountain is 6814. The high point south-southeast of the peak is 6810, so the trail is not higher than Pine Mountain, but even the boys hiking with us were tall enough to look down on Pine Mountain from the 6810 point (which also offers a wonderful vista). I have uploaded a photo of the topo map.
Fauna
Fauna
Black Bear
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Nov 29 2002
Barry Dale
avatar

 Guides 2
 Photos 33
 Triplogs 5

male
 Joined Nov 28 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Alta TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 29 2002
Barry Dale
Run/Jog7.40 Miles 1,100 AEG
Run/Jog7.40 Miles   1 Hour   20 Mns   5.55 mph
1,100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Alta Trail is of one of the fine trail runs in South Mountain Park. I did this most recently on November 29, 2002, the day after Thanksgiving, with one of my running buddies and two young buck stars on the Arcadia High cross-country team. We parked at the east end of the Alta Trail, ran up, over and down the Alta Trail to San Juan. Then we came back on the National Trail until it hits the road and then back on the road to the starting point. This is about a 7.4 mile loop with some serious up hill running at the start. Once you gain the crest, though, it is fairly flat, but with some ups and downs, and one more tough up hill climb just before the crest over-looking San Juan.

It was pretty darn near perfect running weather. It drizzled on us on the way up then stopped and stayed cool the whole run. We started about 7:15 and it probably took me about 80 minutes. The young bucks and my running buddy were faster.

We have done this run both ways and have come back on the Bajada Trail rather than the road. I think either clockwise or counterclockwise and starting at either end is about the same. My advice though is forget the Bajada Trail and run the road to connect from the National where it intersects the road to the east end of the Alta. The Bajada adds little to the fun.
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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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