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Jun 23 2012
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 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Bullet Canyon - Grand Gulch LoopSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Canyoneering avatar Jun 23 2012
VVebbTriplogs 23
Canyoneering11.00 Miles 20 AEG
Canyoneering11.00 Miles1 Day         
20 ft AEG50 LBS Pack
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did a variation of this hike with a bunch of summer interns from my work. We didn't do a loop; just a one-night in-and-out from Bullet Canyon Trailhead. Doing the hike in June (and getting a late start on the way in), the mid-day heat was brutal (from about 1-4pm), and we had to pack in a lot of water. The canyon and the sun both run east-west, so the sun beat us up pretty well. I think we used about 3 gallons per person on a 24-hour (10am-10am) trip. The hike description calls Jailhouse Spring a "truly reliable water source," but as far as we could tell, there wasn't a drop of surface water to be found, despite my GPS telling me that I was surely in the right spot. The problem, as I stated above, is probably that we did the hike off-season in what may prove to be the last hot week before the monsoons arrive. However, the thick, green, riparian vegetation near Jailhouse Spring suggested that water wasn't far away.

Route-finding was so-so. The trail was poor in places but generally well-cairned, and since you're in a canyon, it's hard to really get lost.

I marked the hike on HAZ as non-dog-friendly because it appears that BLM made it a no-dog-zone within the last year or two. However, I think that if a person got all the way to the trailhead with their dog before seeing the no-dogs sign, and decided to bring the dog along anyway, the dog would do fine as long as it was small enough to be carried for short stretches and/or sure-footed enough to hop a lot of boulders. (I'm not saying that this happened to us... I'm just sayin'.)
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Jun 01 2012
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Abineau - Bear Jaw LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 01 2012
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking7.00 Miles 2,115 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.75 mph
2,115 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did this one on Navajo Memorial Day, which my employer observes but many do not. This means that there weren't a lot of people on the trail. :D

When we arrived at the parking area, there were four other vehicles, and we ran into four sets of hikers on the trail. We went up Abineau and down Bear Jaw, which I've heard is the more gradual ascent (and therefore the more popular direction). Notably, however, the last half-mile or so of Abineau is pretty steep and brutal if you're in mediocre shape or worse. There wasn't any snow in the trail, although there were still a few piles right next to the trail and in the bottom of Abineau Canyon right before the Waterline Road.

I didn't see any wildlife on the trail aside from some squirrels, but there were plenty of fresh elk tracks along the Waterline Road at the top of the trail, and a few fresh deer and elk tracks lower on the trails. We also saw a few mule deer (including a little fawn) bedded down along FR 418 (near FR 420) on our way in around 2pm, and a couple wild turkeys hens crossing FR 418 around 7pm on our way out (about halfway between FR 420 and the Abineau-Bear Jaw turnoff).
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Oct 15 2011
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Abineau - Bear Jaw LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 15 2011
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking7.00 Miles 2,115 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   2.15 mph
2,115 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Decided to cram this one in late in the day. As a result, I ended up doing the last hour in the dark with a flashlight. Fortunately, I took other HAZ-users' advice to go up Abineau and down Bear Jaw, rather than the other way around. Abineau was steep, rather chilly, and still a bit snowy/icy from the storm last week, and it would have been treacherous and frustrating to do that segment of the loop in the dark. Fall colors were pretty decent, with the aspens yellow and still holding most of their leaves.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Jul 02 2011
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Lake View Trail #132Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 02 2011
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking4.00 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   2.67 mph
200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Flew up and down this trail with some family on 4th-of-July weekend. I'm always very pleased with the delightful vantage point from the top despite the short and easy hike it takes to get there.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Jun 25 2011
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 25 2011
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking10.75 Miles 3,313 AEG
Hiking10.75 Miles   8 Hrs      1.34 mph
3,313 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
Chapman
hippiepunkpirate
PrestonSands
RickVincent
This was my fourth time hiking Humphreys. It kicked my butt pretty badly, probably because I was out watching a friend's band :-({|= until after midnight and only got 3.5 hours of sleep. :yuck:

During the hike, we made a side-trip to the B-24 bomber crash. I'd only visited it once before, and that was by accident while snowshoeing this past winter. (I only saw one object at that time, and didn't realize until later that it was the crash site.)

I will do Humphreys again someday, but not after getting 3.5 hours of sleep. ](*,)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
May 08 2011
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Lake View Trail #132Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar May 08 2011
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking4.00 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   2.67 mph
200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did this hike with Ma and Pa for Mother's day. (They are not avid hikers, or even regular-exercisers.) Despite my dad's relentless grumbling, we made it all the way to the top. :y:

For your average hiker, this is a quick and easy hike with surprisingly good views from the top. In addition to a wide view of Mormon Lake to the east, there's a nice view over a cliff to the south.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Apr 10 2011
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 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Lenox CraterFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 10 2011
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking1.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles      40 Mns   1.50 mph
300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
hippiepunkpirate
I did this hike at the pumpkin-crack of dawn to see the earliest rays of light spilling across the San Francisco Peaks. It was a short hike and was well worth it. Unless there are heavy clouds to the east, you're probably guaranteed a beautiful sight at sunrise from the top of Lenox.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Apr 05 2011
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Fatmans Loop Trail #25Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2011
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking2.50 Miles 690 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   1 Hour      2.50 mph
690 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
hippiepunkpirate
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Feb 05 2011
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Agassiz PeakFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 05 2011
VVebbTriplogs 23
Snowshoeing2.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Snowshoeing2.00 Miles
1,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
JoelHazelton
Attempted this trip again (and still didn't complete it), this time with azpride. The "ridge-side" of the Snowbowl was open, but the "bowl-side" was closed to ski traffic, so we just hiked up some of the northern ski trails. We made it up to the junction of the Casino Trail and the Agassiz ski lift before we were turned back by high winds and early stages of flu.

Snowshoeing in steep terrain is a [expletive]. I need to get into MUCH better shape before I try this a third time. And not be in the early stages of the flu.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Jan 29 2011
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Robinson Mountain - O'Leary THFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 29 2011
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   3 Hrs      2.00 mph
1,100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked this on an unseasonably-warm winter morning. We started around 10:15am, and didn't see another hiker until we were halfway back down the mountain. About 10 minutes after we left the O'Leary trail and headed up the forest roads toward Robinson, we ended up on the wrong ridgeline (went northwest instead of southwest) and ended up on a smaller peak about 1/5 mile north of Robinson Mountain. We still wanted to summit Robinson, but rather than back-track, we continued along a forest road that went down and south, and then hiked off-trail up the western slope of Robinson Mountain.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Jan 09 2011
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Agassiz PeakFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Snowshoeing avatar Jan 09 2011
VVebbTriplogs 23
Snowshoeing3.00 Miles 3,036 AEG
Snowshoeing3.00 Miles
3,036 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
For some time I've wanted to snowshoe to Agassiz Peak, and finally decided to attempt it yesterday. I made the mistake of asking the lady selling permits at Agassiz Lodge if it would be okay to hike the ridgeline south of SnowBowl straight up to Agassiz (which a topo map suggests would be the easiest path), and she basically ignored my question and suggested that I take the Humphreys summit trail to Weatherford, then Weatherford toward Agassiz and eventually straight up Agassiz. After about 30 minutes of snowshoeing, it became difficult to follow the actual trail since (1) it was under 2-3 feet of snow and (2) there were well-established trails that made a beeline up toward Humphreys Saddle/Peak that were easier to follow.

Although I had with me a GPS with a saved track for the Humphreys summit trail and exact coordinates for Agassiz Peak, we decided to just hike in the general direction of "up" and enjoy the scenery rather than worry about reaching Agassiz. This seemed like the safer and more enjoyable plan since (1) this was our first time snowshoeing, (2) we got a late start [around 10am], and (3) we had evening plans and wanted to be down the mountain by 4:30 or so.

In any case, it was good fun, and I still plan to attempt this snowshoe trek some other time. Now that I have a little experience under my belt, it should be pretty easy and fun to summit Agassiz Peak on a day when I can get an early start and don't have evening plans to worry about. :)
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Jan 01 2011
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Eagletail Mountains WanderSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2011
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   5 Hrs      1.40 mph
1,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
JoelHazelton
Note to hike author: Good call on the "Wander" classification.

Over New Year's weekend, I car-camped for two nights next to the small butte that is just outside of the Wilderness and north of Courthouse Rock. Having looked at topos in advance (but having forgotten to bring said topos with us), we knew that there was a "natural arch" west of our camp. Once we arrived to the area, we saw a natural arch west of camp, perhaps 2-3 miles away and 1,000-1,500 feel up in elevation, and we decided to hike toward it. (However, looking at the topo again, I'm not convinced that the arch on the map and the arch we hiked to were actually the same one. Also, "our" arch appeared to be at the top of an enormous tombstone-shaped crag, so it would be virtually impossible to actually reach the arch itself without climbing gear, which we lacked.)

We began our hike by going down the Ben Avery Trail(?) into the Wilderness. About 5 minutes into the Wilderness, we turned right/west and went off-trail. Looking toward the crag that contains the arch, you'll see a small watershed that slopes down and left from the crag/arch. This is roughly the path you'll want to take if you go where we went. (If we had made a beeline from our camp to the arch, we would have encountered some moderately-sized sheer cliffs going up toward the arch.) As you approach the slope, you'll likely notice a wash on your left that becomes deeper as you approach the slope. There were some small pools of water in here where wildlife could drink. Around the same time, you might also notice a little-used road that comes in from the right. (You'll see on a map that this road is parallel to and northwest of the road that you drove in on.) As you transition from flat terrain to mountainous terrain, you'll see a couple options for heading up toward the arch. I know there are at least two routes that would work, because my group momentarily split up -- they beared right, and I stayed straight/left along the wash/canyon for a little while longer, hoping to see critters.

From here, the terrain gets steep, but it's not too difficult or treacherous if you just follow the ridgeline that goes up toward the arch. Once or twice, you might look ahead and ask yourself "is this actually hikeable?" but as you press onward you'll find that it's not that bad. There are even some game trails that you can follow from time to time. When we did this hike in the mid-afternoon on a winter day, we actually reached a point where the sun went behind the crag and shined through the arch. (I think azpride got a photo of me standing in the ~6'x6' patch of light that was coming through the arch. If he had his camera in a quick-draw holster, he could have gotten a really cool shot of a small cholla illuminated by sunlight but surrounded by shade, but the sunny patch was moving pretty quickly and the opportunity vanished.) The ridgeline eventually got us up to a knifeblade-like ridge that let us look all the way back east toward our camp, or pretty far west down the next watershed. After exploring the upper portion of the next watershed, and hiking most of the way around the back of the tombstone-shaped crag containing the arch, we made this our turn-around point and headed back to camp.

One of my hiking buddies is a novice rock climber, and he said that a person with the right gear would be able to climb (at least part of the way) up the back of the crag if they wanted to reach the arch. We didn't try, so we don't know how quickly it might become sketchy, but at least initially it looks climbable.

Since the off-trail terrain isn't bad, I actually suggest a full-day hike or a backpacking trip for this area, because it seemed like the farther in we went, the niftier it became.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Jun 26 2010
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
North Canyon Trail #4Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 26 2010
VVebbTriplogs 23
Backpack5.80 Miles 2,616 AEG
Backpack5.80 Miles   5 Hrs      1.16 mph
2,616 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
JoelHazelton
When I was planning this trip late last spring, I called the USFS office that manages the area for information. The ranger said that she hadn't been out there recently, and would actually be interested in me reporting back on the trail conditions. Before I wrote this hike description, a Google search for "north canyon trail kaibab" returned multiple websites with one-paragraph descriptions of the hike, many of which seemed to be copy-and-pasted from the USFS website. There was no detailed nor up-to-date information available anywhere on the internet. Between the time that I did the hike and the time that I got around to writing this description (7 months later), the AZGFD did a habitat-enhancement project on the creek to benefit the population of endangered Apache trout that lives there. (There is a news article regarding this project hyperlinked in the hike description.) I'm unsure whether they did any trail maintenance while they were in there. The article says they brought supplies in on horseback, so I'd be really curious to know whether they rode the horses down from the rim on the switchbacks, or up the canyon and through its dense foliage.

This hike is very remote and relaxing. It's the only place I've ever been where you can walk up to an endangered species in the wild and see it from 5-10 feet away. (However, I should mention that the little fishies are quick to notice humans and dart into their hiding places, so be sneaky as you approach the creek if you want to see one.) This hike isn't going to get five-star ratings because it doesn't have any outstanding landmarks (other than the endangered trout, some Indian rock art, and an elevated view of the Grand Canyon ~7-10 miles away), but it was definitely enjoyable.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Apr 12 2010
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Brown's Cave via Apache LakeGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Kayak avatar Apr 12 2010
VVebbTriplogs 23
Kayak5.50 Miles 500 AEG
Kayak5.50 Miles   3 Hrs      1.83 mph
500 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
JoelHazelton
See the main hike description for details of this trip, since I authored that description based on this outing.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
3 archives
Mar 06 2010
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 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Saddle Mountain to Plateau Overlook PtPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 06 2010
VVebbTriplogs 23
Backpack15.10 Miles 2,800 AEG
Backpack15.10 Miles2 Days         
2,800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
JoelHazelton
Pathfinder Aaron
Hiked with azpride and Pathfinder Aaron -- See their trip logs for details on this trip.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
2 archives
Nov 22 2009
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Hassayampa River via Needle OverlookPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 22 2009
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.50 mph
1,500 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
JoelHazelton
This particular trail is interesting, but not spectacular. If you plan to hike in this area, I definitely suggest a full-day hike or a backpacking trip. I seem to recall that there was a trail that went around "the needle" that would've been really fun to do. As long as it's so desolate, backpacking the area would actually sound really good. Plus, the AEG isn't bad, so you could cover ground pretty quickly, even with a full frame pack.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Oct 25 2009
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
China PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 25 2009
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking1.00 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles      45 Mns   1.33 mph
750 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Oct 24 2009
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
China PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2009
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking1.00 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles      45 Mns   1.33 mph
750 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hiked the abridged version of this trail, which Preston Sands briefly mentions in the beginning of his write-up of the full China Peak hike. FR 697 probably sees very little use throughout the year due to its ruggedness, but since I hiked during deer hunting season, several other trucks had also made the climb that weekend. Gordon Camp is a valley-like area which is about one mile south of China Peak and about two miles north of Middlemarch Road.

The Gordon Camp area is relatively small, and closely surrounded by looming granite mountains, but there is still enough space to accommodate 2-3 separate groups of campers, still having some space between them for privacy.

I recommend making the drive up to Gordon Camp in either of two circumstances: (1) you don't have enough time or energy to start the hike down at the junction of Middlemarch Road and FR 697, or (2) you'd like to car-camp overnight at a higher elevation in order to enjoy some cooler weather. I fell into the latter category, and hiked from Gordon Camp to China Peak a few times during the weekend, while enjoying cool mornings and evenings due to great sun blockage by the trees and surrounding mountains. In any case, *do not* attempt to drive up FR 697 to Gordon Camp without a reliable, high-clearance 4WD vehicle. Additionally, you will probably find that the narrowness and agility of a jeep or compact pickup would make for a more comfortable drive than a bulkier full-size pickup.

As for the hike itself, start north on the road that goes through Gordon Camp. After several hundred yards, the road turns to the left (east) near a small mineshaft entrance which bears a threatening sign warning you of the dangers of entering abandoned mines. After another several hundred yards, the road comes to a T -- the left path dead-ends after a few hundred yards, and the right path ascends toward China Peak. At this point, you probably have about a half-mile (and a 750ft elevation gain) before you reach the top.

The road switches-back numerous times as you ascend, and although you will encounter a small number of forks in the road, the "wrong" turns always dead-end within a very short distance. I actually recommend checking out these brief "wrong" turns, partly to satisfy curiosity and partly because it might help you avoid falling into an open mineshaft if you stay on the Peak until sunset and get careless while hiking down in the dark.

As you approach China Peak, you will also find that the makers of this old mining road apparently grew tired of making switchbacks, and instead blazed a road straight up the south side of the mountain as it nears the top. After two short but very steep stretches of trail, only a short distance remains before you reach China Peak. At this area just below the peak, I noticed several piles of bear scat, as well as some deer tracks. Proceed to the peak, and enjoy the views all around you.
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Oct 24 2009
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
China PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2009
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking1.00 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles      45 Mns   1.33 mph
750 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
Sep 26 2009
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

38 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Humphreys via Inner BasinFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2009
VVebbTriplogs 23
Hiking15.80 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking15.80 Miles   9 Hrs      1.76 mph
4,400 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
average hiking speed 1.76 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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