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Aug 12 2017
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 Guides 1
 Routes 169
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Colorado Trail Thru Hike, CO 
Colorado Trail Thru Hike, CO
 
Backpack avatar Aug 12 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Backpack489.70 Miles 91,103 AEG
Backpack489.70 Miles25 Days         
91,103 ft AEG22 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
From August 12 to September 5, I thru-hiked the Colorado Trail. :y:

The hike was split into five distinct phases, so I'll break this triplog into those sections then make additional comments afterwards

Waterton Canyon to Breckenridge
5 days, 104.1 miles, 17,612' AEG

(20.5 miles) I met a lot of people starting their thru-hike the first day. It was exciting to be starting my journey. The first six miles are along a service road and there were a lot of runners, cyclists, etc. on the trail. I saw and walked through a herd of bighorn sheep. I had dinner at the S. Platte river after a thunderstorm, then hiked a few more miles to camp. A couple I met earlier camped there too.

(22.4 miles) The second day started out finishing a section through a large burn area. Then I hiked a section of trail popular with the mountain bikers. It was a great section of trail but mostly in the forest.

(21.6 miles) The third day I ended up hiking with a couple people. First Larry from Texas, then Berno from Germany. Berno quit his job and has been hiking since February. He did Hayduke, Denali, GDT, etc. A big storm rolled in so we stopped a bit early to set up our shelters for the night.

(26.8 miles) Fourth day we hiked together until Jefferson Creek where the trail starts to climb to close to 12K' Berno is much stronger climbing than I. This climb was the first time the trail gets above tree line and the views were great!

(12.8 miles) Fifth day I had a short day into Breckenridge. First an uphill, then mostly down the rest of the way.

Breckenridge to Twin Lakes
4 days, 72.6 miles, ~15,000' AEG

(15.9 miles) Resupplied in the morning and was on trail 10. Very tough climb up and over the Ten Mile Range. That was the first time the trail exceeds 12K'. About 1/2 mile of trail was scorched from the Type 2 fire earlier this year. Breck Epic Mt. Bike race was on and I was following the cyclists and missed a turn. Went about a mile down the wrong trail before I figured that out.

(25.2 miles) Went over Searle Pass, then dropped down to Kokomo Pass, then a long descent to Camp Hale. There was a large herd of sheep past Searle Pass. Met David Fanning at camp. Last year he wrote, "Voices of the Colorado Trail." It's stories of CT hikers he interviewed on trail. It's a good read, check it out.

(22.5 miles) I felt tired today. Leapfrogged with David throughout the day. There was some tough climbs and part of the trail was flagged for the Leadville 100 race. At the top of one climb, people were setting up an aid station for the race. I passed by the trail up Mt. Massive. I was hoping to set myself up to climb Elbert tomorrow but didn't make it as far as I wanted.

(9.0 miles) I decided I was too tired to climb Elbert today so I just went into Twin Lakes. There was a trail crew working on the trail in one point. There was some nice views of Elbert and of Twin Lakes. I made it to Twin Lakes before noon, then hung out all day.

Twin Lakes to Monarch Pass (Salida)
4 days + zero day in Salida, 84.6 miles, ~20,000 AEG

(23.3 miles) First I walked around Twin Lakes. People suggested skipping that, that it would be hot and boring. I really liked that stretch of trail though. I got in the lake two different times. It was refreshing. The eclipse was today. I didn't have glasses to watch it with. I don't even know when it occurred; I couldn't tell. Everything was quiet for a bit, perhaps it was then. I took the Collegiate West alternate. The climb up Hope Pass was steep and hard. The Leadville 100 contestants raced up it yesterday. I can't imagine. It was nice to get beyond hope. :sl:

(16.0 miles) The day started out climbing Lake Ann Pass. It's another tough climb. I saw two people I met at Twin Lakes. They skipped going around the lake. I was tired today and never really got going. I took a 40 minute nap this afternoon. I had an early dinner, and then I called it a day early too. It actually was a good place to stop as there probably isn't a good place to camp for another 7 miles or so. I camped by a pond a couple miles below Cottonwood Pass.

(26.1 miles) Today was the best yet. It followed the divide for miles, most of it above tree line. The views were great. The trail is amazing. Miles of it through talus but the tread is made of crushed rock so it isn't too bad to walk on. I can't imagine the labor that went into creating this trail. I would have liked to stop earlier, but there was no place to camp and I finished in the dark. It sets me up for tomorrow though.

(19.2 miles) I had a sucky camp and my shelter was soaking wet this morning. It was damp for the first few miles. I had a few up and downs in the morning, then a good climb up onto the divide. It started hailing on my way up, and really started coming down hard once I was on the divide. The umbrella worked perfectly. It blocked the hail/ran and the wind. Once the sweat from the climb dried, I was comfortable. The trail was a bit confusing once I reached the ski area but I made it through without any wrong turns. I got ice cream at the Monarch Pass store and found a ride into Salida.

Monarch Pass to Spring Creek Pass (Lake City)
5 days, 101.2 miles, ~16,000 AEG

(23.4 miles) I found a ride to Monarch Pass in the motel parking lot and made it on trail by nine. I was worried I wouldn't get on trail until much later. There were a lot of Mt. bikers and some dirt bikers on the trail today as it was Saturday and is a favorite trail to ride. The terrain was fairly easy and I made good time.

(25.6 miles) Lots of forest and meadows today, cows too. Also had longer water carries but all under ten miles. I met three CT hikers at one water source and we hiked to the next source together, nine miles. I stopped and had dinner there, then hiked several more miles before stopping. Light rain setting up camp then for the next few hours.

(26.5 miles) If I wanted a 30 mile day, today would have been the day to do it. There was a lot of roads today and the walking was easy. There was more water than yesterday, so my pack was lighter. The day ended with several miles along the Cochetopa Creek. I had dinner near a stream but cows were slowly nearing me so I yelled at them. I found a collapsible lantern on the trail and was able to return it to the owners when I reached them later. they were happy to get the lantern back.

(20.2 miles) I saw a moose early on. It was in a pond just off the trail. I saw Heather "Anish" Anderson on her CT FKT attempt. We said our good mornings when we passed each other. I wish I got my picture with her. There were some hard climbs today. If I was going to do a 14er, today would have been the day as San Luis Peak is very accessible from the trail. One climb was really steep and I was short on water. It was nice not carrying the weight, but I really could have used it. I finished the day camping on Snow Mesa near a pond. This was my first night camping above 12K'.

(5.5 miles) I got a late start since I didn't have far to hike today. It got cold last night and my tarp was covered with frost. I enjoyed the walk across Snow Mesa.

Spring Creek Pass to Durango
6 days, 127.2 miles, 22,528' AEG

(18.5 miles) I hiked with Eric today. He stayed at the hostel and we both got a ride to the trailhead together. We made it much farther than I had hoped too. There was lots of spectacular views today and we passed the CT high point, 13,271'.

(21.8 miles) I went to put a shoe on to go pee last night and my foot wouldn't go in the shoe. I thought the sock was bunched so I straightened it and tried again. That didn't work so I figured the insole was out of whack. I stuck my hand in the shoe and felt something furry. I pulled my hand out and dropped the shoe. I think it was a pika. :o It rained last night and my tarp was all wet this morning. Today there was a lot of up and down, all of it above 12K', so it was a tough one. It was worth it though, so much eye candy today, the views were amazing! A big hailstorm blew in near the end of the day and the temperatures dropped a lot. I put my fleece hoody on so I could put my hands in the pocket to keep them warm.

(21.0 miles) The day started with a big descent to the Animas River. Eric took the train to Silverton for resupply. I waited for the train at the tracks but got impatient and continued. there was a climb up to Molas Pass but it wasn't too bad. I'm not sure if it was because the altitude was low enough I could breath instead of gasp or it wasn't so steep. I stopped at the Molas Lake campground to get some more food and ice cream. Yum. There was some more rain this afternoon but not too bad. It was raining when I set up camp and then it stormed for awhile.

(25.8 miles) A doe hung out at camp all last night. Wherever I'd pee, it would lick it up. I peed farther from my tarp than I normally would. Unlucky for me, but lucky for it, I had to get up and pee a lot. The storm stopped early enough during the night that everything was dry this morning. There were some good views on trail today along with a lot of forest. The forest seems to be much healthier since Molas Pass. I thought I was going slow this morning but I made really good time this afternoon. There was a hailstorm along the way. The hail stones were marble sized and made a lot of noise on my umbrella. I was able to stay dry, even with all the water on the trail. I'm really liking this umbrella. Supposedly there's a 22 mile dry section so I drank as much as I could at the last water source and filled up 3 liters (the most I can carry).

(26.6 miles) I slept good last night. It wasn't cold so that probably helped. Archery elk is in season and I saw several hunters out. The trail passed near a road and there was two trucks parked and two bucks by the trucks. One had a really nice rack. I laughed because the hunters probably have a deer tag too. I stopped to take a picture and just up the trail, I heard a crack, smash, and a snag fell right on the trail. I'm glad I stopped. :scared: The trail passed over the last ridges above 12K' today then dropped thousands of feet into a lush and deep canyon. I caught a hiker I met yesterday and we finished the day together about a mile up from the bottom of the canyon. There were two people finishing their hike camped at the bottom and then there are five of us finishing our hike camping together. It's funny how suddenly we all converge together.

(13.5 miles) I finished the trail today! :y: There was a short climb, maybe 600', then the rest of the day was pretty much descending. The trail went by a creek so I stopped and rinsed my shirt and wiped my face and body off. I don't want to be too stinky at the end. There was a part where the trail started looking a lot like Arizona with Ponderosa Pine and scrub Oak. I was a bit nostalgic finishing the hike. I was excited to be finishing but was a bit sad knowing that I'll be off trail too. I met a couple that used to live in Arizona. The man had a Show Low t-shirt on. After I reached the trailhead and had my mini celebration, I started walking/hitching to Durango. A few cars had passed me by but then a truck stopped for me and it was that couple. I'm glad I talked to them while on trail. They dropped me off right in front of Carvers Brewing Co. Carvers gives a pint of their Colorado Nut Brown Trail Ale to all CT finishers. Yum!

Overall Impressions
Going into this hike, I had two big personal questions: Would I be able to handle the altitude and hike the miles day to day and recover or would I become exhausted? Would I enjoy being on the trail for an extended period of time or would I get tired of it all and want to get off trail? Well, I didn't become exhausted and felt I was getting stronger the longer I was on trail and I never wanted to get off trail. Yes, I would be anxious to have a town day, but I was always happy to get back to the trail. On my one zero day, it seemed wrong that I wasn't hiking. I did need the break, but it just seemed wrong.

The people you meet on trail are the best! I met a fair number of other CT thru-hikers. Maybe more than most since I was covering more miles than most of the others. Whatever, the case, it was always a pleasure to talk to the other hikers and maybe walk a few miles together. The day hikers and cyclists seemed to especially want to see how I was doing and hear about my hike. It was fun to meet up with the other thrus at the town stops too. Dinners with groups of hikers was a lot of fun.

The forests are decimated. It's really sad to see. Large swaths of trees were dead from the beetle kill. This was especially prominent from Breckenridge to Molas Pass. There are a lot of young healthy trees growing amongst the dead trees so hopefully in time the forests will recover. In the meantime, all the dead trees are sure to be a tinder box and I worry that there will be some devastating fires.

Planning
For planning, I first used both DallinW's triplog and friendofThundergod's triplog from 2016.

I also used the Colorado Trail Foundation's website, along with PMags' Colorado Trail End to End Guide, of which I saved as a PDF on my phone so I would have access to it during the hike.

I bought both The Colorado Trail Guidebook, 9th ed. and, The Colorado Trail Databook, 6th ed. The databook is compact and is for on trail reference, so I took it with me for navigation/reference and my wife followed me using the guidebook.

Also, for navigation, I bought and installed the Atlas Guides (Guthook) CT App on my phone. This is the official CT App promoted by the Colorado Trail Foundation and distances, etc., match what's in the databook.

I decided to buy my resupply as I went and not send any resupply packages. My plan was to resupply in Breckenridge, Twin Lakes, Salida, Lake City, and Silverton. During the hike, I was a bit worried about meeting my schedule, so I decided to resupply for six days in Lake City and skip the Silverton resupply.

Logistics
Originally, I wanted to only use 3 weeks of vacation but decided it would be difficult to travel to/from the trail and be able to complete the whole hike, so I decided to bracket Labor Day and use 17 days of vacation. That gave me three more days to complete the trail. I knew it would be difficult but doable and I also knew if I was behind schedule I could bail out around Silverton if necessary.

I ended up booking a Friday evening flight to Denver on August 11, and an afternoon flight out of Durango back to Phoenix (via Denver) on September 6, the Wednesday after Labor Day. I booked my flights June 13, about two months before my departure and got what I think is a really good price of $180. I added the $20 flight insurance just in case something came up and I wouldn't be able to use them.

I got lucky when a friend of mine offered to be my, "Denver logistics support for Friday and Saturday." He picked me up at the airport Friday, let me stay at his place, picked up a canister of stove fuel for me, and took me to the trailhead Saturday morning. It worked out perfectly, I can't thank him enough!

TSA doesn't allow trekking poles as carry on and my plane ticket only allowed one "personal item," not a carry on (it's smaller dimensions) so I packed my poles, umbrella, shelter, knife, food, etc. in a box and checked the box as luggage. That made my pack small enough to carry on the plane. For my return, I stopped at a UPS store in Durango and just shipped that stuff back home.

Resupply/Town Stops
My first town stop was in Breckenridge. It's really easy getting around Breckenridge as the bus system is free and convenient. I stayed at The Bivvy Hostel. It's a bit more than some other hostels, but it's nice, clean, serves breakfast, and there's a nearby bus stop. I resupplied at the City Market. It had a good selection of food and reasonable prices.

My second town stop was in Twin Lakes. I got into town around noon and hung out at the Pass Gas general store all afternoon with other hikers. The resupply was expensive. I dropped $70 for resupply, including $10 for a small canister of stove fuel. On the bright side, the beverages were reasonably priced. I got a a 20oz Gatorade and a 16oz IPA for $5. I had lunch at the Twin Lakes Lodge and then had dinner there with three other hikers. My plan was to stay at the hostel there, but it had "issues" and was shut down for the season. The lodge had no vacancies, so I just headed back to the trail for the night.

I stayed in Salida for my third town stop. I didn't feel like sharing a room at a hostel, so I stayed at the Super 8. I had a nice room and the motel was pretty nice for a Super 8. I took a zero (rest day) in Salida. Salida is sort of spread out, but the motel had bikes guests could use so it made it easy getting around town. I resupplied at a Walmart so the prices were good.

My last town stop was in Lake City. It took awhile to hitch from the trail into town; the road is lightly travelled. Lake City was providing a shuttle service from the trail into town and back which is really nice (leaves Lake City at noon, arrives at trail ~12:30), especially if you don't get a hitch. I stayed at the Raven's Rest hostel. It's run by a triple crown hiker (hiked AT, CDT, and PCT) that liked the town when he did the CDT and decided to move there. He was out of town so I never met him. It's a pretty laid back place. Only me and two others were staying there so I had a room to myself. It's a nice town. Resupply was pricey but not too bad. I had to resupply for six days so that might be why it seemed a bit pricey.

I decided I was a bit short on food on my last stretch, so I also walked to the Lake Molas Campground, where there is a small store. It's maybe a half mile off the trail. It actually had a nice choice of items and I could have easily resupplied for a few days. I got cookies and a bar each for the next three days and a Klondike Bar and Gatorade for there. I was also able to dump my trash. The store will accept resupply packages too, so it's a convenient place to resupply, more so than Silverton as you wouldn't need to hitch into town from Molas Pass.
 Culture
 Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Railroad Right-of-Way
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Jul 01 2017
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 Triplogs 1,475

62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 01 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Backpack31.41 Miles 4,588 AEG
Backpack31.41 Miles2 Days         
4,588 ft AEG24 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Since I thought the fire closure ended June 30, I thought I'd hike the Cabin Loop trail and see what the Highline Fire did. Well, the closure is until July 30, not June 30, so I messed up there. Except for the Houston Brothers trail, most of the Cabin Loop is outside the closure so things essentially worked out.

I started/finished at Washington Park to avoid the drive along the Rim Rd. I attempted to take the Houston-Mesa Rd but it was closed at 2nd Crossing (the second place where the road crosses the East Verde) for the annual Whispering Pines Independence Day parade, so I backtracked to the Beeline and up to the Control Rd. You're forewarned for the future.

I started hiking about half past eleven, following the AZ Trail up to the rim. Maybe 10 minutes into it, an AZ Black Rattlesnake said hello. Maybe five minutes later, another said hello. I don't know what's going on but that makes 22 rattlesnake encounters for me just this year.

It was warm hiking up the rim, so I stopped and got half a liter of water from a stream crossing the trail (road really).

I took the Tunnel Trail as it is easier to climb than staying on the old road, but it is still pretty steep near the top.

Once on the rim, I turned right onto the Crook Trail. There really isn't any tread on the Crook trail, one just follows chevrons nailed to trees. There was a lot of flagging tied to the trees that helped too. This sounds easy, but it's not. The chevrons tend to be scattered and it's not always obvious where the old Crook Trail goes. This was also hampered by the recent fire damage. Flagging doesn't do to well in fire and the chevrons get charred and don't show up as well. I was glad I had GPS tracks to help me along.

Once I reached the Houston Brothers trail, there was a sign saying the area was closed due to fire activity. That's when I noticed the closure order was through July 30, not June 30. Well, I hadn't seen any smoke or any smoldering at all, so I decided to ignore the closure and continued. Not too far later, the area was nice forest, maybe Spruce and/or White Pine? and oak, furns, etc., when I came upon a place with random areas smoldering. This surprised me as it wasn't like the burned areas I had already passed. I decided to go back to the start of the closed area and look at the map closure. It looked like the north end of the loop wasn't in the closure or maybe a small part of it. Also, the Barbershop Trail is mostly outside the closure. I decided to continue on the Houston Brothers trail to the Barbershop trail as it was maybe two miles at the most. In retrospect, I probably should have just stuck to the roads to get to the Barbershop trail, but it was interesting walking through the closure. There was several places smoldering though none on the trail. I never felt in danger, but what do I know about forest fires? I did see a few elk sightings and I also startled a bear. Yes, it startled me too. The trail dipped down into a small creek south of the Barbershop trail junction. The bear was getting a drink, so it wasn't visible in the small gully. We were probably 10-15 yards apart when it poked its head up, saw me, and ran off.

The Barbershop trail follows an old road for a bit then turns off and the road continues along Dane Canyon. There's a big arrow made out of tree trunks pointing the way. Of course, I missed them and ended up walking well over half a mile before realizing my mistake. All told, I walked an extra 1.3 miles and was utterly shocked at how I missed that big arrow to begin with. My only consolation is that others must have made the same mistake before me; why else would the arrow be there?

It was about six when I reached Coyote Spring and filled up on water. My plan was to hike until 6:30, then find a place to camp. I was hoping to make it to Dane Spring, but my navigation faux pas changed that and I was maybe a mile short.

Sunday, I was on the trail at 6:15. When I reached Dane Spring, I stopped and gathered a couple liters of water. I probably should have only gotten one as it was less than two hours to Barbershop Canyon, where I stopped and had a bite to eat and got a little more water to drink while there. There was a couple camping there. They were still in their tent when I arrived and the man got out and came over just when I was readying to leave. We talked for a few minutes.

From there, I continued to Pinchot Cabin, where I got some more water from the stream below the spring. There was some people camping there too but they were off a ways so we never spoke.

From there, the trail climbs up to a road. There was a forest closure sign, but it was about 100' above where the trail is and the trail is just a short cut to a road that wasn't in the closure, so I took that. The burn was on the south side of the trail, and not the north side. The trail then follows the road as it crosses Bear Canyon. The trail was closed where it turns off the road, but it is at the north end of the closure for a short distance, so I took the trail. I was out of the closure in about ten minutes. Most of this was through a burn area but the fire was spent.

Just past Quien Sabe Spring, I stopped for food break. When I was getting ready to go, a young man came up, then shortly his parents. We all said hello and I ended up walking behind the young man and the parents dropped back. We had a great conversation for the next few miles when he decided he should wait for his parents.

When I reached the General Spring Cabin, I stopped for another food break before finishing the hike back to Washington Park.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Barbershop Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Box Canyon Light flow Light flow

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

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

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dude Lake 1-25% full 1-25% full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Pea Soup Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full

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

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Quien Sabe Spring Dripping Dripping
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Jun 06 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
White House Ruin Trail - Canyon de ChellyNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 06 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking2.50 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   2 Hrs      1.25 mph
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This is a fun trail. There's a couple of tunnels, one near the top and one near the bottom. Walking down through the bottom one is especially nice as the tunnel frames a small field with a Hogan in it. The trail descent/climb is simple to follow and the trail is wide enough that there is minimal exposure. The views up and down the canyon are very nice too and they make it very easy to stop for a rest break on the climb and take it all in.

Once on the canyon floor, there is a bridge across the creek to the side the ruins are on, then a short walk along the creek to the ruins. There are outhouses on the opposite side of the creek from the ruins. There is a bridge across the creek to get to them, but it is currently closed from, I believe, erosion that has undermined the bridge support.

The white house ruins make the hike every bit worth the effort. Be sure to bring binoculars to study the pictographs on the walls and to spot the hand prints. We forgot ours, but fortunately another visitor kept handing us his so we could peek at what he had seen.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Canyon de Chelly National Monument
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Jun 05 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Crystal Forest LoopNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking0.80 Miles 120 AEG
Hiking0.80 Miles      30 Mns   1.60 mph
120 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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I really like this loop. It's paved so it's easy to walk and it is surrounded by literally tons of petrified wood. The detail on some of the logs is amazing. The way some of the logs are broken into slices sort of reminds me of sushi rolls. Saw several lizards sunning on petrified wood too. Totally cool!
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Jun 05 2017
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 Phoenix, AZ
Blue Mesa TrailNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking1.00 Miles 210 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles      40 Mns   1.50 mph
210 ft AEG
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This is another paved loop in Petrified Forest NP. There's a steep descent near the start that you need to ascend at the end too. There were some trail workers building a stone wall to help prevent erosion at the steep section of the path. We really liked the walk through the loop. Seeing and learning about "bad lands" was fun and informative. We had fun looking for "pipes" formed from rain draining through the soft and steep slopes.
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Jun 04 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Walnut CanyonFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking2.10 Miles 650 AEG
Hiking2.10 Miles
650 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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All paved hiking trail with stairs on the steeper sections. Great views of Sinagua cliff dwellings from along the trail, including several rooms the trail goes past. Nice enjoyable hike.
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May 29 2017
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 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Little Pan Loop from Table Mesa Road TH - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 29 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking9.27 Miles 975 AEG
Hiking9.27 Miles   3 Hrs   14 Mns   2.91 mph
975 ft AEG      3 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
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I hiked this same loop last Memorial Day. Is this becoming a tradition?

I hiked Little Pan Loop clockwise. It was a pretty uneventful hike today. There were two cyclists at the trailhead. I saw them again when I reached the north end of the loop at the road. They said they saw a rattlesnake at the river. That was a ways off so the odds of me seeing it too were slim to none. None it was. I saw four other cyclists on the west side of the loop. That was it for seeing people, it was quiet out today.

On the east side of the loop, I heard a huff, and not too long after I spotted a lone wild burro on the other side of a ravine and up a bit from me. We watched each other for a bit. I don't often see burros alone, in my experience they're usually in groups.

By the time I made it back to the table mesa area, there was a lot of shooting going on. The last few years, BLM has done some work in the area and limited shooting to areas away from the BCT so I wasn't concerned about errant bullets flying near me.
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May 27 2017
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 Guides 1
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Soap Creek Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 27 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking16.42 Miles 1,761 AEG
Hiking16.42 Miles   5 Hrs   23 Mns   3.07 mph
1,761 ft AEG      2 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
Partners none no partners
Thought I'd see how sere the desert has become along the BCT from Black Canyon City trailhead to Black Canyon Creek. The last time I was on this part of the BCT (mid March), there was water in most every wash, the desert was green, and the wildflowers were in bloom. Well, it's dried up a lot and the green and yellows have been replaced with brown.

There is still flow along the Agua Fria river, however it was easy to rock hop across. Besides the flowing Agua Fria, all the washes were dry except for some pools of water in Soap Creek and Black Canyon Creek.

I had a great walk but it was warm on my return and I was happy to finish and get out of the heat.

dry Black Canyon Creek Dry Dry
Still some stagnant pools


dry Soap Creek Dry Dry
Some stagnant pools
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May 09 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Tuesday Night on SoMo, AZ 
Tuesday Night on SoMo, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 09 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking6.90 Miles 1,513 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   2 Hrs   49 Mns   2.52 mph
1,513 ft AEG      5 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
I'm not sure the weather could have been better for this hike. Temps were great, especially for May. It was a bit breezy and the sky tried to spit at us a bit, but hey, at least it gave us something to talk about.

It was nice to see Chumley and Linda again. It was also nice to meet John and Dennis and Larry too. It's great to put faces to names on this site.

I was just following so I didn't even know where or when we skipped that one loop, but the timing was better as I got home by ten.

I enjoyed the route. It's mostly trail but there is some scrambling over rocks getting up on the ridge that adds character to the hike. The views are always good on South Mountain, especially after some wind and rain to clear the sky. The moon was peaking through the clouds too. Fun!

Wore a brand spanking new pair of shoes. It was nice not slipping all over with the completely worn out pair I had. I finally gave up waiting for Joe to add that shoe feature Linda requested. :lol:
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Apr 30 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 30 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking13.83 Miles 1,809 AEG
Hiking13.83 Miles   4 Hrs   53 Mns   2.89 mph
1,809 ft AEG      6 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I thought it would be nice to get a reasonably long hike on the BCT before the summer heat sets in. Today was a good day for that as it started out coolish and wasn't too hot when I finished. There is still a fair bit of water running in the Agua Fria River. There wasn't a place to rock hop across, so I took my shoes off and waded on the way out. On the return trip, I just sloshed through, soaking my shoes and socks.

There were some Mountain Bikers out. Two were bike packing. I saw them camped at the Agua Fria, then they caught and passed me right before I turned around at Cottonwood Gulch. We talked for a few minutes and I told then what I thought the water situation would be for the rest of the BCT.

There were still some pools of water in Cottonwood Gulch and the canyon along the trail that feeds into it. I figured it would have all dried up by now. Nothing was flowing though.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Apr 23 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Skull Mesa - Cottonwood Creek LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking11.49 Miles 2,740 AEG
Hiking11.49 Miles   5 Hrs   21 Mns   2.50 mph
2,740 ft AEG      45 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
This was spur cross of the moment. I woke up at 5 and thought, I should hike to Skull Mesa today. It was a bit before 7 when I got on trail.

A couple just set up a tent and books and maps and such at the pay site. I was their first customer, paying the $3 fee in quarters (hey when I was getting ready to go I decided to get rid of several of the quarters I've been amassing).

It was mid 60s when I started; really nice hiking. There was plenty of water in Cave Creek, but it was always easy enough to rock hop across and keep my feet dry.

After the first climb on 247, I interrupted a javelina on its morning stroll. It continued walking up the trail for a bit before running off.

About 3.5 miles in, the trail crosses a wash with a good trickle of running water. There's an old cement trough there too, however there was no water in it. It's mostly filled with dirt now. There is no water source specified on HAZ for it (Added to HAZ as Dirt Trough Creek).

About 4.75 miles in, where 247 crosses a wash before the last push to the 248 junction, there's a nice crested saguaro above the left (NW) bank. Be sure to check it out.

I took 248 up to the top of Skull Mesa. One of these days I'll have to continue on 248 and make the loop back to 247 instead of just going up and back down. This trip was spur of the moment and I really wasn't wanting the extra distance with the pending heat later in the day.

It appears that 248 hasn't got much use this year. The grass is tall, especially on top of the mesa. It's nice and green too. I really love the views of Sugarloaf, Elephant Mountain, Black Mesa, New River Mesa from atop Skull Mesa. They never disappoint.

The temps were quite nice on the mesa and there was a nice breeze to keep it fresh. I could definitely feel it warming up as I descended back to the 248/247 junction. Once continuing on 247 a short distance, there's a really spectacular crested saguaro east of the trail and down some. Unfortunately, I started looking for it just after I passed it, so I missed it this trip.

This stretch of 247, from the junction back to Spur Cross doesn't get as much traffic and is somewhat overgrown, but still not difficult to follow. I thought I had my GPS tracks from my Feb 2016 trip but didn't and was able to follow the trail from memory just fine.

There was a good trickle of water where 247 crosses Cottonwood Creek. It's a bit above the spring. I'm glad I remembered to turn up where the trail crossed the creek otherwise I would have ended up back on Skull Mesa.

From the creek, the trail undulates up and down, mostly down, for several miles back to Spur Cross. Somewhere in there, I rounded a corner and was surprised to see a coyote carcass right in the middle of the trail. It seems like a strange place to die, though I have no idea how much of a choice the poor dog had.

I made it back to my truck a bit past noon and the temps were barely bearable at about 93.
 Fauna
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Coyote  Javelina
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Several different cacti were blooming along with several plants. A lot more than I expected.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Spring Dripping Dripping
Didn't actually see the spring, however where 247 crosses the creek just above it had some flow and a small pool.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dirt Trough Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Nice trickle of water
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Apr 02 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Circumference Trail - Deem HillsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking10.42 Miles 1,669 AEG
Hiking10.42 Miles   3 Hrs   11 Mns   3.34 mph
1,669 ft AEG      4 Mns Break9 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
Partners none no partners
What a nice morning for a walk. Deem Hills trails were fairly busy on this Sunday morning, but not bad. I passed one couple three times throughout the hike. Twice is common, but not thrice.

The bees are swarming. A swarm flew directly over me on the west side of the park on the Circumference Trail above the ball fields. They were about 10' above and very noisy as they passed. Then, a second swarm flew directly over me on the east end of the Circumference Trail. Again they were very noisy but this time they were right above me and I bent down a bit as they swarmed past. The pucker factor was real.

Later as I approached a couple hiking, the lady screamed and ran past me. I hope it wasn't me; I try not to be that creepy guy.
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Apr 01 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Geronimo Trail - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 01 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking5.58 Miles 1,518 AEG
Hiking5.58 Miles   2 Hrs   4 Mns   2.79 mph
1,518 ft AEG      4 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I had some scout meetings at the Heard Scout Pueblo, so afterwards I went for a two hour hike up the Geronimo Trail. I started at the Pueblo, so started up the camp spur trail until it joined the Geronimo Trail. Once I made it to the Buena Vista Trailhead, I continued ENE on the National Trail a short distance up to a saddle, then broke off the trail and followed another to a high point with a nice 360 degree panorama.

From there I headed back from whence I came, except I continued on the Geronimo Trail instead of heading directly back to the Heard. I detoured up to the camp overlook, I forget the name of it, maybe Pisgah? After that, I continued back down the Geronimo Trail to camp and my truck.
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Mar 10 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Bct Fkt, AZ 
Bct Fkt, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 10 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Backpack80.29 Miles 6,374 AEG
Backpack80.29 Miles4 Days         
6,374 ft AEG21 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Last week I got just over halfway hiking the BCT when I threw in the towel due to a swiftly flowing Black Canyon Creek and Agua Fria River. What I didn't mention, is that I was attempting to set an initial mark for the Fastest Known Time (FKT) for hiking the BCT from end to end. I believe the BCT is a gem of a trail and my purpose in the attempt was to hopefully garner this National Recreation Trail some more interest and recognition. I knew any mark I would set could be bested by many others but I hoped my endeavor would at least let people know of the trail and hopefully hike it too. Since I had publicly announced the attempt, I figured I better give it another shot.

March 10, Staging - 2.6 miles, 255 aeg

Not much to say here. My daughter dropped me off at Orme Road and FS 68B at dusk and I walked for about an hour to near the Prescott National Forest Boundary, the northern end of the BCT. I had thrown my gear together last minute and unfortunately, had left my wind jacket and groundsheet at home. I didn't bring a shelter and the moon was big, so I pulled my beanie over my eyes so I could sleep.

March 11, Day 1 - 31.13 miles, 2188 aeg

I set my alarm for 5 and was stirring by 5 after. It didn't take too long to get going and I was heading to the PNF boundary, the start of the BCT about 5:40. I officially started my FKT attempt at 5:47 AM.

With the moon out, it was nice hiking as the sun slowly made its appearance. There was some cloud cover, so the sunrise was very nice. In the early light, I thought all the snow had melted from the Bradshaws but as the day brightened, I was able to see that there was still some snow on the north facing slopes. When I reached the Agua Fria river, I quickly took my shoes and socks off and waded across. The water wasn't as cold nor as swift as the week before.

After I crossed Old Sycamore Rd and was heading down towards Big Bug Trailhead, there was a group from the Black Canyon Trail Coalition doing some trail work. I talked to a couple of the men for a few minutes. It appears that the Prescott National Forest has approved a corridor for extending the BCT north, all the way to the Verde River. There's a route over jeep roads for now. I don't know if there is any schedule for building actual trail.

I took a short break at the Big Bug Trailhead, then took off my shoes and socks and waded across Big Bug Creek. I grabbed a liter of water, before continuing.

The trail had dried out some since last week and there was no longer any mud and a few of the creeks that were flowing last week were just a trickle or small pools this week. There were more flowers out though, especially when I dropped down Antelope Hill and beyond.

I stopped for water at Government Spring. I left there a half hour earlier than last week. It was hotter out too and I was starting to fade, so when I was a couple miles before my planned stop, I took a break. I took my shoes off and actually laid down for a few minutes. That helped a lot and afterwards, I was able to cruise the rest of the way to my planned camp.

So this day ended up being a repeat of last week. I started and ended at the same places. I kept the same plan, even down to this trip's menu.

March 12, Day 2 - 28.93 miles, 2872 aeg

I hit the snooze button a couple times this morning and didn't make it on the trail until a bit past six. I had no trouble moving once on the trail though, so that was good. There was still water flowing just north of the Gloriana trailhead, but as before, I had water cached at the trailhead, so I continued to it and filled up there. I didn't leave with as much water as last week since I knew there would be plenty ahead.

Shortly past the trailhead, there was a bike packer breaking camp. He gave me some beta on the upcoming trail, namely Black Canyon Creek. Supposedly, he was meeting a friend at the trailhead and riding back to Rock Springs. I expected to see him again, but I never did.

There was still good flow of water through the canyon just north of and below Maggie Mine Road. There was a lot more flowers than last week as I went through there and then dropped down to Black Canyon Creek. The creek had dropped about a foot from last week and wasn't flowing nearly as swiftly. I wasn't concerned about crossing it today. I did make sure everything was sealed up in my pack before I crossed, just in case I might fall. I did take my shoes and socks off and waded across as I figured it wouldn't be that bad, and it wasn't.

There was some water in Soap Creek, and when I was climbing up towards Soap Creek Rd, there was a nice pool of water below, with what appeared to be a slide. That would have been a great place to relax and splash around at. Once I reached the road, I was surprised to see trail on the other side. I've always followed the road for a quarter mile or so until it turned to trail again. I don't know if this is new trail or if I had never noticed it before. I think it's probably new trail. Anyhow, it was nice to avoid the road.

When I reached Slate Creek, I quickly grabbed a liter of water before continuing. I knew I would reach the Agua Fria shortly, but the water here was cool and clear, and I didn't know how turbid the Agua Fria might be. As I neared the Agua Fria, I found a good stick to use as an aid crossing the river.

The Agua Fria was flowing pretty good. There's a large pool of water where the trail is as it gets backed up from a bunch of debris. Usually, one walks down stream a ways until there is a good place to cross. The current was very swift as the water poured out from the mass of debris. After securing everything in my pack, I ended up crossing over to the debris and working across it for a ways. Once I was off the debris, it was easy to finish fording the river. The stick helped a lot and I decided to carry it the two miles to the next crossing and not have to worry about finding another.

The next crossing of the Agua Fria was much simpler. One walks upstream a short distance where the river is shallower and breaks into two parts. The water was maybe knee high. Again, I sealed everything inside my pack just to be safe, though it really wasn't necessary.

Once across, there is a huge pile of sticks and branches and other debris that has piled up that I had to walk across to get to the trail. It's easy enough to walk across but it was just amazing how much stuff there was.

Shortly after the river, the trail starts climbing. About halfway up the climb, the trail goes around a false summit before continuing the ascent. I had some sand in my shoes from the river so I stopped under a tree and took a break to clean them out and to wring my socks out too. I cleaned the shoes out too well, because afterwards, my insoles started slipping around. I had to stop a couple of times in the next few miles to reposition them. What I finally tried, was rubbing the bottoms of the insoles in some dusty sand. That worked, and they stayed in place after that. Moral of the story: don't clean between the insole and sole of your shoes.

When I reached Little Pan Loop, I took the west side of the trail. The west side is all trail while the east side follows road for the first part of it. I like the west side better, so that's why I took it.

I was hoping to make another 30 miles but it was getting late and that wasn't looking likely. Plus, the heat was getting to me and I was worried about water. I had a gallon cached near the Table Mesa Trailhead at 27.5 miles or so, so I decided to make it there with enough water for the night and then use the cached water for tomorrow. My main concern though, was getting across the Agua Fria for the third time, before dark.

From above, it looked like the best place to cross would be downstream a bit from the trail, but when I reached the river, the crossing looked pretty good right at the trail. It looked deep for the first few steps, but then would get shallow quickly and be easy the rest of the way. Again, I sealed everything inside my pack, then I rolled my shorts up and took the plunge. It wasn't as deep as I was expecting; it was just above my knees and was easy to get across. I grabbed a liter of water along the way and barely stopped to get my camera back out of my pack.

The sun was starting to set as I climbed up from the river and it wasn't long before I stopped to get my headlamp and finish the hike to my water cache. I found a nice place to camp, but I kept finding small clumps of cactus spines as I was cleaning the area. I ended up setting camp up right in the middle of the trail since I didn't want to poke a hole in my Thermarest.

A BLM Ranger saw my headlamp as he was driving by making his rounds, so he stopped to see what I was doing there. We talked for a few minutes before he left.

March 13, Day 3 - 17.6 miles, 999 aeg

I knew it would be hot today, so I wanted to get going early but didn't get on the trail until a bit past six. Not far down the trail, I realized I didn't know where my bag of spare batteries was. I would need a set for my GPSr later in the morning, so I stopped to figure out where it was. I opened my pack up and started pulling things out but didn't spot it. I finally found it at the bottom of the pack, outside the pack liner. It was 6:20 by the time I was finally on the trail.

Despite my intentions of being hydrated this morning, my mouth seemed too dry when I was trying to eat. I was able to get the food down, but I had to drink more than I figured I should have had to. Somewhere in the morning, I saw a burro. That was nice, especially since I hadn't seen much wildlife so far. Most of the trail is pretty easy from Table Mesa south and it is easy to make good time. I especially like the part that winds through the saguaros north of the Boy Scout Loop. When I reached the Boy Scout Loop, I took the east side. The west side is mostly roads while the east side is all trail. When I reached the south side of the loop, I stopped to change out the batteries. It was nice to know right where to find them.

I made it to Emery Henderson Trailhead a little past 10. I had a gallon of water cached there so I grabbed it and rested at one of the ramadas for a bit. I took my shoes off and drank a bunch of water and ate a bit too.

The temps had been pretty nice so far, but when I left Emery Henderson, it seemed very hot, especially when I crossed New River Road and entered Biscuit Flats. Once south of Emery Henderson, the trail isn't used nearly as much and it is narrow and overgrown in places. This whole section of trail could use some love. There was one part completely overgrown that I was walking through absent mindedly when I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. The Diamondback didn't want to be stepped on so it let me know it was there. The Commemorative Air Force was also out flying in formation so I got to watch them make a few passes too.

By the time I was near the Federal Penitentiary, I was hurting. I wasn't able to slake my thirst and I carried a bottle so I could easily get a drink. I had no desire to eat either. In hindsight, I think overall, my food was lacking in sodium and having to drink more with the heat, I became a bit hyponatremic.

When I was about past the penitentiary, there was water running down the trail for a ways. My guess is that some convict tried to tunnel out and broke a water pipe. Ha!

The last mile and a bit of the BCT is not marked in any real way and is very difficult to follow. I mapped it out November, 2015 and was following the tracks on my GPSr. It was especially overgrown in places this year. There are places where you can tell the trail is there and there are other places where it's just gone. Every once in awhile, there is some old flagging on a bush. I really don't know where the trail is supposed to end, so I took it to a gate on the Carefree highway just west of mile post 28. My official finish time was 1:19 PM.

My plan was to hike from the end of the BCT another 8 miles or so to my house. I knew I was in a bad way, especially when I wasn't recovering after resting a few minutes, so I called my dear wife and she came and picked me up.

FKT
I was able to complete the BCT in 2 days, 7 hours, and 32 minutes (Saturday 3/11 05:47 to Monday 3/13 13:19).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Lots of wildflowers after crossing Antelope Road and dropping down Antelope Hill. Before then, not so much.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Black Canyon Creek @ BCT Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bumble Bee Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Government Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Troughs at coral full, pond full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Purcell Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
Muddy

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Slate Creek @ BCT Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Soap Creek Light flow Light flow
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Mar 05 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
BCC to Agua Fria N, AZ 
BCC to Agua Fria N, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 05 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking4.62 Miles 475 AEG
Hiking4.62 Miles   1 Hour   48 Mns   2.98 mph
475 ft AEG      15 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
After throwing in the towel on my BCT Thru yesterday at Black Canyon Creek, I decided to check out the Agua Fria River North crossing from the Black Canyon City trailhead and pickup the two water caches I had. A friend hid a geocache near the river too, so I stopped to find it.

My legs felt really tired yesterday after I stopped hiking and this morning too, but they felt really good while I walked. That sort of bummed me out since it seems, physically I was good for the full BCT.

There were a few people hiking and mountain biking along the trail. As far as I could tell, all went to the south river crossing.

The trail was in great shape the whole hike. I think the river crossing would have been quite doable today. I would have liked to see what Black Canyon Creek was like; how the flow receded from yesterday. :(

On the way back, I passed a family of four that were stopped looking at a snake, they thought was a rattler. It was a Bull Snake. For some reason, I told them it was a Gopher Snake as Bull Snake didn't come to mind, though I know that. I must be getting old. ](*,)
 Fauna
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Raccoon
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Mar 04 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
BCT Day 2 - Off Trail, AZ 
BCT Day 2 - Off Trail, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 04 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Backpack13.21 Miles 1,106 AEG
Backpack13.21 Miles1 Day         
1,106 ft AEG22 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was in deep sleep when my alarm sounded at 5 am. Snoozed a couple of times before stirring and finally made it on the trail at 6:20. I seemed to have to stop frequently to adjust things, or get food, or get a drink. I was having trouble getting in the groove. This was a nice section of trail to start though because as the sun rose, it lit up the west side of the Bradshaws. That was better than coffee.

Not too far from the Gloriana trailhead, I passed a nice running stream. There were some nice pools a short ways off the trail too. I had water cached at the trailhead so I continued to it. I filled up all my water and drank a bunch too. There were some mountain bikers at the trailhead and I talked to them for a bit and they took the water jug so I wouldn't have to come and get it later.

I left with close to a gallon of water and about three miles later I crossed a small canyon with pools of running water. I asked myself why I was carrying so much water when it was so readily available. I stayed greedy though and kept all I had.

Not far after, the trail crosses Maggie Mine Rd and drops down an old stage coach road to Black Canyon Creek. The path is steep at times and rough but there were more and more wildflowers along the path as I descended. I was hoping Black Canyon Creek wouldn't be running high, but my first view of it showed otherwise and had me worried. Not long after, I was looking down to where the trail crosses the creek, and it was running very swift.

When I got to the creek, I wasn't comfortable crossing right there. The creek widened a lot upstream a ways, but there are cliffs between there and the trail and I didn't want to climb the canyon walls and cut back across to the trail. Downstream, I found a place where the flow was slow but deep. I felt I probably could safely swim across there, then work my way back to the trail.

I don't know if it was because I was tired but I knew that if I crossed here, I would still need to cross the Agua Fria three times later today. I knew what the Agua Fria was like when I crossed it yesterday along with Big Bug Creek and who knows how many other streams were feeding the Agua Fria, including this creek, so I decided to be safe and call my hike. That decision just took all the wind out of my sails and I slowly slogged my way back up to Maggie Mine Rd.

Once at Maggie Mine Rd, I called home trying to figure out a ride from Black Canyon City. While doing that, I received a text from my friend who hiked the BCT with me last year asking if I had a good swim. Turns out he was waiting at the North Agua Fria river crossing with an inflatable boat to ferry me across. If only I had known. Ha. At any rate, I followed Maggie Mine Rd until he came the other way and gave me a ride home.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Black Canyon Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Fair bit of Poppies between Maggie Mine Road and Black Canyon Creek. Should be heavy in the next week or two.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Black Canyon Creek @ BCT Heavy flow Heavy flow
Very swift flow, I turned back instead of crossing.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bumble Bee Creek Light flow Light flow
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Mar 03 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
BCT Day 1, AZ 
BCT Day 1, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 03 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Backpack31.09 Miles 2,217 AEG
Backpack31.09 Miles1 Day         
2,217 ft AEG22 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
My plan was to hike the Black Canyon trail from end to end and continue to my home in three days. That's about 83 miles so I was hoping to cover 30 miles the first and second day and have an easy 23 miles the final day. I previously mapped out half mile waypoints of the BCT and mile 30 was at a good place to camp so that was my target.

My alarm went off at 5, earlier than I'm used to, so it took about 15 minutes to get moving. I broke camp and started my walk at 6, where I went to the Prescott Forest Boundary, to document my start time on the BCT: 6:05 AM. After half a mile, I made a quick stop at Russian Well, where I filled up a liter of water then continued. I carried way too much water on this trip as there was plenty of opportunities to get water throughout the day. I guess I'm used to the desert being a desert...

I enjoyed the sunrise as I was hiking and watching the landscape come to life. There are few trees on this portion of the BCT and the views are large. At about 4.8 miles, the trail crosses the Agua Fria for the first time. The river was flowing quite well even this for north, so I took my shoes off and waded across. The river lives up to its name as my feet got quite cold.

There was a lot of snow on the northern heights of the Bradshaw Mountains. I got to enjoy the views of the snowy mountains throughout the day.

Somewhere after nine miles, I met another backpacker heading north. He was heading to the north end of the BCT today, and planning to camp at Russian Well, then SOBO the BCT the following six days.

I was really hoping for 10 by 10, but missed it by 4 minutes. Shortly after that, I got to Big Bug trailhead and took a short break. Big Bug creek was flowing fairly well too, similar to the Agua Fria, so I took my shoes off and waded across.

A couple miles south of Big Bug, the trail has some areas that get muddy after rain. There were a few muddy spots, but nothing too bad and the rains earlier in the week had flattened a lot of the tracks from the runners sloshing through on the BCT 100K race last month.

When I got to the 15 mile mark, I had a quick break and ate another bar. A bit before windmill and cattle tank at mile 16, there was some running water across the trail. Around mile 17 I stopped to find geocache, Black Canyon Trail. A little past that, I met two lady equestrians coming the other way. I saw them leaving Big Bug when I arrived and they had turned around at Antelope Creek Rd and were heading back. We had a nice chat.

About a mile after crossing the road, the trail drops into a canyon. There was water trickling down it most all the way and there were flowers alongside the trail. I really enjoyed that part of the trail. After the canyon, the trail winds back and forth working in and out of drainages as it heads towards General Springs. It seems to take forever. Finally I made it to General Springs were I stopped to get water from the lower trough. There were four people there, two playing Frisbee. One asked me where I came from.

It was just past 4 pm when I left General Springs and I had about 7 miles left so I figured I'd have no problem making my thirty before dark. My legs were surely tired by then, but I felt good and had no trouble continuing. I like the stretch of trail from General Springs to Bumble Bee Creek. It's in good repair and is fairly level and easy to walk so I was surprised I wasn't making as good as time as I expected. I figured I was more tired than I felt. While the Bradshaws shaded me, the sun lit up the hills to the west.

The sky started to turn pink as I crossed Bumble Bee creek. From there the trail follows the road for a bit before turning onto an old road where it ascends for a bit before crossing another road and turning into single track. That was my 30 mile spot and I reached it when it was getting dark. I set up camp on the edge of the road as I didn't expect any traffic there, and there wasn't.
 Flora
 Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Wiry Lotus
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Big Bug Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Russian Well 76-100% full 76-100% full
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Mar 02 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Orme to BCT, AZ 
Orme to BCT, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 02 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Backpack2.66 Miles 286 AEG
Backpack2.66 Miles   1 Hour   2 Mns   2.66 mph
286 ft AEG22 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My plan was to backpack the Black Canyon Trail (BCT) Friday through Sunday, so Thursday my son and daughter dropped me off at Orme Rd and FS 68B. I got on trail a bit past seven in the dark and walked easy up to the north end of the BCT at the Prescott NF Boundary. I set up camp a couple hundred feet before the boundary. It was fairly windy so I set my tarp up low on the windward side and turned the lights out around nine. Not much to say here since it was dark and I planned an early morning start.
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Feb 25 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Russian Well Power, AZ 
Russian Well Power, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 25 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking8.84 Miles 1,049 AEG
Hiking8.84 Miles   2 Hrs   59 Mns   3.01 mph
1,049 ft AEG      3 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This was a pretty simple road walk. I parked my truck at the parking area at the intersection of Orme Rd and 68B. I started up 68B and then followed 9063B past Tri-Metal mine to Russian Well where I checked out the ruin. My main concern was whether the well was working (water in the trough) for an upcoming Black Canyon Trail backpack I'm planning. From there, I backtracked up the hill past Tri-metal mine to the saddle, where I hopped the fence and walked the power line road for maybe a mile and a half to find geocache, High Voltage, last found over three years ago. After that, I just headed back to my truck the way I came.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Russian Well 76-100% full 76-100% full
Trough full, seems operable.
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Feb 11 2017
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62 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Funfundzwanzig, AZ 
Funfundzwanzig, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2017
rcorfmanTriplogs 1,475
Hiking25.79 Miles 6,345 AEG
Hiking25.79 Miles   12 Hrs   45 Mns   2.20 mph
6,345 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
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Several years ago, my friend Jeremy devised this walkable route through the Phoenix Mountains Preserve that climbs the five peaks: Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak, North Mountain, Shaw Butte, and Lookout Mountain. The route is a bit over 25 miles and German for 25 has fun in it twice, so that's why this is named Funfundzwanzig.

Six of us started just past 5 am, at the Cholla Trailhead and worked our way up Camelback Mt in the dark using our headlamps. Once on top, we took in the views for a few minutes. There were only a couple others at the summit while we were there, but on our way down the Echo Canyon trail, there were many people on their way up for the sunrise.

By the time we reached the Echo Canyon trailhead, it was light enough to stow our headlamps, where we then worked our way through Paradise Valley and into the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. We took a short break at the top of the Piestewa Peak Park, then made the short jaunt down to the summit trail where it got really busy with people heading up. Once on top, we took another short break before heading back down. It was nice to turn off of the summit trail towards Dreamy Draw and get away from all the people.

A friend was waiting for us with some water and Gatorade at Dreamy Draw. We took a short break there and fueled up. Our friend joined us as we got on trail 100 and headed towards North Mountain. Two of us were slowing down through here so we made a few stops to let them catch up and to eat and rest a bit.

We reached the North Mountain trailhead/park at 7th St. & Peoria, just as Jeremy's wife drove up with food and drink and chairs. The trail magic was much appreciated. We had travelled about 18 miles to here and the two that were slowing decided to call it a day, and the one that joined us at Dreamy Draw was done too, so we were down to four for the final three peaks of the day.

After the lunch break, the climb up North Mountain went fairly quick. From the summit, we had a good view of Piestewa Peak and our next two peaks. Camelback was out of view. The drop from North Mountain down is pretty steep and rocky but went quick enough and not long after, we were starting to climb Shaw Butte. The climb up the butte was easier than anticipated since it joins the old road to Cloud Nine and then levels off for awhile before finishing the ascent to the summit where we rested for a few more minutes before heading down the antenna service road.

When we reached the Visitor Center, we were getting pretty tired and sore and a bit chafed too since the day was humid and we had been sweating a lot. We got some water and took a short break, but we all wanted to get this hike finished so we didn't tarry.

It was a relief knowing that we only had a few miles left and one more peak. Our target was in sight and it was nice to see it near as we closed the distance. As we approached the climb, a lady was on the side of the trail and mentioned what a nice time of day it was to be out. We all thought that was funny since we had been out since before sunrise. The climb up Lookout Mountain was as steep as I remembered it, but even though I was tired, I knew it was the last effort of the day and worked my way to the top.

Lookout is a great mountain to end this hike on since the four other peaks we climbed are in view: Camelback, Piestewa, North Mountain, and Shaw Butte. We did the celebratory fist bumps and made the obligatory badassery comments to eachother, then headed down to the Lookout Mt. trailhead where one of the guys that bailed at North Mountain was waiting for us with celebratory beer. What a funfundzwanzig day!
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average hiking speed 2.35 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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