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58 triplogs

Feb 15 2020
whereveriroam
avatar

 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Jackson Cabin trail, AZ 
Jackson Cabin trail, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Feb 15 2020
whereveriroam
Backpack20.00 Miles 5,500 AEG
Backpack20.00 Miles1 Day   8 Hrs      
5,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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I've been wanting to and trying to make it to Jackson Cabin for years. This cabin is in the area of the Redfield Canyon and the Galiuro Wildernesses. It can be accessed via a long and rough 4X4 drive that the few people who visit use. Since I like challenges I've known of a way to hike to this cabin by using an old and lost trail. Its taken a number of scouting trips, google earth and failed attempts to find and figure out the trail.

Something always happens to me on trips into the Galiuros and this was to be no exception. After a series of failures on trips to make it to the cabin, I put together a good and strong group to take up the challenge. We camped the night before at Ash Creek on the eastern side of the Galiuro's. We puttered a little in the morning a little since it dropped below freezing overnight but started at a reasonable 9:30AM for the 11 mile trek with our loaded backpacks.

I never can remember the proper name of the trail so I always refer to it as the Bassett Peak or Ash Creek trail. Its about a 6 mile hike up to the little shoulder under Bassett Peak with a 2500ish' climb. The trail is easy to follow but is starting to really get overgrown in places and there's a fair amount of dead fall to contend with. This trail is one of the better foliage hikes in the fall FYI. Ash Creek was flowing in multiple spots on our hike up to where the trail departs from the creek by the spring boxes at the start of the climb up to the East Divide and Bassett Peak.

I knew the climb towards Bassett would be the easier part of this trip but thought the previous recon trips would pay off on the route finding back part of this trip. It was a slow grind to get all the climbing out of the way but it seemed that the cabin was an attainable destination by nightfall. However if you were to attempt this trip, I recommend dry camping on the East Divide since the climb with a backpack takes a lot out of you. Its scenic up here and breaks this extremely difficult trip up. From what I could find out from my research, its a 5-6 mile trip from the above mentioned shoulder under Bassett Peak to the cabin with a 3000'+ elevation drop.

This well built trail to the cabin is easy to follow at its start but becomes more difficult to navigate as you head toward the saddle down below which is the head of Jackson Canyon. We reflagged this portion of trail. Once at the saddle, the start of the descent is obvious and is in great shape. This doesn't last long as the trail enters a burn area for the next mile+. The damage has caused some moderate to severe trail damage. A gully has formed in one area and you'll need to descend on a portion of it to reconnect to the trail. I believe this was an area of switchbacks before the fire. We flagged the trail here and there in this area. Once past this you'll continue in a moderate burn area along less steeper trail. There are lots of spots up to this point that show how well this trail was constructed, it needs some TLC. Its really rocky the entire way to the creek with lots of grass which tells me that the next fire will be bad. We did a little flagging here too.

Once in the creek the trail became hard to find. There was once a good trail here but there is a lot of overgrowth and downfall. However there is a tread most of the way but its easy to lose, more TLC is needed here. Unfortunately as my luck goes in the Galiuro's, one of the members of my group suffered an injury and there was no way they would be able to hike back out since we were going to return by the same route in 2 days time.

You can see the road to the cabin during most of the first half of the descent and I knew we had to get there before the swelling would make walking extremely difficult for our injured friend. We had to proceed slow thus slowing hiking speed as we helped carry their pack and had to stop to filter water at the first available water source since our climb up out of Ash Creek. FYI; We had passed through patches of treacherous snow on the north side of Bassett Peak where the steep switchbacks are. The water pumping break killed to much of the little remaining daylight and we had to rough camp in the creek. After pumping water we ended up passing water in numerous places in the creek and Jackson Spring had great flow but we didn't want to chance it and pumped early.

We devised a plan and it was agreed that the 4 strongest backpackers would double back and get the cars in the morning while the other 3 would aid our injured friend in getting to the cabin. The 4 who hiked back out (including me) would shuttle our 4 vehicles and then take the 2 high clearance 4X4's to Jackson Cabin to pick up the remaining 4 group members. We all turned in an it was surprisingly much warmer than the previous nights camp. On our hike out in the AM we played out various scenario's and decided to call the local Sheriff and see if we could get some info on the road conditions to the cabin. You'll have good cell service on the ridge of the East Divide. Not very long after we chatted with the Sheriff's Dept. I received a text that our 4 friends were on there way back to the TH from where we had started. We called the Sheriff back to tell them of the good outcome and headed back down the mountain to rejoin the group.

Our friends had hiked out to find a young couple with a new 4X4 in the midst of morning breakfast. The couple had spent the night and made plenty so they fed them. Not only did they also get to check out the cabin but they all got a ride all the way back to our starting TH at Ash Creek which is a 5-6 hour drive! Foiled again but it is what it is, maybe next time...
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Feb 08 2020
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Taylor Canyon Trail #306Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 08 2020
whereveriroam
Hiking7.50 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles
2,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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I like obscure trails and this is one. Long time since a trip log was written about this one. The directions Preston gave seemed right but since they aren't recent, a little subdivision has been build near where Tripp Canyon Road and US70 meet. This may have changed the access or signage a little. We planned on hiking the north side to Taylor Pass and beyond to Blue Jay Peak which had snow on it. We lost a lot of time on this hike due to navigating the drive in, hiking an additional 1.5 miles to the TH due to 1 spot on this rough road that my Jeep Cherokee with 30" tires wouldn't make, finding the start of the trail and clearing thickets of cat claw. We stopped about .75 of a mile short of the pass. It seemed that no one has hiked this trail in years. This would be a hot hike even without road walking for the first 2 miles of trail. The creek had good flow but you stay well away from it for most of the hike. As reported before, still lots of bear scat. The upper half of this trail is in nice forest, we made it to the prominent feeder creek crossing (flowing) just below the pass. Great day with great company! Might go back. Car camping options are to be found but no really memorable spot.
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Aug 25 2017
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Six Shooter #197 Post Fire, AZ 
Six Shooter #197 Post Fire, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 25 2017
whereveriroam
Hiking6.17 Miles 3,380 AEG
Hiking6.17 Miles
3,380 ft AEG
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1st trip
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Checking the Tonto NF website this week, I saw that they reopened the Pinals for public use. I've always called this a hike for all seasons and since I live a little over an hour away, this has been my summer work out hike for years. If you hit the trail very early (6:30 on this day), you'll be in the shade the entire way up.

I was very afraid that after this years fire (2017), that it would now be a 2-3 season hike. I'd been anticipating and dreading doing this hike since the fire started. What I saw on this hike really surprised me, I had been expecting to see a moon scape landscape. That wasn't the case!

On the drive in, it didn't look promising as I neared the Icehouse Canyon Rec site. You can clearly see that the lower elevations of Icehouse Canyon and the Telephone or is it Telegraph trails sustained very bad damage. On the bright side, a lot of it is manzanita and that does well after fires. From what I could see, regrowth of various types of vegetation is established and thriving.

I cheat during the summer on this hike and drive past the rec site to the first and maybe only bridge about a mile past the rec site turnoff. There's a small parking area and that's where I start, Six Shooter crosses the road about 100 yards past the bridge. On the drive up, one can see the lower area of the trail and it was untouched by the fire. To the right of the road, the fire burned and the damage is bad. The runoff from the area's above the road will continue to damage the road for sometime. However the USFS has done a great job keeping the road in good shape. There are about 6ish area's that runoff will be eating away the road on the drive to the bridge until the soil washes away and/or stabilizes with new growth.

Just before the bridge, the burn scar stops. At the bridge you can look down into Six Shooter Creek and it had flowing water and the water was clear. You can see that there was a fair amount of sediment and the creek had widened but it wasn't that bad. There was a little vegetation cut back (fire break) along the short road walk to where the trail crosses it. There's a new sign here pretty much stating fire damage ahead, proceed at your own risk.

I count 4 creek crossing over the next 3 miles or so until the trail hits the old mining/logging road that is kind of flat. The first creek crossing comes pretty quick and you'll hit it a little past the metal gate you past through. NO burn damage along the trail during this stretch but you can start to see the mosaic pattern of LOW to MODERATE burn which will be the reocurring theme until the above mentioned old road.

At the first creek crossing, clear water was flowing. Again here there is a good amount of sediment but then again, I was expecting a lot more. It takes me about 10-20 minutes to get to the 2nd creek (dry) crossing. Along this stretch the fire burned into the trail in spots at low to moderate intensity. The upper slopes on the right side during this stretch took a beating from the fire but the fire didn't make it far into Six Shooter Canyon. All of the trees on the entire hike that probably died were Oaks, a few Maples and I'm sure there were others such as Walnuts, etc.. I did notice an area of catclaw coming in but I don't think it'll survive the winter (-; No crowning happened on the entire Six Shooter trail and all the damaged/dead trees are heat stressed.

Between the 2nd and 3rd crossing is the worst of fire damage. Pretty much right after the 2nd crossing there's an area of a few acres which seemed severe to me. Most of the trees are still standing but they're ALL heat stressed. This area has always been rocky, hot and has slippery footing, its not any better. Even though I've hiked this trail maybe 50 times, I missed a turn and headed up a side trail to an old mine area. I really couldn't tell where I was but knew it didn't feel right. I cut across to where I knew the trail should be and found it. I've always considered this area just mentioned to be the last of the blah hiking before you enter the first pines. Once you enter the pines you parallel the creek but your a bit higher. This stretch to the 3rd crossing is now treacherous. There's not much fire damage along the trail but to your left and above you the fire did some unseen damage. There's erosion from water coming down in a number of spots but its not bad until.... You'll come to two smallish ones in rapid succession, they aren't to bad but its a bunch of loose rocks so watch your footing. However right after those two there's another. This one can hurt you, its loose, steep and there's a plunge involved if you mess up. Its maybe 25' wide and not deep but a real pain. A plunge probably won't kill you but YOU WILL break bones. I pigeon toed it both ways with poles and didn't like it. I believe it will get much worse and perhaps the trail will need to be rerouted at some point. This really is the only damage on the entire trail. After that, its a little overgrown and you'll pass over some more but minor water eroded areas on the way to the third crossing.

The third crossing had clear water flowing and the sediment was a little smelly and dark in color. I've got a good sense of smell and I was surprised that with the exception of a handful of times, I never smelt burnt forest on the entire hike. The times that I did, it was very mild. The stretch to the 4th crossing is short and had low impact burn which pretty much means the forest floor is now clean of debris and there are some heat stressed trees.

After the 4th crossing is when my favorite part of the hike starts and continues all the way up to Ferndall Spring. Again here the Oaks are the trees that got the brunt of the damage. There canopy was to low to the ground for this fire. With the pines the canopy is up high enough to avoid being damaged with the exception of the low branches. A little past the 4th crossing you'll have to pay attention. There's a bunch of runoff sediment that has covered the trail in spots. I've never noticed all the old blazes in the trees along this stretch, I did this day! The rest of the hike to the kind of flat old road burned at low intensity for most of the way. The fire really cleaned up the forest floor.

Once at the flat road you can look down into the lower and upper reaches of Six Shooter Canyon. You'll get a good view of the fire damage at the enteance to the canyon on the west side. Looks like the road was used as a fire break and some back burning may have happened. I'd guess in a few years the very little damage will have healed. The road is now nice and clean, I bet mountain bikers will love this stretch. As you approach the 2 old mine openings which will be on your left, the fire burned hotter here. The pines are all just fine but it appears the USFS is concerned of erosion. There is hay scattered around the flattish road for most of the way but its a lot heavier around the mines. The hay is encountered until the cut over trail junction that leads to Icehouse Canyon.

After the junction the deep and dark forest survived. There's a little burn here and there, maybe from spot fires? I was treated to a surprise along this stretch on this day. I heard some loud noises just ahead of me which sounded like a person going off trail. NOPE! I treed about a 150lb. Black Bear. This one was different. I stopped so I could get out the camera and analyze the situation. It climbed down the tree, I backed up and we both walked clockwise about 100' apart sizing each other up, it grunted a bunch. I was thinking I was going to have to do my best Mohammad Ali: "Dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee"! with this character. This went on for a few minutes but I went up mountain and it went down mountain as I figured out what to do. Interesting, I've had 20-30 encounters over the years and they all ran, this one had no fear. Be cautious in this area.

I very rarely hike Icehouse but the lower part didn't look promising. However you can see slightly up canyon from FR112? It looked like unburnt trees in that window. Next time I think I'll go up Six Shooter, cut over to Icehouse, climb to the top, hike the road to Six Shooter and returnWell that's all folks!
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Jun 28 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Six Shooter Trail #197Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 28 2015
whereveriroam
Hiking6.17 Miles 3,380 AEG
Hiking6.17 Miles   1 Hour   52 Mns   3.31 mph
3,380 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
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As I predicted from my last trip log of this trail a few weeks back; The arrival of the Monsoon will make the newly bladed road passenger car unfriendly. The nice ride lasted about 2 weeks :lol: I had a very early start today, a little past 6AM. Everything was damp and the temp was in the low 60's. Since I live in the far east valley this is my summer workout hike.

I cheat during the warmer months and park at the bridge which is about 1 mile past the Ice house CCC Rec area TH. That saves you from unnecessary sun exposure during the first and last mile of the R/T. A 6AM start this time of year means that 99% of the trail is in the shade on the way up.

It seems like the forest service is serious about Icehouse CCC Rec area being day use only. The guy in the RV is still there and I saw him unlocking the gate just before 6AM.
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Jun 12 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Six Shooter Trail #197Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 12 2015
whereveriroam
Hiking6.17 Miles 3,380 AEG
Hiking6.17 Miles   1 Hour   55 Mns   3.22 mph
3,380 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Its been a few weeks since I hiked this trail. Most of the cows are now camped around Ferndall Spring, I also ran into a few near the FR crossing. Surprisingly on a Friday I ran into a Globe hiking group (12-15) and a solo and friendly solo hiker (Sandy). The entire dirt road to Icehouse CCC Rec site has been regraded this past week. I'll call access passenger car friendly until the monsoon hits.
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May 20 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Six Shooter Trail #197Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 20 2015
whereveriroam
Hiking6.17 Miles 3,380 AEG
Hiking6.17 Miles   1 Hour   56 Mns   3.19 mph
3,380 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
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The cattle are back and so are the pies :tt:
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Mar 28 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
East Divide Trail #287 - GaliuroTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 28 2015
whereveriroam
Backpack1.40 Miles 200 AEG
Backpack1.40 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs      
200 ft AEG
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Backpacked a short section of the East Divide trail #287 to link the High Creek trail #290 with the Rattlesnake trail # 285. Beautiful and easy 1.7 miles through unburned forest. This section of trail is well maintained at this point in time and could be called a highway.

A nice but dry camping spot will be found on trail at the saddle near the high point that is near the JCT of High Creek/Sunset Peak trails. You'll know your at this camp spot since it has an old trail registry box at it. The USGS 1971 shows a spring near the camp spot, we DIDN'T check it out.

As you near the JCT with the Rattlesnake trail you'll have great views of the interior of the Galiuro's and distant views of the Rincons, Catalina's, Whetstone's and the Santa Rita's. The JCT with the Rattlesnake trail is signed and the GPS we had was a little off to its location.
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Mar 28 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Rattlesnake Trail #285Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 28 2015
whereveriroam
Backpack4.29 Miles 2,014 AEG
Backpack4.29 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs      
2,014 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
After a long 5 years I decided a return to the Galiuro's was long overdue. On my prior trips the destination had been either Powers Garden or the Ash Creek/Bassett Peak areas. This time it was time for something new! After recently seeing the documentary "Powers War" I decided on a return to "Shootout Cabin" aka "Powers Cabin". The route we hiked to Powers Cabin utilized High Creek #290, East Divide #287, Rattlesnake #285, Powers Garden #96 and the West Divide #289 trails.

Accessing either end of this trail is a hike by itself. You'll be better off doing this trail as part of a backpacking trip and that will give you time to explore the interesting interior of the Galiuros. I posted this trip on the BCH Meetup groups site and only got two others to join me (Fan & Gary H.). Although there are numerous trails you can use to gain access to the Powers Cabins this one MAY provide the easiest access, passes through unburned forest (for now) and also passes a neat spring named Holdout (seasonal) that's located in a cave. In June of 2014 a fire burned the NE portion of this wilderness, the fire didn't reach this far south.

We started this trail at its high point at the JCT with the East Divide trail #287 (7200')and descended it to its other end at the JCT with the Powers Garden trail #96 (5300'). We also hiked back up this trail since this backpack was an out and back. For those looking to make the journey to the Powers cabins; "Powers Garden" is 3.5 miles down (North) the Powers Garden trail #96 from the JCT with the Rattlesnake trail #285. The other Powers Cabin "Shootout Cabin" is 1.5 miles away in the other direction (South)from the JCT.

As you approach the Rattlesnake trail #285/East Divide trail #287 JCT you'll have an impressive view off to the west of the Catalina's, Rincons, Santa Rita's and Whetstones. You'll also get a memorable view of the southern half of the Galiuro's and be at the head of Rattlesnake Creek, this creek eventually ties into Aravaipai. You may notice a trail below you that clings to a slope, it's more then 500' below you. SORRY but that's where your heading!

This trail drops 1900' over its 4.9 mile course but I'd say 2/3's of that is in the first two miles. The trail pretty much plunges from the JCT of #287 with few switchbacks. Even though there's a good amount of oaks, pinyons, juniper and manzanita this trail offers very little shade along this stretch. You'll come to the first of three saddles just prior to the part of the trail that could be seen from above. Past this saddle the trail is narrow and covered in scree as it passes on the north side of a hilltop. A slip here would result in a nasty plunge that you'd probably survive, AFTER the 100' roll. I found two abandoned shovels hidden here in the manzanita. I left one and took the other with the intention of leaving it at Holdout Spring (left it in cave). Soon you'll come to a second saddle and pass on the south side of another hilltop. The plunge will still continue but now you'll have some tree cover. In a short time you'll encounter a few switchbacks that will lead you to an undercover third saddle. From this saddle you'll plunge down a feeder drainage and into Rattlesnake Creek.

Now you'll enter hiking paradise. The Galiuro's are a little strange, its an upside down mountain. Lower elevation trees can be found up in the higher terrain along with pines but down in the low canyons you'll find a lot of BIG pines. The remainder of this trail will be a gradual decent crossing the dry creek numerous times in a pine forest. There are plenty of places to camp but you'll want to spend the night near Holdout spring/cave. Its about a 20-30 minute walk along the Creek to the signed JCT of the Holdout Spring trail #285A. The JCT is 3.3 miles from the East Divide #287 JCT and 1.6 miles to the P:owers Garden #96 JCT. The spur to the spring is .3 mile and climbs about 75'. There's a cleaned up fire ring and although the area isn't flat you can set up about a dozen tents in the area. The spring and cave are about a 2 minute walk from the fire ring.

The remaining 1.6 miles of trail continue to gradually descend to the JCT of the Powers Garden #96 trail. There are a number of intriguing holes in the ground of the same depth and size along the way. They almost look like craters from artillery and although there was mining in the area I don't think they are prospecting holes. You'll pass a mine on north side of the creek near the end of the trail and an old wooden structure with no roof. We missed the wooden structure on our hike down the trail so I'd say its not obvious. At the JCT of the Powers Garden #96 trail there is a modern horse trough (galvanized tub). It was empty and my guess is the plastic tubing needed repair. Although most of the creek was dry we found water by the trail JCT, this would be a great spot to camp because of the nearby mining relics.
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Mar 21 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Secret Mountain Trail #109Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 21 2015
whereveriroam
Backpack12.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles1 Day   3 Hrs      
2,000 ft AEG
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1st trip
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I lead a backback for the meetup group BCH to one of my favorite AZ destinations. We started this trip at the Loy TH which even though it climbs up 1800', the trail isn't bad. It appears to recently have been cut back all the way to the Secret Mountain saddle.

Loy Canyon to me is still the most beautiful trail in Sedona; NO people, NO bark beetle, great foliage and very, very, very little recent fire damage. Its a very green trail but even after a wet fall and winter, NO water in it with the exception of one of the small feeder drainages. I finally found the Indian ruins off this trail and they impressed all (7 people).

Once on the Secret Mtn. trail we found LOTS of running water as we neared the cabin. The water was flowing at the cabin but for the folks who swear by Sawyer Gravity Feed Filters, you couldn't get the yellow out of the water. All were impressed by my First Need PURIFIER (FINALLY), after hearing crap about its weight for years. No one seems to appreciate the EPA's endorsement of it, it was the first and may still be the only one they endorse (correct me if there are more now).

We camped up the hill just past the cabin. Most people seem to do this trail as a day hike and probably don't go past the cabin. Little do they know the spectacular camp sites that are to be found up the hill. Very memorable is an under statement.
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Mar 04 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Tonto Trail: Boucher Trail to South Bass TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 04 2015
whereveriroam
Backpack43.00 Miles 8,000 AEG
Backpack43.00 Miles5 Days   1 Hour      
8,000 ft AEG
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After backpacking in the Grand Canyon for nearly 15 years I finally got around to tackling "The Gems". Since the write up for this trip has been taken with the use of a crappy park service trail sheet (Really?), I'll keep this short. I had set this trip up through the meetup backpacking group BCH and planned on having two groups of four doing a key exchange. As usual with group trips you get bailouts in the last week leading up to the trip. Once the smoke settled, we were down to five.

I had been concerned planning this trip with the accessibility of the S. Bass TH after a winter storm. Of course a 3 day storm hit the area just before our trip start. As a group, we talked about changing our permit. However we decided that since the night time lows on the S. Rim were in the teens, we'd drive to the S. Bass TH very early in the AM on frozen ground. It worked out well but to our surprise we had to pay the Supai toll! The road to S. Bass isn't to bad with the exception of the last 3 miles. When in doubt you could park at the NPS cabin and make the long walk to the TH. When we got to the TH we had the only vehicle there.

We started the trip breaking snow (about 8") but it was all gone halfway down to the Esplanade. We made quick work with the descent on S. Bass to our first nights camp about 20 minutes below the JCT with the Tonto East. We lucked out with the storm hitting just prior to the trip, it was a big moisture event for N. AZ. S. Bass canyon was flowing in the lower reaches by our camp site. Since we made such good time to camp we hiked down to the Colorado and found the Ross Wheeler at S. Bass beach.

The following morning we back tracked to the Tonto East JCT and started the 30 mile stretch through "The Gems". Timing is so key to this trip since the availability of water can be non-existent on the 2.5 day crossing. We put on some big mileage days backpacking this stretch, it kicked my butt and I'm a pretty strong backpacker. Day 2 we did 12 miles with 2000'ish AEG, Day 3 we did 13 miles with 1500'ish AEG, Day 4 we did 10 miles with 3000'ish AEG up to Yuma Point.

We found flowing water in Serpentine, Ruby, Turquoise, Sapphire and Slate Canyons. However we were surprised at how little the flow was following such a major winter storm. We could see snow on the rim the entire trip. We found pools in several of the almost always dry canyons and accidentally found water tanks off trail in surface rock while exploring. I personally liked Turquoise, Sapphire and Slate Canyons, they are pretty and some day I plan on going back to them and exploring up them.

We took a long lunch at Boucher Creek on day 4, filled our water containers and hiked up the steep and rocky Boucher trail and camped at Yuma Point. It can be done but I don't recommend going down Boucher with a backpack. There's a spot just below Yuma Point that would freak some people out going down and the plunge through the Redwall would be tough with a pack. Yuma Point is in my top 3 Grand Canyon camp sites, the views are unbelievable! We kicked butt on day 5 and made short work of the remaining 5 miles and 1500'ish of AEG to our finish at Hermits Rest.

After the trip we agreed that this would be more enjoyable as a 5 night trip. We also found that the drive back out to S. Bass was MUCH better then expected, we'd figured that it would be a muddy bog. However the road had dried out almost completely since the start of our trip 5 days earlier. Parts of the last 3 miles past the NPS cabin on the way to the S. Bass TH were a bog but an SUV with GOOD tires can easily make it.
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Feb 08 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Willow Springs Trail #223 - MazatzalPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 08 2015
whereveriroam
Backpack10.20 Miles 3,000 AEG
Backpack10.20 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs      
3,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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FINALLY! After 15 years of hiking and backpacking I made it to Sheep Bridge. Being a trip leader in one of the Meetup backpack groups, I'm always looking for a difficult destination that most have never heard of. This trail to Mountain Spring fit my criteria. We drove in the night before and I was surprised on how good of condition the road to Sheep Bridge was, I was expecting much worse. I have to mention we were in a Jeep Cherokee with 30" tires.

The four of us (Fan, Steve and Jose) headed off at about 9AM the following morning. We made quick work of the first 6 miles that had us gain about 1000' of elevation. After that things started to get interesting, the next mile wasn't to bad as we climbed about 500' but we really had to start paying attention to trail clues. Very few hike this trail and the trail is faint, you must pay attention since there are a good amount of cairns to the non-existent junction of the Willow Spring spur. Sadly near this junction one of the largest wild fires in known AZ history started in 2002 incinerating most of the once beautiful forest in the Mazatzal high country :cry:

The junction for the Willow Spring spur is near a nice saddle that makes a great break spot. In this area you'll enter the burn scar and stay in it all the way to Mountain Spring(our destination) and beyond. The next 3 miles are very difficult to follow but there is a once well constructed trail most of the way. Grass and mostly lack of use have made this trail hard to follow. There are lots of cairns and if you don't see one for more then 2 or 3 minutes, chances are your off the trail.

The trail will start to switchback up and to the north side of the ridge your climbing about .5-1 mile from the above mentioned spur to Willow Spring. We got slowed down here a couple of times but eventually re-found the trail. Since it was an out and back trip we found it was still tricky to find the trail on our way back, we added a bunch of cairns. The fire didn't consume all the Junipers, Pinyons, Oaks, Hackberry's, Agaves and Cactus in this area and soon you will top out in an area that was mostly spared. It'll give you a feel of what the Mazatzals used to look like. The trail is rocky/eroded in this nice stretch and leads to a saddle that overlooks a mostly burned basin. You'll be able to see the Mountain Spring area down in it, the giveaway is the patch of living trees around it.

Mountain Spring is a worthy overnight destination and when in the cluster of trees you'll mostly forget about the burn damage. It appeared to us that we were probably the first people to spend the night here in AWHILE. The spring box holds lots of water and we had a number of animal visitors overnight. The table is in need of repair and we found a couple of shovel heads and there is plenty of seasoned oak and juniper nearby to burn :cry:

Although the burn damage is clearly visible this area is coming back. Usually the vegetation that comes back tends to be Catclaw, New Mexican locust and Manzanita. Here its different, I noticed mostly Oak coming back and even saw a baby Juniper. Perhaps by the time I'm old and gray this area in the Mazatzals may have recovered significantly. Time will tell.
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2 archives
Feb 03 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Reavis Gap Trail #117Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 03 2015
whereveriroam
Backpack4.00 Miles 1,700 AEG
Backpack4.00 Miles1 Day         
1,700 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Needing to get away and camp under the full moon I decided to do a short solo backpack to one of my favorite Superstition destinations; The Pine Creek crossing on the Reavis Gap trail. It was nice to see on the drive in to the Upper Horrell TH (FR449) that the USFS was in the process of regrading the road (2/3/15)! Although the road has been regraded the entire length the dirt isn't compacted down. I've driven this road 4 or 5 times in the past and it seemed worse after being graded. I'm sure weather permitting and with people driving on the softer parts it'll get better.

Water was flowing above the trail crossing of the canyon the trail parallels. Once at the junction of the Two Bar trail the trail became at boggy swamp in spots and a small drainage the trail crosses on the way to Pine Creek had real good flow. Pine Creek was flowing with LOTS of water. However the water was very grayish and you'd have to let it settle before filtering.
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Jan 03 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Lime Creek Cabin - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 03 2015
whereveriroam
Backpack12.00 Miles 600 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs      
600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Since I like to go to old cabins the moment I found this one here on HAZ it was a must. Being a trip leader in one of the meetup backpack groups I put it on the calender. Our first attempt was aborted due to the quagmire that FR 254 that leads to the upper TH had become. Since I got 6 people to sign up for the return attempt, I wouldn't chance another setback and opted to start from Horseshoe Dam.

Since I couldn't find any info on the lower access I figured this as an exploratory trip. On the map there's a FR that leads a ways up Lime Creek. Not knowing the condition of this road we parked near the Ocotillo boat ramp launch and hiked the road. It's a pretty sandy road and it had a bunch of quad tracks on it, if you drove your vehicle down it then you might want to deflate your tires a little. Driving the road will shave off 1-1.5 miles each way.

Great views on the road walk. What was really neat to me was hiking in the dry Horseshoe Reservoir. When one looks up you can see the high water mark which is well above you. The watershed with no water eventually takes you into the Lime Creek narrows. From there I made the mistake of leading the trip up the creek for most of the way to the cabin. Progress was slow as we rock hoped, crossed the flowing creek countless times and fought vegetation. Occasionally we hit segments of trail but ended up back in the creek. I figure it was 6 miles to the cabin, if it was it took us 6 hours to get there. We had a couple of 1 hour segments were we probably only made 1/4-1/2 mile.

The cabin is one of the better preserved ones and maybe my favorite? I wouldn't want to visit it in the summer but it makes one heck of a winter backpack. Since it felt like my crew was going to throw a mutiny I changed tactics for the hike out. We had seen faded trail tape here and there on the hike in so I decided to try and follow it. To our surprise there is a trail (very, very faint) most of the way. It was hard to follow and I consider myself pretty good at trail finding.

Here are some helpful tips if you decide to go this route;
1. Very little of the trail stays in the creek.
2. Most of the trail tape was at creek crossings in which there weren't many.
3. The trail stays mostly on the west side of the creek.
4. There's a stretch of about 2 miles (miles 3ish-5ish) where you'll be above and away from the creek and the trail is very faint but there are many low laying cairns.
5. You'll pass the smelter and come to a crude trail sign at the JCT with the trail that leads to the upper TH and cabin. This will be along the 2 mile stretch mentioned in 4.
6. It took us 4 hours with about an hour of breaks following the old trail to get back.
7. This entire area was spared from the Cave Creek Complex fire!!!
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Nov 07 2014
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Nankoweap TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 07 2014
whereveriroam
Backpack11.00 Miles 4,768 AEG
Backpack11.00 Miles4 Days         
4,768 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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Although I vowed to myself to never do this trail again, against my better judgement I agreed to tag along on my friends permit (Lisa G Canon and Kevin "The Poolman"). I'm glad I did and probably will do this one again. I wrote a pretty lengthy trip report on this trail in 2009 so I'm just going to try and keep this short.

Again the scarey spot didn't freak any of us out, just watch your footing. Additionally we noticed 2 other spots on this trail where there's less then 10' to stop oneself on a steep slope before undoubtedly falling to one's death :scared: . One is located after Marion Point just prior to reaching Tilted Mesa and the other; during the rocky plunge/ascent below Tilted Mesa on the way to/from Nankoweap Creek.

What freaked me out a little on this trail that I didn't notice during my first trip is the potential of getting splattered by rockfall. I guess I was preoccupied worrying about the scarey spot to notice that on my first trip. To me this should be the main concern especially in the spring when you have the daily thaw and then refreezing of snow melt at night. There's a good 2 mile stretch where you hike under and next to the massive Supai layer with no where and no time to escape a rockfall. The trail in this stretch is littered with rockfall debris and you can tell in some area's that the trail has been rerouted around a rockfall that took out the old trail. I've been on all of the recognized GC trails and then some but this one stands out for the length of time that your exposed to this hazard.

Additionally I found the trail in better shape then when I did this 5 years ago. Also since the descent off of Tilted Mesa is rocky and slow going, figure 2 hours to reach Nankoweap Creek. We camped 2 nights near the JCT with Nankoweap Creek, there's a good spot about 50 yards down creek on the south side, we fit the 3 of us and shared our spot with 4 others (Tennie, Lin, Nikki and Elaine). Those 4 are indeed on a true 2 month epic non-stop backpacking adventure through southern Utah and northern AZ!

Again I really didn't see any other good spots besides that one for a large group on the creek. However I found a couple of spots and I'm sure there are more on the shelves above the creek. The last night we camped at Marion Point but could of made the NPS/USFS boundary which has a bunch of awesome spots with views. The reason we stayed at Marion Point is that's where we cached our water. We cached our last days food there in a "rat sack", hide it and tied it to a juniper and the ravens pecked holes in it! They didn't get much but left golf ball sized holes in the "rat sack". We had a high temp of about 90 down on the river, if its warmer then that then you may opt to spend your last night at Marion Point on the way out. The reason is the lack of shade and the 3600' climb from the creek will probably kick your butt.

Two additional things that I noticed and I'll throw in is for the most part this trail runs west to east to the river. The second, even after a very wet summer the spring near Marion Point was bone dry.
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Nov 01 2014
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Boyer Cabin Trail #148Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 01 2014
whereveriroam
Backpack18.00 Miles 4,000 AEG
Backpack18.00 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs      
4,000 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
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This was my 3rd backpack trip to one of my favorite 1 night AZ backpack destinations. On this trip I took 9 others from the meetup group BCH to the cabin. Being Helloween weekend I could think of no better place to go then the very remote Boyer Cabin to spend the weekend. What this place lacks in a spooky name it sure makes up in scenic views, lack of visitation, water availability and a handful of Arizona vegetation life zones. Oh! Did I mention a very intact cabin?

I pre-hiked to the cabin a few days earlier to confirm that there was water at the cabin. I did that by driving as far up FR 97 as I felt comfortable driving and dropped off my Jeep XJ and hiked up the road to the JCT of FR 895 on Lower Thompson Mesa. From that JCT I continued up FR 895 onto Upper Thompson Mesa and then made a couple of turns (bring a map) and descended off the NW corner of the mesa to the cabin.

The cabin had a surprisingly low amount of water but plenty for a group of 10 backpackers coming in a couple of days. At the cabin; go through the cowboy fences past all 3 structures, then through the double corral and follow the short road to the drainage crossing. The most likely spot to find water is going back up the creek, through the prickers about 50' (bring clippers, I cut it back last year but its coming back). We decided to explore down creek to see if the water would resurface. We went 1/4-1/3 of mile down stream and it was bone dry, we passed a couple of spots that you would think would hold water but nothing.

If you come from my recommended way from the Hells Hole trail, you'll pass 6 other places to get water! All had water on our backpack. The 4th source again seems to be perennial. It doesn't show up on my topo maps but its an amazing little area. There's some probable ruins in the area. Also LOTS and LOTS of big bear scat and also big cat scat too!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
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Feb 16 2013
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Boyer Cabin Trail #148Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 16 2013
whereveriroam
Backpack18.00 Miles 4,000 AEG
Backpack18.00 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs      
4,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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Went back and did this trip with the BCH (Backpacking, Canyoneering and Hiking) meetup group. We had a good GPS with us (Thanks Fan) and found that from the Reynolds Creek TH off of AZ 288 that the cabin is 9 miles one-way. There is more elevation than I guess-timated on this trip. The cabin is at 4100' and the TH is at about 6000' but don't let that fool you. From the TH on day 1 we had 1400' AEG and on our hike out on day 2 we had an AEG of 2600'. This is a great trip!
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Nov 10 2012
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Boyer Cabin Trail #148Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 10 2012
whereveriroam
Backpack16.00 Miles 3,300 AEG
Backpack16.00 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs      
3,300 ft AEG
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I'd been wanting to do this trip for some time since I first read Grasshopper's report. I find it hard to believe that no one has posted anything about this trail after a very good writeup, so I will.

Since I've been putting off buying new tires for my Jeep XJ we decided (terricita10) to add distance and my favorite ELEVATION to this backpack by starting at the Reynolds Creek TH off of AZ 288. Not sure but I'll guess-timate that it adds 5 miles and 1000' of additional climbing R/T.

I won't go into great detail about this trip but a quick summary is;
1.We found this trail very easy to follow all the way to the cabin going from top to bottom,
no need for GPS
2.There are many, many cairns marking the trail, many looked new (no moss/lichen on rocks).
3.The grass was short so the cairns really stood out, especially for the last 2-3 miles
prior to the cabin.
4.Very recent brush removal has been done in spots, maybe horse riders or FS.
5.Given that it had stormed for 2 days we found 5 spots with water; A.The first (spring)
had water but messed up my purifier, its on the Boyer trail,
1/2 mile from the Hells Hole trail Jct.. B. Second source is about 1/4 mile+ further, it
looks to have recently been dug out. C. Third source was the best and seems like it
may be perennial and is located at the bottom of the drainage you must drop into
between 2 panoramic vista's about 2.5-3 miles from the Hells Hole Jct. (probable Indian
ruin just prior to descent).
6.Last 2 spots with water were; D. On the 2 track road leading to cabin but I wouldn't
count on it. E. Last water is in drainage next to the cabin, it surfaces in a couple
of spots but bring clippers, lots of thorny berry bushes to get through.

The cabin is in great shape but you will freeze your but off like we did if its a cold night. No wood stove to stay warm, but there is an very old wood burning oven with burners. It's much better then nothing when your wet and cold. We were able to dry off wood by placing it on the top of the stove top. The cabin is too clean, bring candles or some source of light. Also I'd recommend storing some kindle for fire for others in one of the outbuildings, sucks trying to get a fire going with wet wood.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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Mar 26 2012
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Sugarloaf Mountain 7310 - Chiricahua NMTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 26 2012
whereveriroam
Hiking2.00 Miles 480 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour      2.00 mph
480 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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It had been about 10 years since my only other trip to this NM. I sure wish I could turn back time after this one. This is a very well graded and maintained trail with vistas from all parts. Sadly, you will see how destructive 2011's Horseshoe fire 2 was along every step of this trail.

From our previous days hike of the Super loop the damage didn't seem so severe but from the top of Sugarloaf Mtn. you see that about 80% of the monuments lands were incinerated of anything meant to be green. Left behind is an army of blackened and lifeless stumps. Much worse is the realization that the monument seems to have fared better then lower Pinery Canyon, Cochise's head and everywhere else on this side of the Chiricahua's.

For all of you who have seen Chiricahua NM before the fire, cheerish your memories and enjoy your pictures. It truly is a changed place. For the unlucky who missed out I'd highly recommend hiking lower Rhylolite canyon to the Sarah Deming trail and then onto the Heart of Rocks and returning in reverse order. Not much fire damage in this part of the park.

P.S. The Bonita CG survived the fire and is in good shape as is the Faraway Ranch and Visitor center.
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Mar 25 2012
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Big Loop - Chiricahua National MonumentTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 25 2012
whereveriroam
Hiking12.50 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking12.50 Miles   6 Hrs      2.08 mph
2,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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It had been about 10 years since my only other visit to this NM. After the destructive Horseshoe 2 fire of 2011, I knew as terricita10 and I were driving here that this trip was going to be like attending a friends wake. Instead of camping inside the park we opted to look for a nice spot along the once very scenic lower Pinery Canyon road. We finally found a spot that hadn't burned and set up camp. We only drove 3ish miles up Pinery Canyon from the NM's entrance to our campsite but we encountered plenty of blackened and lifeless stumps and barren hillsides along the way.

The following day we drove into the Park and could see the fire burned here and there on our way to the visitor center but the damage isn't so bad here. We parked at the visitor center and hiked the 12.5 mile big loop. As you hike this loop the fire damage to the land adjacent to the trails doesn't seem as bad as it truly is. Afterward we evaluated the fire damage visible from all the trails and with a 0 being no damage and 10 being toast; I gave the loop a 4 and terricita10 gave it a 7.

By far the heaviest fire damaged area is heading east from Balance Rock to the Inspiration Point area, total fire destruction. Heart of Rocks somehow had no damage! Echo park burned pretty good but there are still a number of living pines that survived. Upper Ed Riggs trail burned really bad as well as upper Mushroom rock trail. The rest of the trails seemed not to have burned so severely but some had the vegetation on both sides burned in a way that made me think that they were used as fire lines.

We hiked on a cloudy, cool and windy day and I still drank a gallon of water. I wouldn't want to do this trip if it was warm and sunny since there is alot of shadeless terrain to cover.
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Jan 22 2011
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 59

50 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Pueblo Canyon RuinsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 22 2011
whereveriroam
Hiking7.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   1.27 mph
2,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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What a difference the 6+ years in-between trips to Pueblo Canyon makes. On my previous trip in 2004 the trail was very easy to follow and we all left the trail unscathed. After reading the most recent triplog before the one I'm posting I came prepared to do battle with the overgrowth. I brought along a 2' pair of loppers and trimmed back approximately 200-300 plants.

I don't know if my efforts were worth while since on our return we lost the trail after leaving from the first/last view of the start of Pueblo Canyon. Somehow we got misguided and stayed too high and had to do some minor bushwhacking thru the chapparal as we descended and headed towards Cold Spring canyon. We tied back into the trail after about 45 minutes but the detour kicked the crap out of us. My arms look like I wrestled cats.

I think I did a good job overall cutting back the manzanita and transitional trees in the way of the trail but I couldn't do much with the scrub oak. I'm SURE I lost the trail on our return in the Scrub Oak. Those SOB's need to be pruned with a small clippers, it'll be time consuming but there is only maybe 1/4 mile of it to cut back. Any takers?

Overall the ruins look as preserved as they where the first time I saw them. Strangly, the crossing of Devil's Chasm seemed much easier this time then last, not as steep.
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average hiking speed 1.79 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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