username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 24  Next
479 triplogs

Jul 24 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Patriarch Grove - Bristlecone Pines Forest, CA 
Patriarch Grove - Bristlecone Pines Forest, CA
 
Hiking avatar Jul 24 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking1.25 Miles 207 AEG
Hiking1.25 Miles   1 Hour   19 Mns   1.19 mph
207 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I started home from the Eastern Sierras a day earlier than planned to explore up White Mountain Rd to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains. This was a worth while side trip on the way back home starting on HW168 to Nevada and wasn't that far off of the fasted driving route to Phoenix suggested by Google Maps. I decided to drive as far up as the Patriarch Grove and see what it had to offer. There were some nice views of the Eastern Sierras at several pull-offs along the road. The grove is at an elevation of 11,300 ft. There are 2 short hiking trails, a quarter mile Nature Trail which looped through the grove, and a 3/4 mile trail to a viewpoint of Cottonwood Basin. The nature trail was very informative with placards explaining the origins of these ancient trees and how they survived through the Ice Age to modern times. I faithfully recorded all the placards in photographs thinking it might be of interest to my grandchildren but decided not to post them on HAZ. :sorry: The viewpoint hike had some nice views towards White Mountain, the Cottonwood Basin as promised by the sign, and the Great Basin in Nevada to the east.

I learned on the Nature Trail that Patriarch Grove is close to the tree line but as our climate warms up the trees will migrate up the hillside to higher altitudes. The evidence of this can be seen in the scattered young trees that can be seen on the hillsides above the grove. The older Bristlecone Pine trees are actually at lower altitudes like at the Shulman Grove I passed on the way up there. I should have stopped there on the way back because there appears to be some interesting hikes to look at the older trees. But by then I realized that if I continued on the drive towards home rather than staying overnight some where up here in the White Mountains I could get home a day earlier than originally planned with an overnight motel stop in Beatty, NV, for a shower . I still had clean clothes left in my vast supply after 14 days away, several days of food and 10 gallons of pure Eastern Sierra spring water, but I was longing to get home to the 115 deg temps (not) and family.
Flora
Flora
Bristlecone Pine
Named place
Named place
Palisade Crest White Mountain Peak
_____________________
Jul 23 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
George Lake from Sabrina Trailhead, CA 
George Lake from Sabrina Trailhead, CA
 
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking7.71 Miles 2,067 AEG
Hiking7.71 Miles   8 Hrs   17 Mns   1.16 mph
2,067 ft AEG   1 Hour   38 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was my second hike out of the Sabrina Trailhead on my 1 week visit to the Eastern Sierras. I had planned on hiking to Treasure Lakes out of the South Lake TH but decided against it after finding out that the road to South Lake would have up to 30 minute delays while the road was being re-paved after major work replacing old culverts, etc. I had seen the sign for the trail to George Lake off of the Sabrina Basin Trail 2 days before on a hike to Emerald Lake. After checking topo maps it looked like a worthy destination. Being able to just walk up the road 0.4 miles to the TH from my camp at Sabrina CG was also a plus.

It was another beautiful morning as I started the hike. Lake Sabrina mirrored the surrounding mountains and the trail to George Lake up the east side of Sabrina Basin provided great views. The trail crossed the stream cascading down the hillside from above providing opportunities for replenishing one's water supply. That stream was mostly covered with large boulders hiding it from access except at the trail crossings. The trail leveled out in the George Lake valley with one final steep but short section to climb up the knoll which hides the lake from view when you first enter this little valley. I made a short off-trail detour to check out Little George Lake which added about 0.5 miles to the hike. It was in a small depression in the boulder debris at the base of the steep south side of the valley and probably wasn't worth the effort.

George Lake is a short distance off the trail, # 31E02, which continues on climbing up another 860 ft to cross over the ridge at 11590 ft before descending to the Tyee Lakes and then the Tyee Lake TH on the road to South Lake. This would make a nice day hike for those in good shape if arrangements had been made for a shuttle at the Tyee Lakes TH. One way distance from Sabrina TH to Tyee TH is about 8 miles with 2700 ft AEG . It also would make for a nice one to two day backpacking trek. There was a large area along the northeast lake shore that would be great for camping. I encountered a mom and two young boys (about 9 to 10 years old) who were doing the backpack version camping one night near George Lake and the second night at Tyee Lakes. They were the only people I encountered on the trail to George Lake. I've read reports that fishing is good at the Tyee Lakes but found no fishing reports on George Lake. It had the appearance of being a good habitat for trout but I did not see any swimming about in the clear water as I had at Blue Lake and the Emerald Lakes.

I walked along the edge of the lake to its southeast end. That end of the lake is surrounded by a marshy area dotted with boulders. A duck was standing on top of one of the smaller boulders keeping an eye on me as I approached. He/she stayed there while I took numerous photos and switched to a telephoto lens. Finally this sentinel got nervous and gathered up a brood of 7 almost adult sized ducklings and one other adult. They then paddled off near the lake shore and waited for me to leave. I found a large flat topped boulder near the water's edge and proceeded to have a lunch time snack and then took a 45 minute senior nap. When I woke up the ducks had gotten tired of waiting for me to leave and had disappeared.

This was a nice hike with great views of the Sabrina Basin and beyond as you climb up the trail on the southeast side of Lake Sabrina. It's probably not quite as scenic as my previous hike from the Sabrina TH past Blue Lake to the Emerald Lakes. A definite plus was the solitude once leaving the Sabrina Basin Trail although there probably would be more people on a weekend.
_____________________
1 archive
Jul 21 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Sabrina Basin Trail to Emerald Lakes, CA 
Sabrina Basin Trail to Emerald Lakes, CA
 
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking8.51 Miles 1,766 AEG
Hiking8.51 Miles   9 Hrs   23 Mns   1.14 mph
1,766 ft AEG   1 Hour   55 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was my second destination during a planned week long stay in the Eastern Sierras. I drove down HW395 from Green Creek stopping along the way for some groceries and ice and to waste some time on the internet so didn't arrive at the Sabrina Campground until around 1:00pm on a Monday. I was lucky to grab the last available campsite and decided to stay for 4 nights rather than move again and risk not being able to get a campsite. There are plenty of hiking opportunities available a short drive, or hike, from the Sabrina Campground at the Sabrina Lake TH, North Lake TH, and the South Lake TH. This CG at 9000 ft elevation had the potential for cooler temperatures during the heat wave being experienced throughout the west. However afternoon temps were still a little warm if you couldn't find shade but nights and early mornings were comfortably cool if not cold.

The next morning I hiked out of the Sabrina TH up the Sabrina Basin Trail headed for Blue Lake and beyond. I had planned on going to Dingleberry Lake but opted instead to do a little off trail exploring of the Emerald Lakes. Although I started early enough to be the first one on the trail, I was soon overtaken by numerous hikers due to my stopping to take photos and restore blood oxygen levels. This caused further delays. It's interesting how any hiker older than about 60 (including myself) is more than happy to stop and chit-chat on up-hill trails. Despite my delays I still arrived early enough at Blue Lake to have fairly good light for taking photos of this beautiful lake. After spending about a half hour happily handing out advice to hikers asking about how to get to Donkey Lake I was on my way to the Emerald Lakes. This was a short hike from Blue Lake with little elevation gain. The turn off to Emerald Lakes is only 0.6 miles past the Donkey Lake turnoff on the Sabrina Basin Trail. The turnoff is not marked with a sign but was marked with some rocks lined up in two short rows at the location where a short spur trail is shown on the HAZ FS Topo map. There is a little used trail visible for the first 500 yards - after that you're pretty much on your own although trail segments can still be seen here and there but can be easily confused with animal trails. There were no human foot prints visible in the area and I didn't encounter another person while I was in the Emerald Lakes area. The best advice is to just follow the stream which links the lakes. Going to the Emerald Lakes turned out to be a good choice. The lakes were indeed a beautiful emerald green cooler and an abundance of Eastern Brook Trout could be seen prowling around for mid day snacks in the clear water - that plus the solitude made me want to stay a while to fully appreciate this treasure.
Fauna
Fauna
Bald Eagle
_____________________
Jul 19 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Green Creek Trail to West Lake, CA 
Green Creek Trail to West Lake, CA
 
Hiking avatar Jul 19 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking9.01 Miles 2,009 AEG
Hiking9.01 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   1.43 mph
2,009 ft AEG   2 Hrs   11 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was the 7th day of a 15 day car camping/hiking journey that started in the Ruby Mountains of north Nevada. Although the Ruby Mountains are beautiful, I was beginning to yearn for the Eastern Sierras and the car camping sites at higher elevations in the Sierras to escape the unpleasantly warm afternoon temps at the lower elevation car campsites in the Ruby Mtns. This would be my fourth visit to the Eastern Sierras starting in the Fall of 2014. I normally prefer to visit in the Fall after school starts to cut down on the crowds but made an exception this year. I was arriving on a Saturday so was concerned that all the campgrounds would be full (which they were). Remembering the beautiful dispersed camping areas at 7900 ft elevation along Green Creek was the deciding factor in going to Green Creek. I had no problem finding a very nice shaded camping location on the bank of Green Creek primarily because high clearance 4x4 was required to access it and most of the people camping in these dispersed sites are in large RVs. When I was here last year I found the dispersed camping area to be remarkably clean with no plastic bottle caps or bottles, no toilet paper scattered about the woods, and no blue Bud Light beer cans with or without bullet holes. I was happy to see that had not changed.

I drove the 1.5 miles to the trailhead the next morning (Sunday) to start the hike. The parking lot at the TH was nearly full despite my early morning arrival but there was an open spot in the shade. :y: The hike would not disappoint. There are some amazingly beautiful trees along the trail. The views of Green Lake and the mountains and valleys behind that lake were stunning. I met some nice people on the trail and got some good advice on other places to visit. I'll never tire of the Eastern Sierras.
_____________________
Jul 16 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Soldier Basin Trail to Hidden Lakes, NV 
Soldier Basin Trail to Hidden Lakes, NV
 
Hiking avatar Jul 16 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking11.87 Miles 2,831 AEG
Hiking11.87 Miles   11 Hrs   2 Mns   1.36 mph
2,831 ft AEG   2 Hrs   18 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The trailhead for this hike in the north end of the Ruby Mountains is located at the end of a dirt road, FR335. The road crosses about 2 miles of private property from its intersection with county road 703 before entering Soldier Creek Canyon. After entering the canyon it's about a 2.4 mile drive on the narrow one lane but 2WD capable dirt road to the parking area for the trailhead. This TH is equipped with the standard Forest Service outhouse which appears to be occasionally cleaned. Crossing the creek is required to begin the hike and may require wading but the water level was low enough and rocks piled high enough to allow crossing without wading when I was there. The road continues beyond this point but driving on it is prohibited based on the Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Map I downloaded from the internet before starting this trip. It's obvious that many vehicles ignore this restriction and cross the creek continuing about another mile to the absolute end of the road where there is a nice secluded and shaded campsite. However large embedded rocks in the road at the creek crossing require high clearance 4WD and I decided not to risk it with my FJ Cruiser. Dispersed camping is allowed along the road in the canyon but I only saw 3 to 4 campsites and none of them had any significant shade. I picked the site closest to the TH (1/4 mile) and managed to get the backend of my car squeezed into the small patch of shade under a lone pine tree where I camped for 2 nights. There were no other campers in the canyon during those 2 nights.

I camped overnight at the dispersed campsite near the TH before starting on the hike the next day. Hoof beats on the ground outside my car woke me up during the night but I never saw the critters and didn't see any hoof tracks around camp the next morning - maybe I was dreaming (it's happened before). The trail follows the 4x4 track for about a mile after crossing the creek before reaching what used to be the TH gate back when the road could be driven all the way to its end. There was a Ruby High Lakes Angler Drop Box located at the gate and a back country angler had left a record of trout caught over a 2 day period 3 days ago at Cold Lake. The fishing was good for 11" to 13" trout. Cold Lake is at the end of the Middle Fork Cold Creek which is located across 3 canyons south of this Drop Box. That fisher-person either backpacked or horse packed some serious distance.

The trail follows Soldier Creek up a narrow canyon to reach Soldier Basin. The creek banks are so crammed with brush that getting to or even seeing the creek along this stretch is next to impossible. Water falls could frequently be heard but not seen. After about 2 miles the canyon opens up and the creek becomes visible. The trail levels out and maintains a moderate incline as it follows the creek through Soldier Basin. Trees are few to none along this stretch with wide open views of the Basin. Water is easily accessible along this stretch of the trail as it is on many of the Ruby trails so I only carried 2 liters of water and a lightweight filter for refilling as needed. Almost like being back in the Oregon Cascade Mountains. :)

I encountered an unmarked heavily traveled trail forking off of the main trail and suspected that it was a shortcut to the Hidden Lakes. However I didn't want to take the risk of following it and stayed on the planned trail shown on the map. I would later find out after getting home that it was indeed a shortcut used by Outfitters and knowledgeable locals that was so well worn that it can be clearly seen on Google Earth. It reduced the roundtrip distance to those lakes by 2 miles. When I got to the sign for the "official" trail to the Hidden Lakes I was surprised to discover that the trail had so little use that it was overgrown and could only be followed using the rock cairns that marked its location. Evidently everybody but me knows about the shortcut. ](*,)

Hidden Lakes were emerald green alpine gems like most of the other Ruby Mountain lakes. I followed a well worn trail over a knoll at the end of the larger lake and discovered a large outfitter's camp left set up with about a half dozen small tents for the customers and tarp covered equipment and supplies. No one was home and there were no horses. I assume these lakes were a regular destination for that outfitter and he just left everything setup so he wouldn't have to haul it all in with the next batch of customers. I only saw two people, backpackers, all day.

I enjoyed this hike along the creek through the wide open lush meadows of Soldiers Basin with its commanding views of the surrounding mountains. Hidden Lakes were a beautiful reward at the turn around point for the return. Now knowing about the shortcut trail I would make this a lollipop loop going past Soldiers Lakes on the "official" trail and then taking the shortcut on the return.
_____________________
1 archive
Jul 14 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Ruby Crest Trail to Liberty Lake, NV 
Ruby Crest Trail to Liberty Lake, NV
 
Hiking avatar Jul 14 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking8.19 Miles 2,059 AEG
Hiking8.19 Miles   8 Hrs   26 Mns   1.22 mph
2,059 ft AEG   1 Hour   44 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This hike starts at the Roads End Trailhead in Lamoille Canyon. The road, the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway, is paved all the way to the parking lot making it an easy drive. This is the most popular TH in the Ruby Mountains but the parking lot only had a few cars when I arrived at 6:30am on a weekday. There are two trails leaving the TH area, one is for hikers, the other which you pass just before entering the main parking lot is a stock trail. The 2 trails merge just before reaching Lamoille Lake. The stock trail is more direct going up the northwest side of the canyon and cuts off about 0.5 miles but bypasses the forested Dollar Lakes area. It is also a steeper, rougher, trail. I took the easier recreation trail on the way up and the stock trail on the way down.

This hike really showcases the beauty of the Ruby Mountains. It has it all, a patch of conifer forest, alpine lakes, granite peaks, glacier carved canyon and distant views all on a relatively short hike.
_____________________
Jul 13 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Thomas Creek TrailElko, NV
Elko, NV
Hiking avatar Jul 13 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   5 Hrs   13 Mns   0.92 mph
1,300 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I arrived at the Thomas Creek Camp Ground in Lamoille Canyon around noon the day before and was able to get a nice "Walk In" or "First-come, First-serve" campsite within about 30 ft of the creek. This is a well maintained campground with the campsites nestled in pockets of Aspen trees and bushes to provide privacy. The outhouses were exceptionally clean. One of the 2 CG hosts told me they were cleaning them 4 times a day due to Covid 19 virus concerns. Over half of the campsites are reservation only and can be reserved on-line. A large beaver pond on Thomas Creek was located a short walk (75 yds) through a path in the bushes behind my camp.

This would be my first hike of several planned in the Ruby Mtns over the next few days. It was a good starter hike with a modest distance and elevation gain for a day hike. The trailhead is conveniently located at the back of the campground loop. Glacier carved granite canyon walls, water falls, beaver ponds and aspen groves made for a picturesque hike. I took my time enjoying the views and taking lots of photos.
_____________________
Jul 04 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
The Other Maricopa Trail, AZ 
The Other Maricopa Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking5.47 Miles 249 AEG
Hiking5.47 Miles   1 Hour   47 Mns   3.07 mph
249 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a morning walk starting in the desert behind our condo development. Not having protective footwear for the off-trail foxtail in the desert, I re-routed through a housing development where I discovered another section of the Maricopa Trail which meanders through this neighborhood. This is "the other Maricopa Trail", not the one that circles around the edge of the valley. This short trail section follows a landscaped paved path along a dry wash between housing developments, it even has lighting on posts at intervals along the path and informative trail markers. The paved trail ended at a golf course fairway so I took a random route an a street leading into the bordering housing development where I found two more Maricopa Trail markers. This led me to a patch of open desert north of the development with a dirt road I followed to Pinnacle Peak Rd. After almost getting run over by a speeding BMW SUV on Pinnacle Pk Rd, I headed south on the unfinished section of N 56th St to the safety of our condo.
Fauna
Fauna
Desert Cottontail
_____________________
Jun 27 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Wandering My Desert Backyard, AZ 
Wandering My Desert Backyard, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 27 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking3.30 Miles
Hiking3.30 Miles
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A morning exercise hike which started out in the desert behind our condo development then meandered through the streets of a housing development bordering the golf course. The hike started out with a beautiful sunrise over Pinnacle Peak and the McDowell Mtns. After walking through the desert for about a half mile I decided to explore the streets of a small suburb surrounded by the Wildfire Golf Course. To my surprise I found placards marking "The Maricopa Trail" scattered throughout the neighborhood. The housing development was built in 1997 pre-dating the establishment of the more well known Maricopa Trail. After some discussion with a resident who had lived here since 1997 it seems that the trail markers were most likely placed by the developer as a marketing feature.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise
_____________________
Jun 12 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Aspen and McFarland Springs - Mogollon Rim, AZ 
Aspen and McFarland Springs - Mogollon Rim, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 12 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking3.00 Miles 262 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   2 Hrs   18 Mns   1.30 mph
262 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Grasshopper and I checked out several springs on the Mogollon Rim on this day. We drove as close as roads would allow to each spring and then hiked the short distance to the spring. Yes, we're getting old and lazy. :( The springs visited were Lower Buck Spring, Dane Spring, Aspen Spring and McFarland Spring. This triplog and photoset is for the longest hike of the day, an in-and-out 3 mile hike to Aspen and McFarland Springs from FR139G. All four springs were flowing with Dane Spring probably having the most flow from a pipe which would make it easy to fill water bottles.

The areas around both Aspen and McFarland Springs are quite scenic and both offer good places to camp for Backpackers on the Houston Bros Trail.
_____________________
Jun 11 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Upper Barbershop Cny - FR139C Loop, AZ 
Upper Barbershop Cny - FR139C Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking5.90 Miles 553 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles   5 Hrs   27 Mns   1.08 mph
553 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I visited Grasshopper for three nights at his camp on FR139C on the Mogollon Rim to escape the valley heat and enjoy this forested retreat. GH decided to take a day of rest in camp on the first day while I started off from camp on a hike to explore the ridge above the west side of Barbershop Canyon. An old long abandoned logging road follows the top of the ridge between FR139C and the canyon and was my guide for the beginning of the hike.

I soon tired of the ridge top scenery and found a likely route down the side of the canyon after studying the topo map on my gps. Although steep, the descent was not all that challenging. I was soon hiking up the creek bed with the plan to continue up the bottom of the canyon until reaching the Barbershop Trail #91 and following it to FR139. There were numerous pools of water with water trickling down the stream bed between pools. In some areas the flowing water retreated below the surface leaving the stream bed dry. The lush green of ferns and grass on the stream bank and the shade of towering pine, spruce, fir and the occasional Aspen trees made this a most pleasant escape from the hot desert of the valley. Some rock hopping and the occasional detour around fallen trees were required but the hike was otherwise an easy stroll on elk trails along the stream bank.

I stopped frequently to take photos of the scenery with my new cell phone (a Samsung Galaxy S10E) and with my old standby, a Nikon P600, to later compare photos. The cell phone has two cameras, one with a "normal" lens, and one with a wide angle lens. Both provide a wider view than the Nikon but there is no optical telephoto zoom on the cell phone where the Nikon excels with a 60x zoom. I soon found that having the wide angle capability of the cell phone cameras and its photo quality in difficult lighting situations made it my top choice for most scenery shots. But, for me, also having the zoom capability of the Nikon is a necessity. So not a problem, I'll just carry both on my hikes.

The section of the Barbershop Trail to FR139 is mostly through thick forest as it climbs up to the road. Barbershop Spring had a trickle of water, maybe about 0.5 gpm. A huge cow elk tried to sneak by me in the dense forest near the trail and disappeared before I could get a photo. Once reaching the road I abandoned my original plan to follow the top of the ridge between Merritt Draw and instead hike down FR139C back to camp. FR139C, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful back roads on the Mogollon Rim. It follows a spring fed draw with lush meadows and forest much better viewed when walking than from a moving car. I've been down this road many times over the last 10 years on the way to Camp GH and it's like going home.

Back at camp, GH informed me that our camp had been visited by a bear during my absence, @AZWanderingBear, to be exact. Wade returned for a visit shortly after I got back to camp. I hadn't seen him since a backpacking trip to Reavis Ranch in Oct. 2015. It was great to see him and catch up on his latest outdoor adventures.
_____________________
1 archive
May 11 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Renolds Crk Trl 150 to Knoles Hole, AZ 
Renolds Crk Trl 150 to Knoles Hole, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 11 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking5.05 Miles 1,016 AEG
Hiking5.05 Miles   5 Hrs   52 Mns   1.03 mph
1,016 ft AEG      59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was my fourth day hike on a 6 night car camping trip to the Aztec Peak area of the Sierra Ancha. This was supposed to be another day of taking it easy after an exhausting hike the day before trying to keep up with @friendofThundergod and his side kick, Katie. The plan was to hike down the Reynolds Creek Trail #150 from the Murphy trail head to Knoles Hole to look for the location of the illusive Knoles Hole Spring and for evidence of a possible homestead in the 1890s at that location by a Robert Knowles. Along the way I would scout out some possible routes for future hikes and also look for the Murphy Tank shown on the topo maps. Shortly after starting down the track I decided to go off trail a short distance to the Murphy Ranch Property line and discovered what I think is the actual location of the Murphy Tank. It's on the ranch property close to the property line and not where it's shown on the topo maps. I spent some time and energy bushwhacking through the brush looking for the tank at the location shown on the maps and it is not there.

Further along Trail #150 I scouted out a couple of possible routes for future exploration. Then I started the search for the Knoles Hole Spring around the location where it is shown on the map - nothing but brush and a dry wash. I know from previous hikes that there are springs a little further down the upper part of Reynolds Creek along the trail. I've been curious as to how Knoles Hole got its name. One account of the murder of Edward Baker in 1890 at the later to be named Peterson Ranch site mentions a Robert S. Knowles as being the nearest neighbor with a homestead 1 mile away at the time of the murder. [ Triplog ] Could Knowles homestead have been in Knoles Hole? I have my doubts because there does not seem to be enough flat land to grow a crop which was a requirement for proving up on a homestead. I now suspect that Robert S. Knowles' homestead was at the location where Walter Murphy established his homestead sometime between 1909 and 1918. Perhaps Knowles abandoned his homestead after the murder of Edward Baker. Both Knoles Hole and the Murphy Ranch are 1 mile in a straight line from the Peterson Ranch site. I'd had enough off-trail exploring and pondering of local history so headed back to camp to relax in the shade and read a book.
Named place
Named place
Murphy Tank
_____________________
1 archive
May 10 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
The Devils EyeGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 10 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,120 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   7 Hrs   12 Mns   0.83 mph
1,120 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
friendofThundergod
Last Fall @friendofThundergod, his sidekick Katie, and I hiked out to the tip of upper Moody Point on the south side of Devil's Chasm. Looking across the Chasm we saw a cave in the upper most cliff band on the north side high above the well known Devil's Chasm Cliff Dwelling. A zoomed photo of that cave showed a glint of light at the back of the cave leading us to suspect that it was a window passing completely through the cliff to the other side. We agreed to come back this spring for a closer look.

The hike down the Moody Trail #140 and along the Rim Trail #139 went quickly. The trails are in fair shape although there are a number of downed trees across the trail and the wicked New Mexican Locust is encroaching on the upper part of the Moody Trail. There was also an unexpected small patch of Poison Ivy in the trail. The off-trail section along the top of the ridge between the North and main forks of Devil's Chasm goes through a scenic lightly forested area with patches of manzanita and scrub oak. No major bushwhacking was required. Side trips to the Chasm rims on each side are worth the extra time to check out the amazing geology in these deep canyons.

The steep down hill descent to reach the bottom of the cliff band was a little sketchy. Some butt sliding may have been involved on my part. The traverse along the bottom of the cliff to the window location had a few sections where a slip down the slope could take you over the side of the next cliff band below but we took our time enjoying the views and had no problems. @friendofThundergod got excited about what looked like some good rock climbing routes up the cliffs. He got sidetracked climbing up one section but finally got refocused on going to our planned destination.

The window was pretty awesome. After considering several names for it we settled on calling it the Devil's Eye which seems appropriate because it looks out on both forks of Devil's Chasm. It's difficult to imagine what freak of geology led to its formation. Finding signs of ancient Indian habitation was an added bonus and of course the canyon views are spectacular.
Flora
Flora
Blackfoot Daisy
_____________________
2 archives
May 09 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Peterson Ranch Meander - Sierra Ancha, AZ 
Peterson Ranch Meander - Sierra Ancha, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 09 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking3.04 Miles 513 AEG
Hiking3.04 Miles   3 Hrs   46 Mns   1.02 mph
513 ft AEG      48 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was my third day of a 6 night camping trip to the Aztec Peak area of the Sierra Ancha. After a long exhausting hike the day before and another planned for the next day, I planned to take it easy and just poke around the old Peterson Ranch Site. But first I drove up to the top of Aztec Peak to check out the views and the Flintstones Furniture - always a worthwhile side trip if your in the area.

Starting my hike at the the trailhead for the Abbey Way Trail #151, it was an easy stroll to the meadows and springs on the old Peterson Ranch property. While on Aztec Peak I had seen patches of open forest in the New Mexican Locust jungle on the hillside above the ranch. I decided to explore those forested areas since I'd never been there before. After working my way through some brush on an animal trail I soon found a route up the hill side through an old forest which showed signs of having been logged many years ago. I don't know the history of logging in this area but expect it could go back to the 1940-50s if not earlier. The old stumps are almost rotted away. The forested area on the hillside was fairly open under a canopy of pine, fir, oak and walnut trees and I was able to hike almost to the top of the ridge leading from Aztec Peak to Murphy Peak before being confronted with a wall of New Mexican Locust.

While walking through this isolated section of forest I spotted a patch of bright white pebbles on the ground about 50 yds away. Going closer to check it out I discovered that the "pebbles" were actually water softener salt pellets. Since cattle have not been grazed in this area for many years I suspect this was a man-made salt lick to attract wild game. Later on in the hike I would discover another one of these man-made salt licks by a spring about 220 yds from the foundation of the old Peterson Ranch house.

Returning to the Peterson Ranch site I walked through the old orchard to the cabin foundation and then to an area 220 yds south of the cabin where an account of Edward Baker's murder said he had been buried. I've looked for his grave before without success and had the same result this time but did find a spring and the salt lick there.

The Petersons were not the first ones to settle at this location. In the early 1880's John H. Baker moved from California to the Sierra Ancha and established a ranch at this location. Nearby Baker Mountain was named for him. A little later John developed another ranch down lower in the mountains near Salome Creek. One of his two sons, Edward (Ned), remained at the ranch near Baker Mountain. In July 1890 Edward was murdered outside the cabin. One of two assailants thought to be Indians from the nearby reservation shot him in the back mortally wounding him and then picked up Baker's axe and whacked his neck 2 or 3 times almost severing his head. They then ransacked the cabin and fled the scene. Two days later a neighboring rancher dropped by to visit and discovered the body. He immediately went to Edward's father's ranch and notified him of the murder. John Baker and two neighboring ranchers soon arrived at the scene. They quickly buried Edward's badly decomposing body at the base of an old pine tree approximately 220 yds south of the cabin. Al Sieber and a couple of Indian trackers were brought in to track the perpetrators. They were tracked down on the Indian Reservation, arrested, tried for murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at the old prison in Yuma. This account came mostly from the book "White Justice in Arizona: Apache Murder Trials in the Nineteenth Century" by Clare V. McKanna Jr. I found a highly embellished account in the May 3, 1956 edition of the Globe Pager which varies significantly in some of the details. To the best of my knowledge the cabin near Baker Mountain was abandoned until sometime between 1910 and 1920 when Glars Pete Peterson and family established a homestead at the site of the old Baker cabin. Glars' 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys, grew up there and all eventually left their mountain homestead except Dewey Peterson who remained their with his parents. Dewey patented 43 acres at their ranch site on Mar 3, 1923. These old homesteads were often patented years after they had occupied the site because the official paper work couldn't be completed until an accurate land survey was completed and proof was established that the homesteading requirements had been met. The Petersons left their mountain homestead in about 1939. The parents moved to the Phoenix area and Dewey to Nevada. They sold the property to the government and it became part of the Tonto National Forest.

So, enough reminiscing about pioneering history in the Sierra Ancha. I've probably told these stories before in other triplogs. I always enjoy returning to these remote historic sites and thinking about what the lives of these early pioneers must have been like. In this case we're lucky to have a short account of the Peterson's family's lives in those days as told by Glars to his oldest daughter. It's available on HAZ by clicking on the Peterson Ranch label.
_____________________
4 archives
May 08 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Moody #140 - Rim #139 - Murphy #141 Loop, AZ 
Moody #140 - Rim #139 - Murphy #141 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 08 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking7.74 Miles 1,368 AEG
Hiking7.74 Miles   8 Hrs   12 Mns   1.30 mph
1,368 ft AEG   2 Hrs   16 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I set up my car camp near the Moody Trailhead off of FR487 in the Sierra Ancha (near Aztec Peak) for a 6 night stay. The plan was to go on day hikes in the area over the next 5 days. The first day hike was down the Moody Trail #140 then follow the Rim Trail #139 north to where that trail passes by the very upper end of the North Fork Devils Chasm. That part of the canyon had some interesting looking geology on Google Earth which I wanted to explore. My hike went off trail to follow the rim of that canyon north from its head to where it makes a right angle turn to the east. The canyon does indeed have some amazing geology starting out with a very narrow slot canyon that gets wider until it opens up as it turns east. The upper part of the canyon was a deep slot so narrow that a person could touch both sides with his hands near the top if lowered into the void and then it widens out near the bottom.

Following the canyon rim to the east, it opens up but still lives up to its name as a chasm. This canyon is seldom visited because of the rugged terrain and the boulders and brush that choke the bottom. There is a small cliff dwelling in this canyon but I've never been able to confirm its location from view points along the rim. I completed a short loop along the rim and then back to the Trail #139. I had planned to backtrack to the Moody TH on the return but my compulsion to turn all hikes into a loop led to the decision to proceed north on Trail #139 to the Murphy Ranch Trail #141. Then take that trail to its trailhead on FR487 and walk the road back to camp. That part of the Rim Trail and much of the Murphy Trail passes through scenic pine forest and patches of blooming lupine. The Rim Trail appears to get very little traffic other than critters but was in fairly good shape except for a number of fallen trees. Same with the Murphy Trail.

I made the short side track to take a look across the fence at the Murphy Ranch apple orchard. It's privately owned so no trespassing. It has been renamed by the current owner. There has to be some interesting history of that place but my researching hasn't turned up much. Walter G Murphy patented this homestead of 40.6 acres on March 14, 1921. He may have occupied this land several years before the homestead was officially recorded because the official recording couldn't be done until a land survey was completed. I suspect a Robert S Knowles (or Knoles) was the original occupant circa 1890 and was the source of the name for Knoles Hole which is a short distance from the ranch site.

I was sort of hoping to catch a ride back on the road but decided not to push it because of Covid19 social distancing restraints. Just as well, no one offered a ride although one guy on an ATV did stop to check if the old geezer with a blue Frog Toggs Chilly Pad towel wrapped around his head was OK.

It was a scenic hike I would recommend with the addition of the short off trail wander along the rim of that slot canyon part of the upper North Fork Devil's Chasm. The off-trail part is through open forested area so heavy duty bushwhacking can be avoided.
_____________________
Apr 23 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Cherry Creek Canyon Wander #3, AZ 
Cherry Creek Canyon Wander #3, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking3.00 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   0.55 mph
750 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was my third day hike of my 4 night car camping trip to Cherry Creek in the Sierra Ancha Mountains. The plan was to do another short wander out of camp to verify the route of an old road bed which passed by camp and to check the top of a nearby hill for possible ancient Indian Ruins. I was able to verify the route of the old road through an area that has been torn up over the years by flash flood erosion.

I decided to take the scenic and easier route to the hill top by hiking up the Pueblo Canyon Trail to a point above the hill and then follow a ridge down to the top of the hill. This made it an easy hike for my last day. Unfortunately, no Indian Ruins. While descending the steep hillside back to FR203 I heard the distinctive rattle of a nearby snake. I stopped to determine if he was ahead of me or behind me while he kept up a persistent rattle. He was a few feet ahead of me in a thick clump of grass in the shade of a bush. I slowly backed up a few steps then got out the camera but couldn't see him. I chose to take a different route down the hill after thanking him for giving me a warning which also led to taking a better route down the hill. This would be my only snake encounter of the trip which is surprising considering all the off trail wandering I did in heavy cover and the warm weather. That doesn't include the Gopher Snake that I stopped to let cross Cherry Creek Road while driving here four days ago.

Had another relaxing afternoon in the shade reading a book and then packed up the next morning for the drive back to Covid-19 mayhem. On the drive home I finally turned on the radio to hear some news an hour out of Phoenix. Big mistake, everyone was ranting about injecting disinfectants to cure Covid-19. I was ready to turn around and head back to the Sierra Ancha but that wouldn't have gone over too well with Mrs. OH. :(
Flora
Flora
Desert penstemon
Culture
Culture
Trash Hauled Out
_____________________
Apr 22 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Cherry Creek Canyon Wander #2, AZ 
Cherry Creek Canyon Wander #2, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 22 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking2.60 Miles 560 AEG
Hiking2.60 Miles   4 Hrs   16 Mns   0.61 mph
560 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
The plan for this day hike out of camp was to spend some time searching for a small pueblo style ruin that is supposed to be located close to where FR203 crosses Pueblo Canyon Creek. I searched this area before with no luck but wanted to check some areas I hadn't covered before. I didn't find any sign of ancient habitation on this day but was able to probe about a 100 yds up Pueblo Canyon from FR203 - some interesting geology up there.

After the ruin search the plan was to scout out another section of the old abandoned road bed that probably provided access up Cherry Creek before the current FR203 road was built. This old road bed is a short distance lower down the side of the canyon from the current FR203. FR203 was built in the 1950s with government funding from the Atomic Energy Commission to aid prospecting and mining for uranium. FR203 at one time was known as the AEC Road. It would be interesting to know the history of the old road. It is not shown on a 1950 McFadden Peak USGS map of the area. That 1950 map shows the Cherry Creek Road ending at Ellison Ranch and it shows a road descending from Board Tree Saddle on HW288 to the PB Ranch on PB Creek. But no roads are shown following Cherry Creek between PB Ranch and the Ellison Ranch. In the mid 1920s the Cherry Creek Road only extended from HW288 as far as the first Cherry Creek crossing. Access to Ellison Ranch from that point was via a wagon trail.

I was only able to follow the old road bed for a short distance below FR203 before reaching an area where it had been wiped out by flash flood damage from a couple of small drainages. So I bushwhacked across Pueblo Creek stopping there for a snack and then headed up the north side towards camp. I discovered the other end of the old road near camp and where it connected with the section of old road I had followed the day before. This old road followed land contours that allowed a bare minimum of excavation for building the road but it probably wasn't wide enough and had sections that were too steep for bringing in mining equipment and hauling out ore.

It was a short hike on this day but the shade back at camp was welcoming as the afternoon temps were getting a little warm.
Flora
Flora
Yellow Columbine
Culture
Culture
Campsite
Named place
Named place
Pueblo Canyon
_____________________
Apr 21 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Cherry Creek Canyon Wander, AZ 
Cherry Creek Canyon Wander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 21 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking3.20 Miles 1,170 AEG
Hiking3.20 Miles   6 Hrs      0.53 mph
1,170 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was the first day hike on a 4 night car camping trip to Cherry Creek canyon - Sierra Ancha Mountains. I decided to scout out an old road bed that passed by my campsite. I would find that it dropped down into a drainage and then went up to the top of a hill that @Grasshopper and I had explored back in March, 2016. This area is covered with thick growths of Juniper trees, manzanita and scrub oak. I suspected there would be ancient Indian ruins hidden along my planned route. So I took my time zig zagging around looking for evidence of ancient habitation but with no success. I have removed much of that zig-zagging from my gps track.

I re-discovered a weird sign engraved in a thick wooden plank that @Grasshopper and I had found on that hike in 2016. It was laying under a Juniper tree right where we left it. The meaning of the words engraved in this thick plank was a mystery back then and still is. But some recent searching on Google has led me to think that it is referring to an on-line video game, Trove, and a "fan-run community website" for that game called Trovesaurus. I'm waiting for an expert's opinion. He's my grandson who has been an avid on-line gamer for years and will be getting his masters degree in computer science in May. If it is referring to that video game, maybe my grandson can shed some light on why a computer nerd gamer would make that sign and leave it in a rugged off-road location in the Sierra Ancha Mountains. Could it be related to Geocaching?

I had left camp that morning with no definite hiking destination in mind other than to verify the route of that old road bed and then wander where ever my curiosity led me. After viewing a knob (hill) protruding from the canyon side with what appeared to be an easy route to the top, I headed in that direction. Perhaps there was an ancient rock pile on top of that knob. My route to the knob first led along a short section of FR203. A small rock slide on that section of road had left an impediment to driving further up FR203. [ photo ] After examining this obstacle in the road I decided I would not be driving further up the road from where I was camped. Short wheel base ATVs had been crossing it with ease and maybe short wheel base full size 4x4s with high lifts but it seemed too risky for my vehicle.

Climbing to the top of that knob turned out to be much more difficult than I had anticipated. The hillside was much steeper than it had looked viewing straight on from a distance. It was more of a scramble than a hike. Crawling on all fours was frequently required and every step had to be carefully made to avoid sliding back down the hillside. Unfortunately my efforts were not rewarded with finding signs of ancient habitation hidden in the brush and trees on top of the knob. However there were some good views and the only cell phone reception I would find over my 5 day stay in the area. I was feeling nervous about the safety of the descent back down that steep hillside. So I sent a SPOT position check and a text to @Grasshopper to look for an OK SPOT message from me when I got back to camp later that afternoon. The return descent turned out to be easier than anticipated and 2 hours later I was back in camp sitting in the shade with a cold beer reading a book (and swatting those pesky gnats and mosquitoes.)
Named place
Named place
Pueblo Canyon
_____________________
Apr 20 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Cherry Creek Road FR 203Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
4x4 Trip avatar Apr 20 2020
Oregon_Hiker
4x4 Trip24.10 Miles 4,400 AEG
4x4 Trip24.10 Miles   2 Hrs      12.05 mph
4,400 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I headed up Cherry Creek Canyon for 4 nights of car camping with day hikes out of camp every day. The destination was one of my favorite campsites in Cherry Creek Canyon near the confluence of Pueblo Canyon Creek and Cherry Creek. It was a beautiful day and I was in no hurry so stopped frequently to take in the views, take photos and contemplate the history and archaeology of this area.

Both Coon Creek and Cherry Creek were flowing. There were a couple guys fishing at the first Cherry Creek Crossing with a fine mesh throw net - said they were fishing for minnows to use as bait for bass fishing.

I stopped to take photos of the remains of an old house with walls made with adobe bricks. The method of construction and materials were very similar to a couple burned out houses I had recently seen up Camp Creek off of the Seven Springs Road at Columbine Spring. [ photo ] I have not been able to find information on when those houses were built. This house on Cherry Creek Road was built by Glen R. (Slim) Ellison and his wife, Judy (Jewel), about 1940 with adobe bricks they made themselves. The walls have the same adobe brick construction with stucco over chicken wire protecting the adobe from the elements as the houses at Columbine Spring. Slim and Jewel lived on that property for 22 years starting around 1927-1930. So they lived there for a while before building the adobe house. Slim was the brother of Travis (Buster) Ellison who founded the Ellison Ranch further up the canyon off Cherry Creek Road. Slim was an old time cowboy not used to domesticated living. He and his wife could have lived there for some time in a tent or a small shack before building the house. I doubt that Slim ever wandered to the Camp Creek area or had anything to do with the building of those adobe houses.

Cherry Creek Road was in good condition all the way to the second Cherry Creek crossing at the Ellison Ranch. After that there are some very rocky rough spots requiring 4x4 and high clearance both before and after Devils Chasm. I drive a FJ Cruiser which is stock except for a very modest 1.7 inch lift on the front suspension and had no problems though I did walk one section of road before attempting it to determine the best path for avoiding clearance problems. The huge boulder that partially blocked the road the last time I was on this road in Feb 2018 has been moved to provide plenty of clearance for full size vehicles. A modest amount of water was flowing in the creeks at the Devils Chasm, Cold Spring Cny and Pueblo Cny crossings.

I did not drive further than about 0.2 miles past the Pueblo Canyon creek crossing so don't know about the FR203 road conditions beyond that point. I did walk the road for a short distance past that point on one of my hikes and saw a small rock slide across the road with a couple of boulders in the debris. [ photo ] It was more than I would want to attempt crossing with my FJ Cruiser because of clearance issues but ATVs with shorter wheel bases had been driving over it with no problem. I also observed several caravans of ATVs cruising up FR203 over the 4 days I was there and never saw any of them returning. So it would appear that they were able to drive all the way up FR203 to HW288.

It was a relaxing 4 night stay with day hikes to explore the area around my campsite getting back to camp by about 2-3pm before the temps reached an uncomfortable level for hiking. The remainder of the afternoons were spent relaxing in the shade at camp reading a book and planning the next day's hike. No cell phone service and never turned on the radio for the entire time I was there. What a relief to escape from the constant Covid-19 news updates. The only nuisance were tiny biting gnats and mosquitoes which would plague me anytime the breezes died down while sitting in camp in the afternoons. They sometimes forced me to retreat into my car while reading. Fortunately the car was parked in the shade and I have screens for the two roll down windows to keep the bugs out.
Culture
Culture
HAZ Rides
_____________________
2 archives
Apr 11 2020
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 368
 Photos 6,535
 Triplogs 485

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Seven Springs Rd Side Track, AZ 
Seven Springs Rd Side Track, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 11 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking4.40 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking4.40 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   0.98 mph
1,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I set off on this hike from Seven Springs Road to checkout what looked like, on Google Earth, a possible ancient rock pile on the ridge top above the north side of Sycamore Creek. It was a long shot but it was a good excuse to get out there before the spring time green and wildflowers disappear for another year. It was an easy hike up the ridge but I took my time to enjoy the views. Unfortunately there was no sign of ancient habitation at the location indicated on GE, just rock formations in geometric patterns that had looked like small walled rooms on GE.

On the way back down the ridge I spotted a few small pottery sherds laying on the ground so started to scan surrounding areas with my super zoom camera. A small sign in the distance caught my attention. It was on one of those brown fiber glass sticks used by the Forest Service and was in front of a large tangled mess of brush, tall grass and tree skeletons. Deeming it worthy of closer inspection I made a detour from my planned route back to the car. The sign was one of those notices that "archaeological resources in this area are fragile and irreplaceable, etc." - a sure indication of an ancient habitation site, much more reliable that some fuzzy GE image.

Hidden in the tall grass and brush were the crumbled down walls of many rooms. One had been excavated and one of its remaining walls was about 6 ft tall. It appears that most of the rooms had been all or partially below ground level with rock walls to hold back the dirt. I would later discover that these rooms weren't the only thing hidden in the tall grass, the closest I've ever come to actually testing my snake gaiters.

On my return to the car I decided to take another detour to look at some remains of more recent habitation - cabins near Columbine Spring that had been burned down by the 2005 Cave Creek Complex fire. All that remains of these 3 to 4 cabins are partial walls which I was surprised to find had been originally constructed with adobe bricks and mortar. It looked like the type of adobe construction used by early settlers in the late 1800's. The exterior exposed surfaces of the walls had been protected by a layer of cement stucco over chicken wire. It would be interesting to know the history of these buildings but I couldn't find any info in a quick search of the internet.
_____________________
1 archive
average hiking speed 1.04 mph
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 24  Next

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.

90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
11.5 inch Teflon Coated Umbrella
Super Wide Brim Sun Hat for Men or Women
help comment issue

end of page marker