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296 triplogs

Nov 23 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Pass Mountain Loop Trail #282Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2020
rayhuston
Hiking7.40 Miles 1,194 AEG
Hiking7.40 Miles   2 Hrs   38 Mns   3.00 mph
1,194 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Always enjoyable, especially when it's not busy. I waited until late morning so it wasn't too busy. I saw maybe a dozen people on the loop.

The Wind Cave trail was crazy busy.

Partly cloudy day with a nice breeze made for a most enjoyable hike.
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Nov 21 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Lone Mountain Circumference Trail, AZ 
Lone Mountain Circumference Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2020
rayhuston
Hiking5.68 Miles 1,158 AEG
Hiking5.68 Miles   2 Hrs   32 Mns   2.32 mph
1,158 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I like Lone Mountain as a workout hike, but I have yet to hike the Circumference Trail. After hiking to the top, I decided to give it a shot.

As Circumference trails go, this one is not so fun, though the views are quite good as you make your way around. I don't know how many drainages I had to cross, some quite steep and loose, but it was probably a dozen too many. Do yourself a favor and take the nearby Pass Mountain Loop trail instead. You get an extra three miles with far less difficulty.

As I made the final turn to the southwest, I saw a caravan of emergency vehicles on Usery Road. I was hoping it wasn't a cyclist. When I reached the trailhead, more emergency vehicles were there interviewing people. Turns out a family was biking along the road when the father became distressed from fatigue coming back up the hill. I hope he's okay.

In spite of my general dislike of the Circumference Trail, the weather was nice and it's always good to be out hiking. There are no bad hikes, just good hikes and great hikes.
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2 archives
Nov 04 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Lost Dutchman State Park LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 04 2020
rayhuston
Hiking3.00 Miles 616 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   1 Hour   8 Mns   2.65 mph
616 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I dialed up a variation of my wife’s favorite loop to see how my foot felt on uneven terrain. Felt okay on the hike. A tad achy right now, but so far so good.

A little warm (90 degrees), but quiet. A good way to get rid of the election hangover I had. A total waste of good beer!

Passed two couples along the way.
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2 archives
Oct 26 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
La Barge Canyon ViewPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 26 2020
rayhuston
Hiking6.11 Miles 1,647 AEG
Hiking6.11 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   1.77 mph
1,647 ft AEG      18 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
The La Barge Canyon View is something that I looked at a few times but never really had an interest in until recently. Today I decided to go check out the views.

I cobbled together a couple of tracks for this hike, one being the official route, the other posted by @wallyfrack on his way to Geronimo Head. Since this was a wander more than a destination, I used landmarks as my guide and checked the track occasionally to make sure I was going where I wanted to go. I liked Wally's route on the way up. There is some scrambling at the beginning, but mostly easy walking after the first ridge.

There are some cool rock formations and very steep canyons at the high point on this route. Nice views all around. Looking down into the canyons made my legs a little wobbly. The brave and adventurous can continue across the steep chasm to the east to reach the Geronimo Head plateau as Wally did, or circle around and join the official La Barge Canyon View route as I did, making for a nice lollypop loop. Stay close to the ledge overlooking La Barge Canyon on the way back for the best views.

7:30 start. I didn't see anyone until I passed a few couples as I was returning on the Boulder Canyon trail. I was expecting sunshine, but it was mostly overcast. The wind picked up, too, which gave me chills a few times and made me more than a little nervous walking out to the ledges for those views.

Fun route. I will definitely do this again when it's clear and not so windy.
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3 archives
Oct 21 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
East Mountain Sixshooter Loop, AZ 
East Mountain Sixshooter Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 21 2020
rayhuston
Hiking14.73 Miles 4,013 AEG
Hiking14.73 Miles   6 Hrs   46 Mns   2.38 mph
4,013 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I came to see fall colors, but I would have been satisfied with just a good hike. There was a little bit of color, which was a minor disappointment, but the hike rocked big time. So did my heart beat! Seemed like I was hiking up hill all day.

I parked at the bridge on FR 112 and walked 2/3 of a mile NE on the road to the Una Del Oso trail, then hiked the loop in a CW direction. The trails were all in good condition. Sixshooter was in the best condition I've seen it. A minor rock slide about 1.5 miles from FR 112 is the only obstacle. If I were a mountain biker, I might be tempted to give it a go.

The weather was gorgeous! Fall has definitely reached the Pinal Mountains. Chilly at the peak with a decent breeze, an autumn sun warming me up as I came in for a soft landing on Sixshooter.

Like everywhere else, it's completely dry. The spring box at junction of Telephone and Sixshooter is the only source of good water. Even the Ferndell Spring was quiet (Update: @BiFrost reports on 10/24 that Ferndell Spring was quart per minute).

I didn't see another person until I was almost back to paved roads. I did see a a tarantula and a white tail deer that I woke from slumber. Perfect solitude.

Unfortunately, I saw a new fire that looked like it was just getting started somewhere north of Kearny. :(
Fauna
Fauna
Tarantula
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Maples past prime. Aspens still green on Sixshooter. Lots of dead leaves on the trails.
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1 archive
Oct 18 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2020
rayhuston
Hiking5.85 Miles 2,900 AEG
Hiking5.85 Miles   4 Hrs   8 Mns   1.56 mph
2,900 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
After going up to the Basin on Thursday with a friend, I had the itch to hike up to the Flatiron. It's been too long. Traffic was light on the way up (6:30 start) but was busy when I went down a couple of hours later. Once at the top, I chatted briefly with a man from Wisconsin who was hiking the Flatiron for the 206th time. It makes my knees hurt just thinking about that.

Clear skies for the most part, especially so when looking to the east. Awesome morning for a hike.
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Oct 15 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Siphon Draw Trail #53 Arizona, AZ 
Siphon Draw Trail #53 Arizona, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 15 2020
rayhuston
Hiking4.28 Miles 1,069 AEG
Hiking4.28 Miles   3 Hrs   9 Mns   1.74 mph
1,069 ft AEG      41 Mns Break
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A friend was visiting from out of state. He wanted to hike a portion of the Siphon Draw trail the day before he flew home. We hiked up to the Flatiron a few years ago, but he paid for it. This time we settled on just getting to the Basin. He paid for this shorter version, too, but suffered only some minor cramps a few hours later. He won't need physical therapy this time.

We started late, just before 9am, and finished around noon. My friend was a little overheated at the end. He kept ignoring me when I would tell him to drink often.

We crossed paths with @Daytripper on his way down. @JuanJaimeiii was heading up to check out the fire damage while we were chilling next to the dry Siphon Draw falls. We saw maybe a dozen other hikers during our hike.

We stopped for lunch and refreshments at the Hitching Post on the way home. We had the special: thinly sliced prime rib on a hoagie roll. Yum!
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Oct 14 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Homestead Trail #305, AZ 
Homestead Trail #305, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 14 2020
rayhuston
Hiking2.93 Miles 428 AEG
Hiking2.93 Miles   1 Hour   12 Mns   2.66 mph
428 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
A friend and I were visiting a mutual friend in Prescott and decided to take in some pines while we were up there. We hiked out from the south end of the Homestead trail for about a mile and a half before turning around.
Very enjoyable segment. Good trail, gorgeous morning.
We saw several mountain bikers on the trail but no hikers.
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Oct 09 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Geronimo Turkey Milk, AZ 
Geronimo Turkey Milk, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2020
rayhuston
Hiking10.06 Miles 2,288 AEG
Hiking10.06 Miles   5 Hrs   11 Mns   2.16 mph
2,288 ft AEG      31 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Lunch at the Rim again. I'm beginning to like this very much.

I used a track from @DixieFlyer for this hike. It was my second time hiking from the Geronimo Trailhead, the first time hiking Geronimo, Turkey, a portion of West Webber and a BSA trail (Milk Ranch Point West). I hiked the loop in a CCW direction.

I didn't care for the the extra baggage of the Geronimo trail, but you need it if you want to hike this loop from the Geronimo TH. I think it would be a better loop if started from Milk Ranch Rd.

I very much enjoyed the Turkey trail. It's a good track, has outstanding views of the Mogollon Rim on the way up and is a great workout, getting steeper as you approach the rim. I stopped for lunch at a large rock outcropping about a third of a mile from the top. If I had turned around there, it would have been a worthy hike. I continued on to Milk Ranch Road, headed south towards the West Webber trail and then down West Webber.

Webber is also a very nice track, steep at the top but with reasonably good footing. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but the track I borrowed departs from the West Webber trail at the intersection with the BSA trail mentioned earlier and follows the BSA track back to the Geronimo trail. I decided to stay on the track I had. The BSA trail was actually pretty cool, a little overgrown in places, but fun. You might find some nice fall colors there in another week or two. Since I started late (11:20ish), I was in the shade the entire way down.

I liked this loop a lot. I will more than likely return to give it another go. There were a couple of missed opportunities: I want to climb the rock outcropping where I ate lunch and I want to see the rest of West Webber. As it was, it was a very fun hike on a great day.
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1 archive
Oct 06 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Hutton Peak, AZ 
Hutton Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 06 2020
rayhuston
Hiking3.52 Miles 1,324 AEG
Hiking3.52 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   1.07 mph
1,324 ft AEG      47 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Hutton Peak is a hike that Mark has done before and enjoyed, so he shared it with me today. One of those four mile hikes that feels like 10 (or more). Ah, but so much fun.

The peak is just south of Top of the World, AZ and offers great views all around. We could see the south end of the Superstitions from our perch atop the peak. Looking down at Top of the World made me appreciate the little town much more than I ever did driving by at highway speed. I thought the views were worth the rather arduous hike up the mountain.

Nothing fancy about this hike. Just head up, finding the best route possible. Plenty of cattle out there, so we found lots of good routes. Our first stop along the way was a large antenna that we saw at the start of the hike. After that we headed to the peak. We found a benchmark at the top, the wonderful views I mentioned earlier and lots of big round boulders that make for good seating. Time for a nice long break.

Coming down is always easier, so we made much better time. We had one little tough spot that we had to fight through, but we soon found a well beaten path to a tank that was on the to do list, so it worked out well. We stopped at the tank, watched a few cattle watching us, took some photos, then returned along the road/wash where we had parked at the start.

We saw a white tailed dear on our ascent. It posed for a moment, just until we started reaching for our cameras. It was the only other critter I saw besides cattle and lizards. Mark spotted a slender snake that quickly disappeared under a rock.

59 degrees at the start. Getting warm at the end, but never hot. Gorgeous day. Thanks for another great adventure, Mark!
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
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Oct 05 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Lone Mountain 2809 - E J PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 05 2020
rayhuston
Hiking3.99 Miles 1,385 AEG
Hiking3.99 Miles   1 Hour   43 Mns   2.47 mph
1,385 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Workout hike. Two laps to the top from the Circumference trail before returning to the trailhead. The first lap seemed a little warm, probably because there was very little breeze. The second lap was better. Took a couple of short breaks on top.

Tom @Daytripper was finishing up as I was stretching for my hike. We chatted for a few minutes and talked about getting together for a hike. I am most certainly down with that. Good to see you, Tom, and welcome back to the desert!
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2 archives
Oct 03 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Abineau - Bear Jaw Lasso Loop from Inner Basin, AZ 
Abineau - Bear Jaw Lasso Loop from Inner Basin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 03 2020
rayhuston
Hiking16.70 Miles 2,976 AEG
Hiking16.70 Miles   7 Hrs   33 Mns   2.46 mph
2,976 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
1st trip
We got off to a good start when Bruce spotted a narrow parking spot just feet from the trailhead. A huge score with those Eagle eyes, as the the 100 car limit was easily exceeded. The locals were out in spectacular numbers today.

Bruce and Joe planned a hike to summit Rees and Abineau from Inner Basin, while I hiked out to the end of the Waterline Road and back. I had it in my mind that I would give the summits a try, but that was wishful thinking that was immediately nixed when we reached the turnoff to head up to Rees. Too steep and too many downed trees. What was I thinking. :lol:

Turns out Joe and Bruce didn't want any part of it either (too much downfall even for them). Abineau and Bear Jaw was mentioned and quickly affirmed by all. It would be more miles, less AEG, but on good trails throughout. Best of all, I was able to hang with the boys for the duration.

We saw (in total) several hundred people in the first couple of miles with scores of pooches tagging along. Not nearly as many on Abineau - Bear Jaw, but that loop was also quite popular on the day. The quest for everyone was, of course, the fall colors. While the best color was on the Waterline Road, those that stayed close to the trailhead seemed delighted based on the number of selfies and photo shots we observed. The best color, however, was clearly on the long road walk. Absolutely delightful. We took a lot of photos.

The thing that stood out most on the day, for me anyway, was the number of people wearing masks, especially in the 20 to 40 age group. We each took a guess at the number, which ranged from a third to over half. By the time we finished, we agreed that half was probably a good estimate. I began to wonder if local laws required masks at all times, even while hiking, or if it was in response to our President getting infected. Either way, I've rarely seen people wearing masks on the trail so I was taken aback by the numbers.

Anyway, the objective was to see fall colors and I was most satisfied by what we saw. We debated whether it was prime or still a week away. Based on the number of leaves falling, I wouldn't wait a week.

Awesome hike. Thank you @The_Eagle and @joebartels for inviting me along! It was a great day.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Gold on the south slopes as you leave the TH. Not quite prime as you ascend the switchbacks through the aspens, although leaves covered the trail and were falling as we walked through. Very nice color on the Waterline Road. Not much on Abineau, more on Bear Jaw, but nothing like the Waterline Road.
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3 archives
Oct 02 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Gilbert Riparian PreservePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Walk / Tour avatar Oct 02 2020
rayhuston
Walk / Tour3.30 Miles 82 AEG
Walk / Tour3.30 Miles   1 Hour   22 Mns   2.68 mph
82 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Two laps through the Riparian Preserve. A little something easy before a bigger something hard tomorrow.

The feathered winter visitors are arriving in abundance. So are the amateur photographers and birders. Some of the ponds are in varying degrees of "ew," probably due to the drought. The birds don't seem to mind. I limited my photos to the nicer looking ponds.

Several gaggles of Canadian Geese, which have been arriving for a few weeks, flew overhead as I was approaching the Riparian, presumably off to whatever feeding zone they chose for the day.

It appears to be a good time to visit the Riparian based on the number of people around on a Friday morning, and a fabulous morning to be out.
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4 archives
Sep 30 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Peak 5361 - 5630 Loop, AZ 
Peak 5361 - 5630 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 30 2020
rayhuston
Hiking4.26 Miles 1,342 AEG
Hiking4.26 Miles   4 Hrs   6 Mns   1.25 mph
1,342 ft AEG      41 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
CannondaleKid
It had been nearly three weeks since Mark and I last hiked. Although I usually get in a good workout hike during the week, the real workouts are when I accompany Mark on one of his meanders. I was getting soft.

We started our hike just north of the SRP substation on FR 342 north of highway 60. We followed an old road north up the hill for about 2/3 of a mile. From there, and for the next 3.5 miles, the trek was off trail, a loop through grassy hillsides, up, over or around a couple of peaks, plus the occasional relatively flat open section. The terrain was mostly grass with desert scrub, holly, manzanita and shin daggers, all easily avoided. And lots of rocky sections, seemingly more so on the steep hills :sweat: . No shade on this hike except for a tree here and there.

It is frightfully dry out here. I commented to Mark how this would look so much better with some rain once in a while. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful hike. Four miles seemed like a lot more. I forgot my trekking poles, so I really had to work hard with balance. I fell once and slipped another time, but did pretty well considering the terrain.

We had a beautiful clear blue sky with a nice breeze at the start, which got better at higher elevations and worse in low areas. The forecast was for a high in the mid-80's, but we finished well before then. Compared to the valley, it was quite pleasant out here.

It was great to be out. Thanks again, Mark!
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Sep 29 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Lone Mountain 2809 - E J PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 29 2020
rayhuston
Hiking3.84 Miles 1,366 AEG
Hiking3.84 Miles   1 Hour   45 Mns   2.28 mph
1,366 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hiked to the top, back down to the Circumference trail,then back to the top again before returning to the trailhead.

A nice breeze from the east plus low temps made this a pleasant workout.

Smoke filled skies diminished the usually great views, but a nice morning nonetheless.
Culture
Culture
Ray Bain de Soleil
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5 archives
Sep 26 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Gilbert Riparian PreservePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Walk / Tour avatar Sep 26 2020
rayhuston
Walk / Tour1.87 Miles 52 AEG
Walk / Tour1.87 Miles      44 Mns   2.55 mph
52 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
A lovely morning walk through the Riparian with my wife. The place was very busy today. Lot's of bunny rabbits out too.
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3 archives
Sep 25 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Derrick - Horton Loop Arizona, AZ 
Derrick - Horton Loop Arizona, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2020
rayhuston
Hiking9.72 Miles 2,067 AEG
Hiking9.72 Miles   4 Hrs   1 Min   2.74 mph
2,067 ft AEG      28 Mns Break
1st trip
I enjoyed lunch on the Rim so much on Wednesday that I decided to come back again. Lunch at Horton Spring this time.

I started at the Derrick TH and took the route CCW. I like to get the Derrick trail out of the way first. It's more exposed to the sun and I was starting late. I also like a soft landing, and few hikes finish like the Horton Creek trail.

Horton Spring was gushing like every other time I've been there. It's amazing. No rain for weeks, yet it still pours out. I found a nice flat rock to sit on and sat there listening to the sounds of the running water, enjoying the tall pines all around, and forgetting all about 105 degrees in the Valley. Is this Heaven or what?

The Derrick trail is in great shape, better than I remember. It gets a bit rocky leading up to the 2 mile mark, but even that was not bad at all. I saw bike tracks, so maybe it's been cleaned up a bit for the mountain bike crowd. The Highline Express is always good. The Horton Creek trail is a gem.

The weather was perfect. Bright blue skies, a nice breeze throughout the hike. A daytime high of 81 degrees was forecasted, but I was never close to warm. No smoke. I couldn't ask for more.

That changed on the way home. A brush fire on I-17 was sending smoke across the Mazzies. A truck fire on southbound AZ-87 closed my route back. I had to take AZ-188 to Globe, then AZ-60 home. I passed the truck fire on the way north, apparently just after it started. The backup was only a couple of dozen vehicles, if that.

Love this loop. Another great day at the Rim.
Fauna
Fauna
Abert's Squirrel
Named place
Named place
Horton Spring

dry Big Canyon Dry Dry

dry Horton Creek Dry Dry
Dry at the bottom

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Horton Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Plenty of water coming out of the spring.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max West Fork Tonto Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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5 archives
Sep 23 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Drew from See Canyon, AZ 
Drew from See Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 23 2020
rayhuston
Hiking7.83 Miles 1,727 AEG
Hiking7.83 Miles   3 Hrs   41 Mns   2.33 mph
1,727 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I felt like having lunch on the Rim. So I did. :)

The weather was perfect. A nice breeze kept things pleasant, though I never felt warm. And why would I with a nice canopy of trees dominated by ponderosa pine providing shade for most of the hike. Puffy clouds dotted a beautiful blue sky.

The trails, especially Drew, are better than I remember. A nice steady ascent on Highline keeps the heart rate up. Drew takes it up another notch.

Once at the top, I took a left on the forest road and followed it for a bit before taking another left, then angled between a couple of campsites to get to my lunch spot.

A couple of bees liked my lunch as much as I did so I left a little of the object of their desire on the rock outcrop where I was sitting and moved away a few feet. That worked.

Most enjoyable lunch. I didn’t notice any smoke, though it was hazy to the south. I headed back down after about 20 minutes.

I passed four mountain bikers as I was heading up, but the only hikers I saw were at the trailhead, none on the trails.

Great day to be on the Rim.
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3 archives
Sep 19 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 81
 Photos 3,721
 Triplogs 630

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Oaks and Willows - Juniper Mesa - Bull Spring, AZ 
Oaks and Willows - Juniper Mesa - Bull Spring, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 19 2020
rayhuston
Hiking14.90 Miles 2,267 AEG
Hiking14.90 Miles   7 Hrs   26 Mns   2.26 mph
2,267 ft AEG      51 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Up early to head north so that we could get an early start on the trail. This is my first time hiking in the Juniper Mesa Wilderness north of Prescott. Once clear of Prescott, the drive to the trailhead was very enjoyable. Beautiful scenery that keeps getting better the closer you get to Juniper Mesa. A long stretch of dirt road, but it's good road where you can maintain good speed during most of that stretch.

We started out heading north on the Oaks and Willow trail. The first third of a mile or so to the junction with the Bull Spring trail is very nice, with a moderate grade under a canopy of oak, pine and juniper. Joe pointed out some of the varieties of trees in the area, including white oak, which I don't recall seeing before, as well as the different forms of the abundant junipers on this aptly named mesa. I didn't see any willow trees anywhere along this trail.

Once at the junction with the Bull Spring trail, the grade steepens and the nice trail we were on gives way to softball sized rocks. Watch your step. After a quarter mile, the grade levels out again as you traverse through an open meadow with nice views of the mesa to your east. 3/4 of a mile later, the grade steepens again as you ascend to the top of the mesa. This section was also rocky, but not as bad as the first steep section. Just steeper.

The trail levels out at the 2 mile mark and then it's smooth sailing. Joe and I were having a lively conversation about cars and mechanics and walked right past our junction with the Juniper Mesa trail. We both had the volume too low on RS and missed the call out along with the "off trail" warnings until we had hiked 0.2 miles down a connector trail with a forest road down below. Back up we went until we saw the signed junction, which we also missed, with the Juniper Mesa trail. Back to smooth sailing.

The Juniper Mesa trail is mostly flat with a few dips along the way. The trail doesn't see much use, so it's faint in spots. Cairns along the way keep you from straying. More boots on the ground would help. While very dry up there right now, the dirt underfoot was soft, as though it had rained recently. Must be something in the soil composition that keeps it soft.

The trail parallels a barbed wire fence most of the way. Not much in the way of views, but I was happy to be in a forest in relatively cool temps. When you come to what appears to be a gate in the fence, take a walk south over to the ridge for some great views. This was the highlight of the hike for me. If I were to hike this trail again, I would probably turn back here.

We hiked another 1.5 miles before stopping for lunch. The track we followed during that stretch was iffy in a couple of sections. The obvious trail took us away from the track a couple of times. We backtracked once to attempt to find and follow the pinned track, but it looked like a bushwhack ahead. We followed a path of least resistance until we found the trail again. The second time this happened, we chose to stay on the obvious trail, which took us north around a hill while the route we were following suggested a southerly track. We didn't see a route south so we stayed on the obvious trail this time.

We stopped for lunch a little later than we should have. We were both famished. We took our time, cooled our feet and enjoyed the break. We had another mile and a half to go on the route we chose, but I did some math and figured we would be driving home in the dark and probably wouldn't get home until very late. I suggested that this might be a good spot to turn back. Thankfully Joe agreed :y: .

We headed back at a good pace, taking the obvious trails on our return. If you use this Juniper Mesa Trail #20 track I'm posting, I recommend you take our return route. When we reached the three trail junction, we turned south on Bull Spring Trail #100. The first tenth of a mile on this trail is steep and loose with the softball sized rocks again, but it offers expansive views to the south. After that the grade softens and the trail improves the farther along you go. At one point I mentioned that we might be looking at a soft landing, but then the trail down steepened once again. At one point the trail began to climb again. Nothing steep but I hate ascending when you're trending down.

When we reached the junction with trail #3, my feet were happy again. We had the nice stretch of easy trail under a canopy of trees I mentioned earlier. This time it truly was a soft landing! Back at the trailhead, we saw a few vehicles heading north on the road. Just before the trailhead on the way in, we passed a sign that says "Gate Closed Ahead. Turn around at the trailhead." None of these vehicles turned around. Joe surmised that there must be something going on back there and dubbed it the "Gate Closed Bar," open only to the locals :lol:

It was a long day from start to finish, but thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks for picking this one, Joe. Good times!
Named place
Named place
Juniper Mesa
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2 archives
Sep 16 2020
rayhuston
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 Guides 1
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63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Lone Mountain 2809 - E J PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 16 2020
rayhuston
Hiking4.91 Miles 1,483 AEG
Hiking4.91 Miles   2 Hrs   8 Mns   2.43 mph
1,483 ft AEG      7 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Workout hike. 7:20 start.
Two laps from the Circumference trail to the top to get some extra AEG, then east for a bit on the Circumference trail to add some mileage and stretch my legs.
I wanted to hike Peralta to Fremont Saddle, but the trail is still closed according to FS website. I ended up with about the same hike stats. :D
Nice morning, although still "smazy."
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average hiking speed 2.24 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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