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20 triplogs

Apr 28 2017
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Connector Trail #507 - #320A Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 28 2017
mcdobbs
Hiking0.60 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking0.60 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The correct name is Hawkins Connect–a-Trail This is a trail system in progress connecting trails between High Peak Road and Cunningham Trail on Mt. Graham. Several trails lead from this proposed trail out to Swift Trail, into Upper Hospital Flat, into the no access Red Squirrel Refugium and to Lower Cunningham Trail Head.
This trail system is being created with three small sections being built to connect older trails.
The first completed section leading from High Peak Trail(East) is Hawkins Trail which was an Eagle Scout project. It is names in memoriam for Kolby Hawkins, a local individual who died from Hantavirus in May 2013. He was a range manager with the Safford USFS.
The second trail (West) is a Connect-a-trail to connect two portions of the Cunningham Loop Trail – also an Eagle Scout project.
The section in the middle needs NEPA (CE) and some work and is strictly bushwhacking as of 2017. A USFS map can be viewed at gilavalleyhikingclu ... com/
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Oct 08 2016
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Grant Falls, AZ 
Grant Falls, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2016
mcdobbs
Hiking6.90 Miles 1,680 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles
1,680 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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We had a glorious day hiking. Sixteen members of the Gila Valley Hiking Club made it into the falls. We started at the lower trailhead near Ft. Grant State Prison. We made it to the first crossing of Grant Creek where the road became pretty much impassable by vehicles. Found a couple of spots to park cars and headed down the old road on foot. The hills were covered in knee high grass, and it was great to see them dressed in green.

There was plenty of water, but it was much lower than a year ago. Water crossings were much easier and fewer. Lots of photos were taken along the way. We enjoyed lunch at the end of the road in the large clearing and campsite just past the second stone building. There was some confusion among the faster hikers as to where to cross the creek and start up to the falls. We remedied this by placing two directional signs at the end of the old road. One points towards the camp site, and the second points down the foot trail toward the stream. Once you cross the stream you find the trail behind the stone cistern/sand trap.

The final three quarters of a mile to the falls was an easy jaunt, especially because of the new steal ladder and cat walk over the large boulder just below the falls. The adventure is gone, but it is so much safer than the old step ladder propped against the boulder. Our thanks to the USFS and volunteers who carried in materials and constructed such a great access.

The falls were stunning as always. We arrived at the perfect time to find rainbows settling in at the base of the falls. It was magical. We lingered at the falls and cooled our feet in the pool for about an hour. Lots of photos were taken by everyone. We just didn't want to leave.
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Jul 09 2016
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Twilight Peak 9320'Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 09 2016
mcdobbs
Hiking1.50 Miles 520 AEG
Hiking1.50 Miles
520 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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With description, pictures and map in hand, we easily found this trail. While it is faint, we were able to find our way to the first pass at the ridge line. The final 100 yards to the second pass and peak were definitely bushwhacking. Down timber on the north side meant blazing a trail on the south side of mountain. There were several windfalls on the lower trail section, but only two require navigating around. The trail is entirely in the shade until you reach the ridge line.

We scouted the trail on the 4th of July then returned today with the Gila Valley Hiking Club. We took along two forest service staff members who plottedt the trail. They wiil be working on getting the trail officially recognized and getting some maintenance done in the next year.
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May 21 2016
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
High Peak Road #507Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 21 2016
mcdobbs
Hiking3.80 Miles 642 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles
642 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Traveled with the US Forest Service, local fire crew, and the Gila Valley Hiking Club into the refugium today to complete building 30 erosion check dams and to put about 200 protective sleeves around new trees planted around Mt. Graham Peak. It was a real treat to be allowed access to the area and a quick hike to Mt. Graham Peak. I'm sure the guy from Chicago who hiked up Hike Peak Road didn't expect finding the head ranger standing there!

Warning--they do take trespassing serious. We observed that today.

The USFS has completed a tree planting project of nearly 6000 trees this spring and will have groups working through the summer putting out more protective sleeves. Their presence will be there. It is interesting to see how the land is recovering from the 2004 fire. Very slow, but beginning. There are a few 3 foot trees, but mostly low ground cover. Lots of sterile ground.
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Jan 15 2016
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Rincon Spring Trail #331Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 15 2016
mcdobbs
Hiking4.00 Miles 609 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   6 Hrs      0.67 mph
609 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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in the 80s and early 90s, we hiked this trail often with our young children. It was an easy trail with very little elevation gain and one trail that was so visible we knew the children wouldn't get lost if they ran on ahead. That has changed in the last 10 years. The trail has really been obscured by grass and the mesquites have really encroached on the trail--oh wait, what trail?

Three of us set out today to do some trail maintenance work on this trail. With the aid of GPS tracking, we were able to hike in clearing brush as we went. A large section of the trail has been rerouted around the north of a hill rather than through the rocks. We built several cairns and took others down to clarify where the trail truly is.

Any hiker should expect rough terrain because of the tall grass and know that you will be relying on cairns to get in and out. A walking stick will help you with footing as you can't see the ground and hidden rocks under the grass. BUT, the water was really running in the streams, and the snow on Deadman's ridge made the hike extra rewarding.

Next week the hiking club will be out on this trail for an quick hike. (6 hour day, but it only took us 1hr 20 min to hike out from the spring to the trailhead.)
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Nov 04 2015
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Cunningham Loop TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 04 2015
mcdobbs
Hiking7.60 Miles 1,212 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles
1,212 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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The Cunningham Loop Trail is currently closed to hiking due to forest thinning project in the area.
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Nov 04 2015
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Bassett PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 04 2015
mcdobbs
Hiking11.50 Miles 2,750 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles
2,750 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Made a quick run in to check for fall colors. Past few years, the colors have appeared at the end of October and been wonderful by this time in November, but not this year. The maples are still green. So if you are looking for fall colors, just hold off until the middle of the month.

The road has one washout about 1.5 miles from trailhead just past closed gate. You can decide whether you want to cross or not. Water is flowing in the streams. And those crazy critters with rattles are still out. (Saw 6 of them along the road driving in on the main road and another as we hiked into the trailhead.) Fall just hasn't arrived yet.
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Jun 27 2015
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Heliograph Peak from Shannon GCTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 27 2015
mcdobbs
Hiking3.20 Miles 1,024 AEG
Hiking3.20 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   0.85 mph
1,024 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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Took a great hike up from Shannon to the peak and back down the road to our vehicles. There were a few down deadfalls on the trail, but the FS will be clearing trail the trail prior to 7-15-15, so I expect it will be in great condition for a while after that. It was a perfect day for hiking--the entire day was cool and shady. The sky was filled with large thunder clouds, and by 4:00 a wonderful monsoon storm drenched the mountain. This meant crossing the burn area was not the usual nearly unbearable oven like conditions. Walked back down the private road to our vehicles and marveled at the beauty of the day.

Just a quick note: The gate at the bottom of the road is there and locked not because of the Mt. Graham Red Squirrel. This gate predates the squirrel controversy, and Heliograph Peak is well out of the Red Squirrel Refugium. The gate protects the communication towers on Heliograph from easy access of potential vandals.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Western Wallflowers
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Jul 19 2014
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Clark Peak Trail #301Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 19 2014
mcdobbs
Hiking6.50 Miles 1,829 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles
1,829 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Have hiked the upper portion of this trail three times this week. First, scouting for a possible hike for our hiking club; second, to do some trail work; and the third hike was with the hiking club.

All hikes went very well. On the first hike, we proceeded down to Taylor Canyon trail junction. The trail was overgrown the closer we got to Taylor Canyon, but we don't plan on taking hiking club members that far. Our goal is just to Clark Peak and the meadow of ferns. During the second hike, we removed 4 deadfalls and trimmed back some eye-heighth Mexican Locust. Fortunately on that day the temperature was 52 degrees thanks to the monsoon weather.

Today's hike with the club went well. The weather was warmer. The views were glorious. But we only got to look at the ferns from a distance. We encountered a very large black tail rattler right at the edge of the ferns. He crawled into the ferns and stood his ground. Not knowing exactly where he was, we retreated to a nearby hill, had lunch, visited and headed back.

A friend also encountered a black-tail rattler in the area earlier this year. And we encountered one two years ago. I think I'll swear off this area for a while.
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Jun 10 2014
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Chesley Flat TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 10 2014
mcdobbs
Hiking3.00 Miles 835 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.50 mph
835 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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This was a new trail for us. It wasn't on our old maps, but thanks to HAZ we found a nice little trail.

We left the valley around 7am and arrived in the Columbine Corrals parking lot at 8:20. The air was cool and the sky was such a deep blue. It's great to get above the dusty cloud carpeting the valley. Four of us and the dog struck out for the Webb Peak summit and quickly found ourselves at the top. A group from the Green Valley Hiking Club were there, and we had a nice visit with a gentleman from that group while he waited for others in his group to explore the fire tower. After there decent, they headed down towards Ash Creek Trail. They have a real hike before them today. There are 82 deadfalls over that section of trail. We took a few moments for two of our group to take in the views from the top of the tower. (Sorry, heights are not my thing...I've been up in the tower once, so I guess I can say, "Been there, done that.")

Soon we were off down the service road to find the Chesley Flat Trail. It was not well marked, and we missed it because we were having a great time looking at the turkey, deer, bear, and cat tracks. The road has been recently graded, and the soft silt on the top was perfect for preserving tracks. We marveled at the detail in the bear track. We could really see the folds and wrinkles in the foot pad. Since the area has experienced light afternoon winds this week, these tracks had to be laid down in the last 24 hours. (Which is supported later in the day.)

We quickly realized we missed the trail and back tracked to find it where the grader had cut a drainage ditch near an open meadow. The trail was marked with blue plastic tape farther in. We left a white tape hanging on a small aspen at the edge of the road.

We passed through the edge of the fire zone and then back into the forest. This section has been subjected to several fires in the last century. In 1970, I remember exploring the area. Signs of a much earlier fire were visible Then in 1973, another fire passed through the area. The blackened remains of these earlier forest fires stand like sentinels in the meadow. It was making a great return when the Nuttal fire passed through in 2004.

The trail is a bit overgrown, and there are a number of deadfalls but nothing too difficult to negotiate over or around. The trail wasn't difficult to locate, but we left a few more white tapes along the way to help out. Most of the trail is under the firs and pines, so the hike was very pleasant. Time passed quickly, and we soon found ourselves at the Blair Canyon trailhead, and then a few yards later we were out at Chesley Flat.

The day was early, so we decided to do some more hiking. But first the guys headed down the road to retrieve our vehicle, and the ladies moved off toward the road into Grandview Peak. And wouldn't you know...as the guys drove back towards Chesley Flat, lumbering down the road was a Black Bear!

This was a great hike...a few miles under your feet and wildlife to see. (Even though I didn't get to see the bear, we later found a deer feeding in the forest and spent several minutes watching and photographing her before she decided to scamper off into the forest.)
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Jun 07 2014
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Ash Creek Trail #307Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 07 2014
mcdobbs
Hiking4.00 Miles 5,200 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   5 Hrs      0.89 mph
5,200 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Exhausting day. Only hiked upper .5 miles of trail on return from Webb Peak.

We set out to hike the loop from the corals to Web Peak then down to the junction with Ash Creek Trail. Two years ago this was a great short hike. Not today. We had to scramble over, under and around 82 deadfalls. A huge log jam formed by 8 trees creating a 7 foot wall was encountered .25 miles west of the Ash Creek/Webb Peak trail junction (the boiler.) There were 23 down trees on the first half mile of the Ash Creek trail (between the parking lot and the boiler.) In the past, we have continued on to the mill site and back. Not today. We could see several deadfalls down the trail leading to the mill site. Based on what we encountered, no telling what would lay beyond. This trail needs a lot of attention.
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Jun 07 2014
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Webb Peak from Ash Creek THTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 07 2014
mcdobbs
Hiking4.20 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking4.20 Miles   5 Hrs      0.93 mph
900 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Exhausting Day.

We planned to take a short hike up to Webb Peak then follow the trail down to the junction with Ash Creek Trail. From that point we could continue on to the mill site then back out to the trail head at the corrals. Only made a simple loop from the peak to the junction and out. Climbing over, under and around 82 deadfalls did us in!

BUT THE FIRST MILE UP TO THE PEAK WAS NOT TOO BAD. Only 7 down trees in that section. You could step over or go around all but two. The hardest was the large tree at the first trail junction just below the lookout tower. The deadfall crossed both trails and hikers have begun cutting a new steep trail to avoid this spot.

The Forest Service has done some work on the fire tower since last year. The ladder has been replaced. We got a chance to step inside the cabin since the door was open and a window was missing. The place has clearly been taken over by forest rodents.

We hiked back to the trail junction and set off for the mill site. And at this point it became rough going. Seemed there were no clear stretches to just amble along and get any rest from encountered deadfalls. A real obstacle course!

A huge log jam .25 miles west of the trail junction (the boiler) was a site to behold. Had to hike down into the canyon and around the mess to get by. This trail needs lots of work. By time we got to the junction with Ash Creek Trail, we could see several deadfalls on down the trail towards the mill site. We decided it was time to make the hike UP to the parking lot. The last half mile was a continuation of deadfalls.

I'd love to hike the entire Ash Creek trail in the fall, but I'm not holding my breath that any work will be done this summer.

dry West Ash Creek - Pinalenos Dry Dry
Small trickle of water in some places. Standing pools in other places.
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Nov 18 2013
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Ash Creek CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Nov 18 2013
mcdobbs
Canyoneering7.30 Miles 2,300 AEG
Canyoneering7.30 Miles
2,300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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Very interesting trip today--- :scared: Last February, two friends and I spent the day exploring the quarry above the canyon. It was a great day, and I was eager to return and explore the canyon with my husband. Today was the day. We made our way up to the canyon and pulled off the road near the mouth of the canyon.

It was cool and evidence of the recent weekend of rain and snow was evident in the wash in the canyon. The water must have been awesome last weekend--small shrubs and trees pushed over by the flowing stream were still bent low to the ground . We found several stagnant pools of water and were able to work our way around most of them. Then one proved impassable, and we had to retreat. We did enjoy the geology of the area and found a few fossils.

As we made our way out, we could hear the sound of a four wheeler on the main road. Its sound would fade in and fade out. My husband remarked about how often it seemed to pass on the road. For forty-five minutes we could hear it passing down the road at the mouth of the canyon. When we made it back to the road, we could hear it just on the other side of the culvert running under the road. As we climbed the rocks up to the road, the four wheeler quickly made its way up to the road. When we topped out onto the road, we were confronted by two rough looking ranchers who wanted to know what we were doing in the area. One told us, "This is my ranch from the cattle guard to the next cattle guard. There is public access to the river after the second cattle guard." While there were no trespassing signs and the old sign about blasting was posted by Phelps Dodge Mining Corporation, it was evident we were not welcome. [Freeport MacMoran purchased Phelps Dodge in 2007, so there has been no activity since then.]

As we left we noticed many tracks in the muddy road indicating the four wheelers had made numerous u-turns looking for us. As we made our return trip to Clifton, we did notice what looked like a gold mining operation not far from Ash Creek. It was along the San Francisco River where they were removing water for washing rock and filtering out gravel and possible gold. I don't know if that was why these two individuals were nervous--but we were very uncomfortable with the situation.
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Nov 14 2013
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Ash Creek Trail #307Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 14 2013
mcdobbs
Hiking16.50 Miles 5,200 AEG
Hiking16.50 Miles
5,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Forest Service has recently completed work on the trail and on the road section above the Blackberry Patch to the trailhead. So this is the year to make this hike and this is the last chance to make this hike before the forest is closed tomorrow for the winter. It has been many years (30+) since I've made this hike and hubby has never hiked the entire route, so I'm excited to share this experience with him. Fellow hiker, Bonnie, will be making the hike with us. She made arrangements for her son to transport us up the mountain and for friends to pick us up above the Blackberry Patch at the base of the mountain.

We left the trailhead at 9:20 am, quickly made it to the mill site, took the old trail along the creek and over Slip Rock. Here we stopped to explore and find a safe way to make it to the bottom to take pictures of water sliding over the rock. Then it was on to the falls where we climbed out on the rock ledge to take more pictures.

We continued our descent and quickly found the junction with Shingle Mill trail. The trail became very steep and I was glad I brought my hiking staff. We moved on and headed down to the point where the trail first meets the stream after the falls; there we had lunch. Thirty years ago, you could still see remains of the old flue used to move logs down the mountain from the mill. But today, we couldn't find any sign of the old flue.

Once we made it to Oak Flat we took time to explore. The Flat has really changed in 30+ years. It's a great place but not as open as it was so long ago. Previously it was an open meadow. Now there are lots of trees shading the area. We also took time to locate a geocache in the area.

Shortly after Oak Flat, we strolled through a magnificent tunnel created by gold and orange maple trees. I did not know such a place existed on Mt. Graham. We marveled at the dense carpet of fallen leaves that piled up before us as we walked on down the trail. At times they were knee high. This again made walking very tricky as we couldn't see where we were stepping. This resulted in two individuals in the group falling and many rolled ankles. We progressed down through the golden oaks and sycamores that lined the canyon and stream, and then we topped out on the mesa and were out of the canyon by 3:00 pm.

This is the third time I've traveled this trail. I remember it being steep, but I'm always surprised at just how steep it is. But it is a beautiful canyon. This is a trip I'd like to take every year.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Ash Creek Falls Medium flow Medium flow
There was a good amount of water flowing in the lower reached of Ash Creek. By time we made it to Oak Flat and then to the lower trail head, a strong flow of water was moving off the mountain.
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Nov 08 2013
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Bassett PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 08 2013
mcdobbs
Hiking11.50 Miles 2,750 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles   6 Hrs      2.09 mph
2,750 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Reds! Oranges! Golds! Yellows! Pinks! Yes, pink maples. It was amazing! Who said Southern Arizona doesn't have fall colors?

We left Safford at 8am and were on the trail at 9:10. The trees were beautiful. The walk into the spring was easy--a gentle up hill. Then we cross the stream bed and started up the switchbacks. The trees were behind us and it was Arizona desert. We stopped near the top just before noon for a long lunch and a chance to really soak in the views. Absolutely stunning themselves.

Continued to the ridge then off to Bassett Peak. More stunning views from the trail. Took a few moments to look at the plane wreck on the top of the cliff and the wing below. (Next time we'll have to stop to explore the site on the cliff.)

Made the trip back down and couldn't resist the urge to collect some of the beautiful leaves. The canyon was carpeted in leaves, and the trees were still dressed in their fiery finery. Made it back to the truck by 3:15 and headed home.

This will be a return trip next year. Afterall, I forgot to load the memory cards in my cameras after having the sensors cleaned this week! No pictures, but wonderful memories. :y:
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Extreme
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Nov 02 2013
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Arcadia Trail #328Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 02 2013
mcdobbs
Hiking4.90 Miles 2,830 AEG
Hiking4.90 Miles
2,830 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was a beautiful fall day on the mountain. The morning started off cool at Shannon, but once we started down at the junction with the Heliograph trail, it really warmed up. The fall colors are gone from the upper elevations, but closer to Arcadia there are still a few maples and oaks dressed in beautiful colors.

A year ago, the trail was difficult because of the number of down trees through the burn area. In late May and early June, a fire crew cleared the trail. We hiked it at that point, and really enjoyed the day. The trail was in good condition. So, we decided it was a great weekend to hike it again.

As with any burn area, trees continue to fall and will for many years to come. I now would classify the trail conditions as fair. There are about two dozen downed trees to clamor over now. One VERY LARGE tree about half a mile above Arcadia campground makes the trail impassable to the average hiker. You need to be willing to go out on the canyon edge, then leverage yourself up over the base of the tree trunk to get back on the trail. The tree appears to have been just above the trail and has up-rooted itself and fallen into the trail. The massive root ball and rock slide lay in the trail, with the tree truck running down the trail for 40-50 ft. It will take another crew to clear this one.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
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Oct 26 2013
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Grant Creek Trail #305Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 26 2013
mcdobbs
Hiking6.90 Miles 3,956 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   5 Hrs      1.53 mph
3,956 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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After living 50++ years in the Gila Valley, I finally made completed this hike. I've hiked the upper stretch many times, but never seemed to make it comepletlly down this trail. I have missed the pleasures of hiking this trail. It is a real gem to treasure. At the suggestion of a friend, Bonnie, we set out mid-morning from Cunningham campground along with her dog and my husband, Bill. Friends Helen and Paula had ferried us up the mountain, and after they hike for a while, they will reposition a second vehicle left at the foot of the mountain in the Fort Grant Prison parking lot.

The temperature was just right for a day hiking--there was no need for sweaters or jackets. The trail was in good condition. Several downed trees have been removed in the last year.

The maple and oak trees were resplendent in their fall colors. Lots of red to be seen all along the trail. The views of the Sulpher Spring Valley below were wonderful. About 2 miles down, the trail starts following along Post Creek, and for once there was lots of water.

The trail soon opens up at a flat under the Arizona Sycamores where it becomes a dirt road. Some places on the road are now washed out and would require quad to get into the area.

We passed the take-out, sand traps, and pipe line that used to supply Fort Grant with water. They are no longer used, but the system and deep pools are worthy of exploration. An old one-room building stands nearby, and locals will find it interesting to see Steve Vuchavich's (the original warden at Ft.Grant when it was the state Industrial School for Boys) name etched in the cement.

The road continued on down into the desert, crossing the wide creek two more times. Here we met teenagers walking up the road and their younger siblings playing in the water. Along the road the dog sped off into the woods; all I could make out was three verticle coati tails heading out of the area. We encountered quite a few additional wildlife tracks in the soft dirt along the road. The usual deer, snakes, and lizards. The most interesting were bear tracks. We followed them down to the forest service fence and gate. They then turned off the road and into the brush along the fence line. (Guess he couldn't manage the gate.)

The lower reaches of the mountain are glorious--an ideal place for easy day hikes, family picnics, and additional exploration. I will be returning.

We continued on down to the Fort where we picked up our vehicle and made it back home after a great day.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
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Apr 08 2013
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Arcadia Trail #328Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2013
mcdobbs
Hiking4.90 Miles 2,830 AEG
Hiking4.90 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   1.11 mph
2,830 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We hike sections of this trail many times each year, and it always brings back wonderful family memories. Yet, hiking this trail is always bitter sweet. You can only understand if you were fortunate to hike it prior to the fire of 2004. Before the wildfire, this truly was a gem. The most idyllic trail I've ever been on.

Today's trip was from Arcadia campground up as far as we could go. We were able to progress about 3.7 miles up the trail. The trail up to the junction with the old Noon Creek trail was in good shape. There was only has one small tree to climb over just before Wet Canyon stream where there was a bit of water. It can be heard flowing more abundantly a bit farther down the canyon.

The March weather with temperatures already in the 70's is proving almost too hot for lower sections no longer shaded by tall pines. Today there were no cool mountain breezes on the mountain. It was very still.

About .25 miles beyond the Noon Creek Ridge trail junction, you enter the "standing dead" section of the wild fire. The trail becomes difficult because of dead falls. In November 2012, there were over 60 down trees between the Heiograph trail junction and Noon Creek junction. We suspect there are several more this spring. Patches of snow in shady areas and down trees made it tough going.

The great news is that the trip down was great. The afternoon heat was less noticeable. The forest is terribly dry this year. There were no grasses or ground covers growing along the trails. The oaks all are dried brown color. It reminded me of late fall and winter rather than early spring.
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Mar 30 2013
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Ladybug Trail #329Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2013
mcdobbs
Hiking6.00 Miles 3,925 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   5 Hrs   20 Mns   1.13 mph
3,925 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was another two car shuffle. We left one vehicle at the trail head near Angles Orchard and then drove the second to the higher trail head at Ladybug Saddle. This is one of our favorite trails and travel it a couple of times each year. The trail is easy to follow, but you must watch for its turn down the ridge. It is marked by an old metal sign tacked to a tree on the left. It's been there for some time, and the tree is slowly swallowing it up!

It's a great walk down through the mixed conifers. You'll travel down 64 switchbacks to where the Turkey Flat trail junctions into Ladybug trail. (I lost count after that.) The trail moves in and out between the pines and oak woodland areas. The trail passes right by the base of the rocky cliffs and at one point a large rock monolith on the west side of trail looks like a large standing bear looming over the trail.

Beyond the junction with the Turkey Flat Trail, the Ladybug Trail becomes much rougher. I was glad I had my walking staff as there were several steep eroded spots to cross on the trail. The trail is not maintained and probably not travel often. Grass is growing up in the trail and the manzanita are narrowing the trail. We removed 12 down trees on the lower portion of the trail. Only one large tree remains, but your can negotiate around it. The lower section of the trail meanders down into silver leaf oaks and desert flora. There are some beautiful view of the east end of the mountains. The large outcroppings of granite are a testament to just how rugged this old mountain is.

As you move off the ridge and turn down toward the orchard,the trail becomes quite steep. there are wonderful views of the Gila Valley, Swift Trail, Deadman's Ridge, and Angles Orchard. We discovered a wild bee hive in an oak tree right next to the trail just as we entered Jacobson Canyon above the orchard. Very active hive. In the shaded canyon (Jacobson) you cross a large stream. There is generally water all year in this stream, and it is the water source for the orchard. Then you have one last climb up to the trail head. I always dread this little bit of the trail. I feel like I should be done, but there is still a quarter mile of desert to cover before getting to our vehicle near the orchard gate.

The trail can be inaccessible if there is snow in the winter. The upper portions of the trail from Ladybug Saddle to Turkey Flat make a great summer hike. However, the lower portions are terribly hot June through September. Our family did it early one June--it's known as the "Death March." At anytime of the year, do take plenty of water. This is also the one of the trails where we do encounter rattlesnakes--interestingly on the upper portion of the trail. But it's a great trail!
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Mar 23 2013
mcdobbs
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 Triplogs 20

65 female
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 Safford, AZ
Shake Trail #309Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2013
mcdobbs
Hiking5.10 Miles 3,151 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.80 mph
3,151 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We have hiked the lower portions of this trail leading out of Stockton Pass campground on several occaisons. On Tuesday, March 19th, we walked up the trail about 3.5 miles but turned around because of the time of day. It's a nice steady climb, through high desert into mixed conifers. So on Saturday, we did a two car shuffle--drove two vehicles to Stockton Pass from Safford and left one at Stockton Pass; then drove second to the trailhead on Mt. Graham. Total time was 1 hr. 15 min.

The day was perfect for hiking. Snow on the upper slopes of the Pinelenos has melted. Highs were in the low 70's and there was a gentle breeze all day. The trail was easy to follow except in one place in the first quarter mile. A large tree had fallen into the trail. We could see where others had moved up the hill then back down to the base of the tree to find the path. There were a few other small trees that had fallen across the trail, but all were easy to climb over.

The trail moves quickly from conifers to silver leaf oak then junipers and desert grasslands. The breeze in the trees created enough noise to cover any disturbances we created, so we were delighted to see white tail deer at various points along the trail. We had five different and close encounters. They just didn't seem to be aware that we were in the neighborhood! This was a steady downhill hike with some great views of the Sulfur Spring Valley. Once we made it to the bottom, we headed back up the mountain to pick up second car. We spent as much time shuttling cars as we did on the trail, but it was worth every minute.

Due to drought, the forest is very dry. Leaves and pine needles are thick on the forest floor. The trail crosses several stream beds, but there is no water. Make sure you take plenty as the lower elevations can be very hot and there is no water at Stockton Pass.
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average hiking speed 1.25 mph

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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