username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
14 triplogs
Jun 19 2005
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 19 2005
OlenWhitaker
Hiking5.00 Miles 2,398 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   2 Hrs      2.50 mph
2,398 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my first visit to the inner basin this season. There is still a lot of snow in there especially on the North slopes. The runoff from the melting snow had the creek that runs next to the trail flowing nicely in a beautiful stair-step of little waterfalls. There were a lot of people on the trail today (saw at least 30 in two hours.) Once I got to the resthouse in the inner basin I took off down one of the side roads that leads away to the North. I found a well, a weather station, and eventually another road that took me back to the main trail about half a mile East of the basin. I'm going to be sure and take that alternate route next time as it was totally deserted. I hope to return soon and explore some of the other side-trails and roads.
_____________________
Jun 13 2005
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Old Caves Crater TrailFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2005
OlenWhitaker
Hiking3.40 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking3.40 Miles   1 Hour   10 Mns   2.91 mph
500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I heard about this trail from a friend almost two years ago and finally decided to check it out. I initially took a wrong turn at the T intersection on the summit ridge and went over the summit and started down the other side instead of finding the caves. After about half a mile and some off-trail searching I realized there were no caves on that side of the mountain and I must've taken the wrong turn. I backtracked and found the caves easily. See trail description above for more details.
_____________________
Oct 09 2004
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2004
OlenWhitaker
Hiking9.00 Miles 3,313 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   8 Hrs      1.13 mph
3,313 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Two friends and I set out from Snowbowl around 1000 hours and made slow but steady progress up the mountain reaching the summit around 1400. Normally I move a lot faster but one of my companions had never done a hike of this magnitude before and slowed us down a bit. The trail was fairly crowded as was the summit but the air was fairly clear, and the views long. The aspens all through the area were at their peak of colour and provided a particularly spectacular scene from the top. There was even some snow in some of the more sheltered areas. By 1800 hours we were back at the parking lot just in time to watch a truly spectacular sunset. We headed straight back to town, had dinner, and hit the bars. By the time I got home it was almost 0200 hours and I was thoroughly exhausted. All in all, it was a pretty good day.
_____________________
Sep 29 2004
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 29 2004
OlenWhitaker
Hiking4.50 Miles 2,398 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   1 Hour   45 Mns   2.57 mph
2,398 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was intending to do this hike next week but the appearance of snow on the peaks lead me to hit the trail a bit early. I set out from Lockett Meadow at about 1430 hours and made my way uneventfully to the inner basin where the combination of a reasonably large amount of snow on the peaks (for the time of year) and the fall foliage made for quite a scene. The trees are at or near their peak in most areas so if you're thinking of doing this trail for the fall colors, the time is now. The trail was almost deserted; I saw only one other hiker near the trailhead as I was heading out. Has anyone else noticed that Lockett Meadow campground is now a fee site? Very lame.
_____________________
Sep 17 2004
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Slate Mountain Trail #128Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 17 2004
OlenWhitaker
Hiking4.80 Miles 850 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   1 Hour   15 Mns   3.84 mph
850 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A friend and I did this easy climb in the late afternoon and stayed atop the mountain to watch the sun set. The hike itself is unremarkable, but the views from the top--especially at sunset--made it more than worthwhile. After the light of day faded, it seemed like we could see a million stars. The time given above is actual hiking time not counting several hours loitering at the summit.
_____________________
Aug 14 2004
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Marshall Lake to Fisher PointFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 14 2004
OlenWhitaker
Hiking9.40 Miles
Hiking9.40 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   2.51 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A buddy and I hiked from Marshall Lake to the intersection with the Sandys Canyon Trail (4.7mi) and back. The trail was mostly easy and there were some good views from the rim of Walnut Canyon. The weather was good and we just managed to beat the rain. The best part of this trip was the wildlife. We saw two unusually large squirrels, several rabbits, three bull elk, an osprey, and a black bear all within the space of an hour.
_____________________
Nov 05 2003
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2003
OlenWhitaker
Hiking2.00 Miles 2,398 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles      45 Mns   2.67 mph
2,398 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had intended to hike into the inner basin to get a look at the snow that had fallen in the previous days. When I got about a mile in I decided to stop for a moment and have some water and discovered... :o ...NO WATER! After filling my water bottles, I had somehow neglected to put them in my pack. I momentarily considered going on without given the relative shortness and ease of this hike but common sense got the best of me and I decided to turn back. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow.
_____________________
Oct 18 2003
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Kachina Trail #150Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2003
OlenWhitaker
Hiking6.00 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   2 Hrs      3.00 mph
700 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Set out from the trailhead at the Snowbowl with the intention of going all the way to the Weatherford Trail intersection before turning around but I got too late a start and had to turn back a bit past halfway as the sun was setting and I wasn't feeling up to a night hike. The fall colour was at its peak. It was absolutely magnificent. The trail was pretty crowded, but there were still plenty of stretches where I could enjoy the solitude of the forest, especially once I got over a mile from the trailhead.
_____________________
Sep 11 2003
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 11 2003
OlenWhitaker
Hiking13.50 Miles 2,398 AEG
Hiking13.50 Miles   7 Hrs   45 Mns   1.74 mph
2,398 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I set out alone from the trailhead at Lockett Meadow at about 3:00pm with the goal of making the summit of Mt. Humphreys by sunset and returning by the light of my headlamp and the nearly full moon. The trip up was enjoyable and not as hard as I had anticipated. The views were spectacular although I had little time to stop and admire them if I wanted to avoid being caught above the saddle after dark (the trail above the saddle is faint to the point of non-existence in some places; it's hard enough to follow in daylight.)

As I climbed along the summit ridge I could see the shadow of the mountain rising up to the horizon and then visible in the air itself. I reached the summit at the exact moment the sun was setting. I hauled ass back to the saddle, barely making it before the last light of day disappeared. It was at this point that I encountered something strange. At the moment the sun set, insects--mostly moths--started flying up to the summit ridge from below. First a few, then more; finally they were so thick that their collisions with my jacket sounded and felt like rain hitting me. It was very annoying and persisted until I had descended to at least 500ft. below the saddle. I've always seen bugs at the summits of mountains, but nothing of this magnitude before. What were they doing?

After clearing the cloud of moths at the ridge, I descended by headlight without event until I hit the treeline. The Weatherford Trail between the treeline and the Inner Basin Trail intersection had been rendered indistinct in a few places by a combination of rain and fallen trees. I had no problem moving through in the day but I wandered off-route about five times during my descent. Every time but one I realized my mistake quickly and backtracked to the last know location of the trail and was able to find the correct direction from there. The other time, however, the trail was faint and strewn with fallen trees to begin with and when I backtracked to where I expected the trail to be, I couldn't find it.

I located a distinctive fallen tree nearby and declared it my base of operations and began a search pattern from there. After what I guess to have been about twenty minutes, I still hadn't found any sign of the trail and the thought crossed my mind for the first time in my life that I might actually be lost and consequently might have to hold there until dawn lest I wander too far. I had prepared for this eventuality and had plenty of extra water, some food, some shelter, fire making equipment, etc., and in a way I was almost excited by the prospect of a night in the wilderness on a survival level.

Looking back I guess it was pretty stupid to try this sort of thing alone. I never saw another living soul after leaving the trailhead. I had planned on going with some friends but they backed out at the last minute. As I stood alone in the dark halfway up the highest mountain in Arizona and tried to decide what to do next, I couldn't believe that solo hiking almost fourteen miles up and down nearly four-thousand vertical feet, on a trail I'd never been on before, half at night could have ever seemed like a good idea.

I knew I had to be close, though, and decided to give it one more go. In my searching for the trail I had gained a good picture of the lay of the land in the immediate vicinity and determined that I was in a patch of trees sandwiched between a boulder field and a drainage, neither of which had I crossed on the way up. I knew the trail had to be in this 150yd. wide strip of trees, somewhere downhill so I set out to criss-cross this tree field in a downhill direction. After about three to five minutes I came upon a fallen tree that showed the distinctive pattern of wear that comes from having been stepped on repeatedly by people. Figuring the trail to run perpendicular to the fallen tree, I followed this route for about fifteen yards downhill and found the trail once again.

After that point, the trail remained easy to follow for the rest of the trip. The rains had washed away a lot of the dirt that had once made the top layer of this trail and exposed the uneven rock beneath. The miles of downhill hiking from the top of the Inner Basin Trail to the trailhead were not pleasant simply because the surface was so uneven. I twisted my ankles many times on rocks that looked flat in the light of my headlamp but proved pointy underfoot. By the time I saw the red flash of my vehicle's taillight reflectors, I was tired, sore, cold, and barely able to believe that I'd done it. It was definitely one of my top hikes of all time.

NOTE: The distance of 13.5 miles that I gave for this hike is just a guess based on the distances I know and estimates of the ones I don't. Does anybody know the actual distance from Lockett Meadow to the Mt. Humphreys summit?
_____________________
Aug 29 2003
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Bill Williams Mountain Trail #21Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2003
OlenWhitaker
Hiking8.00 Miles 2,256 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   3 Hrs   50 Mns   2.09 mph
2,256 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great all around hike. Not too short, not too long, not too steep, but enough of a vertical to be a respectable workout. The view from the summit is superb. Several side trails and a road to the top give a multitude of options. The lookout let us into the lookout tower; the view was magnificent. The air was clear and clean; we could see the grand canyon's north rim and many other distant features. The sight line was probably close to 100mi. The hike up is very lush. Definitely recommended.
_____________________
Aug 22 2003
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Humphreys B-24 Bomber Crash SiteFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 22 2003
OlenWhitaker
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,680 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   1.60 mph
1,680 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was pleasantly surprised at finding the wreck on my first try, without any back-tracking or other special effort. Big thanks to everyone who posted directions, especially AZHiker96 for the compass heading info, and Sredfield for the "turn left at the third switchback that turns south at the rock field," tip. I remembered that rock field from my trip to the summit, so it was no problem to find it again. From there I just followed the contour as best I could (not easy on that undulating terrain) and ran right into it after around 15 to 20 minutes. I think I actually gained about 100ft., but it was hard to tell for sure.

The rockfall on which the wreckage is located is steep and mostly treeless, so the views are long and spectacular. Just about the time I got there, it started raining, and within a minute or two it was hailing furiously. Although annoying, it lent the site a suitably malevolent presence. The hail hitting the hollow metal parts of the plane made a cacophonous roar. Most of the hail was only pea size; it stung but it wasn't bad. I did take a few shots from dime and quarter size chunks that kinda hurt.

It took what seemed like hours for me to scramble down and across the now rain slicked and ice covered rocks to the shelter of the trees amidst the ferocious volley of hail. Getting back to and finding the trail actually proved more challenging than finding the wreck. The rain had softened the ground considerably and much of the steep slope that I had scrambled over on my way in was now falling away under my feet. I took a couple of minor tumbles when I lost purchase. The rain and abundance of hail on the ground also changed the look of the place and at one point I began to wonder if I was at the right altitude. I was starting to suspect that I was too high. Before long, however, I found the rock field next to the trail and discovered that I was actually about 100ft. too low.

I scrambled up, recovered the cache of gear I'd left near the switchback and headed down. The trail was super-slick from the mud, but that part of the trail isn't that steep so aside from slowing me down a bit, it didn't hurt anything. I think I got filthier on this hike than any I've ever done before. Several times on the way back from the crash site to the trail, I had to dig my hands into the mud up to my thumbs to get enough of a purchase to make it up some of the steeper parts of the big drainage you have to cross. The foul weather only made the adventure that much more exciting, though. I'm looking forward to going back when the weather's better.
_____________________
Aug 14 2003
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Loy Canyon Trail #5Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 14 2003
OlenWhitaker
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,744 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   3 Hrs      2.33 mph
1,744 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Some friends and I started out from the upper end at the rim of the canyon and hiked down to the bottom of the canyon. It starts out gently and then drops fast through a few long, steep, rocky switchbacks. The views are great, and there are some super campsites in the general area (Note: I'm pretty sure camping is not permitted in the canyon itself.) It rained almost the whole time, but the rain made the already colorful rocks turn even more dazzling shades of red, as well as adding something intangible to the whole trip.

We were not sure how long or hard the trail was so we took our time on the way down, saving energy (and water) for later. After we had hiked about a mile down the bottom of the canyon, we stopped for a moment and one of my hiking mates suddenly announced in a loud voice that there was a rattlesnake about a foot from where we were standing. The snake appeared rather uninterested in us and we were able to edge away gently without incident. No more than twenty yards down the trail we found ourselves face to face with a slightly smaller (3ft. perhaps) but substantially more pissed off rattler. Again we moved away calmly without incident but the fact of having had two snake encounters in five minutes had us a little paranoid.

We went on a bit farther before we realized it was starting to get late and we turned back after what we estimated to be about 3.5mi. We hauled ass out of the canyon, making it back up the steep switchbacks to the rim in a little less than an hour.

All in all, a fun hike with some cool views. Just watch for snakes.
_____________________
Jun 16 2003
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Lava River Cave TubeFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 16 2003
OlenWhitaker
Hiking1.50 Miles
Hiking1.50 Miles   1 Hour      1.50 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a great little hike. I've made it several times, alone and in groups. While hardly spectacular compared to other caves I've seen, it makes a great change of pace. The icefall near the mouth of the cave, though small, is quite beautiful. The best part is to get deep inside and turn off your lights and just enjoy the silent, total darkness. The sign outside says there may be bats and other animals inside but I have yet to see any.

A few suggestions for anyone considering this hike:

* The floor is uneven, often covered in broken rock, and has patches of black ice, so watch your step.
* Bring at least three lights with fresh batteries, or two each if you're in a group. It would be possible to get out of there by feel alone, but I sure as Hell wouldn't want to try.
* Gloves are really nice, though I've made it just fine without.

This hike tends to be very crowded in the day. My favorite time to go is around midnight. It's always completely deserted and I can stay as long as I want without being disturbed by anyone. It's very difficult to sit and enjoy the darkness and silence of the cave with an interminable throng of people filing by, though it can be fun to watch them from the shadows, as they pass by, unaware of your presence. :D
_____________________
Jun 08 2003
OlenWhitaker
avatar

 Guides 2
 Triplogs 14

39 male
 Joined Jun 14 2003
 Ouray, CO
Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 08 2003
OlenWhitaker
Hiking6.50 Miles 2,398 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   3 Hrs      2.17 mph
2,398 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a great hike. The first half of the hike takes you through aspen forest that is, without a doubt, some of the lushest and most verdant that you'll find in this desert state. For the first half, you can't see more than a short distance in any direction so after a mile or two of wide, fairly gently graded trail, you hit the inner basin quite suddenly. The inner basin is a magnificent open meadow, surrounded on all sides by mountains. For a moment I thought I was in Montana. The landscape is breathtaking. The trail then crosses the meadow and ascends the other side somewhat more steeply to connect with the Weatherford Trail.

I highly recommend this hike. It has great scenery without a whole lot of effort. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather, though. This trail also makes a great alternate route for ascending Humphreys Peak. I tried to push on through and hook up with the Weatherford Trail, and then on to the Humphreys Trail to make the summit, but I ran into reasonably heavy snowdrifts blocking the trail, near the Weatherford Trail intersection. I could have pushed through or around, but it was getting late, and I had no artificial light, so I decided it was safer to turn back. It was still a great hike.
_____________________
average hiking speed 2.21 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.

help comment issue

end of page marker