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133 triplogs

Nov 08 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Garden Valley - Hackberry LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 08 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking5.98 Miles 753 AEG
Hiking5.98 Miles   3 Hrs   55 Mns   1.67 mph
753 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Been a minute since I took the kids out to First Water area, and with the nice weather we decided to go for a (longer than normal) loop to include some burnt-area viewing. Started at Horse Lot, took Dutchman to First Water TH (avoiding the road walk), then headed up to Garden Valley the normal way. Lots of burn along the way, only real green stretch was on the actual climb up Garden Valley. Anyways, dropped down to Hackberry the back way, had a candy break at the spring before circling back to Horse Lot. LOTS of people... maybe two dozen groups in all? Felt more like a Somo hike than Supes. All were friendly, some were masks, and a few were lost because they were using AllTrails. My kids might be a little excited about the election results and were proudly exclaiming the results to everyone, which only got awkward once :sweat:


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hackberry Spring Dripping Dripping
Still overflowing (a bit), one decent puddle in the creek downstream.
_____________________
Oct 11 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Weaver's Needle Loop from Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 11 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking12.65 Miles 2,832 AEG
Hiking12.65 Miles   5 Hrs   1 Min   2.85 mph
2,832 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Quick morning adventure in the Supes. Left parking lot after 5am, one of only 3 vehicles. Climb up to Peralta was pleasant, turned off headlamp a half-mile from summit. Sad views north of the burned valley. Peralta Trail north of the saddle had a few minor washouts for the first bit and plenty of surrounding char on the first 1.5 miles, then it returned to the normal brown/green. The tree tunnel is still there :) Lost Dutchman from Peralta :next: Terrapin is normal, some claw-y overgrowth. Burn area shows up again on Terrapin, much of that trail has been toasted. Two deadfall in the little Needle Canyon drop - I cleared one, the other is more substantial - though I suspect more may fall in the coming months. Escaped the burn area after the Bluff Springs junction. Only saw 3 other groups on the trail, all on Bluff Springs within a mile of the parking lot, which was quite full on return. Clockwise was the way to go today to avoid the crowds.

No water in sight, though I didn't veer too far to look. Talked to some backpackers who said Bluff Springs was dry, though when I asked about a rusty pipe they looked confused, so I think we may have been thinking about two different springs.
_____________________
Oct 09 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Shoshone Point TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking2.00 Miles 269 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles
269 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Played tourist in the Grand Canyon with the kiddos. Drove up the night before and camped in the Kaibab off of 180. Entered park on Friday and headed straight to Shoshone (which was not marked from 64), saw four or five other groups of hikers on the trail, none at the point itself. We ventured all the way out to the very tip of the point, though there was a lot of hand-holding and butt-sliding to keep my stress levels down... The 5yo was being especially defiant on this trip. After that shaded hike we also hit up Grandview and went down about a quarter mile on the trail, just so they could brag that they were 'in the canyon'. Too many people and too much exposure here to feel comfortable so we quickly headed out. Thought about continuing on to Hull Cabin next and instead opted for a scenic drive back to Phoenix through Sedona. The sheer amount of people out on Friday, both at the main attractions (GC village, SK trailhead) and along 89A, was v shocking, and I think we'll be sticking to more remote areas for the next flu few months.
_____________________
Oct 04 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Miners Needle LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking9.14 Miles 1,725 AEG
Hiking9.14 Miles   3 Hrs   13 Mns   2.89 mph
1,725 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Originally had hoped to do Peralta Trail :next: Cave Trail loop, but when the forest closure extended this week I decided to go with this alternative. Hiked the first two miles in the dark with @reynchr, it was good catching up with him. At 6AM he turned around and I continued, jogging a few sections, increasingly saddened by the burn destruction as the sun lit it up around me. The saddle was in better shape, though dropping down on the other side was just more burn. It did feel good to be back in the Supes and see Bluff Springs Mountain, Malapais, Tortilla, etc all lit up by the morning light. Trail was in good shape even through the burn sections. Some new spiky growth plus the sharpened tips of burned brittlebush had me regretting shorts, got some productive cuts on my lower calves. Returned to a half-full parking lot, most of which had to be on Peralta, as there was only one other group on Bluff Springs Trail.
_____________________
Sep 25 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Rim to RimNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking44.50 Miles 11,000 AEG
Hiking44.50 Miles1 Day      50 Mns   
11,000 ft AEG   4 Hrs   30 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Been dreaming of this hike for the last five years, decided about a week ago that I'd make a go at it. Kirsty and I camped at Long Jim the night before so I could get a whole two hours of sleep, we dropped off my car in Lot D, and she gave me a ride over to SK trailhead. She would later hike BA down to the river, chill for a few hours, and we'd hike up together.

1220 Stepped off the rim onto SK trail. Bit later than desired, didn't realize the road to the TH would be gated in the morning. The wind was heckin' strong, kicking up a ton of eye-stinging mule dust, threatening to push me off the ridge sections like a lone dandelion seed. Stars were pretty and trail felt great.

0200 Reached Tip-Off, paused for a snack and to change into shorts. It was hot down here! Little shelter creaked weirdly in the wind. Rest of the drop was steep and fun, swinging back and forth on all those little switchbacks above Black Bridge. Couldn't see the river from the bridge. Phantom Ranch took forever to show up, didn't remember how to reach the Canteen and water, took some wandering.

0310 Filled water to full capacity and forced some more calories in. Then it was off to The Box and new terrain. Darkness was starting to get a bit tedious so I popped some earbuds in and listened to spooky podcasts to pass the time. Bumped into a few hikers along this section, one other R2R2R group who came from BA last night and then some early runners coming down from NK. Otherwise pretty quiet. Sun began to light things up around Ribbon Falls.

0630 Manzanita Rest, stopped here to prep for the climb (last water until the rim, Supai is off until next year). 3 groups of backpackers here coming up from Cottonwood, none looked too happy. The climb felt surprisingly good, as it was mostly in the shade and all new terrain, though the loose sand on the top two miles were not welcome. More people here, lots of hikers dropping down to Supai or Redwall before heading back up.

0930 North Rim. Long break here to rearrange gear, water up, and eat some sardines. Was cold on the rim, soon as I was back on the (now) sun-bathed trail it heated up. Dropping down was really cool, enjoyed the terrain a lot more this time, the half-tunnels through Redwall are amazing. Rangers were also up now and I got scolded (rightfully so) about doing this solo.

1220 Back at Manzanita. The furnace was alive and cooking and I soaked my shirt. Few slow-moving groups at the rest area, most people were already on the Rim or at a campsite by now. The next few hours of trail crawled and I switched to march mode, enjoying the big views and empty trail while I rushed along. Stopped a few times to keep water uptake in. The Box was my favorite part, as half of it was in shade, and the winding creek kept things exciting.

1530 Mandatory lemonade break at the Ranch, quick water fill, and then continued on. I wasn't feeling tired and wanted to push it up BA. Kirsty had left the River Resthouse over an hour ago and the plan was to meet at the Garden, bumped into her about a mile before and slowed my pace. We caught up on our different adventures over the day.

1815 Indian Garden and a long break. Few other hikers passed through on various adventures in various states of fatigue. Once the sun was down we headed out with headlamps. Going up was very slow, this was Kirsty's biggest hike for a while, so we took our time and many little breaks. Gave ourselves healthy pauses at each rest stop to stretch and water up. There wasn't much to see in the dark except for one fearless Bighorn who stood their ground 10' off trail.

0115 Finally hit the Rim. Jogged over to the car, we headed back to Long Jim, and totally crashed. Woke up at some point on Saturday and drove home before the DOMS hit.

Miscellaneous Packed 5000 calories, ate 4000, burned over 7000. Lots of caffeine via Nuuns and Gus, never bonked, only felt fatigue on the last few hours when the pace slowed. Drank... 16L, about half w/ electrolytes? I usually drink a lot during long hikes, this was on par for the effort. First time using trail runners and loved them.

There was a high degree of capabilities on display in the Canyon - few 60+ yos knocking out sub-8 R2Rs, R2R2R attempts that were turning into 2- or 3- day ordeals, and even a few pukers. Biggest thing that helped me, and that I'd advise anyone doing this hike, is to have a Plan B and a support group. I mentally checked-in a few times, especially at Cottonwood and Manzanita, to determine if it made sense to turn around early, and kept constant comms via inReach w/ family, who were making sure I was making my preset milestones and not burning out. :heart:
_____________________
1 archive
Sep 04 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Intro to Blue, AZ 
Intro to Blue, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Sep 04 2020
jacobemerick
Backpack56.85 Miles 10,461 AEG
Backpack56.85 Miles3 Days         
10,461 ft AEG9.8 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
First time to the Blue. Out of laziness admiration I simply copy/pasted FOTG's earlier trip this year and stuck to the trails.

Day 1
Caught a few hours of sleep before cruising down Steeple/Upper Grant Creek. Upper Grant was okay, intermittent tread with a few obstacles, travel was slower than expected. Swung over on Paradise and gawked over the hints of big views through the trees before connecting with Grant Creek. Grant Creek served as a dividing line for complete devastation and untouched pines for awhile before succumbing to the burn and wandering sadly through a field of ferns.

Stopped at White Oak Spring to spook a buck and flock of turkeys (and filter some water) before tumbling down the rest of Grant Creek Trail. The exposure was hot and my poorly-fitting boots were starting to annoy me, so when I reached the creek itself and saw more signs of burn damage (flood damage and young, greedy growth) I rushed forward and crashed at the trailhead. Bottom of the Blue felt like a darn furnace after the cooler, shaded mountains above.

A hot, dusty forest road did a great job at burning through my water and I was very thankful to find Lanphier Creek flowing at the Largo junction. Trudged uphill on Largo, enjoying the little park beyond the first ridge and Dutch Oven area and mostly cursing my boots. Found some interesting pens that seemed to be protecting the source of Largo Creek, though they were all opened, and the wildlife had obviously been digging deep to find water here this summer. Crested and dropped along the Little Blue Trail to find a very talkative man camping at Bear Valley for a few weeks with his mules, ended up camping at a nice tent pad another half mile on his suggestion.

Day 2
Woke early and hobbled along the rest of the Little Blue, admiring the geologic structures by the twin light of mostly-full moon and slowly-waking sun. Cut over on 609 (which was labeled Horse Mountain Connector by a sign), which was faint yet easy, before bumping into Cow Flat. This trail was fantastic and won the Trail of the Day award. It has variety, several awesome rest spots, and very creative construction. There was also little shade and rolly rocks and catclaw, but hey, this is Arizona.

Aside: there was a feed bag at Ladrone Spring, within a few feet of the campfire ring. This seems bad.

The furnace was alive and kicking when I entered the wide riverbed of the Blue River, and between that and the intermittent trail and the sand and the rock-hopping on sore feet, the next three hours were No Fun. The flow itself was dark and silty, and the tributaries were mostly dry, so I had to filter the questionable river and hope that the aftertaste was 'charm'. When I exited the trail I was immediately yelled at by the landowner who claims there is no way to reach the northern trailhead without trespassing. Anyways, reached Cole Flat by 2pm, thought about heading up Steeple, looked at the gathering storm clouds above and my stupid boots below, and crashed. The next few hours were a delightful mix of reading in a hammock, munching on snacks, and napping in the tent under the patter and rumble of storms that most of Arizona seems to have missed out on this year.

Day 3
Another early start. Yesterday's extra rest proved well worth it, as I was able to zip up the first few miles of Steeple quickly, not letting the sun touch me until I was on KP Mesa. This trail was in great shape and I trotted along easily, enjoying the big views. Mud Spring was totally dry so I pushed on to the next marked spring on the topo to water up. My original plan was to cut over on Paradise and retrace Upper Grant Creek, but the thought of cutting a few miles and completing Lee & Katie's full loop was tempting, so I stuck to Steeple.

That drainage lasted an eternity. Every hundred yards or so there'd be a long patch of locusts to push through, and there was deadfall too, but I only lost the trail once, so I was happy about the condition. The sun and lack of wind were the real pain points on this section - otherwise, this trail is in no worse shape than some of the nightmares in the Mazatzal or Sierra Ancha. I crested in two hours and cruised the final miles happily, already planning future revisits.
Flora
Flora
New Mexico Locust
Fauna
Fauna
Bighorn Sheep

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Auger Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bear Valley Cabin Spring Dripping Dripping

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bear Valley Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Great pools for filtering.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dutch Oven Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Happy little trough.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Grant Creek Light flow Light flow
Flowing along most of the last few miles of trail, only drying up for the final mile.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max KP Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Ladron Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Lanphier Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry at mount, flowing at Largo Trail junction.

dry Mud Spring Dry Dry
Spring was dry, creek was dry. Did not venture down creek of topo locale. Springs another half mile upstream had several pools of water.

dry Raspberry Creek Dry Dry


dry Tornado Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max White Oak Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Both tanks were overflowing.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Willow Spring Dripping Dripping
Muddy pools of water below the trail.
_____________________
Aug 14 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Sycamore Canyon Rim LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 14 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking11.10 Miles 1,183 AEG
Hiking11.10 Miles   9 Hrs   40 Mns   1.39 mph
1,183 ft AEG   1 Hour   42 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hike w/ kiddos. Camped along FR 150 on Thursday evening, found a nice spot with a campfire ring so we could enjoy some s'mores before the fire restrictions take effect. Woke up the next morning, packed up, drove a short distance and started on the trail west of KA Hill, there's no trailhead here but I wanted to do the loop CCW and get the hill out of the way first thing, so just found a spot to pull off the road near the trail crossing. Climb up the hill was slow and steady, 5yo had big feelings, eventually we reached the summit and had our first of seven thousand breaks. Downhill went better and we reached the logging camp and creek without much hassle. Creek was very dry except for 2 or 3 ponds, which was a real bummer, because the kids really like playing with water, and I didn't want them tossing rocks into a small pond that a lot of animals were likely depending on. Anyways, they liked the big canyon views, especially Vista Point, and we saw some climbers at the fork, which is always cool. The heat and dryness were a lot and the last few miles through Pomeroy was a slog. There was much rejoicing when we got back to the Jeep with ice water and cool snacks. Trail is in great shape, area is pretty (if dry and hot), and we only saw two groups of hikers on the trail.
Named place
Named place
Pomeroy Tanks

dry Double Tanks Dry Dry

dry Dow Spring Dry Dry
Spring area was dry. Sitting pools of water a few hundred yards down the drainage.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Isham Spring Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Some small pools below the normal area.

dry L O Spring Dry Dry
Spring area was dry. Sitting pools of water a few hundred yards down the drainage.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pomeroy Tanks 51-75% full 51-75% full
Multiple large pools, not much trickle in between.
_____________________
Aug 08 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Little Chance Canyon LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 08 2020
jacobemerick
Canyoneering3.00 Miles 422 AEG
Canyoneering3.00 Miles
422 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hike w/ kiddos. Met grandparents in the lot for a socially-distant outing, only two other vehicles in lot at 6am. Same route as last time, did loop clockwise, lot drier compared to last March, still pretty. Few cool spots in the canyon in between the sweat-fests. One rattler in Last Chance that had my 7yo screaming like a stuck hyena. Played a little bit in the caves by Willow Spring. A nice way to spend a morning.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Willow Spring Dripping Dripping
Seeping out for a short distance, clean water, lots of bees competing for a drink.
_____________________
Jul 11 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ 
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking30.11 Miles 4,425 AEG
Hiking30.11 Miles   11 Hrs   25 Mns   3.20 mph
4,425 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Felt a bit bummed after last weekend's failed backpack attempt w/ kids, trying to split the typical Mt Baldy Loop into 3 days, so decided to head back and do it as a solo day hike. Was inspired by @lindaann, @joebartels, and @tortoise_hiker's route. Camped along FR 409 in order to get an early start, parked car at West Fork TH at 4am and had a pleasant moonlit hike through downtown Greer to start the day.

East Fork #95
Was faced by a few different forks right at the river crossing, rolled a die and headed up the correct one. Was nice to get this little climb knocked out in the predawn. Passed a few interesting signed spurs (Amberon Point, Scenic Loop), stuck to the main trail, hoping to get healthy distance before sunrise. Spooked a large herd of elk at the top, right at the fenceline. Made it to the Marble Spring area for a fantastic sunrise. Pleasant stroll through chilly meadows and small stands of pines, saw more elk and deer along the way. Trail is in great shape and easy to follow, only got confused once near Colter where the singletrack forks for a quarter mile before rejoining. Picked up a water cache at FR 409 before cutting over to Gabaldon Camp.

East Baldy #95
Utilized the camp trail before joining the 'main' route. Didn't do a lot of research on this trail, leaning into the unknown, was surprised at how much pine forest it went through (compared to West Baldy's meadows). Passed one campsite and a few slower backpackers, overall pretty quiet on the trail. The hoodoo overlook was cool, the exposed flanks were cool, the crash site was cool... This is a solid, enjoyable trail, less than a dozen deadfall to deal with, I was just getting tired at this point. Paused for a few more breaks than necessary to enjoy the area. Reached the saddle and did a quick dance towards the summit, just to be scared away by quickly-growing storm in the west.

West Baldy #94
Nice to walk downhill. The burn area was sad to walk through, though it did give good views of the West Fork meadow below. Quickly made it to the meadows and the trail began to get congested, lots of in-and-back hikers down here to skip around. Filtered up before the Crossover Trail (should have left a second water cache). Last mile dragged, didn't expect that little elevation and forest before trailhead.

West Fork #94
Swung over to culvert on the start of this (thanks @lindaann), then slowly strolled across the open meadow. Was definitely feeling the miles at this point and stopped for a lengthy rest. This trail felt much rougher than the other ones - more rocky sections, more annoying deadfall, and a few eroded spots - though I'll admit I was also feeling grumpy and sore, so... grain of salt. Views across West Fork were nice and I picked out different landmarks from the morning's hike. Also, that little drop before passing 9375', plus the spring box on the round, were enjoyable. Got a little sprinkle for the last mile, enough to soak me through right before getting back to the Jeep.
Fauna
Fauna
Elk

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Colter Reservoir 26-50% full 26-50% full
Didn't look that full, but there was still a healthy flow below.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Marble Spring Dripping Dripping
Didn't see actual spring, but there were puddles visible downhill from trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mount Baldy Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Decent flow, but it'd be challenging to collect.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Potatoe Hollow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Overflowing, ground was saturated. Pipe makes for easy access if one didn't want to scoop from the trough.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Spring Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Overflowing.


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max West Fork Little Colorado River Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow, definitely need to use the footbridge to cross.
_____________________
Jul 05 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
West Baldy Backpack, AZ 
West Baldy Backpack, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jul 05 2020
jacobemerick
Backpack12.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles2 Days         
1,500 ft AEG40 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Backpack w/ kiddos. Arrived at East TH around 10am and headed over to Crossover Trail. Route was easy to walk and went through some ridiculously beautiful meadows, some of them with water trickling through. Reached West Baldy, quick break at river before turning west. Only got a mile in before the 7yo started complaining about his (new) boots. There was no way we'd be able to do full loop so we stopped for camp early, giving them a solid four hours before sunset to play in the water, get dirty, hit rocks with other rocks, and be kids. Backtracked out the next morning, returning just after noon, and then set out on the long drive home.

Saw maybe two dozen groups on the trails, mostly day hikers doing shorter sections of the trails (not the full loop).
Culture
Culture
Campsite
_____________________
3 archives
Jun 12 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
East Cabin Loop, AZ 
East Cabin Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 12 2020
jacobemerick
Backpack17.80 Miles 2,600 AEG
Backpack17.80 Miles2 Days         
2,600 ft AEG40 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
First backpack with kiddos. Car-camped Thursday evening on 321C, great night sleep to the sound of coyotes yipping away down at some spring. Headed up U-Bar on Friday morning with frequent breaks along the way to rest short legs, including an entire hour at Barbershop Canyon for Mac 'n Cheese lunch and crawfish hunting. Afternoon sun and distance began to wear on them over the next few hours, and it was real struggle to reach Aspen Spring for camp. Another great night, one minor elk interruption that spooked the littlest, and we got moving early and knocked out the rest of Houston Brother Trail with no issue. The roller coaster of Barbershop Trail exhausted them and, when we eventually reached the Jeep, there was great rejoicing. Oh, and the loop had dozens and dozens of deadfall, most of which would not bother most hikers but are sizable obstacles for kids.

Crowds: six groups on Friday, only 4 on Saturday, was expecting more up there.
Gear that absolutely did not work: wag bag. 3 growing kids quickly overpowered any sort of odor protection. Next time I'm just bringing a trowel. Ugh.
General ponder: been working on distance with them this year and, while it paid off, 18m over two days was too much. Think I need to revisit our gear (my 65L was overflowing with their tent/sleeping bags/pad) and pack more food so we can slow down. Three days for this loop would have been a lot more enjoyable for them.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Aspen Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Barbershop canyon creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Barbershop Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Coyote Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Dane Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pinchot Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
_____________________
Jun 05 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking12.02 Miles 2,068 AEG
Hiking12.02 Miles   7 Hrs   41 Mns   1.65 mph
2,068 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Hike w/ kiddos. Parked at Derrick TH, attempted to follow Tonto Creek to Horton TH, got brushed/cliffed out quickly. Should have just stuck to the road. Eventually found a way through the campsite to the Horton Creek Trail. First time here, stuck to the main route and avoided the creek paths, next time I'll slow down and let the kids play with the water some more. About 8 groups along the way. Spring was spectacular and much more than expected. One big deadfall south of spring on Highline Trail, rest of that trail was jaw-dropping views and a real rollercoaster. This was my first time on Highline and I'm already dreaming of thru-hiking it. Lots of cloud cover, some sprinkles, some thunder, great temps. Derrick was also a treat, with those giant manzanitas and old school junipers, though the steep rocky downhill gave my kids a few spills. This loop is an absolute gem, especially on a weekday, didn't see a soul after Horton.

Longest/hardest trip so far for the kids (6, 5, and 3), tested a few pieces of gear, think we're ready to try some backpacks in the near future!
Flora
Flora
Manzanita
Named place
Named place
Mazatzal Mountains

dry East Fork Horton Creek Dry Dry
Dry at Highline crossing.

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
_____________________
May 16 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Isabella LoopPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 16 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking8.98 Miles 1,995 AEG
Hiking8.98 Miles   6 Hrs   17 Mns   1.57 mph
1,995 ft AEG      33 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Hike w kiddos. Slept in, didn't reach the TH until 9am, was still an enjoyable 65 at the empty trailhead. Trail was absolutely beautiful and well-maintained. Lunch at picnic area before hitting the summit. Drop along Groom Creek was quite steep, kid #2 had two big faceplants in the first five minutes and required some emotional first-aid. Connector was overgrown and had some of deadfall to work around, though it was totally worth it, as it had the only running water for the kids to play with and some of the best vantages of the hike. Descent down the leg of the lasso was painless and we celebrated with some concrete mixers before tackling the drive home.

Covid Crowd Report
About a dozen groups on the way to Spruce Mountain. Peak was crowded, we didn't spend much time there. Two groups descending down Groom Creek, no one on connector, and three groups descending Isabella. Everyone was super friendly, especially the handful of mountain bikers. I like Prescott.
_____________________
May 09 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Mount Lemmon Summit, AZ 
Mount Lemmon Summit, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 09 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking28.93 Miles 7,679 AEG
Hiking28.93 Miles   14 Hrs   14 Mns   2.39 mph
7,679 ft AEG   2 Hrs   9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
First time to the sky islands. Loved it.

Romero Canyon #8
As noted in the description, this trail is extremely well-defined through the state park, shrinks down to a singletrack on the way up to the pools, and gets harder to follow above. It was never bad, just a few deadfall and overgrowth to duck around for the last mile or two. Pools were pretty, views were amazing, and even the thicker vegetation at the top of the canyon was enjoyable. More than the advertised 6 miles.

Mount Lemmon #5
This was the point that my legs began to realize what the day's plan was, and they weren't happy about it. Trail was heckin' steep, especially the exposed part, and it wasn't until I entered the pines that this was enjoyable. The rock cliffs ahead and Cathedral Rock behind make up for the pain.

Wilderness of Rock #44
This little valley is a gem. First half jaw-dropping rock & pine views, second half the pines took over. I stopped three times, twice to pull water, and enjoyed the cool temps (clouds and rain during this section) and scenery. I wanna go back.

Aspen #93
First half was a mix of burn and pine, second half was all burn. Lots of re-routing, lots and lots of new switchbacks compared to the posted track. Wasn't as steep as I feared, likely thanks to the thousand switchbacks. I didn't mind, my legs were gassed by this point.

Mount Lemmon Summit
Views were nice, as was Quartzite Spring. Crowds not so much. Found a quiet spot to eat second lunch and quickly moved on.

Sutherland #6
Yeah, missed the part about this trail not being maintained. I was expecting a gentle auto-pilot descent and... that's not what you get. First mile is easy. Next miles is okay, not great. Third mile is just painful and I hates it. Last few miles had some real gems and is enjoyable. Then it's onto miles of old, rocky two-track followed by state park singletrack, and auto-pilot kicks in. I think descending is the way to go (get to enjoy the views more, when you aren't head-scratching, looking for the least-wrong way down), though my knees weren't thrilled with that grade.

Covid Crowd Report
Three groups on Romero, all before Old Camp. At least a dozen in Wilderness of Rocks, two camping, some of the groups quite large (5-6 peeps). Mount Lemmon summit was one big crowd, overflowing parking lots, etc. Probably another dozen on Mount Lemmon/Sutherland, that loop (Lemmon :next: WoR :next: Aspen || Lookout) must be a popular one. Zero people on Sutherland after the junction, at least until the state park.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cascade Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Trail was soaked, churned to mud by traffic. You'd have to go below trail to pull anything usable. Skip this and continue to Quartzite.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Lemmon Creek @ WOR #44 Medium flow Medium flow
Nice wide flow at crossing, counted at least... eight? other places along this trail to pull water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Old Trail Camp Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Quartzite Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Pipe was gushing. Water was cold and amazing.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Romero Pools Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
Apr 26 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Rock Creek Trail #195 - SuperstitionsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 26 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking4.51 Miles 405 AEG
Hiking4.51 Miles   4 Hrs   8 Mns   1.35 mph
405 ft AEG      48 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Hike w/ kiddos. Early start had the kids begging for a sweater at the trailhead. Turned out to be a good idea, as the canyon held onto the cool temps for a few hours, and I was the fool shivering in a short-sleeve for the first half of the hike. Anyways, West Pinto was great (only needed to help the 3yo on a few steep sections), Bull Basin was just fun (so many creek crossings), and Rock Creek was okay (recent trail maintenance is great, but the tread is still a WIP, and it was tough going for the kids). Between the creek crossings, rough trail, clouds of crane flies & mosquitos, and early start, my kids were a lot to handle, so I decided to turn around early and skip the falls. Return trip was a lot more fun, especially after I discovered the simple joy of tossing manzanita berries at kids and blaming it on the squirrels. 3yo caught me mid-toss so I had to bribe her to secrecy with skittles.

Between Haunted Canyon back in March and this trip, I'm starting to realize just how heckin' amazing the Eastern Supes are, and I think a long backpack may be necessary in the near future.
_____________________
Apr 18 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Asbestos PointGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 18 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking5.81 Miles 2,118 AEG
Hiking5.81 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   1.24 mph
2,118 ft AEG   1 Hour   3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Camping adventure with kiddos. Spent the night at Pocket Spring, really appreciate @LindaAnn for the intel on the options along FR 489. Started up the remaining two-track in the morning, some sections of loose gravel was too much for the 3yo, 5yo & 6yo had no problem. Hit the highpoint first via a direct and regrettable approach. Circled back on the traditional northern side, it was slightly better. Followed up with the mines after, kids absolutely loved those. Lunch at the saddle and then a surprisingly quick descent. Great introduction for them to the area.
Culture
Culture
Campsite

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pocket Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Pocket Spring - Sierra Ancha Mtns Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
_____________________
Apr 12 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Little Saddle Mountain Loop, AZ 
Little Saddle Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 12 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking3.16 Miles 518 AEG
Hiking3.16 Miles   3 Hrs   40 Mns   1.16 mph
518 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Familiar, easy-to-reach loop for Easter hiking with kids. Up Little Saddle, with a few pauses to admire the wooded sections and babbling brook, continue past Sunflower junction until it rejoined the creek, then follow the creek downstream to the Sunflower crossing. Creek was overgrown, as could be expected, and I had to coach/bribe/threaten them at times to continue on. Still don't understand what's so scary about a little catclaw. Scars build character. Anyways, easy hike up Sunflower to FR 393. Flowers were pretty, things were green, clouds were lovely, trail is great, etc. Saw a two 2-person groups on AZT, one ORV on 393, and a ton of people camping on Old Beeline, otherwise a successfully social distant outing.
_____________________
Apr 04 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Parker - Moody - Coon Loop, AZ 
Parker - Moody - Coon Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 04 2020
jacobemerick
Backpack30.02 Miles 7,970 AEG
Backpack30.02 Miles2 Days         
7,970 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Souped-up version of a classic Sierra Ancha lasso. I can imagine this being done as a day hike if one trimmed some extra out.

Parker Creek #160
This trail was a dream, if a cold one. Creek was rushing loudly and trail in 'okay' shape - some non-prickly overgrowth and at least a dozen deadfall - on the way up to the saddle. Can imagine this being a real winner in the summer months. Past the saddle the overgrowth got more pokey and that last little climb from the Rim Trail junction is just mean. Reached the east end and pulled some water from a spring off of FR 487 before Peterson TH.

Abbey's Way #151
First half mile was fantastic, open meadows and seeping water around the old ranch site. Sections of the trail were flooded. Then the climb starts, and with it the deadfall and prickly stuff. Trail is in much worse shape than it was in the summer of '18 during my last visit. It's not bad enough where you'll get lost or have to route-find, just be ready for bloodshed and tears, etc. On Aztec Peak I stopped for third-breakfast at the stone patio area and shivered in the wind. Descended down FR 487 to the ranger cabin and the unmarked Moody TH.

Moody's Point #140
Dreary switchbacks through heavy fire damage for the first mile. Well-maintained, and good views, but dreary surroundings. Glad I did this section heading downhill. Closer to Rim Trail things liven up, mixed forests and plenty of green, and I was back in love. Trickling water along sections of trail east of Rim. Once I dropped off the 'tip' I was shocked to see recent maintenance on the trail, huge cairns and clean tread. It was fabulous. The maintenance stopped about 500' above where I turned around last month... yeah. That burned. Fought for a half-mile through thick stuff and then cruised along the ridge. Having now finished this trail, I'd say that's no worse than any other trail out here, get the right mindset and push through the half-mile of nasty.

Deep Creek #128
Little roller coaster through numerous tributaries of Deep Creek. After the visual overload of the last few hours this one felt a bit bland. Plus, there was no flowing water on the creek beds, only a few standing puddles, which, given the busy state of Parker Creek, I had been expecting more. Never Go Dry made for a decent water-pull / lunch spot. Oh, and there were some neat campsites along the tributaries. Cruised the last few miles to the TH and debated life decisions.

Coon Creek #124
First 1.5 miles was easy going on the old roadbed and I kept staring ahead at Coon Creek canyon, wondering if it was reasonable to attempt tomorrow or if bailing on forest roads made more sense. Then the trail twists and plunges down to the creek itself, and half of the descent was cairn-less guesswork down washed-out gullies. Found a few markers before the creek and pulled to full capacity before climbing the other side. Either the afternoon shade or the frequent copses made the climb much more pleasant than the drop had been. When I got to the wilderness boundary I found a used campsite with a flat pad and decided to call it for the day.

Camp: did a basic cowboy setup, as it's lighter than my current hammock gear. Used a new pad and melatonin to attempt to get a decent sleep - as an anxious side-sleeper, I rarely get more than hour-long stretches outside. Vast improvement. Woke up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle Coon Creek.

Coon Creek #254
Returned to junction and sped north. First half mile, over the saddle and down to the drainage, was pretty darn easy, and the saddle itself was dreamy. The drainage is where route-finding starts to get difficult, with brush and disuse hiding the way forward. Had to stop frequently to look for cairns. The burn got bad 1.1 miles from junction, where the pines were scorched, and route-finding got more difficult, as sections of tread were washed out. At 1.5 miles the trail drops down to the creek and it stays there, jumping back and forth on frequent crossings. I lost count after a dozen. Sometimes I followed it on the banks until I lost it (or the thorny stuff got too painful), other times I'd just rock-hop. The trail is definitely still there, and with a trimmer and some rebuilding of creek-crossing cairns it could be revived, and I saw no evidence of major wash-out or irrevocable damage. Pretty sure it jumps up on the west bank around 6155' and stays there, though I stuck to the creek bed until the far side of Trailside Spring drainage (where the creek flow pretty much trickled to nothing), and had to do some mild scrambling before hacking up to the old trail and crawling/crying through large swaths of truly terrible thorny thickets. At least I think I found Mud Spring along the way.

Parker Creek #160
Switched over to auto-pilot mode. This is a fun one to trot down. Two groups of day-hikers, the only other people I saw all weekend #socialdistancing

Sierra Ancha Miles: 38.8/59.1 (65.6%)
Culture
Culture
Campsite
Meteorology
Meteorology
Snow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Coon Creek Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Creek and spring and tank were all quite full / overfull.

dry Deep Creek Tank Dry Dry
Like, super dry.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hunt Spring Dripping Dripping
Few puddles at Rim Trail crossing. Still haven't found the 'real' dependable source.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mud Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Water trickling down rock face into Coon Creek, lots of grass and moss makes me feel like this could be dependable throughout much of the year.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Never Go Dry Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Both tanks along trail full, source of tanks was trickling clear water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 South Fork Parker Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
Great flow throughout the entire creek.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Upper South Fork Parker Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
_____________________
Mar 29 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Ben Avery Trail - Indian Spring PetroglyphsSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking6.79 Miles 566 AEG
Hiking6.79 Miles   5 Hrs   39 Mns   1.68 mph
566 ft AEG   1 Hour   36 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Hike w/ kiddos. Trail was beautiful, great desert area, and plenty of flowers to slow down the pace. Petroglyphs were amazing. Was a bit disappointed in Indian Spring, there were puddles in the rock tanks and washes the entire hike, but the bedrock proper looked to be maybe a foot deep? I didn't explore enough to see if there was a huge puddle hiding further back. The distance turned out to be right at my kid's limit with the exposure, they were asleep five minutes into the long drive home.

Oh, and the drive was decent - Centennial had a few sluffs to slow down around, Pipeline had several thousand sandy washes to bounce over, and the final forest road was great except for the jug around 1731', which my 2WD was able to handle with a bit of coaxing. I think an adventurous sedan could make it all the way to 1731', which is a stone's throw from the trailhead. Also, there was a small army parked along the forest road in the morning, complete with contractor trailers and a helo, who were doing maintenance on the water tanks back there. Good people. Finally, only saw one couple on trail all the day #socialdistancing
Named place
Named place
Courthouse Rock Indian Spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Indian Spring Dripping Dripping
"bedrock" tank had a foot of cool water up the side drainage
_____________________
Mar 22 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Haunted Canyon #203Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 22 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking4.81 Miles 448 AEG
Hiking4.81 Miles   4 Hrs   3 Mns   1.44 mph
448 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
After a rough morning we got a abnormally late start, reaching a mostly-full trailhead around 11, and the kids and I quickly hit the road/trail. I delayed our first crossing, hoping to find some deadfall or rocks to hop across, eventually accepting our fate and wading across the knee-deep creek. Once they realized that walking in water was okay they decided to splash through every single mud puddle and little tributary in the way. That, plus big three-year-old feelings, had us moving pretty slowly, and we made it a half mile past the corral and on the single-track before I decided to call it and we turned around. Nice outing, great area, and pretty quiet - even with the full trailhead, we only saw six groups (four backpackers heading out and two dayhikes). We'll be back.
_____________________
average hiking speed 1.77 mph
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