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152 triplogs
Aug 22 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Perlite Road Apache TearsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 22 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking2.66 Miles 570 AEG
Hiking2.66 Miles   1 Hour   37 Mns   1.72 mph
570 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Easy morning stroll w/ kiddos. Main goal was to find some pretty rocks for a rock-tumbler birthday present. Found plenty of obsidian pebbles along the old road that are already nice and smooth, also picked up some chert (I think?) and quartz near the mine. We'll find out in a few weeks how they turn out. Also had some close encounters with the bovine kind, explored the old mine, checked out some old foundations, and splashed in the trickling Queen Creek. Overall a great way to spend the morning.

Drive in & trail signs were confusing. Did some research ahead of time that helped, but if you head out without a GPS or map it'll be tough. Was also nice to see how cleanly this area connects w/ Arnett Creek...
_____________________
Jul 25 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Little Chance Canyon LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jul 25 2021
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. Sprinkled on and off throughout the route, never enough to worry about rain gear, not when there were all the awesome puddles to splash through. Great flow along the smaller washes, Willow Creek itself had signs of flash but only sporadic puddles, the valley had decent trickles between rock pools. Saw one other hiker w/ dog and, when exiting around 9am, there were a small group w/ cool-looking jeeps getting ready to drive out - overall a quiet and fun way to spend the morning.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Willow Spring Dripping Dripping
Water everywhere else, actual spring was still meager.
_____________________
Jul 18 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Broadway CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking3.80 Miles 970 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles   3 Hrs   11 Mns   1.56 mph
970 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hike w/ kiddos and grandpa. Started at 6am, not quite early enough to avoid the sun on the hike up. It's been a few years since I was on this route, was glad to see that the trails are just as rocky and annoying. Kids struggled w/ the humidity. Made it to the cave and they magically had infinite energy and we explored and snacked and talked. Return trip was pretty easy, only one bloody knee to bandage up. Returned to grandparent's house for an hour of swimming before the morning storms hit AJ. Great way to spend a Sunday morning.
_____________________
Jun 25 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Cactus to CloudsBig Bear - Jacinto, CA
Big Bear - Jacinto, CA
Hiking avatar Jun 25 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking19.69 Miles 10,989 AEG
Hiking19.69 Miles   12 Hrs   31 Mns   2.02 mph
10,989 ft AEG   2 Hrs   46 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Original plan for this weekend was an easy stroll in the Supes (still dealing with some lingering shin/calf pain from Bryce Canyon) but when TNF did the impossible this week decided on a Plan B in Cali. Drove out Thursday afternoon, camped outside of Joshua Tree, and got a few hours of sleep before a 2:30am start from Palm Springs.

Miles 1-3
Full moon + city lights made for an easy stroll, kept a hand light accessible for route verification. Trail is steep, steeper than I had imagined, and the humidity made for a pretty sweaty morning. There are a few forks to lookouts and plenty of cut-off switchbacks, route-finding was overall straightforward. Oh, and almost no overgrowth to contend with.

Miles 4-6
This was the sweet spot. Sun was coming up, interesting vegetation along the trail (including some variety of manzanita with fuzzy bark?), and there were a few saddles and flat sections to break up the previously relentless uphill grind. Stopped a few times to stretch calves and water up. V enjoyable section.

Miles 7-9
Things got steep and, once under the pines, path was sandy and tricky. Found myself pausing and turning full circles trying to get back on tread a bunch of times. As much as I enjoyed the forest and rock formations I was pretty burnt out by now and just wanted to crest. Once I did I bee-lined over to the ranger station to water up and fill out a permit for the wilderness.

Miles 10-12
Somehow I pictured Long/Round Valley as a flat, easy stroll. Nah, there's more elevation to gain, between 200-500' per mile. Pine trees were huge and pleasant and the trail was an impeccable shape. Lots of friendly hikers to chat with, including a PCT section-hiker who had some dandy gear times. Took my time on this section and just soaked up the experience.

Miles 13-15
The haul up to summit was... tough. Sure, some leg fatigue, but the altitude messed with me too. Stopped every mile to take in water and views and try to acclimate. Trail was fantastic and as close to alpine as I've been. When I reached the summit I was bummed to see just how crowded it was, lots of people seemed to be just hanging out and getting sunburnt, so I found a little ledge to take a few photos before scurrying back down.

Miles 16-20
Cruise mode. It was getting toasty by now, though it was all downhill so I didn't care too much. Trees up here are ginormous. Made it to the tram with little fanfare, got a one-way ticket and caught the next ride down. Descending on that thing gave a neat perspective of just how insane this hike is.

NOTE: reception at the bottom is spotty, it was difficult to coordinate an Uber.

Carried 4L capacity, drank most on the main climb, watered up at ranger station but only consumed 3L more (probably should have pushed more water to help w/ altitude). Consumed ~2k calories and a ton of caffeinated things. Burned 7k calories. Trail runners worked great, wished I would have done shorts instead of pants. Temps cooperated, started in the 80s and felt a noticeable drop as I climbed. Sun was hot on top, breeze helped. Will definitely be back.
_____________________
Jun 12 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Hieroglyphics Trail #101Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 12 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking3.20 Miles 607 AEG
Hiking3.20 Miles   2 Hrs   11 Mns   1.90 mph
607 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Quick morning outing w/ kids & grandparents. Started at 6am, dozen vehicles in parking lot, not crowded at all. Had shade during the entire hike to the (dry) pools. Spent about a half-hour there, letting the kids play around. Lots of tarantula hawks buzzing around. On the way back we had sun, appreciated the downhill grade. Kids had a great time hanging out with the grandparents.

dry Hieroglyphic Spring Dry Dry
Pools were absolutely parched :(
_____________________
Jun 05 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Under-the-Rim Loop, UT 
Under-the-Rim Loop, UT
 
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking35.68 Miles 6,689 AEG
Hiking35.68 Miles   14 Hrs   51 Mns   3.03 mph
6,689 ft AEG   3 Hrs   4 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Wanted to stretch the legs and see some new terrain. Friend suggested Bryce Canyon, so drove up on Friday afternoon and set up a hammock just outside the park entrance for a few hours of sleep.

Road Walk
Parked at Farview Point (~10.5 mile) at 3 and headed south. Didn't see a single car on the road and spent much of the walk with no light, enjoying the epic starry skies above. Reached Rainbow Point in 2 hours and treated myself to a quick breakfast as the eastern horizon reddened up.

Under-the-Rim
After a bit of confusion between Bristlecone and connectors in the mostly-dark forest I found the trail and began the steady drop through a burn area. Trail started in great shape, only a few deadfall, and the northern views of the 'rim' were fantastic in the early light. Some cool construction looping around the sandy slopes. At the bottom the forest came back, giant pines and all, and I was further wowed by the area.

The rest of the trail is a roller coaster, about 13 sandy ridges between 100' and 500'. They were pretty crushing - enough of a climb to get the heart pumping, not enough to gain momentum. The campsites were neat, well-signed areas for food storage & prep far from the tent areas, and less than 5 miles between each one. Between the sandy slogs, numerous campsites, and great forest & views, I soon got the hint that a better way to explore this trail would be a leisurely multi-day outing. Yet I was here with no reservation and a daypack, so I pushed on.

Trail maintenance varied a bit. There was deadfall and some overgrowth, and most of the creeks had significant washout sections. The tread was also solid, well-trod reroutes to avoid deadfall, and cairns were built up near the creeks to aid navigation. Either this is still 'early in the season' or the park might be letting this one go a little for a 'rustic' experience.

Views up at the rim were always great. There were few hoodoos that define the northern end of the park, it was mostly pretty colors and sharp cliffs. One area that particularly stood up was after a long, hot climb near Whiteman connector, through an exposed burn area, where I hit a saddle and got an epic view down into Mud Canyon. Amazing. Took a few long breaks to gaze around, watered up at Yellow Canyon, chatted with a few backpackers. Some sprinkles and thunder. Eventually reached the climb out, chugged some water, and powered up to Bryce Point. That final stretch through Hat Shop is fantastical.

Peekaboo / Navajo
Wanted to hike through some of the more 'traditional' terrain, plus get some easy water at Sunset Point, so I headed down Peekaboo. Trail is wide and wasn't that crowded, and the creativity the designers used to wind around the ridges was super cool. Wall of Windows & Cathedral were particularly jaw-dropping. Paused at the bottom to polish off my water before connecting with Navajo, which was more narrow and crowded, so I pushed quick up the switchbacks to finish it off. Wall Street area was interesting but better to look at (from Peekaboo) than to hike through IMO. Reached Sunset Point around 5pm and decided to skip Fairyland Loop.

Road Walk pt 2
Took Rim Trail to Inspiration, bike path to road, then started south on the road. This wasn't a good idea. There was a lot more traffic during the daytime, no shoulder to speak of, and no nearby path. If I could make it the few miles to Swamp Canyon then I planned on dropping back down to Under-the-Rim and scooping back up Whiteman. However, after a mile one of the park rangers drove up to me and offered a ride (likely to avoid a pedestrian - vehicle collision) and I happily jumped in. Along the way she pointed out the Mammoth Fire to the west, whose smoke had been drifting over the park most of the afternoon. Got back to the Jeep with a few hours of daylight left and, while it felt sacrilegious to leave so soon, started on the long drive back to PHX.

This park is spectacular. It really beat me up, though, and I'm not sure if the elevation or the sand was the bigger factor. A North-to-South backpack over a few days, complete with a shuttle plan, is preferable, and I can't wait to take my kids up here.
Named place
Named place
Hat Shop Iron Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Iron Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Steady flow, lots of sludgy mud below.

dry Peekaboo Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Swamp Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
(didn't actually check, two different backpacking groups verified that the water was there)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Yellow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Steady flow out and down the creek, good taste.
_____________________
May 21 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Hell's Hole Trail #284 - Salome WildernessGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar May 21 2021
jacobemerick
Backpack11.04 Miles 2,859 AEG
Backpack11.04 Miles2 Days         
2,859 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Backpack w/ kiddos. Reached trailhead before 5pm on Friday, one other vehicle there, we passed those day hikers a few minutes later, only other people we'd see all trip. Had to turtle to haul in all of our gear (65L pack on back, 22L on front), 7yo also had a pack, I wasn't that efficient with gear. Made quick work of the two miles to the planned campsite above the first crossing of Workman Creek (thanks @outandback). Easy setup, kids are great helpers, then I thoroughly burned our pizza-dillas. Temps dropped quickly and we were all curled up in our different sleep soon after sunset. Cold night, had to readjust my underquilt a number of times to keep the butt warm.

Woke up early, rushed breakfast and camp organization, and packed the 22L for the dayhike down to Hell's Hole. Easy going past the junction w/ Boyer Cabin, as soon as the descent started around 5682' the overgrowth kicked in and it only got worse as we descended. Had to carry 4yo a few times (she hates pokey plants and all plants are pokey in this state). Reached the bottom and kids were absolutely floored by the deep pools and tiny waterfalls, so we just stayed there and kept exploring to a minimum. After an hour of finding scorpions, splashing in the water, and getting spooked by a (maybe) snake, we headed back up, which between the kids' slow pace and the switchback's gentle grade felt easier than the descent. Once we reached the top we continued our leisurely pace, the 6yo and 4yo hunting for 'ladybugs' on the flowers, while the 7yo and I chatted about GC adventures. Returned to camp for lunch and packing up, then easy trot back to the Jeep.

Camping near (preferably above) Workman Creek really makes this an enjoyable two-day adventure without hauling gear up that long climb. Also, with how overgrown the trail is on the main drop, I'd also say that just hiking the first three miles makes for a very pleasant hike by itself... the rest of the trail seems to be for completionists or peeps interested in further explorations up/down creek.
_____________________
May 09 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Needle Vista to Hackberry SpringPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 09 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking4.47 Miles 753 AEG
Hiking4.47 Miles   3 Hrs   9 Mns   1.69 mph
753 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Hike w/ kids. Met grandparents at parking lot at 6AM, temps were cool and hiking was enjoyable in the mostly-shaded wash. Trail was easy to follow, navigated the few forks by memory and made it down to First Water Creek via the usual drainage. Kids scrambled up numerous boulders within the creek and even created their own little rock-climbing club that us adults were too old to join. Breakfast stop at the spring, then backtracked up the 'official' trail and quickly worked up a sweat in the now-toasty temps. Easy hike back with one more stop, this time for a bathroom break... hiking with three kids over the last few years has made me a proficient cat-hole digger. Overall great way to spend Mother's Day morning (and give their mom time to sleep in!)

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hackberry Spring Dripping Dripping
Lowest I've seen it, and plenty of algae, yet there's clear water if you reach for it, and there was some dribble down to the creek.
_____________________
May 01 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Haunted-Paradise Loop, AZ 
Haunted-Paradise Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 01 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking6.42 Miles 1,974 AEG
Hiking6.42 Miles   6 Hrs   2 Mns   1.41 mph
1,974 ft AEG   1 Hour   28 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Hike w/ kids. Camped at Miles TH the night before, had a great time with brats and s'mores, cold sink got cold overnight. Left vehicle at camp and road-walked, then did the @ShatteredArm shortcut, which started easy and quickly devolved until it was easier to carry the kids, one at a time, over the catclaw and manzanita, instead of convincing them that cuts are temporary. We'll do the long switchback next time. Reached Haunted Canyon TH and we really enjoyed the well-maintained trail and ample shade, especially on the first mile. Dropping down to the Tank was easy and we had a long break here, huddled together under a small spot of shade, as it was getting pretty warm already. Paradise Trail was in worse shape, more overgrowth to push through and a generally steeper tread with a few washouts. Once we entered the shaded section we all had more fun. Returned to the Jeep later than expected, I overestimated the kids pace on these hot, rocky trails. Peaceful day out there, only one other group camping at Miles TH, no one on the trails.
Culture
Culture
Campsite
Named place
Named place
Paradise Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dirt Tank - Haunted Canyon 26-50% full 26-50% full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Grapevine Spring Dripping Dripping
Several pools glinting near the spring. Also, circle trough along the trail was full and looked okay.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Paradise Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Water above and below the site of the spring. Some trickle. Not enough flow for waterfall.
_____________________
Apr 25 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Nankoweap TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking27.71 Miles 7,187 AEG
Hiking27.71 Miles   15 Hrs   1 Min   2.13 mph
7,187 ft AEG   2 Hrs   1 Min Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Drove up on Saturday and setup camp near the trailhead. Winds were v annoying, and even though I was able to keep my setup (bag & pad on cot) from blowing away with bungee cords, it was not a restful night of sleep. Got up and hit the trail at 4AM.

Hauling up the Saddle Mountain portion was nerve-wracking, with strong winds clattering the burned branches in the darkness. Forgot to pack some gear (like my trekking poles) and I already missed them on the steady uphill with my water-heavy pack. Trail is easy to follow, even through the wash, and the few deadfall are easy to navigate. Some snow on the upper cliffs tucked away in the shade, none near the path.

Supai Traverse was beautiful in the waking day and all-the-more treacherous with the winds. Seriously, I had to brace myself and hug rocks and even drop to a knee numerous times, those gusts with that exposure was terrifying. Trekking poles would have been v helpful. The drop past Tilted Mesa, with the loose gravel and slanted paths, was mentally exhausting, and I was very grateful when I finally reached the little flat before the creek. Chatted briefly with a group of 5-6 campers, sharing some weather intel (it was even windier down here last night), and then sped down the creek, anxious about my return trip.

Trail was difficult to follow along Nankoweap Creek, though it doesn't matter much. Just follow the water. Creek flowed all the way to the Colorado, and I went too, pulling a liter (very easy to filter, not as silty as I feared) before heading up to the graneries just as a boat group was hiking down. Lunch, rest, and time to head back.

Returning up the creek was easy enough, and I filtered to full capacity before starting the real climb. Felt nauseous (also forgot my usual nuun tablets and was using mio energy to supplement the water intake, which was too sweet for me and didn't settle well with my plethora of salty / sugary snacks). The hike up was slow, and I had to stop a bunch of times to keep from puking or brace against the wind, which did not let up all day. Finally reached the saddle and tumbled down the other side, finishing up with the sunset.

Saw two groups of backpackers (one at the creek, another one along the hike out) and boaters. Ignoring the winds and gear mistakes, this is an absolutely gorgeous and quiet trail, and I'm already scheming a return trip with a few side ventures.
Named place
Named place
Grand Canyon National Park

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Lower Nankoweap Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Didn't see the exact spring, but the creek is flowing all the way to the river.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Nankoweap Creek Light flow Light flow
Good flow all the way to river, plenty of options to filter from along the trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Nankoweap Creek Trail Junction Light flow Light flow
Creek is flowing at junction. Also, clean water dripping from the banks, and a group of backpackers was drinking directly from the seep w/o filtering.
_____________________
Apr 10 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Rincon Double Feature, AZ 
Rincon Double Feature, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 10 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking31.88 Miles 7,927 AEG
Hiking31.88 Miles   15 Hrs   29 Mns   2.59 mph
7,927 ft AEG   3 Hrs   10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Been curious (jealous) of all the fun trips in the Rincons, so headed down there and was absolutely blown away. This range is fantastical.

Turkey Creek Trail
Parked at Miller Creek Trailhead (46F, brr) and walked the roads in the dark, passing a half-dozen RVs along 4408 and reaching the trail in time to turn off my headlamp. Trail construction is fantastic (a common theme for the day) and I made quick work of the foothills, rounding 5220' and starting the meat of the climb with the rising sun. Temps were perfect - the steep slope worked up a healthy sweat, and I only had to pause for a few minutes for the cool air to chill me down. Anyways, reached Mudhole before 7AM and had decent shade for the rest of the climb, and I enjoyed the views of Reef Rock and the relentless uphill.

Deerhead / Switchback / Heartbreak
Deerhead was... a trail? After so much uphill this mostly flat route passed in a blink. Poked around Spud Rock campground, checking in on the spring. Quick break, then strode up Switchback, which was more memorable because it had (well-built) switchbacks. Heartbreak dragged, mostly because I was looking forward to topping Reef Rock. The marked drainage below Man Head had a trickle of water.

Fire Loop
Quick haul up to Man Head, during which my legs briefly thought about cramping, and then easy going under tall pines, with a soft breeze rustling underneath. The views from Reef Rock are fantastic, especially after gazing up at it all morning. There are a few lovely meadows to pass through, a handful of annoying drainages to roller-coaster through, overall this is a fun loop. Continued up to the summit of Mica Mountain, which offered no grand vista, just the remains of a fire tower.

Heading down was neat, with Spud Rock and Helen's Dome to check out, plus some good views north to Santa Catalinas. Spent some time gazing at Mount Lemmon, trying to retrace my visit last year and guess which flanks were hit hard with the fire. Eventually turned south and headed into Manning Camp (which was only manned by deer) and tanked up on water.

Manning Camp / Devil's Bathtub
Long, busy lunch break, and then headed down and quickly passed a few backpackers on their way up. Turned and headed east, where the burn damage picked up some. Didn't enjoy Devil's Bathtub as much, even with the big views - the day's heat was picking up and there's a lot of rocky exposure. Spring was trickling enough to almost be called a waterfall.

Heartbreak Ridge
I missed the tall pines of Mica Mountain quickly. There are views and interesting flora, and the trail is well-maintained, it just felt rather toasty in the afternoon sun. Made the quick haul up to the lookout, was neat to be halfway between the two peaks and have such a great view. Then there is that sudden, beautifully built set of switchbacks (boy was I happy to be going down them) and I was finally at the saddle.

Rincon Peak
Time for the "burnout". First mile is flat, and I used plenty of words to describe the rest of it, and flat was not one of them. Some overgrowth, some deadfall, and that last half mile had some confusing tread. Part of me enjoyed this trail, and I can see it being a fun standalone summit from Miller Creek. Doing it at the end of a long day was painful. When I reached the top I gazed at the panorama, swam in the vertigo, and then zoomed back down, ready to be done. Going downhill wasn't quite as tough as I thought it would be, and there were even a few sections that I jogged along.

Miller Creek
Not sure if I loved or hated this one. The trail construction is creative, and for as much elevation as it covers, there are a lot of flat switchbacks winding around the huge boulders. Had to turn on the headlamp about two miles in and navigate a few confusing twists. Last mile through the creek dragged. Think I need to do this again in the light to fully appreciate it.

Maybe a dozen people on the trail, along Manning Camp and Heartbreak.
Named place
Named place
Mud Hole Spring - Mica


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Devils Bathtub Quart per minute Quart per minute
Large pool above rock falls, dripping flow over the lip.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Manning Camp Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Amazing.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Miller Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
A few sad, scummy pools at the bottom.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mud Hole Spring - Mica Dripping Dripping
A few pools deep enough to scoop from.

_____________________
1 archive
Mar 20 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Powers GardenTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 20 2021
jacobemerick
Backpack25.73 Miles 5,215 AEG
Backpack25.73 Miles2 Days         
5,215 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Long, dark drive from San Tan Valley. Was pleasantly surprised to see that FR253 was recently graded, that plus a dry Aravaipa made it very easy to reach TH.

East Divide #287
Easy walking up the grassy lowlands with a few cairns to keep you moving forward. Everything looks toasted, even with the recent snows/rains. Passed what felt like a half-dozen signed junctions before reaching Mud Springs, bit of a maze to figure out at the start. Noticed something weird here that several of the other trails had - two treads that were not-quite-parallel, sometimes collapsing to a single track and other times devolving into game trails. Unsure if this is due to chatty cowbows or meandering livestock. Regardless, it had me backtracking many times throughout the weekend.

Sycamore Creek #278
Picked this up at Mud Springs, took a bit of wandering to find where it started. Recent maintenance and a few re-routes were appreciated. Once I reached the saddle by China Peak the trail plummeted down over steep switchbacks, and while the cairns were huge, the re-routed tread is hard to track. Once the trail hits the creek it does a very good job at sticking to the banks and cleaning hopping from one side to the other. There is some minor deadfall and overgrowth to navigate, and I chose to boulder-hop a few times, overall it was pretty fun.

Bumped into a large group of teenagers w/ chaperones who were hiking from Rattlesnake Canyon to Redfield over two weeks. Chatted for ten minutes, could have spent all day sharing stories, but we were heading in different directions and each had many miles to cover before nightfall. That was shortly before Sycamore Canyon Spring, and I spent much of the rest of the trail following tread high up the banks and trying to imagine how I'd fit two weeks worth of food in my tiny pack.

Powers Garden #96
Rattlesnake Creek was flowing happily, a nice change from the stagnant pools in Sycamore, which gave me (temporary) hope for water sources. Also, this trail was annoyingly well-maintained, recently trimmed back neatly and a small army of bootprints pounded into the tread. As there was no one at Powers Garden, my guess is that a crew had walked in from Rattlesnake Road and done some work on the trail or at the Garden, and then hiked out on Friday.

This was a very enjoyable section, with the big trees and views on each side. I passed Pipestem (signed), Mailbox (unsigned), and Tortilla (signed) junctions, and somewhere along the way my happy little creek completely dried up. Camping in the middle of a field of dead grass with a single liter of water didn't sound like fun, so I bailed my original plan (set up camp here and go hunting for the Mailbox spur) and decided to push forward instead. The rest of the trail to Corral Canyon seemed to drag, mostly because I kept veering into Rattlesnake Creek in hopes of finding a crystal-clear pool of water.

Corral Canyon #291
Bit more deadfall and overgrowth, and the creek crossings can be confusing, yet the tread is solid and was much better than expected. Followed it for a mile and found some trickling water, pulled to full capacity and backtracked a half-mile to a nice campsite.

Took my time setting up camp and getting some firewood for the night. I was expecting a cold night and wanted to glamp, even brought a little chair along. Managed to stay up until 8 before crashing, and then slept in the next morning. New sleeping pad was a real winner, probably got down to high 30s and kept warm. Woke up feeling wonderfully refreshed.

Tracking the creek crossings got a bit more difficult, and I did spend some time boulder-hopping. The one crossing that is truly important is right at Corral Spring, where (if you're heading uphill) you leave the south bank, backtrack downstream to the spring about twenty feet, and then head up the north bank. If you miss this, you'll end up at the bottom of a very formidable waterfall. Going up the north bank is a set of steep switchbacks with a few re-routes due to deadfall, which is something that you need to repeat near the end of the trail.

The final leg of the trail is on the top of a ridgeline, and this is where the burn comes in full. There's good tread, and a few cairns, and enough deadfall to turn the whole thing into a maze. Two nice campsites and a small stand of surviving pines wait at the end of the trail.

Kennedy Peak #287A
Short jaunt south on East Divide and a humble sign point to the peak, which is another maze of deadfall. There are plenty of cairns, though sections of the tread have been washed out. I lost the trail on both the hike up and down. Anyways, views on top were totally worth it - after spending yesterday on the grassy north side and in deep canyons, seeing the expansiveness of the wilderness was a moving moment.

East Divide #287
Return to the junction and then heading down over the million switchbacks. Snow was a minor issue, a few stretches where the narrow tread was covered in slick iciness that promised an quickened descent. Eventually the snow obstacles were replaced with deadfall, and then overgrowth kicked in. I didn't care too much - I was heading downhill and the trailhead felt within reach.

As soon as the junction to Mud Springs shows up the trail veers back onto grassy flatlands and makes a sizeable re-route to the south to avoid the deep tributaries of Oak Creek. At least, it was a re-route according to the route I had. Eventually the track swung north, joined with my route from yesterday, and I rolled back down to the trailhead.

dry Brush Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at mouth.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Corral Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry at mouth. Trickling pools start to intermittently show up after 1 mile upstream.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Corral Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Water directly below the cement box.

dry Horse Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at mouth.

dry Mailbox Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at mouth.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mud Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Spring box was full, trough was overflowing, downhill tank & trough were full. Cow corpse is still there fouling up trough overflow, but trough still seems clean enough.

dry Pipestem Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at mouth.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Powers Garden Spring Dripping Dripping
Two large, algae-clogged pools. Totally unappealing. Rattlesnake Creek was completely dry from Corral Creek to Pipestem, this spring did nothing to help that.

dry South Field Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at mouth.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sycamore Canyon Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Several appealing pools trickling, plenty to pull from.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Sycamore Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Handful of sad pools, mostly between spring & mouth.
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Feb 27 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Black Ridge Loop - MazatzalPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking7.52 Miles 1,915 AEG
Hiking7.52 Miles   6 Hrs   33 Mns   1.47 mph
1,915 ft AEG   1 Hour   27 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Hike w/ kids. Started twenty minutes after sunrise with temps in the high 20s. Took road first, then the big climb, which felt good to do with the chill air and waking sun. Trail is well-defined going up that ridge. Plenty of forks to choose from on top, had to check gps a few times. Brunson made for a good play spot, upper sheep spring was a bust. Some interesting corrals further down the creek, worth exploring more if I didn’t have kids on this trip. They dragged on the climb out, but perked up when they saw the trail quality change on LSM and were straight up giddy with the trickling water and little waterfalls. New TH looks fantastic.

Been wanting to do this hike w/ kids for a few years, probably waited the right amount. 4yo did struggle with the rough sections and distance, this was right at her limit.
Named place
Named place
Saddle Mountain 6,535

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Brunson Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full

dry Upper Sheep Creek Spring Dry Dry
One sad pool spotted above marked spring.
_____________________
Feb 21 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Reavis - Frog Tanks - Rogers Loop, AZ 
Reavis - Frog Tanks - Rogers Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 21 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking33.93 Miles 5,540 AEG
Hiking33.93 Miles   14 Hrs   8 Mns   2.70 mph
5,540 ft AEG   1 Hour   34 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Drove through 2 open gates along AZ-88 (from the Roosevelt side) until I bumped into the block at Apache Lake. There is a small open gate on it, far too narrow for a vehicle, with a sign allowing hiking/biking/horse/atv traffic. Looks fairly permanent.

After parking at the Apache Lake Vista around 5am, swung into the first wash past the blocked AZ-88 and followed Joes (or Wallys?) route cross country. I left the wash too early and was forced to a nearby ridge, which was no fun to navigate in the dark. Took around 40m and definitely warmed me up in the chill morning air. I think I'd rather start earlier and stick to the road on the way up if I do another pre-dawn hike out here. Trailhead was missing the register and a few signs :cry:

Reavis Ranch #109
Fantastic trail to walk in the dark. Some washouts along the way, all easy to hop over. The day gradually waking up over the hills was heckin' beautiful. Castle Dome ridge section had some more serious washouts and overgrowth, nothing a little TLC can't fix. Fire damage got real near Windy Saddle.

Plow Saddle #287
Lack of signed junction and cairns, coupled with fire-damaged tread, made this tough to find, but once it drops off the saddle it is very easy to follow. More fire damage, a few deadfall to work around, and the loosey steepness was annoying. It was sad to see the scorched cottonwoods in that drainage, not sure if any survived.

Frog Tanks #112
Started with a lot of catclaw, which is more bearable past the 4937' ridge. That drop into Fish Creek is just dreamy, huge views. Explored a little by the stone corral before attempting to continue on the trail, which was super tough. Lots of fire damage, lots of catclaw. After fifteen minutes of cursing, bleeding, and crying, I dropped into the creek and stuck to boulder-hopping, which, combined with the trickling water, was incredibly enjoyable. Slow going, but enjoyable. A mile in and the green canopy came back to the canyon and I was in heaven.

Rogers Canyon #110
Looked a bit for the trail and then just kept in the creek. I was initially disappointed by the lack of trickling water, though the huge boulders and surrounding geology made up for the (mostly) dry creekbed. Started to feel a little toasty by the time I reached Angel Basin, and even though I got to meet @Andrewrdc (hi!) I didn't linger long at the ruins, more interested in powering through than looking at rocks on rocks. Trail was super easy to follow upstream of the ruins, passed three groups on the way in. Fire damage showed up again for the last mile.

Reavis Ranch #109
This trail again, this time from end-to-end. Paused for a quick break and then powered up that darn climb, passing another three or four groups on their way out. Was sad to see how scorched the saddle got. Trees began to come back about a mile in, and from then on the damage was sporadic in the valley and mostly visible on the nearby hillsides. Trail was in great shape until AZT branches off (no surprise), then there were a few minor obstacles on the way back to Plow Saddle. Sun set about 20m before I hit trailhead.

Decided to stick to the wash on the way down, which was hard for five minutes and then a simple cruise. Outside of the peeps on Rogers and a few along Reavis (between the grave and valley) there was no other hikers out there. A long, quiet, and fantastic day.
Culture
Culture
HAZ PicMimic

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Paradise Canyon Light flow Light flow
Steady and dependable flow along the length of Frog Tanks Trail.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Plow Saddle Springs Dripping Dripping
Drainage was dripping, several deep pools to pull from.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reavis Creek at Fireline #118 Light flow Light flow
Steady, happy little flow.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reavis Saddle Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Steady flow from spring all along the length of trail.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Rogers Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry at mouth. Some pools / trickles along the length.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Rough Canyon Light flow Light flow
Steady flow coming out of the mouth.
_____________________
Feb 15 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Battleship Mountain - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 15 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking11.80 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking11.80 Miles
2,100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hike w/ boys and family (@reynchr @kirsty). Left TH at 6am to give the boys a taste of night hiking, made good time to Garden Valley and watched the sunrise before @reynchr had to turn around early for an unexpected work distraction. We continued onto Boulder Canyon with few issues and made it to the spur trail around 10am. Hauled up and spent some time right below the stern, trying to plan a way to help the 6yo and 7yo up safely up that wall, then decided it wasn't worth the risk. Chastised, we headed back the way we came, seeing a surprising number of people on the return. Still a good way to spend the holiday, v thankful to @kirsty for being such a help with the kiddos on the long day.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Second Water Canyon Light flow Light flow
Great flow crossing trail, plenty of deep pools all the way to Boulder Canyon.
_____________________
3 archives
Jan 31 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Keyhole ArchPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 31 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking3.16 Miles 352 AEG
Hiking3.16 Miles   2 Hrs   10 Mns   1.54 mph
352 ft AEG      7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Hike w/ kids. Wanted a short jaunt in AJ before visiting grandparents, this fit the bill and had a lot more solitude than my usual gotos from First Water area. Route was a mix of dirt road and motorbike singletrack and horse trail and wash... The desert is crisscrossed with options (and has a lot of litter) so close to a trailhead. Kids were well-behaved and sure-footed after such a long lapse since our last outing, they earned their ice cream after this one. Keyhole Arch was half-walled off and there was signs of a campfire in it... maybe someone spent a cold night huddled in there recently? Okay area, think we need to venture a few more miles in from this trailhead to get to the good stuff.
_____________________
Dec 10 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Hackberry Spring from Horse LotPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 10 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking2.12 Miles 298 AEG
Hiking2.12 Miles   1 Hour   41 Mns   1.33 mph
298 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Hike w/ fam. Wanted to get everyone out and enjoy the meteorological events. Started at Horse Lot, followed road over to track down to First Water Ranch, then took creek over to the usual tributary back up to Horse Lot. Muddy trails and a few puddles, creek had plenty of tanks for the kids to splash in. Clouds rolling over the Ridgeline and the usual post-rain epic sunset made for a nice backdrop. Only one other family out there and they stuck close to the new Hackberry trail. Lots of vehicles at Massacre Falls TH.
_____________________
Dec 05 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Red Tanks Super Loop - Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 05 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking21.30 Miles 2,923 AEG
Hiking21.30 Miles   9 Hrs   14 Mns   3.09 mph
2,923 ft AEG   2 Hrs   20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
The chance to walk three burn areas in one loop? Sure, why not.

Five cars at Peralta TH at 5:30am. Didn't see any camps along my route, maybe they all went to Charlebois. Cardiac Hill is a great way to keep warm on cold December mornings. Ridgeline Fire burned chunks of Bluff Springs trail, was hard to follow the trail in the dark through Barks. Stopped by Bluff Spring, pipe is broken but still trickling higher up. Forest above the pipe saw heavy damage, wonder if the hill / spring will sustain in the years to come.

Final drop into La Barge was chilly. La Barge Spring is still flowing like a champ. Trees within the creekbed are all fine, anything up on the banks got burned in Sawtooth and are falling over, some of the campsites on the eastern bank are unsafe / covered in deadfall. Took a quick break here to munch on some snacks and shiver before continuing on Red Tanks, which seemed to be in relatively good condition.

Climbing Upper La Barge is just straight fun. Woodbury damage was very apparent at top, the whole slope coming down Coffee Flat is a lot less green now. Some patches of living forest here and there within the creek. Grass is coming back strong and looks quite flammable. Paused at Red Tanks Divide for a luxurious coffee break and got buzzed by the B-52? that frequents the area.

The heat finally kicked in during the descent. Some bad burn sections with deadfall / tread washout that caused mild confusion, mostly it's just a well-trod grassy path still. I was getting impatient by the time I reached Randolph and spent most of the time walking the creek. While polishing off my water at Reed's a large squadron of javelina strolled past, at least 30 of them, and I got some amateur video of the ridiculously cute reds trotting behind parents.

Saw three groups, two backpacking between the Divide and Coffee Flat, last one dayhiking in Barkley. Only sighted 17 monoliths, so this is still a pretty remote area.
Culture
Culture
Ghost?

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Barks Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
One sad, lonely pool.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bluff Spring Dripping Dripping
Steady trickle. Pipe has broken so once you find it, follow it up until you smell the stagnant water.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Fraser Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dripping Wall was dripping. Would take a while to collect enough to drink.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max LaBarge Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Dependable.

dry Randolph Canyon Dry Dry
Bone dry from Reed's to Red Tanks junction.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Red Tanks Canyon Light flow Light flow
Several tanks of water above Randolph Canyon confluence.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reeds Water 26-50% full 26-50% full
Well had water. Some boards have fallen into well, it'd be challenging to snake down a bucket / cup.

dry Trap Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at crossing.

dry Upper LaBarge Box Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at trail crossing.
_____________________
1 archive
Nov 26 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Little Chance Canyon LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking2.95 Miles 389 AEG
Hiking2.95 Miles   2 Hrs   1 Min   1.58 mph
389 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Pre-turkey stroll with kids. Saw only one other car in parking lot, there were two groups within Willow Springs Canyon on the way out, overall very quiet and peaceful. Only water seen was at Willow Spring. Kids enjoyed the cool temps and had a bit too much fun rock climbing whenever possible, and I kept busy plucking them off of ledges when things got too steep.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Willow Spring Dripping Dripping
Several wet spots within the creek, few deep pools that were surprisingly not-skunky-looking.
_____________________
Nov 08 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,147
 Triplogs 152

36 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 Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
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.
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average hiking speed 1.81 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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