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159 triplogs
Nov 07 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 159

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
San Tan Mountain Regional ParkPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 07 2021
jacobemerick
Run/Jog22.50 Miles 940 AEG
Run/Jog22.50 Miles   2 Hrs   40 Mns   8.44 mph
940 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Bike -> Jog -> Bike. Today I wanted to start from the southern Rock Peak TH and check out the Malpais loop, which would "finish" all the trails in the park for me, didn't estimate the increased bike distance from home or trail mileage lol. Bike was tough, took Gary & Judd, felt like it was steady uphill the whole way. Rock Peak Wash is 95% loose sandy wash, which was "fun" to jog in. Turned on San Tan Trail to the southern end of Malpais, then followed that trail clockwise. I liked Malpais, good mix of sandy wash and packed trails, was able to keep moving with only a few walking breaks through sand. Shaded wash felt good, this will be a haven during the warmer months. Was passed by two runners along this section. Took San Tan back down to Rock Peak to close out the loop, lots of bike traffic along San Tan, at least 15 within a mile. Rock Peak Wash trail and trailhead were empty on the way out. Took Brenner Pass back home, wasn't as steep as I feared, made for a nice change of views. Was surprised at the distances covered when I got home, didn't feel like that much.

Bike from home -> park: 7.8 miles, 37 mins
Trail running: 7.8 miles, 1:35 hrs
Bike from park -> home: 6.9 miles, 28 mins
Calories: 1611
_____________________
Nov 04 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 159

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
San Tan Mountain Regional ParkPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 04 2021
jacobemerick
Run/Jog15.50 Miles 675 AEG
Run/Jog15.50 Miles   1 Hour   57 Mns   7.95 mph
675 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
Bike -> Run -> Bike. New trails, followed San Tan all the way around to Moonlight. San Tan is a fun singletrack once you get past the Hedgehog junction and the views south of the saddle are a nice change. Gets a little rolly by Rock Peak, 6-8' dips that were a bit much. Legs were also very sore this week from changing up workout routine, took several miles before the groove hit. Saw a handful of bikers / hikers, mostly near the TH. Fun times.

Bike from home -> park: 4.9 miles, 25 mins
Trail running: 6.2 miles, 1:14 mins
Bike from park -> home: 4.4 miles, 18 mins
Calories: 1419 :sweat:
_____________________
1 archive
Oct 31 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 159

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
San Tan Mountain Regional ParkPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Oct 31 2021
jacobemerick
Run/Jog15.00 Miles 676 AEG
Run/Jog15.00 Miles   1 Hour   57 Mns   7.69 mph
676 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Again, but different trails. Took some dirt paths on the ride there, I enjoy running them but on a hybrid bike... I'll stick to the roads next time. Chilly morning, long sleeve shirt was appreciated, especially on the ride in. Jogged Goldmine -> San Tan -> Hedgehog -> San Tan, first time on San Tan Trail behind that lil' hill, it was nice back there. Trail gets narrow and bucks up and down a lot, making for fun biking and running. Hedgehog was also a nice change. Enjoyed the change of scenario but also missed the burn of steep uphill. A few people on the trail, including one festive trail runner who was absolutely rockin' it. Zoom-zoomed on the ride home.

Bike from home -> park: 5 miles, 29 mins
Trail run: 5.7 miles, 1:09 hrs
Bike from park -> home: 4.3 miles, 19 mins
Calories: 888 :?
_____________________
1 archive
Oct 29 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 159

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Goldmine - Dynamite Loop, AZ 
Goldmine - Dynamite Loop, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Oct 29 2021
jacobemerick
Run/Jog14.30 Miles 1,043 AEG
Run/Jog14.30 Miles   2 Hrs   5 Mns   6.86 mph
1,043 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Again! Biked from home to park, trail running in the park, and biked home. Same loop as last time, chose a different road or two on the way there. Left home in afternoon sun around 3:30p, and I had already done some cardio before leaving, so I was dehydrated and much more thirsty... my little .75L wasn't enough :sweat: Anyways, found the bike rack (it's by the nature center, behind an open fence) but had some issues locking up my back in the small inlets, may end up buying a smaller lock. Only saw 3-4 other people out there, quiet trails. Circled the loop Goldmine -> Dynamite -> San Tan the same way. Felt like I ran more sections this time, starting to get used to the routine. Got home about 15m after sunset. Good times.

Bike from home -> park: 3.8 miles, 20 mins
Trail run: 6.2 miles, 1:19 hrs
Bike from park -> home: 4.3 miles, 26 mins
Calories: 1426
_____________________
Oct 24 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 159

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Goldmine - Dynamite Loop, AZ 
Goldmine - Dynamite Loop, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Oct 24 2021
jacobemerick
Run/Jog15.21 Miles 1,055 AEG
Run/Jog15.21 Miles   2 Hrs   4 Mns   49 Secs7.31 mph
1,055 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Lived within 7 miles of San Tan Regional Park ever since moving to AZ in Nov 2014 and have always dreamed about doing a routine like this, so here goes. Biked from home to park, trail ran through the park, then biked home. It was about as fun as any new routine, but the trails are nice and the roads aren't too busy so I have hopes that this could turn into a 2x or 3x week thing. W Phillips Road is sandy/bumpy but has a wide shoulder to ride along. Didn't find a good spot to lock up the bike, need to hunt around some more for that, so for today just stashed it behind some trees. Did the San Tan -> Goldmine -> Dynamite -> San Tan Loop, it was nice to get the steep out of the way in the first half but I might switch it up in future outings. Ran went it felt good, walked in other sections, didn't push too hard for this first outing. Trails were in good shape, the park always does a good job w/ maintenance and signage. Lots of other runners and hikers out there this morning. Only brought .75L water and a Gu, that was sufficient. Need to bring a hat or sunglasses next time.

Bike from home -> park: 4.1 miles, 28 mins
Trail run: 6.4 miles, 1:20 mins
Bike from park -> home: 4.7 miles, 26 mins
Calories: 1159
_____________________
Oct 09 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 159

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Silly Mountain CircumferencePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking2.61 Miles 681 AEG
Hiking2.61 Miles   1 Hour   48 Mns   2.18 mph
681 ft AEG      36 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. It's been ... awhile ... since we did Silly Mountain, and grandparents wanted to do a late morning swap meet wander, so this worked well to burn energy. Kids did a great job on the hike, watching out for each other (4yo had a decent fall & bruised knee) and getting out of the way for some of the huff-n-puff-earplugged-workout group out there, its rewarding to see them handling these situations by themselves. Shoot, 8yo even helped one confused group get back to the parking lot with clear directions. Parent-bragging aside, trails are in good condition and easy, and I swear some of the easternmost connectors by Baldy are new. This loop is almost a perfect "outer-circumference", we only missed one unsigned connection by Baldy that you can easily pick out on satellite. Fun morning.
_____________________
Oct 02 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 159

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Grandview - Tonto - New Hance, AZ 
Grandview - Tonto - New Hance, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 02 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking28.73 Miles 6,094 AEG
Hiking28.73 Miles   15 Hrs   53 Mns   2.30 mph
6,094 ft AEG   3 Hrs   24 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Been a few months since an adventure, so decided to ease back into things. This wasn't a good way to do that.

Road Walk
Parked at the fire road by New Hance Trail and headed west on 64 a bit after 3AM. Was heckin' cold, and my chattering teeth woke up several herds of elk along the road, and their bugles, grunts, clattering, and smells wafted through the dark forest, keeping me company on the otherwise-lonely connection. Reached Grandview ahead of schedule and took a little celebratory break.

Grandview Trail
Eastern horizon was just starting to lighten at the start, and I needed two lights to navigate the crazy twists and turns down. Loved this trail. A few washouts on the Supai layer that were tricky to work around in the dark, nothing worth getting too worried about. Reached Horseshoe Mesa before the sunrise and checked out a few of the remains. Cool area, already thinking about returning with a kid or two and wasting a few hours poking around up here.

Cottonwood Connector
Unsure of the exact name, but it had a sign and is on the map and was well-defined, so here it is. Crumbly thing, no washouts, and was pretty easy to track the whole way down. As expected, once it hits Cottonwood Creek the path disappears and one just follows the creek, which was dry until the spring.

Tonto Trail
Really enjoyed this, circling all the way around Horseshoe Mesa. Well-defined, easy walking, and starting bumping into a few backpackers who were starting to get moving. Watered up at Hance Creek to full capacity (4L), which would not be enough, and I kinda knew it would not be enough... more on that later. Rest of Tonto dragged, even though there were interesting sights along the way, and I was pretty happy to reach Red Canyon and the Big Muddy around noon. Took a nice lunch break under a mesquite tree and pretended that the rest of the hike was gonna be a quick climb with the 2L of water I had remaining.

New Hance Trail
Slogging up the rocky Red Canyon was tough. Did bump into the infamous @bifrost / @slowandsteady duo, was great to see them in person even if I was feeling light-headed and fatigued. Heard a rumor there was a spring beyond where the trail picks up, so I stuck in the canyon a short distance further, turned around too early, got stuck in a drainage... I was making stupid decisions. Eventually got back on trail and practically crawled uphill, sipping water every 30m or so. Struggle bus was strong. What I assumed would be a 3 hour hike up New Hance turned into a 7+ hour death march. Trail was fine, really in great shape, with a few level sections to alleviate the grind, the problem was all me. Finished the last 20 minutes by headlamp and dragged my cramping body back to the parked car.

I would highly recommend doing this loop in reverse. Everything makes sense for a CCW loop, especially the water situation.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Okay flow near Tonto. Better flow upstream closer to the marked spring.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hance Creek Light flow Light flow
Good flow, plenty of pools to pull from near Tonto.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hance Rapids Medium flow Medium flow
Colorado was running chocolate-brown.

dry Mineral Canyon Dry Dry

dry Red Canyon Dry Dry
Dry along length of New Hance Trail. There is a spring upstream of trail's bank departure, looks promising, did not verify amount.
_____________________
Aug 22 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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.
_____________________
Feb 27 2021
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 159

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.
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average hiking speed 1.91 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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