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96 triplogs

Apr 22 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Boyce ThompsonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 22 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking2.25 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking2.25 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Parents were in town so we headed out for a short, easy hike that everyone could enjoy. I had 3 kids and parents had 3 dogs, so we were comfortably outnumbered 2:1 for handling little beasties. Numerous plants are flowering and the bee buzz was fairly constant throughout the loop. Kept bumping into a caretaker who was really friendly, especially involving the kids in conversation. Lots of other dog walkers were enjoying the cool morning temperatures. After the loop we headed up to Globe for brunch at Judy's, with the plan to continue north towards Tonto National Monument and Apache Trail, but the kids were getting hot and whiny, so we headed back to Apache Junction instead and threw them in a pool.
_____________________
Apr 15 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Promised Land / Valerie's BookPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Climbing avatar Apr 15 2018
jacobemerick
Climbing
Climbing
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
 Valerie Toprope 5.7
AMC Anchors class. Spent the day before setting up pro anchors at Upper Sullies, camped near Promised Land, and then Sunday was spent climbing on anchors we built. Met lots of great people and did a few climbs... well, I got most of the way up Valerie's and some unnamed 5.5ish routes. I need to work on my climbing some more. Anyways, beautiful area, good class, and awesome people.
.
.
.
Not sure how I feel about @DallinW. Turns out he's an inch taller then me. I don't trust people who are taller then me...
_____________________
Apr 06 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Pine Mountain via Ballantine, AZ 
Pine Mountain via Ballantine, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking25.77 Miles 5,861 AEG
Hiking25.77 Miles   13 Hrs   32 Mns   2.30 mph
5,861 ft AEG   2 Hrs   20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Ballantine to Boulder Flat
Did most of this by headlamp. Trail is in great shape and seems easier than it did back in 2016. Either the hills are settling or I ate my Wheaties this morning.

Boulder Flat to Rock Tank
Trail is in relatively great shape! Thanks @mt98dew for your maintenance last year. Only wandered off trail once (and it was only through waist-high manzanita, so meh), and there was one or two spots that required crawling, otherwise kept up a solid pace all the way to Rock Tank. Speaking of, that spot is gorgeous. Got some Horse Camp Seep vibes, only these tanks are somewhat protected and the water was delightfully cool. Finished water in pack (3L) and pulled to full capacity (4.5L).

Rock Tank to Pine Mountain
Trail got a bit thicker for awhile, then it entered the pines and holy wah awesome. While I was in the area I zipped up the Connector trail, which is a bit of an annoying thing, got nice views from the road... er, AZT. Ballantine got a bit hard to follow deeper in the pines, with some overgrowth and needles hiding the tread, didn't mind too much. Missed the main cut off from the creek and hacked my way back to cairns and eventually the saddle.

There were hints of path from the saddle up to the summit, plus hints of rock walls / ruins, which kept the off-trail section interesting. Vegetation was definitely not an issue. Made it to the summit unscathed, found two metal disks, and then retreated. Again, easy summit to do, with several open sections and paths. If it gets too hard just backtrack and look around.

Descent to Cline Trailhead
From the saddle down to Cline was in ridiculously good shape. Big cairns, recent maintenance, and great views. Going up this in the afternoon would be a scorcher. Things started to get hot near the bottom because it's apparently summer already or something.

FR 143
It's a road.

Connector Trail to Boulder Flat
At this point I was hot, running low on water, and a joy to be around. Bike trails are not the easiest to hike, either, with the narrow ruts, steep sections, loose dirt, and steep sections. I slipped more than a few times and my knees were hating me. At least the views were good?

Boulder Flat to Ballantine Trailhead
After polishing off the last of my water at the Flat I felt a little better. Plus, it was all downhill and the temps were already sinking. Pine Creek (S) got some recent maintenance to keep the trail out of some of the drainages and it looks fantastic.
Named place
Named place
Boulder Mountain Rock Tank


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Rock Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
Dribbling from tank to tank, somewhat stagnant. Nice and cool.
_____________________
Apr 03 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Piestewa Peak Summit Trail #300Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking2.11 Miles 1,185 AEG
Hiking2.11 Miles      48 Mns   2.64 mph
1,185 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Heard this is what the cool kids do on the weekdays. Should have brought headphones.
_____________________
Mar 31 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Four Peaks Mother Lode Attempt, AZ 
Four Peaks Mother Lode Attempt, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 31 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking7.07 Miles 2,866 AEG
Hiking7.07 Miles   10 Hrs   58 Mns   0.89 mph
2,866 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
extremehikerbabe
Headed up for yet another Mother Lode attempt with a group of four others. Was hoping that more people == more chance of success... didn't quite work out that way. Tried to hit sunrise from top of Brown's but we moved too slow for that, missed it by a solid hour. After a short break we made a painless descent to the 1-2 saddle and accidentally dead-ended on that divot there, which caused a demoralizing backtrack followed by a fairly clean ascent up 2. Descent down 2 was soul-crushingly slow. There were rumblings of a mutiny before we hit 2-3 saddle, and a few minutes into that break all four of them were set on a retreat down to Amethyst Trail. I had been carrying summit brews for everyone, planning on sharing at Amethyst, decided to selfishly hog them to ease my saltiness at this betrayal. Descent down from the saddle was surprisingly easy (well-defined path heading down on the north side of the drainage) and a sour ale buzz made the rest of hike out passable.

One of these days, Mother Lode, one of these days...

(PS think there was a @DallinW and @The_N sighting on Peaks 4/3 too!)
_____________________
Feb 11 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Fig Trail and a Kayak, AZ 
Fig Trail and a Kayak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking14.59 Miles 1,108 AEG
Hiking14.59 Miles   8 Hrs   49 Mns   1.82 mph
1,108 ft AEG      49 Mns Break30 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Well, this is one way to do Fig Trail and avoid an out-and-back.

pre-trail
Met sister at SB Cove and we took a vehicle up to FR 42, starting down the road with the sun. Great views along the way, I had fun pointing out Horseshoe Dam and the ranch, as well as the different peaks of the Mazzies, to an increasingly bored sibling. We took a roundabout way down to the river, ending at the gauge, and then stared at the Verde. Instead of trying to ford it we decided to kayak across because, well, we were carrying inflatable kayaks and they're cool. Those become more important later. Anyways, we spent an hour inflating/deflating for a sixty-second crossing and then started up FR 477 to the trailhead.

Fig #92
Found the twisted stump marking the beginning and followed a shockingly well-defined tread east. The old road that the trail follows is washed out at the second wash crossing and we had to find our own terrible way up the other bank, and then we re-discovered the trail on the other side of the next hill. We'd follow the tread few a few hundred yards, get slightly confused and/or make stupid decisions, and then pick it back up a short time later. Along the way I built a few cairns and we admired the views. Overall we were just impatient to reach the cabin.

Sheep Creek
Sheep Creek was terribly overgrown, as any Arizona creek should be, and we fought our way towards the cabin, not spotting it until we were twenty feet away. Cabin is in great shape - someone recently cleaned it out and added a photo of the builder. Cool stuff. After that we still had another half mile of battle along Sheep Creek (which was flowing great, by the way) until things dried up and died down and we could stroll the rest of the way to the Verde River.

Verde River
Now to the water stuff. We inflated our vehicles and set down the river. There was a decent amount of rapids due to the low level of Bartlett, at least six sections in all, and three of them were shallow enough to force me out and walk it down. Sister weighs at least fifty pounds less and had no troubles... I blame it on a different model of kayak. She also moved way faster in the flat water and soon left me in the mist. There wasn't enough watercraft in the north end of Bartlett to give us much trouble, though I did snap my paddle near the Flats and bailed early. Worked out fine - I deflated, packed up, and met my sister just as she was loading up at the dock. Walking > kayaking.

Mazatzal Miles: 199.6/275 (73%)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Fig Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Dripping/pouring down the bank and created a steady stream down into Sheep Creek.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Fig Trail Spring Dripping Dripping
Good dripping flow from source of spring heading down the wash. Several large pools, including rock tanks, of clear water, more than deep enough to pull from.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sheep Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Was flowing great near Fig Cabin, dries up about 1/2 mile downstream.
_____________________
2 archives
Feb 10 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Treasure Loop Trail #56Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking2.40 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking2.40 Miles   1 Hour   45 Mns   1.37 mph
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Short outing w/ the boys. We attempted this loop last fall and had to bail from heat... middle child wasn't feeling great. This time he owned it, running much of the first half mile before getting distracted by sticks. Met some friendly hikers on top who were doing a longer loop from Crosscut. Great way to burn some energy before an afternoon birthday party, though they seemed to still have enough energy to cause mischief at that...
_____________________
Jan 14 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Javelina - Ridgeline - Beverly LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 14 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking3.99 Miles 586 AEG
Hiking3.99 Miles
586 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
klemerick
Fun family hike. I've probably done this loop five or six times with just the boys, today it was the boys and the girl and the wife and my sister (who's new in town) and her dogs. So, we created a sizable crowd. Plenty of mountain bikes along Beverly and Javelina, lots of couples and families enjoying the trails. Trails in good shape, as most here are, and the valley haze was only noticeable on the west side. Middle child (3) made it most of the hike, only needed a carry for a half mile or so, which gave me an excuse to do some more of that weight training that apparently I'm trying to do.
_____________________
2 archives
Jan 01 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Silly Mountain Trail SystemPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking1.95 Miles 475 AEG
Hiking1.95 Miles
475 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
klemerick
Fun little New Year's Day outing w/ the family. Brittlebush :next: Old Mine :next: High Point :next: Crest :next: Old Baldy :next: Superstition View :next: Palo Verde (whew!). Even w/ all those trails we still didn't get to two miles. Carried the youngest (she still can't walk, so I suppose she can't hike) and the 3 and 4.5 yr old marched and whined their way through. Wife enjoyed the trip, was not thrilled with taking the boys to the peak though. All in all a nearby hike that is free from mountain bikes and packs a lot of fun.
_____________________
Dec 29 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Fuller Seep Loop, AZ 
Fuller Seep Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 29 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking30.74 Miles 7,366 AEG
Hiking30.74 Miles   16 Hrs   43 Mns   2.18 mph
7,366 ft AEG   2 Hrs   35 Mns Break35 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
This was supposed to be a three day backpack, sort of a reverse Midnight Mesa Loop, but the lack of water out there forced me to turn around early. So I guess it turned into sort of training dayhike?

Mazatzal Divide #23
Car camped at City Creek Trailhead to the hum of Doll Baby Ranch. It was teeth-chatteringly cold out when I started at 5:30, definitely below freezing, and I didn't stop shivering until I was two miles up the trail and I got away from the lowlands. Trail is in great shape, as expected. The grade is constant and easy to maintain a decent pace going either up or down hill, although my uphill rate was annoyingly slow thanks to my pack weight.

Red Hills #262
The first two miles were breathtaking (literally, the temp must have dropped twenty a short distance into valley). This spared forest is beautiful and beats The Park hands down. Trail conditions continued to be great even after leaving the AZT on the far side, where footprints faded and horse tracks took over. Another stand of mostly-untouched pines lurk right before the drop off. Speaking of, that drop is ridiculously steep and I didn't look forward to climbing back out at all. Path was easy to follow all the way to the old corral and there was barely anything trickling through Fuller Seep. Took a quick break here to filter water and eat an early lunch.

Getting slightly worried about water conditions I pushed onwards, enjoying the easy trail to Midnight junction (which seemed to be in great shape from here) and beyond. 500 yards further west (at the saddle) is where things started to get dicey, and it did so slowly. First it got overgrown with some deadfall, though the tread and cairns were still easy to pick out. Then it got more dicey. A thousand yards to Wet Bottom Creek, while dancing along the ridge, is when elk tracks and two sets of cairns all diverged. Eventually I found a way down and found the anticipated majestic pool of awesome all but dried up.

This was the breaking straw. If this was dry, I figured there was no way that the branch of Sycamore Creek along my route or Dutchman Grave would have water, so I probably wouldn't see water again until Mountain Spring. That was too far out of my comfort zone, especially as my planned camping (and cramping) site was near Sycamore. Drank some water and turned around, slowly hauling my way back to Fuller Seep for an afternoon snack. Climbing up the overgrown hillside was no fun, and then climbing up the steep drop on the way back to Brush junction even less so.

Brush #249
First mile was beautiful and gave me a few good views north, then the second mile got a bit steep and rocky and I had to slow down. Bumped into two AZT section hikers near Brush Spring (there are other people who hike in the Mazzies?!?) and had a quick chat before starting those little climbs out. Sun fell while we were chatting so I only had a third of my loop to do after sunset, he he. Managed to reach the saddle between 5556' and 5610' before I finally gave in and pulled out my headlamp and sweater. Then it was some steep switchbacks in the moonlight until the next junction. All in all this trail was easy to follow, had some good views, and with the exception of that one steep rocky section during the first half, downright enjoyable.

Bull Spring #34
Had braced myself for a tough downhill on this trail and was pleasantly surprised to find it sandy, gradual, and easy on the knees. The views seemed good too, from what I could make out in the moonlight. At this point I was starting to get a bit heads-down so I'll have to hit this section again (heard the LF Hilton takes walk-ins). Last mile got a bit rocky and hard to track by headlamp, especially the little hop over Copper Mountain.

Doll Baby Road
Did not like. Those rocky sections were worse than anything on the last two trails, and the repeated little climbs after so many miles was just mean. Had to keep my headlamp on to help with navigating all the rocks and only turned it off once I hit Doll Baby trailhead. Speaking of, the road between City Creek and Doll Baby was impeccable compared to City Creek and the pavement - if you're willing to drive your vehicle of choice to the humble City Creek trailhead, the extra mile to the much more established Doll Baby is nothing.

Mazatzal Miles: 196/275 (71%)
Named place
Named place
Fuller Seep

dry Brush Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Fuller Seep Dripping Dripping
Several small pools of clear water w/ some green stuff on bottom, easy to filter from, barely dripping from pool to pool before sucked back into the ground.

dry SE 5395 Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Wet Bottom Creek - Red Hills #262 Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Two tiny, stagnant pools above the trail crossing, barely worth mentioning.
_____________________
Nov 18 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Sheep Creek CabinPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 18 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking29.76 Miles 7,804 AEG
Hiking29.76 Miles   16 Hrs   53 Mns   2.05 mph
7,804 ft AEG   2 Hrs   23 Mns Break
 
1st trip
This trip could be done as an enjoyable overnight or as a terrible dayhike. I chose the latter.

pre-trail
Driving down FR 25 from 201 was bad enough for my little minivan. Parked at the fork of 25/25A and walked up the rest of the way to Mormon Grove. New moon meant great sky views.

Saddle Mountain #91
Still in fantastic shape. Was a piece of cake to walk in the dark, even when a few overgrown branches cast scary shadows over the last mile or so. Potato Patch saddle was delightfully spooky, with those two big mountains towering above, blocking out the stars. Paused at MacFarland to pull a fresh liter and to gawk at the 'food cache'.

Sheep Creek #88
Getting to Squaw Flat Spring was easy with predawn light, though I still haven't found a track I like from there to the Copper Camp junction. Oh well. The final climb was quick and easy and I made it to the 'drop-off' just before the sunrise for some ridiculously good views. Drop was easier this time around, though the trail was a bit hard to track along the creek with the fall leaves. Which I was totally willing to deal with. Few pools along the way that dried up before the seep proper. Reached the cabin area to find a dry Round Spring and creek - which I needed. Hauled up to Sears Junction and the saddle above but couldn't pick up a path until I started dropping down the other side.

Sheep Creek Trail from Sears to Davenport is a bit easier to track than the eastern part of Sears Trail, with small cairns and faint tread to track, but it was easy to lose near the washes. Oh, and that last drop down the ridge after the Sears Junction is terrible, all rolling rocks that really know how to tweak knees. I did find it interesting how small most of the cairns are, as if someone recently did some revival work, there's just not enough traffic out this way to sustain it. Once I reached Davenport Wash I was struck at how different these two trails were - Davenport Wash is like 90% packed footpath with a few cairns and Sheep Creek is 90% tiny cairn tracking and sorting through game trails.

Davenport Wash #89
Section from Sheep Creek to Club Cabin felt a bit harder to follow today, or else I was just in a rush for water. Reached the old cabin to the smell/sight of fresh horse manure but no one in sight. Drank 2 liters here, pulled another 2, figuring that would be enough to last until Deadman Creek. While I was pulling water a bear tried to sneak up on me, but I heard him crunching the leaves (about twenty feet away) and told him kindly to wait his turn.

Onto the fun part. Getting to Red Rock Spring area was simple, good trail that was being overtaken by various spiky things with well-worn alternative routes. Climbing out of Red Rock was a solid gut-punch of elevation and I accidentally ended up on a game trail about forty feet above the actual path but kept to it, unwilling to lose an inch. We met back up in time to tackle two miles of manzanita / catclaw / holly? mess that left me dripping blood from a dozen cuts. Then it was time to slip-slide descend into Upper Deadman, which was dry, and then climb back out, and I chose a bad route initially and had to do sketchy scrambling before finding the real way, and then haul up the grassy hill that never ends.

When I hit mile 21, with forty minutes of daylight left and unknown trail conditions ahead, I had to stop. Drank the last of my water, ate a disgustingly sweet bar of some sort, and watched ballooning strands sparkle over Deadman Creek in the dying day's light. It was one of those moments that I hope I never lose, feeling the concerns about getting back to a decent trail before sunset melting away in the face of silent, overpowering beauty.

Back to the hike. Hauled up the rest of the way to round the cliff by 5400' and find a lonely cairn marking the turn. Which was nice, because there hadn't been dependable cairns for much of the climb from the creek. The terrain got real rocky real fast, huge red boulders that were anything but stable, though there was a packed path hidden in the manzanita that slowly got better as I traveled east. In fact, even after the sun set, I was able to move pretty quick as obvious maintenance made the last mile painless. To whoever did this, you are awesome. Reached Chilson around six and wasted little time booking up Brody and swinging around on the Mazatzal Divide. Stopped before the saddle to don some extra clothes (temps drop fast up there) and wish for some water.

Barnhardt #43
Was far too easy to trot down, even after all those miles. One thing worth mentioning was that I was about a mile in when a large chopper slowly started flying up the canyon. It took a minute for me to register the spotlight on it and I didn't turn off my headlamp in time. They quickly zeroed in on me, swinging low circles and blinding me with their light. I waved them away but it took a while for them to acknowledge and fly away, turning towards the Sandy Saddle area. I'm unsure if someone else was in trouble and called them in or if it was a police chopper making routine rounds or what.

Yet another quiet day in the Mazzies. Didn't see anyone on the trail, only one other car parked at Barnhardt during pick-up. (Big thanks to @reynchr for assisting with the shuttle)

Mazatzal Miles: 181.5/275 (66%)
Finally got every trail southeast of Mountain Spring completed! (except Fig, but Fig only kinda counts)


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Club Spring - Table Mountain Quad Quart per minute Quart per minute

dry Hawaiian Mist Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Red Rock Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Flowing right across Davenport Wash Trail crossing, most convenient.

dry Rock Spring Dry Dry

dry Round Spring Dry Dry



water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Upper McFarland @ #88/95 Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Two large pools with clean, clear water.
_____________________
Nov 05 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Verde River / Red Creek, AZ 
Verde River / Red Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking28.54 Miles 3,340 AEG
Hiking28.54 Miles   10 Hrs   55 Mns   3.16 mph
3,340 ft AEG   1 Hour   53 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Last time I tried this area I got two flat tires on Lockwood Mesa. This time I went slower and reached FR 16 in 3 hrs (from south Gilbert). Glad I pulled a fresh audiobook beforehand.

FR 269
Not terrible for a road walk. Probably could have driven down it, was no worse than FR 24 with how dry it is, though that would have ruined my planned loop. Tangle Creek crossings and watching the sun light up East Cedar helped pass the time. Only two vehicles to deal with, quiet morning. Last three miles dragged, couldn't wait to get to the bridge. Saw a handful of tents along the river.

Verde River #11
Tons of prints and wide trail to Sycamore Creek, and then nothing. As expected, this (and almost every other) wash meant hunting for a trail on the other bank, because the Mazzies don't believe in straightforward crossings. Was really impressed by the scenery at the wilderness boundary, with the verde Verde supporting lush trees, White Bluffs just coming in view, and dry desert filling in the gaps. Trail got faint in Dry Wash, ended up just aiming for the bluffs and picking it back up there. Good views from atop the bluffs. Then things just kinda rolled on until Wet Bottom Creek, which was pretty yet quite dry, and then the Wet Bottom Trail junction, when it was time to headed down to the river. Trail gives up there so I rock-hopped to Red Creek Rapids, hung my boots around my neck, and crossed in thigh-deep current. It was surprisingly strong.

Red Creek
Got buzzed by a landing plane (so cool) while eating a luxuriously slow lunch and rehydrating. Eventually got my feet back under me and started up Red Creek. I'm not sure if I enjoyed this part of the hike - it was ridiculously pretty, and I kept tripping over my jaw, yet I was running low on energy and the frequent water crossing / climbing up on banks was tedious at best. Maybe two weeks for color, still a lot of green. After leaving the creek it was four dusty miles back to the van just so I could start the slow drive back in evening light.

Another quiet day. After leaving Sheep Bridge there was only the plane to break the solitude.

Mazatzal Miles: 172.3/275 (63%)
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Scattered yellow, mostly in Tangle. 99% green in Red Creek.

dry Dry Wash Dry Dry
Like, super dry.

dry Horse Creek Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Middle Red Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Surprisingly clear and robust flow along the length.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Red Creek Rapids Heavy flow Heavy flow
Over 2' deep in middle, challenging to cross.

dry Spring Wash Dry Dry
Some huge sycamores, but no water, at crossing.

dry Sycamore Creek Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Wet Bottom Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Only saw one small pool at trail crossing, no trickle.
_____________________
Oct 21 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Camelback Mountain / Praying MonkPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Climbing avatar Oct 21 2017
jacobemerick
Climbing
Climbing
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
 East Face Toprope 5.7SportG
Grad climb for AMC Basics course. Climbed up headwall via rope (unsure of route) and then hauled up to the monk. Was one of four students climbing. Didn't have any issues on the first ten feet, though the nerves kicked in as soon as I rounded the edge. Had one part halfway up that I had to stop and think about before committing. Overall it seemed much easier than the Sven / Magma days, though I could be just getting used to my climbing legs. Great feature of this route - at the bottom we were in shade all day long, made waiting for the first two climbers downright pleasant.
_____________________
Oct 15 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Queen Creek Cyn / Magma GardensGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Climbing avatar Oct 15 2017
jacobemerick
Climbing
Climbing
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
 Tapping The Vein Toprope 5.6
 Wake And Bake Toprope 5.6
 Baby Sitters Taste Better Toprope 5.7
Still part of AMC Basics course. Linked are the three named routes of the six that I attempted today (we had a lot of ropes up). Made it up Wake and Bake and halfway Vein, didn't do so hot on Babysitters. Also played near Superman and in the chimney right of Y Take. Forearms still shot from yesterday, one day I'll learn to trust my feet. Beautiful area with lots of shade to work with.
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Oct 14 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
McDowell Mountains / Sven SlabPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Climbing avatar Oct 14 2017
jacobemerick
Climbing
Climbing
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Taking AMC Basics course. Not entirely sure what routes we did, or if they all qualify as 'unnamed training routes', but we were mostly east of Energizer. One good run that had to be 30 or 40 feet, plenty of shorter ones for practice. I fell a lot and learned that granite makes a fantastic meat grinder.
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Sep 01 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Club CabinPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 01 2017
jacobemerick
Backpack35.34 Miles 7,340 AEG
Backpack35.34 Miles4 Days         
7,340 ft AEG
 
The planned route was an attempt to follow @Lizard's original Club Cabin description with two key differences: I wanted to reverse it and use Sandy Saddle to go up (instead of Half Moon / Rock Creek). However, things didn't go well and I ended up bailing on the last leg.

Barnhardt #43
First time heading up this trail in daylight. Starting to get a bit overgrown in sections, all friendly green stuff that never hurt nobody. Bumped into a yuge group (12+) from Prescott Comm. who were doing a 3-week trip from here to Fossil Creek. These would be the last people I'd see in... a long time.

Sandy Saddle #231
Good grief. Even getting to Castersen Seep involved trekking-poles-above-head wading through the manzanita. There are sections of defined tread and clear track, they are just few and far between. Castersen was okay, few tanks w/ skunky water. Had a hard time tracking trail over to the next wash, and that last climb doesn't believe in switchbacks. Made it to the saddle proper with the sunset, a solid hour behind schedule. This would make a decent camp, plus there were tanks few hundred yards to the west for water. Unsure of how dependable they are.

Anyways, didn't even try to look for tread coming down the west side, just dropped in the drainage and followed it down. The wash was easy enough to navigate in the twilight / moonlight and I made it to Divide Trail, then Horse Camp Seep, without needing headlamp. Rehydrated and snoozing in hammock by ten.

Mazatzal Divide #23
As usual, big views. Was cool to look down from the ridge above the Park and try to track where Willow Spring plays on 6351'. Trail is in great shape. Thought about pushing on to Pete's Pond to camel up and didn't - stupid mistake.

Willow Spring #223
Heh. That first mile is turrible. Deadfall wasn't really a problem, more the manzanita and loose rocks underfoot. Found no cairn or tread along the way. Got a gnarly bloody nose here too thanks to a face-whacking branch, took way too long to stem the flow. Things got better on the ridge, with old tread and game trails providing an easier way forward through the shorter brush. Views across Maverick Basin were ridiculously awesome, too.

The dance along the side of 6351' was annoying, with the trail fading in and out of existence and too few cairns to connect the dots, and a pretty steep hillside to work along. Short section of good trail on the drop until it faded out again and I ended up taking a rocky drainage down to wash below. At this point I was starting to run low on water and decided to stick to the sandy wash in hopes of finding water (and maybe to avoid the manzanita/deadfall mix that waited on the southern bank). Found a decent tank (though I suspect it was only there from last night's rain) and filtered up, spooked an elk while packing up, and then hacked my way back up to trail.

Things gradually got easier along the ridge and, by the time I bumped into the Midnight Mesa Junction, the trail was straightforward to pick out. Dancing along the side of Midnight Mesa was downright fun, and the rest of the hike to Mountain Spring was enjoyable as well. Reached the spring with two hours of daylight for camp chores and treated myself to some homemade thai curry mix and a quick trough-side rinse-off.

Aside from the second night: at about ten at night that elk showed up for a drink. Darn thing was less than ten feet away before I realized he wasn't another tiny nocturnal rodent. Seeing a giant rack upside down, looking down on you as you cowboy-camp, is a hell of a way to wake up. Spooked him off and then fell back asleep to his annoyed bugles. Elk sound silly when they're angry.

Deadman #25
Getting to the junction is easy to follow, and there is a good path w/ cairns that lead down to Horse Creek. And then it disappears. Tried going up and down the banks a few time to find where it climbs and eventually just hacked up the hill. It's frustrating, because there are two old barbed fences to cross, and one would think that there'd be a gate or cairn or something to mark where you're supposed to pass through them - nothing. Got to practice my Zeta-Jones skills squeezing underneath the wires, at least. Tread shows up at the next drainage crossing and is easy to follow for the next mile, then gets faint on the long drop to Deadman Creek.

Deadman Creek seems to be dependable here, with lots of friendly trees and some reeds growing around the trickling waters. Trail was hard to track on the other side - I crossed, got to the corral, and then followed the fence east, and then lost it. Think I should have gone further east. Anyways, hacked my own way up some turrible brush and then picked a route up the hill. Found a few cairns but the tread wasn't trackable for too long. Felt like it took forever to climb up to the saddle. Once I reached the top, feeling a bit light-headed from the growing heat, I was immediately stung several times by a wasp. Made it down to the junction w/ Davenport Trail before the reaction started getting serious.

This is when things get a bit blurry. I reached out to wife (@klemerick) via inReach and let her know what had happened. I decided to head up to Club Cabin and rest for a while, took every ounce of energy to make it up that hillside - something was definitely off, either from heat or sting or both. Once I got there I remember wandering around, uncertain of what to do next, taking almost an hour before realizing that I should be drinking water given the 100+ temps. @klemerick was in constant contact and she decided that I needed to get out of there the fastest way possible, down Davenport, and that she and @reynchr would help me out along the way. Spent the rest of the day futzing around the cabin, not doing much of anything, mostly trying to get a grip on things. It was terrifying.

Davenport #89
Woke up the next morning feeling slightly better, still off. Those little climbs, especially near Rock Spring, kept knocking the wind out of me. At least the path was easy to track after the last few days - think I only lost it twice, and was able to quickly backtrack and get back on it. Don't know how I had such a hard time following it last year lol. Made it about halfway down that last mesa, outside the wilderness boundary, when a USFS truck showed up to give me a ride the rest of the way.

My rescuers, @klemerick and @reynchr, had spent the night at Sears Trailhead and left a water cache for me there while they went back and tried to find a way to get their vehicle across the Verde. By sheer luck they bumped into a ranger at the camp and explained the situation. He had access to the dam gates and drove over to save me the last four miles of hiking, which was definitely appreciated. Made it out of there in relatively good shape, though I was still shaky and weird from the day before. I have no idea how I would have gotten out of there without their help, though - trying to cross back over to Barnhardt would have been far outside my capabilities in my shape. Am very grateful for them.

Mazatzal Miles: 164.6/275 (60%)
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Big Kahuna Falls - Mazatzal Wilderness Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Castersen Seep Dripping Dripping
Well, the seep proper was dry, but there were tanks downstream that held water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Club Spring - Table Mountain Quad Quart per minute Quart per minute
Main hole was full, pools/trickles went almost halfway to cabin.

dry Dog Spring Dry Dry

dry Hawaiian Mist Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horse Camp Seep Dripping Dripping
Tanks were lowest I've seen them.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mountain Spring - Mazatzal Dripping Dripping
Some trickle along creek, cement trough was full (and quite green).

dry Rock Spring Dry Dry
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1 archive
Aug 26 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Shaw Butte Trail #306Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 26 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking5.44 Miles 981 AEG
Hiking5.44 Miles   1 Hour   52 Mns   3.55 mph
981 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After a full day of WFA training at the nearby visitor center I just had to stretch my legs. Wandered in a general northern direction along a connector trail or something because I don't know how to read maps before realizing that I was about to walk into a Dollar Tree and totally miss out on Shaw Butte. Course corrected and climbed up the real route. The little scenic clearing on the south face is hard to reach with a huge pile of rocks in the way (new highpoint!) and a smelly excavator. The hole that is being dug out is within a fenced area, so no concern of falling in or anything. Anyways, dropped down the other side and thought about blazing up North but decided to get a burger for the drive home instead. Only a handful of others out in the 105+ temps, kinda wish I lived closer to the preserve for more frequent evening leg-stretching.

Oh, and spotted a wild @whereveriroam at the training! He has awesome hair.
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Aug 12 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Sycamore Canyon Rim LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking15.69 Miles 1,749 AEG
Hiking15.69 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   3.14 mph
1,749 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Prologue
Chris, Kirsty, and I drove up Flagstaff-direction for the infamous summer HAZfest, arriving at the camp in the late afternoon. Got set up, met some cool people, and eventually hit the rack sometime after midnight. Woke up with the sunrise and was greeted by the local friendly horse herd before getting a ride over to Sycamore Falls Trailhead. Felt weird to start a hike in the daylight.


Before the loop proper started I just had to check out Paradise Forks. It looked cool. Followed the cut around and started on the loop counter-clockwise, mostly because the canyon looked so darn awesome. Sky was clear, views were big, and I only passed two groups for the first half of the hike. Also, humidity was high and mosquitoes were biting, so that was neat. Ran out of bug spray before Double Tanks (started with less than a quarter ounce). And the trail was quite muddy, causing a few slips along the way.

The trail shifted from epic views over a huge canyon to a more intimate setting along or in a narrow canyon, which was a pleasant change. There was also a break near Dow Spring where Garland Prairie intrudes on the pine forest. The climb up KA Hill started slow and got serious for the second half. Found a good view towards a shrouded San Francisco Peaks beyond the signed top of KA. That summit was an option for today, glad I went with this loop instead.

Bumped into Steve and Pam on the descent who were doing the loop the other way (and would end up having a way more epic time at it). After that the trail got kinda lame, going through a logging area and all. Pomeroy Tanks was okay. Humidity was getting to me by now and dreams of napping in my hammock was dancing through my head. Finished the loop and remembered that I didn't have a ride back to camp. Sunflower Flat seemed like an interesting name, so I cut a diagonal in a general southern direction and skipped the road hike. Got a gnarly cramp jumping over a fence and took a forced break by the flat, finishing off the last of my water and some peanuts before finding an old two-track that led me most of the way back to camp.

Epilogue
The promised nap never materialized, as a monsoon hit a short time later. My tarp is comically undersized and both of my quilts, plus hammock, were drenched. After debating options with my co-travelers were decided to drive back to Phoenix that night instead of staying through Sunday. Even with the shortened weekend, and a terrifying drive down I-17, it was still a fantastic outing. Great to put some faces to HAZ usernames.
Named place
Named place
Isham Spring Canyon Sunflower Flat

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Double Tanks 76-100% full 76-100% full
Only saw lower tank. It was brown.

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Isham Spring Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Decent flow into the large trailside pools.

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pomeroy Tanks 51-75% full 51-75% full
Trail was flooded in several locations.
_____________________
Jul 29 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Nature Trail - Picacho Peak State ParkTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking
Hiking
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Drove back down to Picacho Peak to burn some kid-energy and get a better GPS route for Nature Trail (description coming eventually). It was hot and muggy in the morning, plenty of biting gnats to annoy us throughout. Started near the playground on Barrett Loop, wandered over to Nature Trail via one of the bajillion unnamed connector trails, did the loop (and Memorial Loop as well, which had a cannon that the boys loved), and then came back to spend some quality time at the playground. Decided to skip out Children's Cave due to a... stinky situation... with the baby girl. Which was all the more awesome to deal with thanks to a Tula. Ended the trip with a DQ breakfast. Didn't do the cherry-dip this time because eating ice cream for breakfast in front of the kids seemed like setting a bad example.
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1 archive
Jul 22 2017
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Picacho Loop, AZ 
Picacho Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 22 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking7.96 Miles 2,488 AEG
Hiking7.96 Miles   4 Hrs   8 Mns   2.02 mph
2,488 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Quick afternoon jaunt. Due to parental constraints I didn't get to the park until 2:30 (pm) and a somewhat humid 105. Only one other vehicle along Barrett Loop. Did Calloway first, then backtracked and headed up Hunter. Man, this is a fun one. Legs were crying when I saw that drop on the other side of the ridge, and some of the cable sections are legit. Wish I lived closer than an hour away, could see this being a great after-work ritual. Caught up with the other hiker just below the peak, who ended up being a very talkative climber, which slowed my pace a bit (not that I was complaining).

Trotted back down to Sunset Vista and committed to the full loop. This trail had a few badly washed out sections that gave me pause. Once things leveled off it was a simple, if boring, haul around the western remnants. Dark clouds and dust gave me plenty to look at as I followed the unnamed roadside path back to Barrett Loop. Decided to do Children's Cave, since it was right there, and then Nature Loop, figuring I'd get all five of the named trails completed. Think I messed up on Nature Loop, will have to come back w/ my boys to check (and maybe to test the playground equipment out). Thanks to the storm on the east side of 10 it was a mild 90 when I finished up.

Drank 3.5 L water + 2 Gatorades, still had some cramps for the last mile. Should have mixed some electrolytes w/ the water, thought the Gs would be enough. And of course, enjoyed the Picacho classic on the way out.
Culture
Culture
HAZ Food
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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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