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96 triplogs

Sep 09 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Ballantine to Boulder FlatPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 09 2016
jacobemerick
Hiking7.20 Miles 1,380 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles   4 Hrs      2.06 mph
1,380 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Sigh. Another attempt to hike up to Rock Tanks for an overnight and another failure. Stupidly started around 2pm and the triple digits knocked me right out - made it to Boulder Flat before low water and leg cramps turned me around. Would have loved to spend the night at either Boulder Flat or the cabin but... water.

Trail was fantastic. A few sections above Pine Creek Loop were a bit loose, but overall very easy to follow. Some big rock steps along the way that I still feel in my thighs. The boulders looked very boulder-y. Even the short bit of elevation gain paid off in terms of vegetation change... Will probably wait a few months for cooler temps to try this again and enjoy the true saguaro :next: pine transition.

Brought 3L, needed every last drop.
_____________________
Aug 20 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 20 2016
jacobemerick
Hiking13.57 Miles 2,566 AEG
Hiking13.57 Miles   7 Hrs   35 Mns   2.17 mph
2,566 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Been dealing with a chest cold this week, few better ways of clearing the lungs out than a fun Supes loop :lol:

Started around five from First Water TH, was the first parked car there. Weird - think its the first time I've seen it empty. Weather was great this morning with temps around 73, cloud cover after the sunrise kept it below 90 until ten-ish. Trail up and over Parker Pass is in great shape (if a bit boring after hiking it n times). Bumped into first rattler on the way down the pass, scared the be-jeebus out of me. 104 between Palomino and Black Top is a bit overgrown. Peralta was good except for one section, the part around the 6 mile mark on my route that had a bunch of cairns and forking trails that was confusing to get through. The spot I chose to go off-trail to cut up and over the ridge turned out to be pretty easy to climb and made for a hard descent (like any good off-trail descent in the Supes, I guess). Water at the spring looked questionable, could be filtered in a pinch, but there is some very clean and large pools downstream. Lots and lots of tadpoles and tiny frogs. Old trail up and over Tim's Saddle was in good shape, only lost it few times when things got overgrown and it wasn't hard to re-find. The only two hikers seen today was on the way back, along 104.

Drank - 6 liters (filtered 2 from Willow)

Note to self - should probably start bringing a pair of clips for these "unofficial trail" wanders.
Named place
Named place
Weavers Needle


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max O'Grady Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Few stale pools below the trail crossing.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Willow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Spring area was pretty green and ugly looking, but there are cleaner pools downstream on-and-off for the next mile.
_____________________
Aug 13 2016
jacobemerick
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 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Beverly - Pima Wash - Javelina Loop, AZ 
Beverly - Pima Wash - Javelina Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 13 2016
jacobemerick
Hiking4.25 Miles 440 AEG
Hiking4.25 Miles
440 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Since the overnight plan on Ballantine was ruined by thunderstorms (grumble grumble) I decided to haul my boys out for a little morning fun on South Mountain.

We've done the Beverly - Ridgeline - Javelina loop a few times, but I've never really felt great on the Ridgeline section. Part of it is the fact that I need to carry both 3-year-old and 18-month-old along most of it, which gets a bit taxing, but there's also the exposure and their wandering feet. So today, after rolling down Beverly with the older hiking the whole way and the younger in the carrier, I decided to push past Ridgeline and try using Pima Wash / Mormon Loop as a connector. And it worked great. Pima Wash was a big hit, with both of them running and jumping and tossing the sand around, and with most people on the access road above it was wonderfully quiet. We probably spent a bit too much time goofing around and it was pretty toasty by the time we connected with Javelina. 3-year-old was exhausted so I threw him in the carrier and just alternated the younger between walking flat sections of Javelina and carrying him in my arm. By the time we returned to the trailhead (after nine) we were all three soaked in sweat and ready for a big breakfast.

In short - the Pima Wash / Mormon Loop connection may add a bit of distance but it is much more kid-friendly.
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Aug 12 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Pine Creek Loop #280Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2016
jacobemerick
Hiking2.77 Miles 626 AEG
Hiking2.77 Miles   1 Hour   13 Mns   2.64 mph
626 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
So, this was supposed to be an overnight. Was going to head down this trail, connect w/ Ballantine, and spend the night out near Rock Tank. There was a 10% chance of rain that I was willing to risk. Took the north loop first and ignored the rumbling thunder and ominous clouds over Tonto Basin. Made it to the trail junction and noticed that I had forgotten to turn off my phone in my pack (I usually don't even carry it with me) and that the wife had sent me four text messages, all about yellow-orange thunderstorms heading my way. Called her, talked things over, and as we chatted I noticed the clouds were reaching down to hills across AZ-87 with grey, wispy fingers. Took the south loop up and over back to the trailhead. Reached the van just as the first big drops began to fall. On the drive out I took one last look back towards Four Peaks - the whole thing was covered in dark grey. So this is 10% chance in monsoon season, eh?
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Jul 31 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Hayden Butte Summit (HBP)Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 31 2016
jacobemerick
Hiking0.64 Miles 291 AEG
Hiking0.64 Miles
291 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We were heading to the zoo so I hauled the kids to the top of 'A' mountain first. 3-year old walked the entire way to the top like a champ, 18-month old walked the paved section down. Good way to get everyone sweaty before cooling off at the splash pad.
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Jul 23 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Silly Mountain Loop, AZ 
Silly Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2016
jacobemerick
Hiking2.30 Miles
Hiking2.30 Miles   2 Hrs      1.53 mph
      30 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Quick hike with the boys before the heat hit. We were on the trail by 5:20 AM. Youngest (18 months) rode in the carrier for most of the way, walked maybe .2 miles along Superstition View. Oldest (3 years) walked most of the way, though he needed some help over the steep sections of Old Mine and High Point and was too tired to walk out the last half mile. Nice breeze for much of the hike, didn't even feel like 90 when we got back to the parking lot (the van claimed it was that hot, though). Oh, and the visibility was turrible this morning.

The park was a lot of fun. I usually take the boys over to San Tan for these quick outings, this was a nice change. It's free (yay!) and just challenging enough to give the oldest boy a hard time. Trails were well-defined and a bit rocky, nowhere as bad as the trail off of Broadway. The few other hikes we saw (maybe three or four groups?) were very friendly, too. Will definitely be visiting this one more often.
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Jul 16 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Mount Peeley SummitPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 16 2016
jacobemerick
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,482 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
1,482 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
reynchr
My dad is in town so we decided to take him to a (relatively) close Mazatzal hike with a taste of pines so we headed out to Peeley. FR 201 is loooooong and buuuuuuuuumpy. Trailhead was downright lovely this morning - couldn't have been over 70 at 7 with a pleasant, cool breeze. We tinkered up the trail, stopping a few times for water and snacks and wandering off-trail to check out cool rocks (rock that were more comfortable to sit on). The heat started hitting us on the switchbacks. Found the large cairn and spur trail up to the summit a few dozen yards past the Mazatzal Wilderness sign. Couple of options for the last climb up, we all chose different ones. Took a long break at the summit, doing our best to ignore the tarantula hawks and bees as we ate a late breakfast. Sheep Mountain looked fantastic from here, very tempting for a future adventure. Well, everything looked fantastic up here, except the Phoenix valley shrouded with pollution. Bumped into the only other hiker out here on the way down - he ended up passing us again during our later break at the bench above the switchback. Was getting a bit hot by the time we returned to the car after 11, temps were already climbing into the 90s.

Oh, and the trails were beautiful. A+ maintenance.

Mazatzal Miles: 32.4/274 (11.8%)
_____________________
1 archive
Jul 08 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Charlebois Loop IIPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 08 2016
jacobemerick
Backpack17.10 Miles 2,855 AEG
Backpack17.10 Miles2 Days         
2,855 ft AEG5 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Summer in the Supes == lovely, quiet backpacking.

Headed out on Friday a bit early from work, made it to Peralta around 3pm. Decided to do the loop in reverse (as defined in the description) and tackle Bluff Springs trail first. It was 105 out - terrible idea. Made it to top of Barks soaked in sweat and with serious misgivings on the route. Looked around for the Peralta stone half-heartedly before pushing on. Pulled a liter from Bluff Springs and then rolled down the rest of the trail. La Barge Spring was a nice surprise, first time there. Made the quick trip up to Charlebois to filter a few liters (La Barge Spring was a bit bee-heavy) and to look around for the Master Map. No dice. Not so good on the LDM hunting this outing. Returned to La Barge Springs right around sunset and set up the hammock for the night in the creekbed.

Woke up early-early Saturday, filtered and drank and breakfasted, and got on Red Tanks around five. Made it all the way to the 'big' climb on Whiskey Springs Trail before the sun caught up - thank you for the shade, Music/Herman/Coffee Flat. Cruised down Miner's and through Barkley Basin... Really starting to tire of that section of Dutchman Trail, feels like I've hiked it a dozen times now. Made it back to the trailhead around nine to see two other vehicles at the parking lot.

Randoms:
- The drive to the trailhead is rough, especially the last mile or so. Dodge Caravan had a tough time.
- So many bees at the springs. Wasps were crawling in and out of the pipe at Bluff Springs. Charlebois didn't have any, strangely enough.
- Some sections of the loop have had some recent maintenance (thank you!), but Red Tanks is very Red Tank-y.
- No footprints on many of the trails since the last good rain (a week ago?).
- Almost covered the western Supes trails now. A few annoying miles on Hoolie south of Horse Basin and a mile of Boulder Canyon left. Wonder what kind of loop would include both of those...
- Had 3L capacity, started w/ 2 and only filtered to full on Saturday morning. Ended up drinking/using 6L on Friday, 5L on Saturday.
- La Barge Spring has a ton of coatis. Or some other sort of rodent that likes to play in the leaves. Ughs.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Barks Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Saw a single pool, brown but not terrible.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bluff Spring Dripping Dripping
Barely dripping - lowest flow I've seen there yet. And a ton of bees/wasps hogging the water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Charlebois Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Didn't see any flow, but the lower pools (next to the campsite beyond the trough) were full and easy to pull from.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max LaBarge Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Hello water! Wall was dripping steadily, trough overflowing, and the ground around was soaked. Not quite enough to reach the creek below. Lots of bees.

dry Whiskey Spring Dry Dry
There was a glint of water in a narrow hole in the grass that was teeming with bees. Maybe a cup's worth. Counting this as dry.
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Jun 18 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 18 2016
jacobemerick
Backpack5.85 Miles 2,900 AEG
Backpack5.85 Miles2 Days         
2,900 ft AEG4 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Ever since first climbing Flatiron ~18 months ago I've been thinking of spending a night up there. So, with a severely pared down base weight (hammock, no stove, no tarp, minimal first-aid, etc) and 3 liters of water I headed up there in 110 degree because I didn't want to get cold in a hammock overnight. Spoiler: I didn't get cold in that hammock.

The hike started okay, ~50 minutes to Siphon Draw. Was sweating buckets the whole way. Bumped into two gentlemen on the way and had some good trail talk. The second half was tough. Got separated from the main trail on spurs more than once and about ~500' from top started getting lightheaded and wobbly. Took my time, plenty of shaded breaks, and made it to the top in 3 hours total. Not a time to be proud of, but I didn't feel like pushing it in this heat. Set up the hammock on the first two pines I found, lounged and sipped water for thirty before watching the sunset from Flatiron and settling down for the night. Oh, those two gents - one stayed at Siphon Draw and the other made it 2/3rds up to Flatiron before turning around. Both seemed in good shape when last saw them.

The night was wonderful. Just enough breeze to keep the sweat levels low and warm enough to not need the 1 lb quilt I brought (should have left it at home and hauled more water). Forecast called for 68, don't think it ever got that low, maybe high 70s. Woke up early to watch the moonset from Flatiron and sunrise from Ship Rock before heading down. Bumped into a few groups, maybe six people in all, most of them sticking to Siphon Draw or the lands right above. Only one was pushing on to the top. Everyone seemed to be playing it safe and turning around when they hit their limits. I had one good break above Siphon for second-breakfast and to finish up my water and made it to Mining in 1:50.

Extra:
- holy wah wasps. like, everywhere.
- blooming agaves are purty and have a lot of bees.
- moonsets are legit. need to catch more of those.
- it's stupid hot out there. heard about the hiker on peralta once I got home. know your limits out there.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon Sunrise Sunset
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Jun 12 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
National - Beverly Canyon - Desert Classic, AZ 
National - Beverly Canyon - Desert Classic, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 12 2016
jacobemerick
Hiking2.00 Miles 250 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.00 mph
250 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Brought the boys out for a little morning hike from the ever-busy Pima trailhead. 3 year-old hiked the whole distance, 18 month-old rode in the carrier like a prince. We saw plenty of dangerous South Mountain wildlife (mountain bikes) along the way. Looping back on Desert Classic was probably not the best of ideas, between bike traffic and the hot-hot sun rising up.
_____________________
Jun 04 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
East Cabin Loop, AZ 
East Cabin Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 04 2016
jacobemerick
Backpack16.00 Miles 950 AEG
Backpack16.00 Miles3 Days         
950 ft AEG9.5 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Three day backpack on the Mogollon Rim with a group of four to escape the horrific weekend temperatures in Phoenix. The plan was to hike the eastern loop (Barbershop/Houston/U-Bar) - both reynchr and myself have done the full loop before and wanted to see Houston Brothers (and avoid the dusty 300).

Saturday
After a great lunch at Macky's in Payson we headed up to 321c via 260/300 and parked near the trail crossing. Left the car around 1:30 and headed down to Coyote Springs, turned west and followed Barbershop to Barbershop Springs. Our group split in half to account for different hiking speeds and the last one rolled into camp at 4:30. Plenty of time to test out the hammock, get everyone filtered up, and sit around a campfire as the moon-less night sky filled up.

Sunday
Slow start with the cold morning, but we hit the trail around 8 and headed over to Houston. The group stuck together until the draw and then split again based on speeds. It was my first time on this stretch of Houston, and while the little hills at the beginning weren't welcome, the draw was fantastic and the open meadows gorgeous. Plus the little caves at Aspen and Pinchot Springs were awesome. Our groups re-joined at Aspen for lunch and then separated shortly after. Afternoon was getting annoyingly hot, with the strong winds buffered down to breezes by the pines. Last group rolled into camp at Lower Barbershop Canyon around 5:30. Everyone was in their tents shortly after sunset after the long day.

Monday
After much debate the group split in half right away in the morning. Two backpackers continued on U-Bar to pick up the car, myself and one other stayed back at camp to nap through the morning and eventually backtrack up to 139 and get picked up. We met around noon and drove back via 95/87 for another Macky's lunch before the long, hot drive back to Phoenix.

Aside: reynchr and I have been on several backpacking trips over the last two years, but the other two in our group were brand new to this. They loved the camps, endured the hiking, and tolerated our company.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Aspen Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Good stuff coming out of the spring, not that many pools to pull from. Deeper pools in the creek w/ slight distaste.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Barbershop Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Cold near the source. So wonderfully clean and cold.

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pinchot Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Good amount coming out of the spring. Ended up filtering from creek near cabin instead, but this spring would have tasted better.
_____________________
1 archive
May 21 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Peter's CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar May 21 2016
jacobemerick
Canyoneering16.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Canyoneering16.00 Miles   11 Hrs      1.45 mph
1,500 ft AEG7 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Cool weekend so figured it was a good time to try an overnight loop hike. Parked at Mesquite Flats, followed that creek down and over to Peter's Canyon, and then went up Peter's to check out the caves and such. Caves were cool. I was hoping that there'd be more water in the creek (depended on it, actually). Found a few large stale ponds just past the cave and filtered up to water capacity. That was pretty much the only the water, though, which made the canyon easy to hike and my throat pretty dry. Made it up to the general Pistol Canyon area before bailing. Plan was to push on to Peter's Trail and take that north and loop around (somehow) to Mesquite again, just wasn't finding water in the creek and didn't trust Kane Spring enough.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mesquite Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Few ugly-looking ponds in the canyon between Mesquite Flats and Tortilla Creek junction.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Peters Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Two collections of ponds, the first ones less than a mile up from the junction which were mostly clogged with algea and the second ones up past Peter's Cave. Water tasted stale but filtered fine.
_____________________
Apr 30 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
La Barge Lower - Box LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 30 2016
jacobemerick
Backpack10.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Backpack10.00 Miles2 Days         
2,000 ft AEG13 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wife and I have been meaning to try out a backpacking trip in the Supes for several months now, Lower La Barge Box seemed look a good overnight for her first time out.

Saturday
Left parking lot just before noon and headed up Boulder Canyon. After about 30 minutes of climb I started to realize that _maybe_ an exposed 700' climb wasn't the best way to introduce wife to the area. She toughed it out and we made it to the top of the first peak in decent time. Along the way a group of three men, four boys passed us by who were heading straight to our planned campsite. They must have eaten their Wheaties because they screamed down the trail. Anyways, made it to the La Barge wash crossing and decided to setup camp at a great clearing w/ bench instead of boulder-hopping the rest of the way. Wash was dry and we were low on water (and I was enjoying the cool hiking temps) so I took most of our water containers and headed up alone, enjoying the views of Battleship along the way. Several spots of good water on the way, waited to fill up until reached the Box. The large group that passed us earlier had an awesome setup and were pretty friendly. Watered up at some of the upper pools before heading back, booking it back to our camp under scattered showers and thunder. Thankfully, the heavy rains waited until after sunset.

Sunday
Lollygagged in the morning, letting some of our gear dry out and backtracking up to the first pools of water on La Barge (right below the prow of Battleship, .7 miles upstream from trail crossing) before heading back out on Boulder Canyon Trail. Thought about taking the wash out to skip the climb and decided rock-hopping and bee trees weren't worth it. Again, some light sprinkles and cloudy skies along the way, nothing worth unpacking the ponchos for. Returned to parking lot by noon-ish with only mild sunburns.

water usage 12 liters between 2 people, had capacity for 4 so had to filter twice

dry La Barge at Boulder Creek Trail #103 Dry Dry
Not a single pool at trail crossing. Had to follow wash upstream ~.7 miles to first water source. Several more collections of pools along the way to La Barge Box, 1.5 miles up from crossing.
_____________________
2 archives
Apr 21 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 21 2016
jacobemerick
Backpack19.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Backpack19.00 Miles3 Days         
3,200 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
reynchr
Brother-and-law and I had a more ambitious loop planned, cut it short after a scorcher of a day on Friday up Red Tanks. Still got this basic loop done.

Thursday
Left Peralta Trailhead around 3pm and headed down Dutchman to Coffee Springs. A few cars parked there, not many. Bumped into one other hiker in Barkley Basin who was low on water, gave her a liter. Reached Reed's Water with the sunset and called it a day. Managed to pull some cool, clean water from the well under the windmill - best water of the trip. Oh, and we really enjoyed that screeching noise the old rusty thing makes when a breeze picks up.

Friday
Late start in the morning, reached Dripping Springs around 9am. Breakfast and fresh water from Randolph Canyon. Headed up Red Tanks Trail, didn't make good time. Hiking partner was carrying a heavy pack and the heat was... hot. Trail was in decent condition, only tricky area was the Randolph crossing. Some cat claw, nothing terrible. We split up about a mile from the top and planned to meet at Brad's Water. I had some trouble finding the trail north of the divide, a few tricky areas, did some basic maintenance as I had the time. Found Brad's Water without a GPS and drank, filtered, and soaked a bit. That cave is my new valhalla. Brother-in-law caught up just as I was packing up and we didn't move on until close to 4. Tried and failed to find anything at La Barge #2. Set up camp east of Hoolie Bacon junction, filtering more water from a scummy pond in La Barge wash as needed. Oh, and we also enjoyed a fight between two Gila monsters. #wilderness

Saturday
After freezing our tushes off at camp we got an early start down the Upper La Barge Box. That's a fun rollercoaster. Hiking partner twisted his ankle about a mile in. Rested at junction and then decided to head down Whiskey Springs (instead of attempting Red Tanks Super Loop). Found ...some... water at Whiskey Springs, stopped and had breakfast and made funny faces at the trail cam there. Continued over to Miner's Summit where we saw our first other hikers since that day hiker in Barkley on Thursday. We split here - he took the common path down Miner's and over on Dutchman to the trailhead and I turned and went the Bluff Springs route. Brief stop to filter a few liters there before rejoining at the trailhead.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bluff Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Both pipes were dripping, bottom pipe about twice the flow of the upper.

dry Brads Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Brads Water Dripping Dripping
Well, not sure what to label this. The two water troughs are dry, the wash is dry, the ditch to the cave is dry, and the rocks around the cave are dry.

BUT the cave has a _ton_ of water in it. Gallons and gallons of cool water just sitting there, enough to easily scoop for filter or even wade in (as long as you watch your head). So while I didn't see anything dripping or flowing, there's water for the taking.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dripping Spring Dripping Dripping
Some dripping from the vegetation on the wall and an oily pool collecting some 20' downstream.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Fraser Canyon Light flow Light flow
Green pools trickling from one to the next by the trail junction. Pre-filtering with a bandanna would be a good idea.

dry Labarge Spring Number Two Dry Dry
No pools, some dampness under rocks.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Reeds Water 51-75% full 51-75% full
The well had cool, clear water about 10-15 feet down. Bring your own bucket (or bottle tied to cordage).


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Whiskey Spring Dripping Dripping
Spring box had water, plenty of grass and Algae fighting for it. Scooped with half-cup before filtering. One or two of the lower pools also had water, not much more enticing.

_____________________
Apr 02 2016
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Mazatzal Peak LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 02 2016
jacobemerick
Backpack25.90 Miles 5,230 AEG
Backpack25.90 Miles2 Days         
5,230 ft AEG
 
1st trip
* Back-posting for the memories *

After an ...interesting... introduction to the Mazzies a month ago it seemed right to give the eastern side a try. After all, the eastern side sees more traffic and thusly would have better trails. Armed with lighter gear, new boots, and wide-eyed optimism I concocted a hair-brained plan to hike up the Divide, descend down Davenport, swing over to Deadman, and then do something Willow Springs or Wet Bottom. LOL.

Y-Bar Trail
This is a fantastic trail. It climbs steadily and easily and goes through a wide variety of flora. This was my first time on any eastern trail and my biggest issue was keeping my jaw from dropping with all the fantastic scenery. Trail was in good shape, only a few deadfall to step over, and I made it up to Windsor Spring in good spirits and good time. Even watered up at an unnamed spring above Y-Bar Tanks and successfully used the Sawyer Mini.

Mazatzal Divide (from Windsor to Horse Camp Seep)
A brief break at Windsor and I set down the divide trail in a half-trot. Passed a group of backpackers heading southbound and shared the water situation w/ them. They told me Barnhardt was overgrown (this was 2016, after all) and they had the cuts to prove it. After them I cruised past the Barnhardt junction, thankfully oblivious to the Brody Seep 'shortcut', and watered up at some tanks before Chilson.

It was about noon by now so I made a half-attempt at finding then eastern end of Davenport. Half because my heels were starting to hurt from the new boots and because the brush was thick. After wandering right into a giant anthill I called it and went back to pout at the picnic table. Then I went up to check on Chilson Spring and came away disappointed. Morning momentum was gone and afternoon frumps were setting in. I didn't want to bail so early so I meandered aimlessly down the Mazatzal Divide without a clear plan. Some portions were clear, some portions stabbed at my shins. A few of the Deadman tributaries had stale pools of water with bees circling around them. When I reached Horse Camp Seep I was drained. Plopped down next to the tanks and enjoyed a long lunch and lots of water. While I was resting an AZT thru-hiker came in and we had a good long chat about life.

Still optimistic, even with my heels starting to bleed, I decided to push on to Hopi Spring and maybe The Park. I could try to turn this into a Rock Creek Loop or maybe reverse direction from my original plan. Once I made it to Hopi, though, I was done. Checked out the water source, lamented the condition of Rock Creek Trail on the eastern slope, and balked at the climb left to The Park. Retreated to Horse Camp Seep to see two AZT thru-hikers instead of just one (is that how that works?) and then set up camp for the night.

Camp
This time I was armed with a lighter sleeping bag (Sea to Summit 50°F) and a mosquito net, plus an Eslit solid fuel stove. Saved some serious weight. Stove worked okay and the temps dropped well below 50. Ended up using a tarp as a blanket, which got me through the night just fine. Overall a better night than out by Club Cabin. Woke up with a sour gut and limped out with the sun rise.

Retreat down Barnhardt
Was tempted to check out Sandy Saddle and then wasn't when I saw the 'junction'. (Yes, I was bad at researching trail conditions in 2016. I'm slightly better now.) Trundled back past Chilson and had breakfast at the lovely giant tree W of Barnhardt Junction. Even saw some deer while I was sipping coffee, first ones I've seen in AZ. Then it was down Barnhardt. It was somewhat overgrown, not as bad as I expected, and the scenery was lovely. My heels were not. By the time I reached the trailhead my socks were half red.

And that was the last +5 mile hike I used Keen Targhees on.

Mazatzal Miles: 30.4/274 (11.1%)

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 Chilson Spring Dripping Dripping
Barely dripping. Catch was mostly full of silt and mud.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hopi Spring Dripping Dripping
Large seep, overflowing and making some mud across AZT.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Horse Camp Seep Quart per minute Quart per minute
Both the seep and creek had water flowing through the tanks.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Y Bar Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Running right across the trail.
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1 archive
Mar 05 2016
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 Mar 05 2016
jacobemerick
Backpack29.90 Miles 4,670 AEG
Backpack29.90 Miles2 Days         
4,670 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
* Back-posting for the memories *

I was starting to get a bit weary of the Supes in early 2016 so the Mazzies seemed like an interesting option. Armed with exactly 0 miles hiked in this wilderness and a random assortment of gear I headed out to Horseshoe Dam to check out some trails. The plan was to do Davenport-Sears Loop as an overnight, with a short hop up to Club Cabin for water if I had time, but that turned out to be a bit ambitious.

The Hike Out
Getting to this trail is a small adventure. Parked near the overlook and crossed under the dam, which was way more awesome than I expected. Then it was mundane dirt road walking to the trailhead. I wasn't sure if the (KA/Johnson) ranch was active before heading out, but from tire tracks, crowing roosters, and random farm animals in the pastures it looks to be fully operational. Three miles later and I found Sears Trailhead, where a horse trailer was already parked in the wash. They must have driven over the dam's walkway (which is locked, btw).

First few miles beyond the wash is a winding two-track that goes through palo verde/saguaro flats, climbs up a little ridge, and then follows the open grassy ridge while providing awesome views of a chalky canyon to the north and epic ridges eastwards. Things get a little rocky again near the wilderness boundary and pauses at an old horse corral. This is where the two-track ends and it took a while for me to pick up where the footpath continues on the far side. From here on out I had to depend more on the fresh horse tracks and occasional cairn than defined trail. Climb up to a saddle, enjoy the views, drop a short bit down, and then climb to the next saddle. Got thoroughly separated from the trail twice and had some fun hacking through brush. But at least I bumped into my first Gila monster on the way!

When I finally got to Table Mountain and the Sheep Creek junction I was running behind schedule, low on water, and felt pretty drained from the exposure. Plus I had seen no water along the way, so it seemed safest to continue to Club Cabin and water up instead of saving time by cutting down towards uncertain sources on Sheep Creek. A bit over eight hours since leaving the dam I reached Club Cabin to find the pen locked tight and horses running loose inside. Finally found the group I had been following all day. We chatted, shared stories, and then I watered up at the spring, which was barely trickling. Tried using a new Sawyer mini, failed because I didn't know what I was doing, so just defaulted to an old MSR Miniworks. After an hour's rest I backtracked to Rock Spring, near the Sheep Creek junction, and set up camp near the circular water trough.

Camp
Mentioned that my gear was a random assortment. Half of it was leftover from my Midwest backpacking days and half was new fancy ultralight stuff. Dinner was a simple thing over a pocket rocket & gas, shelter a tarp-poncho with line & trekking poles to hold it up, and sleeping system a 20°F Kelty w/ Klymit X-Lite. Thanks to the huge bag I was using my 65L Scheels backpack, which was not designed to carry such a light load and had been sitting poorly all day. Plus my boots (Vasque Breeze) literally had holes in them from 5+ years of use. My back hurt and my feet bruised and, thanks to a warm and cloudy evening with some spitting rain, the sleeping bag was far too warm and bugs were out in force. Bug spray only does so much. Without a net I was reduced to huddling inside the cinched bag and sauna'd through the night. It was not a great campsite experience.

The Return
After a handful of catnaps I got up early and booked out, skipping coffee and oatmeal for a quick return. There was no way I was going to tempt Sheep Creek/Sears on the way down, not with unreliable GPS routes and a foul mood. Made one brief stop looking for water near an unnamed spring E of Dog Spring and found a little pool too small/muddy for the MSR to handle. Could have made it worked, decided to tough it out. Rolled downhill, only losing the trail once this time (progress!), and made it back in about five hours. Ran out of water at the trailhead and had a hot & dry road walk to finish things. Returned to the van after my first Mazzie experience slightly humbled and very thirsty.

Mazatzal Miles: 10.9/274 (4%)
Flora
Flora
Banana Yucca
Fauna
Fauna
Gila Monster

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Club Spring - Table Mountain Quad Dripping Dripping
One full pool, dripping below. Some water was being diverted into horse trough at cabins.

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

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