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451 triplogs

Oct 13 2020
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Bear Canyon Middle Loop, AZ 
Bear Canyon Middle Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 13 2020
markthurman53
Hiking9.13 Miles 714 AEG
Hiking9.13 Miles   3 Hrs   59 Mns   2.37 mph
714 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
On our second day of hiking in Payson we went up on the rim and did a section of Bear Canyon I had not been on before. We thought our plans to do the middle section of the canyon were going to fall through when we got to a sign at the junction of the Rim Road and FR95 saying that FR95 was closed. Looking past the road closed sign was another sign saying road closed 6 mile ahead. I took this as a sign that I could go past the first sign and drive to where I needed to go. Just before hitting Bear Canyon there was a sign and blockade that definitely closed the road. The bridge across Bear Creek was washed out. I'm assuming the sign near the rim road was just telling you that FR95 was not Passable if your intentions are to go all the way to Highway 87 across East Clear Creek.

We hiked the .5 miles to the washed out bridge (actually I believe it was not a bridge but large metal pipes under the road) and entered Bear Creek there. It was fairly easy walking along the creek especially since there was no waterflow, just intermittently scattered pools. Walking was along the rocky creek bed at times, along Elk user routes and at one section climbing up the east bank to avoid a narrow section of the creek with a large pool. We walked the 4.5 miles of the creek to the junction of Little Bear creek. We took a short break there before heading up the west wall of the canyon and took FR95 back to the start point.

As mentioned before the creek was dry with some pools of yucky looking water. There were a few trees changing color but nothing spectacular. We opted to take the road back rather than the creek because it would be easier but the 3 mile road walk while faster is extremely boring.

dry Bear Canyon Dry Dry
Occasional pools
_____________________
Oct 12 2020
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Horton Derrick Loop, AZ 
Horton Derrick Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2020
markthurman53
Hiking9.70 Miles 2,146 AEG
Hiking9.70 Miles   4 Hrs   17 Mns   2.45 mph
2,146 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
My daughter wanted to do some hiking in the Payson area so we went up there to do a couple of hikes. On this hike we did the old reliable Horton Creek Trail to Horton Spring and returned via the Derrick Trail. The first half mile or so of Horton Creek was dry but further up it had a good flow (what ever was coming out of the spring). Horton Spring had a good flow coming out of it, about the same I saw a couple years ago. Appears the dry weather has had very little affect on it. Took a short break at the spring before heading east on the Highline to the Derrick Trail. There is a bit of a climb on the Highline before descending again to the Derrick Trail. Enough of a climb that I had to do the standing stop for a minute or so to let my legs recoup. The Derrick Trail is all downhill at a gradual easy walking slope.

There were about a dozen or so people along the Horton Creek Trail and none on the Highline or Derrick. All the trails were in excellent easy to follow condition. I had almost forgotten what well maintained, heavily used trails looked like. I got a chuckle out of a rock cairn along the trail thinking why restate the obvious. The other thing that made me laugh, cry was what usually happens in heavily used areas, Dog poop bags. So people feel they need to bag their dogs stuff to be politically correct, kind or just that it's what your suppose to do and that's fine, what ever floats your boat, but leaving the bagged crap along the trail is just wrong. Not only do you have a piece of plastic now littering the area you have well preserved dog crap in it. Why not just let your dog poop in the woods, the bears do don't they. The other thing that got my dander up was at the trail head where there is an out house but no trash can. Someone decided that it would be OK to just put all their trash in a pile and leave it near the outhouse, after all they don't want to litter. Why not just put it in a bag and take it out with you in the car you drove here in. Probably the same people who complain about big companies destroying our environment. Ok I'm off my soap box. Other than those two little things it was a great hike.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Horton Creek Light flow Light flow
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1 archive
Sep 17 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Snowshed Basin Trail, AZ 
Snowshed Basin Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 17 2020
markthurman53
Hiking7.62 Miles 989 AEG
Hiking7.62 Miles   3 Hrs   10 Mns   2.41 mph
989 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Since it was a bit warm (Or I'm turning into a whimp), Rather than tackle the Snowshed Greenhouse Canyon Loop I decided to save that for a cooler day and instead did the lower Snowshed Trail, Snowshed Basin Trail and the lower part of the Herb Martyr Trail. I started at the Snowshed Basin connector Trail along FR42A .3 miles to the junction with the Snowshed Basin Trail and headed east toward the Snowshed Trail #246. I could not find the trailhead for the Snowshed trail along FR42 so I continued on the Snowshed trail down to its start point on FR 42. Now I know where it's at. I returned the way I came to the junction with the connector trail and continued west on the Snowshed Basin trail to the Herb Martyr Trail #247. I spent a little time at the Herb Martyr Junction trying to figure out how todays trail connects to yesterdays trail. On the return trip I stopped off at John Hands Falls which is about 100 yards off trail. This falls like the Herb Martyr Falls were once dams along Cave Creek but have since filled with gravel. The flow in Cave creek was slow especially for monsoon season (the one that bypassed us this year).

This is a fairly level trail with minor ups and downs. The majority of the AEG on this hike was along the lower section of the Snowshed Trail #246. I did see a King snake along the trail. It was a small one and I thought it might be a coral snake and since I can't remember how the rhyme goes I left it alone. When I got home I determined by the color bands that it was a a friend of Jack. Once again lots of friendly deer, it's like being in a national park. From the trailhead along FR 42A to the Herb Martyr trail is a nice walk and a good way to spend a couple of hours. Finished this hike around noon and time to head back to Tucson.
Fauna
Fauna
Kingsnake

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cave Creek Canyon Light flow Light flow
Light flow in some areas
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Sep 16 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Basin Trail Loop, AZ 
Basin Trail Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 16 2020
markthurman53
Hiking10.89 Miles 2,145 AEG
Hiking10.89 Miles   5 Hrs   21 Mns   2.48 mph
2,145 ft AEG      57 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I am back in Arizona and decided to get in a hike or two in the Chiricahua Mountains. It is nice to be on a hike that has some elevation change. I thought I would start out with an easy fairly level hike to get back in shape so I chose the Basin Trail. Since it is a long drive here and the last 24 miles to Portal is a winding dirt road I made a two day trip out of this. The weather was in the low 80's but in the sun it was a bit hot.

I started the hike on the north end of the Basin Trail along FR42 at the signed trail head. The trail immediately starts a climb of about 500 feet to cross over into Greenhouse Canyon. In this area it is mainly oak juniper forest. Just over the crest the trail comes across Welch Seep, about 100 yards off trail. There was no water but from the green grasses it must be damp. The trail all the way to Greenhouse Creek is in good condition. There are mediocre views from this trail of Winn Falls in Cima Creek. Greenhouse creek had spotty water. From Greenhouse Creek the trail follows FR713 for about .7 miles where it exits the road and becomes a trail again as it heads toward Ash Spring and then continues on to the Herb Martyr Trail. about 5.1 miles total. Ash Spring and Cave creek both had water. I returned along the Herb Martyr Trail to the campground and then took the Ash Spring Trail back up to the Basin Trail and returned along the Basin Trail. I am considering this trail from FR 42 to the Herb Martyr Trail as the Basin Trail #600. Seems like a logical division of the trail and the signs seem to indicate this. The forest service web site has some different break down of the Greenhouse Canyon Trail, Ash Spring Trail and the Basin Trail. What's in a name as long as you get where you want to go.

Saw lots of white tail deer and they were quite unafraid of humans. Other than birds no other wildlife. I only saw one person the whole day and they were at the Herb Martyr Campground, bird watchers I think. The air was hazy/dusty/Smokey so the views weren't spectacular as they usually are here. I was planning for tomorrow to hike up the Herb Martyr to the Snowshed Trail then up to the crest and return on the Greenhouse Trail but with heat I experienced today I decided I better put that off for another trip (darn it means I will be forced to come up here again). I stayed the night in the Portal Peak Lodge and had dinner there and planned what tomorrows hike would be.
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Sep 01 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Canyon Rim Park, TX 
Canyon Rim Park, TX
 
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2020
markthurman53
Hiking2.61 Miles 151 AEG
Hiking2.61 Miles   1 Hour   10 Mns   2.37 mph
151 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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mamakatt22
Nice weather today to do another short section of trail in Yellow House Canyon in Lubbock. No time to do anything lengthy because we have pig food, bird food and people food errands to get done today. This is an urban trail along the North Fork of the Twin Mountains Fork of the Brazos River. There is no real trail here just some two track paths and where there were none you find your own path. There is a road passing through the middle of this section that is not easily crossed on foot and the creek bed is a marshy maze of cat tails, I would rather push my way through catclaw than navigate through marsh. Luckily there is a bridge crossing the road that made the crossing easy. You do have to climb up about 50 feet which is why this route has an AEG of 150 feet. We wanted to check out this section of trail because there are two train trestles crossing the creek in this area.

We did see another Black Crown Night Heron on this hike. Wild sunflowers, purple morning glories and what I was told were 4 O'clocks. Enjoyable walk especially since the weather was nice. I can't help but think the city could do so much more along Yellow House Canyon with bike paths and walking trails.
Fauna
Fauna
Green Heron
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Aug 29 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Canyon Lake Loop, TX 
Canyon Lake Loop, TX
 
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2020
markthurman53
Hiking3.50 Miles 197 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles   1 Hour   23 Mns   2.59 mph
197 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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mamakatt22
Canyon Lake in Lubbock is a small lake (large pond) along the North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos river in an area called Yellow House canyon. This trail follows along both sides of the lake that is located in the city of Lubbock on the East side. The trail is paved path and the walking is easy. The GPS shows an EAG of 197 feet which surprises me, I would of thought more like 25 to maybe 50. Maybe my GPS was counting every time I lifted my feet 6 inches while walking. Not much of a hike but it was nice to get out and walk.

Wild life consisted of Prairie dogs, Ducks, Prairie Dogs, Geese, Prairie Dogs and one Heron. Did I mention Prairie dogs? Hundreds of them. I think they need a relocation program. There were a few people fishing, not sure what for but they looked like they were enjoying it.
_____________________
Aug 20 2020
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Turkey Creek Trail, TX 
Turkey Creek Trail, TX
 
Hiking avatar Aug 20 2020
markthurman53
Hiking12.33 Miles 775 AEG
Hiking12.33 Miles   4 Hrs   48 Mns   2.90 mph
775 ft AEG      33 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On day two of my Borger Texas Trip I went back to Meredith Lake this time to hike the Turkey Creek trail. This trail heads south along the lake from where I hiked yesterday. The Turkey Creek Trail is a 6.2 mile hike that ends in Turkey canyon. Once in Turkey Canyon there is a 4 mile loop trail that follows Turkey Creek upstream. Doing both of these trails would be a 16.5 mile hike. I was unable to do the Loop portion of this hike due to time restraints.

I started this hike at 9:00 in the morning with temperatures in the low 70's. I brought 2 quarts of water and wore my long sleeve shirt not wanting to repeat yesterdays experience. This is a fairly level hike following along the lake with a little elevation gain where you have to skirt around a couple of side canyons. I was told that there was quite a rattlesnake population in this area but I failed to see any. That was fine with me because the trail goes through some really grassy areas. I did keep a vigilant eye out for them though. Turkey Creek was the most interesting part of this hike. Just prior to entering Turkey Creek the trail does a 100 foot climb then drops down into Turkey Creek. At this point you are on the Southern end of the lake and there is an immense marsh. To me it looked like a swamp just missing the alligators. This marsh continues up Turkey Creek and the trail follows alongside. Eventually this marsh gives way to an area I would refer to as a riparian area with large trees and grassland. After a half hour break I headed back the way I came. Temperatures on the return trip were in the low 90's and no matter how prepared I was it was still hot and humid. Other than a Blue Heron I saw no wild life, not counting ants and flying bugs, lots of them. I did see a lot of deer tracks and a few bobcat tracks.

Of the two hikes I did along Meredith lake this one was my favorite. I was not able to do the Turkey Creek Loop but would like to do it if I'm ever in the area again. I will have to find a back door access point though so I don't have to do the 6 mile trail in. To the south of Turkey Creek are the Flint stone quarries and that is a national monument with access by ranger guided tours only but to the east there looks to be a possible access point. If you are in the area, hopefully in cooler weather, this is a worthwhile hike. Also if you have the opportunity visit the Flint Stone Quarries National Monument.
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Aug 19 2020
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Harbor Bay, TX 
Harbor Bay, TX
 
Hiking avatar Aug 19 2020
markthurman53
Hiking6.19 Miles 801 AEG
Hiking6.19 Miles   2 Hrs   42 Mns   2.81 mph
801 ft AEG      30 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finding Hiking trails in Texas is like looking for hens teeth. Caprock and Palo Duro Canyons are the two more obvious ones. I had the opportunity to go to Borger Texas (I know where the hell is that) north of Amarillo this last week and near Borger is Meredeth Lake National Recreation Park. I looked this up on the web and there are a couple trails along the lake that looked promising. The Harbor Bay Trail and the Turkey Creek Trail looked like two that would be the most interesting. Arriving in Borger in the afternoon I headed out on the Harbor Bay Trail at about 4:00 in the afternoon.

The Harbor Bay trail is a 3 mile well maintained trail that goes from Harbor Bay To a point overlooking the lake. There are two 1 mile loop trails that have the potential to make this an 8 mile round trip hike. This trail follows along the lake with a few small under 50 foot ascents and descents as it traverses Fritch Canyon. The trail seems to overdo the route along Fritch canyon going further up canyon than necessary but I guess when the lake is higher this is the shortest rout. Once past Fritch Canyon the trail begins its ascent of about 250 feet up to the Mesa Overlooking the Lake. Once at the end of the trail there is a signed trail head and an outhouse. This point is also accessible by car. There are nice views overlooking the lake. Probably a good sunset spot.

I did not start this hike til 4:00 in the afternoon with a temperature of 90 degrees with a slightly overcast sky. This was going to be a quick 8 mile hike including the two loops so I just put my boots, hat and pack on and went wearing my genes and a tee shirt. I brought 1 quart of water figuring that would be enough, after all it's a fairly level trail. Soon after I started the hike the cloud cover disappeared and my GPS said it was 98 degrees when I was in the sun with a relatively high humidity. I wasn't too concerned about the water because there was a huge lake right next to me but the short sleeve shirt was definitely a mistake. I didn't get sun burned (probably because of the tough Arizona skin) but My body was definitely stressed. Up on the mesa there was a breeze but below in the canyon it was still, hot and muggy. I kept thinking I'm going to feel pretty stupid like the idiots in the paper that have to be rescued because they went out on a hike and succumb to heat exhaustion because they weren't prepared. Once up at my turn around point I rested in the shade of the outhouse. Luckily there was a nice breeze and the outhouse was down wind. I drank some water and was ready to head back. I did not do the two 1 mile loop trails, I figured I wouldn't press my luck.

This is a pleasant hike and if you ever find yourself north of Amarillo for what ever reason I would recommend Meredith Lake, hopefully cooler weather though. As for me, lesson learned: go prepared for a hike no matter how easy it seems. Seems I learned this lesson a few times before just don't remember when.
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Aug 07 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Rim Trail Mile 22 - 27, NM 
Rim Trail Mile 22 - 27, NM
 
Hiking avatar Aug 07 2020
markthurman53
Hiking9.42 Miles 2,076 AEG
Hiking9.42 Miles   5 Hrs   40 Mns   1.81 mph
2,076 ft AEG      28 Mns Break
 
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mamakatt22
On our second day in Cloudcroft Ginny and I hiked 5 more miles of the 30 mile Rim Trail from about mile 27 to mile 22 and back, making for a 10 mile hike. This section of trail was a bit different from the previous sections of the trail in that it followed along what used to be a jeep road. The road is all but gone but the wide trail still exists. Since it was an old jeep trail, it does what jeep trails tend to do, get to the top of hills by a straight up frontal attack instead of using switchbacks. We started out at about 8200 feet and the high point was at 9000 feet going over 5 small peaks. Each Peak climbed meant going back down a couple 100 feet then climbing up the next higher peak. This is a really rocky trail and by the end of this hike we were both pretty wiped out. The scenery was not quite as nice as the previous sections of this trail but the views were still spectacular. To the West was Tularosa Basin with the White Sands and Organ Pipe Mountains and to the southeast we could see Guadalupe Peak which is the Highest Point in Texas. At the turn around point we arrived at the place Ginny and I turned around on our hike last November when we hiked from Sunspot Telescope. After a short break we headed back repeating what we did coming in except in the opposite direction. Nice weather with temps in the low 70’s and Pizza when we got back to Cloudcroft.

We started at the posted Rim Trail crossing of the West Side Road, FR 90, along the Sun Spot Highway. The trail starts out with a couple hundred foot rocky climb to the first small peak and then repeats this pattern 4 more times. This is a south facing slope so even with temps in the 70’s it can be a bit warm. There are sections where the trail goes through mainly ponderosa pine forest for some relief from the sun but not from the rocky trail. There are some really nice meadows along this trail but running water is scarce since it tends to sink in the ground rapidly after a rain. I only saw one elk on this hike but if hiked earlier in the morning you would probably see much more because their tracks were everywhere. After finishing this hike we have about 5 miles left to do to finish up the rim trail, 1.4 near Sun Spot Telescope and 2.5 on the far southern end. For you more hardier hikers this 30 mile trail could be done in one day as a one way hike. Two days if you want to see what it looks like in the reverse direction.
Geology
Geology
Ammonite - Fossil
_____________________
Aug 06 2020
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Rim Trail Mile 15 - 20, NM 
Rim Trail Mile 15 - 20, NM
 
Hiking avatar Aug 06 2020
markthurman53
Hiking9.40 Miles 1,546 AEG
Hiking9.40 Miles   5 Hrs   25 Mns   2.01 mph
1,546 ft AEG      45 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
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mamakatt22
Our first day in Cloudcroft was along another section of the Rim Trail T105, this time from about mile 20 at Cathey Vista to Atkinson Field at around mile 15. The forest road to Atkinson Field was locked so we started at the Cathey Vista trail head along the sun Spot Highway, between Saturn and Mars. This trail is through a forest of Fir and Ponderosa Pine with occasional views along the way to the West over the Tularosa Basin. The trail goes over two minor peaks but stays between 9000 and 9600 feet. I discovered two more marked trails that head to the west down to the West Side Road, FR 90, The Heart Attack Trail and Cathey Canyon Trail. These trails, unlike the rim trail, will have a little more elevation gain to them as they descend down to the West Side Road. These two trails along with the Rim Trail could make a nice loop hike. We took a break at Atkinson Field at the turn around point of our hike last June along the Rim Trail. We followed our route back to Cathey vista.

The weather was in the low 70’s making for pleasant hiking. Even though there had been rain here we didn’t get rained on. These mountains don’t have a lot of running streams as it sinks in the ground rapidly, much like on the Kaibab Plateau. With the exception of a few sunflowers (black eyed or brown eyed suzans) Flowers were sparse. Lots of elk sign but didn’t see any elk along the trail, probably because we didn’t start the hike till around 10:00. After the hike we stopped in Cloudcroft for dinner before heading to our cabin (did see elk there). Since this was in New Mexico there is a two week quarantine, obviously not enforced and you could not dine inside. We did find one restaurant that had barbecue and was allowing inside dining in protest to the governor and we ate there, great food. There was actually more social distancing in this restaurant than in the crowded outside dining restaurants. I was given a free bumper sticker at the Barbecue restaurant with the New Mexico state emblem that says “OUR GOVERNOR IS AN IDIOT”. I don’t usually stick stickers on my car (except the HAZ sticker) so I temporarily taped it to my rear window to match the other cars driving around Cloudcroft. Now I am in Texas driving with Arizona Plates and a New Mexico Governor is an idiot sticker.
_____________________
Jul 29 2020
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Bear Canyon Upper Loop, AZ 
Bear Canyon Upper Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2020
markthurman53
Hiking8.09 Miles 614 AEG
Hiking8.09 Miles   4 Hrs   10 Mns   2.19 mph
614 ft AEG      28 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have been wanting to finish up the upper Bear and East Bear Canyons on the Mogollon Rim after doing the middle section last year. I started out on the Rim Road heading down canyon to the junction of East Bear Canyon, then up East Bear back to the Rim Road. I then headed along the General Crook Trail back to where I started.

Bear Canyon starts out as a nondescript rocky stream that requires a bit of route finding but before long the creek bed widens and the walking becomes easier. Once the stream bed widens there is a sort of trail most of the rest of the way to the entrance of East Bear Canyon. I believe this trail is maintained by the elk with a little maintaining by human use. This is a beautiful canyon missed by many of the hoards of people driving along the rim Road. I suppose this is a good thing. The rains have not really hit this area yet although it is obvious it has rained. The creek was not running like it was last year when I was here. There was water flowing in Bear canyon from about a half mile above the entrance of East Bear Canyon.

East Bear Canyon was dry with the exception of a few pools. This canyon is not as wide as Bear Canyon and the walking a little less easy but there was the occasional Elk Trail that aided. When there was no trail the creek bed was the best route. Unlike the head waters of Bear Canyon that was a little harder to navigate, East bear has a very gentle slope up to the Rim Road.

I took the General Crook Trail back to the start point. This trail has been recently worked on so it was like walking on a super highway.
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Jul 28 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Donahue Trail, AZ 
Donahue Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 28 2020
markthurman53
Hiking3.15 Miles 558 AEG
Hiking3.15 Miles   1 Hour   31 Mns   2.59 mph
558 ft AEG      18 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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The Tonto National Forest was closed so had to limit my hiking to the Coconino Forest. I have been wanting to do the Donahue Trail but would have to limit it to the upper 1.3 miles up on the rim. I got started late because I drove in from Tucson but it's a short hike so figured it wouldn't matter. The trail is at a sort of posted trail head along the Milk Ranch road. This is a good trail, easy to follow and looks like it gets some use. The one take away from this hike were the number of quite impressive large juniper trees. There are some nice views overlooking pine just as the trail breaks to go down the rim. I will have to wait for another day to see what the rest of the trail looks like.

The road on Milk Ranch Mesa is in fair condition and there were a few campers along it. There are a couple good view points along the road overlooking Webber Canyon that make for nice stops. I picked a heck of a week to go up to Payson, the heat wasn't much better than Tucson but it was only in the low 90's on the rim.
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Jul 28 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
East Rim BSA Upper, AZ 
East Rim BSA Upper, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 28 2020
markthurman53
Hiking2.94 Miles 489 AEG
Hiking2.94 Miles   1 Hour   19 Mns   2.23 mph
489 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The East Rim BSA Trail is another trail I have been meaning to do but since the Tonto National forest is closed I thought I would cover the upper route only today. Will have to save the meat of the trail for another day, hopefully in a bit cooler weather or earlier in the morning. This is a route not a trail that leads from the Milk Ranch Road to the signed end of the East Rim Trail. I followed a GPS route to the Rim and on the way back I followed what looked like a faint trail. This return route took me along a slightly different path and I actually think it is the best route. The East Rim Trail comes up from below along the Pine Canyon Trail and ends in the middle of nowhere when it gets to the top of the rim. There is a sign at the end of the East Rim Trail that informs you that the trail ends here. Probably the only reason this route to the end of the East Rim Trail is significant is that many do this as a loop hike with the Donahue Trail and this is the connecting route.

Spooked up a couple of elk on this hike and could hear them bugling for some time. There are some good views on the rim at the end of the im Trail but are limited because of the trees. I bet the views are better as you descend the East Rim Trail.
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Jul 20 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Mormon Canyon Pole Bridge Loop, AZ 
Mormon Canyon Pole Bridge Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 20 2020
markthurman53
Hiking13.13 Miles 3,591 AEG
Hiking13.13 Miles   8 Hrs   14 Mns   2.24 mph
3,591 ft AEG   2 Hrs   23 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
I planned a two day trip to the Chiricahua Mountains This time to do the Mormon Canyon, Pole Bridge Trail Loop. Originally I was going to go up Pole Bridge and come down Mormon Canyon but after giving it some thought I reversed it. I didn't want to come down Mormon Canyon if it decided to rain, Might be a little difficult. After completing the hike without any rain I still think the way I did it was best. The Pole Bridge Trail is a brutal down hill trek. I don't think I would want to go up it. Of coarse I say that because I did the Pole bridge at the end of the day when I was pretty beat. The Mormon Trail was no cake walk, it is a relentless uphill that took about 2 hours. Once at Mormon Saddle the Mormon Ridge Trail to the crest trail is fairly easy. Luckily the temps were in the 70's and I had a light cloud cover. When I read the guild for this trail I expected to do some route finding but the trail was quite visible, I don't think I even lost it once. Some dead fall along the trail especially toward the saddle where the trees across the trail looked like pick up sticks. Reminded me of boot camp running the obstacle coarse. If there had been a bear riding my rear it would of been just like boot camp. Overall a good trail and guaranteed to give you a workout.

The Mormon Ridge Trail to the crest Trail 270B is in good shape only a couple trees across the trail. Fairly easy grade. Great views along this section.

The Crest Trail to Monte Vista Peak is in good shape only a couple places is it overgrown with grasses but it is kind of intuitive where its going. Nice views to the right and left of the trail down the canyons. Fairly level trail but there are some peaks to go over or skirt around that will mean ascending or descending a couple hundred feet. This trail overall is quite scenic and no matter how you got up here it seems like a well deserved break.

The side trip to Monte Vista Peak was the highlight. The lookout tower made the views even greater. Would of been nice if it wasn't so humid so the views would be clearer. While the lookout tower and cabin were something to see I thought the billion lady bugs covering every tree and stump was to bees knees. They were only on the peak, 30 feet below the peak there were none. Must of been some kind of convention. They liked tree trunks, tree stumps, tree branches and it appears they even liked me but they didn't like the steel tower. How do they get up here? Where are they going? What are they doing? Why do some have more dots than others... so many questions. Will have to do some research.

I returned on the Turtle Mountain Trail to the Pole Bridge Trail. These trails are in good shape with the exception of one section of the Turtle Mountain trail where it does some switchbacks down a hill. The trail gets a little vague in sections, thankfully I had the GPS with me that gave me the general direction of the trail. This was only a couple hundred yard section where the trail makes its turns and then the trail becomes easy to follow again. The morning cloud cover was gone and though the temps were in the low 80's this section of trail is hot. The Turtle Mountain Trail and John Long Trail junctions are marked but you have to look on the ground for the signs. I believe they are at least pointing in the right direction. This was to be tomorrows loop hike but since there was no cloud cover on Tuesday and these are south facing trails I opted to do these trails when the weather cools down a bit.

The Pole Bridge Trail is in good shape but there are a lot of switchbacks, not 99 of them but I bet 30. My feet were feeling this continuous downhill jaunt, but my knees were good, guess you can't have everything.

There was water in sections of the Mormon Creek Trail and the lower part of the Pole Bridge Trail. It looks like rain hit the Mormon Canyon watershed but not along the crest trail 270B or the Turtle Mountain Trail. Raspberries were everywhere along the trail and they were ripe for eating. All you had to do was pick them as you were hiking.
Fauna
Fauna
Ladybug beetle
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Jul 17 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Josephine Peak, AZ 
Josephine Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 17 2020
markthurman53
Hiking11.00 Miles 3,267 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   5 Hrs   48 Mns   2.42 mph
3,267 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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I finally got out and did some hiking around Tucson again. After being in Texas and New Mexico with hikes that didn't have a lot of Elevation gain I had to see if I could still do it. I chose Josephine Peak in the Santa Rita Mountains because it is one of the few trails in the Santa Rita's I haven't done. I went up to Josephine saddle via the Old Baldy Trail and returned on the Super trail. I took the super Trail back not because I love that trail but because I wanted to get over 10 miles in on this hike. I have never seen a trail where they have done everything they can to avoid a little climbing, the only thing super about this trail is it's length. The Super Trail from Josephine Saddle on around the south side of baldy is starting to get a bit overgrown, I guess not too many others like it either.

Josephine Peak Trail no longer exists after the 2005 fire. There is a notice on the trail sign at Riley Saddle where the Josephine Peak trail splits off from the Super Trail that basically tells you you're on your own and good luck. There are a few rock cairns along the way that tell you the trail pretty much follows along the ridge to the peak. I followed the ridge all the way up to the peak and I think that was a mistake. I ended up leaving my pack about .1 miles below the peak to scramble up without them. There is a route on HAZ that shows the route leaving the ridge just before the peak to avoid the rock scramble.

Started the hike in Madera Canyon about 0615 and finished around noon. Temps were in the mid 60's in the morning and probably in the low 80's by noon. Monsoon cloud buildup also helped. Josephine relieved me of my MARPAT shirt that was strapped to my pack, I was too tired to go back and look for it, even if I could retrace the route I took up. I have three more and that one was getting a bit thin in places.
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Jun 10 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Rim Trail Mile 11-15, NM 
Rim Trail Mile 11-15, NM
 
Hiking avatar Jun 10 2020
markthurman53
Hiking8.08 Miles 1,148 AEG
Hiking8.08 Miles   4 Hrs   22 Mns   2.10 mph
1,148 ft AEG      31 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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mamakatt22
On day 4 of our trip we started at Karr Canyon Road again where the trail crosses the road. Today we head South 4 miles then headed back to where we started on Karr canyon Road. The second highest point of the Rim Trail, Alamo Peak (9500 feet), is along this stretch. The highest Point is at the Sun Spot Observatory and is 40 feet higher, it is further south down the trail about 8 miles. The almost 500 foot climb up to the summit is done over 1.5 miles so it isn’t that strenuous. Excellent trail conditions with a few rocky sections. While hiking on this trail we heard what sounded like a motor cycle/dirt bike maybe even a chain saw in the distance, a short time later he came roaring up behind us and stopped because we were in the trail. I told him dirt bikes weren’t allowed on the trail and he informed me they were. He was right the sign allows motorcycles. That is the first I have seen that on a designated hiking trail. I wonder what the yielding policy is. Sure glad I’m not on a horse. Any way he was very nice and went on his way down the trail and before long so was the noise. We only saw one other hiker on this trail. Views west over the Tularosa Basin were intermittently spread out over the trail.

There was no water along the trail as the winter snow runoff was complete and like Arizona waiting for the monsoons. Flowers were mainly the New Mexico Locust Tree. Karr Canyon Road is accessible by almost any vehicle, even a prius. I say almost because I doubt a low rider would make it.
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Jun 09 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Rim Trail Mile 8-11, NM 
Rim Trail Mile 8-11, NM
 
Hiking avatar Jun 09 2020
markthurman53
Hiking6.04 Miles 743 AEG
Hiking6.04 Miles   3 Hrs   13 Mns   2.05 mph
743 ft AEG      16 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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mamakatt22
On day 3 of our trip we started at Karr Canyon Road where the trail crosses the road. Today we head north to yesterdays turn around point near Rim Trail Parking #4 then headed back to where we started on Karr canyon Road.

This section of the Rim Trail like the previous two we did was through a pine/fir forest with a couple of nice meadows where the trail crosses streams(dry). Today the views over the Tularosa Basin were good as yesterdays dust cleared out over night. I say just good because they would be better and you could see further if the air was a bit dryer or after a winter storm. This would be a nice trail around sunset (actually any part of the Rim Trail) but the sun doesn’t set till 8:00 and restaurants in Cloudcroft close around 6:00 so we missed the sunset. There was no water along the trail as the winter snow runoff was complete and like Arizona waiting for the monsoons.
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Jun 09 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Nelson Vista Loop, NM 
Nelson Vista Loop, NM
 
Hiking avatar Jun 09 2020
markthurman53
Hiking0.49 Miles 84 AEG
Hiking0.49 Miles      21 Mns   1.40 mph
84 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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mamakatt22
On day 3 of our Cloudcroft excursion after finishing our hike we stopped for a short walk along the Nelson overlook Trail. This trail starts along the Sun Spot Highway at a marked Trail Head. At the end of this .25 mile trail is a viewpoint overlooking the Tularosa Basin and White Sands. The San Andres Mountains west of the Tularosa Basin were also visible. The views along the Rim Trail were equally as good. There is a short .1 mile route from this trail to the Rim Trail below.
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Jun 08 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Rim Trail Mile 4-8, NM 
Rim Trail Mile 4-8, NM
 
Hiking avatar Jun 08 2020
markthurman53
Hiking8.75 Miles 1,134 AEG
Hiking8.75 Miles   4 Hrs   49 Mns   2.12 mph
1,134 ft AEG      41 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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mamakatt22
On day two of our trip to Cloudcroft we did mile 3.5 to 7.7 along the Rim Trail T105. We started the hike at Rim Trail Parking #3 along the Sun Spot Highway. Unlike Rim Trail Parking 1, 2 and 4 there was no sign along the road. The trail head is along a dirt road that leaves the highway. From this trail head we hiked north to our turn around point yesterday then headed south until we got to mile 7.7 where the sign indicating Parking #4.

This is a very Pleasant hike through pine/fir forest and a couple of meadows. The forest of Lincoln National Forest are among some of the nicest forests I have seen. Views along the trail over Tularosa Basin and to the north of Sierra Blanca near Ruidoso are excellent although today it was a bit dusty to see much of anything. This is a well maintained trail, easy to follow but in a few spots rocky, the kind that get under your feet and you feel like you’re on roller skates.

There was no wildlife to report other than the elk along the road on the way back to the cabin. Other than a number of wild roses and the New Mexico Locust Trees the flowers were scarce, The spring blooms were gone and waiting for the monsoon bloom. There was no water along the trail as the winter snow runoff was complete and like Arizona waiting for the monsoons.
Flora
Flora
New Mexico Locust
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Jun 07 2020
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 575
 Photos 6,927
 Triplogs 477

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Rim Trail Mile 0 - 4, NM 
Rim Trail Mile 0 - 4, NM
 
Hiking avatar Jun 07 2020
markthurman53
Hiking7.23 Miles 877 AEG
Hiking7.23 Miles   3 Hrs   18 Mns   2.19 mph
877 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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mamakatt22
Ginny and I spent 5 days up at Cloudcroft on a vacation/honeymoon/hiking trip. We wanted to do the Rim Trail, T105, that Ginny and I started last November. This time we did the first 15 miles of which this hike was the first 3.5 miles of the trail that starts near Cloudcroft. The weather was in the mid 60’s with a breeze/wind on the peaks. Overall it was great hiking weather.

We started at The Rim Trail Parking lot 1 along the Sun Spot Highway. The trail is in excellent condition very well maintained no dead fall to climb over. The views over the Tularosa Basin and White sands were excellent and along one section of the trail Sierra Blanca Peak (11981 feet) near Ruidoso could be seen to the north. There was no water along the trail as the winter snow runoff was complete and like Arizona waiting for the monsoons. Saw a couple of casual hikers along the trail (and I guess that’s what we were too) but for the most part we had the trail to ourselves.

There was no wildlife to report other than the elk along the road on the way back to the cabin. Other than a number of wild roses the flowers were scarce, The spring blooms were gone and waiting for the monsoon bloom.
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average hiking speed 2.29 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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