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382 triplogs

Oct 09 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Lubbock Lake Outer Perimeter, TX 
Lubbock Lake Outer Perimeter, TX
 
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2019
markthurman53
Hiking4.10 Miles 76 AEG
Hiking4.10 Miles   1 Hour   26 Mns   2.86 mph
76 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Decided to do our early morning walk again at Lubbock Lake but this time all along the perimeter. Wasn't any more exciting than the inner loop though. company was pleasant.
Flora
Flora
Blazing star
Fauna
Fauna
Gopher Snake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Purple gayfeather
_____________________
Oct 04 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Cap Rock Canyon Loop, TX 
Cap Rock Canyon Loop, TX
 
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2019
markthurman53
Hiking16.59 Miles 1,707 AEG
Hiking16.59 Miles   7 Hrs   1 Min   2.89 mph
1,707 ft AEG   1 Hour   16 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Caprock Canyon Loop

I traveled back up to Caprock canyon State Park on my own this time to hit some of the trails I didn’t get to the last time I was here. Today’s hike would be one big loop hike that would encompass as many trails as made sense. I managed to string together almost all the trails but there were sections of a few trails I couldn’t get in. I will save them for the next time I’m in Lubbock. This hike turned out to be a respectable 17 miles with 2000 feet AEG.

I arrived at the park by 10:30 (sun doesn’t come up till just past 8:00 here) and it was foggy. Started out at the top on the Caprocks and took the Canyon Rim Trail down to the Little Red River. There might have been some good views here but all I saw was fog. The good news was it was slowly lifting, the bad news is the sun came out and it was muggy. At the Little Red River I headed back up a Mesa on the Mesa Trail. This Mesa was only about 200 feet high so it was a rather pleasant hike up and I had 2 miles to do it in, that’s hardly up hill at all. There are not a lot of views along the Mesa Trail but at times you do get a glimpse of the Southeast portion of the park. The vegetation on the mesa is fairly thick with juniper and at times visibility is just 10 yards. When I was on this trail on the upper part of the Mesa I ran into what I thought were just two buffalo, then two more and before long I realized I was in the middle of about 20 buffalo. They were quite docile but I knew it could be quite dangerous if they spooked, not because they are vicious but because 2000 pounds of beef on the hoof running scared is not something you want to be in the way of. It is kind of like being in the crosswalk when the light turns green.

From the Mesa trail I got onto the Lower North Prong Trail which was a pleasant walk along North Prong Creek. It had been raining here the last few days so the creek had a little water flowing in spots but it was very muddy. The walk along the creek was quite interesting with the red rock crisscrossed by gypsum and a thick layer of some kind of calcium carbonate rock that had the appearance of marble. Might have been dolomite but I could not find anything on the internet as to what it was. From the Lower North Prong trail I got back on the Upper North Prong that I was on a few days earlier, past Fern cave and back up on top of John Haynes Ridge. Haynes Ridge is a really neat trail. The walk along the John Haynes ridge is really flat for about 2 miles with one small section where you drop about 100 feet. At the two mile point you come to John Haynes Vista. By now the sun was out and the views along this ridge were spectacular. The sun enhanced the red rocks of the Llano Estacado to the north and south as far as you can see (which is not as far as you can see in Arizona). From the vista point the trail drops 500 feet in .4 miles. The lower portion of this trail is very steep and rocky but the footing is good, a lot of rock scrambling. I believe I would rather descend this portion of the trail than ascend it.

From the John Haynes Trail I would follow the North Prong Spur Trail to the Lower South Prong Trail and cut over to the Eagles Peak Trail. On the South Prong Trail I ran into another buffalo. I decided to wait for it to get off the trail but as it did another one was right behind it, then another and another. I thought enough of that; it was like waiting for a long slow train at a railroad crossing. I headed off to the left in the brush and as I got along side them I clapped my hands and hollered like a cowboy and they all took off running. They not only look like cattle but they respond like cattle. I didn't realize it at the time but there was a car along the road that parallels this trail and they were taking pictures as the Buffalo paraded single file across the road then all of a sudden as I spooked the buffalo they all took off on to the road and that car was surrounded by about a dozen buffalo. I don't think the people in the car knew what happened. The Eagles Peak Trail is kind of a sleeper with the exception of the natural arch that passes under the trail. Once at the end of the Eagles Peak Trail it was just a couple tenths of a mile back to where I started.

This was a fun hike in a different type of environment. When I get back to Lubbock I will have to come back to finish up what I didn’t get to do today.
Flora
Flora
Blazing star
_____________________
Oct 01 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
North and South Prong Loop, TX 
North and South Prong Loop, TX
 
Hiking avatar Oct 01 2019
markthurman53
Hiking7.70 Miles 955 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   4 Hrs   11 Mns   2.44 mph
955 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
South and North Prong Loop

I have been in Texas the last two weeks near Lubbock and was going stark raving crazy because there isn’t anything around that even resembles a mountain. With a little research I found Caprock Canyon State Park. This is very much like Palo Duro State Park in that it is along the western edge of the Llano Estacado. This is an uplifted area that encompasses eastern New Mexico and Northwest Texas. The Spanish called it “Hay Sierras debajo de los llanos” - There are mountains below the plains. It has the word mountain in it and that is good enough for me, I am desperate. This park about 90 miles from Lubbock is within a day’s striking distance and has about 30 miles of trails.

The first days hike was with a friend from Lubbock who could navigate the back roads to get me there. We decided on a loop hike along the Upper South Prong and Upper North Prong of the Little Red River for an 8 mile loop hike. We didn’t know it but there are 3 what they call challenging hikes in this park and we picked two of them. I didn’t think they were all that challenging but they did get your heart rate up. The area sort of reminds me of a mini Sedona without all of the tourist, busy town and traffic; actually I guess it was nothing like Sedona except for the red rock cliffs. The day was overcast so even though it was rather humid by Tucson standards it was pleasant.

The rock formations were quite interesting, red sand/mudstone with white gypsum bands cutting through them horizontally with an occasional diagonal one for variation. On this hike we did come across 1 lone buffalo in the upper south prong canyon. After leaving South Prong Canyon and crossing over John Haynes Ridge we headed down the Upper North Prong Canyon with a stop at Fern Cave. Actually more like a cove, covered in ferns as the name implies. There is a water fall that comes down over the cove but when we were there it wasn’t flowing, would be neat to see that. We continued down the North Prong with more interesting rock formations and returned to our starting point along the North prong Spur Trail. Really nice hike and I got my fix at least until I can come back on my own in two days to finish up some of the trails we didn’t get to today.
_____________________
Sep 13 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Grant Creek Moonshine Creek, AZ 
Grant Creek Moonshine Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 13 2019
markthurman53
Hiking3.92 Miles 462 AEG
Hiking3.92 Miles   2 Hrs   4 Mns   2.40 mph
462 ft AEG      26 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Started out the second day at Cunningham Campground on the Grant Creek Moonshine Creek Trail. This hike originally was just over to Moonshine Creek and on to the Ridge between Post Canyon and Moonshine Canyon. I was unaware of Grant Creek Trail so I expanded the hike to include the upper portion of the Grant Creek Trail.

The Trail Head is at the Cunningham Campground. Moonshine Creek Trail is not posted on the trail head sign and I suspect it is not an official Trail But the Grant Creek Trail is. The trail starts out following an old two track but after about .2 miles becomes an actual trail. At .7 miles in the Grant Creek Trail splits off and the Moonshine Trail continues on to a saddle that separates Moonshine Creek from the Grant Creek upper Drainage system. Once at the saddle the moonshine Creek trail follows along an old overgrown two track again until it crosses Moonshine Creek. Once across the creek it follows a well established road to its terminus. From the terminus go cross country West along the ridge to a rocky outcrop (.1 miles). From this Rocky outcrop there are great views of the Western slopes of Mount Graham, specifically the Post and Soldier Canyons to the north and Moonshine Creek to the south. Moonshine creek does an abrupt drop here with waterfalls and cascades. There was water in Moonshine Creek and it could be seen cascading down but it wasn't that impressive, would be much better if there was a good flow like after a monsoon rain or in the spring with snow melt.

I headed back the way I came but this time at the Grant Creek sign I headed down the Grant Creek Trail. I did not see the trail initially so I just went up the the ridge and followed that to where the Grant Creek trail starts its descent. There was no trail along the ridge until the last .1 miles before the drop off and then the trail was quite obvious. There are some good views to the North along this ridge of Moonshine Creek and the rocky outcrop I was on just a short time ago. I headed back the way I came. Once back at the Trail junction with Moonshine Creek I noticed the Grant Creek Trail splitting off (don't know how I missed it initially). I decided to follow this trail. So off I went again but this time on the trail and ended up where I was before about .1 miles from where the Trail starts to drop into Grant Creek. I will have to do the Grant Creek Trail from below, maybe this Winter or Spring.
Named place
Named place
Winchester Mountains
_____________________
Sep 13 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Big Creek Trail, AZ 
Big Creek Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 13 2019
markthurman53
Hiking3.01 Miles 772 AEG
Hiking3.01 Miles   1 Hour   28 Mns   2.18 mph
772 ft AEG      5 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
The second hike for the day was the Big Creek Trail. This trail Head is a bit tricky to locate but with a GPS Route should be easy to find. The trail is not posted along the road but it is just 100 yards south of Big Creek near the Hospital Flat Turnoff. This trail follows along an old logging road and is fairly easy to follow with the exception of the lower .2 miles. Fairly overgrown with lots of dead fall but overall easy to navigate. I headed up to the 9800 foot red squirrel refugium. The trail ends at a road that follows along the crest that extends up to Mount Graham. The trail end is about 500 feet past and about 60 feet above the 9800 foot boundary but I promise no red squirrels were harmed. I wasn't sure if when I stepped past the boundary if alarms would sound, helicopters would come over the rise or the US Marine Corps would come storming over the hill. Nothing happened. I stayed for a few minutes got some photos and started my way back down. Thunder was rumbling in the clouds that were just overhead so it was probably good to start heading back. This is an interesting trail not because of any great views but it does go through some pretty picturesque forests.
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Sep 13 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Treasure Park Loop, AZ 
Treasure Park Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 13 2019
markthurman53
Hiking3.19 Miles 436 AEG
Hiking3.19 Miles   1 Hour   13 Mns   2.73 mph
436 ft AEG      3 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
One last short hike before heading back to Tucson. After hiking the Moonshine Creek and Big Creek Trails I was going to eat lunch and then do the Treasure Park Trail. Since it was getting really dark from the clouds above and the thunder was rumbling I decided to finish this 3 mile in and back hike before eating lunch. This is another easy trail like the Moonshine Creek hike and follows an old two track the whole way. This trail connects Snow Flat Campground with Treasure Park Campground. Unlike the Moonshine Creek Trail there are no sweeping views from this trail, just a stroll through the forest passing through a couple of burn areas. Treasure Park is quite scenic and if I was going to camp this looks like a good option. I wouldn't make special plans to do this hike but if you are in the area with a little time to kill this is a good option. The rain never did hit in this area but I did notice as I was driving back that the storms were heading west across the desert. Would be nice if they would make it all the way to Tucson.
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Sep 12 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Round the Mountain Trail upper, AZ 
Round the Mountain Trail upper, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 12 2019
markthurman53
Hiking1.05 Miles 355 AEG
Hiking1.05 Miles      50 Mns   1.54 mph
355 ft AEG      9 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
On this trip to the Pinaleno Mountains I was going to do a couple of short trails on the upper part of the mountain before the snows close access to them down. For the first hike my intentions were to hike the Round the Mountain trail from it's north end about 3 miles to the junction with the Fry Canyon Trail. Parked at the end of the Old Columbine Road, The trail is signed at the trail Head. I headed out on the faint trail and within 100 yards the trail disappears in a grove of aspen saplings. I will never see the trail or any hint of it after that. I wander around crossing a couple washed out streams, crossing over lots of dead fall and scrambling across rock debris fields. My thinking was when I get through this "stuff" the trail will show up but the "stuff" never seemed to end. After a couple of trips and stumbles I figured I would bag this hike and go back and maybe attack it from the other end some day. This was no place to to have an injury especially since no one knows I'm here. For some reason GPS Joe kept going through my head.

If anyone has information on the existence of this trail and the condition of other parts would appreciate the info. From my GPS route I now know what a route of someone who is lost and wandering around aimlessly looks like.
_____________________
Sep 12 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Deadman Highline Trail #325, AZ 
Deadman Highline Trail #325, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 12 2019
markthurman53
Hiking3.93 Miles 936 AEG
Hiking3.93 Miles   2 Hrs   26 Mns   1.89 mph
936 ft AEG      21 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
After the failure to complete the Round the Mountain Trail I headed back up the Old Columbine road to the Deadman Highline Trail. This trail follows an old logging road to a place 9800 feet up an unnamed Ridge. After a short side trip up a road that was not part of the trail I eventually got on the correct trail. This trail was much easier to follow at least for the first half. The last half the trail is there but easy to loose. I probably was off trail about a third of the way the last half. On the way back down I was able to stay on trail most all the way. Once on the ridge the views to the east are pretty good. Trees obscure the views though. Once on the ridge I continued up until I hit the 9800 foot elevation (Red Squirrel refugium) where I paused for a break before heading back down.

Nice hike with a continuous uphill climb but nothing strenuous. Saw about a half dozen turkeys and a couple of deer. The destination is kind of not exciting since it is somewhere along a ridge at an elevation of 9800 feet. The views to the east are good but you have to look between the trees. There was no one else on the trail, in fact I don't think there was anyone in the vicinity of Columbine. The temperatures were in the mid 60s which was kind of a welcomed change from the other hikes I have done this summer that were 85 plus.
_____________________
Sep 12 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Webb Peak Loop, AZ 
Webb Peak Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 12 2019
markthurman53
Hiking4.06 Miles 948 AEG
Hiking4.06 Miles   2 Hrs   33 Mns   1.90 mph
948 ft AEG      25 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The last hike for the day was to Webb Peak then down what I guess is the Blair Ash Ridge Trail but instead of going all the way down Blair Ash Ridge I took a connector trail to Ash Creek. I took Ash Creek back to the Starting point. The Webb Peak Trail #345 was in good condition, the best trail I have seen all day. Good views from the Webb Peak tower in all directions.

From Webb Peak I continued down Blair Ash Ridge for about a mile where I headed south toward the Ash Creek Trail. Much of the first mile along the ridge follows an old logging road but is heavily overgrown and in places hard to locate the trail. In places the trail shows up nicely then it would just disappear. The last half mile of this section is easier to follow because the old road is more obvious. Not much to see along this section but it didn't matter as I was pretty occupied with trail finding. At 1 mile in I took another old logging road toward Ash Creek. This trail was easy to follow but lots of dead fall along the way. Once in Ash Creek the trail is very hard to locate. I did notice red ribbons tied to various things and it didn't take long to realize these were trail markers. These ribbons were real time savers because even though there wasn't much of a trail in many places it would eventually lead to a recognizable trail. They also indicated where the trail crossed the stream. This trail eventually leaves Ash Creek and heads up to the Trail Head at Columbine Campground. Needed to watch for these ribbons along this stretch because it is really overgrown and the trail almost non existent or hidden under brush.

This is a nice loop Trail with a little bit of elevation gain, a little path finding skills and a peak with great views. Probably the best and closest view of the Telescope and Mount Graham. Temperatures were in the upper 60sso it was perfect hiking weather.
Culture
Culture
Mining Equipment
_____________________
Sep 03 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Rock Wall Bear Foot Loop, AZ 
Rock Wall Bear Foot Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2019
markthurman53
Hiking16.17 Miles 2,423 AEG
Hiking16.17 Miles   8 Hrs      2.56 mph
2,423 ft AEG   1 Hour   41 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
On my second day in Payson I opted for the Rock Wall, Pine Canyon and Bear Foot Loop. I started at the Rock Wall Trail because I wanted to get the climb up to the rim done in the early morning. The Rock Wall Trail, actually an old road, is a moderate consistent climb up to the rim along what looked like an old road. I didn't see any rock wall except the two that were lining the road at two creek crossings. I guess these rock walls are what the trail is named after. There are no spectacular views from this trail, just a get down to business and get to the top trail. Once on top it is a typical Mogollon Rim road through the forest. Glad I had my GPS because there are a lot of side roads up there. I picked roads on the top that would get me over to the Pine Canyon Trail with a minimum of hiking along Highway 87. Worked good for a while but eventually I had to resort to walking along the highway to avoid ravines that butted up against the road. Took a short break at the junction with Lake Mary Road. Continued on along 87 to a forest road that leads to the Pine Canyon Trail Head.

I did not know what to expect for the Pine Canyon Trail, thought it might be in bad condition. Surprisingly it is in very good condition with well laid out switchbacks. It appears to have been manicured recently because much of the brush has been cut back off the trail. Really nice views both up and down Pine Canyon. Once down in the canyon it is a couple mile walk along the Canyon Bottom to the Bear Foot Trail junction. It is very scenic along the canyon floor and the 2 miles went by fast. It was hard to get photos along this section because it was still in the shade and you are in the middle of it. Kind of like can't see the forest for the trees. I ended up just enjoying the mental images I captured. At the junction with the Bear Foot Trail I continued on down the Pine Canyon Trail for a tenth of a mile or so to my turn around point of a previous hike on the Pine Canyon Trail from the other end.

I took lunch at the junction with the Bear Foot Trail. I had the other half of the Subway sandwich I ate yesterday. This is a really nice area where these two trails meet. It was rather dry because the ferns were on the verge of turning brown. Filled up my canteen at the creek that had a light flow. After a half hour break I started back on the Bear Foot Trail.

I was dreading the hike back along the Bear Foot trail because I knew it would be hot. Luckily there was a little cloud cover for much of the hike. It also sprinkled a little but all this did was make it really muggy. This trail is not real scenic but there are a few good views along the way. I ran into a couple of elk at the water tank. I spooked them up and they took off up the hill a little way and then stopped and looked back. I told them I was just passing through and not to run up the hill any further, it was much to hot for that. They stayed where they were and I took some pictures and went on my way.

I don't know if it was just because I was hot and tired and my boots that just got resoled were causing my feet agony but this trail with it's long meandering switchbacks was irritating. There is one loop in this trail that is over .2 miles long that can be avoided if you go up 4 feet over a slight rise and 30 feet later you are back on the trail. Do not know what the purpose of this loop is. Maybe there is a great view there that I missed. Anyway this is a nice fairly easy trail to get to Pine Canyon Creek even though it is long. The only other option is the Pine Canyon Trail and it is equally long (minus the aimless meandering). I have been wanting to do this trail for some time but next time I will take the Pine Canyon Trail. I did notice that some have taken this trail from the neighborhood below near the water tank, this would cut 4 miles off the trek. Not sure if there is trail head parking in the residential area or if you have to know somebody.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pine Creek @ Bearfoot Trail Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
Sep 02 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Webber Turkey Spring Loop, AZ 
Webber Turkey Spring Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2019
markthurman53
Hiking13.41 Miles 2,619 AEG
Hiking13.41 Miles   7 Hrs   13 Mns   2.43 mph
2,619 ft AEG   1 Hour   42 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
After a month of not hiking I decided to head up to Payson for a couple days. Heading up there on Labor day turned out to be a good idea, Started out of Tucson at 0500, there was no traffic coming out of Phoenix and the drive to the trail head at Webber Creek was also fairly easy, with the exception of a few crazies that think the control Road is a place to see how fast their off road vehicles can take that road. Got a late start at 0900. Amazingly the two days of hiking here I did not see one other person on the trail.

Started out on the Highline Trail and after .25 miles turned on to the Geronimo Trail, which is actually just an old road for the most part. The fun began at the West Webber Trail. I would really of preferred to do this a bit earlier because by 1000 it was getting a little warm and humid for this ascent. This trail was in good condition but it is steep. After a few standing breaks I finally made it to the top. The walk along Milk Ranch Road to the Turkey Spring trail was easy going after the climb up but due to the lack of shade it was hot. Dickenson Flat Tank had a bit of water in it but didn't look too appetizing. The grass growing around it in the meadow looked like it was just freshly mowed. Do they still run cattle up here or is this just deer and elk?

I thought that at the Turkey Spring Trail Head it would be all downhill but there is a small hill to climb up first. It isn't much of a hill but it is up none the less and when your expecting down it was kind of frustrating. Funny how when you're hot and tired how you can make a mountain out of a molehill. I took my lunch break just over the hill, didn't want to start out on an uphill plus there was a slight breeze there. Had a Subway Italian BMT for lunch and I am still amazed how much better those are when you are hiking, beats the heck out of that healthy hiking trail stuff I usually have. Started down the Turkey Spring Trail refreshed and ready to go. This trail is a lot more exposed to the sun due to the lack of trees on the upper end but it was downhill so it was tolerable. The views to the north of the Mogollon rim were spectacular along this trail. I even spotted the rock up on the rim to the north that me and my wife spent some time on years ago with all of the Payson area laid out in front of us. Good memories. This is another nice trail and I would definitely rather go up the West Webber and down this one. The west Webber does a lot more switchbacks so the grade is milder and there is more canopy to shield the sun.

I still had time when I got back to the Geronimo Trail so I took it east to Webber Creek. This was kind of a ho hum trail along an old road for the most part. The last .1 miles to the creek was a trail. There was a trail that I noticed every so often that seemed to be paralleling the road, I believe this trail starts at the Campground in Webber Canyon Campground. I will have to check this out on another trip. Made it to Webber creek refilled my canteen and headed back. I had plans to hike further up the East Webber Creek Trail but time was running out. Should of left Tucson at 0300 like I originally planned. The East Webber Creek Trail looks like it is an actual Trail.

Got back to Payson about 1700 and boy what a zoo. Traffic on the 260 was backed up for miles making the turn onto 87 south to Phoenix. Lucky for me I was heading East on the 260 so there was no traffic issues. The trick is to know what everybody is doing and do the opposite. Felt good to get out hiking again after a month of idleness. The last month I have been dealing with SS and medicare. working with them is like pushing a chain up the Turkey Spring Trail. I had two days where I barely thought about them.
Named place
Named place
Dickenson Flat Tank

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dickenson Flat Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max East Webber Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Webber Creek @ Highline Light flow Light flow
_____________________
Jul 26 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Chiricahua Peak Centella Point, AZ 
Chiricahua Peak Centella Point, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 26 2019
markthurman53
Hiking12.22 Miles 1,732 AEG
Hiking12.22 Miles   5 Hrs   17 Mns   2.58 mph
1,732 ft AEG      33 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Chiricahua Peak was my destination for the second day of hiking with a side trip to Centilla Point. I had breakfast down in Portal so I didn't get to the Trail Head until 9:00. I still had plenty of time to get the 12.5 miles in and drive back to Tucson. Today will be a continuation of the Crest Trail to the high point in the Chiricahua Mountains, Chiricahua Peak at 9759 feet. Today the clouds were building up but I anticipated that like yesterday they would drift off to the Northwest. I Made it to the Peak by 11:00 and just as I got there and took my pack off it started to rain and hail and lightning. Not wanting to hang out on the highest point around during a lightning storm I abandon the break and headed down the peak. Instead of going down the way I came I thought I would go down the other side and meet the Crest Trail. There is supposedly a trail here but I only saw vague remnants of what looked like might be a trail. It was only .4 miles and the bush wacking was fairly easy. On my way up I ran into a black bear and its cub but it took off before I could get a photo, I thought by going down the other side of the hill I might run across them again but I didn't. Once back on the Crest Trail I broke out my poncho, I was already pretty wet but was concerned about my camera. The rain would continue on and off through early afternoon but nothing torrential and luckily most lightning was not air to ground. I do love lightning storms at 10,000 feet. I was able to finish up all the routes I intended to and the cloud cover/rain kept it cool and a bit muggy. I pretty much finished all the trails on the top of the mountain but there are quite a few that start lower down and head up to the crest. I will wait til Fall, winter or spring to do these. My list of trails to do keeps getting Larger not shorter. Looks like Pinaleno and Chiricahua Mountains in fall and spring and Superstitions in the winter.

The trails on this hike were in pretty good shape with the exception of the Bear Wallow Trail, it was a bit faint but once again with a careful watch, easy to follow. Tub Spring on the north side of Flys Peak was running. Didn't check Booger Spring or Anita Spring. Great views from all along the trail but if it is wide long views across the valleys below don't come during monsoon the humidity limits the distance you can see. Monsoon Season is a good time to see Rain storms passing over the valleys below or on nearby peaks and canyons. Raspberries were plentiful and strawberry plants were all around but no strawberries yet.
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Jul 25 2019
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Buena Vista and Flys Peak, AZ 
Buena Vista and Flys Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2019
markthurman53
Hiking11.39 Miles 2,788 AEG
Hiking11.39 Miles   5 Hrs   38 Mns   2.16 mph
2,788 ft AEG      22 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
My first trip into the Chiricahua Mountains (not counting Chiricahua National Monument) and I was impressed. I think I liked it more the the Pinaleno Mountains. The only down side was the 12 mile dirt road up and the 13 mile dirt road down to Portal. The up side is it means less traffic. This mountain has enough trails to keep me occupied for years to come, kind of like the Superstitions in that respect. On this trip I spent two days hiking the trails along the crest but later in the year when it cools off a bit the lower trails will become a little more doable.

On the first day I started along the crest Trail at the Barfoot Road Trail Head. The trails along the crest are not well maintained but They are in good condition and easy to follow, Well signed with very little overgrowth and a minimum of dead fall across the trails. I'm sure lower down on the mountain the trails are rockier but up here they weren't. Forest regrowth after the fires years ago (not sure what year) is coming along nicely even though the scars of the fire can still be seen. It looks like the recovery cycle is doing better here than in the Pinaleno Mountains, but that could be a subjective statement.

My first side trip was up to Buena Vista Peak to the Barfoot Look out. There is no look out there just the foundation. In keeping with the peak name there are great views. Barfoot Park below and Barfoot Peak to the north along with Cochise Head and Dos Cabezas. Mount Graham would be visible if it weren't monsoon season. From the peak I headed down to Barfoot Park and Barfoot Spring, very pleasant area. The name Barfoot is a bit strange, I wonder if it is some southern mountain mans pronunciation of bear, like Bar Wallow, I'm going bar hunting or does a bar poop in the woods. I headed back up to the crest trail and headed toward Rustler Park. Never understood why they call these high mountain meadows parks, I always expect to see slides and swings and always leave disappointed.

I took the Bootleggers trail near Rustlers Park down .7 miles to the Rock Creek Trail and took that back up to the Crest Trail at Bootlegger Saddle. These trails are a bit faint and in need of maintenance but with a good eye they are easy enough to follow and every so often a rock cairn will reassure. Both these trails will need further investigating but will have to wait for cooler weather as they head down the west slopes of the Chiricahua Mountain.

Back on the Crest Trail I headed to Flys Peak. The Crest Trail from Bootlegger Saddle passes along the west side of Riggs Peak and then to Flys Saddle. At Flys Saddle four trails intersect, Long Park Trail, Centella Trail, Flys Peak Trail and the Crest Trail. Flys Saddle is covered in young aspen trees about 10 to 20 feet tall, part of the recovery process. The Flys Peak Trail is .8 miles to the summit. Not terribly great views from there because of the trees but the view along the crest to the South is Pretty Good. Raspberries and flowers were numerous. I was able to eat all the berries I wanted this time, I had no doctors procedure that required that I not eat things with seeds in them. On the return trip I headed back down the Crest Trail to Rustlers Park and took the road back to the start point along Barfoot Road.

The weather cooperated nicely on this hike, cloud build up but no rain. Temperatures in the mid 70's. Looks like a couple areas got rain the night before but didn't look like too much. There was water at Barfoot Park at the spring but along the Crest Trail I didn't see any. Probably at some of the named springs along the trail but I didn't check them out. I will take the 13 mile dirt road down the East side of the Mountain to Portal and stay at the Portal Cafe and lodge. I was really impressed with Cave Creek on the way to Portal, magnificent rock formations. This will be an interesting area to hike when the weather cools off. The Portal cafe had excellent food and eating on the patio in the evening added to the enjoyment. Tomorrow I head back up to the crest and hit Chiricahua Peak.
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Jul 19 2019
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Grant Hill Trails, AZ 
Grant Hill Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 19 2019
markthurman53
Hiking7.74 Miles 829 AEG
Hiking7.74 Miles   3 Hrs   46 Mns   2.37 mph
829 ft AEG      30 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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On my second day of hiking I went back up to the top of the mountain to hike around Grant Hill. This 8 mile loop hike will be made up of two trails the Grant Hill inner and Grant Hill Outer loop with a few short interconnecting trails. Total elevation gain is 830 feet but it is spread out so it is hardly noticeable. With my feet all taped up and my boots cinched really tight I headed out. Felt really stiff at the start but after a few minutes was back to normal. This loop hike is also in an area that was affected by fire of 2017 but was sporadic in coverage in this area. about two thirds of this trail is along old logging roads and a bit overgrown but easy to follow. The other third is along trails that are no longer there. In most places even a good imagination won't yield a trail. There were rock cairns and tape ribbons along certain sections to indicate that you are on the right track even if you don't think you are. The tape ribbons were like fair weather friends, they are there when things are good leading you along a certain route but then they disappear when you really need them, leaving you in the middle of the woods guessing were to go next. My GPS route was for the inner Loop but for the outer loop I was on my own. Luckily with a little common sense and an idea of where I wanted to go I was able to stay on "trail". Eventually I would see more of my fair weather friend indicating I'm on track. After finishing the outer loop I back tracked to finish the inner Loop. Really beautiful area. Must of been something before the fire. There are great views to the west on the western side of the loop.
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Jul 19 2019
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Bear Canyon Trail #299 Upper, AZ 
Bear Canyon Trail #299 Upper, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 19 2019
markthurman53
Hiking3.02 Miles 1,112 AEG
Hiking3.02 Miles   1 Hour   54 Mns   1.95 mph
1,112 ft AEG      21 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Last hike for the day before heading back to Tucson. This is a short 3 mile in and back hike on the Bear Canyon Trail to the junction with the Dutch Henry Trail. I also took a short excursion up to Butterfly Peak. This again was a really nice trail, easy to follow with very little obstructions in the trail. This trail follows along a ridge that I was fascinated by on last weeks hike. Being a ridge trail, views to the East and West were pretty good. At some point I want to do the Bear Canyon Trail and Dutch Henry Trail from below (will have to wait for cooler weather though.) and by doing the upper 1000 feet now it will make those hikes that much easier.

I would definitely make it up to Ladybug Peak since it is a short .1 miles off the trail. Go visit the ladybugs but walk carefully. Trail sign at the Ladybug Saddle for the Dutch Henry Trail is wrong, should be 1.5 miles.
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Jul 18 2019
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Arcadia Trail #328, AZ 
Arcadia Trail #328, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2019
markthurman53
Hiking8.97 Miles 3,099 AEG
Hiking8.97 Miles   6 Hrs   25 Mns   2.03 mph
3,099 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Arrived at the lower Arcadia Camp Ground at 0600 to temperatures in the lower 60's. I didn't realize till later that I should be about .1 miles further up road at the Upper Arcadia Camp ground. No big deal it just adds about .1 mile to the hike. I came with a GPS route that I downloaded from HAZ. The problem with that route is it has the trail heading over Heliograph ridge at the wrong saddle. There is a sign near Eagle Rock that indicated the Arcadia trail crosses the ridge there. I created a route by tracing what I could see of the trail on Google Earth and filled in the rest. Turns out this GPS route I created was pretty close. As a note on the GPS route that goes with this write-up; The upper one third of the upward trek is just a copy of the upper one third downward trek. I forgot to turn my GPS back on after a break and did not realize it til I got to the summit.

As a trail goes I really like this trail, It climbs the almost 3000 feet in 4.5 miles at a really nice slope, would be fairly easy to keep up a 2 MPH rate. The issue is that the trail is either hidden by brush or washed out, so the going is very slow, I think I did 1.25 MPH going up. At .7 miles in you come to Wet Canyon Creek crossing. Where the trail use to cross is a 20 foot drop. It took me twenty minutes to find a place to cross and get to the other side. Coming down was easier than going backup. On the way back I was spread eagle climbing up the bank and the dirt and rock at all four of my anchor points was sliding down about as fast as my upward movement. I wasn't terribly high up but the only thought in my mind as I was making an attempt to go up was how bad is this going to hurt if I slip down. I figured I wouldn't kill myself, probably not break anything but it was going to probably hurt a lot. Luckily I didn't find out as I was able to inch my way up. The sad part is a younger version of me (much younger) would probably have gone up without an issue. This was the only place where there is a washout issue. There were numerous dead fall but I expected this (plan to get really dirty as a lot of it is charred). Every so often you get a nice section of trail but it ends when you come into an area overgrown by ferns or brush. The trail is there so if you know the general direction you come out on the other side on trail. Expect a lot of this. On the ridge crossing at Noon Creek Ridge I lost the trail completely. Took me wandering around a bit to locate it again. The odd thing was that on the way back it happened to me again in this same area. Once back on trail with a little vigilance you can stay on trail. At the final Noon Creek Ridge crossing is in the general area that the Route I downloaded from HAZ differs from the route I made. The trail is fairly easy to follow in this area and it definitely follows the one I created. It appears that at one time there was a trail that crossed Heliograph Peak Ridge higher up but all traces of that trail are now gone. After crossing Noon Creek Ridge the trail enters the Noon Creek upper water shed and there was no issue staying on trail but it was really overgrown. At one point I was on hands and Knees crawling under brush to get through. The up side is that there are a lot of dew berry plants here and therefor lots of bears use this trail, if you get down low like a bear getting through this brush is easier. I was unable to sample the dew berries because of a procedure I'm having done next Monday and am not allowed to eat things with seeds in it 5 days prior. After looking at the bear droppings full of these seeds I can see why. They sure looked good though, The dewberries not the bear dung. Other than the aforementioned items this was a great hike. I'm not sure that in a year this trail will be passable unless some trail maintenance is done.

This is a really nice hike even with the slow going, terrific views and I was fortunate to have great weather, could of been much worse for a July day. The half hour break at the summit was one of those times where you are thinking, life can't get any better than this. Wet Creek had a good flow of water, In fact on my return trip I emptied my canteen and filled with the cool stream water. There were also few seeps along the trail on the way to the summit.
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Jul 18 2019
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Ladybug Trail Turkey Flat, AZ 
Ladybug Trail Turkey Flat, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2019
markthurman53
Hiking1.28 Miles 365 AEG
Hiking1.28 Miles      52 Mns   1.92 mph
365 ft AEG      12 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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I still had a little time after the Arcadia Trail before heading down into Safford where I will stay the night. I picked a short 1.2 mile round trip hike up to the Ladybug Trail. This .6 mile hike goes from Turkey Flat up 365 feet to the Ladybug Trail that I was on last week. It was nice to be on an actual trail that was easy to follow. There were great views to the north of the area that I just finished hiking. There was a family on the trail that did a car shuttle hike from Ladybug Saddle to Turkey Flat. It would be nice if there was a trail below the ridge connecting the Lady Bug Saddle Trail Head to the Turkey Flat Trail Head, would make a nice loop.

My feet were really sore with a couple of blisters forming. My regular boots are in Seattle Washington being resoled so I'm wearing an old pair of boots and they fit a little loose. I will have to tape up my feet tonight and wear an extra pair of socks and tighten up the laces for tomorrows hikes.
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Jul 10 2019
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Heliograph Peak Loop, AZ 
Heliograph Peak Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 10 2019
markthurman53
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,064 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   2 Hrs   22 Mns   2.42 mph
1,064 ft AEG      23 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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First hike for the second day in the Pinaleno Mountains was up to Heliograph Peak from Shannon Camp Ground. I started at 7:00 with temps in the low 60's. The Arcadia trail starts out contouring the south slope of Marijilda Canyon Through a dense growth of fir trees and a patches of Blackberry (dewberries) and strawberry plants. should be excellent in about a month. Contouring the south slope, the trail enters a ravine that comes down from the ridge that extends Northeast of Heliograph peak. This is a burn area from either the 2004 or 2017 fires with lots of dead fall. The GPS routes show the Arcadia Trail heading up this ravine but I saw no trace of it. If it was here it is very well hidden. The trail continues contouring the slope through this ravine before heading up to the ridge to a small saddle near Eagle Rock. This area is covered in dead fall and the trail is almost non existent but if you watch closely you will see rock cairns every so often to let you know you are still heading in the right direction. Once at the saddle there is a very large tree that has blown over and blocks the trail, Climb over, go around or under what ever it takes to get around it. On the other side partially hidden by the fallen tree is a sign indicating the junction of the Arcadia and Heliograph Peak Trails. At this junction there is definitely a trail that heads down into noon creek that is the continuation of the Arcadia Trail. The Heliograph Trail heads up the east side of the ridge (a little hidden at this point) to another saddle where the GPS routes show the Arcadia Trail Junction. I saw no evidence of the Arcadia Trail here. I will have to do the Arcadia trail from below to see where it crosses this ridge. I think the fires have obscured the trail. The Heliograph Peak trail heads west with a continuous climb to a ridge on the Northwest side of Heliograph Peak and follows this ridge up to the peak. The Heliograph trail is overgrown with new aspen growth but with a vigilant eye and occasional rock cairns you can stay on trail. Once on the peak the views are in all directions although a bit obscured to the south because of the communication towers. I climbed up three flights for a better view but for those more daring it goes up another three or four. After a short break on the peak I headed down the road to the start point to complete the loop. The road down is closed to motor vehicles but makes for a pleasant return trip. I would definitely advise taking the trail up though or you will miss out on some of the most scenic parts of this loop.
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Jul 10 2019
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Cunningham Loop, AZ 
Cunningham Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 10 2019
markthurman53
Hiking8.91 Miles 1,617 AEG
Hiking8.91 Miles   4 Hrs   29 Mns   2.58 mph
1,617 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Second hike for day two was the Cunningham Loop trail from the Grant Hill Trail Head. This is a fairly easy hike with a little bit of distance and AEG without realizing it. The trail is mostly along old logging roads with a short section of actual trail between the Lower and Upper Cunningham trail near Grant Creek and a section of non existent trail from the upper to lower Cunningham Trail along a side creek of Grant Creek. I did this in a counterclockwise direction. Beautiful hike along the western slopes of Mount Graham. The trail passes through some burn areas and some pristine areas. This trail takes you about as close to Mount Graham as you are allowed (staying below 9800 feet), don't want to irritate the Red Squirrel, they have had it with being counted and recounted and then burnt over the last 20 years. If you are in the area and want a fairly easy and scenic hike this is it. This hike can be broken into pieces for shorter loops with access in a couple places along the Swift Trail (Forest road). The only difficult part of this hike was the half dozen or so creek crossings. The fires have lead to massive erosion of the streams and where the logging roads use to cross these creeks with ease there are now deep ravines with unstable soil. A little bit of planning is required to find the safest and best route across. Watch out for the stinging Nettle plant at some of the crossings. It has been a long time since I encountered these buggers so at one of the crossings my hand had an encounter with them. Boy does it burn. The burning ended after about 15 minutes and left some welts but 24 hours later my fingers were still numb. As I write this almost two days later my fingers are just getting back to normal. As I recall this lengthy reaction is not a normal reaction to the plant though. I have a question someone might have an answer for, What are the little white bags stapled to some of the trees (about 3 x 5 inches). Some trees have one bag others have two or three.
Flora
Flora
Cow Parsnip
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Jul 09 2019
markthurman53
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 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Ladybug Trail #329, AZ 
Ladybug Trail #329, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 09 2019
markthurman53
Hiking12.35 Miles 4,106 AEG
Hiking12.35 Miles   8 Hrs   5 Mns   2.15 mph
4,106 ft AEG   2 Hrs   21 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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I have not been out for almost a month, My mind was willing but my body wouldn't cooperate. After a month it appears they are back in sync. I decided on the Pinaleno Mountains this time. I have not been to these mountains since the mid 60's when my father took me bear hunting with a couple of his friends. I don't remember much about the mountain except there were probably more trees on it then and the red squirrel wasn't keeping us off the peak. I do remember getting apples at the Angle Orchard.

On with the hike. Saw this write up on HAZ and decided this one sounded interesting. Checked the weather and it wasn't going to be blazing hot so I went for it. This is a steady uphill climb the whole way with occasional dips along the ridge as you pass from one minor peak to another. Since this is a ridge trail the views are great along the way. The trail is easy to follow but will need some pruning in areas as some of the brush is encroaching on the trail. I had planned on adding a couple extra miles to the end of the hike by going up Jacobson Canyon and return to Noon Creek then back to Angle Orchard to make this a 16 mile hike. Turns out the 12 miles of the Ladybug trail and the 97 degree temperatures on the lower end of the trail was more than enough for me. Will have to visit the other lower trails as the weather cools. Ran into a bear as I was descending near ladybug Peak. We both came to a switchback at the very same time and it immediately took off into the woods. I hate it when people cut switchbacks, guess I can make an exception for bears. Besides I don't know the protocol when passing a bear on the trail. Do they have the right of way? Thought about Jimmy Buffet and the story "That's when I meet the bear"

From what I saw of this trail and the surrounding area, I will have to do some more excursions to this area. I was fascinated by the ridge heading to the south from Ladybug Peak, can't find a name for it but looks like an interesting area. I believe the Dutch Henry trail follows along low on this ridge. Guess I will be finding what Safford has for Hotels and Restaurants. For tomorrow I will limit my hiking to higher up where it is a bit cooler and save the lower elevation trails for later in the year.
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average hiking speed 2.3 mph
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