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Jan 14 2023
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Mint Creek Trail #345, AZ 
Mint Creek Trail #345, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 14 2023
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking5.56 Miles 787 AEG
Hiking5.56 Miles   2 Hrs   40 Mns   2.42 mph
787 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
This route includes all of Mint Wash Trail #345, plus the first 0.8 mile of Tin Trough Springs Trail #308 from the parking lot of Williamson Valley Trailhead. I'm calling this route Mint Creek Trail #345, because on January 14, 2023 the waters in Mint Wash were in full flow, requiring the use of stepping stones on a half dozen crossings in the south half of the trail, even with waterproof boots. The waters in Mint Wash and its tributaries provided an accompaniment for the hike, twice in stereo as tributaries came down from the north.

About 1.5 miles from the Williamson Valley Trailhead there is a fishhook departure from Mint Wash Trail #345 to view petroglyphs. When you find the sign with the natural rock house on your left, climb the trail behind the sign to view the petroglyphs on a nearly horizontal rock (see photos).

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Mint Wash Waters Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
There was substantial flow in Mint Wash
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  7 archives
Nov 12 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Green Gulch Trailhead past Quail Tank, AZ 
Green Gulch Trailhead past Quail Tank, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 12 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking9.12 Miles 1,689 AEG
Hiking9.12 Miles   4 Hrs   17 Mns   2.23 mph
1,689 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Only seen when missed return to trailhead

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Green Gulch Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Quail Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
 
Nov 05 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Salida Trailhead to Trail Tank, AZ 
Salida Trailhead to Trail Tank, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking10.20 Miles 1,716 AEG
Hiking10.20 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   2.56 mph
1,716 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
This out and back 10-mile hike starts at the Lynx Creek Ruins Trailhead to minimize driving on gravel roads. After less than a mile on the road to the trailhead for the Salida Connection Trail #9263, cross Lynx Creek and head uphill on the left fork to stay on #9263, instead of the right fork for Salida Gulch Trail #95 which is a 4.2 mile loop that has less elevation change, if you're looking for something easier.
According to the official route, #9263 ends at Salida Trail #93, but I didn't see any trail marker when what is probably #93 went to the south. I continued straight at #93 and angled left at the sign for #42. It wasn't far to Trail Tank which is a good-sized pond where the dogs that joined me (near the start of #9263 and turned towards the houses just before I crossed back over Lynx Creek) got a good drink.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Along Lynx Creek from road between trailheads
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Lynx Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
 
Oct 15 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Too long loop, AZ 
Too long loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 15 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking18.88 Miles 2,817 AEG
Hiking18.88 Miles   8 Hrs   16 Mns   2.40 mph
2,817 ft AEG      24 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Don't attempt to follow this route. That's what the Copper Creek Loop that I tried to hike should say and it is equally true of this route. There's nothing in the description of Copper Creek Loop, but on the route is an R in a circle with a note that says "lots of private gates." The first one I reached after over 7 miles was across FR 53, locked with a chain with newly strung barbed wire on either side running down to gullies. I might have been able to climb over the gate, but I had no way to be certain that would not be trespassing and I could hear a large dog barking at the recently-built house with a wraparound porch. I turned around and didn't want to try to retrace my steps which would have meant finding a route down into the wash in which the hike started and required a near vertical climb out past cacti. I made the wrong choice and tried following the good road to the southwest instead. The GPS follows roads and trails, always turning left, but not enough, so when I reached a wash running east and west, I turned east and followed it uphill until I reached impassable bushes in the wash. By that time, I had pulled out my compass, because it had been raining for over an hour (5% predicted). I bushwacked to the east until I reached a trail and followed that south, hoping it would turn east, but it went southwest, so when the country opened up and flattened out, I headed east again until I reached the trail that headed southwest from where I parked that I had seen before i put my smartphone away to try to keep it dry. On the way, the rain turned to hail for a few minutes. Eventually, I found the trail and followed it across the ridge to my car. Not the hike I had planned or recommend.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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  1 archive
Oct 08 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Bean Peaks LoopPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking9.01 Miles 1,486 AEG
Hiking9.01 Miles   4 Hrs   18 Mns   2.22 mph
1,486 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
This triplog uses the name of the guide I tried to follow, but my name for the hike is the Lakes-to-Peaks Trail after the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina. The official route for Beans Peak Loop starts at the trailhead next to White Spar Campground on AZ 89 about a mile from the Prescott city limits. I hiked in the reverse direction and made a few deviations from the official route, some deliberate and others that I was unable to avoid. Roughly the first half follows Goldwater Lakes Trail #396. At 4.1 miles, I stayed next to Upper Goldwater Lake to talk to a fisherman, then tried to get back on the official route. However, there are many roads/trails near the southeast end of Upper Goldwater Lake and in many places the official route is not on any of them. It's simplest to just head generally south on available paths, checking Route Scout to not get too far off the official route. After passing the Hassayampa Water Line Project marker (see photo) and crossing east-west Schoolhouse Gulch Trail #67 which is a fairly wide dirt road not far from paved School House Road, the southbound trail/road matches the official route for about a mile. As shown in both this route and the official route, there is a 100+ yard detour to go around a fence that crosses the trail. Near both of the peaks, the trail disappears (see photo) and what appears to be trails don't follow the official route. I spent a lot of time looking at my phone to try to find a trail on the official route. It would have been easier to follow an obvious route and just check Route Scout every 5 minutes or so. Coming down from the westernmost peak (Lima Bean Peak according to Kingsnake's guide), there is a clear trail that matches the official route for about a mile. As you can see from the route I recorded, I stayed on the clear trail for about a half mile further than the official route did. Kingsnake's guide says there are dozens of pink and orange trail ribbons marking the route between what he calls Lima Bean Peak and the trailhead. They're all gone now and it's cross country over ground clear of undergrowth without any indication of a trail going downhill toward a wash that the official route follows past the Stone Shelter on the official route. Eventually, a fire road is reached and a clear trail can be found on the other side that gets progressively easier to follow once you cross the small hill next to the road and find the trail headed northwest. The views from the peaks are worth the hassle, but this is not a hike for someone who gets lost when a trail disappears.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
More than the first weekend of October, maybe a dozen red vines approaching the trailhead and a few yellow trees along the shore of Upper Goldwater Lake.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
A few Arizona thistles were still in bloom, some mostly seed heads, in the area west of the peaks. Other summer flowers were still blooming here and there.
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  4 archives
Oct 01 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Schoolhouse Gulch Fire Roads, AZ 
Schoolhouse Gulch Fire Roads, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 01 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking8.60 Miles 1,382 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles   3 Hrs   29 Mns   2.53 mph
1,382 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Started to hike Beans Peaks Loop, but decided early on to do something different. When I realized that nearly half of Beans Peaks Loop is on Goldwater Lakes Trail #396, I turned off on Trail #81 and followed #81 to the Schoolhouse Gulch Trail #67 which is a road between the White Spar Campground Trailhead, where I had parked, to a trailhead near Prescott Pines Camp on School House Gulch Road. As indicated on the GPS route, I turned down one fire road after another. All of them ended near the top of a hill, until the last one continued on as a hiking trail along Schoolhouse Gulch that reached Schoolhouse Gulch Trail #67 in less than a mile. When the trail met the road between the trailheads, I continued east to find out where the other trailhead was located and then returned on the road directly to where I started, because my plan was to hike about 8 miles. One of the most surprising things I saw was a marker (see photo) for the Hassayampa Water Line Project listing Prescott mayor Frank Tull and other people involved in the project in 1962. Not the sort of thing you typically find in the national forest.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
A couple vines near Wite Spar Campground Trailhead
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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  2 archives
Sep 24 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Lynx Creek Ramble, AZ 
Lynx Creek Ramble, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 24 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking6.32 Miles 931 AEG
Hiking6.32 Miles   2 Hrs   58 Mns   2.26 mph
931 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
My plan to hike Salida Gulch Trail #95 was scuttled when I saw Lynx Creek from the parking lot for Gold Pan Trail #444. I had parked at the Lynx Creek Ruins Trailhead just off Walker Road and walked down the road instead of driving, because it wasn't far and I didn't know what condition the road was in. I ended up taking Trail #444 to Trail #442 which I first took east to Homestead Trail #305, an intersection I'd passed a few times while hiking Trail #305, then turned around and hiked to the other intersection of Trails #442 and #305 about a mile to the south. Next I returned on Trail #442 to near Lynx Creek and went upstream on Trail #445 until I reached the dam that forms Lynx Lake. I retraced my route on Trails #445 #442 and #444 to the parking lot for Trail #444 and continued north on the road that parallels Lynx Creek until I reached the parking lot at the trailhead for Salida Gulch Trail,marked as Trail #9263. I wanted to get in at least 6 miles, so I took the road back to Trail #305 which I hiked north and west to Walker Road, then back to the car. The photos show Lynx Creek near the dam and the Salida Gulch Trailhead, plus some of the plants along the trail. Most of the hike was in the Highlands Center for Natural History, so there's a helpful sign identifying two patches of poison ivy, as seen in the photos.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
poison ivy (not flowering), common yarrow, Arizona Thistle, purple prairie verbena, but mostly small yellow and white daisy-like flowers.
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  1 archive
Sep 03 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Labor Day wildflowers and water hike, AZ 
Labor Day wildflowers and water hike, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking6.02 Miles 642 AEG
Hiking6.02 Miles   2 Hrs   35 Mns   2.33 mph
642 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   linked  
Partners none no partners
A few years ago, I posted a Memorial Day wildflower hike in the Spence Springs Basin. This hike on Labor Day weekend of 2022 after two and a half months of monsoon rains rivals that hike. I started on Tin Trough Spring Trail #308 from the Williamson Valley Trailhead near Granite Mountain. Then I veered north on a trail that was easier to follow than Trail #308 which had plants so thick on both sides that the trail was obscured. The recorded route leaves the trail on the way back to take photos and do some rock scrambling and bushwhacking to eventually return to Trail #308. It was a treat for four senses: beautiful flowers, including fragrant Mexican cliffrose on both sides of the trail at one point; the soft caress of whiteflower prairie clover that often obscured the trail; and the pleasing sound of babbling brooks.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
whiteflower prairie clover, camphorweed, common sunflower, Mexican cliffrose, gooseberryleaf globemallow, hairy evening primrose, silverleaf nightshade, sacred datura, tansyleaf aster, purple prairie verbena, common mullein, ashen milkvetch, curlytop gumweed, desert Indian paintbrush, southwestern prickly poppy and more.
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  8 archives
Aug 06 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Javelina-West Side Story Loop, AZ 
Javelina-West Side Story Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 06 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking8.63 Miles 872 AEG
Hiking8.63 Miles   3 Hrs   12 Mns   2.75 mph
872 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
This loop starts south on Javelina Trail #332 from Iron Springs Trailhead. It uses all of Javelina Trail on the Iron Springs Railroad right-of-way, then stays on Trail #332 when it leaves the railroad right-of-way. After passing the fireplace, take Little Italy Trail #703 (may be no sign) west along the south bank of Willow Creek, then cross the creek and head east, northeast and northwest to the junction of Trail #703 and Missing Link Trail #724. Take Trail #724 west past Zygomatic Trail #724 to Russ T Fender Trail #728. It's less than 0.1 mile on Trail #728 to West Side Story Trail #725 which returns to the Iron Springs Trailhead. I wanted to go a little more than 8 miles, so this route takes Spence Creek Trail #719 back to Javelina Trail #332 and north to Vista Trail #706. Vista Trail is well-named with views of Granite Mountain (near Williamson Valley Road), Thumb Butte and the Spence Creek Basin. This route goes out and back on Trail #706 to get in the distance I wanted to cover on this hike (about 8.5 miles). The Spence Creek Basin contains a mesh of trails made and named by mountain bikers. The route contains waypoints for some of the trail junctions. It is easy to shorten or lengthen the loop by taking other trails. At the trailhead is one of the modern USFS signs with a map and trails. There are similar maps at some of the trail junctions. I have also created triplogs for these trails.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Arizona Thistle, Dalmatian toadflax, datura, goldenrod, common mullein, firecracker penstemon, and many more yellow, purple and orange wildflowers
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  3 archives
Jul 23 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Thumb Butte Loop of 7 miles, AZ 
Thumb Butte Loop of 7 miles, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking7.10 Miles 985 AEG
Hiking7.10 Miles   2 Hrs   39 Mns   2.78 mph
985 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
A loop trail forming an elongated figure eight to the south of Thumb Butte that is shorter and easier than the Thumb Butte South Area Loop. Start from the Thumb Butte Recreation Area parking lot on Thumb Butte Trail #33 and take the first right onto Thumb Connect Trail #314. Turn left (south) onto Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 for a short distance before turning left onto Butte Connection Trail #323 which intersects Butte Creek Trail #321 after less than a half mile. Take Trail #321 south until it ends at Potts Creek Trail #327. Take a right turn to the west and before reaching the campsite near Thumb Butte Road, make an acute right turn onto Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 which has a trail marker facing the campsite and is not easily seen on this route. Return to the parking lot on Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326. Only at shortly after the start and before the end are there views of Thumb Butte. Along much of Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 there are views of Granite Mountain (see photo).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Common mullein are most prolific (see photo). On Trail #326, about halfway between Trails #322 and #323 was a handsome beargrass (see photo). Near start/end are very isolated common yarrow, purple prairie verbena, toadflax penstemon, Canada goldenrod and an unidentified plant with delicate orange flowers (see photo).
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  4 archives
Jun 11 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Wolf Creek - Figure Eight LoopPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking8.88 Miles 1,263 AEG
Hiking8.88 Miles   3 Hrs   47 Mns   2.35 mph
1,263 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
The Wolf Creek - Figure Eight Loop is a combination of Horse Camp Loop Trail #383 and Wolf Creek Loop Trail #384. Horse Camp Loop Trail #383 starts a few feet from Senator Highway at the entrance to Groom Creek Horse Camp. Parking is available across Senator Highway at the Groom Creek Loop Trailhead and along Camp Wamatochick Road at the north head of the parking lot. 100-200 feet of Road 9708G connect the two loop trails at 1.93 miles hiking counterclockwise.

At 8.88 miles, the recorded route is longer than Official Guide and I think it's not just due to missing turns. I took both loops counterclockwise which worked out well for me, because the steepest sections were uphill which may be more tiring, but safer. I carry (most of the time horizontally) trekking poles at the request of my doctor to minimize falling on steep downhills with loose gravel underfoot. I only needed them a few times hiking counterclockwise, but probably would have needed them a lot more hiking the loops clockwise. The downside to hiking the loops counterclockwise is that some of the signs are easier to see if you are hiking the loops clockwise.

Both trails are shaded by widely spaced Ponderosa pines with oaks and junipers mixed in and what may have been cottonwoods closer to the Hassayampa River and creeks. After about couple tenths of Wolf Creek Loop Trail #384, the trees became even more open and provided views of mountains to south and west (see photo). At the southernmost point of Wolf Creek Loop Trail #384, along the Hassayampa River, is the loveliest campsite I have seen in the Prescott National Forest with lots of cleared ground, a stone fire ring and logs for seating (see photo).


There are more roads and trails in the area than shown on the topographical map and the recorded route only has a few of the intersections. One of the few trails/roads that is marked is Forest Road 74A to Payoff Spring on Wolf Creek Loop Trail #384.

On the return to Horse Camp Loop Trail #383 from Wolf Creek Loop Trail #384, I turned off on one of the many unmarked roads shortly before reaching Horse Camp Loop Trail #383. Rather than backtrack, after noticing that I was south of Horse Camp Loop Trail #383 according to the Route Scout app, I kept taking the left fork at each intersection, until I hit Horse Camp Loop Trail #383. As noted above, there are many other roads and trails in the area, so it would be easy to create your own loop and hike farther, or possibly reduce the length of the hike.

Although the trails are near campgrounds, I only saw one other person (apparently a camper, dressed only in running shorts and footwear) and heard one motor vehicle that was quieter than usual.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Arizona thistles just starting to bloom
_____________________
  2 archives
Jun 04 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Groom Creek Loop Trail #307Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking9.06 Miles 1,726 AEG
Hiking9.06 Miles   3 Hrs   43 Mns   2.46 mph
1,726 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Hiked counterclockwise, starting early, as in guide. One vehicle in lot which might have brought the couple I saw near the South Spruce Ridge Helispot. There were a couple dozen vehicles after completing the loop.

For about a mile south of the lookout, there are views of Granite Mountain near Williamson Valley Road and Prescott Valley (the grasslands, not the town) to the north and Bradshaw Mountain? to the south (see photos).

The return to the trailhead was not as difficult in June 2022, as in June 2003 when Able contributed the official guide. I saw the first vehicles before I saw a wrong turn.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
moth mullein
_____________________
  1 archive
May 28 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Hoot Owl Trail #745Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 28 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking5.27 Miles 749 AEG
Hiking5.27 Miles   1 Hour   45 Mns   3.01 mph
749 ft AEG
 
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Don't use the Google Maps driving directions that were available on 5/28/22 as there is no parking lot or way to get to the Hoot Owl Trail when Google Maps says you have arrived. About 0.05 miles north of that point is the Seven-Mile Gulch Trailhead. Park there and hike 0.18 miles of the Seven-Mile Gulch Trail #9854 that is included in the recorded route from the trailhead parking lot to the north end of the Hoot Owl Trail.

The Hoot Owl Trail is a fairly easy trail on the west side of Walker Road with 750 feet of accumulated elevation gain (AEG) hiking south to the Smith Ravine Trailhead and 250 feet of AEG back to the Seven-Mile Gulch Trail. A loop can be created by returning on the Homestead Trail #305 on the east side of Walker Road which starts across from the Smith Ravine Trailhead parking lot at the south end of the Hoot Owl Trail. When the Homestead Trail crosses Lynx Lake Store Road you can return to the Seven-Mile Gulch Trailhead by walking north along Walker Road. Alternatively, a little longer loop is to take one of the trails in the Highlands Center for Natural History to its parking lot and walk south along Walker Road to the Seven-Mile Gulch Trailhead.

There is a sign at the south end of the Hoot Owl trail at the Smith Ravine Trailhead that warns the Hoot Owl is a "motorized trail". The Seven-Mile Gulch Trail can also be used by motorbikes and a pair of dirt bikers passed me within a mile of the trailhead on my return trip. They typically start riding after 9 am (more were unloading at the Seven-Mile Gulch Trailhead at 9:40), so if you start your hike at dawn, as I did, you may not hear them.

Most of the Hoot Owl Trail is through ponderosa pine, although there is a 1.5 mile section of interior chaparral that starts about a mile from the Smith Ravine Trailhead. Even in the interior chaparral section you can see ponderosa pine closer to Walker Road to the east (see photos).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
moth mullein
_____________________
  3 archives
May 28 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Hoot Owl Trail #745Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 28 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking5.15 Miles 235 AEG
Hiking5.15 Miles   1 Hour   41 Mns   3.09 mph
235 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Fairly easy trail on the west side of Walker Road that can be just over 10 miles out and back or combined with Homestead Trail #305 on the east side of Walker Road in a loop. The recorded route is from the south end of trail at Smith Ravine Trailhead where there is a sign that the Hoot Owl is a "motorized trail". A pair of dirt bikers passed me within a mile of the north end of the trail at Seven-Mile Gulch Trail #9854 which can also be used by motorbikes. They typically start riding after 9 am (more were unloading at the Seven-Mile Gulch Trailhead at 9:40), so if you start your hike at dawn, as I did, you may not hear them. Most of the Hoot Owl Trail is through ponderosa pine, although there is a 1.5 mile section of interior chaparral that starts about a mile from the Smith Ravine Trailhead. Even in the interior chaparral section you can see ponderosa pine closer to Walker Road to the east.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
moth mullein
_____________________
  3 archives
May 21 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
East end of West Spruce Trail #264, AZ 
East end of West Spruce Trail #264, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 21 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking3.69 Miles 713 AEG
Hiking3.69 Miles   1 Hour   40 Mns   2.21 mph
713 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked   linked  
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
If you follow Google Maps directions to the trailhead, ignore the instructions to park on the left and turn right into the parking area (after 3 miles of dirt road), then head north onto the trail.

This is the east end of the trail, from the Jeep trail to the parking area on Thumb Butte Road. On February 5, 2022, I hiked the west end of East end of West Spruce Trail #264, including part of the Jeep trail that connects that hike with this hike. This hike has fewer cattle droppings, but the trailhead is near a campsite and there were ATVers driving along Thumb Butte Road disturbing the peace, until the trail headed over a ridge, a few tenths of a mile from the start, about where the yellow wildflower photos were taken.
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Wildflowers Observation Light
The most prolific flowers are in the photos. Also quite a few small yellow flowers and a few others. Several Arizona thistle will be in bloom in a week. One New Mexico thistle and one hedgehog cactus were in bloom.
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  1 archive
May 13 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Return on Linda Vista from Pusch Peak, AZ 
Return on Linda Vista from Pusch Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 13 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking0.75 Miles
Hiking0.75 Miles      19 Mns   2.37 mph
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Shortest route between parking lot and Pusch Peak Trailhead
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May 13 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Lower half of Pusch Peak Trail, AZ 
Lower half of Pusch Peak Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 13 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking2.10 Miles 1,138 AEG
Hiking2.10 Miles   2 Hrs   25 Mns   0.96 mph
1,138 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
This is a round-trip of the lower half of the Pusch Peak Trail from the junction with Linda Vista Loop Trail. The quick route (0.75 mile) to the start of this hike/climb from the Linda Vista Loop parking lot is to take the right (south) fork of the loop. After about a half mile of hiking, there is as much bouldering as hiking and the safest way to return on those sections is backwards with your face towards the rocks. I hope to return and hike/climb the entire trail on a cooler day. On May 13, 2022, it was going to get hot by 10 am, so I turned around about 7:45 am. A much younger and 4 times faster hiker/climber passed me on the way up and down. He pointed out big horn sheep at the top of the ridge. I'm not sure whether I saw one, although it looked like the profile silhouetted against the sky.
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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  1 archive
May 13 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Linda Vista Trail - LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 13 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking1.32 Miles 460 AEG
Hiking1.32 Miles      33 Mns   2.40 mph
460 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Counter-clockwise to Pusch Peak Trail
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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May 07 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Smith Ravine Trail #297Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 07 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking6.16 Miles 1,384 AEG
Hiking6.16 Miles   2 Hrs   37 Mns   2.38 mph
1,384 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Trailhead is 5 miles from the intersection of Walker Road and AZ 69, a couple feet past the 5 mile marker, so you don't need to use a driving app to find the parking area, even though there is no sign on the road and the entrance is easy to miss unless you are driving well under the speed limit. The first 1.5 miles are all a steady climb and most of the rest is uphill also, although the trail crosses a few ravines, so there are a some downhill sections on the way out from the trailhead. The recorded hike is out and back. Hoot Owl Trail shares the trailhead, but no other trails were seen. Mostly Ponderosa pines and more Gambel oaks than I've seen on any other trail around Prescott, along with a few alligator junipers. Many Manzanita, but hardly any desert holly bushes which is the opposite of the area north of Granite Mountain and est of Williamson Valley Road. About a mile from the trailhead is a jumble of purple rocks that my wife said are probably amethyst.
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Wildflowers Observation Light
In early May, lots of flowering Manzanita; many small yellow flowers; a few purple flowers; and a single flowering strawberry hedgehog cactus
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  1 archive
Apr 16 2022
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 Guides 3
 Routes 97
 Photos 235
 Triplogs 84

68 male
 Joined Jan 02 2016
 Prescott, AZ
Homestead Trail #305 South End, AZ 
Homestead Trail #305 South End, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2022
WhifferTriplogs 84
Hiking10.72 Miles 1,230 AEG
Hiking10.72 Miles   3 Hrs   37 Mns   3.30 mph
1,230 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked   linked  
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Homestead Trail #305 is 7 miles according to the guide and hiking from one end to the other and back (14 miles) is more than I usually hike on Saturday morning. In mid-March 2022 parking at the trailhead in the guide at the north end of trail, was closed. I had hiked the north end to Hilltop Campground before the trailhead was closed, so l drove to the Smith Ravine trailhead, across Walker Road from the south end of Homestead Trail and hiked north to the Lynx Creek Ruin Trailhead.
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Very few, mostly near start/end
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average hiking speed 2.33 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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