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16 triplogs

May 03 2018
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Shaw Butte Trail #306Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 03 2018
amy1300
Hiking2.00 Miles 840 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour   10 Mns   1.71 mph
840 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
May 02 2018
amy1300
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Shaw Butte Trail #306Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 02 2018
amy1300
Hiking2.00 Miles 840 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour   8 Mns   1.76 mph
840 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did not do the whole trail, just the jeep road from the Central Ave parking lot up to the summit and back. It was in the low 60s, and there was a bit of rain on the way down, plus thunder! Nice - and it looked like there were showers on downtown PHX and the McDowells, as well.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Ironwoods have been looking great in this area for the past week; also mesquites, though their flowers are green so they catch the eye less.
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
2 archives
Apr 16 2018
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Lookout Mtn from the SE parking lot, AZ 
Lookout Mtn from the SE parking lot, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2018
amy1300
Hiking3.40 Miles 574 AEG
Hiking3.40 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   2.72 mph
574 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
My route for Lookout Mtn starts from the parking lot near the toilets and tennis courts, off N 18th St. I take the Circumference Trail NW 0.9 mile (passing the connector trail #25) up to the broadest saddle, where you get your first view of the water tank at the end of 16th St, then turn NE for 0.4 mile where it's not clear what trail # you're on, and finally SE for another 0.4 mile on the Summit Trail #150. There are many use trails on this mountain, and they may look different on the way down; so just pick a route that looks walkable. The climb is a decent workout, and the views from the top are generally nice, although today the summer haze buildup was obscuring things. It's not brown yet, but you could barely make out Four Peaks. Distances and elevation gain in this triplog are taken from the "Phoenix Mountain Preserve" map #2813S, by Green Trails Maps.
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
Apr 08 2018
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Boynton Canyon Trail #47Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2018
amy1300
Hiking8.30 Miles 898 AEG
Hiking8.30 Miles   6 Hrs      1.66 mph
898 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Boynton Canyon TH was parked full when I got there. (Busy spring weekend in Sedona!) Luckily it's a pretty short walk between the TH and FR152C, where it's legal to park on the side of the road. (If you don't like buying the Red Rock Pass, this seems like a good option.)

I did parts of this canyon hike off-trail, in the dry creekbed, and my photos were all taken during those parts. The trail, itself, was pretty crowded, but the creekbed was great. The Enchantment Resort seems to extend for about the first mile of the hike -- you are theoretically in the Wilderness, but seeing buildings, satellite dishes, cars on a resort road, etc. Also for that first mile you have to walk the official trail. After you get past the last of the buildings, the trail gets a bit shadier, and the first place where the trail meets creekbed is just a bit after the last building - creekbed veering off to the right.

EDIT - Oh yeah, and there's a sign near the Boynton TH about a bear that had to be destroyed in 2014, because some people fed it, and then it became aggressive toward people, trying to get easy calories. The sign reminds, "A fed bear is a dead bear." If you choose to backpack this canyon, please keep it in mind.

The Deadmans Pass trailhead is off the Boynton, so I decided to check it out on the way back. It's pretty much an inverted "V" of a trail -- you hike steadily uphill for 3/4 of a mile, then you start downhill, with a view of a golf resort ahead of you. Mescal Mountain is on your right (if you're headed NE), and unnamed bluffs on your left. Very thick manzanita forest (with a few junipers and such thrown in) on both sides of the trail. Mtn bikes are allowed, but there were few on the Sunday I hiked it. (The trail is just on top of the wilderness boundary, according to my TI map.) Looks like there are some loop options in this area, among the Deadmans Pass Tr, Long Canyon Tr, Mescal Tr, Aerie Tr and Cockscomb Tr -- will have to check some out on a future trip.
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
5 archives
Apr 07 2018
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Baldwin TrailSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 07 2018
amy1300
Hiking5.00 Miles 330 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   7 Hrs      0.71 mph
330 ft AEG17 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was day 2 of a 3-day stay near Sedona in the red rocks. I joined a hike/learning opportunity co-sponsored by the Grand Canyon Trust (based in Flag, works on preservation of the entire Colorado Plateau) and the Natural History Institute (based in Prescott). The event was called "Natural History of Sedona and the Edge of the Colorado Plateau." The trail mileage of Baldwin Loop trail is tiny, but we detoured off the trail several times, both to minimize impact of our large group (24 people) on other trail users, and to have some shady places in washes and such, for discussions to take place. The hiking speed calculated by HAZ is going to look ridiculous, but much of the time we were standing still, listening -- I didn't time those periods. Among things I learned: The Mogollon Highlands area, being a place of contact between very different life zones (the higher Colorado Plateau vs the Basin and Range, pinyon-juniper country below the rim), is one of the most species-diverse places on the planet. For example, it's the most southern place that Utah Junipers are found, and also the most northern place for ocotillo. I learned to identify Arizona cypress, which likes to grow in washes where it gets a bit more water and some shade for part of the day from the rock walls (blue-green foliage, shaggy bark, and spherical cones - it's the only woody cone-producing species that has these round cones, rather than elongated ones). In the dry wash, rocks of Coconino Sandstone and the Schnebly Hill Formation mingled with dark gray rocks, and we saw a couple of dark gray bands of rock in one of the bluffs above. A young geologist who was with the leader team (named Kellen) explained that these gray rocks are basalt, the result of a lava flow that came all the way to Sedona from the San Francisco Peaks. That must have been something to see.

The group event lasted from 10AM to 4PM, and then I hiked a couple extra miles to the end of the road, to see Red Rock Crossing and the surrounding area. (I'd never been there yet.) The Crossing itself was crowded with families with children, and I did some wading in Oak Creek, too, to cool off. I recommend it highly, as a way to end a warm hiking day.
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
4 archives
Apr 06 2018
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Bear Mountain Trail #54Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2018
amy1300
Hiking5.00 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.25 mph
2,100 ft AEG17 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was the first of 3 days' hiking around Sedona, this trip. Bear Mountain "trail" is more like a class 3 rock climb, in parts, at least for me. If your legs are longer than those of a 5'5" person, your experience may differ. On the downward half of the hike, there were spots where I turned around to go down backward, because the steps were so long.

Spectacular views are all over the place, on this hike. I kept doing 360s, wherever the terrain allowed.

The original description of this trail refers to following cairns -- but on this trip the route was marked with fat white arrows (points on both ends), painted right on the rocks. You can see one of the blazes in one of my photos. Follow those, and watch for boot tracks wherever there's soil between the rocks, and you won't go wrong. (I did see a couple of cairns, but they weren't on the route and they seemed to have been built as a joke, by someone who likes climbing on slickrock.)

The trail is on the mountain's southeast side and has little shade. I did it in blue jeans (hot because it was about 90 degrees out). Shorts would be sufficient for most people -- no brush, unless you choose to go beyond the trail's end on top.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
1 archive
Aug 05 2017
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Hidden Lake off-trail, CA 
Hidden Lake off-trail, CA
 
Hiking avatar Aug 05 2017
amy1300
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,580 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles
1,580 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
On Day 4 of the basecamp hiking trip that began on August 2, we did a little practice off-trail route finding. We wanted to go from our "home lake" (which has no official name) to Hidden Lake, which is about a quarter mile north of the trail that runs east of Cottonwood Lake 1, and north of Cottonwood Creek. (BTW, although I've mentioned seeing many southern foxtail pines along our route, I have not yet mentioned that we did NOT see any cottonwoods. Wonder why they named the area this?) Anyway, at camp we figured out what would be a good place to leave the trail, based on the topo map, and set a bearing on the compass. When we figured we'd hiked along to the trail to that spot, we cut up the hill to our left and I practiced sighting on "intermediate" destinations along the bearing (distinctive rocks and trees). We crossed a small creek that does not show on the map, which we were at least 95% sure was an outlet stream from Hidden Lake that had only showed up on the ground because it's a wetter-than-usual year. As we continued up the hill, I wanted to use that stream as a handrail but it disappeared. Fran suggested it might be underground at that point - a possibility I had not thought of! (Which is why I wanted to write up this short hike.) We were seeing plants that looked like wet-area-loving types, with big, broad leaves like lillies of some kind. (No blooms on them.) So we continued up, now just using how the terrain looked as our guide rather than the actual bearing. Sure enough, we found the lake, at just about the halfway point along one of its long sides. We weren't the only ones - a couple of backpackers were camped there when we arrived.

Day 5 of this trip was just a reverse of August 2d. We had our duffles ready by 9:00AM, the packer showed up just a few minutes after that, and we hiked back out to our cars at the pack station. About 7 miles and 1050' EC (downhill).
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
4 archives
Aug 04 2017
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Cottonwood Lakes New Army Pass TrailSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Aug 04 2017
amy1300
Hiking10.00 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
1,300 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was Day 3 of a trip that started on Cottonwood Lakes Trail, on August 2. Four members of our group hiked from our camp at "Home Lake" to the east, then south, then west, around Cottonwood Lake 1. Once we were headed west, we were on our way to New Army Pass. This was quite a day hike! Challenging and gorgeous. My Tom Harrison map of "Mount Whitney High Country" does not show trees at the west end of Long Lake, but the tree cover is there. In fact, on the trail to the pass we ran into a group of 15 people that had camped at Long Lake the night before the hike! That's where I'd camp if I wanted to bag Langley or Cirque from New Army Pass. (From where we'd camped it was too far, to do that as a day hike.) No route-finding challenges, but there was a snow & ice bank covering the highest part of the trail, so we had to do about a 15' class 3 climb to get on top of the pass. All over the steepest part of the route, where the switchbacks are, there were purple, bushy wildflowers clinging to the rock ledges we passed - sweet! EDIT: These might have been Davidson's penstemon (Penstemon davidsonii). At the end of the day we had golden trout for dinner, which Bruce had caught during the day while we hiked. Yum!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
3 archives
Aug 02 2017
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Cottonwood Lakes TrailSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Aug 02 2017
amy1300
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,250 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
1,250 ft AEG18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Days 1&2 of a 5-day base camp and day-hiking trip in the Sierra Nevada, with 5 members of the LA Chapter of the Sierra Club's Mule Pack Section. We camped the night of August 1 at Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead Campground and presented ourselves, with duffles, at the Pack Station at 7:00 on August 2. The pack station has plenty of parking and you can leave your car there, when they are assisting your trip. We hiked about 7 miles with 1050' Elevation gain this first day. It was nice to be able to get several miles into the high country, and away from roads, carrying only a day pack and letting the mules do the hard work. Our original plan had been to camp near one of the South Fork Lakes, but our trip leader had pre-hiked that route over July 4th and found it too swampy, due to the heavy snowpack the Sierra had this past winter. So we headed up the main/north fork trail, which the pack station manager had told us was drier. The maps show a trail that heads NNW between Cottonwood Lakes 1&2, but we found that there is no trail on the ground there this season, and the ground got real swampy there. So we backtracked and followed a trail that goes north, just east of Lake 1 (which was marked with a sign that said simply "trail"). Then we made a left turn, hiked less than a quarter mile, and selected a campsite near a lake that has no name on the map. We dubbed it "Home Lake" for the duration of our stay. Had a great view of Mt. Langley to our right, and Cirque Peak to our left, from the kitchen area of our camp. It also provided us with a couple big trees to shade our food storage area, and easy access to an outlet stream for water. I had a bit of trouble finding a level spot for my tent, and ended up a ways up a short but steep hill east of the kitchen site. I didn't make many trips per day up & down that hill, but it turned out to be an excellent tent site. :y: All the streams up there are high this year.

On day 2 of the trip, we did a fairly leisurely hike to explore around Cottonwood Lakes 3, 4 and 5, continuing along the same trail we had camped near. Then from Lake 5 we went cross-country to Muir Lake, for some map & compass and route-finding practice. (That was August 3, and about 5 miles.)
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
5 archives
Jul 30 2017
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Weatherford Canyon Loop, AZ 
Weatherford Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 30 2017
amy1300
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   5 Hrs   50 Mns   1.88 mph
2,000 ft AEG      30 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
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I hiked part of the Weatherford Trail for the 1st time yesterday. I was attempting to do the "Weatherford Canyon Loop," as described on HAZ by hippiepunkpirate (most recent triplog of that hike is from Oct of 2015), cause I wanted something relatively mellow. But I missed the turn to catch the unmarked side trail that creates the loop through the lower Weatherford Canyon. The directions by hippiepunkpirate say to "stop and look for the second junction" when you get to the register. Which I did, and what I saw was an obvious line where a trail should be, ahead and curving off to the right (the direction I knew I needed to go). I thought that would be the side trail I wanted, but it turned out that was really the main Weatherford Trail. What you need to know to do the "Weatherford Canyon Loop" is that the unmarked side trail is directly across the Weatherford from the register, and it heads downhill and angles back toward Schultz Tank. You don't need to take another step uphill after finding the register, to do the "loop" hike! I could see the junction with the unmarked side trail easily when headed back down the Weatherford. So anyway, even though my actual hike turned into an out-and-back on Weatherford, I've linked the Weatherford Canyon Loop since that is what I attempted to do and I had something to add to the directions for that hike. I'll do the Weatherford Canyon Loop hike another time. (Please PM me if this is an incorrect way to post this hike. I'm open to learning how to best use HAZ!)

So I hiked over an hour uphill after the trail register, on the Weatherford Trail, looking for a side trail on my right the whole way. Most of the terrain sloped off very steeply on the right side, and in many places it was choked with dead trees and/or tall ferns. If it were possible to descend the canyon off-trail, it still wouldn't be much fun, once you're about 15 minutes or so above the register.

Eventually, the terrain shifted and it dropped off steeply on my left, while being steep uphill on my right. That was maybe the last 20 - 30 minutes or so, of my hike. By then I knew I'd missed my turn, of course, but continued on a ways because I could see there was open forest ahead, where there would be views. Sure enough, from the place where there was more daylight you could see views of houses in the valley thousands of feet below, and great close-ups of two peaks, which I'm thinking were Doyle and Fremont. Maybe I was close to the 1st saddle at that point? (Whichever name the saddle between Doyle and Fremont is supposed to have . . . The official trail signs were talking about Doyle Saddle.) I ate lunch up there, and could tell I was at a high elevation because it was windy up there and about 20 degrees colder than down in Schultz Pass. Truly gorgeous views up there!

On the lower portion of this hike, near Schultz Tank, I saw what looked a lot like a Kaibab squirrel, even though they are not supposed to live this far south. The animal had tufted ears and white streaks down the sides of its tail! Since then I've read about the Abert's squirrel on Wikipedia, and I suppose that is the kind I saw. Some of the photos on this page look like it. en.wikipedia.org/wi ... rrel

In the morning, driving along Snowbowl Road on the way to the hike (I was camped along Freidlein Prairie Road), I saw a deer with horns about a foot long. He was right next to Snowbowl Road. (It was early, so the road did not have much traffic yet.)

There was drizzle the whole time I was out, pretty much, but no lightning where I was.
EDIT: Earlier I forgot to mention that I picked up the bright fuchsia plastic bag full of dog sh** that I found on the lower part of the Weatherford, and brought it out to my car, and from there to a garbage can on the highway. You're welcome, everyone who is going to hike that trail from Schultz Tank for the next 50 years. People, if you can't be bothered to pick up after your dog, why put the stuff into a plastic bag where it can never be recycled by the microbes? ](*,) Best is to take it out to a garbage can yourself, but 2d best would be to leave it lie on the ground, not to highlight it with fuchsia plastic for the rest of us to have to look at. [Rant over.]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Schultz Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Lots of water, but it's very green and would probably taste funky even after filtering.
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
4 archives
Jul 29 2017
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Hart Prairie Loop, AZ 
Hart Prairie Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2017
amy1300
Hiking10.00 Miles 840 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   2.14 mph
840 ft AEG      50 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
On Saturday, after a Friday afternoon and night of heavy rain and wind that shook the tent (camped along Freidlein Prairie Road), I went up to the upper Kachina TH (Lot 6 at Snowbowl). There are picnic tables and views directly across the road to the west from where I parked. I went over there to have a look, and liked the look of the grassy hill below to the west. So I worked out a partially off-trail loop route. Started out hiking down that hill just below the picnic tables. I soon ran into a small trail, which I followed for a while, but when it seemed to be forcing me too far to the south I struck out off-trail again for a while. Eventually I came to another trail that turned out to be the Arizona Trail (section 34c), which I followed south for a short way toward a dense stand of trees (Aspen Corner). I found the old closed road that is shown by a dotted red line on my map. The map is "Flagstaff Trails Map," Emmett Barks Cartography, 7th Ed. 2016. The closed "road" is now just a pair of tracks with lots of grasses in between, and the left track disappeared quickly after I turned west on the "road." This took me to Alfa Fia Tank, which was quite lovely. I tossed a rock into the center to test the depth, and the sound indicated the tank was at least 3 feet deep. The water looks great to drink (after filtering or other treatment, of course). There were bright blue dragonflies on the eastern bank, and wild irises on the western bank, though only one of the irises had bloomed. It would be worth checking this place out in another week or two, if you want to see wild irises blooming -- there were many buds. The western bank has a bench that someone made out of a log across two big rocks. While I sat there making notes, a group of small birds (maybe ducks? - they were awfully small, for ducks) began to swim across the tank. I had not seen them fly in. Maybe they live nearby. This area would be nice to camp at, if you were backpacking along the Arizona Trail -- less than a quarter mile detour off the AZT, and trees nearby to the south to provide you some privacy. (Have to camp at some distance from the water source, and the ground around those trees is where I'd look for a place.)

Heading west-northwest from the tank, the old road becomes a much wider and more obvious line that you can envision used to be a road. On it I crossed a pipe that was partially buried but very visible where it crossed the old road, and I passed two groups of hikers who were headed uphill along the same path. It brings you out onto Hart Prairie Road (FR151) at a place where there is what looks like a chute for livestock, built of flat, planed boards. (Most wood fencing out there is made of round, stacked logs.) The chute was on my left, as I headed west. Turning right (north) and hiking along Hart Prairie Road, I came almost immediately to a sign for "Galinas Tank" on the west side of the road. I made the short detour, on a trail through tall grasses, to check out the tank, which had no water, only plants that like damp spots. Here there were two, 3-foot high mounds of dirt. I couldn't imagine what, or who, would have made these big piles of dirt -- I snapped a photo with my phone, and I will post a photo later, after I finish the trip I'm on and if I can figure out how to post a photoset from the phone. (I'm way behind most of the country on tech!)

Back on Hart Prairie Road headed north, there was a sign for private land on the right side for a camp (its name is Camp Colton, if I recall right) owned by Flagstaff Unified School District. I had seen a few huge green tents from the abandoned road/trail, before I reached Hart Prairie Road, so I guess those were part of this camp. Continuing north along HP Road, I came to a red-dirt trail headed uphill to the west. I'm bad at estimating heights, but the hill looked about 40-50 feet high, and I took that detour to see what I could see. Nice views of the mtns to the west, which I'd been using for orientation during the off-trail portions of the hike. Also nice views east, to Humphreys and Agassiz. Could see rain falling on a couple of places to the south -- maybe raining in Sedona.

Continuing north on HP Road, I passed mile post 4 and hiked what felt like another half mile or so, to a right turn on Road 9007T. This road is only 1/4 mile or less long, and it ends at a parking area big enough for several vehicles, with a sign that says "Fern Mountain Wildlife Area." The road is a dead end, but points you to the east in between two areas of private property, so you can do an off-trail hike east from road's end across Hart Prairie without trespassing. I hiked uphill across the grassy prairie to catch the Arizona Trail (34c) again, and close the loop that way. While I was on that off-trail part of my hike, I began to hear gunshots. Since there's a cell signal in that area I called 911 after the 5th bang, but the man who answered said it was "probably just someone target shooting," which is a legal activity in the National Forest in July, "as long as they're not shooting toward campsites." I was concerned since I was off-trail, that the shooter might assume he could shoot in my direction without hitting any people. But I could not be sure where exactly the shots came from, because I was hearing them echo off Humphreys -- the only thing I was sure of was that the shooter was somewhere between me (in the middle of Hart Prairie), and Snowbowl. Later I saw the man with the gun, and he was on the Arizona Trail, just hiking at that point, having fired off 15 rounds or so.

I came into dense trees again, just before reaching the AZ Trail. Then I hiked south a couple miles along the AZ Trail (section 34c) until I reached Aspen Nature Trail, which I followed up (east) to the TH for Aspen Nature Trail, which is a very short walk from the TH where I'd left my car.

I saw two white-tail deer after hearing the gunshots. One was headed north on Hart Prairie, across my path as I headed east off-trail, about to enter a stand of pines. The second bounded across the AZ Trail, in a section where the trail was in dense trees.

Only a few steps south of where I hit the AZ Trail there was a sign, oriented toward people hiking north on the AZ Trail, about restoring the meadow character of Hart Prairie by removing conifers from some areas. The sign has photos that were taken from the same vantage point, toward Fern Mountain, one in the 1890s and the other in the 1980s, to show the conifers encroaching on the meadow.

A great day. Some distant thunder, a bit of rain, a bit of drizzle, overcast all day, but no scary lightning to deal with. Absolutely lovely views, easy route-finding, a family in a car on Hart Prairie Road who stopped to ask me whether I was "stranded" because a storm was threatening to break.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
7 archives
Jul 15 2017
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

female
 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 15 2017
amy1300
Hiking
Hiking   2 Hrs      0.00 mph
14 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I felt like doing something brief before hitting the road toward home. Was camped at Lockett Meadow, so I decided to check out the "Inner Basin Viejo" -- the old trail alignment. (I'd done the new one last year in June, and had hiked the old trail many times, years ago.) The old trail is behind a gate that says "closed to motorized vehicles," or something like that, so I figured there's no rule against hiking it to see how it looks now. The gate is just a few yards north of the current trailhead, at the western end of the Lockett Meadow loop road. There's no Schultz Fire burned trees here, like on the new trail. There are quite a few trees down across the trail/road, but nothing too big to clamber over. Aspens and other vegetation are sprouting up in the middle of the trail, and I wonder how many years it will take before you can't find the trail any more. On the way up I had complete solitude and lots of birds around. On the way back I ran into a large group of backpackers, including kids of elementary school age and two dogs! They said they planned to camp at "a meadow we know about," where there is a spring not far above it. :o
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"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
Jul 14 2017
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

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 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Bear Jaw Trail #26Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 14 2017
amy1300
Hiking4.52 Miles 1,327 AEG
Hiking4.52 Miles
1,327 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great to see Humphreys on the North side again, with its snow fields in July. On Bear Jaw Tr I saw a group of about half dozen butterflies/moths that are nearly invisible (pale grey) when they are not actively flying and their wings are folded up. Then they take off and fly, and the other side of the wings is bright periwinkle blue! Gorgeous. Seemed like quite a few dead trees along this trail, and they don't look like they were killed by fire. Wonder what's killing these trees - Age? Insects? Drought? Climate change? Hope someone is studying this.
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
8 archives
Jul 13 2017
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

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 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Kachina Trail #150Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 13 2017
amy1300
Hiking10.00 Miles 733 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   2.11 mph
733 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
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I did Kachina Trail starting from the TH at the east end of Freidlein Prairie Rd (FR522). I planned to do an out-and-back, so I thought I'd prefer to do the "uphill" half first. I learned it doesn't make much difference on this trail -- it climbs and drops several times, as it crosses drainages coming off the high peaks -- feels about the same, going and coming. (I'll admit, though, that I was faster on the way east than I had been going west -- carrying less water as well as losing a bit of net elevation.) Doing Kachina in this direction gave me the chance to see what there is to see along FR522, which I'll use in future. That is a pretty rough road -- took about a half hour to do just about 3 miles. Besides having the chance to see the scenery along FR522, I had another benefit from doing the trail from east to west -- I ran into a Forest Service employee just as I was starting up the spur trail toward Kachina, and I'm glad I had the chance to chat with him about current fire activity and such. As for the trail, itself, some of the ferns along Kachina Trail are growing 5 feet+ tall! And in places they reach out from both sides and obscure the trail - but the trail doesn't make any dramatic turns in those areas, so if you keep on pressing through the ferns you can see the tread OK. I saw a deer or elk pretty early in the hike - not sure which because the animal was partly obscured in the trees - color was light tan. There are several dead trees lying across the trail, but only one was too big to clamber over easily. People have been turning uphill to walk around the end of that log, so I hope the FS or some lovely volunteer group will saw a chunk out of it before too long. (I guess that's extra tough in the Wilderness Area since chainsaws are not allowed!) It rained off and on (mostly on) for at least 2 hours, from about 1:30PM. And some little hail was included with the rain at times, for good measure. My feet got very wet, despite my fancy GTX-lined hiking shoes, because the ferns held a lot of water in their leaves, and showered me from the hips down all afternoon. My socks were wicking the water right down to my feet. So all in all, a perfect July day in the Kachina Peaks! :y: I did not quite get to the end of the trail at Snowbowl Rd, which is why I pegged the distance covered at about 10 miles. I can't be precise, so that's just based on time hiked, my usual hiking speed, and perceived effort on the day. (BTW, plenty of parking at the TH east end of FR522, and the spur trail is wide and well-marked with signs.)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
10 archives
May 16 2017
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

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 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Shaw Butte Lollipop from N.Mtn. Visitor Center, AZ 
Shaw Butte Lollipop from N.Mtn. Visitor Center, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 16 2017
amy1300
Hiking5.70 Miles 840 AEG
Hiking5.70 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   2.28 mph
840 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I parked at North Mountain Visitor Center lot (off 7th St south of Thunderbird) and began the hike there. So mine is a lollipop (or "cherry stem," if you prefer) hike. The stem part follows about 1/2 mile of Trail 100 to the west from the Visitor Center, before Trail 100 meets up with Shaw Butte Trail #306 as it runs SSW through the valley between North Mountain and Shaw Butte. Lots of "use trails" back in here, one of which I followed for a ways, making a big "D" shape toward the north up a small hill, to the north of the southernmost part of official Trail 306. My total mileage at the top includes that detour plus some exploring around the various trails and towers on top of Shaw Butte. BTW, this hike was done in mid-May, but we were having unusually COOL weather today - under
70 degrees F when I started the hike, and only 79 when I finished at about 1:30PM.

I noticed the flora and fauna notes of the official description don't mention the trademark Sonoran desert plant, the Saguaro. There are quite a few out there. I hoped I might see some blooming since it's mid-May, but no luck. There are a few small ironwood trees blooming now (light lavendar-colored blooms) -- though if you want to see ironwoods at their best, go to Tucson. I did see quite a few hummingbirds.

The "Water Report" feature does not want to let me add that there's a faucet with potable water near the trailhead that is at the North end of the Trail 306 loop -- might be useful to out-of-town people to know, though it's only a mile from the end of the hike I did today, so I did not need to use it.
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Ironwood trees, and the creosote bushes still have their shiny, round white seed heads, though their blooms are done.
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
1 archive
May 11 2017
amy1300
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 Routes 1
 Photos 39
 Triplogs 27

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 Joined Jun 06 2016
 Phoenix. AZ
Derrick - Horton LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 11 2017
amy1300
Hiking8.80 Miles 2,130 AEG
Hiking8.80 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.70 mph
2,130 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I had not been to Mogollon Rim country in maybe 20 years, so a big Thank You to the person who made note of the fact that there's now a special Trailhead (with parking and a toilet) for the Derrick Trail. This trailhead is on the left as you drive N on FR289, before you get to the bridge across Tonto Creek or the Upper Tonto campground. You can't see the Horton Creek Trailhead from this parking lot, because there's a bit of a rise in the road, but it only took me about 5 minutes to walk back to the Derrick TH along FR289, at the end of my hike. I did this loop in the counter-clockwise direction, with Derrick Trail first.

The official Forest Service trail signs are in good condition along this loop, and they give somewhat longer distances than those in the main HAZ description, even if you leave off the detour up to Horton Spring. (Maybe the FS likes to round mileages up, thinking to help people avoid biting off more than they can chew?) According to the FS signs, it's 3 miles from Derrick TH to jcn with the Highline Trail, 2.5 miles along Highline to jcn with Horton Creek Trail, and 4 miles from jcn of Highline & Horton Creek Trails to the Horton Creek Trailhead and FR 289, for a 9.5-mile total. (Plus another 1/10 mile along the paved road, to get back to Derrick TH.)

The Derrick seemed less road-like now, than it was 20 or so years ago. I could be mis-remembering it, but I think some re-routing has occurred. It's still easy to follow, though. There are a few areas of the trail covered with pine needles, but there are some (imo, unnecessary) cairns along the way to help you out, and the trail pretty much stays on top of a ridge heading up to the Highline. You can also watch for some signs of human trail-maintenance activity -- i.e., trees that have had branches that were growing across the trail cut off, a few inches out from the trunks of the trees.

This section of the Highline is also easy to follow. It's blazed infrequently, with stiff plastic markers nailed to tree trunks (usually of dead trees). The markers are white and either diamond-shaped or a modified square with a diamond image on it. But the trail would be easy enough to follow without the blazes, imo. There were quite a few elk tracks on the Highline when I was there -- it had rained 2 days before so there was plenty of mud for them to stroll through, though it had dried by the time I was there.

At the junction of the Highline and Horton Creek Trails there is a bridge to help you cross Horton Creek. (The map shows a crossing of an "East Fork of Horton Creek" before this, but I never saw that, so it must have been dry. The map I'm referring to is Trails Illustrated #852 copyright 2016.) The bridge across Horton Creek is a tree trunk, sawed in half and then laid open like a book, to give you a nice flat surface, easy to walk on. There is a good campsite along the Highline Trail, just before this junction, and it took me about 6 minutes to walk down to the bridge from there. It's not out of sight from the trail, but still I'd use it rather than camp near the trail junction, because the area around the junction had so many flies it was unpleasant to stop there for lunch! And a definite odor of horse dung, which may partly explain the flies.

From the end of the bridge you make a left turn to head back toward the road on Horton Creek Trail. After a very short, level walk there's a fork with a small trail on the left that stays right next to the creek, and a more obvious trail to its right. I took the left one, thinking that was the Horton Creek Trail and the other was the Highline continuing on. That was not right - the smaller trail is just a use trail that leads you downhill to several campsites that are downstream a little way from the bridge. I had to backtrack to pick up the right fork trail, which is actually the Horton Creek and Highline Trails running along together for a little way, until a second fork where there's a trail sign. Horton Creek Trail is easy to follow from there, and downhill almost the whole way back to the road. There are several use trails leading from the Horton Creek Trail to the creek, itself, either to play spots or campsites along the way.

I only saw one other person on the Highline section I hiked, and no one on the Derrick Trail. There were several other hikers on the Horton Creek Trail, which is very popular, so I didn't expect solitude, even on a weekday in May. The Ponderosa Pines smelled heavenly, and this is a very nice loop hike.
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Wildflowers Observation Light
Lots of blue flowers that look like lupines, though growing in semi-shaded conditions. Also little golden yellow daisy-shaped blooms, and others that are white petals with golden centers. After the first 2 miles on Derrick #33 there were many big manzanitas with their pink, bell-shaped blooms, on both sides of trail. On Derrick, within a mile of the jcn with Horton Creek Trail, there were also wild strawberries in bloom -- too bad it's too early for berries! Around the jcn of Derrick and Horton Creek Trails there were some under-story trees with white blooms that remind me of dogwoods, except that they have 5 petals (whereas dogwoods have only 4).
_____________________
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D
5 archives
average hiking speed 1.81 mph

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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