username
X
password
register
for free!
help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
1, 2  Next
23 triplogs
Feb 14 2021
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Mount Ord from Slate Creek THPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 14 2021
desertadapted
Hiking15.50 Miles 4,108 AEG
Hiking15.50 Miles
4,108 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With thanks to @DixieFlyer, I went up Ord as soon as I could after hearing of the closure’s end. It had snowed the night before, with the powder starting a bit below FR 626. I had the mountain to myself all morning, but if you HAD been there, you would have heard me whooping as I jogged? frolicked? gamboled? cavorted? romped? down the hill through the beautiful fresh snow. It was the stuff perfect memories are made of.

Spent 15 minutes at the top watching and listening to snow/ice falling off the towers and striking lower wires/tresses. Wonderful sound!

Yeah, it’s depressing to see the devastation below FR626, but the trail is still in excellent condition, and I have confidence it will remain my go-to training hike during the summer.
_____________________
Feb 06 2021
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
South Mountain Bow Tie, AZ 
South Mountain Bow Tie, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 06 2021
desertadapted
Hiking16.00 Miles 5,200 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   2.91 mph
5,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
I have a mixed relationship with bow ties, stemming largely from a frustrating 45 minutes in front of a mirror on my wedding day. But I've been exploring South Mountain lately and put together a hill climb that looked like a bow tie (with a piece dangling off of it), that was almost as messy as my wedding tie.

Headed up Ranger Trail, left onto National and curved over to Pyramid. Took Pyramid over to what I think is called the Eliminator trail, which forms a loop with the Lost Ranch Mine Trail, which I took down. Headed over to the "ruins" and headed up Lost Ranch Ruins Trail. To complete the second half of the bow tie I headed down the National Trail again, this time to Busera, which I stayed on until Gila, which is on the other side of the wash from Busera. I rejoined Busera up the hill and descended back toward the parking area. At the bottom of the hill I hung a left back toward the ruins and this time went up Lost Ranch Mine Trail. Back on National I then went back down Ranger. It was really pretty out there, and these unmarked trails were surprisingly crowded. But it's nice to feel like I can discover new things in Phoenix.

Anyhow, better fiddling with a map and a hike to make an expressionistic bow tie than to tie and actual one on.
_____________________
Feb 01 2021
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Superstition Ridgeline Loop, AZ 
Superstition Ridgeline Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 01 2021
desertadapted
Hiking24.00 Miles 8,700 AEG
Hiking24.00 Miles   13 Hrs   20 Mns   1.80 mph
8,700 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
It seemed like a good idea at the time. I was looking to solve the problem of doing an out-and-back on the Ridgeline while keeping things interesting. Not one of my brighter ideas. Started at Lost Dutchman State Park (needed to use overflow lot because day use lot doesn't open until 8:00 a.m.). Was able to enjoy sunrise at the Flatiron. Followed the Ridgeline through a lot of burn area, and took Hieroglyphic down. The trail is in good shape and I didn't see a soul until I hit the petroglyphs, at which point the hike became densely packed. The turn off onto Lost Goldmine provided major relief from the crowds, which was appreciated. I got a bit turned around heading up Lost Goldmine, but a nice pair of hikers who had likewise gone off-trail shouted me back onto the proper path. Thank you! Heading back on the Ridgeline was fairly crowded (for the crest). Maybe 12 hikers all told doing the Flatiron to Goldmine shuttle. The nice thing about a loop is that once you realize you've bitten off more than you can chew, it's too late! Just so here. By the time I passed the Hieroglyphics turnoff on the way back I was ready to be done and was in a race to do the hard parts of the Flatiron in daylight. Failed on that point and did a fair bit of the downhill near Siphon Draw with my headlamp. I do not like going down Flatiron in the dark. No sir. I rewarded myself with a pizza. It's going to be a while before I try that again.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hieroglyphic Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Nice flow all the way down.
_____________________
Jan 23 2021
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
La Barge Lower - Box LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 23 2021
desertadapted
Backpack
Backpack2 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I wanted to test rain gear for a forthcoming two week long hike I'm doing back east this Spring. It's hard to do that here in AZ, so when the forecast came in I made plans for a weekend in the Supes. Started at Canyon Lake on Saturday. I really enjoy the Boulder Canyon hike to La Barge. It's steep, but the trail conditions are great and I encountered a lot of enthusiastic day-hikers along the way. I had not been intending to do the La Barge Box, but I've been dealing with a repetitive use injury lately and decided to go lighter on the miles.

It's been maybe 12 years since I last hiked the La Barge Box, and I regret it immensely. It's so pretty back there. While the area approaching the Cavalry trail connection is a bit overgrown, enough folks do the hike and have cut back the growth that it's manageable without too much hassle. I took Cavalry to Dutchman and then cameled up at Charlebois Spring, which is looking magnificent. Ended up camping a bit back on Dutchman in a nice flat site. I turned in early to await the rain, which started at 9:00 p.m. and continued intermittently all night. Finally!

The next morning I took Bull Pass to Boulder and then went up Battleship, which was a treat. Someone had camped in the saddle between La Barge and Cavalry and looked quite content. Unfortunately, lighting came in (and too close!) before I completed the ascent, so I beat a fast retreat off the ridge. Better luck next time. It rained on and off for the rest of my time on Boulder, though I got to the car in partial sun.

The upshot was that the rain gear did well, though I didn't do a great job of securing my pack liner. Lessons learned. A wonderful short trip and a much needed rain. Thank you, Weather Gods!

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max La Barge Box Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
A number of truly disgusting pools.
_____________________
Jan 17 2021
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Hermit/Tonto/Boucher Loop, AZ 
Hermit/Tonto/Boucher Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2021
desertadapted
Hiking20.00 Miles 5,300 AEG
Hiking20.00 Miles
5,300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I’m in the very early stages of trying to hike the Canyon’s named trails. This weekend was supposed to be the Hermit/Boucher loop on Sunday and an out-and-back on New Hance or Tanner on Monday. Only finished the first.

I’d done Hermit before, and love it. Started at ~6:15. I really enjoy the extended lateral hikes between the steep drops on Hermit. It feels so much more organic to me than Bright Angel or Kaibab (though it lacks Kaibab’s huge views). It’s also not as brutally steep as Grandview. I had the trail to myself, and trail conditions remain excellent. I encountered four backpackers coming out of Hermit Camp. I imagine they had a really cold night but they looked in good spirits. I refilled a liter there and continued on the Tonto. Conditions were chilly, clear and beautiful. I was feeling kind of weak for some reason, which was going to punish me on the way up Boucher. It also took away my motivation to take pictures – I just wanted to keep moving.

Reports that you should go up Boucher, rather than down, are absolutely spot on. Steep and pebbly in some sections, scrambly in a few others, it was definitely a chore going uphill, but it’s not something I would have wanted to go down. It’s striking how much less maintained it is than Hermit, given their proximity. It also suffers from repeatedly entering drainages, which I imagine makes maintenance challenging. There was no water on trail. I have to say, I don’t anticipate going out of my way to take Boucher again. Hermit is just so much easier to climb. I was pooped by the end, and scuttled the idea of New Hance or Tanner, while putting away a pizza and some beer. It’s a bit of a schlep to drive from the Valley to the Canyon for a single day hike, but I just couldn’t motivate. Next time!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Hermit Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
_____________________
Jan 11 2021
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Washington Park to Horton Creek and Back, AZ 
Washington Park to Horton Creek and Back, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jan 11 2021
desertadapted
Backpack43.00 Miles 6,300 AEG
Backpack43.00 Miles2 Days         
6,300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I wanted to finish off my last uncompleted section of the Highline. I prefer loops to out-and-backs, but so it goes. Started at Washington Park and camped at Horton Creek. I only did the triplog to more easily link the water reports. Like a moron, I screwed up my notes on a couple other flowing sources, so my report is incomplete. Suffice it to say that there was plenty of water on this section and I never had to carry more than 1.0 liter. The trail is amazing throughout, and is recovering nicely from the fire. It is exposed, however, so I would be hesitant to hike it during the summer.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Bonita Creek @ Highline Medium flow Medium flow
Flowing well.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Dick Williams Creek @ Highline #31 Medium flow Medium flow
Flowing well.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Dude Creek @ Highline Heavy flow Heavy flow
Flowing nicely.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 East Verde River @ Highline Heavy flow Heavy flow
Per usual
_____________________
Jan 04 2021
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
West Pinto Trail #212 - SuperstitionsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 04 2021
desertadapted
Backpack26.25 Miles 5,300 AEG
Backpack26.25 Miles2 Days         
5,300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Loop hike of West Pinto, Rogers Canyon, Reavis Ranch, Fireline, and Campaign Trails.

Started at Miles TH. The first three miles of West Pinto are extremely well maintained. Once you hit fire damage, though, there's a bunch of cat claw. I only cut back what I couldn't readily get around, and it still took a fair bit of time. The trail must have been gorgeous before the fires. Route finding is sometimes a challenge when the trail follows the creek, so GPS is a must. Once the trail leaves the creek and starts heading steeply uphill, trail conditions improved. I averaged maybe 1.5 miles/and hour for most of it with the shrub-killing and route-finding and was exhausted by the time I made it down to Rogers Canyon.

Rogers Canyon was pretty busy (maybe 15 cars at the Rogers Trough TH). But once I made the turnoff up Reavis, I was back to the solitary life. The wind was mild enough that I could make camp at Reavis Saddle.

It's interesting seeing the changes from the fire on the Reavis trail, and I was relieved to see how much of the forest survived. It was cold enough hiking through that basin that there was ice in my water bottles just from the period I was walking (there was no ice overnight). Glad I camped at the Saddle!

The Fireline is actually in good shape - I had not expected that given the fire damage. Where the fire didn't hit, there are sections of overgrowth that were there ~3 years ago, so no change there. There are some sections where catclaw is taking over, but relatively few. Now, the Fireline was never my favorite trail -- I thought it was too steep and exposed before the fire, but I wouldn't say that the burn has made it materially worse. Yet.

The Campaign Trail was pretty miserable. I had never been on the section from Fireline to West Pinto before (the section from Fireline to Reavis Gap was amazing pre-fire, but I understand it's terrible now from reading HAZ triplogs). Route finding was very tough while the trail followed the creek. A lot of trail seems to be gone now. GPS is a must. When you leave the creek for good, trail conditions improve substantially.

Overall, West Pinto and the section of Campaign I was on were a slog. With that said, I feel some sense of guilt/responsibility to keep going back to the now-crappy parts of the Supes to try to (very) modestly cut things back. I kind of feel like we lost some great trails in the Whites because they were too far from most people to allow the sort of everyday minor trail maintenance that can keep a trail from going to seed after a big fire. I just need time to forget how unpleasant some of that trail was!
_____________________
Nov 27 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
S. Kaibab Tonto Grandview Loop, AZ 
S. Kaibab Tonto Grandview Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 27 2020
desertadapted
Hiking28.00 Miles 5,200 AEG
Hiking28.00 Miles
5,200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I decided it was time to hike the Tonto between S. Kaibab and Grandview despite lacking a shuttle, which would force me to do a ~7 mile road walk back to my car parked near S. Kaibab TH. Best choice ever, and probably my favorite day in the Canyon.
I got an early start and did the entirety of the S. Kaibab down to the Tonto in the dark. While I've gone up that trail plenty in the daylight, I don't think I've gone down it during the day more than once. Not fair to that beautiful trail, but I always find a reason for an early start.
Part of leaving early was reading some trail descriptions that indicated the Tonto could be challenging between Grandview and Kaibab, with route finding sometimes tough. With some very minor exceptions easily solved by RouteScout, I didn't find that to be the case.
The weather was perfect and the trail serene for the duration of the Tonto. I passed two groups of tents early enough that my footfall probably ruined their well-earned rest (sorry!).
While route finding wasn't an issue, the east side of Grapevine has some angled, thin, and exposed trail that had me pleased I had trekking poles. Long way down!
There was no water on the trail until Cottonwood, but you could have hiked down Grapevine to water if needed. Given cool temps, I only drank about 2.5 liters between Kaibab and Cottonwood, and had water to spare upon arrival. Cottonwood was flowing nicely.
Rather than going up Cottonwood to get to the Mesa, I continued around south to take that trail up Grandview.
The view up from Horseshoe Mesa knocked my socks off. Just magical. For views alone, Grandview would be my new favorite trail in the park were it not for how damned steep that ascent is. Cut a guy some slack!
Once at the top, I steeled myself for what I knew was going to be a dreary and cold road walk. And it was for about the first 2.5 miles when a trail angel stopped and offered me a ride. Thank you, wonderful lady in the (self-described) hippie bus!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Cottonwood Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Flowing nicely.

dry Grapevine Creek Dry Dry
Dry at the Tonto crossing. Could see water further downstream. Continued on to Cottonwood for good flow.
_____________________
Nov 12 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Crest Trail #270 - Barfoot Park Rd to Jct SdlTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 12 2020
desertadapted
Backpack36.00 Miles 9,700 AEG
Backpack36.00 Miles3 Days         
9,700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Given how far the Chiricahuas are from the Valley, I've only had a chance to visit once before, on a brief backpacking trip with my family. My plan was a bit diffuse initially, but I ended up deciding to use the Crest to backstop two loops, one east, one west: Herb Martyr and Mormon/Saulsbury. Given the colder temps we've been having (finally), I decided to camp low to stay warm.

Day 1. Started at Bootlegger Park. Started immediately on the Crest Trail, which has had some work done on it over the last couple years. Several years back it had been washed out in portions. It's now solid, and no overgrown. I was struck at how slow that area has been to come back from fire. I took a hike over Flys Peak, which does not improve on the crest itself in terms of views. Anita Spring is full. Unsure of what kind of water I'd be seeing at Herb Martyr, I overfilled. I'm the poster child for the backpacker who has incredibly expensive lightweight gear and screws it all up with overly conservative water carries. So it goes. After Anita Spring I continued on the crest to Snowshed Trail. Snowshed is thin, angled and exposed. There's very little post-fire growth in this area, leading to notable erosion. Pine Park is lovely, however, and the Herb Martyr Trail was perfect in all respects. After crossing Cave Creek (flowing nicely), I continued around on FR713 to head towards Greenhouse Trail. I found a nice campsite. Hadn't seen a soul all day (even at the Herb Martyr Campground).

Day 2. The hike up Greenhouse was steep. Winn Falls is flowing slightly. Cima Creek was flowing and I was able to refill my still-ample water supply. I encountered my first (and only) backpacker heading down from Chiricahua Saddle to Mormon Ridge. Route finding was generally fine on Mormon Ridge but I did manage to briefly get off trail towards the beginning, and was glad for GPS. I'll note that Mormon Creek had a ton of deadfall at the start, so I opted for Mormon Ridge instead. There was ample water in Turkey Creek where the Ridge Trail connects to the road. I curved around and headed a bit up Saulsbury, but was gassed from the morning's climb.

Day 3. Saulsbury up to Saulsbury Saddle is relatively well-maintained and easy to follow. The stretch from the Saddle back to the Crest Trail has need seen attention for a while. I frequently had to course-correct with GPS, and push through overgrowth, deadfall, and brambly evil. It's also steep, though that might have been my legs giving out. Once back on the Crest I had a quick walk over to Flys Park and took that road back to Rustler Park. Given how much I struggled up the second segment of Saulsbury, I was ready for some easy hiking.

I'm truly bummed that it's such a drive to get to the Chiricahuas. Living in the Valley, it's tough to commit. I look forward to getting back there in another couple years. I'd like to start out of Rucker on the south side to do some more exploring.
Named place
Named place
Anita Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Anita Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Tank is full and clear.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deer Spring Dripping Dripping
Spring was dripping across the trail. Did not go up to spring - a bit sketchy post-burn.
_____________________
2 archives
Nov 07 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
JF Trail #106Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 07 2020
desertadapted
Backpack19.50 Miles 5,252 AEG
Backpack19.50 Miles2 Days         
5,252 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have not hiked in the JF/Frog Tanks area since the Woodbury Fire and decided to head out to see how things were shaping up. I had done JF very shortly before the fire, and it was overgrown then, so I took along clippers to make sure I could get through without too much damage from the cat claw and related evils. As anticipated, the fire caused significant damage, but the bushes and shrubs are coming back with a prickly, thorny, ornery vengeance. I spent upwards of 5 hours pruning them back from the trail so I could get by. I'm not proud of the cuts I made, as they fall short of best wilderness practice, and I or someone else will need to head back with loppers to make any sort of lasting improvement.

In any event, I love the JF, especially because you don't need high clearance 4x4 to get to the trailhead, which is in shorter supply now that post-Woodbury flooding knocked out access to the Reavis trailhead.

Because of overgrowth, I only managed as far as the Tank at the intersection of JF and Woodbury trails (great water there). The way back was much faster, but route finding is a problem in some of the grassier sections.

I'm going to have to head back later to see the state of Frog Tanks. I understand from other trip logs that it's been destroyed in a number of places. As prickly and slow as the hiking is, it's a privilege to see life returning to the Supes.
_____________________
Oct 10 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 10 2020
desertadapted
Backpack175.00 Miles
Backpack175.00 Miles8 Days         
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
I'm continuing my project of trying to section hike the AZT. Much of Passages 42 and 43 (From UT to Jacob Lake) are closed due to fire activity, so I'm leaving those final two passages for the spring/summer of 2021. This report will be succinct.

Day 1. Light day with a late start and early camp. There is substantial historical fire damage (I'm not educated enough to know how much of the damage was from clear cutting). I was just glad to be on the trail.

Day 2. Made a big push to complete Passage #41 and #40, camping about 1/2 mile from the park boundary. It was one of my top ten favorite days hiking. After leaving behind burn/clear cut, I got to enjoy fall color, lovely forest, meadows, etc. Although I may have just hit it at the right time of year, Passage #40 is easily one my of favorite AZT Passages.

Day 3. Woke up to a frozen water bottle and proceeded into Passage #39 (GCNP North Rim). After kicking around the North Rim for a bit, I hiked down to Cottonwood Campground. Hiking Rim to Rim in the past, I'd never thought much of the campground. How wrong I was! Tastefully located with excellent spacing between sites, I'm looking forward to going back.

Day 4. Had an alpine start to avoid too warm a hike up the South Kaibab trail, given that it's so sun exposed beginning at the Tonto. I was sad to miss as much of the Canyon interior as I did, but I'd gotten my fill a few weeks before, and wanted to make sure I was safe. After a successful resupply at the very friendly post office, I walked into Tusayan for a late lunch. The trail to Tusayan is on a bike path and is no fun at all. After some beer and vittles, I hiked out of Tusayan a few miles before collapsing.

Day 5. AZT #36 is just too pretty. I hadn't registered how many GC views it provides. The Grandview Tower was well worth the stop (along with cached water). I tuckered out near Moqui Stage Station, wanting to get some rest before a big push across Babbitt Ranch.

Day 6. AZT #35 was a study in contrasts. The ATA appears to have completed some amazing re-routes that have eliminated historical road walks (only a few miles of road remain). They did a great job - the trail is very well done. But Passage 35 is still exposed and dry as all get out. I spent most of it hiding under my umbrella and mumbling. Were it not for Tub Ranch, where there is a critical water source, I think I'd have cried. I also fell in love with the local dog. After a brief road walk out to the Coconino NF boundary, I crashed, glad the day was over. Beautiful trail, but that's tough country to love.

Day 7. AZT #34 is famous, and rightly so. The San Francisco Peaks are a real treat. I could hike that Passage over and over. If you were in the area and saw some strange dude hugging a pine tree, it wasn't me. I swear. I crashed out a few miles past Alfa Fia tank (is a tank really a tank without cow dung all over?). Alfa Fia itself was crowded with hikers out to see the sunset. The energy was great.

Day 8. I've got lots of love for the ATA and there are major limits on where trail can be sited, but I am not a fan of the Flagstaff urban bypass route. The first stretch you're in significant competition with mountain bikers who really really really want you to get out of the way. The second stretch, there's a fair bit of uphill, which was a bit of a bummer given that all I had on my mind was a shower, pizza and beer. But I finally got my whiney self to a motel, where I accomplished all three. To glorious excess.

As a parting note, the trip would not have been nearly as fun were it not for the dedicated ATA volunteers who provided water caches at critical points along the trail. Manna from heaven. Interestingly, during my week on trail, I only encountered three NOBO and no SOBO backpackers (other than within the GC), so the SOBO flow was not substantial enough for me to overtake/be overtaken by anyone else. Not sure if that's par for the course or whether COVID and fires have done their number on trail volumes.

I'm looking forward to Passages 42 and 43 next year and really hope that in the next ~6-7 years I'm able to find time to do the whole trail as a thru-hike. Thank you ATA!
_____________________
Oct 03 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
East Sawmill Canyon Trail #146Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 03 2020
desertadapted
Hiking12.00 Miles 3,100 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
3,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I've been trying to explore some of the trails in the Santa Rita's (Wrightson) lately. Some weeks back I went up the Florida Canyon Trail which, at the Florida Saddle, connects with Sawmill and Cave Canyon (Cave Creek) trails. I put together a loop that combined both. Unfortunately, a good bit of road walking is involved. I started on Cave Canyon. Like a number of trails in the area, it starts off well-forested and riparian. It then shifts to steep switchbacks in an exposed burn area. Although there are some pines coming back, most of the exposed terrain is covered by the scratchy mix of bushes you'd expect. Cave Canyon is excellently maintained for all that, and the views were great. After Florida Saddle, I continued up a bit through the overgrown sections of Sawmill, which then dips down steeply.
Sawmill Spring has plenty of great water (looks perennial) and I startled some deer who had the same idea.
I was able to fill up my water again at the official start of Sawmill, at a stream crossing.
Unfortunately, to make the hike a loop, the remainder needed to be road walk. Until I reached FR92, there wasn't much traffic.
The highlight of Sawmill is Sawmill Spring, but as between it and Cave Canyon, I'd choose the latter. I would definitely recommend Cave Canyon as an alternative route to the summit, but would not at all suggest replicating my loop hike. Too much road for not enough trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sawmill Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Box of cool, clear, tasty water. And plenty of it.
_____________________
Sep 19 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 19 2020
desertadapted
Backpack30.60 Miles 8,770 AEG
Backpack30.60 Miles2 Days         
8,770 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Ok, this one was a little bit awesome and a little bit debacle. I started down South Kaibab at 4:15 a.m. Unfortunately within the first ten minutes one of my trekking pole wrist straps snapped. I love the poles, but the timing wasn't auspicious.
During my time on the Kaibab I was overtaken by between 20 and 30 trail runners, so it's definitely R2R season. Windy as all get out with a lot of dust in the air. Made it to Phantom Ranch ~ 6:30 and hung out there for about 30 minutes. It's a different scene down there with meals being taken in little plastic containers and all socially distanced.
Next came the part I was really excited for. After a brief jaunt up North Kaibab, I made the right hand turn towards Clear Creek. While not as well maintained as the Park's main trails, the trail quality was outstanding for an AZ desert trail (until the final ~mile where it's a bit sketch). After a beautiful ~ 2 miles climbing up to the Tonto platform, what ensued was an exposed and beautiful hike along the platform. The views were great, though impaired somewhat by the dust still hanging in the air.
I took it slow and felt every bit of the heat. Not sure of temps, but it was 103 in the Valley, so I assume is was around that. I hike with an umbrella, and it really helped me out. I don't know if it was the solitude (saw no one the entire time) or the different perspective, but I found the trail much more beautiful than when I've hiked the Tonto Trail between Kaibab and Hermit. My camera skills and my camera just don't do it justice.
Clear Creek itself is flowing well and helped cool me down. Note: It's incredibly windy down there. I was thankful it settled down after dusk, or I'd not have been able to sleep.
The only downside to hiking this early in the season is that I can't hack the higher temps, and so hike early. That left me with a lot of time to kill after arriving at Clear Creek, but no real energy to do more hiking.
Wanting to avoid a hike back up Kaibab too late in the morning, I got a really early start. Although I was trucking up Kaibab, I was fatigued enough that I forgot my glasses on the trail. By the time I realized my vision was fuzzy, I'd come too far to hike back down safely. So trekking pole repairs and fingers crossed for GCNP Lost and Found in my future. . .
I'm not sure how much solitude you get at Clear Creek when it really cools down, but I think I'd do it again during the winter season rather than with triple digit temps in the valley. With cooler temps, I think a trip down to the Colorado would be a lot of fun.
_____________________
Sep 05 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
West Clear Creek Trail #17Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 05 2020
desertadapted
Backpack12.00 Miles
Backpack12.00 Miles2 Days         
20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was my first trip to West Clear Creek. Special thanks to Nonot for providing excellent guidance.
Started out at ~ 6:30 a.m. at Bull Pen. Given record temps in the valley, the early start was perfect. There were only three cars in the lot. Unfortunately, there was a lot of trash piled up around the closed bathroom. It would prove to be a harbinger of things to come, as garbage was a recurring theme of the hike.
The hike to the trail terminus (4 miles) is utilitarian, and not something I would do if it were not for what followed. Although I had looked at photosets on this website, I wasn't prepared for how beautiful the hike up the creek was. I didn't see anyone until I hit the side trail that folks take to get down the canyon and on to Maiden Falls. I don't have the words to do it justice. That section (between #17 terminus and the Maiden Falls side trail) was the most pristine of the hike. No trash. Few campsites. The section required on float. Rather than an inflatable, I threw my whole pack into an oversized Osprey dry bag. I wouldn't recommend the approach, as after only four floats, and generally attempting to be careful, I had several abrasion holes. I like the idea of encasing the pack, but need stronger material for the next trip.
I encountered a lot more people once I hiked past the side trail, and lots more developed campsites. There was also more garbage. After a second float and some steep rapids, I made camp (sweet spot!), about 1/4 mile from the Falls. After setting up camp I went to check out the falls, and then spent the afternoon floating around a pool closer to camp. Oh, and picking up a couple gallons of accumulated garbage strewn about. I didn't have room to get it all, and that was just what was near my camp. More on that later.
I had initially planned a three day, but I mentally I think I need an established goal - just hiking five hours out and five hours back to my camp didn't sound appealing to me. So Sunday morning I headed back toward Bull Pen. After my first float of the morning, I began to notice more garbage. One group had even left a full garbage bag (one of those 40 gallon ones you use in a trash can), hung up, rather than packing it out. I don't have the ground clearance to get to the Maiden Falls side trail, but am game to do more trash carryout if you do (PM me). I don't mean to harp on the garbage thing, but WCC is so pristine, that the juxtaposition of all trash was jarring.
Heading out the established trail was warm in the early afternoon. The crowds didn't really show up until the final creek crossing towards the end. Given that it's Labor Day weekend, I shouldn't have been surprised, but there were hundreds of cars, both at Bull Pen and every available spot for a ~ mile leading to Bull Pen. By some miracle, I wasn't blocked in.
I look forward to more exploration of WCC. It's not my usual thing (more established trails), but what a beautiful adventure! It didn't hurt that it was really hot this weekend. The floats were pleasant, rather than bracing. I wouldn't want to do this in November. Mileage and AEG above is a space filler. I have no idea what they were. I can say that 6-8 hours from Bull Pen to Maiden Falls was doable.
_____________________
Aug 29 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Florida Canyon / Crest TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 29 2020
desertadapted
Backpack15.70 Miles 5,990 AEG
Backpack15.70 Miles1 Day         
5,990 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked up Florida Canyon Trail, which is relentlessly steep until you begin the descent to Baldy Saddle. Made the mistake of overfilling at Armour Spring, which is a 0.8 detour. Too much to carry on jelly legs! After setting up near Baldy Saddle, a lightning storm rolled in. I was a bit cocky until lighting and thunder felt like it was cracking right above me. Then decamped pronto. Saw and reported a lightning caused fire further down the hill only to have it (and myself) totally doused by the ensuing rain. Rather than setting up in the deluge below ridge line, I kept hiking as long as it kept raining, and ended up close to the car by the time it petered out. So I ended up taking my camping gear for a walk. Overall, a bunch of this hike is on exposed and slightly overgrown trail caused by a prior fire. I'd like to go back to check Sawmill and Clear Creek trails (which connect at Florida Saddle), but I'm not sure I'd do Florida from the trailhead again soon. In terms of backpacking, the best sites are near Baldy Saddle. There is a decent spot near the turnoff for Armour Spring (signed), right on the trail. Generally, most of the trail is too steep for good sites.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Armour Spring Dripping Dripping
Need a scoop to get the water out.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Florida Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
You can hear the stream from the trail as you get near the GPS coordinate for the Spring, I found it easiest right before trail takes sharp West/Left turn.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Robinson Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
The tank is completely full, totally clear. Tasted amazing.
_____________________
Aug 22 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
South Kaibab TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 22 2020
desertadapted
Hiking19.25 Miles 5,520 AEG
Hiking19.25 Miles
5,520 ft AEG8 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
South Kaibab, River Trail, Bright Angel, Rim Trail. Alpine start. The Canyon was sparsely populated today. You can really feel the impact of COVID-19 and the end of the summer season. I encountered no one the entire way down Kaibab, and few people until 1.5 Mile hut, after which it was the usual mob. Rim Trail, to get back to the car, was less crowded than I've seen it outside of winter.
_____________________
Aug 15 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Flagstaff North Urban TrailFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 15 2020
desertadapted
Hiking43.00 Miles 4,650 AEG
Hiking43.00 Miles
4,650 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Wanting to hike my age in miles, and looking to complete the AZT sections around Flagstaff, I decided to do the AZT Urban Trail, head through the Walnut Canyon Passage, then back north through the Elden Passage and the very southern bit of the SF Peaks Passage. I wouldn't recommend it unless I disliked you. I began my alpine start at the Butler Ave Motel 6 (classy and right next to the AZT!). The trail was beautiful through the Walnut Canyon area. As you head east back toward the 40 it gets more exposed, which continues until you wend you way back west toward Elden. I hike with a Chrome Dome -- with that kind of mileage staying cool was a priority. The thing is that around Flag you encounter a lot of folks who are not really prepared for just how dorky I can look when trying to avoid the sun. I got a lot of bemused looks. I ended the hike with about 2,500 calories of Culver's. I still haven't fully recovered from either the hike or the Culver's.
_____________________
Aug 01 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
South Kaibab TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 01 2020
desertadapted
Hiking18.00 Miles 4,100 AEG
Hiking18.00 Miles
4,100 ft AEG8 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
South Kaibab to Tonto to Bright Angel and back on Rim Trail. Nothing special for this particular hike - Canyon is beautiful as always. Just trying to get my Grand Canyon legs for a hike to the Clear Creek CG in September, and a Rim to Rim as part of a SOBO AZT section hike in October.
_____________________
Jul 25 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Oracle - AZT #13Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2020
desertadapted
Hiking17.20 Miles 1,518 AEG
Hiking17.20 Miles
1,518 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did an out-and-back from Old Tiger Road to finish out AZT Passage #13. This trail is mostly through Oracle State Park. I'm not much of an animal guy and I'm generally pretty oblivious. But I've never seen more wildlife in such a short time. Multiple snake species, multiple spider species, tons of rabbits, birds I hadn't seen before (not saying much), rodents galore, tons of different lizard species. . . It was just awesome. I ended up hiking later in the afternoon, through dusk and into the first hour after dark. I don't night hike often, and this was a treat. Not sure if the profusion of wildlife was because it was a protected area or if I just got lucky. But I'll take it.
_____________________
Jul 24 2020
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 24 2020
desertadapted
Backpack36.00 Miles 8,500 AEG
Backpack36.00 Miles2 Days         
8,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did an out-and-back from Parker Canyon Lake south to the Montezuma Pass Trailhead to finish off Passage #1 of the AZT. The remainder of the trail down to the border is closed by DHS for border wall construction. Given how far south it is from Phoenix, I had never explored the Miller Peak Wilderness before. What a mistake that was. Beautiful, well-maintained, wooded trail. I was short on time and did not end up hitting the Miller Peak summit (the AZT passes the spur but does not summit), but that gives me something to look forward to next time. There were a lot of solid choices for camp sites along the ridge, and even a couple heading down to Montezuma Pass.
_____________________
average hiking speed 2.35 mph
1, 2  Next

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.

help comment issue
embroidered

HAZ Patch

end of page marker