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30 triplogs
Oct 28 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Munds Mountain Trail #77Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 28 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking7.60 Miles 2,060 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   6 Hrs   47 Mns   1.87 mph
2,060 ft AEG   2 Hrs   43 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
On 10/28/2021, I took a day hike to Munds Mountain Wilderness. It was a gorgeous fall day, with lots of reds and yellows of the maples and oaks. I’m sure Oak Creek Canyon (which this looks down on) is overrun with people looking at the “fall colors”, but up here, there is no one!

I took the Schnebly Trail #158 from Schnebly Hill Road to the cloverleaf interchange with Hot Loop Trail #94, Jack’s Canyon Trail #55, and Munds Mtn Trail #77. I then continued the climb up to the summit of Munds, and a ways past along the ridge, before returning much the same way.

The route from Phoenix to the trailhead is about as straightforward as it gets: I-17 north to Schnebly Hill Road, then west about 7 miles to the trailhead. EXCEPT, the last two miles to the trailhead are definitely high clearance 4WD. I was comfortable in my Trail Rated Cherokee, but I don’t think my wife’s Crosstrek is up to it. There is a road crew grading the road from top to bottom, though, and maybe someday it will be better. I had to dodge a fast moving dump truck a couple times on the way out, and I waved to the road grader driver at 2 miles from the trailhead. There is good parking at the trailhead on the opposite side of the road from the Schnebly Trail.

Trail #158 is an old road bed, but it has almost completely returned to single track for much of it’s length. The views from it down to Sedona and up Oak Creek Canyon as far as Humphrey’s Peak are spectacular. You can get your fill of red rock scenery, from a distance, and the trail passes through some very peaceful little forests of red and yellow maples and oaks.

Partway up, the two-track resumes and continues up over the hill, while the trail veers off right, back in and out of more forest and great views.

At a saddle, the trail first intersects the Hot Loop trail which stays on the mesa, and then the Jacks Canyon Trail and Munds Mtn Trail. The wilderness boundary is here.

The Munds Mountain trail ascends the hill aggressively, and it does require some attention to stay on the path and also not to slip. This climb is not for the faint hearted. After a few switchbacks, though, the trail tops out on a ridge and follows it up to the broad summit of Munds. The views from the summit proper are not good. Too many trees, and the summit is more of a mesa.

I found a summit register at the X that marks the summit on the old USGS map. The register is a glass jar with a metal lid, which required some persuasion to open. I wrapped the lid with my ACE bandage to get leverage and wore my cut-resistant gloves, in case I broke the jar. I lubricated the threads when I reassembled it, and put the whole thing in a zip-loc, so maybe the next time it will be easier.

After the summit, I continued on Trail 77 a ways, until I found a sunny rock with good views to stop and eat my sandwich, before working my way back. From here, you can see all the way to Jerome and Cottonwood. Trail 77 continues with more views as far as you wish, but eventually just ends.

The switchbacks back down Munds are easier to spot from above, but it is still slow going, to keep from slipping on loose rock.

Once leaving the wilderness, I stopped at several Geocaches on the hilltop. Also, I took a sample of the muddy water from Committee Tank. I have been thinking lately about how to efficiently use muddy water from those tanks and I wanted a sample to take home to experiment on.

Schnebly Hill Road is popular for the Jeep Tours from Sedona, as I could see from above, but on this journey I saw no one until I was back on the good part of the road, headed toward I-17. That makes it an almost perfect trip.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Lots of oaks and maples.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Committee Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Full but muddy.
Oct 22 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Mazatzal Divide - AZT #23Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 22 2021
GrangerGuy
Backpack21.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Backpack21.00 Miles3 Days   5 Hrs      
2,500 ft AEG26 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Joined an Arizona Trail Volunteer Crew on Segment 23 in the Mazzies for 4 days of brushing, tread work, and comraderie. The road to the Barnhardt Trailhead continues to be passable by normal cars, but it is getting more difficult. Barnhardt Trail was beautiful as always. Good water at Hawaiian Mist, Big Kahuna, Chilson Spring, and in the ravine below the trail between Barnhardt and Chilson Spring.

We camped 3 nights at Chilson Camp. Worked two full days on the AZT to the south of the Barnhardt Junction as far as "The Arbor". Looks pretty good now. Always get good thanks from thru-hikers while chopping away at the catclaw and New Mexico Locust.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Oaks are turning. Most are yellow, but a few are flaming red.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Oct 16 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Woodchute - Martin Canyon LoopPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 16 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking10.90 Miles 2,169 AEG
Hiking10.90 Miles   7 Hrs   34 Mns   2.15 mph
2,169 ft AEG   2 Hrs   30 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The road all the way to the trailhead could be made with a normal car. There is an outhouse about 0.7 mi before the trailhead. Judging from the trail register, this is a fairly popular trail.

As I set out, the sun was just coming over the ridge to the east. It was clear, windy, and about 50°.

Today’s adventures included visiting some geocaches that are along this route, taking some pictures with some new macro lenses, making water reports, finding the Woodchute summit, and collecting notes on yet another Arizona wilderness area. I found almost no flowers along the way, hiking in mid-October, but some interesting seed pods.

About 45 minutes in, I climbed up the little peak that Joe Bartels referred to as a pimple. Definitely worth the short side trip. There’s a good way trail and a usable campsite on the south side of that little pimple. Could see both to Prescott and Jerome from there.

On my way up and down Woodchute Mountain, I met the same two hunters several times. They were out looking for quarry for their hunt next weekend. Also in this area there was a little bit of snow.

The first water encountered was Woodchute Tank, on the way up. All of the tanks I passed were at least half full. Some were mostly full. The water in every case was muddy, but looked filterable.

Once I got up on the mesa that is Woodchute Mountain, I took a side trip off the main trail, bushwhacking along routes that have been posted by many others on HAZ. Once I got to the high point, about 2 hours in, I poked around until I found the summit register: a large cairn housing a jar under a tin can. Nothing to see at the summit here except oak, alligator juniper, and ponderosa pine. No views. I took a route a little farther north back down, which heads more onto the mesa. As I headed east off of the summit towards the trail the forest opened up and it’s quite pretty. There are a few old stumps, probably from the pre-Jerome original forest. This would be a pretty place to camp but there is no water.

I retraced Trail 102 back down to the junction with Trail 104, the Rick Tank Cutoff Trail. At this point there are several trails: a trail down to the stock pond, the middle trail which is the Rick Tank Cutoff Trail, and Trail 102 both up and down. Trail 104 goes directly to Upper Woodchute Tank, and continues along the dam before heading down the hill, where it quickly trail drops into a ravine.

As the trail traverses and descends, it frequently vanishes into the fields of tall wildflowers. Many times I would set a waypoint at a cairn, and then charge into the field, looking for the next cairn or sign of a trail. It would be easy to lose the trail here, so having waypoints of the cairns would help in the backtrack process.

Near the bottom, the trail crosses a pretty canyon and there’s a nice sitting rock here. A good spot for a little lunch. I suspect there might be a waterfall here at times. It is a long climb down to this point, which means a long climb back up trail 103, the next leg of the journey. The Trail 104 soon exits the wilderness, then pops out on Trail 103, where you should turn left.

Trail 103 is a two-track that follows Martin Canyon. There are tire tracks in this road. It had been used recently. As I hiked along it, I wondered if I could drive it in my Cherokee. I soon found my answer.

As I passed Martin Canyon Tank, I had to stop to wait for a club of several 4x4s to make their way past going the other way. It was very slow going for them. The leader was out with a walkie talkie guiding each driver past this particularly difficult section. Here, I was sure my Cherokee would not have cut it. Quoting from the Prescott National Forest trail description:

“This is a rugged Jeep Trail and allows full size vehicles, but it has been our experience that only modified high clearance vehicles are able to negotiate this trail, standard factory high clearance 4x4s are not recommended.” Truth.

There was more muddy water in Turkey Tank. Stopped to pick up the geocache here and have a snack. At this point, Trail 103 ends and road 9710W begins.

The climb continues up road 9710W, turning left onto Road 106E, and then left again on Road 106D, passing Hickey Tanks, which are both full of muddy water. I wasn’t able to get to the geocache there, because it seemed to be behind the barbed wire fence.

Overall assessment: The single track portions of this trip are great, but this route is halfway on four-wheel-drive road. Not that great. Three stars at best.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
A few interesting seed pods, but not much color, yet. The oaks are still green.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Hickey Tanks 76-100% full 76-100% full
Plenty of muddy water here.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Martin Canyon Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
Muddy water in the tank.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Turkey Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
Muddy water in the tank.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Woodchute Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
If you like muddy water, this would do.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Woodchute Tank Upper 51-75% full 51-75% full
Plenty of muddy water.
Oct 09 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Whiterock Mesa - AZT #25Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 09 2021
GrangerGuy
Backpack24.00 Miles 3,031 AEG
Backpack24.00 Miles1 Day   5 Hrs      
3,031 ft AEG   18 Hrs   30 Mns Break22 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
As part of AZT in a Day 2021, I hiked the Saddle Ridge section, the now decommissioned section of the AZT down to Segment 25, and then on down 6 miles of the AZT #25 to the East Verde River. I camped at Polk Spring, which is a pretty nice spot. The next day I reversed my trek.

At many places along the route, the grass and flowers had overtaken the trail, even hiding the cairns, I had to pay attention to make sure I did not get off track. All in all, this is a pretty segment, with good views of the Mazatzals much of the way.

The road directions to the Twin Buttes TH (linked) were helpful. Beware there may be a huge puddle in the road, of uncertain depth, just where it leaves Strawberry. I was glad I had my Cherokee.
Named place
Named place
Polk Spring
Meteorology
Meteorology
Spring - Color Foliage
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
The top part of the trail was overwhelmed with fields of Goldeneye, Heliomeris Longfolia var annua. I also saw a smattering of Mexican Creeping Zinnia (Sanvitalia Procumbens), Tansyleaf tansyaster (Machaeranthera tanacetifolia), and white prickly poppy.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Polk Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
The water pours out of the ground and feeds a cute little stream alongside the campsite.

dry Red Saddle Tank Dry Dry
Totally dry. Saw some very disappointed cows and horses here hoping for water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Rock Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow where it empties into East Verde River.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Whiterock Spring Dripping Dripping
Tank was completely full. Some algae in the bottom, but clear on top.
Sep 11 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Cave Creek / Skunk Tank LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 11 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking10.86 Miles 1,824 AEG
Hiking10.86 Miles   6 Hrs   46 Mns   1.81 mph
1,824 ft AEG      46 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
This is a beautiful hike. Need more people out here to keep the trails from fading away.

Got an 4:30 AM start on this so I could finish before it got really hot. The road in looks like it was recently bladed and is in good shape. Where Trail 247 leaves Trail 4 and crosses the creek, the preferred route is a little uncertain. Once across the creek, however, route finding is not difficult. If you look closely at my GPS track near Skunk Tank, you will see that I got off the trail for a while. Once I found it, I came back to the deep cut so I had a good track. Recommend staying to the left of the deep cut when leaving skunk tank, then cross it to stay on the best trail. Quite a bit of catclaw on the route. Long pants recommended at this time. Good water flowing in Cave Creek all along.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Skunk Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
There was muddy water in the tank.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Skunk Tank Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
There were pools in the canyon just below Skunk Tank.
Sep 03 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Enchantment Lakes, WA 
Enchantment Lakes, WA
 
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking18.83 Miles 4,803 AEG
Hiking18.83 Miles   17 Hrs   23 Mns   1.30 mph
4,803 ft AEG   2 Hrs   56 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
A small family group has been training for an epic adventure in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of Washington State. John, Carolyn, GrangerGuy, Katie and Emily tackled the Enchantments thru-hike on the Friday of Labor Day Weekend, 2021, and we’re proud to report that we completed the 20-mile hike in 17.5 hours! With a 3:30 am wake-up time, 4:15 am departure from the family cabin in Leavenworth, and a 5:00 am shuttle from the Snow Lakes trailhead parking lot, we hit the trail at 5:40 am. We hiked the first couple miles with headlamps and hit Colchuck Lake by 7:55 am. After a stop for snacks, electrolytes, and pictures, we headed around the lake for what we perceived would be the hardest part of the day—Aasgard Pass.

We refilled water at the far side of the lake before beginning our plodding, steady ascent of the rocky pass. Midway up, we struggled to follow the cairns, but we found a way back to the more clearly-marked path shortly. From the rear, we heard, “Katie? Is that you?” as a group of Dartmouth alums visiting from the east passed us! Small world! Saw our first two goats along the trail, too. We topped out at long last at 11:50 am, later than planned (goal was 11:00 am) but in better spirits than expected. We walked up a ridge and ate lunch overlooking Isolation Lake, in awe of the moonscape around us.

We continued on through the Core, increasingly stunned by the clear lakes, glaciers, mountain goats, alpine streams and craggy gray mountains. We saw Ranger Scott a few times and waited for him to shovel out a latrine in a particularly scenic area. After a bathroom break, more water filtering, and admiring a mama-teen goat pair, we continued on to our favorite section, spanning Inspiration to Leprechaun Lakes. The landscape became less rocky and more lush, particularly around Perfection and Sprite Lakes (the former of which Carolyn camped near in 1985!) In the next friendly chat with Ranger Scott, he mentioned that we would likely reach Snow Lakes around dark, with our last 8 miles after sunset. This lit a bit of a fire underneath us, so we tried to dawdle a bit less, despite the enchanting views at every turn.

We came across a multigenerational herd of 7 mountain goats, bringing the day’s goat census up to 13. We bid farewell to the Enchantments Core after passing Lake Viviane, at which point the rough, steep, unstable, and rocky trail down to Snow Lakes came as a very rude surprise. After feeling like the difficulty of Aasgard was over-hyped, we now felt like this section of trail had been undersold. We made it down to Snow Lakes, over the dam, and stopped between Upper and Lower Snow Lakes to refresh Vaseline on our feet, filter water one last time, have another sandwich, and lament the remaining miles (a soul-crushing 7.3 miles still to go). Somewhat refreshed but feeling weary already, we headed down to Nada Lake, the last lake before the 5.6-mile slog out.

Darkness fell a few tenths of a mile after we passed Nada, so we hiked the last 5+ miles mostly in silence, pain, and darkness. Only one person cried, but several more wanted to, given how battered our feet and tired our bodies felt. The lights of Icicle Creek Road and the parking lot were inspiring at first and maddeningly unattainable as we descended the last switchbacks, but finally, just after 11:00 pm, we emerged into the parking lot. Victory!

Our McDonald’s meal was foiled by the late hour, but we got ice cream and chips at Safeway for a post-marathon treat. John was euphoric but most of the group was too tired to talk much. We saved our debrief for Saturday morning over a big brunch of eggs, bacon, and toast on the deck. We relaxed a little longer before heading into town to float the river from Enchantment Park and properly celebrate our hiking accomplishment at Icicle Brewing. All in all, a wonderful, challenging, natural beauty-filled weekend that we’ll be talking about for weeks to come!

Logistics notes: Snow Lakes TH has a paved road to it. You can reserve a shuttle from there for $25 per person to the Colchuck TH. The road to Colchuck is excellent dirt road. Parking at both lots can be terrible. Camping in this area requires getting a permit by entering the lottery in February. It is one of the most notoriously difficult prizes to win. Day hiking is not limited.

(Text courtesy of Emily)
Named place
Named place
Lake Viviane
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
The larches were just beginning to turn yellow.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Not a lot. Some Gentian.
Aug 27 2021
GrangerGuy
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 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 27 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking10.25 Miles 3,330 AEG
Hiking10.25 Miles   9 Hrs   23 Mns   1.47 mph
3,330 ft AEG   2 Hrs   26 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Lotsa people been asking, “Have you hiked Humphrey’s Peak?” Well, now I can say yes. I’m getting ready to do the Enchantments Through Hike (Washington, Alpine Lakes Wilderness) in one day, and thought I better do a little confidence building. By comparison, Humphrey’s is half as far, and the AEG is less, but it makes up for that in thin air. The hike starts about 1000’ higher than the highest point in the Enchantments, Aasgard Pass, so I thought it was a fair challenge.

Compared to most of the wilderness trails in Arizona, the access to this one is incredibly good. The road is paved all the way to the trail. There is an army of portable toilets in the parking lot. Arriving the night before, I slept in my car so I could get a 4:30 am start.

The path across the ski slope is like a freeway, but then you hit the wilderness boundary, and it turns into a normal trail. Still, the best-maintained trail I have encountered in a long time. I even ran into a trail crew on my way down and thanked them for their great work.

I did the first 4 switchbacks, about 2 miles, with my headlamp, augmented by moonlight. As dawn broke, the birds and squirrels began to chirp, the woodpeckers started hammering, and a coyote howled. But most of the time, it was really quiet. When I started, it was 56°, and as I climbed higher and higher, and the sun warmed the earth, the temperature stayed about the same.

After 3 hours, I had climbed to 11,550 feet, about 4.5 miles. The trail here is very messy. Rather, there are many different ways people have gone. I think if you watch for the constructed steps, that would be the preferred route. I reached the saddle, and trail junction with the Weatherford Trail a short time later. It was windy and sunny at the saddle; it had been shady the whole trip up to this point.

Leaving the saddle, the otherwise well-maintained trail becomes vague for a while. Pay attention. Stay to the left of the ridge, but don’t go too far down. Before too long, the trail becomes well marked with tall poles, and navigating the rest of the trip is easy. I reached the summit about 9:20. Still, later than I intended, bearing in mind I wanted to be off the ridge by 11. Nevertheless, the weather was perfect, with no sign of monsoons, so I dawdled at the top. The ammo box with the summit register is full of registers, and the latest register is full. The lid on the box is failing as well.

Although I had been passed by only 3 on the way up, as I headed down, I lost count of the number of people I met. There were over 30 cars in the lot in the bottom when I got back. As I headed down, the altitude started to get to me as well, not an unfamiliar experience. When I got to the car, all I wanted to do was get to lower altitude. After Flagstaff, a coke, and a half a bag of Fritos, I was feeling good again.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
A little paintbrush, mule's ear (I think), a few asters. Not a lot.
Jun 05 2021
GrangerGuy
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 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Rim Trail #139 - Sierra AnchaGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking1.00 Miles
Hiking1.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Today, I and some other experienced hikers attempted to use the Rim Trail #139 as part of a loop including Moody Point Trail #140 and Murphy Ranch Trail #141. Unfortunately, from the intersection with the Moody Pt Trail, and heading north, the Rim Trail was in terrible condition. Although we followed large cairns for a short distance, eventually the trail disappeared altogther and we had to retreat. :(
Jun 05 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Devils Chasm Ruins Overlook via TR #140Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking9.70 Miles 1,780 AEG
Hiking9.70 Miles   6 Hrs   34 Mns   2.05 mph
1,780 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We arrived at the trail head for the Abbey’s Way trail #151 about 7:15 AM. It was our intention to do a loop and return to the car via Abbey’s Way. We hiked up the road about a mile to the Moody Point Trail #140 and headed downhill. The trail is not marked at the road. At times, Moody Point Trail is a little overgrown, but it is never serious. It is pretty well marked with cairns, as well.

We encountered a lot of bear scat. There was even a century plant that had been mauled by a bear. See the photolog.

We first headed for the viewpoint of the cliff dwelling off the Moody Point Trail. After scrambling down the Ridgetop with some trepidation, wondering if this was the right way, we got to the viewpoint. Good views of the ruins but binoculars or a telephoto lens really helps. The canyon is spectacular, but impossible to do justice with the camera. The climb up from the viewpoint is much easier than me climb down. We had a better idea of the route.

We had intended to turn north on the Rim Trail #139, but after following the cairns for a short distance, the trail disappeared into a mess of downed trees and New Mexico Locust. So, after messing about for a half hour, we decided just to return the way we came. We still got in a good 10-mile hike.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Desert Prickly Pear (Opuntia phaeacantha)
Western Salsify (Tragopogon dubius) was both in bloom as well as showing its spectacular large seed heads
Several very fragrant Woods' Rose (Rosa woodsii)
Bull Thistle
Arizona Lupine
Globemallow
The Manzanita is past flowering at this location.
May 28 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Kelsey Springs Trail #3Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar May 28 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking12.40 Miles 2,880 AEG
Hiking12.40 Miles   8 Hrs   20 Mns   1.99 mph
2,880 ft AEG   2 Hrs   6 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
The road:
Forest Road 538 up to FR 538E would have been passable even with my Toyota Corolla. The first part of 538E from 538 to the intersection at 538G did require high clearance but didn’t really require four-wheel-drive. The intersection of 538G and 538E is a good place to stop for this loop. Although I only walked the roads from here to both trailheads, Kelsey and Dorsey, both 538E and 538G were passible with high clearance, and no need for 4x4.

The hike:
I slept in my car overnight in order to get a 5:15 AM start, doing the loop counterclockwise. It took me about a half hour of road walking on 538G to get the Kelsey trailhead. This was practical, since I was walking the complete loop. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead.

It turns out the counterclockwise loop is the way to go. The trail drops pretty steeply from the Kelsey TH, and the climb back up Hog Hill is gentle. There is decent camping in the vicinity of Kelsey Spring. All the springs had warnings to camp at least 200’ away, which was not an onerous requirement.

There was old bear scat in the vicinity of Babe’s Hole Spring, and a lot of mole activity as well.

The Little LO (LO means Lookout, according to the Forest Service Map) trail is pretty steep, but always a good quality trail. From the bottom of the canyon, I turned right up the canyon a bit for some good pictures. There is poison ivy in the vicinity of Geronimo Spring.

The Kelsey Trail is challenging at times. The north-south section from Babe’s Hole Spring through Dorsey Spring , down to where it turns east toward Winter Spring can be very ambiguous. Pay close attention to the blazes on the trees and you will do fine. There is about a mile of trail in the east-west section north of Winter Cabin where the trail is very overgrown with scrub oak. You will want to have long sleeves and long pants when going through this section. I sent a note to the Forest Service. Perhaps they can do something.

It is surprising to find Winter Cabin within the wilderness boundary. I guess it is old enough that it doesn’t disqualify the area for wilderness.

The Hog Hill trail is the remains of an old road, but it feels more like a wide trail than a road.

Fauna:
I encountered two bull elk just after starting out, but not too much interesting after that.
There was lots of elk scat and prints along the Kelsey trail north of Winter Cabin.
I heard woodpeckers on the Little LO trail.
I was insulted repeatedly by a Stellar’s Jay on the Hog Hill section.
Flora
Flora
Lewis Flax
Named place
Named place
Kelsey Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
It was a great time to do this hike. Lots of wildflowers in bloom including:
Yellow Ragwort
Lewis Flax (Linum lewisii)
Desert Penstemon [Beardtongue] (Penstemon pseudospectabilis)
New Mexico Locust (Robinia neomexicana)
Golden Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha)
Ceanothus fendleri
Lithospermum (not sure which species)
Arizona Lupine (Lupinus arizonicus)
Wild Currant (Mahonia trifoliolata)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Babes Hole Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Spring is flowing. Plenty of clear water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Casner Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
Casner tank has plenty of filterable water in it.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dorsey Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Dorsey Spring was flowing less than a liter per minute, and there is great camping nearby.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Geronimo Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Geronimo Spring is flowing at gallons per minute. The best access is from the bottom of the canyon, and not where it first comes out of the hill.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Kelsey Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Kelsey Spring is flowing at gallons per minute. Spring box is full of clear water.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Winter Cabin Spring Dripping Dripping
Winter Cabin Spring was stagnant and unappealing, but would be available to the desperate.
Apr 10 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 10 2021
GrangerGuy
Backpack19.30 Miles 2,179 AEG
Backpack19.30 Miles1 Day   3 Hrs      
2,179 ft AEG   17 Hrs   42 Mns Break27 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
I have had my eye on this area for some time, well before I started my little project to hike and photograph all the designated wilderness areas in Arizona. I am trying to hit these areas in season, not to hot, not too cold, and early April was a great time for this hike. I saw that a guide was needed for Bear Sign Canyon, as well so I added that into this trip.

I debated at length, should I drive to the trailhead, or leave the Cherokee at the end of the pavement. There were so many frightening comments about FR 152, I decided to walk it. It turns out, at least as of this writing, if you can negotiate the rock berm at the end of the pavement, the rest of the road will not give you trouble. Just take it slow. But, who knew? I saw many and varied 4x4s on the road, all the way to the end.

However, I think the Lord wanted me to walk FR152. A couple miles in, I was passed by two hikers while I was taking some pictures, and then I caught up with them a little later. Turns out, they were headed for the Devil's Bridge trail, and had walked right past it. I set them straight and they headed back. Coming out, I ran into a young couple who had no idea where they were, or even how they got there. I invited them to walk back with me to my car, and I would drive them to wherever they had parked. This offer was accepted.

This year in April, there was plenty of water along this route. However, not all water is at the indicated places on the water charts. Sometimes it is significantly up or downstream.

Dry Creek Trail and Bear Sign Trail are positively lovely! A great mix of red rock and various trees. This was my first exposure to the Arizona Cypress. I thought it was a juniper, but the cones got my attention. Same family, different genus. I found Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, Maple, Oak, and something I would swear was salal, but it really doesn't belong here.

On the Bear Sign / David Miller part of this hike, I was surprised to see a couple with their dog. Did not expect to see anyone. They hiked all the way up Bear Sign #59 to the formal end of the trail and continued on. The David Miller Trail is pretty steep on both sides. The soles of my boots are getting worn, so it wasn't that fun.

Once down to the Secret Canyon Trail #121, I saw several backpacking parties. I headed up the canyon to its narrows and a little beyond, before I decided I had had enough. I camped on a nice flat area not far from water.

I finished out the trip on Secret Canyon Trail. That is one of the nicest, easiest to walk trails I have been on recently. At times it felt like walking on a carpet.
Mar 27 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Echo Canyon Loop - Chiricahua NMTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking3.30 Miles 544 AEG
Hiking3.30 Miles   2 Hrs   28 Mns   1.87 mph
544 ft AEG      42 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I am slowly visiting every federally protected wilderness in Arizona. When I invited my lovely wife to visit the Chiricahua National Monument, I hadn't appreciated that I was going to knock off another wilderness area. I had not recognized that the Chiricahua Wilderness and Chiricahua National Monument Wilderness were two completely separate entities. The CNM Wilderness is anything but lonely, though, unlike so many in Arizona.

We were surprised to discover there is at present no fee to enter the Chiricahua National Monument. The nice lady at the gate just waved us through.

We parked at the Echo Canyon Trailhead, getting the last parking spot, and headed off. It was pretty cool, in the 40s, so we layered up.

We took the loop at a gentle pace, taking lots of pictures. Somehow, I was disapppointed, though, as it seemed like it was so awesome, what could I say photographically about this place?
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
No flowers yet.
Mar 20 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Hellsgate 37 ( North ) to Tonto CreekPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 20 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking14.10 Miles 3,200 AEG
Hiking14.10 Miles   9 Hrs   13 Mns   2.00 mph
3,200 ft AEG   2 Hrs   9 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Roussi, Erica and I have tried to get this one off the ground several times. Earlier in the winter, we worried about not enough daylight. Then, there was too much snow. This time we pulled it off, and had a spectacular day hike from near Route 60 to the canyon.

Finding the trailhead parking is not so easy. I found that navigating to N34 16.8025 W111 8.2303 puts your right at the turnoff to the parking on NF-405A. You can put this into Google Maps and get there.

We departed the trailhead and headed out around 6:30 am. The trail follows the two-track for a long ways. I had been watching the snow depth on the NOAA website, and it only melted off here earlier in the week, leaving the trail a little wet, with minor mud in places.

We speculated on some tracks we came across, a 4-legged creature running along the trail for sure. At the time we speculated feline, but as I have looked at Roussi's pictures later, I am pretty sure it was coyote.

Eventually you start seeing signs for the trail leaving the two-track, usually to go around a hill that the road goes over. Either road or trail is fine, but the trail will be more hiker friendly, with a little less elevation gain.

When we got to the wilderness boundary, we hunted up the Geocache that is there, just outside the wilderness, and signed the log and left a small gift for the next person.

Once inside the wilderness, at times, the trail is not very distinct, or rather, there are too many trails. There are cowpaths galore. At El Grande Tank, you can follow the paths either way around the tank. The path along the dam, through the trees turns out to be less desirable, as there are bees there. We heard them, but never saw them. Past the tank, the trail becomes even more vague, but I was able to imagine it and stay on track.

As we continued down, we ran into a couple of men returning from am overnight backpack down near the creek, the only people we saw this day. To those guys, if you ever read this, we knocked the cowpie off that you put up on the wilderness boundary sign. That was a disgusting act! Not at all funny.

The last bit of trail down to the creek is treacherous, but do-able with poles. It is mentally much easier to go up that section than to go down. We had lunch at the creek, took a few pictures, and headed back up.

It is a long climb backup. It seems like it is uphill the whole way until about a mile from the parking lot. The wind came up, bringing a threat of minor showers, but they never materialized. Fortunately, the wind was at our back, so it gave us a small push up the hill.

We got back to the cars about 3:30.
Culture
Culture
Cactuscat Pose
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Really not very much yet.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 El Grande Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Plenty of water in this tank, but a little muddy. The creek is a much better option unless you are desperate.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Haigler Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Plenty of water in Tonto Creek here. We did not cross over to check any of the other creeks flowing in at this location.
Mar 06 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Big Horn BM 3183Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 06 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking5.00 Miles 453 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   2 Hrs   42 Mns   2.27 mph
453 ft AEG      30 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is an easy wilderness trailhead to get to. One of the easiest I have been to in a while, actually. It does feel a little weird to me though, just pulling off the interstate and opening a gate. Access is easy if you are driving west on I8, but don't miss it. I didn't see another turnaround spot for a while. Driving east, there is a u-turn spot just past the trailhead.

Expecting to see no-one on this day, I was shocked to find a pickup truck at the trailhead. It wasn't long before we caught up with the lone hiker, and we hiked with him for a bit, until we left the wash to begin hiking up the ridge.

It turned out that the terrain up the side of the ridge was a little much for us today, between the rocks and the cholla, and after a short climb, we decided to return to the car without attempting the mountain. Still, I was able to claim credit for another wilderness area. Sadly, I did not get much in the way of pictures.
Feb 27 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra EstrellaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking5.20 Miles 2,494 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles   6 Hrs   9 Mns   1.29 mph
2,494 ft AEG   2 Hrs   8 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Quartz Peak Trail is the best -- if not the only -- trail in the Sierra Estrella Wilderness. I had read on the BLM site and other sources that this trail was little used. Apparently that is no longer true. We saw about 15 people altogther on a Saturday in February. That doesn't qualify as little used to me!

The driving directions in the HAZ guide (North & West Valley Access by @sarichter) are excellent. Do not be tempted by all the many roads that criscross that area and do not diverge from the recommended route to the trailhead. On the way home, I thought we would explore some of these roads. Google Maps led us on much worse roads than the recommended Riggs road, eventually telling us we had to drive through a fence that no longer had a gate. That area west of the Estrallas was once farmed, but no longer. There are even the remains of a paved road with lines on it running parallel to Riggs Road, but it is pretty scary with washouts.

We headed out from the trailhead around 9:40, and started our march up the hill. This is not my favorite time to start; I prefer to get going as the sun comes up, as the light is better for pictures. But I compromised for my companion that day.

When we approached the summit, there was a family with a teenager just scrambling down the last 50 feet or so. This was good, because it helped me see the easier way up. We were about to take a harder way up. My companion bumped his head on a rock, and decided he had gone far enough. I scrambled up to the summit, signed the register and took some pictures. The summit register doubles as a geocache. Geocaches are generally not allowed in the wilderness, but I guess this one gets away with it because it is also a summit register. I logged the cache as well.

Then I scrambled back down to the little saddle just below the summit, and enjoyed my lunch along with my buddy. After a pleasant rest, we headed down, returning to our car about 3:45.
Feb 20 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
White Canyon Wilderness - GET #3Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 20 2021
GrangerGuy
Backpack29.20 Miles 5,112 AEG
Backpack29.20 Miles1 Day   9 Hrs      
5,112 ft AEG   18 Hrs   5 Mns Break24 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
In my continuing quest to visit every wilderness area in Arizona, I decided to take this one on as an overnight by hiking the length of GET segment #3 from east to west. For much of its length, the boring bits as it turns out, it follows the AZT segment 16. So, I'm taking credit for both segments.

I parked my car at the Picketpost Trailhead. I had seen that there is a gate at that trailhead that is closed overnight. Since I would be leaving my car there early, I called the forest service to see what time the gate was opened. The individual I talked to seemed to think the gate wasn't in use any more. When I arrived there well before sunrise to leave my car, the gate was closed, and there were a number of cars pulled off on the road just short of the gate. I had just parked my car along with them, and was climbing in the other car with my wife, when one of them came to life, and the driver went over and opened the gate. Go figure. I got back in my car, drove into the parking lot and parked.

My wife then shuttled me over to Florence-Kelvin Road where she dropped me off at the BLM parking lot just off of Centurian Lane. I headed off west, messing about a bit to find the preferred "official" track, but eventually decided I was on it and carried on. A short distance in, I came across a trail register and an chemical toilet, painted in huge letters "No TP".

My goal was the heart of the White Canyon Wilderness to spend the night, about 16 miles away. The trail follows along above the Gila River, climbing to viewpoints, and descending back to near river level a few times. At the high points, the vistas are pretty good, but not too much I could get my camera excited about.

I seemed to be the first person heading west from that trailhead that Saturday morning, but after a few miles, I began to hear voices. Eventually, a couple of AZT segment 16 hikers caught up with me, and I chatted with them from a distance. I teased them with the idea that my route was several miles shorter than theirs, and they thought about it, but then thought better of it, and continued on their way. I was glad to have them in front of me, because their voices carried well from behind, and disrupted some of my serenity.

A little later, I stopped for a snack break on a vista overlooking the river, and was passed by 3 horses with 2 people, and a very fast moving couple. A quick "Hi" to each, and I went on with my snack. I was pretty sure that I would not see any of them again, given our relative speeds.

The trail drops down to the Gila River level, and follows it at river level for several miles along two-track. It really wasn't that nice in that area, and I was looking forward to getting off of the AZT. I have seen that in the short time between my trip and this writing, the AZT Association has just put up some new gates in that area to keep stray ATVs off the trail. This makes me happy, as the trail was obviously heavily used by ATVs in that section.

The first 10 or so miles of the trip are on the section that is both AZT and GET, and frankly, I got pretty tired of this section.

At the point of turnoff from the AZT, I ran into the couple that had passed me some time earlier. They were taking a long break. It turned out they were headed the same way I was. We chatted a bit about our respective adventures. This was their third attempt to hike to the White Canyon Wilderness apparently, and they hoped to be successful this time. I headed up toward the wilderness, and it wasn't too long before "Cake" and "Sogood" passed me again.

We converged again at "The Narrows", the place where the water flows in Walnut Canyon. There were many pools, and at the lower end of them, the pools were quite clean. We all rested a spell, exchanged photo-taking opportunities, and tanked up, then I sent them on their way, so I could get pictures of the empty canyon. That was the last I would see of them, except from a great distance. This was the only good water on the entire route that day. I should have taken another liter, but the extra 2 pounds can be counter-productive for me. Better to be a little lighter and thirstier.

Emerging from the canyon, the trail begins to follow a drivable 4WD road, which I hated. I hated it because I could have driven it. instead of walking to the wilderness had I realized it was open, and I hated it because it was steep, slippery walking with fine gravel like ball bearings. I slipped once and went down pretty hard.

As I approached the place where the GET leaves the road and dives into the wilderness, I heard really LOUD music. I had contemplated camping just short of entering the wilderness, as it is flat and meadowy there, but the loud music ended all thoughts of that. I chatted briefly with the owner of the loud music, who insisted I was headed on the wrong trail, and left him, his dog, his beer, and his music behind. I climbed up the trail, away from the road, and it soon became quiet and beautiful again. The trail climbs steadily, and at the first little pass, there was a decent tent spot, which seemed to be free of cowpies and mostly free of cholla burrs. I watched a pretty sunset, and spent a windy night under my Gatewood Cape.

In the morning, I was back on the trail by 7. As the trail goes deeper and deeper into the wilderness, it becomes sketchier and sketchier. An occasional cairn, marking faint tread, was all I could count on. Fortunately, I had the detailed GET GPS track loaded, so I never was far off the trail. At times though, it seemed to disappear in the brush, and I did have some routefinding challenges. It was beautiful, though, in the early morning light. At one point a spooked javalina ran across the trail ahead of me. Those things look like cartoon characters when they run!

All in all, I loved the solitude, and I loved the beauty of the White Canyon Wilderness.

Eventually, the trail starts descending from the wilderness, and again meets up with the AZT. From there, it was another 11 miles or so of Sonoran desert. Pleasant enough, with easy, wide singletrack, but it was pretty boring as well. By the end of that I concluded I would never be a "through hiker," as so much of the epic trails require you to spend time on those boring bits.

I finished at Picketpost trailhead just a little ahead of a group of cyclists, and was glad I was off the trail before they passed me. I used up the remainder of my fuel to make some hot coffee, a nice treat for the way home. I stashed a couple gallons of water in the AZT cache box there, and headed on my way.
Flora
Flora
Ocotillo
Named place
Named place
Battle Axe Butte - 3531ft
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Not much, yet. Ocatillo was just starting to bloom in places.
Feb 15 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Barry Goldwater Peak via Mesquite CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 15 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking16.20 Miles 3,346 AEG
Hiking16.20 Miles   9 Hrs   14 Mns   2.36 mph
3,346 ft AEG   2 Hrs   22 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Presidents' Day 2021, I had had my second Covid shot just a couple days before. I thought I would take something a little less adventurous than my usual lonely wilderness trip; do something with people around just in case, you know. :)

I started at 7 am at the Area 9 trailhead for the Ford trail, and headed out, capturing a few nice pictures before the light got lousy. There are several Geocaches along this section as well, which was an additional incentive for doing this trip. I was amused by the map at the trailhead suggesting the section of Ford Canyon in the wash might be a little rugged, and the additional signs along the trail telling horses and bikers effectively, "I'd turn back if I were you."

The canyon was beautiful. Truly shows how the White Tanks got their name. I had to stop at every pond and take a few pictures. You only get one in my photoset, though. I leapfrogged up the canyon with a couple of women about my age. I would stop for a picture or a Geocache, and they would go by. They would stop for a short break and I would go by. Finally lost them at the last couple Caches.

At the first pass at the top, after leaving the canyon, there is a nice rock just off to the left of the trail overlooking the valley and peaks, and a good place to refresh. From there, I could here voices carrying more than 1000 yards away from the Waddell and Mesquite trails (remember this, you noisy chatterers). Then down 250 feet and back up to the end of the Ford Canyon Trail at its intersection with the ends of the Mesquite Trail and Goat Canyon Trails.

I turned right on Goat Canyon, and headed toward Barry Goldwater Peak. Eventually, a couple of cairns mark the departure of the way trail to the peak from the Goat Canyon trail. The official log calls this a jeep trail. Not any more. It is a faint singletrack. I put waypoints in my track for some of the cairns along it. You will see in my track I diverged from it for a bit; it is easy to do. Maybe the waypoints will help you stay on task. The cholla is a constant threat in this section.

Eventually you hit the road to the summit. I have to say the summit is a little disappointing. Yes, from different vantage points, you can see forever in all directions. In fact, so forever the major peaks seem tiny. But the towers, the wires, and the noise from the A/C units, detract from the victory somewhat. I had my lunch on the pad of one of the towers. Forgot to look for the summit register.

I returned to my car via the Mesquite trail and Waddell trail. The farther down I got, the more people I saw. Probably altogether saw 45 people on the Mesquite Trail. The lower I got, the more they were huffing and puffing. I was astounded by the fences put up to protect the trail from people cutting switchbacks. I have never seen this before. It shows just how ill behaved some people are who hike this trail.

I'll give this trip 4 stars. Five stars for Ford Canyon and two stars for Mesquite Trail and the summit.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
There is evidence of recent rain. The Ocatillo are just starting to green up. There is quite a bit of green grass. The flowers should be out soon.
Feb 07 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Margies Cove TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking14.80 Miles 875 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles   5 Hrs   44 Mns   3.15 mph
875 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
As usual, I had the 66,000 acres of wilderness to myself today. I hiked the Margies Cove Trail from the western trailhead to its highpoint and back, and a short distance down the Brittlebush trail.

I took some fun pictures. See my photoset.

The wide open spaces of the bajadas and valley plain were a little tiring, but the trail does follow a canyon for a ways that was pleasant and cool.

This desert is amazingly clean. I saw almost no litter. But I was annoyed to see a lot of motorbike tracks on the trail from about 4.5 miles in from the trailhead. They seem to have come from the closed eastern trailhead.
Culture
Culture
Ray Bain de Soleil
Feb 01 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Camp Creek FallsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 01 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking3.00 Miles 424 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   1 Hour   41 Mns   2.25 mph
424 ft AEG      21 Mns Break6 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This isn't my usual kind of trip, but one of my colleagues at work invited me to join his HOA walking crew for a short trip. The company must have been good. I didn't notice the graffiti discussed in the next log, though I have no doubt it was there.

The waterfall was flowing prettily. It is amusing how the water flows down stream from the falls, then just disappears into the sand.
Jan 31 2021
GrangerGuy
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 32
 Photos 210
 Triplogs 30

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Sabino - Bear Canyon LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 31 2021
GrangerGuy
Hiking17.25 Miles 2,950 AEG
Hiking17.25 Miles   8 Hrs   41 Mns   2.37 mph
2,950 ft AEG   1 Hour   25 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was planning to go with my friends to the Hellsgate Wilderness this weekend, but there was snow, and no way we would make the trip in those conditions. So after intensive negotiations, we settled on the Sabino - Bear Canyon Loop. At 17+ miles, it was 3 miles longer than I had done in one day in many years, and I told my friends they might have to carry me.

I am working my way through all of the Arizona Wilderness Areas, and was happy to see this trip took me into the Pusch Ridge Area wilderness of the Catalina Mountains. I could knock another one off my list. Unlike many of the wilderness areas I have seen lately, this is not a lonely experience. The wilderness boundaries are hardly marked, and we encountered lots and lots of people. But it is a pretty trip.

I hung up my federal lands senior pass in the car, and it was just light enough to go without headlamps when we left the paved parking lot.

I was wearing my AZT volunteer hat, and was acknowledged by an AZT steward we met going the other way in Bear Canyon.

We stopped for a few pictures and a short break at the viewpoint above the dry Seven Falls. It was a good news / bad news thing. No water flowing so all those crossings were dry. No water flowing so the waterfall was disappointing. At the switchbacks above the falls I noticed, we only have about 600 feet of elevation more to gain, and we had a great debate about how much it really was. I was really glad my companion's dire predictions of a climb did not come true.

At the top of Bear Canyon, we stopped for a long break for lunch and pictures. This was really the halfway point, and also pretty much the end of climbing for the loop.

As we dropped down into the canyon along the East Fork Trail / Arizona Trail, it became absolutely beautiful! It became relatively green, and there were trees and plants I rarely see. Particularly some trees of the white oak family I have not often seen. We saw several deer across the East Fork as well.

We turned into Sabino Canyon which starts with a brief climb, and then down. There was a lot of water flowing in the canyon. The views down the canyon are quite awesome, as well. We decided to take the road back, rather than the Telephone Line trail. All in all, this is a pretty easy 17 miles. The trail is in great shape, and finishing on the road makes the hiking very smooth.
Flora
Flora
Parry's Agave
Culture
Culture
Point
average hiking speed 1.93 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.

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