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30 triplogs
Sep 05 2021
kyleGChiker
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 05 2021
kyleGChiker
Canyoneering20.35 Miles 8,175 AEG
Canyoneering20.35 Miles3 Days         
8,175 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We were blessed to enjoy our Labor Day weekend backpacking in Aravaipa Canyon! It's funny how it worked out. Some random day about 13 weeks ago, my mom was like, "It seems like it's about time to reserve a permit for Aravaipa over Labor Day." I hopped on Recreation.gov, and sure enough, permits had just opened up that day for the long weekend. The west side was filled up already, so we booked a reservation for the east side.

Background: We had hiked the west side four years ago, and got as far as Deer Creek + 2.5 miles up Deer Creek slot canyon to the cute little waterfall.) So this trip could be much more relaxed, just hiking in a few miles from the east side, spending a day exploring side canyons, and then hiking out.

Reservations: As I alluded to earlier, reservations are required to enjoy Aravaipa Canyon, even for just a day hike. Please be courteous to other hikers and obey the rules. Reservations open 13 weeks in advance and are available on Recreation.gov. Search for Aravaipa wilderness and choose either West or East Entrance. The cost is very minimal--only $5 per person per day.

The drive: My sister is in college, so after she was done with classes on Friday, we drove down there. Starting from the east side, it was quite a lengthy drive from Phoenix, totaling 4-4.5 hours, depending on how fast the gravel roads are driven. It took us more like 5.5 hours due to being at night and Google Maps routing us to the wrong place. (Thanks Google! :app: ) Ended up camping in the Bureau of Land Management area in Bear Canyon, and saving the last few miles of the drive for the next morning. If you are traveling to the area, please be aware that Fourmile campground is the only official campground, however dispersed camping is allowed on public lands (i.e. BLM land). Check the map carefully to make sure you aren't disperse camping on private property or in the nature conservancy, which is also private land. The road itself is very smooth going from Highway 70 through Klondyke to the trailhead. By way of explanation, there are actually two trailheads, one that is accessible to all vehicles, and one that is for 4x4 vehicles only. If you have a 4x4, it saves you about 1.5 miles hiking to go to the closer trailhead. Now if you want my personal opinion, I don't think 4WD is strictly speaking "necessary". The primary thing needed is high ground clearance and good approach angle, departure angle, and breakover angle. In this case, we were driving a 4WD 2001 Chevy Suburban. We consistently scraped the trailer hitch receiver due to a Suburban's poor departure angle. Scraped the front end once due to poor approach angle. Scraped the rock rail (side step) once due to poor breakover angle. The only vehicles at the closer trailhead were another Suburban, a 4Runner, and a newer model RAV4 (lifted ~3 inches, I'd guess). The primary challenge is not low traction (mud, sand, etc.), but steep entrances and exits into and out of Aravaipa Creek. For this reason, I would feel comfortable driving it in my 2WD 1999 Ford Explorer Sport, which has better angles and shorter wheelbase than our Suburban, making the road actually seem easier. Okay, enough about the road, now on to the hike!

First 2.5 miles: It was about 2.5 miles from the trailhead to the Deer Creek junction, which is where we planned to spend our two nights in the canyon. As of before we left, the USGS water report for Aravaipa Creek was showing around 100 CFS and 0.6 foot water depth. When we arrived we were surprised at how muddy the water was compared to the previous time we hiked Aravaipa in Sept. 2017, and the water was perfectly clear then. Maybe the recent rains have muddied things up a little. For those unfamiliar with Aravaipa, there is no trail in the canyon. You are expected to find your own way. This is actually pretty easy because you can just follow the creek the whole way. What you'll find is that when you're hiking in hot weather, hiking directly in the creek is most pleasant. In this way, the cold water splashes up and provides significant cooling. Pro tip: Make sure you wear shoes that are completely enclosed. The first time we hiked it, we wore "Keens", you know, like the classic Keen water shoes with solid toe, but the rest of the shoe is more like a sandal. This was miserable because all kinds of little gravel and rocks from the creek bottom get into the shoes and make walking painful. This time, we wore old shoes we had saved for this trip (old tennis shoes, hiking shoes, running shoes; anything works!). We only had to stop and empty out the rocks from our shoes once on the entire trip and hiking was so much more pleasant without the gravel on your feet. Just make sure to have dry socks/clothes for once you arrive at camp for optimum foot health.
Whenever you no longer feel like walking in the creek, there are often rocky beaches or sand bars you can walk on. This will get you out of the water, yet be very easy going and quick. Be careful about venturing too far into the vegetation. Not only does it harm the plants unnecessarily, it is often slow going, and the potential for rattlesnakes hiding in the grass is significant.

Parsons Canyon: We explored a short distance up Parsons Canyon. It is a neat little side canyon with great views, somewhat of a "slot canyon" feel, and some very large/deep pools that made for great swimming! After looking at the map, we realized that this side canyon branches many times into different directions and it would take several days to explore the whole area, so we opted to turn around and enjoy the afternoon at camp.

Deer Canyon: Our second day, we started hiking up Deer Creek drainage. The goal was to enjoy the slot canyon and "make it to the end" of this side canyon. After about 2.5 miles up Deer Creek, we enjoyed the waterfall/cascade on the left side of the canyon before continuing on. Eventually, at around 4.5 miles, the water went underground permanently. From here all the way to the road was dry creekbed, which made for very easy walking. Upon reaching the road, we found an old (abandoned) ranch. Most of it looked to be 50-100 years old, but there were some modern improvements like generators & solar panels. The canned food on the porch was not yet expired. Strange. Our best explanation is maybe someone was running from the law and hiding out there, and they got caught. The official signage indicates that the ranch is named "Dry Camp Ranch." If anyone knows any history on this place, I'd definitely be curious to learn more! The hike back was rather uneventful, except that with around 3 miles left in the slot canyon, we heard thunder crashing overhead. There had hardly been any clouds in the sky, so the storm must have blown in quickly. Although it rained very little (on us, in the slot canyon!), we knew the potential for flash flooding was very dangerous, so we kept a close eye on the weather and hustled out of there as quickly as we could. In the end, no flood came down Deer Creek, although the main Aravaipa Creek rose in height by about 4 inches. It also become substantially muddier, to the point where it literally looked like chocolate milk. :lol: Suffice it to say, we waited to filter more water till the next day when some of the sediment had cleared out.

On the last day, we hiked out 2.5 miles by the way we had come back to the east entrance. We noticed that going upstream is more challenging, so we took a couple more breaks.

All in all, it was a great trip, full of excitement and beauty. There is really no place quite like Aravaipa canyon, with the cliffs, slot canyons, saguaros, and riparian habitat all in one place. It truly feels like a wild place.
One final note: make sure you take some bug spray with you--they were very bad. Not just mosquitoes, but also gnats and flies.
Till next time, stay safe and enjoy getting out there and enjoying the outdoors!
Kyle
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
A few cactus were blooming, including hedgehog and barrel.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Deer Creek Light flow Light flow
Dry at the outlet (Aravaipa Creek), however, the main canyon is flowing for 4+ miles. It goes underground within a few hundred yards of the main Aravaipa Creek.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Parsons Canyon Light flow Light flow
Parsons was flowing nicely as far as we went. Like most AZ creeks, it sometimes flows underground. I would estimate half the time, it's above ground, and the other half the time, it's below ground.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Turkey Creek Medium flow Medium flow
This was my first time here, so I have nothing to compare it to, but Turkey Creek was flowing nicely. Maybe around 10-20 cfs?
Aug 16 2021
kyleGChiker
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Peek-a-boo GulchSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Hiking avatar Aug 16 2021
kyleGChiker
Hiking5.35 Miles 995 AEG
Hiking5.35 Miles   3 Hrs   42 Mns   1.54 mph
995 ft AEG      14 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Stopped by Peek-a-boo and Spooky gulches on our way home from a backpacking trip in Wyoming. These are super fun slot canyons to explore, some of the best in the world! The last time we hiked these was 2009, and a lot has changed since then, especially in terms of the amount of erosion observed in the slot canyons.

The hike begins with a flat walk across the top of the mesa, then a steep descent down to the (dry) creekbed. At this point, you are almost at the entrance to Peek-a-boo. Total distance to this point is around 1.5 miles. We started our hike around 11 AM, and it was already extremely hot. I can't imagine starting sometime in the afternoon. Even if the temperatures are only 90 degrees, you need to take the heat very seriously. I can totally understand why people die out there every year. Please read the sign at the parking lot, and please obey what it says. Specifically, it says to turn around if you don't have a full 4 liters of water per person. We've lived in AZ our whole lives and are extremely heat tolerant (also need less water than most people), and we drank almost every drop of our 4 liters per person. The amount that you will sweat is insane. This is due to the red rock, which absorbs heat and bakes you as if you were in an oven.

Okay, now that I have the safety stuff out of the way, let's get on to the actual gulches!

Peek-a-boo begins with a little climb up slickrock (sandstone in particular) to gain access into the slot canyon. If you can do this first 20 foot climb, you can do the rest of it with no issues. I recommend ensuring your hiking shoes are clean/dry, because any sand or dust will decrease your traction. Also, make sure to look for the handholds and footholds that have been carved into the rock. The are particularly helpful, especially as you get towards the top of the climb for the hands. Lastly, you may find it helpful to bring along a rope or rope ladder to assist in the climb. Obviously, this only works if the first person in your group climbs up first and then holds the rope (ladder) for the rest of the group. For us, my mom is scared of heights, so she was greatly helped by having a rope ladder. All it takes is 50 feet of static rope. You can look online for instructions on how to make one.

After you've successfully gotten into the canyon, take your time and enjoy it! The next 0.5 mile will go very quickly as you work your way through the canyon, so you definitely don't want to rush it. Peek-a-boo and Spooky and the best slot canyons I've ever visited, and I've been to a lot of slot canyons! In truth, words can't even describe the experience of hiking, climbing, and contorting your way through them.

A sincere word of caution: You need to be very physically fit to successfully complete this hike. And I don't just mean being skinny. I'd say you can probably be up to 200 lbs and still make it through. But in addition to being slender, you also must have upper body strength to be able to carry your backpack out in front of you, or behind you, when the canyons are too narrow for the shoulders to pass through. Little kids have a distinct advantage when it comes to navigating the canyons easily, which explains how we did this hike so easily as a family in 2009 (us kids were 7, 10, 14, and 16 at the time) and actually had more difficulty 12 years later as adults.

After you reach the exit of Peek-a-boo, turn to the right and follow the use path about half a mile to the entrance of Spooky. It is very important to note that these hikes are one way only. You cannot go up Spooky (you could in theory but the one obstacle would be very tough to get up; relatively easy going down). Likewise, you don't want to go down Peek-a-boo, only to find out at the end you can't make it down the last 20 foot cliff. Also, from a flow of human traffic perspective, if you're going the "wrong way" and you meet someone. One of you is probably going to have to back up for at least a quarter mile, just to find a spot wide enough to pass each other. Just please be considerate of others and do the loop in the clockwise direction--up Peek-a-boo and down Spooky.

Spooky is much narrower overall, with much of the canyon being necessary to carry your backpack rather than wearing it. This also means you'll be shuffling your feet, walking side to side, rather than taking normal steps with your shoulders square. We thoroughly enjoyed Spooky, especially "the exciting part" where you drop down about 30 feet vertical through gaps between boulders. Once again, we used the rope ladder for my mom.

The only wildlife we saw was a baby rattlesnake in Spooky Gulch--species yet to be identified. I'll be posting a triplog soon so y'all can help me out!

In conclusion, this is definitely a hike I'll do again any time I'm in the area and any time there's not a flash flood in the forecast. It's truly a special jewel in southern Utah, and I can't wait to go back!
Aug 16 2021
kyleGChiker
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Spooky Slot EscalanteSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Hiking avatar Aug 16 2021
kyleGChiker
Hiking5.35 Miles 995 AEG
Hiking5.35 Miles   3 Hrs   42 Mns   1.54 mph
995 ft AEG      14 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Stopped by Peek-a-boo and Spooky gulches on our way home from a backpacking trip in Wyoming. These are super fun slot canyons to explore, some of the best in the world! The last time we hiked these was 2009, and a lot has changed since then, especially in terms of the amount of erosion observed in the slot canyons.

The hike begins with a flat walk across the top of the mesa, then a steep descent down to the (dry) creekbed. At this point, you are almost at the entrance to Peek-a-boo. Total distance to this point is around 1.5 miles. We started our hike around 11 AM, and it was already extremely hot. I can't imagine starting sometime in the afternoon. Even if the temperatures are only 90 degrees, you need to take the heat very seriously. I can totally understand why people die out there every year. Please read the sign at the parking lot, and please obey what it says. Specifically, it says to turn around if you don't have a full 4 liters of water per person. We've lived in AZ our whole lives and are extremely heat tolerant (also need less water than most people), and we drank almost every drop of our 4 liters per person. The amount that you will sweat is insane. This is due to the red rock, which absorbs heat and bakes you as if you were in an oven.

Okay, now that I have the safety stuff out of the way, let's get on to the actual gulches!

Peek-a-boo begins with a little climb up slickrock (sandstone in particular) to gain access into the slot canyon. If you can do this first 20 foot climb, you can do the rest of it with no issues. I recommend ensuring your hiking shoes are clean/dry, because any sand or dust will decrease your traction. Also, make sure to look for the handholds and footholds that have been carved into the rock. The are particularly helpful, especially as you get towards the top of the climb for the hands. Lastly, you may find it helpful to bring along a rope or rope ladder to assist in the climb. Obviously, this only works if the first person in your group climbs up first and then holds the rope (ladder) for the rest of the group. For us, my mom is scared of heights, so she was greatly helped by having a rope ladder. All it takes is 50 feet of static rope. You can look online for instructions on how to make one.

After you've successfully gotten into the canyon, take your time and enjoy it! The next 0.5 mile will go very quickly as you work your way through the canyon, so you definitely don't want to rush it. Peek-a-boo and Spooky and the best slot canyons I've ever visited, and I've been to a lot of slot canyons! In truth, words can't even describe the experience of hiking, climbing, and contorting your way through them.

A sincere word of caution: You need to be very physically fit to successfully complete this hike. And I don't just mean being skinny. I'd say you can probably be up to 200 lbs and still make it through. But in addition to being slender, you also must have upper body strength to be able to carry your backpack out in front of you, or behind you, when the canyons are too narrow for the shoulders to pass through. Little kids have a distinct advantage when it comes to navigating the canyons easily, which explains how we did this hike so easily as a family in 2009 (us kids were 7, 10, 14, and 16 at the time) and actually had more difficulty 12 years later as adults.

After you reach the exit of Peek-a-boo, turn to the right and follow the use path about half a mile to the entrance of Spooky. It is very important to note that these hikes are one way only. You cannot go up Spooky (you could in theory but the one obstacle would be very tough to get up; relatively easy going down). Likewise, you don't want to go down Peek-a-boo, only to find out at the end you can't make it down the last 20 foot cliff. Also, from a flow of human traffic perspective, if you're going the "wrong way" and you meet someone. One of you is probably going to have to back up for at least a quarter mile, just to find a spot wide enough to pass each other. Just please be considerate of others and do the loop in the clockwise direction--up Peek-a-boo and down Spooky.

Spooky is much narrower overall, with much of the canyon being necessary to carry your backpack rather than wearing it. This also means you'll be shuffling your feet, walking side to side, rather than taking normal steps with your shoulders square. We thoroughly enjoyed Spooky, especially "the exciting part" where you drop down about 30 feet vertical through gaps between boulders. Once again, we used the rope ladder for my mom.

The only wildlife we saw was a baby rattlesnake in Spooky Gulch--species yet to be identified. I'll be posting a triplog soon so y'all can help me out!

In conclusion, this is definitely a hike I'll do again any time I'm in the area and any time there's not a flash flood in the forecast. It's truly a special jewel in southern Utah, and I can't wait to go back!
Aug 15 2021
kyleGChiker
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Lake Blanche Trail #020Salt Lake, UT
Salt Lake, UT
Hiking avatar Aug 15 2021
kyleGChiker
Hiking8.37 Miles 3,356 AEG
Hiking8.37 Miles   5 Hrs   43 Mns   1.79 mph
3,356 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On our way home from the Tetons (our primary vacation this year; triplog coming soon!) we happened to be in the Salt Lake area on my birthday. Having never been to Big Cottonwood Canyon, it seemed fitting to do the hardest hike in the area. I'm glad we did, although the hike itself was a little bit of a disappointment. Stay tuned...

Intro: The hike is very convenient, located just 20 minutes or so from southern Salt Lake. Maybe like 30 minutes from downtown. At the trailhead, there are numerous signs warning of theft and car break-ins. Apparently, these crimes are a daily occurrence at the trailhead, so we were careful to take all our valuables with us (or bury them out of sight in the vehicle). Just exercise caution and don't leave stuff in plain sight, and I think you'll be OK. Driving an older car probably helps too...who knows?

The hike: The hike starts off with a gradual paved section leaving the parking lot and leading to the "real trail" about 0.25 miles up. There is a very nice creek with some waterfalls there, which we greatly enjoyed. The trail quickly becomes rocky and rough, so appropriate footwear is recommended. We enjoyed the wildflowers and beautiful forests, which got denser the further up the mountain we got. For being a Sunday morning, we were surprised at the lack of hikers. Maybe all the locals know to avoid Big Cottonwood on weekends, or maybe the intense smoke from the forest fires drove the crowds away. Either way, most people were on their way back down as we headed up, which meant we "had the place to ourselves" for the majority of the hike. Overall, the trail was in good condition after the first rocky section, composed mostly of smooth dirt/dust. There was some shade as well, which we greatly appreciated, it being a pretty hot day. As we got to the top, we found the lake with ease and enjoyed our lunch near the lake. Afterwards, we explored the other two lakes up there, which was quite fun. We actually like the other two lakes a little more than Lake Blanche, so it's definitely worth the effort to walk over there.

Conclusion: Overall, I'd only rate this hike a 6/10. The lake was nice, but I've definitely seen better scenery other places. The convenience to the city boosts its rating. But the effort required to get to the top lowers the rating somewhat. While it may very well be the best hike in the area, I'd pass on it next time I'm in Salt Lake and probably do something like Mount Timpanogos instead.

I'll post a photoset soon; you'll see how smokey it was from the fires on the west coast, which also made it a little unpleasant.
Named place
Named place
Lake Blanche

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hidden Falls Medium flow Medium flow
Lots of water here.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Lake Blanche 76-100% full 76-100% full
Looked a little low, but mostly full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Lake Florence 51-75% full 51-75% full
Looked a little low, but mostly full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Lake Lillian 76-100% full 76-100% full
Looked a little low, but mostly full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mill B North Fork Medium flow Medium flow
Lots of water in the creek here.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mill B South Fork Medium flow Medium flow
Lots of water in the creek here.
Aug 08 2021
kyleGChiker
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Grand Teton Super Loop, WY 
Grand Teton Super Loop, WY
 
Backpack avatar Aug 08 2021
kyleGChiker
Backpack44.19 Miles 12,682 AEG
Backpack44.19 Miles4 Days   23 Hrs   22 Mns   
12,682 ft AEG45 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
For our vacation this year, we did a trip to Grand Teton National Park, six awesome days of backpacking in a giant loop around the peaks. The itinerary was as follows:
  • Day 1: Up Cascade Canyon to South Fork
  • Day 2: Up and over Hurricane Pass to the Alaska Basin
  • Day 3: Up and over Static Peak Divide, climb Static Peak, and down into Death Canyon
  • Day 4: Down to Phelps Lake
  • Day 5: Across to Bradley Lake
  • Day 6: Hike out to Lupine Meadows Trailhead
Intro: I've been wanting to do this backpacking trip ever since we first backpacked in the Tetons in 2013. Up until this summer, we've been busy going other places like Alaska and traveling abroad. However, this year, in early January, I signed up on recreation.gov for a permit for this itinerary and I got it! Only 1/3 of the permits are reservable in advance, so if I hadn't gotten a permit, we would have still driven up there and tried to get a walkup permit.

The hike: August is a good month to go to the Tetons. Not only were there lots of wildflowers (50+ individual species!), but the weather was relatively good. The daytime temperatures were in the 80's, so a little warm in the afternoon, but being from Arizona, it didn't feel too bad. Nighttime temperatures were around 50 at the lower elevations, and as cold as 32 the night in the Alaska Basin (frost on tent).

Day 1: The hike up Cascade Canyon begins with a boat ride across Jenny Lake (saves 2.5 miles of hiking :lol: ). Then the next milestone is Inspiration Point, which sits at about 800 feet above Jenny Lake. It is a great view indeed! After Inspiration Point, the trail becomes much more gradual and goes all the way to the junction of north and south forks. We were going to the south and continued for another couple hours until we got to about the midpoint of the south fork. Our campsite was off on the left side of the trail, near Cascade Creek, with a great view looking to the north towards Paintbrush divide. For further altitude acclimation, after arriving at camp, we hiked another 500 feet vertical, stayed there a little while, then went back down. Supposedly it helps with the acclimation. Maybe it worked, because none of us had any problems with altitude, even up to 11,308 feet on Static Peak later in the trip.

Day 2: Today, we had to go up and over Hurricane Pass to get into the Alaska Basin on the other side. When I initially reserved the trip itinerary, there was of course some doubt as to whether the snow would all be melted out, or whether we would encounter large snowbanks. With plenty of hot weather this summer, all the snow was melted out and we had a nice trail to hike on the entire way. My mom was pretty worried about this day because she is scared of heights, but it turned out to not be scary at all, even in her opinion. Perhaps she read too many scary stories online about 50+ mph winds, and deep snowbanks that you need an ice axe to traverse. Along the way up to the pass, we stopped by "Schoolroom Lake", my unofficial name for the lake at the base of Schoolroom glacier. Due to the silt in the water, the color was very different than normal lakes, yet similar to many alpine and glacial lakes. The water was very cold. When we noticed a marmot on the other side of the lake heading toward our backpacks, we figured it was time to go. At the top of the next switchback, there is a spur trail that leads you right up to the glacier itself. Definitely take the time to visit the glacier! It is a very unique experience getting to walk right up to it, eat some snow from it, and look around. I was even able to traverse across a small rock ledge (right alongside a 30-40 foot deep crevasse! :scared: ) and climb inside the glacier into a large "ice cave". The ceiling was approximately 30 feet high, and the cave went back about 100 feet. Due to the potential danger being inside a glacier, and not wanting to fall into a crevasse, I only went back 10 or 20 feet. At that point, it got a little steeper, with about a 10 foot drop immediately to my right. Not the best of places to get stuck... I'm assuming this was only possible due to the extra hot weather this summer, such that in normal years, going inside the glacier is not possible, so keep this in mind if you ever visit it and don't try to do something dangerous just because "some guy on HikeArizona went inside the glacier in 2021." You're responsible for your own safety and glaciers are certainly nothing to mess around with. Even with it being pretty melted out, it was still pretty sketchy, and the rest of my family was too scared to go inside the ice cave. The rest of the hike was fairly uneventful. At Hurricane Pass, you actually exit the national park and enter the wilderness area, so we met a lot of hikers doing the Teton crest trail, but only camping outside the park, hence a camping permit was not necessary. Smart thinking if you ask me! After descending down on the other side, the first lake we arrived at is called Sunset Lake. Many people camp at this lake. In fact, we decided it was too crowded so we moved on. We estimate there were about 12 groups camping there on whatever random Monday evening it was in August. Instead, we camped at the Basin Lakes, and chose one where no one else was so we had the whole lake to ourselves! It was absolutely gorgeous, as you'll see when I post my photoset soon. My mom even said it's probably her favorite place she's ever camped. And that's saying a lot because we've gone a lot of places. In my opinion, it was second only to the Wind Rivers, which still hold a special place in my heart due to spending my 17th birthday there.

Day 3: Today was the day I was most excited about of the whole trip. If the weather was good, we were planning to climb Static Peak! Obviously, you wouldn't want to climb it in a thunderstorm, if the name is any indication. :lol: We woke up to some frost on the tent, indicating that the temperatures were around 32 degrees, though it didn't feel that cold. After exploring most of the other basin lakes, we headed up the trail, which climbed steadily to Buck Mountain Pass. The views were incredible, especially looking behind us towards Idaho. Upon reaching Buck Mountain Pass, we were greeted by large boulder fields, which spanned most of the distance from us to Static Peak Divide. There was also a small lake down below at the base of the boulder field. After reaching Static Peak Divide, it got substantially windier, so we prepared for a windy ascent up to the summit, putting on rain pants and jackets simply for comfort. Wind speeds were probably around 20 mph sustained, with gusts much stronger than that. The actual climb to the summit was quite easy, just 800 or so vertical feet on a well-defined use path. Even if the path wasn't there, it's very straightforward where you need to go--to the highest point! At the top, we enjoyed some time alone, and then another hiker joined us, a young lady who lives in the area and teaches at the ski school in the winter. It was quite fun to hear her stories of skiing the slopes of the Tetons, climbing the Grand, and many other adventures! When it was finally time to leave (there was much more smoke rolling in around this time, making the view less enjoyable), we began the loooong descent into Death Canyon. Those 5 miles are definitely the longest 5 miles of my life. Each switchback is about 0.5 miles long. It feels like you're just going down and down and down forever. But eventually we made it. Once at the junction in Death Canyon, we had to hike upstream till we got to the camping zone, which was further than we realized it was. We took the first campsite (thankfully it was available!) and quickly prepared dinner before nightfall. Needless to say, we enjoyed a good long sleep that night.

Day 4: After filtering water from a spring just up the trail from camp, my mom and I enjoyed a hike up to the Group campsite along the Death Canyon trail, all while my sister was still sleeping. Eventually, we worked our way back to camp, amazed at all the downed trees in upper Death Canyon, and thankful for the dozens of trail crew that were out working on the situation. From what we could gather, there was a big storm around Labor Day, 2020, which knocked down hundreds of trees in 100+ mph winds. Last summer still they had cleared the logs that fell across the trail, but there was still tons of work to do this season, including clearing out the approximately half of the campsites that were not usable because of all the trees that fell in them. Since it's a national park, they said they're not permitted to harvest the wood for logging purposes, but can use some of it for reinforcing trails and building structures as needed (tent pads, stairs, etc.) Enough about that, eventually around lunch time we headed out and did the short few miles down to Phelps Lake, where my dad joined us. He hadn't done the rest of the hike up to this point due to not handling high altitudes as well and still recovering from being sick. We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon in the Phelps Lake area, where it was reported that there was a mother black bear and her 2 cubs (or 3 cubs, depending on which sources you trust :-k ) but we never saw them in our 12+ hours hanging out around the lake. We were one of three groups camped at Phelps Lake, and it was especially beautiful at sunrise the next morning.

Day 5: After breakfast, we headed out from Phelps Lake and began the ~8 mile trek to Bradley Lake. It was not a terribly difficult day, although we all noticed how hot it was now that we were down in the valley. Also, despite being "flat", there was a lot of up and down, such that the accumulated elevation plot showed more like 1,000 ft for the day. Overall, there was nothing terribly exciting this day, except adding about 30 species to our wildflower count. Taggart Lake was nice, as was Bradley Lake. It was cool seeing the peaks from the front side, rather than the back side on days 1 and 2. Bradley Lake is nice because there is only one campsite, reserved only for those that are doing loop trips. I got some cool pictures on the shores of the lake with the milky way and the mountains and the lake.

Day 6: A short hike out to Lupine Meadows Trailhead, where my dad had already staged our car. This ended up working out perfectly, because it allowed us to get up to Yellowstone and see a bunch of good geysers still the same day. Met some folks going on an overnight trip to go climb Middle Teton. Middle and South Tetons are both on my radar screen for great future hikes!

Overall, this was a great trip, one of my favorite backpacking trips of all time! The Tetons are such a beautiful place--if you're never been there, you need to go ASAP! :M2C:
Flora
Flora
Red Monkey Flower
Fauna
Fauna
Marmot (Hoary)
Culture
Culture
HAZ Food
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
50+ species observed over the course of the trip, mostly on the valley trail between Phelps Lake and Lupine Meadows Trailhead.
5 archives
Jul 16 2021
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Coconino Rim - AZT #36Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 16 2021
kyleGChiker
Backpack18.65 Miles 1,825 AEG
Backpack18.65 Miles
1,825 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Went out for another section of the AZT! Due to the length of this section, but more importantly, as training for an upcoming backpacking trip, we opted to backpack this segment over 3 days. Also, due to no water on the passage, we cached water ahead of time to ensure dehydration wouldn't be a concern.
There actually was water in Russell Tank, but it was nasty quality and I wouldn't ever want to drink it. That being said the wildlife rink from it no problem, and we saw 11 wild horses, numerous elk, and a coyote!
The hike was uneventful, except for some rain, and the trail is in great shape! We enjoyed this passage more than #37 and #29, both of which we've done in the past year, due to more varied terrain and more vegetation. The informational signs near Grandview Lookout Tower were also a highlight.
Next, we plan to conquer #35 and #34, and then we'll have made it from the North Rim to Flagstaff. We certainly have many miles to go!
Kyle

dry Anderson Tank Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Lockett Lake 1-25% full 1-25% full
A small amount of water we saw from the road

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Russell Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
Plenty of water, but poor quality

1 archive
May 01 2021
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Grandview TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 01 2021
kyleGChiker
Hiking9.59 Miles 3,479 AEG
Hiking9.59 Miles   6 Hrs   53 Mns   1.72 mph
3,479 ft AEG   1 Hour   18 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Overview: Enjoying great weather at the Grand Canyon and taking my family down the Grandview trail for the first time!

While we were up in northern AZ to complete passage #37 of the AZT, we decided to do a hike down the Grandview Trail down to Horseshoe Mesa. It is a little steep in places, and my mom, who has acrophobia, was definitely scared at times. However, she's very brave and managed to get down the trail. :app: In fact, by the end of the day, she said it was one of her favorite trails in the Canyon because of the great views and lack of crowds! I call that a win for someone who's more accustomed to hiking corridor trails. :y: Once we got down to Horseshoe Mesa, we opted to take a trip out to the right tip of the horseshoe for our lunch break. The scenery from that cliff edge was stunning and well worth the trek out there. My sister says Horseshoe Mesa looks more like a scorpion, so I guess that means we visited the right pincer. :lol: It got a little hot by afternoon, but thankfully some clouds rolled in and also a good bit of the Grandview has afternoon shade (hence, why it's so notorious for ice in the early spring), so it was actually quite pleasant hiking out. All in all, it was a great day of hiking, and a great first trip for the rest of the family east of the corridor trails.
Flora
Flora
Indian Paintbrush
Apr 30 2021
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Grand Canyon - South Rim - AZT #37Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 30 2021
kyleGChiker
Hiking33.98 Miles 3,608 AEG
Hiking33.98 Miles2 Days   6 Hrs   12 Mns   
3,608 ft AEG   1 Hour   22 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Overview: Completing our third passage on the AZT! :yes:

Who: Myself, mom Cindy, and sister Alyssa
Time frame: We completed this passage over the course of two days, Friday and Sunday. With better weather on Saturday, we hiked into the Canyon on the Grandview trail.
Campsite and Access: We camped about two miles in off FR302, which takes off to the east just after the first roundabout in Tusayan. It ended up being an ideal place to camp because of the easy access to town, yet far enough out to be quiet. The road was easy access, and although gravel, was easy to hit speeds of 50-60 MPH. Your suspension may vary... :lol: We also ended up driving the section of 302 between our campsite and the Grandview Lookout Tower TH. This road was also in good condition and a passenger vehicle could do it. Our average speed was 25-30 MPH.

The hike: We drove one vehicle to Grand Canyon village, rode the shuttle to the South Kaibab TH, and began the hike. The other vehicle was waiting for us at camp, which was conveniently only 0.25 miles off the AZT. The first part of the hike goes on the paved rim trail/bike path, but it quickly diverges (unmarked!) onto a hiking path on dirt. In short order, you'll cross highway 64 (east rim drive) and continue generally towards the west. If you have any GPS app on your phone, it should guide you pretty well. The trail blazes on the little signs with the AZT logo are very helpful to know which gravel road/trail to take. I say gravel road because oftentimes the trail switches back and forth between sections of gravel road and sections of trail. Also, several more miles are paved going south towards Tusayan. All in all, while it wasn't my favorite section of AZT we've done so far, it was fun and a nice way to enjoy time together, the cool weather, and the nice pine forests.

Next up? Not sure...we're hoping to complete either all passages south towards Flagstaff or all passages north of the Canyon by the end of the summer. I think everything south of the Mogollon Rim is too hot at this point. :sweat:

dry Watson Tank Dry Dry
Just dirt at the bottom
Apr 16 2021
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Reavis Gap, Fireline & Campaign Creek LoopGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 16 2021
kyleGChiker
Backpack31.68 Miles 7,338 AEG
Backpack31.68 Miles2 Days   4 Hrs   41 Mns   
7,338 ft AEG40 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Went out with my mom for another super fun three-day weekend adventure in the Superstitions! This was my first time ever to the "Eastern Superstitions" so I was super excited!!! The furthest east I had been previously was last year starting from the Woodbury TH and heading north on the JF Trail. And I suppose a day hike from Roger's Trough to the ruins near Angel Basin.

Trip Planning: Based on recent water reports, as well as historic water data going back many years here on HikeAZ, I determined that this area should have plenty of water, although I wasn't sure how the fire might have affected some of the springs (e.g. Grapevine is reportedly dry this season). Given some of the things I've read about these trails in the eastern Supes, I decided a short loop of just 17-18 miles would be good to start with. We planned the loop going clockwise so that if we made good progress, we could camp two nights at the same place near Reavis Ranch, on that 0.7 mile section between Fireline and Reavis Gap. But if progress was slow, we would have camped along Campaign creek or along Fireline (had enough water for a dry camp). Turns out there was plenty of water all throughout the area and the trails were in super good condition (except Frog Tanks...more on that later!).

The Drive: We took our trusty 2001 Chevy Suburban just in case the roads were rough getting to the Campaign TH. In our family, the standard for a "good road" is whether my brother could drive it in his Prius (he's taken that Prius a lot of places!). In this case, with dry conditions, his Prius could have made it without issues to the Campaign TH. The directions on how to get there are very simple, just take 449A and follow signs for Campaign TH. When you get to a place where you feel like you're entering someone's private residence, turn left and go through the gate with a white sign that reads "4x4 Only". The trailhead is essentially at the Reevis Mountain School/Sanctuary, so you can follow signs for that too, and that'll get you there. As a side note, the guy who runs Reevis Mountain School is more affectionately known as Peter Bigfoot, and teaches a bunch of classes out there. I haven't taken one of his classes (yet!), but we got to meet him the last day of our trip, and he was teaching a class on edible desert herbs. Looks super fun and I hope to take one of his classes soon!

Day 1: Campaign Trail and Fireline Trail

Campaign Trail: Unfortunately, the majority of this trail was burned in the Woodbury fire (possibly also the Sawtooth fire, but I didn't check that). The trail itself is in good condition, although sometimes overgrown with weeds. Thankfully, there is very little catclaw/mesquite so the skin and clothes don't get too beat up. The amazing wildflowers made for a nice contrast against the charred branches. As a side note, we saw probably 20 different species of wildflowers, throughout the trip, but mostly at the lower elevations (not so much in the Reavis Ranch area). There was water in Campaign creek for the majority of the distance to the Fireline trail. We filtered some from it and it had a taste from the algae, but not bad.

Fireline Trail: This trail departs from the Campaign trail and heads up significant elevation to reach the Reavis Ranch area. After gaining the ridgeline ~1000 feet up, you actually get into a short section of trail that was not touched by the fire. That mile or so was quite pleasant. :) We didn't have time to go to Circlestone...not sure what we missed, but probably there's some interesting history there. By late afternoon, we were heading down the final descent into Reavis Ranch, and camped toward the northern end of the camping zone in a nice grove of apple trees. The apple trees were in full bloom, which was a special treat. The sweet fragrance was almost overpowering, and the sound of the bees buzzing overhead was beautiful. It appears there are black bears in the area, as we saw plenty of bear scat, a bear den, and the next day positively identified a bear footprint in Fish Creek Canyon.

Day 2: Day hike on Frog Tanks trail to Cimeron Spring
Today, the goal was to travel light and fast and make it all the way to Angel Basin and back (where the famous ruins are). Unfortunately, at about 5 or 5.5 miles in, the catclaw got to the point where it was no longer fun to continue on the Frog Tanks trail, so we opted to return back to camp and spend the afternoon in the more pleasant apple tree groves. There was plenty of water today, I'll try to leave water reports, although the sources aren't near the official loop, so they may not show up. There was (stagnant) water in Willow Creek, large pools of clear water at Plow Saddle Springs (that quickly disappeared underground), and lots of water in Paradise Canyon / Fish Creek. The water in Fish Creek continued for about 0.5 mile downstream, and then went underground off and on for another 0.25 miles, then disappeared entirely. We went as far as Cimeron spring, which we presume was dry, because there was no surface moisture in the creek bed at that location, but we didn't climb up to the actual spring. A couple highlights this day in the wildlife arena were a coachwhip and an Arizona Black rattlesnake. The Arizona Black was under one of the apple trees at Reavis Ranch and didn't move his position for more than 16 hours. I suppose it was just content to sit there coiled up and resting. :lol:

Day 3: Hike out on Reavis Gap Trail
This was the most pleasant of all the hiking days. First, the weather was beautiful and temperatures were perfect! Second, much of this day's hike was unburned, which for obvious reasons is more fun than hiking through all the burned area. Approximately 3.5 miles follow the AZT until it takes off to the north, while our trail continued to the east. That section of trail was in very good condition and well maintained. The descent from Reavis Gap back to Campaign creek was very steep, more so than expected. It would definitely make for a challenging hike going uphill, so we were glad to be going downhill. After arriving back at the car, we explored the Tule trailhead, and then just for fun drove out on the Apache Trail (SR-88) till the closure, just to see what the hike would be like getting to the Reavis TH north. Wouldn't be too difficult, but would definitely add some miles.

We also visited the Tonto National Monument cliff dwellings before heading back to Phoenix. They were interesting, although it was disappointing the upper cliff dwellings are mostly closed off to visitors (one tour per day, three days per week, only six months per year, by reservation only in person or on the phone). We'll have to go back in November to see the upper cliff dwellings, as that would be quite interesting!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Many different species...will post photos with identifying labels if I can identify them all.

dry Brushy Spring Dry Dry
I didn't actually go to the spring, however, the creek was dry at the location where the spring "should" be. There was water in Campaign creek for a good 3 miles from the TH, however.

dry Cimeron Spring Dry Dry
Didn't go to the spring, but the main drainage was dry at this point and there was no evidence of moisture.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Paradise Canyon Light flow Light flow
I'd estimate 2 feet wide and 2-3 inches deep.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Pine Creek at Reavis Gap #117 Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Can't say it was flowing particularly...but there was a nice big pool that looked relatively clear (besides leaves floating on the surface). Downstream of the pool was dry. Didn't venture upstream.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Plow Saddle Springs Quart per minute Quart per minute
I couldn't observe the actual flow, but the spring created several large pools full of water plants (lily pads, reeds, etc.) and then shortly disappeared underground.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reavis Creek at Fireline #118 Light flow Light flow
Maybe 2 feet wide and 2-3 inches deep.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reavis Creek at Gap Trail #117 Light flow Light flow
Not a ton of water, but I've got nothing to compare it to, as it's my first time here. I'd estimate 2 feet wide and 2-3 inches deep.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reevis School Springs Quart per minute Quart per minute
There was good flow in the creek, and within the first mile of hiking, we crossed several little "seeps" or "springs" flowing across the trail in this area.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Willow Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Small pools at the trail crossing
Apr 03 2021
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Six Shooter Trail #197Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2021
kyleGChiker
Hiking13.37 Miles 4,442 AEG
Hiking13.37 Miles   7 Hrs   38 Mns   2.12 mph
4,442 ft AEG   1 Hour   19 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Went out for a Saturday hike to enjoy Easter weekend! Like normal, it was my mom and I. Dad's always too busy with work, and my sister's always too busy with school (she's a double major English and music student taking 21 credits, what can I say?).

The initial plan was to hike up and back down on the Six Shooter Canyon trail, but once we got up to the top, we realized the Ice Canyon trail was the faster route back to the car, and since loop hikes are always nice, we opted to do that instead. This was our first time to the area, and obviously we had our maps with us, but it was still helpful that we crossed paths with a volunteer trail maintenance crew, who gave us up to date info on trail conditions, snow levels, and more. Thanks for the helpful info guys, and for helping maintain the trails for us! :app:

The hike up Six Shooter canyon was quite pleasant, with a creek that flowed for the first several miles. Eventually the trail veers away from the creek and starts the climb in earnest to the summit. Upon arriving to the top of the Six Shooter trail, we continued on a little further to get all the way up to the ridgeline for the phenomenal views.

I had brought along the stove and made up a nice lunch for us at the top, consisting of pasta, dehydrated ground beef, dehydrated carrots, and a packet of gravy mix. It was truly the most delicious dehydrated meal I've ever eaten. Normally I wouldn't dehydrate stuff just for a day hike lunch, but this stuff was old and needed to be used from my pantry.

On the way down, we enjoyed several miles of hiking in snow on the Ice Canyon trail, appropriately named because it is on the north side of the mountains and stays snowy much later in the season. This was so much fun! :y: The thought of hiking in snow in April didn't even cross my mind, so it made for a pleasant surprise. We enjoyed the Ice House Canyon Trail just as much if not more than the Six Shooter trail, as it winds through more forest, is softer on the feet with pine needles and other deciduous leaves, and has a creek running through it also. It's not shown as a water source, but Ice Canyon, at least in the spring with snow melt, seems to be pretty reliable for water.

All in all, it was a great day and an exciting first visit to the Pinal mountains. Can't wait to make it back and do some of the other trails in the area!

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Ferndell Spring Dripping Dripping
Possibly flowing a little. Very murky water. I'd definitely filter from the trail junction spring not this one.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Six Shooter Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
There was a fair amount of water in the main drainage. I'd estimate the creek was typically 3 feet wide and 2-3 inches deep.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Trail Junction Mine Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Nice flow and a spring box full of clear water.
Jan 16 2021
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Battleship Mountain - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 16 2021
kyleGChiker
Hiking12.68 Miles 2,689 AEG
Hiking12.68 Miles   7 Hrs   37 Mns   2.07 mph
2,689 ft AEG   1 Hour   29 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took a couple of my friends out to Battleship Mountain last Saturday. It was a beautiful day, a little cloudy in the morning, but then getting a little hot by late afternoon. They don't do as much hiking as me, so we took it at a respectable pace, considering. The first 2.5-3 miles of the hike was all burned desert, as to be expected with the Sawtooth fire that blazed through the area last summer. Thankfully, the majority of Boulder Canyon was untouched, so most of the hike's beauty still remains. Also, given how flat and easy those first few miles of the hike are, it's easy to power through that such that most of the actual hiking time is in the nice desert.

One of the biggest surprises to me was that Boulder Creek was bone dry. I had only been to Boulder Canyon once before, and that was last March (a very wet year, by comparison), when the creek was 10 feet wide and 6-8 inches deep, with large pools everywhere. There was at least water flowing in small amounts (mostly just large pools) from 2nd Water Spring in the canyon you hike through to get to Boulder Canyon.

When we arrived at the summit, there were quite a few folks out, maybe 15-20 at the top, but a group of about 10 left shortly after we arrived. I looked back at the registry and found my signature from my previous trip in March and signed again for Jan. 16th. Unfortunnately, it appears the otebooks are all to the point of being almost full. Perhaps someone should bring a new notebook for the register? I also saw for the first time the little game of Battleship that someone put in the register can. That is a super neat idea! Next time, I'll have to allot time at the summit for a game with my hiking partner!

All in all, this is a great hike for the adventurous folks out there. There's enough rock scrambling that if you're afraid of heights, you probably shouldn't do it. For example, my mom wasn't willing to do it last time in March, once we arrived at that first wall, she turned back. Plus being only an hour's drive from home makes it very convenient of a hike for winter time!


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Second Water Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Large pools throughout the canyon, some definitely with inferior water quality.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Second Water Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Dripping one quart per minute into a large, but relatively clear pool.
Dec 28 2020
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Sidewinder CanyonDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar Dec 28 2020
kyleGChiker
Hiking5.19 Miles 2,318 AEG
Hiking5.19 Miles   5 Hrs   33 Mns   1.66 mph
2,318 ft AEG   2 Hrs   25 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
This hike was part of a larger trip to Death Valley. In the family, most of us get off work between Christmas and New Year's, so this year, we decided to take a trip to Death Valley, figuring that the weather is better in the winter than in the summer. The itinerary was as follows:
  • Day 1: Drive from Phoenix, up the road to the north end of the park, camp just north of Teakettle Junction
  • Day 2: Visit Racetrack Playa and see the famous "sailing stones." These are incredible! If you ever visit death valley, you need to visit here! Drive back down the road with a stop at the Mesquite Flat sand dunes for sunset. Camp off Echo Canyon road 2.5 miles in (the campgrounds were closed for COVID, so camping was only permitted off 4WD roads).
  • Day 3: Sidewinder Canyon hike (don't worry, I'll get to the hike soon), Badwater Basin salt flats, Devil's Golf Course, and Artist's Palette.
  • Day 4: Sunrise at Zabriski Point, 20 mule canyon, Harmony Borax Works, the Wonder gold mine, Salt creek, and a good hike at the dunes, including going to the highest sand dune, sunset at Dante's view.
  • Day 5: The highlight was seeing our campsite off Echo canyon road for the first time in daylight! The drive home was easy enough and quite scenic, with a brief stop at Lake Mead overlook.

The hike in Sidewinder Canyon leaves the parking area and heads to the south up a short narrow trail that winds in wavy switchbacks, much like a sidewinder path. After a short hike up the canyon, we got to a large cairn on the right side of the drainage. Knowing this was not Slot #1 listed on the NPS website, but figuring that it was worth exploring, we started up it. While not one of the three official slot canyons on the NPS website, it was actually quite enjoyable to hike in till it dead-ended about 0.1 miles in. For the small amount of effort, it's a worthwhile canyon to explore. The first of the official canyons is just a short distance further up the main Sidewinder canyon. For some strange reason, a large arrow made out of rocks points tourists further up Sidewinder canyon, rather than into Slot #1. This arrow is best ignored, as Slot #1 is one of the most interesting ones! The slot canyon, while short in length, is so dark that at one point, headlamps almost become necessary for travel. The NPS trail description says they are required, so of course, that was an invitation to try to complete it without headlamps, which we were successful at doing! Slot #2 is much longer, at around 0.8 miles, although you could hike as far as you want, right up to the top of a mountain. We stopped when the slot canyon became no longer a slot, but more like a wide open drainage. Towards the upper end of the Slot #2, starting at the 0.4 mile mark, there were some "obstacles" involving climbing 8-10 feet to get to the next ledge or level of the canyon. The obstacles were few and far between, maybe 5 more challenging obstacles total. Slot #3 was perhaps the most adventurous, as it required climbing under large boulders and squeezing between small spaces, as well as climbing over large boulders. Similar to Slot #2, there is no official end, we went probably about 0.3 miles. All in all, this was a fantastic hike and a must-see if you visit Death Valley?

Are there more canyons to explore beyond Slot #3? Who knows? We didn't have time to check it out, but we sure will next time we're in the area!
Dec 12 2020
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

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 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 12 2020
kyleGChiker
Hiking7.98 Miles 3,621 AEG
Hiking7.98 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   1.65 mph
3,621 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took my sister out to go hike Flatiron. It was my third time doing it, and her 1st time! Thankfully, the weather was beautiful and we got almost the whole climb done before the sun rose over the cliffs to the east. After enjoying a brief time on the Flatiron summit (it was very crowded), we climbed up the "hoodoo peak" to the north. In my opinion, the view is actually superior over there, mostly because you can look out over the whole Superstition range, rather than being limited to just seeing the city.

All in all, it was a great hike and my sister and I enjoyed spending that quality time together. :y:

dry Siphon Draw Waterfall Dry Dry
Bone dry, as expected
1 archive
Dec 06 2020
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Cave Creek / Cottonwood Loop, AZ 
Cave Creek / Cottonwood Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 06 2020
kyleGChiker
Backpack24.27 Miles 5,395 AEG
Backpack24.27 Miles2 Days   3 Hrs   3 Mns   
5,395 ft AEG42 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Took the family out for a three day backpacking trip in the seven springs area--our first time there! After church on Sunday, we drove up the road to the Cave Creek Trailhead, where we started the hike. We didn't quite know what to expect with the water situation, so we took some extra and played it by ear. Thankfully, there was sufficient water in Cave Creek itself, actually forming a nice waterfall we camped near. On this trip, we were seeking nice yellow fall leaves, and we were not disappointed! The campground near the trailhead had abundant fall leaves, as did the majority of Cave Creek canyon itself.

Day 2 we continued our hike along Cave Creek Trail #4. It got to being a pretty hot day by afternoon, and were pleased to rest in the shade wherever we could find it. Dad wasn't feeling up for doing the whole trip, and needed to go to work the next day, so he hiked the last couple miles out to Spur Cross (where we had previously staged a vehicle) and the rest of us (mom, sister, and I) continued up the Cottonwood Trail. After hiking several more miles in the heat that afternoon, we were becoming a little concerned about the water situation. We passed one area where a spring was shown on the map, and we could see about 1/4 mile off the trail, a small trickle of water flowing over some slickrock in the canyon below. Unfortunately, there was another group camped there already, so we moved on. Wilderness is best kept that way, and we had enough water for a dry camp, so we pressed onward. Fortunately, we got to Cottonwood Spring itself (if you look at the old USGS topos, there are three Cottonwood Springs labeled) and it was flowing at a rate of 1 quart per 2.5 minutes (yes, I timed it). The water was nice, clear, and cold. We actually camped in the old corral shown on the topo map, which was the only flat place to pitch a tent. :lol:

The last day, we enjoyed a very diverse amount of scenery, and despite the climbing and distance that definitely felt longer than advertised, we did eventually make it back to our car. The highlight the last day was seeing two different herds of javelinas, one with 15 members, and the other approximately 35 members (though we couldn't count them all), including several babies just a week or two old, as well as some "teenagers". In terms of wildlife, we also saw two owls, one larger Great Horned and a smaller owl (yet to be identified). The small owl had caught a dove and was holding it in its talons. What struck me as unusual was that the small owl wasn't much larger than the dove itself. I'd estimate the size at around 8-9" for the biSrd, not including tail. I
t was sad to see the dove in its talons, but I guess that's the way nature works in this world plagued by sin and the curse. We also saw lizards, wrens, ravens, and other small birds in abundance. The seven springs area struck me as having significantly more wildlife than the uperstitions, for example.
I intend to post an official guide for this hike as well, probably for leaving from Spur Cross, since that's the more common trailhead. I noticed that such a hike exists on HikeAZ but is needing a full guide. That's why this triplog is a little sparse on details, because I intend to post all the details about the actual trail over there on the guide.

Have fun enjoying the outdoors, everyone!
Nov 28 2020
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

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 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Peters Trail #105Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2020
kyleGChiker
Hiking15.01 Miles 2,849 AEG
Hiking15.01 Miles   8 Hrs   20 Mns   2.14 mph
2,849 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Our goal for this hike was to make it all the way to Peter's Mesa, but unfortunately, that didn't quite happen. The first difficulty encountered was the road. Unless you have a very capable 4WD vehicle, and I emphasize *very capable*, you should plan to hike the 3 miles from Apache Trail (AZ-88) to the inner Tortilla Trailhead. Another way of looking at it is that the trailhead is right off AZ-88, not 3 miles in. We were driving our 4WD Chevy Suburban that day, but there was no way I was going to attempt that road. To give some other anecdotal evidence, another gentleman in a Land Rover appeared confident at first ("I've taken this Land Rover all across the country three times; I can give you a ride if you want") to very quickly putting it in reverse and going back down ("there's no way I'm doing that!"). A Toyota 4Runner made it up the first of four major obstacles, then parked. At the very top of the road, there were only two vehicles, one ATV and one Toyota 4Runner (appeared to be a stock ~2008 model).

The hike itself was quite nice, with scenic views all the way around. There were even some nice fall leaves in the first canyon when starting out. We were pleased with our progress, and upon reaching Kane Spring and Indian Spring so quickly (they both had water), we continued up the steep climb to the ridge, then down on the other side. We made it all the way to where the trail turns north to go to Peter's Mesa, then decided we should have our lunch and turn around for the day. Another time, we'll have to connect the dots, just to say we've done it. :lol:

I like how accessible Kane/Indian springs are, and could definitely see using them as a great starting point for a multi-day trip in the future.

Lastly, to finish out the JF trail we had hiked most of earlier in the year, we hiked up about 0.75 miles up to the junction with the Hoolie Bacon trail. Nothing much exciting up there, but it helped mentally to put together the scenery and that trail section to form a better mental map/image of the area.

Overall, I'd rate this trail a solid 8/10. The scenery just keeps improving the further you go. Of course, being a typical Supes trail, it's often narrow with catclaw and cactus lining it. Not to mention sometimes being overgrown with grass and so faint it's a challenge to follow. But I feel like that kind of just comes with the territory! If you've got extensive hiking experience, you'll have no issues following the trail, but a novice, or someone who only hikes on very well defined trails could get lost easily. Make sure you take your maps (paper and digital) and compass!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Indian Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Flowing pretty good.

dry Indian Spring Number One Dry Dry
If I recall, this is the one off trail a little to the east. I didn't go looking for it, but there was no water along the trail on in the drainages.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Kane Spring Dripping Dripping
There wasn't much, but there was enough to filter from. Indian Spring had much better and more abundant water this time.
Nov 21 2020
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

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 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Bell Trail to the Crack - Wet Beaver CreekCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2020
kyleGChiker
Hiking8.80 Miles 861 AEG
Hiking8.80 Miles   4 Hrs   56 Mns   2.23 mph
861 ft AEG      59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
This weekend, we were looking for somewhere to see fall leaves. Being a little late in the season, all the usual places like Oak Creek Canyon, Lockett Meadow, and Horton Spring trail are too far gone. With a little sleuthing, and using Hike AZ's foliage report, we came across the Bell Trail in the Wet Beaver Creek wilderness. The wilderness is perhaps misnamed--with all the crowds, it certainly didn't feel like wilderness. That being said, we got an earlier start than most people, so there were only about 8 vehicles at the trailhead (as opposed to 40-50 when we got out). Also, just as a side note, most people were very underprepared for this length of hike (like a group of 20 teens starting at 2 PM with no backpacks (meaning no first aid, no emergency gear like headlamps, and probably not much food or water). I was more than a little worried about them.) The sign at the trailhead said that over 120 rescues were performed this summer alone, and I can see why. All that to say, please hike smart and be more prepared than these kids were.

The trail itself is a nice hike, very easy, being an old Jeep road. The elevation gain is only a few hundred feet each way. The fall leaves were just a little too far gone...we were maybe one week late. But then some were still green, so I guess they don't all turn the same time.

When we got to the main junction after 3.5 miles, we did what no one else does and went downstream! After a good 5-10 minutes of hiking downstream, we found this nice area with waterfalls, bright yellow trees, and beautiful red cliffs. That was a lunch stop I'll never forget. No crowds, and just about everything that can make a hike perfect! :y:

After a nice break there, we went over to "The Crack" and explored another good half hour. In case you're looking at the GPS track and see that I followed the same exact path up there twice, I did. The first time was to explore, the second time to hunt down my missing sunglasses. 8) No success, so Walmart will be getting my business again!

The hike back to the car passed even quicker than the hike in, with many a good dialogue to keep the mind and soul engaged. The scenery actually improved from a photographic perspective, as the sun in the western sky lit up the valley for nice pictures looking back.

The day was completed not at the trailhead, but after scouting potential river access points for our next Verde River kayaking expedition. Having done the section from Bignotti to Rezzonico twice (once at 300 CFS and once at 5700 CFS [yes, you read that right! It was quite the wild ride!]), we're thinking Tuesday or Wednesday next week, we'll go from Rezzonico Park to Clear Creek. Seems like a nice section with great autumn colors this week!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
A little past their peak, but down in Camp Verde and all along the Verde River, they are just about at their peak.

dry Casner Canyon Dry Dry
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout

dry Long Canyon Dry Dry
Both canyons to the left and right of the main creek were dry. But on the left canyon, there was a pool large enough to filter from. Of course, you'd be a fool to filter from that little pool when you have the whole Beaver Creek to get nice clear water from! :)
Oct 24 2020
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

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 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Rim to RimNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2020
kyleGChiker
Hiking44.50 Miles 11,000 AEG
Hiking44.50 Miles   49 Hrs   56 Mns   1.19 mph
11,000 ft AEG   12 Hrs   33 Mns Break45 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
After previously backpacking every mile of trails/routes on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, I decided it was time to complete Rim to Rim! :y: I got a permit for my last choice weekend, October 24-26, and backpacked across the North Kaibab/Bright Angel route.

Along for the trip were my parents, two siblings, and my brother's girlfriend (a total of six people). For some strange reason, NPS gave us a permit for 7 people, stating in an email that we had miscalculated the total fee for the permit, and they would be charging us for 7 people. Even after calling to make sure they knew we only had 6 people, they refused to update the permit or give a refund for the 7th person that didn't go along on the trip! Oh well...I guess it all worked out fine because we got to camp at the nice group sites. :lol:

We found a friend on Facebook (lives in Page) who was willing to be our shuttle driver from South to North since the normal shuttles aren't running this year. After being dropped off, and after enjoying our sandwiches on the rim before the hike, we realized we forgot our pot and fuel at home! :o Apparently, somewhere along the way, there was a miscommunication in who was taking what. :shaggy: Sure enough, when we got home, there was our 4-liter pot and 16 oz. of fuel, sitting right next to the fish bowl! ](*,) Well, after talking through the options, we decided that since we were on corridor trails, we would be able to find sufficient kind hikers from whom we could buy/bribe/borrow some fuel. A kind man on the rim overheard our plight and gave us his stainless steel doggy bowl to use as a makeshift pot. It only held 2.5 cups, but we were grateful nonetheless. To finish out this story, at Cottonwood campground, I finally found someone who had some extra fuel, so I borrowed their canister for our dinner (they refused to accept payment). Our breakfast was cold-soaked oatmeal, which rehydrated quite well overnight. On the trail the next day, we met some backpackers who were from Chicago and had some extra fuel. They couldn't take it with them on the plane anyway, so they were happy to give it to us. We're thankful for the kindness of our fellow backpackers and hope we have a chance to help someone out similarly some day. :)

The North Kaibab trail itself is a very nice trail, quite smooth and gradual. The 5,000+ feet of descent really seems to go by quite quickly, and in no time, we were at Cottonwood campground! We enjoyed the amazing stargazing both in the evening, and early the next morning before the sun rose. In addition to identifying numerous stars and constellations, we also spotted Saturn and Jupiter. I tried my hand at some night sky photography, and was quite pleased with the results (I'm writing this at work while I wait for a test to run...will probably have a photoset uploaded sometime late this evening or tomorrow afternoon for you all to enjoy). The next day was a long day from Cottonwood to Indian Gardens, and especially being in a group of six, we move pretty slowly (due to the nature of group dynamics, not any particular person). We woke up at 4:45, and got out of shortly after first light. About half-way from Cottonwood to Phantom Ranch, we came across a group of 7 bighorn sheep drinking water from Bright Angel Creek. Apparently, they decided to move on, and we watched in amazement as they climbed over 200 ft high overhead on very steep (almost vertical) terrain. Within minutes, they had ascended easily 200 ft. but we continued watching for another half hour or so, as they were so interesting to watch. Eventually they got beyond the ridgeline and we couldn't see them any longer. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

We spent a bit of time at the beach along the Colorado River before climbing up the Bright Angel trail. The highlight there was watching 2 kayaks, 3 rafts, and a dory boat run the small rapids there (the dory looked like a replica of the Bass boat at Bass beach in the Western Grand Canyon).

That night, at Indian Gardens, the temperatures dropped substantially and the wind was very strong. Forecasts posted at Phantom Ranch indicated gusts around 25 mph, and I felt like at Indian Gardens, they were even stronger. We secured our tents with several guy lines to large rocks, and they did fine. The rangers also warned us of a potential 1/2 inch snow at Indian Gardens and up to 5 inches on the South Rim. Thankfully, the weathermen were wrong ( :app: ), and we got no precipitation to speak of (maybe a grand total of 10 or 20 rain drops on the tent :lol: ). As usually happens when a cold front moves in, the next day was gorgeous, with blue sky and good visibility, albeit just a little cold. When we left camp, it was right around 40, and the temperature slowly dropped all day, until it was just below freezing for the last couple miles of hiking. Driving home through Flagstaff, the temps dropped as low as 24.

Overall, this was a great trip. Everything worked out OK, even though we forgot our pot and fuel (we still had the stove and utensils, so it could have been much worse!). The North Kaibab trail in particular was extremely busy. Just to give you an idea, we talked to a ranger at Indian Gardens who said that the Grand Canyon's previous record for rim-to-rim day-hikers was 1200 in one day. She said they exceeded 2000 rim-to-rim day-hikers on October 24th this year. It felt like someone was going past about every minute in one direction or the other. It was crazy! I now remember why I've done so much wilderness hiking in the Grand Canyon in the past...the crowds simply aren't there. I'm thinking back to when we did South Bass to Boucher, and saw only 1 person in 7 days (except for a few people on the top of the Hermit trail going out). Or the Royal Arch Route where we saw no one for 6 days. I've done Rim to Rim now, just to say that I've done it, but I can assure you my next Rim to Rim will be something like Nankoweep to Tanner or North Bass to South Bass. That'll be far more enjoyable.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Some aspen, cottonwood, and oak (though most aspen were past their peak).

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bright Angel Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bright Angel Creek Light flow Light flow
Always flowing nicely!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Ribbon Falls Light flow Light flow
Just about the same flow as March 2018 when I saw it last.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Roaring Springs Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Heavy flow over the falls from Roaring Springs

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Roaring Springs Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow
3 archives
Sep 20 2020
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Mount Baldy LoopAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 20 2020
kyleGChiker
Backpack21.30 Miles 2,725 AEG
Backpack21.30 Miles3 Days         
2,725 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Went out with my mom for a three-day hike in the Baldy Wilderness. Our family had hiked the West fork many years ago, and the East fork last year, but this was our first time doing the whole loop!

If this is your first time reading about the Baldy Wilderness, please be aware that the summit of Mt. Baldy is on the Apache reservation, and they do not permit access to the summit. Please be respectful of their religious beliefs and land rights by refraining from hiking to the summit.

Here’s a brief summary of the trip, highlighting the details:
Trail condition: Very good—mostly dirt, with few rocks or tree roots. New since last year: quite a few downed trees across the trail.
Wildlife: Elk sighted on the forest road to Winn campground the day we started our hike. Elk were heard bugling at all hours of the day and night throughout the whole trip. The only other exciting wildlife sighting was an owl catching a small rodent about half hour after sunset.
Water: As always, plenty of water for filtering in the East and West forks of the Little Colorado River. Baldy spring was dry at the trail crossing, but had plenty of water for filtering at the source if you hike up to it. All three drainages in the West fork (~5 miles in) had water flowing. Lee Valley Creek on the crossover trail also had plenty of water.
Weather: Perfect at this time of year! Low 40s at night and 60s to 70s during the day, depending on cloud cover
Scenery: We like the scenery in the East fork better…the hoodoos are spectacular!
Crossover trail: The crossover trail was a treat because the aspen trees were just starting to change to yellow foliage.
Crowds: This is a popular hiking destination. We met about 10 other backpackers on the trail, but there was never anyone near our camp. The backpackers do a pretty good job of spreading out throughout the wilderness. We met around 20 day hikers doing the full loop in one day, and probably another 20 day hikers near the trailheads on our first/last days of hiking.
Free time: Obviously this is a super short hike to spread out over three days. We hiked slowly since my mom is affected by the high elevation. We also took all the luxuries, including frisbees, Quiddler, Yahtzee, Backgammon, and Pass the Pigs.
Food: We made a new recipe on this trip—curry couscous. It is very simple and was simply delicious! We will certainly bring this one on future trips. Of course, you can suit the recipe to your tastes, but what I did was:
8 oz. couscous
2 oz. dried veggies
2 oz. sliced almonds
2 oz. raisins
1/4 tsp. curry powder
Salt to taste
Way too much food for two people! We ended up eating this for dinner, and then again for breakfast the next morning. Probably 5 oz. couscous would be better. Do you have a favorite backpacking recipe you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it, as I’m always looking for new recipes (trying to get myself off Mountain House and Backpacker’s Pantry!)
Question: Does anyone know why there are so many dead/fallen trees in the Baldy Wilderness? It seems the area has never been burned by a forest fire. Bark beetles? Perhaps it’s just a really old forest?

Be safe out there, and make sure you look for forest fires before you go hiking somewhere!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Lee Valley Reservoir 51-75% full 51-75% full
Not sure what maximum capacity is, but there was a lot of water!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mount Baldy Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
I believe this is the spring near the airplane crash site. Normally, there is a small creek flowing under the trail through a culvert. This was dry. However, hiking up to the actual spring, there was plenty of water to filter, about 1 quart per minute.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max West Fork LCR - Upper Tributary @ Trail #94 Light flow Light flow
We camped near here in the large meadow to the east. The LCR was around 2-3 feet wide and several inches deep. Plenty of water for filtering. Also, the two drainages to the northeast were both flowing.
1 archive
Sep 05 2020
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

male
 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2020
kyleGChiker
Hiking15.60 Miles 1,072 AEG
Hiking15.60 Miles   7 Hrs   11 Mns   2.91 mph
1,072 ft AEG   1 Hour   49 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Mom and I went out for a fun day hike to kick off the Labor Day weekend. This was our first official section of AZ trail that was have completed. We've hiked parts of other segments, including in the Grand Canyon, Cabin Loop trail, Mazatzals, and Superstitions, but this was the first passage we've completed in its entirety.

Here are some of the details from the trip, which made a great day trip from Phoenix to escape the heat!

6:30 AM: Departure from Phoenix...a little later than we hoped, but a hearty breakfast goes a long way on a lengthy hike like this.

We never actually looked at how to get to the trailhead, so we ended up taking the adventurous way, exiting I-17 at Rocky Park road and taking a combination of forest roads (127C, 127, 91, and maybe a couple others) to get to Lake Mary Road. Good thing we had a high clearance vehicle (2001 Chevy Suburban), as some of those roads were "off the beaten path". Especially 127C was very rough, with lots of rocks. It was also very narrow, sometimes scraping branches on both sides of the SUV and narrowly escaping boulders with the tires. Little did we know we could have just exited at Stoneman Lake road and had a smooth 17 mile graded road and then completely paved after that!

After dropping my mom off at Gooseberry Springs trailhead for the AZ trail, I drove up to Mayflower springs, then biked the 13 miles back to our starting point. After locking my bike in some thick forest to prevent theft, we began our 14.8 mile journey to Mayflower Spring.

The trail itself is in very good condition, mostly flat consisting of dust and pine needles. The latter half was a little rockier, with more terrain as well to make the hike more interesting. Looking back on it, we'd describe the first half as a "walk in the park" and the second half as a "hike." The first several miles of trail were close to Lake Mary road, as well as some forest roads in the area, so there was quite a bit of traffic noise. Definitely not the "wilderness" experience I often try for when hiking. Of course, it was a holiday weekend in an area famous for off roading, ATVs, etc.

The most interesting part of the hike was the "lake", i.e. 9486J tank, which was quite nice when the sun came out and made brilliant colors. The other excitement was the two informational signs put up by the Arizona State Parks association talking about the lumber industry and their railroads.

7:00 PM: Arrival at Mayflower Springs road crossing where the vehicle was parked. The end of a super long super fun hike, and just the beginning of our exploration of the AZ trail! :y:

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max 9486J Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout A little muddy, with some grass growing in it, but plenty to rely upon for filtering.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Double Springs Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Plenty of water in the creek at the campground. Seemed like they were maybe pumping the water from a well to feed the creek...couldn't quite tell. Regardless, even if that was dry, there's water at the campground faucets.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Navajo Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Nice clean water from the faucet
Jun 06 2020
kyleGChiker
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 351
 Triplogs 30

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 Joined May 28 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
West Clear Creek Trail, AZ 
West Clear Creek Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 06 2020
kyleGChiker
Hiking10.57 Miles 1,077 AEG
Hiking10.57 Miles   6 Hrs   35 Mns   2.34 mph
1,077 ft AEG   2 Hrs   4 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Went on a fun excursion out to West Clear Creek trail to celebrate my older brother's birthday. It was super nice!

Let me start by saying that the parking lot was jam packed and the first mile of trail was super busy--people everywhere, hiking, swimming, etc. But after the second creek crossing, we saw no one the rest of the hike. It was so enjoyable with great scenery, although the weather was a bit hot.

We stopped at the fourth crossing, which is where the "official" trail ends, but there are reports I've read of a trail that continues beyond here, and you can make a loop around back to the parking lot. Something to do next time I go back! :)

All in all, this is a highly recommended hike, especially once you get past the crowds in the first section. Get out there into the outdoors and enjoy some quality time with your family and friends!

A highlight was seeing some bighorn sheep on the cliffs above around the 3rd crossing. Super cool!
average hiking speed 1.91 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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