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Overland Trail - 2 members in 22 triplogs have rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 03 2012
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Sep 03 2012
azbackpackr
Mtn Biking12.32 Miles 1,000 AEG
Mtn Biking12.32 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   8.21 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Rode my bike from my house up Water Canyon Road, then turned off and rode part of Overland Trail, then back onto Water Canyon Road again. Went up to the Elderberry Spring turnoff (a non-motorized area that the ATVers love to illegally ride). Turned down that way (the old road heads west, and used to hook up with 8070C) rode down to the creek, then back up to Water Canyon Rd again.

I would have gone all the way up to Milligan Valley but the gods began bowling very noisily in the hills above me, the clouds up there were very black, so I went home. It started raining at my house soon afterward.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
1 archive
Aug 28 2011
AZ_Jim1
avatar

 Photos 96
 Triplogs 4

54 male
 Joined Apr 03 2011
 Central, AZ
Overland Trl to Water Canyon Trl Head, AZ 
Overland Trl to Water Canyon Trl Head, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 28 2011
AZ_Jim1
Hiking6.50 Miles
Hiking6.50 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.86 mph
 no routes
1st trip
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beiley
Well we (my hiking partner beiley and I) intended to hike Mt. Baldy up in the White Mtns., but the County Sheriff Dept. had all of the access points closed looking for a lost hiker - Mr. Frank Carl Patane. Everyone needs to say an extra prayer for this guy and his family as it seems he has been lost a couple of weeks now. Hope they find him ok. The officials wont let anyone up there, because of the scent dogs. Anyway we had to find another trail and it was hard due to all of the closures from the Wallow Fire. We ended up on the Overland Trail that took us to the Water Canyon Trail and then to the Water Canyon Trail Head. Very steep downhill (at one point a 26% grade) with a lot of switchbacks - The grass was very green due to all of the recent rains, but there was also a lot of burn from the fire. Has some good views out to Springerville / Eagar. Started in the pines then drops to the junipers at the bottom. Cool wildflowers, a hawk, some deer and elk on the way to the trailhead. The trail widens to an old converted forest road for a while then back to a trail again. Got to the bottom at Water Canyon the other end of the trailhead under the ramada, then a torrential downpour of rain started and then hail. Bummed a ride back to our car from a nice guy named Dave (a local up there who just happened by) since the trail turned to black chocolate goo from the ash and mud run off as a result of the fire. The trip ended up good, got to hike a new place and see some new things and we ate at Los Dos Molinas in Springerville - YUM!! (watch out for the margaritas, strong !!)
Fauna
Fauna
Arizona Treefrog
Culture
Culture
HAZ Gear
_____________________
Aug 27 2011
beiley
avatar

 Routes 27
 Photos 337
 Triplogs 19

54 male
 Joined May 08 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 27 2011
beiley
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,317 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.71 mph
1,317 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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AZ_Jim1
Hiked with AZ Jim since Mt. Baldy was closed due to search and rescue. See AZ Jim's triplog for details.
_____________________
Oct 16 2010
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 16 2010
azbackpackr
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
1,000 ft AEG
 
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Fun quick hike with a friend who is in town for a short time. I carried the big pack again, this time with 26 pounds. I am feeling ready for the Canyon.

There are aspens on this trail, but you have to go up above Point of Mountain Spring to see them. Very pretty.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jul 09 2010
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 09 2010
azbackpackr
Hiking17.00 Miles 1,579 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles   5 Hrs      3.40 mph
1,579 ft AEG
 
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Looking to extend my dayhike mileage, I went to the closest long trail and hiked a total of 17 miles, according to my GPS (and FS signs agreed.) Unfortunately, there had been a lot of ATV damage since I had last hiked it less than a month ago. There was more vandalism of signs, etc. I called the Forest Service when I got home, but it was late on Friday, so I didn't get to talk to the person I wanted to talk to. I will call again, hope to talk to the DR and the recreation person.

Apparently the Forest Rally yahoos think they are "taking back their forest" when, in fact, only a small part of this trail was ever actually a road that got closed. When the trail was built about 8 or 9 years ago, simultaneously the FS was building the Saffell Canyon OHV trail on the other side of Water Canyon Road. At the time, it seemed like a good idea to build long trails from Eagar to the high country, one for ATVers, and one for non-motorized uses. But the ATVers have long been bootlegging the Overland Trail. The FS has done very little maintenance--there is deadfall along there from 2 years ago.

Last time I noticed the ATV tracks, I talked to the FS, and they did put up a new sign at the place where the ATVs got in, which I identified and reported. So they DO LISTEN IF YOU COMPLAIN. Although this is the longest trail in the Springerville District, and they spent $500,000 to build it with grant money, they do not take care of it. It was built with an excavator, but needs to be maintained with hand crews, to maintain what little single-track there is along its length.

Today I am going to call not only the FS but also the leader of the local ATV club. He has said his group would help protect the Overland Trail, but I have seen no evidence of that happening.

Most local people do not know the trail exists. For one thing, each of its trailheads has a different name. There is the Water Canyon Trailhead, the Apache Vista Trailhead, etc. So they are not aware of the actual name of the trail. I am constantly trying to explain to people where it is, although it starts at a big parking lot and picnic area in Water Canyon. Even local hikers seem confused about it. I have hiked and mountain biked the entire 20+ miles of it more than once. But I am probably one of 4 or 5 people who have done so.

The trail is TOO WIDE and needs a professional crew to narrow it down, and also lots of boulders and more signs to try to keep ATVers out of the area. Please call the Springerville Ranger District at 928-333-6200 to protest their lack of attention to this trail, and to urge them to protect the non-motorized trails in this district. Thank you.
Fauna
Fauna
Horned Lizard
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jun 21 2010
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2010
azbackpackr
Hiking7.80 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking7.80 Miles   3 Hrs      2.60 mph
1,100 ft AEG
 
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My weekly hiking day with a local group of women. Good amount of elevation gain, nice weather!
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jun 02 2010
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 02 2010
azbackpackr
Hiking5.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   2 Hrs      2.50 mph
500 ft AEG
 
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I finally tried out my new Golite Quest backpack, with 25 pounds in it. It seems to fit fine. Sure doesn't hold much stuff, though. I guess I need to get all the ultralight stuff to put in it now! :)
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
May 29 2010
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 29 2010
azbackpackr
Hiking4.00 Miles
Hiking4.00 Miles   2 Hrs      2.00 mph
 
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This trail has been trashed by ATVs since the last time I hiked it about a month ago. I hiked it this afternoon between 2 and 4 p.m. , and I would bet the tracks were made this morning. I saw where they got into the area, too.

I am going to contact the local ATV club president, who has been cooperative in the past, and the Springerville district ranger and the district recreation person. I may also be asking my fellow HAZers do an email blitz to the ranger, to try to get him to fund a trail crew and also some fencing, signs, and placement of big boulder barriers in certain areas along Water Canyon Road and also off of 261.

I was angry for the entire hike. Just fuming... :x
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
1 archive
Apr 24 2010
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2010
azbackpackr
Hiking10.40 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking10.40 Miles
1,300 ft AEG
 
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I always forget if I am supposed to put how far I actually hiked or just the one-way distance. Anyway, it is about 5.2 miles from the lower "Water Canyon Trailhead" of the Overland Trail to the junction with the Apache Vista spur trail. So I hiked up there, and back down again, for about a total of 10.4 miles. 7700 to 9,000.

There are patches of snow starting at 8400. I saw 3 turkey hunters, with their blind set up by Point of the Mountain Spring. They had a LOT of decoys out! Full size turkey decoys--both toms and hens, must have had about 10 decoys! I would like one for my backyard! They were cute! I bet they are expensive, though! I would have taken a photo of them, but I didn't want to bother the fellows. They were friendly the first time I passed by, but on the way back they were hiding in their blind and I thought they would want me to pass by quietly, and leave them alone, as I know they were hoping turkeys would come to the spring. Hope I didn't spoil it for them. They seemed like nice guys. On the other hand if you set up your blind and decoys right by a hiking trail, you might expect there will be hikers...

So it isn't the greatest trail--it is too wide and ATVer's spoil it sometimes. But it is one of the few trails the FS has built in the past 20 years that actually GOES somewhere. It goes all the way to Crescent Lake--it is 22 miles long according to the sign.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jan 22 2010
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Water Canyon Road, AZ 
Water Canyon Road, AZ
 
XC Skiing avatar Jan 22 2010
azbackpackr
XC Skiing8.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
XC Skiing8.00 Miles   3 Hrs      2.67 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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I skied the road because that day it would have been hard to get very far out of town in my vehicle, and none of the trailhead parking had been plowed. I wish I had taken some photos up high, though. I skied up past the Elderberry Springs area, starting at the Eagar Town Yard. Coming down, especially the first couple of miles, it was a constant descent, very fun! Going up was a nice little workout. My muscles were sore the next day, that was a good thing, I needed that! I also skied into the Water Canyon Trailhead of the Overland Trail. The snow was very deep and fluffy, very slow going, so I went back to the road. Snowmobiles had made a good track up higher. Down low, there were 4WD trucks. That snow was very warm and melting fast.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Aug 09 2009
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Murray BasinAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Aug 09 2009
azbackpackr
Mtn Biking16.00 Miles 800 AEG
Mtn Biking16.00 Miles   3 Hrs      5.33 mph
800 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
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Rode right out the front door, then up Water Canyon to Saffell Canyon to the trailhead. Went to the right, (Homestead Trail) and rode to Butler Homestead, and checked out the grave there. This is very sad. It's a hardscrabble enough place as it is, very dry, and the family lost twins. I believe the gravestone, which is just some cement inside a small pile of rocks, was added later on by the family. Probably at the time, 1916, they put up a wooden cross, or maybe two crosses. Here is what the gravestone says: "Rebecca & Twin Sister, Daug. of Rebecca N. and John E. Butler, Aug 28, 1916, Aug 31, 1916." From this I am assuming that the first, unnamed, sister was stillborn, since people didn't used to name stillborn babies, and the other twin, Rebecca, lived only a couple of days. This is a Mormon family, and I believe is a relative of Molly Butler (of Greer fame) and thus also a relative of Wink Crigler of South Fork (X Diamond Ranch.) I'll have to call Wink and ask her about it.

There is a fallen down log cabin and corral there also.

So from that sad historic site I rode back down to the main loop and started back the way I came, but then I took the Crossover Trail and then the two-track (unsigned) that goes to the windmill, then rode some more single track to Hwy 180. Then rode the ATV track along the highway, back to my house. So it was mostly fun riding! Actually, all of it was fun! It was kind of hot, though. Murray Basin is very dry right now, unlike higher elevations. Unusual for August for it to be so dry. I'm feeling pretty fit right now so the heat didn't bother me too much. Of course, "hot" here is 90 degrees!
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Aug 02 2009
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Aug 02 2009
azbackpackr
Mtn Biking10.00 Miles
Mtn Biking10.00 Miles   2 Hrs      5.00 mph
 
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Forgot to bring the camera. Mtn biked from Apache Vista Trailhead to Rudd Knoll and back. This is a dreamy ride, very easy for the intermediate rider, but fun. For a beginner, such as my companion today, there are a few little rock gardens and little ups and downs to improve your skills.

Lots of really green meadows back there in the woods. It's really pretty. Usually I see elk when I ride this section. Forest Service hasn't touched it in a long time, which in this case is a good thing! The trail was built too wide and attracted ATVers. Now it is growing narrower and less-defined. I would like to see it maintained as singletrack if trail crews do go in there.

Last year we screamed and hollered at them to do something to keep the blinkin' ATVers off the trail. I know that the District Ranger himself went up there late last summer to check out all the damage we'd reported. Now there are no new ATV tracks along this 5-mile section, so presumably the FS guys fixed some fences and added new signs.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Aug 01 2009
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
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68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Water Canyon to Sipe, AZ 
Water Canyon to Sipe, AZ
 
Mtn Biking avatar Aug 01 2009
azbackpackr
Mtn Biking31.00 Miles
Mtn Biking31.00 Miles   5 Hrs      6.20 mph
 no routes
1st trip
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This was one dirt road mountain bike ride I had thought about doing for a long time. From my house in Eagar I rode up Water Canyon to Milligan Valley to Sipe Ranch and back home again. Turned out to be about 31 miles. It's pretty steep going up Water Canyon but the rest of the route made it all worthwhile. Once I had turned off onto Milligan Valley Road (FR 85) it got pretty dreamy, with a lot of gradual coasting downhills through the forest, wildflowers, etc. I saw no vehicles once I was on FR 85. One of my rest stops was next to Rudd Creek, where there is a car campsite, a running creek, and lots of flowers. I saw only one group of people camping all along Milligan Valley Road, though. They were camped next to Benton Creek. At the back gate of Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area my odometer read 20 miles. Stopping at Sipe for a break, I then rode the Sipe road back to 180/191. I took a detour on a side road I knew about, that would get me back to Saffel Canyon and Water Canyon, but I turned around, deciding to do that on another day. Back on the Sipe road, reaching the highway, I went straight across and caught the old highway down to Eagar. You take the first left through a barbed wire gate. It almost looks like someone's driveway because there's a new house up there on top of Picnic Hill. The old highway has slowly been reverting to dirt for many years, but still has some pavement and painted lines.

Directions: Starting in Eagar, ride up Water Canyon Road (FR 285) to Milligan Valley Road (FR 85), (a 7-mile, 1000-foot grind from my house near 260.) Turning left to Milligan Valley, follow it to Sipe. There is one Y turn a few miles in that you have to watch for (not the first one that goes to private property.) The right hand of the Y says 85A. Take the left, which is unsigned and is heading slightly down hill.

Eventually, after passing the nice old log cabin, you'll get to the back gate of Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area, owned by Game and Fish. Beautiful place. Then on out to 180. Crossing straight across 180, take the first left through a gate. This will put you onto the old highway down to Eagar. Once you are back on 180 you can ride the ATV path alongside the highway--fun bumps!
Culture
Culture
Wooden Dwelling
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
May 06 2009
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 06 2009
azbackpackr
Hiking4.00 Miles
Hiking4.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.00 mph
 
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Started at Water Canyon Trailhead, hiked to Point-of-Mountain Spring and back. Saw one ATVer on trail, we told him it is for non-motorized use. He was actually apologetic, and turned around and went back. I need to keep calling the Forest Circus to let them know of these violations. Summer is coming and that is the busy time. I want to keep after them to do something about this problem. Last summer the District Ranger did go up and check out the area near Mexican Hay Lake re the ATV problem up there. FS recreation person told me that one of the ATV clubs plans to help with trailwork and also with educating riders about the non-motorized trails. A little respect such as that could go a long way. I plan to call the president of that ATV club to thank him for that effort. But right now I am very bitter about the treatment of our non-motorized trails by ATVers, and the lack of attention to this trail by the FS. The FS people have not even been on this trail at all in 3 years, they never actually did finish building it, nor do they maintain it. It should slowly be converted to single-track as much as is possible (given the types of terrain it covers.) In some areas it is converting itself to singletrack, but of course not in the areas that the ATVers get onto it. In the stretches where the ATVs haven't damaged it, it is getting narrower!
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Apr 25 2009
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Upper South Fork, AZ 
Upper South Fork, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2009
azbackpackr
Hiking4.20 Miles
Hiking4.20 Miles   2 Hrs      2.10 mph
 no routes
1st trip
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Yes, that is snow in the photo. At the beginning of the hike we were right about at 9,000. This is the upper end of the South Fork of the Little Colorado. If you were to hike all the way up South Fork Trail #97, after about 4 or 5 miles you would have to start negotiating a lot of deadfall, but eventually you would come out into this area. However, we reach it by driving up Big Lake road from Eagar. Then turn right on FR 409. You'll need a map, but you can figure out which one of the creeks to walk down if you have the map. The trail shown in the photos was made by cattle and elk, not so much for hikers. But it is ok to hike on it. We had fun, and of course, we didn't see anyone. It was VERY windy today, though, and quite chilly, but once we were down in the gorge, in the forest, it was not windy.

My camera is a cheapie, so that is why I have photo ratings disabled. The photos are just to give you an idea of the area. Thanks.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Apr 20 2009
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2009
azbackpackr
Hiking4.00 Miles
Hiking4.00 Miles   2 Hrs      2.00 mph
 
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Just a quick out-and-back exercise hike after work. I go here all the time. Seldom do I post it, though. Starting at the Water Canyon trailhead I hiked up to where the trail starts to follow a closed gravel road, which is 8070C. And back down again.

One thing of note, if you find yourself bored with this wide trail, watch for a small narrow trail that will bear off to the left, and go along the creek. That little old trail goes for quite a distance up Water Canyon, following the water all the way, until it becomes choked in deadfall. I guess you could easily hike it about 3 or 4 miles one-way before having to really start bushwhacking. The Overland Trail follows the water for only a short distance, then heads toward Point-of-Mountain and the high country.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Mar 15 2009
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
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 Photos 5,310
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68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Rudd CreekAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2009
azbackpackr
Hiking 200 AEG
Hiking      2 Mns   0.00 mph
200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
To get to this canyon, take 180/191 south from Springerville/Eagar. Just before you get to Nelson Reservoir, and past milepost 408, you will cross the bridge over Nutrioso Creek. There is a parking area for the trail on the right, just past the bridge. Nelson Reservoir 7.5 map. It's a nice one to catch on your way to or from Escudilla. That's Escudilla, covered in snow, in the highway photo.

We hike this one in spring when the snow is melting. Hike up about 2 miles, you are going to be almost to the Game and Fish Department's Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area. That's as far as we went, but you CAN follow Rudd Creek upstream on through Sipe's and out the other side, past a locked gate, keep going upstream, crossing FR 85 (Milligan Valley Road) and on up to St. Mary's Lake and Water Canyon Rd. Incidentally I did try to climb to the top of that knob you see in the photo, from the other side of it. Later I saw there is a small break in the rimrock on the north side of it. I'll try that way next time--I got cliffed-out on the south side.

Theoretically you could follow Rudd Creek to its source, then hike the Overland trail back to Eagar, or hike it to the south and catch the Black River, and make a big loop, via Fish Creek, Grant Creek, Lanphier Creek, etc., to New Mexico and the Gila Wilderness. That might seem like a long hike. It would be at least two or three weeks, if you took your time. Ah, but I'm daydreaming again!
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Mar 12 2009
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
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68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Water Canyon Creek Upper ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 12 2009
azbackpackr
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles   2 Hrs      3.00 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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This area is easy to find on the Eagar 7.5" map. Without the map, forget it, there are no signs for this hike. Just go up Water Canyon Road, FR 285, which is easy to find by the old sawmill on the south end of Main St. Go along up there as far as Elderberry Springs, then park at the turnaround and hike to the west on the old (closed) 8070C. When you get down into the creek bottom, after hiking about 1/4 mile, you then have a choice of hiking up the west or the east forks. The west (main) fork has more water in it, and that's the one we did yesterday. You'll want to cross the main creek to start your hike. If you have gone too far up you will have to cross two creeks.

Yesterday's weather was a combination of sunshine and clouds. As we followed the VERY faint trail along Water Canyon Creek, we saw a lot of wolf, bear and elk scat. There were patches of snow in the shade. There were little waterfalls and pools, and as we gained elevation there were aspen trees. There is this one HUGE Doug fir up there, just about the biggest one I have ever seen in AZ. The area is very thickly forested, with little glades suitable for backpack camping, which I have done there in the past. You can follow this all the way to Water Canyon Reservoir, but the trail is faint to non-existant. It is necessary to bushwhack a bit. Best kind of hike, in my opinion!

You can also get to this same faint trail by following the Overland Trail, Water Canyon Trailhead, which DOES have a sign. But after following the Overland Trail for about one mile, when it starts to go uphill, then you need bear to the left to follow the creek instead of the trail. The Overland Trail goes up to the right (west) and tops over the rim.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jun 27 2008
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 27 2008
azbackpackr
Hiking15.50 Miles
Hiking15.50 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   1.82 mph
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We left a car at the Apache Trailhead spur trail, which is near Mexican Hay Lake, and leads to the Overland Trail. We then drove to Crescent Lake trailhead for the Overland Trail, and parked there. We hiked the 15 and 1/2 miles back to our first car. It took a long time because my husband walks pretty slowly.

The upper parts of the Overland trail are almost impossible to find now. My husband had tried to find the route before, but got off onto a dirt road that led back to the highway. This dirt road is right by the first old cabin you will pass, after about a mile from Crescent Lake. The dirt road leads back to the highway. So here is how to find the trail: Just past that cabin there is a trail cattleguard and cattleguard yellow sign. The dirt road passes to the right of this. JUST PAST THIS WATCH FOR A FAINT WIDE TRAIL ANGLING OFF TO THE RIGHT. There was a non-motorized sign there, someone had knocked it down--I propped it up again, but that won't last long. This trail to the right is the Overland Trail.

Another few miles and you'll get to a knoll where there is so much deadfall it's hard to follow the trail. But it does come out the other side of the knoll.

A long way down the trail (10 miles) and you'll get to Rudd Knoll. The trail goes up into the woods on the Knoll and there is a lot of deadfall. You can find your way through it, though. It goes past a camping area and back out into the meadows. Across the meadows you'll get to a gate. Past this gate you will find that many ATVers are using the designated non-motorized trail. We encountered two of them and told them they were breaking the law and they could be fined. They were just friendly young kids, we were gentle!

From this area on it is easy to follow the trail. If you want to hike the whole 21 miles or so, you'd have to leave your other shuttle car down in Water Canyon at that trailhead.

The Forest Service spent $500,000 to build this trail about 6 years ago. Now they ignore it completely. They don't maintain it, they don't fix all the signs that have been destroyed by ATVers, nor the gates and cattleguard crossings that have been vandalized by ATVers. This was the only long non-motorized trail they have built in many years in the Apache-Sitgreaves NF. Most of the trails they have built suitable for mtn. bikes and horse riding and hiking have been these very short little loops that don't go anywhere, such as Murray Basin. The Forest Service does not understand that many people want long trails that connect with other trails. Long, meaning more than 20 miles, even more than 100 miles, with the connections.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jun 14 2008
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 438
 Photos 5,310
 Triplogs 797

68 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Overland TrailAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2008
azbackpackr
Hiking8.18 Miles
Hiking8.18 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   1.85 mph
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A stroll with my husband (who walks slowly but can put in the miles) from the Apache trailhead of the Overland Trail, which is near Mexican Hay Lake. We hiked 4 miles in the direction of Rudd Knoll, and back again. We talked about taking two vehicles next time and doing Crescent Lake to Apache trailhead, which would be 15 and 1/2 miles, according to the signs on the trail. We saw no significant wildlife this time--unusual. Maybe it's too hot and the elk and deer are resting in the shade. It was about 88 or 90 degrees, I believe.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
average hiking speed 2.09 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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