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Twin Peaks Trail #240 - Prescott NF - 2 members in 8 triplogs have rated this an average 2.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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8 Triplogs
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Feb 10 2018
joebartels
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 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,959
 Triplogs 4,322

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Twin Peaks #240 - Castle Creek #239 Loop, AZ 
Twin Peaks #240 - Castle Creek #239 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2018
joebartels
Hiking12.47 Miles 3,374 AEG
Hiking12.47 Miles   9 Hrs   28 Mns   1.48 mph
3,374 ft AEG   1 Hour   1 Min Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
The_Eagle
Tortoise_Hiker
Twin Peaks Trail #240
Upper 2 miles are fantastic. Thru mile 4 is decent trail with outstanding views. The bottom 4 miles is the current worst catclaw massacre search and find trail(cough) in Arizona I'm aware exists.

Castle Creek Trail #239
In 2010 & 2013 this trail was cleared just enough to make it enjoyable. Now it is a route finding hunt with lots of unpleasant catclaw and some shrub. Not a nightmare like #240, still too much pain for most. The upper most 0.25 mile is pure heaven with a great trail winding through tall skinny pines.

Synopsis
Friends don't let friends hike these two trails. Yet alone suggest and pressure those working Friday night shifts with phrases like come on man, bros before pillows...gasp

Twin Peaks was my second worst catclaw story for 8 years. Sandals through pre groomed [ Half Moon Trail #288 ] was the first. I was blind. Unprepared is not a parallel comparison. #240 wins the honors. I never want to experience it again... until the next time
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Catclaw Acacia
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Feb 10 2018
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,222
 Triplogs 1,084

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Twin Peaks #240 - Castle Creek #239 Loop, AZ 
Twin Peaks #240 - Castle Creek #239 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2018
The_Eagle
Hiking12.53 Miles 3,377 AEG
Hiking12.53 Miles   9 Hrs   28 Mns   1.49 mph
3,377 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
Tortoise_Hiker
Last did this loop in June of 2010. While the area and views are killer, so was the catclaw. Blood letting in earlier days was thought to cure ills. I wasn't sick, I vowed this to be a one and done.

Turns out, I am sick, mentally (I know , no secret there). Joe suggested this late in the week and there had been rumors that some work had been done to the trail. My answer, lets give it a try....

The sleepy Turtle Joined us with and we started up top, clockwise, at the Twin Peaks #240 intersection with Castle Creek #239. 1.6 miles and 450' of gain and we were at our high point for the day. Trail's still good.

We start the drop to the lower intersection with Castle Creek #239. Through the 4.5 mile mark, there was evidence of trail work sometime in the last 8 years. It was cleared 8' wide in spots. The views are sweet. [ youtube video ]

At the 4.5 mile marker, it looks like they gave up. This was the start of the catclaw in earnest. [ photo ] and the catclaw basically went on for the rest of the hike. At a break, I strapped on the gaiters. This saved my ankles and shins for the rest of the day, but my arms and especially thighs fertilized the catclaw with life giving blood.

Joe and I both remembered the Castle Creek #240 trail "Not that bad". Should have said "Not as Bad". There was more catclaw than I remembered and the trail was only distinguished by cairn hunting. If you haven't seen one in awhile, you are off trail. The truck was a welcome sight

I will need photographic evidence of trail clearing, before trying this one again.

Flora
Flora
Catclaw Acacia
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Named place
Named place
Lower Dead Cow Spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Eagle Pond - CC Wilderness 1-25% full 1-25% full
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Possible small pool

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Lower Dead Cow Spring Dripping Dripping
The trough was full, not sure if it was from rain water/snow melt or what. It didn't look appetizing, but could be filtered I'm sure.
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Feb 10 2018
Tortoise_Hiker
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 Routes 78
 Photos 7,233
 Triplogs 2,580

58 male
 Joined Apr 02 2005
 Mesa, AZ
Twin Peaks #240 - Castle Creek #239 Loop, AZ 
Twin Peaks #240 - Castle Creek #239 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2018
Tortoise_Hiker
Hiking12.53 Miles 3,377 AEG
Hiking12.53 Miles   9 Hrs   28 Mns   1.49 mph
3,377 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
The_Eagle
Bruce and Joe let me join them on this hike. It's been years since I've been in the area. Many fond memories with the family camping. Cool area with awesome views. Throw in great weather and great company and how could you go wrong. The start has a stand of Manzanita trees that rival the ones on telephone trail in the Pinals before the fire. The trail is great in this area. After that not so much. It was more like a cairned route. Kudos to Joe and Bruce for keeping us on "trail" :app: . As my skepticism would set in we would come across a trail sign :o . The rolling hill, boulders, and grassland were pleasant to the eye. A shame the trail is in need of almost a full retread. The only drawback on the hike was the CATCLAW. I've seen thicker taller catclaw on Halfmoon trail in the Mazatzals but not for this many miles. After awhile you started getting hit in the same sore spot over and over. I apologize to Bruce and Joe as this had a severe affect on my disposition. I'm not usually one to throw out vocabulary words of that nature but gosh darn that catclaw. Well we survived and Bruce got us home safely with an awesome sunset on the way. :y:
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Sep 20 2014
joebartels
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 Guides 213
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 Photos 10,959
 Triplogs 4,322

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Algonquin - Horsethief Cyn - Twin Peaks Loop, AZ 
Algonquin - Horsethief Cyn - Twin Peaks Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2014
joebartels
Hiking16.10 Miles 4,075 AEG
Hiking16.10 Miles   10 Hrs   26 Mns   1.74 mph
4,075 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
We headed out with a pleasant 75° forecast into terrain known to be a winner. The drive in showed lush tall green grass blanketing the mountains.

6:55am trailhead
Despite many visits this trail would be difficult to find without the carsonite post hinting the way. Recent record rains have turned this transitional zone into a jungle. Three entries in the register offered a suggestion to wear pants. Bruce advertised the event as "17+ miles and some blood" so luckily I came armed with pants.

The first and last four miles of our lasso loop hike had some unpleasantries. In addition to random catclaw there was miracle grow grass nose high in areas. Three species seemed to dominate. The shorter variety was seeding out. Not itchy just made Italians envy your legs. The minor annoyance was one of the tall hay bundle wannabes. Seeds plumed out in passing. The worst of the worst was a half mile stretch through wet sugar type sticky vegetation.

75° was probably the low, perhaps the forecast should have read 75% humidity...

enough of the negative
The rewards out weighed all the above. Ivy is out of control. Wildflowers had me thinking it was spring. Vertical terrain is the star of the show. Each hike out on the Horsethief Canyon Trail #30, especially heading back, leaves me in awe. It's friggen awesome. I love it, I love it, I love it! Due to the trail condition most will despise this gem never looking up from their feet.

fear no evil
We finished off the western end of the Twin Peak Trail #240. Albeit 75% evil end to end there is a gift for the persistent hiker. The fire didn't plow the tall pines down. It reminded me of Ballantine above Rock Tank in the southern Mazzies.

Bruce showed me where Denny used to take dance lessons. We yodeled in his honor, square danced with butterflies and headed home.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Box Elders in a pocket up near Turney are getting a two day jump start on Autumn.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Smaller white and purple daisy varieties are out in mass. Other ground cover and such varieties I'm clueless on identifying.
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Sep 20 2014
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
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63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Algonquin - Horsethief Cyn - Twin Peaks Loop, AZ 
Algonquin - Horsethief Cyn - Twin Peaks Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2014
The_Eagle
Hiking17.27 Miles 4,283 AEG
Hiking17.27 Miles   10 Hrs   29 Mns   2.02 mph
4,283 ft AEG   1 Hour   56 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Joe and I are in a small group that are hooked on discovering what the Bradshaws have to offer.

We have a few more trails to discover out there. Today was to find out if the section of trail between the Horsethief Canyon Trail #30, going east, still existed.

For this hike, long pants and a GPS track is helpful. The route is cairned throughout, but gets sketchy at some of the many creek crossings. If you are hiking just the Algonquin to and through the Horsethief Canyon, you will have water opportunities the entire way. For the route we took, we were next to water probably 70% of the time.

Down the Algonquin #225 from the road to Crown King. All of the entries provided warnings to go back and get your long pants. The majority of the hike included knee high grasses/weeds interspersed with catclaw, locust and other things that liked to cling to you. With long pants on all you had too worry about, was the crap that clung to your socks.

You pass the old Algonquin Mine building along the way. This is quite an interesting area. Someone spent a lot of time shoring up the walls that created the road to the mine. Just past here, the Algonquin Trail veers off to the west and the Horsethief Canyon Trail #30, continues to the south. The Horsethief Canyon walls are steep and close to you, adding to the wow factor on this hike. The climb out of the canyon is a steep one. Just south of leaving the Wilderness area, you'll hit the western start of your next trail.

The Twin Peaks #240 Trail was flagged to be cleared by the forest Service, maybe 2 years ago. These flags made it possible to follow this trail. The brush was not too thick except for one section where we lost the flags. I hope they do come back to clear it. Along the way on this trail we found the burned remains of trail sign, indicating trails 800 and 801? (could not read the names) There were cairns going off to the Northeast. I've never heard of these, or seen them on any Topo maps. Sounds like another trip to this area.

On the way down from the Twin Peaks area, I finally checked out and named an unmarked pond, that's had my curiosity the last few times out there.

To round out the first time experience, we went in through the Turney Gulch CG area to pick up the southern end of the Horsefthief Canyon Trail #30. It follows an abandoned FR52F, past the old Rec Hall Ruins? and the old Sewage plant ruins, before finally turning into trail.

Another fun day in the Bradshaws!!

Video :next: http://youtu.be/6zdmkDkRxlA
Fauna
Fauna
Teva
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Some trees are starting to turn yellow
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Eagle Pond - CC Wilderness 76-100% full 76-100% full
Plenty of filterable water

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horsethief Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow the entire length
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Jun 10 2010
joebartels
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 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,959
 Triplogs 4,322

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Castle Creek Trail #239Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 10 2010
joebartels
Hiking12.15 Miles 3,104 AEG
Hiking12.15 Miles   9 Hrs   20 Mns   1.30 mph
3,104 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
The_Eagle
I've pondered many times why no one has posted on these "near" Valley trails in the nearly 14 years HAZ has been online... The area of this triplog is what every rest stop visitor to Sunset Point ponders in awe, the eastern flank of the Bradshaw Mountain Range.

The original plan was to loop up Castle Creek Trail & down Twin Peaks and check out a seventy foot waterfall off trail on the way back. Heading out to the lower trailhead we were pretty surprised to find out Castle Creek was flowing in June. Being so close to Phoenix and with such little rain in months this seemed wacky, maybe it's perennial? Anyhow there was no way we could get up enough speed to negotiate the terrain. Off to plan B... take the 27 mile road up and then 7 miles over to the upper trailhead.

The long drive had us starting later yet the temps up top were a mere 63 degrees :)

Castle Creek Trail heading down went pretty easy. For the most part it's pretty obvious with only a couple route finding issues. It appears to have been catclaw clipped a year or two ago. It's growing back but not horrible yet. The main issue we encountered was getting tangled in the dead clippings that were right on trail. Before that all started I opted to throw on pants. Whereas Senior Boyscout Bruce chose the shiny grail, the hot girl and a bag of fine grain sugar. Sorry, back on track... the views heading down were better than anticipated. You have a sweet view of Black Mesa and Perry Mesa. More of what you expect to see in Utah or northern Arizona, not central Arizona near the valley.

The cool weather was tapering off as we neared the lower elevation junction for the Twin Peaks Trail. After the turn the cat's claw started encroaching more and cairns became the game. Then the cairns let up and the trail just turned to ravines filled with cat's claw. I've seen some pretty bad stuff on the Half Moon Trail. So while conveying that story was dealt a whole new nightmare. This stuff went on for... friggen miles. It was unreal. One section was over our heads. In total disbelieve there were cairns below under the cat's claw. So we hacked through that too.

The going was grueling slow. The temps were undoubtedly hovering 90 yet breezes kept us in the game. Our energy levels dropped from the constant fighting for five foot sections of trail most would never deem possible. It was daunting in the middle of these huge cat's claw fields with no end in sight. Finally it let up around 5,400 feet to good old fashion bushwhacking.

With the joy of survival on our side things looked on the up and up. Not for long. Soon we realized we had 2,400ft in gain and the little water left in our packs was depleting fast. With a good four to five breaks we finally put this one to rest. The long hours spent in the June sun and the relentless bush fighting really owned me today.

Bruce stopped by the lake were we washed off our feet. Next he bought me one of the best burger and fries I've had in my life at the Bar in Crown King. (appetite may slightly alter my "best in life" rating but it was darn good!) A pretty swell guy I must admit. I made up the stuff about the grail and what not. However I couldn't make up the following, cause nobody would ever believe me. Bruce brought pants but was too stubborn to put them on until after the cat's claw. With a wounded hand from a fall and the rest of his non clothed body resembling a mistreated package of sausage I have to say... you're crazy man! Yet something must be wrong with me cause all I have to say at this point is, thanks for a great hike!
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Wildflowers Observation Light
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Jun 10 2010
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,222
 Triplogs 1,084

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Castle Creek Trail #239Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 10 2010
The_Eagle
Hiking12.15 Miles 3,104 AEG
Hiking12.15 Miles   9 Hrs   20 Mns   1.30 mph
3,104 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
The plan was to first, avoid the 34 mile drive from I-17, on the dirt road past Crown King and second, start the Hike at a lower elevation before the heat of the day. A 5 mile drive on FR 684 just prior to to the booming metropolis of Bumblebee seemed to be the ticket and would cut the off I-17 mileage to 9 miles. I'm not shy when it come to off road driving, but only having a 2WD Pathfinder, the final straw a half mile in, was a boulder crossing, then a stream, then an uphill through sand. Anybody taking this route to reach the eastern TH of the Castle Creek trail .... 4x4 IS A MUST.

So back out and around we went, and 1:25 minutes later we were at our upper TH. The temps were great at 8:30 one top at around 65 degrees, but we knew this meant hiking up 3100 ft in the heat of the day once we reached the bottom. The Castle Creek trail was actually in not bad shape and I can recommend it. The toughest part was actually finding the Trail from the Trailhead. The views down towards the Sunset Rest area were real sweet and now I can say when I pass by there "I was up there".

We did not make it to the lower TH that we planned on starting from, instead opting to just take the Twin Peaks Trail. In hindsight, this was a good choice, as it would have added 4 mile to our trip, and another 1000' in AEG. We really wanted to check for the waterfall that is just west of the Castle Creek Cabin on the TOPO maps. In talking to a horseman last week, he mentioned he'd seen the waterfall 10 years ago, but thought the Forest Service has since burned down the cabin.

Now.... as far as the Twin Peaks trail goes, until/if they ever get back in there to clear cut the catsclaw, the only part of this trail I'd attempt, is from the upper trail heads to the area by the Twin Peaks. It's too bad because there are some great views up there, but you'll be so weak from busting through brush and blood loss that you just don't pumpkin care.

Side note, and save this for future pranks.... Joe really, really, really, really does not like spiders and spider webs. I heard a scream so high pitched, that I thought I was hiking with a 12 year old girl. He spent more time picking out spider web, than I spent pulling out catsclaw needles!

A memorable trip to say the least.

PS the Catch Phraze of the day was, "I think I have a trail...Crap, we gotta go through that?"
Fauna
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Teva
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Throwing a Wendy
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Jun 02 2010
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,222
 Triplogs 1,084

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Twin Peaks Trail #240 - Prescott NFPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 02 2010
The_Eagle
Hiking3.50 Miles 621 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles   2 Hrs   10 Mns   1.62 mph
621 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Ladyeagle
This is triplog 3 of 3 from the Prescott Nation Forest including Horsethief Basin Rec Area and the Castle Creek Wilderness.

Twin Peaks Trail #240

According to what I've read, there are 3 trailheads for this trail up in the Horsethief Basin Rec. area.
(1) by Turney Gulch Campgrounds
(2) by the Summer Homes area
(3) The one I took, at the point where FR52 stops and 9236B continues (and the western TH for the Castle Creek #239 Trail).

These three all come together and go to the forth Trailhead. It's 7.6 Miles east, at the bottom of the mountain off FR101.

I was doing this as an out and back to get to the top of Twin Peaks.

The trail starts as an old 4x4 track, that turns into a single track.
It is well defined for all the way until it gets on the north side of the Twin Peaks. This trail does not take you to the top of the mountain, so I chose to make it to the top on my own.

I'd like to do this trail as a loop with the Castle Creek (#239) starting east at the bottom of the mountain, but I think it's starting to get too warm at the lower sections which is around 3000'. The higher section climbs above 6800'.

This was an enjoyable hike, albeit a bit disconcerting. I was just coming off seeing a Mountain Lion over in the East Fort area, and seemed to be following pretty fresh Bear tracks and scat for at least 2/3's of the way up this trail. I made sure to walk slowly, make noise, and peek around the switchbacks before entering. There was some evidence of fire on this trail, but not too bad. The views al the way around were the great again.

I finished off the day with an adult beverage at the Historic Crown King Saloon before heading down the hill 27 miles to I-17.

I'm wondering why there has not been more HAZers Hiking up in this area.
I've seen some Triplogs for the Algonquin Trail #225 (at least for the Northern end to get to the Big Dipper).

I count 18 different trails up here. And I'm sure there are more.


Castle Creek Wilderness District: Bradshaw
Size: 25,517 acres Elevation: 2,800 - 7.000 feet

No of Trails: 9

#30, Horsethief Canyon Trail 34.1769 -112.2910
#201, Recreation Trail 34.1678 -112.3069
#225, Algonquin Trail (1) 34.2179 -112.3076 (2) 34.1679 -112.3062
#235, (listed as one of their trails, Can't find on TOPO)
#236, Willow Spring Trail 34.1521 -112.2727
#239, Castle Creek Trail 34.1768 -112.2658
#240, Twin Peaks Trail 34.1768 -112.265??
#320, (listed as one of their trails, Can't find on TOPO)


Additional Trails in Castle Creek Wilderness/Horse Thief Basin Area


#31, East Fort Trail 34.1630 -112.2615
#202, Bull Run Trail 34.2300 -112.3411
#203, Coal Camp Trail 34.163 -112.2709
#212, Horse Mountain Trail 34.2351 -112.3904
#213, Wagoner Trail 34.1936 -112.4086
#215, Tuscumbia Trail 34.2978 -112.3348
#216, Bradshaw Trail (1) 34.3148 -112.3722 (2)34.235 -112.3554
#217, Kentuck Trail 34.1750 -112.2768
#233, Lane Mountain Trail (1) 34.1356 -112.3419 (2)34.1584 -112.3180
#234, Tiptop Trail 34.1598 -112.2996
Flora
Flora
Purple Nightshade
Culture
Culture
Throwing a Wendy
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
average hiking speed 1.55 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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