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J Slash X Ranch - 3 members in 4 triplogs have rated this an average 4.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 18 2018
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 135
 Photos 20,215
 Triplogs 1,854

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Pack Trail 157 - Sierra Ancha, AZ 
Pack Trail 157 - Sierra Ancha, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 18 2018
CannondaleKid
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,070 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   5 Hrs   23 Mns   1.92 mph
2,070 ft AEG      10 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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trixiec
After a cold (34°) and breezy night we were a bit sluggish so rather than an immediate ascent of Pine Mountain from our camp site we decided we'd do an out-and-back hike along old Pack Trail 157. I had it mapped all the way across to the point on FR 486 where we turned around yesterday due to loose rock and severe erosion on a steep downhill.
(I wouldn't have given it a second thought with the Cherokee, but not having driven the full length of FR 486 in 5 years we didn't want to chance it.)

We began the hike from our campsite at the southern end of Pack Trail 157, heading northwest along the ridge. For the most part the trail was in good shape so we were making pretty good time. At one point where the trail passed through the middle of what appeared to be an old ruin site we wandered around, finding nothing but barely visible low rock walls so we continued.

Near the high-point of the trail we decided to take a short side-trip to what would prove to be the highest peak along the ridge and were surprised to find a damaged old US Geological Survey marker, which isn't marked on recent maps. After some photos and a quick snack break we continued on.

In the midst of the anticipated longest descent I felt the beginning of a hot spot on the ball of my left foot... the result of forgetting to swap insoles. So rather than continue on for an expected 15-mile round-trip we decided to turn around early. I doffed my boots to give my feet a few minutes to recover then began the climb back up. With a bit of care to avoid the ball of my foot it wasn't long before it felt ok.

Actually it felt good enough that on the return leg we turned off the trail and dropped down onto the remnants of a long-defunct Forest Road, which according to an old map would curve back to FR 609. Thankfully it did just that while adding another loop onto the end of the hike.

By time we got back to camp my feet still felt fine and I still had energy so we decided to take a short break before an ascent of Pine Mountain, right across the road.
Named place
Named place
Jerky Butte
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CannondaleKid
1 archive
May 20 2015
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 135
 Photos 20,215
 Triplogs 1,854

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
J Slash X - Turkey Creek Loop, AZ 
J Slash X - Turkey Creek Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 20 2015
CannondaleKid
Hiking8.00 Miles 1,181 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   4 Hrs   22 Mns   1.94 mph
1,181 ft AEG      15 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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trixiec
Since she's working Sat/Sun of the holiday weekend Tracey had 2 days off mid-week. Perfect!
:y:
Let's go to the western Sierra Ancha area for a few days of solitude... and best of all, no crowds!
:)
Again I was faced with the challenge to find someplace we haven't yet hiked with some semblance of a trail, and preferably a loop. So that meant Route Manager and I spent a few hours together the night before our trip. And thanks to Route Manager's satellite layer it was time well spent... more than enough to fill a few days of hiking.

Anyway, first up was a loop hike along an old Jeep trail from FR 609 to J Slash x Ranch, then following Turkey Creek back upstream to our designated trailhead. Seeing a number of deer along FR 609 on the way to the trailhead we expected to see some on the hike. (I attempted one shot along the road but the deer turned its head the instant I snapped the photo so it was obstructed by a tree.
](*,)
Less than ten minutes into the hike I spotted an elk about a quarter-mile across the canyon. I sought a viewpoint to have a clear shot but the brush wasn't cooperating so I simply took a number of shots and hoped for the best. AS a last gasp I zoomed a full 65X and it turned out better than expected.
:)
Although the trail hadn't been used in quite some time, it was easy enough to follow... just stay away from the encroaching manzanita and holly. Eventually we reached the end of the long ridge and dropped down to J Slash X Ranch. As we started down the slope we scared up two separate pair of deer which were gone so fast a photo was out of the question.
:-({|=
It was interesting to see the difference since our last trip to the ranch in late 2013. No apples this time, but as bad as the trunks of the apple trees are practically gutted, they seem to be getting along fine. since we'd been here a few times before we just took a cursory glance around and started heading for Turkey Creek for our return leg. There were remnants of a road off to the left before the creek so we thought we'd check it out. Good thing we did as we found a corrugated metal shack that isn't visible from FR 2768 as it approaches J Slash X.

Ok, time to hit the creek! It began a bit rough and rocky with nothing but rock and boulder-hopping but eventually there were more and more areas where it was just flat bedrock, making much of this part of the hike quite easy. (Nothing like the Gun Creek hike we would do the next day)

This part of the creek was very interesting along with a few pour-offs to bypass, the largest being about 30' high. We encountered a two large rock cairns separated by a reasonable distance on either side of the creek, which we surmised was for an old trail to cross the creek in one of the few spots with climbable banks.

We found a small trout pond at the base of a small falls and took a few minutes for a break. Tracey spent a bunch of time attempting to film the fish with her phone but the surface reflection was not cooperating. I was lucky enough to get one photo and a bit of video of the trout.
One video:
Turkey Creek waterfall and trout pond

From there it was a short jaunt through some dead-fall back to the trailhead. Time to drive to our campsite for the night. With the rain over the weekend little did we know we'd be in for a teensy bit of monster mudding.
:o

Overall, a was a very enjoyable hike, especially along Turkey Creek.
Fauna
Fauna
Elk Rainbow Trout
Named place
Named place
Bear Head Mountain J Slash X Ranch
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Oct 27 2013
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 135
 Photos 20,215
 Triplogs 1,854

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Sierra Ancha deer hunting, AZ 
Sierra Ancha deer hunting, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2013
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.66 Miles 850 AEG
Hiking5.66 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   1.51 mph
850 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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trixiec
After the trip to Utah Tracey absolutely loved the lower temperatures we had so I tried to think of something different for us, yet not too warm. After a little brainstorming (something I have to be very careful with) I came up with a great idea. With deer hunting season open it brings to mind tales of bagging the x-pointer and such, but more likely it was the one that got away & the deer we never saw.

So... we decided to see just how tough it would be to bag a deer if we were hunters rather than hikers. But where to start?

Let's see now... where's enough altitude for cooler temps yet somewhat prime deer country?
The western Sierra Ancha seemed like a logical choice.

Then, just in case we had the luck many hunters seemed to have, i.e. none, I cast around for at least one hike to fall back on. With only one hike icon in the area using Route Manager, the choice was simple... Slash X Ranch seemed like an interesting destination so off we set with our 'Canons' instead of rifles.

On the drive up toward Juniper Mountain we saw scads of hunters with their RV's, pickups & ATV's. With that many hunters wandering around we figured we would have to be careful when hiking, especially since neither Tracey nor I had any blaze orange... ok, so Tracey had the new fire-truck yellow-green so that would have to do. And of course Tracey neglected to bring her deer-antler hat so we were safe on that.

The plan was to follow FR416 to FR1936 and loop back via FR416B, taking short hikes along the way. That was the plan but what are plans for anyway?

First stop was to hike from FR416 up to the summit of Pine Mountain, which was nothing but a flat area with all the pines down the eastern slope. But no matter, it's where we encountered our deer. Ok, so the first deer bounded across the road in front of us a few miles prior but this was our first while on foot and first legal buck. We heard some snorting off to our left so I moved that way, which scared up a doe. It didn't go far so I circled one direction and Tracey the other direction. I already had a good shot so Tracey hoped for a good shot. But alas, it didn't wait for us and bounded away... boing, boing, boing.

Ok, next up is the J Slash X Ranch. While the Cherokee could easily had taken us right to it, the goal was to experience the nice fall weather on foot, so off we set. When we arrived at the location where it used to be we found a clearing with a row of five trees but absolutely nothing else... no signs of a foundation or anything. But no matter, the tree were APPLE trees! Of the five only three bore fruit, tow with good fruit and one with what appeared to be diseased fruit. Kind of weird that the two good-fruit trees were the only ones with practically nothing for trunks. They had only a semi-circle of bark for the first 3-4 feet from the ground, yet they provided some great tasting apples!

Of course the only apple Tracey could reach from the ground was a tiny one but after tasting it she was game to put on her monkey tree-climbing hat and with a little boost she was harvesting all within reach.
Check out the photoset for our haul: http://hikearizona.com/photoset=27278

After taking a wide loop up a drainage back to the car it was time for a PB&J lunch. Tracey's getting tired of them but I could live on them if I had too. Ok, time to finish our loop back onto FR416B.
Yeah right! After winding our way through rough and rocky terrain for some distance I realized we were on a narrow ATV track and not on FR416B. So we backtracked to where it should have branched off and found it simply vanished! Since the ATV track lead up into a box canyon that was out so we turned around and re-traced our drive all the way back around to FR416 again. On the back-track received a nice bonus of encountering a group of four wild turkeys.

By now Tracey wanted at least one more walk-about before our 2 hour drive back home so we found the next ATV track and set off on foot. In minutes we hit the jackpot of a group of four deer including our second buck of the day. I took the first shot from across a small ravine then began a descent to get closer. Even though I slipped on the piles of loose leaves and almost fell (making plenty of noise as well) the deer seemed more interested in getting their portrait than hastening away. So I obliged them, thank you.

Our last short hike came up blank but at the end of the day our total stood at 12 does, 2 bucks, 4 turkeys, dozens of small fish, 5 apple trees and 1-1/2 dozen apples! With only four short hikes ranging from .5 to just over 2 miles we felt we had accomplished our task for the day. All of them...
The fauna: Deer, wild turkey, fish of two varieties (not sure what) and a bunch of blue birds.
The flora: Apples, mint, pines, maples, etc....
The sounds: Babbling brook, wind whispering through the pines, snorting of deer and NOT one single shot heard all day.

Both the legal bucks would have provided prime shots if we had a rifle, but our memories will satisfy us for a long time to come.

On a side note... So many hunters were out and about we were very surprised we heard no shots all day. We wondered, was it bad luck, poor hunting skills, or 'hunters' too lazy to get off their ATV's?
Well, from our observations of reading the signs, ATV tracks, the boot-prints leading to and from the ATV's, I seriously doubt poor luck was the highest on the list.
Just my :M2C:

I posted 30 of 45 photos here on HAZ, the rest are here:
http://changephoenix.com/jpserver/web/public/album.php?id=629
I'll be posting an ant video soon... I just couldn't resist shooting a video of ants in slow-motion. No, I didn't film in slow-mo, it's just that they were moving so slowly, as though drugged.
Flora
Flora
Apple
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CannondaleKid
Jun 05 2010
ssk44
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 Guides 19
 Routes 12
 Photos 2,242
 Triplogs 272

44 male
 Joined Mar 31 2008
 Gilbert, AZ
J Slash X RanchGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2010
ssk44
Hiking2.00 Miles
Hiking2.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.00 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I you love early Arizona history as I do; you will likely enjoy this destination. The property is spread out over large area and has much to explore. Very nice setting and amazingly untouched by the 2003 Picture Fire. The surrounding area was heavily damaged.

:GB:
Named place
Named place
Turkey Creek
_____________________
ISAIAH 6:2-3 / MATTHEW 11:28-30
3 archives
average hiking speed 1.59 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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