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Lutz Canyon Trail #104 - 6 members in 11 triplogs have rated this an average 3.7 ( 1 to 5 best )
11 triplogs
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11 Triplogs
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Jul 25 2020
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,186
 Triplogs 450

55 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Lutz Canyon Trail #104Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2020
toddak
Hiking19.50 Miles 7,000 AEG
Hiking19.50 Miles   11 Hrs   30 Mns   1.70 mph
7,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Nice figure-8 route on a mostly overcast monsoon day. Up Lutz to the Crest, up Miller and Carr Peaks, around on Comfort Springs, back up on Hamburg, down Miller and out to Hunter trailhead. Bike shuttle back to Lutz trailhead. Good water at 2 springs plus light creek flow in two places along Comfort and also in Miller Canyon.

Every trail I've done so far in the Huachucas has been outstanding - I'll be back!
Fauna
Fauna
Ladybug beetle
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bathtub (Tub) Spring Dripping Dripping
full, clear tub

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Comfort Spring Dripping Dripping
full, clear box
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Jul 19 2018
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 104
 Routes 583
 Photos 7,091
 Triplogs 486

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Lutz Canyon Trail, AZ 
Lutz Canyon Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 19 2018
markthurman53
Hiking6.90 Miles 2,872 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   5 Hrs      1.73 mph
2,872 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was suppose to be a hike up to Miller Peak but the weather was too hot and Humid I opted to turn around at the Crest Trail. I did take a side trip to go to Bond Spring but the sign was laying on the ground and the trail non existent. I followed what looked like the trail for a couple hundred yards then it vanished in the brush. Aside from the very hot humid weather the hike did offer its moments with great views and a bit of mining history.
The Lutz Canyon Trail is in fairly good condition, assuming you pay attention to the trail. At around the Lutz Mine I got off trail and followed a use route up canyon to the mine. After checking my GPS I was able to get back on route. On the return trip I reviewed where I went off trail and if I was paying attention at all I wouldn't have missed it. In fact I had to step over some branches laid across the path to indicate that it was not the trail. Also got a little off trail just below the upper mine below the slopes of Miller Peak. Wasn't much off Trail but if I looked right instead of going straight up I would of seen the trail. Rule of thumb on this trail, if it is not obviously a trail but looks more like a game trail or goes straight up slopes you are off trail. The Lutz Canyon Trail is all I thought it would be, A steady uphill climb, not overly steep but on a warm day it seemed torturous. Lesson learned; While going up hill, when you place you hand on a rock to lend support make sure it's a rock and not some kind of pointy agave type cactus. Pierced my palm in two places and my wrist. OW! My wrist still hurts as I write this. There was no water on this hike at all, the ground was damp in places from the rain but no water (I didn't check the streams closely but then the trail doesn't really follow in the stream). Don't know if Bond Spring has water and I didn't feel like bush wacking a half mile to find out
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Jul 15 2018
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Lutz Canyon Trail #104Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 15 2018
DarthStiller
Hiking4.10 Miles 1,713 AEG
Hiking4.10 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   1.26 mph
1,713 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I got an early start, just after 6am. It was cloudy again in the morning, but soon some sun started to break through. I decided not to put on any sunscreen for this hike because of the initial cloud cover, and now I was thinking that might have been a mistake. Not to worry. By the time I was done, I was nearly as soaked as the day before.

the trail starts out pretty wide open and smooth. As it ascends, it gradually gets steeper, with more loose footing, and also narrower with enough vegetation to make almost a bit bushwhacky. As I was hiking up, I was still hoping to make it up to the Crest Trail. I would only be one extra mile one way, and I was making pretty good time. Then I reached the junction for the spur trail to the Lutz Tunnel.

It was at this point that the rain started. It wasn't the typical slow fade in, but right away rain. Within minutes not only was I wet, but all the vegetation around me was soaked enough that walking past it made me more soaked. and it was also at this point that the spur trail to Lutz Tunnel was majorly overgrown. It's a pretty mean bushwhack, and for not much of a payoff. I could only find what appeared to be a filled in mineshaft, I think. No mining equipment that I could see. I ducked under the short overhang to the "tunnel" and took out my rain jacket, and then took a little break.

At this point, my enthusiasm for hiking the rest of this trail was somewhat dampened. From what I've read, the rest of the trail is also pretty narrow and the vegetation gets thicker. The rain would make it more miserable than usual, not to mention that there wouldn't be many views with the clouds rolling in. and the best view would probably be the one at the top, which I just saw yesterday, in the rain. I called it a weekend, headed back to the car, and then back home.

As I got to the bottom of the trail, I could see a lot of low hanging clouds rolling through the canyon. this actually looked pretty cool, but I think it's one of those things that looks cooler from below. It also appeared that the higher the elevation, the thicker the overall cloud cover. Glad to get this one done from the 100 Classic Hikes in AZ book, but this seems like another trail that I don't think was one of the best choices. Even on a clear day, for most of this hike, it's hard to see beyond what's in front of you. And the best view is probably seen from the other hike right next to this one.
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Jun 17 2018
chumley
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 Guides 78
 Routes 679
 Photos 14,857
 Triplogs 1,536

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Lutz Miller Carr, AZ 
Lutz Miller Carr, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 17 2018
chumley
Hiking16.08 Miles 4,897 AEG
Hiking16.08 Miles   6 Hrs   32 Mns   2.74 mph
4,897 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
As always, the Huachucas deliver! :y: I put together a loop of two trails I hadn't hiked, Lutz and Miller canyons, with the obligatory visits to Miller and Carr peaks. The cool weather was enjoyable, and yesterday's inch of rain was evident in the soft soil, but I was a bit disappointed not to find any running water. It's been so dry, that even an inch of rain produced no runoff and was just absorbed into the dry soil. Nonetheless, the forecast called for temps in the upper 60s along the crest and that sounded ideal to me. The southwesterly wind was even a bit chilly on the peaks, but you won't find me complaining about that in mid-June!

Bathtub spring was cold and clear, until Chloe decided to stir up the sediment while cooling herself off. We did a quick out-n-back to Carr before heading down Miller Canyon. I was disappointed not to find any running water in the upper stretches as I've seen it running here in summer before. We encountered another hiker at the mine site before continuing down this steep trail that cuts through a thickly vegetated canyon. There were two places where the water surfaced, but both would have been a challenging side trip to reach. It appeared there was quite a bit of mining history here and it would be easy to spend more time here exploring some of the side trails to historic sites.

Near the bottom of Miller Canyon, we crossed over on the Hunter Canyon Trail, where the afternoon sunshine and lack of tree cover began to take it's toll despite being only about 80 degrees. With 4.5 miles of road walking to complete a loop, and almost 15 miles in the book already, I summoned an Uber from Sierra Vista. It took about 20 minutes to arrive and in that time we had already covered a mile of the road walk, but it was money well spent and I was happy to get a ride back to the Jeep and save about 45 minutes or so of shade-free road walking (though JJ opted to keep hiking, because, well, he's JJ :) ).

Tacos in Tucson and a quick trip home. World Cup replays capped a damn good Sunday! :)
Fauna
Fauna
Ladybug beetle
Culture
Culture
Trash Hauled Out

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bathtub (Tub) Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Full tub. Clear and cold. Dripping from the pipe.

dry Lutz Canyon Dry Dry

dry Miller Canyon Dry Dry
Two short sections along the Miller Canyon trail had running water. Otherwise it was dry and there was no water at any trail crossing.
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Championing breakfast since 1994.
5 archives
Jun 17 2018
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 566
 Photos 7,969
 Triplogs 1,703

53 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Lutz Miller Carr, AZ 
Lutz Miller Carr, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 17 2018
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking16.08 Miles 4,897 AEG
Hiking16.08 Miles   6 Hrs   32 Mns   2.74 mph
4,897 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
I got an invite to go along with Chulmley, 9L, and Carrie Jane on Saturday night. I didn't have anything concrete planned so a trip back to the Huachuca's sounded pretty good. I met John and Chums at a little after 6am in Chandler and we were off. We picked up Carrie Jane and her dog Chloe in Tucson off of Orange Grove (Nick's favorite) in Tucson. About 9am we started our hike up the Lutz Canyon Trail. It was a perfect day in terms of weather. It had rained just enough the day prior to cool things off and make the ground damp but not muddy. There are some old mining relics at about the 2.25 mile spot and then shortly thereafter there is a huge mine tunnel. It must go back 500-600 feet. Based on the truck loads of debris inside this was or still is a stop over point for migrant travel. Water bottles, blankets, discarded backpacks, and metal food cans litter the floor. If large garbage bags were used to clear it, it is hard to say how many loads it would take to remove all the debris. I would guess this was the last stopping point for several who made a long journey in hopes of finding a better life.

On we went after exploring for 10 to 15 minutes and before long we were up on the Crest Trail. From there our first destination was Miller Peak. The trail in the canyon and on top is in great shape so we made good time. The views into Mexico and of the surrounding area are always spectacular from Miller. We kicked back up top and Chumley revealed that Mexico had just beat Germany in the World Cup.

Onward to our next destination which would be Carr Peak. Carr also delivers great views and on this occasion the one looking back at Miller was especially good. The shadows from the clouds above gave it a cool and inviting look. Our stay on Carr wasn't as long as Miller however it was long enough to really enjoy it as well. Then we backtracked towards Bathtub Spring and then descended down Miller Canyon. This was my first time on this trail and it didn't disappoint. I think it is pretty hard to go wrong with anything in the Huachuca's. Finally we took the Hunter Canyon trail over to our exit point. From here we road walked for about a mile to where Chumley had an Uber pick him up and shuttle him the last 3.5 miles back to the Jeep. He returned to pick us all up and our enjoyable journey through the Huachuca's came to an end.

It was great seeing John and Chumley again and nice to finally meet Carrie Jane. Oh yeah and Chloe too! Good times!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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10 archives
Jun 17 2018
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,073
 Triplogs 1,633

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Lutz Miller Carr, AZ 
Lutz Miller Carr, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 17 2018
John9L
Hiking16.08 Miles 4,897 AEG
Hiking16.08 Miles
4,897 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Met up with Chumley, JJ & Carrie for a fun hike in the Huachucas. Chumley, JJ & myself met in Chandler and made the drive down and picked up Carrie in Tucson. From there we made the drive to the Lutz Canyon TH and started hiking around mid-morning.

The Lutz Canyon Trail makes a steady and solid climb as it heads for the crest trail. It was a relatively cool day for mid June after some rain fell the previous day. Along the climb up we stopped to explore a mine shaft that was littered with garbage left by migrants. From there we grinded up the final mile to the Crest Trail where we took a short break. After that we continued on and topped out on Miller Peak. We took a short lunch break here and enjoyed the views.

After Miller we continued north along the Crest Trail and took another short break by Bathtub Spring. We debated our options and decided to head for Carr Peak and I'm glad we did. The short detour took about an hour and this is another quality peak with excellent views! After Carr, we returned to Bathtub Spring and headed down Miller Canyon. The top part of this trail had some downed trees but it didn't last for long. Overall, this trail is in good condition. We eventually connected onto the Hunter Trail and were soon back on road. Once we hit the road, Chumley called an Uber. It took a few minutes to arrive but was well worth the wait. Chumley retrieved JJ's jeep and then played roundup. After that it was back to Tucson for dinner and then back to Phoenix.

This was a really great hike with a fun group! I really enjoy the Huachucas and hope to make an annual return. It's a hearty drive from Phoenix but well worth the time. Thanks JJ for driving and thanks Chumley for organizing!
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Sep 05 2014
BenTelly
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 Guides 1
 Routes 1
 Photos 64
 Triplogs 12

39 male
 Joined Sep 30 2014
 Borderlands, AZ
Miller Peak via Lutz Canyon Trail, AZ 
Miller Peak via Lutz Canyon Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2014
BenTelly
Hiking4.40 Miles 3,600 AEG
Hiking4.40 Miles
3,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I can only imagine what Lutz Canyon looked like before the Monument Fire of 2011. But I do not pine for the past (not this time at least) and I enjoyed trekking through this recovering oak forest. However, the highlights of the hike were to happen once Lutz connected with the Crest Trail, where late summer flowers were in FULL bloom under monsoon clouds.

I'm relatively new to the area and have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Huachucas, especially on trails that start low and climb and climb and climb. I decided to take the Ash Canyon/Lutz Canyon approach to Miller Peak as I am soon taking on sections 1 - 4 of the AZT and wanted to save the Crest Trail for that occasion. While I enjoyed the Lutz Canyon ascent one who had a deep interest in mining history might enjoy it even more. It's not really my thing but the large iron engine and compressor about 1.5 miles from the trailhead were interesting, if nothing more then a reminder of the scale of these mining operations and how fleeting the "boom" was in this area.

Black Bear Mine, near the top of the switchbacks, has an unwelcoming air about it that I can't quite explain. I quickly scuttled past the opening, pausing only to acknowledge the graffiti (Caracoles DF Joker) and the tremendous amount of discarded water bottles, clothing, plastic bags, and other detritus. No doubt a popular stop over for migrants. The section of the trail just past Black Bear Mine is a bit washed out. The tailings are eroding quickly and the trail just about disappears in the gully but is visible once you're on the other side.

The view from the Crest Trail looking east back down Lutz and Ash is fantastic, with Sierra San Jose framed on the horizon. I spent some time at the junction and then headed north on the Crest Trail, languidly making my way through the pines. At the junction of the Miller Peak trail, and along the trail to the summit, the hillsides were covered in yellow flowers (Western sneezeweed - perhaps). I enjoyed the contrast between the burn area and the yellow flowers.

Views from the summit were incredible, as one would expect, punctuated by growing thunderstorms in the distance. As others have mentioned, late August and early September are the best times to explore these higher elevations of the Huachucas. Magical.

BT
Culture
Culture
Mining Equipment
Named place
Named place
Lutz Canyon Miller Peak
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Mar 30 2014
wart11
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 Triplogs 1

female
 Joined Feb 19 2014
 West Saint Paul,
Lutz Canyon Trail #104Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2014
wart11
Hiking2.70 Miles 2,858 AEG
Hiking2.70 Miles   3 Hrs   20 Mns   0.81 mph
2,858 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hiked this trail with my husband as an alternate to Miller Canyon as access to Miller Peak. We hiked Miller Canyon to the Crest last year in an aborted attempt to gain Miller Peak with my then 76 year-old mother - just about killed her. :o Last year's trip took 12 hours from Miller Canyon TH to Crest Trail and down to Coronado where we had parked one of the cars.

This year, we opted to leave Mom behind and try a different assent. We arrived at the Lutz Canyon TH at 9 AM, cool morning, broken clouds with a forecast to be breezy, but warm (-ish) - the weatherman didn't lie. My husband and I are marginally experienced hikers (although last year's adventure getting off the Crest at Coronado in pitch dark with aforesaid Mom did qualify as an extreme learning experience) and even though Lutz is remarkably well-cairned, we managed to miss a key swichback above the mining equipment which resulted in a 30 minute detour up to the abandoned mine shaft. So the 3 hr 20 min climb time could justafiably be reduced to just under 3 hours to the Crest Trail. Not too bad for Flatlanders who are 58 and 59 years old!

By taking Lutz, we shaved off 1.5 miles of the previous years' trip, but I do believe I would opt for Miller Canyon would I do this again (and I'd like to!). Lutz is very rocky and part of the 1.5 mile reduction is due to it being steeper than the Miller Canyon trail. At least it sure felt that way. The bonus though, was the mining equipment encountered. Very cool big engine and compresser - I cannot imaging how they wrangled those things up there.

As mentioned before, the trail has cairns all over the place - at nearly every switchback and creekbed crossing. The full realization of our missed swichback was evident when we stepped over the three burnt timbers lying across the 'wrong' path and saw the cairn. The intent of the three timbers all of a sudden was apparent (duh - Boy Scouts 101, but not having been a boy or a scout, I think I deserve a pass, eh?).

After we got on the right trail, the switchbacking began in earnest, leading to the Black Bear Mine. Although the trail was remarkably tidy (one water bottle cap and one tuna fish can pop-top lid the whole way), it was clear that the mine was used often for an illegal stopover. Lots of back packs, jackets and gallon water jugs littered the floor for about 20 yards. It's a large, high opening that doesn't immediately drop into the shaft and you can see quite a ways in without having to go in.

After the mine it's a few more switchbacks and along the headwall of the canyon through the oaks and then, voila - you've made the Crest Trail. It was windy as advertised, so we headed up the Crest a few yards and took a little side path to the leeward side of a big outcrop and had lunch. It took another hour to follow the Crest to Miller Peak including ascending Miller Peak Trail to the top. Boy, the view was worth it but it was dang windy - like to blow us right off the top! We took some photos, checked in to Facebook and then skedaddled. The rest of the trip was as experienced the year before but with the added pleasure of doing it in daylight. From the Peak to the parking lot at Coronado, it took us three hours - we were packed up in the car by 4:45. That's one more hike off my bucket list!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Alpines
_____________________
Apr 05 2013
MAVM
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 Guides 1
 Routes 43
 Photos 666
 Triplogs 78

55 male
 Joined Mar 15 2012
 Seattle, WA
Lutz Canyon Trail #104Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2013
MAVM
Hiking2.68 Miles 1,177 AEG
Hiking2.68 Miles   2 Hrs   40 Mns   2.01 mph
1,177 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Lutz Canyon – Trail #104

On a return trip from Bisbee to Sierra Vista in the mid-afternoon, I decided to break-off on Ash Canyon Road and make way up the grade to the Lutz Canyon TH in the mighty Huachucas... Even though this would be an abbreviated outing at best, I needed to get OUT & UP – so I decided to make a 1000' leisurely elevation gain my goal, as I had to be home by 6:00 pm +/- to clean up for a 7:00 dinner meeting.

It was of great interest to observe the beginnings of burn recovery from the fire of June 2011. The young Manzanita saplings were enforce by the tens of thousands throughout! There was evidence of growth everywhere! This is a much more encouraging area to hike than Ash Canyon itself to the south a bit, which was completely devastated – making the route up Bob Thompson Peak more trying from the lower portions up to the ridge line – as it is a moonscape at best. Ash Canyon itself is also completely exposed – its canopy gone for decades to come. So it goes...

Lutz is listed as one of the 100 hikes of AZ by some. As I neared the 7000' level I could begin to see why, as the switchbacks visible ahead were classic Huachuca mining route 'ass kickers' that take a 1000' FPM trail and turned it into a 'real ascent' with a ridge run finale up top to make the spine of the range – just beautiful! The mining ruins above my turnaround point, and the tunnel are well documented, possibly accounting for the status of this hike – the views were outstanding throughout and are surely even more amazing in the upper elevations of Lutz Canyon. Worthy of further investigation to be sure. ;)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

dry Lutz Canyon Dry Dry
There was no flow - an old spring piping system gives away the location.
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The MaNtiS - Assume & be Damned!
http://www.mavm.com
May 17 2011
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 566
 Photos 7,969
 Triplogs 1,703

53 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Lutz Canyon Trail #104Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 17 2011
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking3.80 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles   1 Hour   23 Mns   2.75 mph
800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked The Lutz Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains as it is one of the Hikes in the book 100 Hikes in Arizona. There were several unusual birds as I guess this is there time to be here. The trail continues on up to Miller Peak via the Crest Trail but this one in the book ends at an old Mine where there is still some really cool old mining equipment. The weather here this evening was a bit chilly.
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Oct 10 2004
rwstorm
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 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 20,307
 Triplogs 920

72 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Miller Peak via Lutz Canyon Trail, AZ 
Miller Peak via Lutz Canyon Trail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2004
rwstorm
Hiking6.00 Miles 3,800 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
3,800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I asked Renee if she would like to go up Miller Peak by a lesser used route. She was in, so it was off to Ash Canyon to do this one. Lutz is the northern branch of the canyon. She picked up a big chunk of quartz by the mine and carried that sucker all day long on the hike. :o (and no I didn't offer to put it in my pack :lol:) On the way back I wanted to make a lasso out of it by continuing on past the Lutz cutoff to a point along the Crest Trail above the South Fork of Ash Canyon. More than a decade previous I had done some gold panning down around Morgan Spring and found a use trail from there up to some claims at around the 7000 foot level, directly below the Crest Trail. I figured it would be a fairly easy bushwhack to there and pick up the old route again. It was, but we lost the route and ended up following the drainage back to Morgan Spring. This made it a very difficult day, as we were pretty tired by that point. Slow going in the drainage and dog tired, we trudged past all kinds of illegal's trash and even came across a dead bear cub (probably done in by ingesting plastic or something). I was too tired for a photo and we were focused on getting the bushwhack part over with. We eventually hit the old mining road in South Fork and dragged our way back to the vehicle. But hey, it was a great adventure! :)
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Yellow was looking good.
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Onward into oblivion!
2 archives
average hiking speed 1.97 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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