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Wet Bottom Trail #269 - 4 members in 6 triplogs have rated this an average 4.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Dec 05 2018

 Guides 33
 Routes 78
 Photos 1,293
 Triplogs 199

37 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Upper Mazatzal Loop, AZ 
Upper Mazatzal Loop, AZ
Backpack avatar Dec 05 2018
jacobemerickTriplogs 199
Backpack51.92 Miles 9,373 AEG
Backpack51.92 Miles2 Days         
9,373 ft AEG
1st trip
After traipsing around the wilderness for three years, this adventure completes the last of the Mazatzal trails for me. Saved this one for last, as it was one of the OG planned routes and I figured that I would need every bit of experience, both in terms of hiking and gear, in order to knock it out in two days.

FR 194
Road walking in the dark. Bumped into two hunters, didn't even realize the season was starting in a few days.

Saddle Ridge #14
Once my eyes adjusted from the two-track to a single track it was pretty easy going. Cairns are big and tread is (usually) easy to make out, a dark line in the light grass, even with no moon to speak of and a few dozen candles strapped to my head. Sun waited until I was 4 miles in before it began to lighten the sky. After that it was smooth sailing, easy going over the pleasant trail, and the snow-dusted North Peak beckoned me onward with icy promises. Watered up at Whiterock Spring, which is heckin' beautiful. Only annoying section is that drop off of Polles Mesa, that got a little painful. Briefly checked out Polk Spring and then crossed the East Verde with little fanfare. That half mile of trail on the south side dragged.

Bull Spring #34
The haul up and over Copper Mountain was just enough to warm me up. It's better defined than I remembered - then again, last year, I had been stumbling down this way hours after sunset, so I may have been biased. Conceded to giving my legs a twenty minute break near Bullfrog Spring to down some water and caffeine before the main climb of the day. Then it was off to the races, a steady march up to the pass, and I passed the time looking around at the other roads criss-crossing their way up these hills. The tread on this trail is smooth and easy enough to let the eyes wander, a rare treat in the Mazzies.

Trail began to fade immediately after the AZT junction, which is to be expected, though it was never hard to track through the waist-high brush, even without a cairn in sight. Beyond the pass there are two minor drainages to swing through, the first of which has an old mining exploration and trailside tank to check out, before the drop into the valley of Bull Spring(s). Along the way I began to pick up the smell of something big and dead and I wondered if something would be fouling up one of the two water sources ahead (ick!) or if I'd stumble upon a kill (yay?). Never found the source of the smell. Anyways, took a break at Bull Spring to pull up to full capacity, struggled a bit to find a steady tread in the area, and then proceeded to LF Hilton, which is in rough shape.

Wet Bottom #269
One of the two sections of trail that I feared the most - yet it had such a great start. No sign at the junction by the cabin, just a curve in the trail. As soon as it crosses the drainage a steady line of cairns show up (a promising sight, after the cairn-free Bull Spring Trail) and a wide, rocky tread marches up the hillside. I was feeling a little tired at this point (over 20 miles behind me) and I noticed, with some dismay, that after the climb there was a second little drainage and valley to walk through. At least there were some good rock tanks down here, so I took the time to guzzle one of my bladders and refill it.

The west side of the valley marked an important point. First, there's a spur trail to Childer's Seep (which I didn't have the time or energy to check out today). Also, it marks the edge of the Willow Fire boundary. This, this is what I was looking forward to the most: a Mazatzal trail near 5000', south of the East Verde, that was spared from that fire. It was immediately gratifying. Old junipers and pinyons and other trees that I'm not smart enough to name (no ponderosas) clustered on the top of this mesa. The route swung back and forth, offering views north to Limestone and south to Wet Bottom Creek and Midnight Mesa, mostly shaded along the way. The cairns were large and the tread, even when it was covered by low branches, was well-defined. I did lose it a few times, either due to impatience or grassy sections.

When the trail began to drop is when it got harder and harder to follow. There were a few obvious re-routes done in more recent years that deviated from my track and, sometimes, didn't even make sense to me. One particularly memorable example was where the route dropped steadily down a drainage with small, humble cairns, only to suddenly be re-routed 300 yards for a mild switchback using huge, chest-high cairns, and then revert back to the little rock piles and original tread. And then, below contour 4400', the trail hugs the north side of a ridge and all bets are off, with game trails, thick growth, and loose ground all conspiring to cause mayhem. I fought this for almost an hour and made a mile of progress and decided to call it a night.

Found a pleasant saddle with a flat spot protected by a large pinyon and quickly set up camp, getting the basic structure in before light left the sky. After the initial rush I took my time boiling water for dinner and tea before settling in with the Kindle. By eight I was completely out and, with the exception of a few rollovers, slept right through the night, one of the better sleeps I've had outside. Woke up an hour before light and just barely got my camp packed up before it started to drizzle. Made oatmeal and coffee under the soft, inconsistent patter of tiny droplets.

The final four miles of trail passed by quickly, becoming steadily better defined the closer I got to the next junction. The only nasty bit was a valley (more like a mesquite maze surrounded by a moat of catclaw) that I eventually did find a way, but not the right way, through. Took a while to pick up the trail on the far side. Squaw Butte became more defined as I descended and the morning drizzle faded in and out, never enough to warrant taking my poncho out for. Reached Highwater at 900, which was the planned campsite for last night, putting me a solid 3 hours behind schedule.

Highwater #20
Feels like I was just on this thing. Watered up at Canyon Creek, otherwise kept my feet moving northward. The rain and mist was starting to thicken and I was started to get worried that my contingency plan (spending a second night out here) might not work with these cold temps and wet weather. This time I followed the trail all the way to the proper junction w/ Verde and found a lonely pole, no sign, to mark it.

Verde River #11
The second feared section of trail, and it was... impeccable. Seriously. It is in at least, if not better, as good of condition as Highwater. Shortly after the junction it cuts right down to the river with a series of rocky switchbacks and then, complete with good cairns, marches along the sandy banks with a few jumps to avoid different obstacles. The first two miles has a lot of bovine traffic, and they stuck to the tread. I was surprised to see a well-defined trail so remote and took advantage of it, putting on the afterburners to make up time.

Rain was coming down pretty steady by now, which, coupled with the wet brush, had my shirt, pants, and boots completely soaked. The temps were in the mid-50s so, as long as I kept moving, this wasn't a problem. Thanks to the well-defined trail and flat going there was no real need to stop, so I didn't. Sure, there were plenty of cool things to take photos of (Squaw Butte kept stealing the show, but there was also Red Wall Rapids, a few very rugged washes, and even a campsite or two), and there were also long stretches of straight path through creosote. Things got a little hairy near the end, when I got impatient on the far side of 2878' and decided to take a more direct route instead of backtracking to the tread and had to play spider-monkey on some rock walls above the Verde. Made it to the East Verde in one piece and let a deep sigh out - it was almost all known trail from here.

Watered up, changed socks, and launched towards the final 11 miles with just a hair over three hours of daylight left. Initial climb to Deadman Mesa Trail was new ground and was steep and rocky and simple to follow. Then I swung east and began the long climb to Twin Buttes. There were two things that I wasn't ready for. The first was fogged glasses... the harder I climbed, the more I steamed, and harder it was to see, which forced me to take periodic breaks to wipe the fog away (cue flashbacks to Midwest hiking). Second was the mud. Everyone complains about the rocks on this trail, yet the mud is so much worse. Even a 20' section of mud would add pounds of clay to each boot, weighing me down and throwing my balance off. I would pray for rocks just to knock some of the clods off.

This quickly became a muddy death march. Thankfully the trail is easy to follow and I could dedicate my focus on sliding one foot in front of the other and not hunting cairns. At least I saw some elk, and cattle, and even a very fat rabbit to break things up. Was within a mile of the boundary when I had to haul out the headlamp, which didn't help at all, and I stumbled-tripped, all balance and coordination wiped out by the haul, in a generally correct direction until, ten feet from the metal posts, a pair of headlights flipped on and completely blinded me. Two hunters (a different set) were very friendly and offered me a ride back down to my Jeep below, which I couldn't agree to fast enough.

Mazatzal Miles: 275/275 (100%)
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Elk
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Campsite
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Autumn - Color Foliage Sunset
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Along the Verde, so lovely.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bee Tree Tanks 26-50% full 26-50% full
Super muddy. A gang of elk were going to town in it.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bull Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Both cement trough and metal ring were full of clear water, minimal green stuff near bottom, tasted great.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bull Trap Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Plenty of shallow pools, tho Bull Spring up a ways seemed more appealing / dependable.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max East Verde River Medium flow Medium flow
Plenty of water, though there are still dry crossing spots if you hunt for a bit.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Polk Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Beautiful area, lots and lots of water.

dry Red Metal Tank Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Red Saddle Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
Lots of mud, murky water would be hard to reach and totally not worth it.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Rock Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
Almost as much water flowing into the E Verde as... the E Verde itself.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Saddle Ridge Pasture Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Whiterock Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Tank was overflowing with clear, cold water.
2 archives
Nov 11 2018

 Guides 33
 Routes 78
 Photos 1,293
 Triplogs 199

37 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Red Crk - Wet Btm - Highwater - Verde 11, AZ 
Red Crk - Wet Btm - Highwater - Verde 11, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2018
jacobemerickTriplogs 199
Hiking26.76 Miles 3,046 AEG
Hiking26.76 Miles   12 Hrs   6 Mns   2.60 mph
3,046 ft AEG   1 Hour   49 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Took a page from the godfathers' book on this loop. If you haven't read their triplogs, check it out; I personally think the Eagle's video of Joe crossing at Red Creek Rapids is some of his finest work.

FR 18/Red Creek
Hope was to drive all the way to the Red Creek gate. The new Jeep, stock Renegade Latitude, was not enjoying FR 18, so I gave up halfway and walked a few road miles by headlamp instead. Didn't want to risk my ride out. Dropping into Red Creek felt like slipping into a cold bath. Always enjoy seeing my breath during a hike - reminds me I'm still kicking.

Red Creek was a fun walk, especially as the day slowly woke around me to reveal spots of color. Guessing two more weeks for the real show. Flow seemed normal, though there was visible trickle that started at the airport and flowed to the Verde, which I haven't seen before. Passed by one camp and one backpacker, otherwise a quiet morning. At the base of the creek was a gaggle of Jeeps and sprawling camp. They were nice, offering me breakfast and coffee and advice on crossing the Verde, so I felt a little bad when I had to cross the Verde in front of them clad only in boxers and shirt (water was about thigh deep).

After crossing the river I ducked into the reeds to dry off with some dignity before heading over to a short section of Verde River Trail. Already did this section of trail a year ago, so there wasn't anything terribly exciting. Awkward shuffle to find the start of the trail along the bank, steep climb up loose rocks, and then the sign for the start of Wet Bottom. It was a quick half mile.

Wet Bottom #269
Loose rolling rocks faded into solid tread and huge cairns which, coupled with the waking views, made for a dreamy section of trail. Lush green growth along the way made it all the better, even when it tried to hide the route. The climb passed too quickly and, upon reaching the junction with Highwater, I had a hard time turning away. An in-and-out to Bull Springs, with Racetrack Mesas and Limestone Hills to ogle the entire time, sounded so much more fun than playing along the Verde.

Highwater #20
Had a hard time getting into the groove of this trail. Tread was initially difficult to find, and the cairns, while big, had a tendency to shyly duck behind prickly pear and brush. Once it dropped off the mesa things got better and the northern views got more awesome. In fact, the trail was overall well-defined and in good shape (that drop into Canyon Creek was a work of art), although every wash was your typical Mazzie route-finding challenge. Pete's Cabin Mesa was some of the most verdant green I've seen in the lowlands and, as the trail entered this area, I was walled in by vegetation that felt more like an immature Midwest forest than usual open desert. It was fantastic.

The hike got less fantastic after this. Started when I tried to cut over on the 'bottom leg' of the triangle connecting Highwater and Verde River, which is the same route that Joe & Eagle took. Safe to say there's no trail here. There used to be, found some old cairns and tread, but everything is terribly overgrown by palo verde and prickly pear decades old. Should have continued north and done the 'top legs' of the triangle instead, maybe I would have seen the trail junction sign.

Verde River #11
Second frustration happened when I saw the humble state of the Verde River Trail. Tread was almost invisible, cairns were tiny and easy to miss, and everything was wildly overgrown. Compared to the other two trails of today this was by far the hardest to track. I'm not sure why there is such disparity between this and Highwater, both in the same general area - maybe this one is older and hasn't gotten love in a few centuries or something. Anyways, following it south offered good views of the river below and Canoe Mesa beyond and was mentally exhausting.

As soon as the route dropped below the upper banks of the river I was left trail-less so I ambled in the general direction of rapids. Thick reeds masked the way forward so I spent some time doing recon, hacking through to peer up and down just to backtrack and do it again. Confirmed the island was still there and that the upriver side would be easier to wade around than downriver, so I switched footware and hopped in. Water was deeper and slower this time. Got to the other side, filtered out some water, hopped on the bank, dried off and packed up, then walked a hundred feet just to bump into another channel and the realization that there were two parallel islands here and I had to do the whole ritual again. Third frustration. All told it took me 90 minutes to finally get to the western bank.

The haul up the other bank was quick and well-defined, if overgrown, and I welcomed the chance to move in a single direction again. Views from the top were sweet, always nice to look across at them Mazzie hills. Then the trail got, again, hard to follow, with small cairns and barely-there tread. Not quite as bad as the east section, still annoying. When the route followed the contour of a ravine or dropped down a hillside it was easy; flatland and saddles were difficult. The old two-track that picks up before Table Mountain was a most welcome sight.

Oh, and there were tire tracks along most of this section, complete with dug-up tread, knocked over cairns, and uprooted growth. Two tires, in-and-out, guessing it was motorized by the tracks and fresh enough to have happened this weekend. Depressing to see in the wilderness.

Red Creek/FR 18
It was nice to see this pretty section of trail with more light. It was even nicer to see my vehicle at the end.

Mazatzal Miles: 245.7/275 (89%)
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Gila Monster
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Yellows are starting to yellow. Another few weeks and Red Creek and Verde will be popping.

dry Canyon Creek Dry Dry
Dry at trail crossing, thought I heard something further upstream, didn't check.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Middle Red Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Nice and clear. Only one section of dry bed, otherwise flow all the way to Verde River.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Red Creek Rapids Heavy flow Heavy flow
Over 2' deep, challenging to cross.
Apr 30 2016

 Routes 61
 Photos 1,008
 Triplogs 224

41 male
 Joined Aug 19 2009
 The Basin
Red CreekCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 30 2016
survivordudeTriplogs 224
Backpack12.89 Miles 960 AEG
Backpack12.89 Miles2 Days         
960 ft AEG
Partners none no partners
Family went to Michigan so I had free weekend. I called up cousin Stephen and we made it happen. I have been wanting to do this hike for some time and it definitely lived up to the expectations. On the drive in from seven springs we saw about 6-7 mule deer. We parked about a mile away from the creek and walked the rest. That road gets real gnarly as it descends to the creek. We did not see anyone at all past the Tangle Creek road. The hike down Red Creek was real nice even though its mostly just a road. There are some real nice lush areas through there and the whole time cactus stand sentinel above the canyons walls. Saw some of the biggest saguaros I have ever seen. Some had arms on arms on arms. Stevie spotted a "funny looking lizard" which was a gila monster crossing the path. Made it to the airstrip in 2 hours and enjoyed some moon juice. There are tools to keep the runway clean, a bottle of lighter fluid and we noticed the fire pit was still warm with some coals still burning so this 'airport' must get regular use (apparently by people who dont know how to properly extinguish a fire). The plan was to cross the Verde and hike a short ways down to Wet Bottom Creek and find a camp spot some where near there. After bushwhacking through bamboo for about an hour and getting nowhere, we decided to go back and camp on the other side of the river. Instead of bushwhacking back, we opted to climb a small hill to try to find the actual trail. We did find the Verde River Trail and followed that back to the rapids and the crossing. I'm not sure why we wanted to go across anyway because that spot right at the end of Red Creek is preemo, one of the best spots I have ever camped at. If I brought a good book and a fishing pole, I could have stayed there for a week or longer. I have never seen so many birds in my life. Literally hundreds of them flying all over the river. Gabby dog had a great time playing in the water. Stevie Wonder and I had a great time just relaxing at this wonderful destination and enjoying the finest $10 bourbon. Got a little sprinkled on but nothing much. Hiked back out the next day and decided to take Bloody Basin Road instead of Cave Creek Road. In the future I would take Cave Creek Road anyday over Bloody Basin Road. I also lost my favorite DBacks cap on that road as we stopped to let the dog out for a while, so if anyone happens to spot it out there, get at me!! We also just missed a pretty bad wreck on the 17 coming back to Phoenix, so just another reason to go Cave Creek Road instead. Overall a great trip and will definitely come back to that spot again!
“There is nothing that exists outside the thought of the immediate moment.”
3 archives
Apr 14 2012

 Guides 14
 Routes 114
 Photos 4,615
 Triplogs 2,616

 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Verde River Trail #11Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 14 2012
topohikerTriplogs 2,616
Hiking27.20 Miles 3,633 AEG
Hiking27.20 Miles   9 Hrs      3.26 mph
3,633 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
I parked at the Horseshoe with my mountain bike and rode it over to the Sheep Bridge.

I hiked the Verde River trail. There's been trail maintence done since the last time I was here. What's interesting is that the maintenance stopped at the county border (right by the Wet Bottom wash).

Soon after I hit the Wet Bottom intersection. I took the Verde trail to the Verde river. True to the Mazatal style, as soon as the trail dropped into a wash, the cairins and the trail disappeared. I used my GPS's to try to locate the trail. I could see a corral accross the river on top of a hill. I had to fight my way through some dense bamboo to get to the river. I didn't hit a good crossing spot. I turned around and headed back to the Wet Bottom trail.

I took the Wet Bottom trail to the Highwater trail and had lunch.
After lunch I went down a little further down the Highwater and the Wet Bottom trails before heading back to the Sheep Bridge.

On the way back I could see the landing strip accross the Verde. I also did a little bit of the Willow Spring trail so I could maybe get a better view of the snow capped mountains to the East.

The temps were very cool during the majority of the day. The sun poked out so a little bit around 5. It also drizzle of and on for a portion of the day. The Verde river trail may be faint in spots, but there's cairns every 100 feet or so.

I got to use my new bike light on the ride back to the dam. It's alot brighter than my flashlight.It's as bright as a cars headlight.

I don't think I'll mountain bike and hike in the same day. There's to much logistics doing both and it also just too tiring.
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Jan 21 2012

 Guides 260
 Routes 841
 Photos 13,078
 Triplogs 5,286

52 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Red Crk - Wet Btm - Highwater - Verde 11, AZ 
Red Crk - Wet Btm - Highwater - Verde 11, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2012
joebartelsTriplogs 5,286
Hiking22.70 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking22.70 Miles   10 Hrs   56 Mns   2.49 mph
3,000 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
no photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
Bruce and I have been talking about some sort of Verde #11 hike for about a year. Bruce planned up a sweet looking route and I was very excited to go. After an hour and fourteen minutes sleep it was game on and out the door. The drive is pretty darn long. This was my first time out past Sears Kay. Albeit dark it was cool to cross creeks and see the large trees in the drainages.

The hike started at about 35 degrees. The hike down Red Creek was enjoyable. The constant creek crossings do wear after constant repetition, nevertheless a wonderful riparian area.

Down near the Verde River Bruce went to check out the area while I took a ten minute nap to regain consciousness after virtually no sleep the night before the hike. I brought Tevas for the river crossing. It was cold and swift but only knee deep at worst. A breeze compared to my Aug 2000 crossing about fourteen miles up river at the Hot Springs. That was waist to chest high and jet force dangerous at the time. While this was stinging cold I warmed up quickly after immediately drying off my feet.

The Wet Bottom Trail segment we hiked was awesome with incredible vistas. The Highwater Trail was my least favorite of the day and seemed more drab. I was pretty tired so that probably played into it. Looking at a map I realize we crossed "Pete's Cabin Mesa". Perhaps this has something to with Richard sending Bob and I to find "Pete's Pond" in the past?

The route finding got ridiculous where Highwater is suppose to meet Verde #11. I was starving, tired headachy and just a joy I'm sure. Did our best to find the trail with the loaded track. There are a few cairns but spaced thin and in between looks virtually untraveled for stretches. After finally getting across the Verde again a much needed late lunch was enjoyed. Albeit overcast for the day the forecasted winds never really kicked in and all we experienced thus far were sprinkles. At lunch the sky turned kinna nasty. There were rolling dark clouds and it appeared the Piper was demanding payment.

We lucked out in more ways than one. There was actually a trail so that perked up the spirits. It wasn't great but better than the last couple hours. The kicker was the breaking clouds and an incredible light show dancing through the jaw dropping vistas. Nearing Red Creek again I was running out of energy so I started hitting the GU then later the Hammer. I was back in the saddle and felt zippy for the hike up Red Creek. We ended in head lamps but the weather was storybook so it didn't matter. On the way in I cached a "No Fear" slip over black jacket (2.4mi down on right/south that could only be seen heading back) I've had since high school and somehow failed to locate on the return. So that was sort of a bummer. Otherwise this was one FANTASTIC hike! Credit Bruce for another winner!!!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
- joe
Jan 21 2012

 Guides 9
 Routes 818
 Photos 10,969
 Triplogs 1,936

66 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Red Crk - Wet Btm - Highwater - Verde 11, AZ 
Red Crk - Wet Btm - Highwater - Verde 11, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2012
The_EagleTriplogs 1,936
Hiking23.30 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking23.30 Miles   10 Hrs   56 Mns   2.49 mph
3,000 ft AEG   1 Hour   35 Mns Break17 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners partners
As Joe mentioned in his Triplog, the drive in was pretty long. From the Seven Springs Rec Area it's 1hr 15min (the way I drive.. you may need to add some time to your trip). FR 24 is in great shape to Seven Spring Rec Area, and good shape to FR269. FR269 is also in good shape, with just a couple of shallow creek crossings. FR 18 requires High clearance.

I knew this was going to be a special day. Hiking with Joe when he's had very little sleep is a treat. First example reared it's head on the drive in on FR24 in the dark. Some "Bears", next to the side of the road, were getting ready to run in front of my truck. The "Bears" were Horses. Example 2, (and there were many more on the day), hiking down Red Creek, Joe jumped 2 feet in the air screaming with the pitch of a 12 year old girl, because he almost stepped on a Tarantula the size of his fist. He was in no fear of being bitten by the leaf.

Now for the hike....
The Red Creek portion was an easy hike. This was a cool area with a gentle flowing creek that meanders all the way to the Verde. This area looks popular for Quads. We only saw one nice couple in a quad all day. Not nice enough to give us a ride back up to our truck at the end of the day though.

We made our way to the Corral and foundation for an old building. Joe took a nap, and I did a little exploring. ... playnext=1

After a stop to the pay toilet, it was time to cross the Verde. I zipped off the legs on my pants and put on my sandals. While I was crossing I was filming Joe crossing. The current ripped off one Sandal and then the other while I was trying to keep the camera dry. The remainder of my trip across on the slippery green rocks and 40 degree water was barefoot. ... ature=plcp

After drying off and contemplating how I was going to cross back over with no Sandals in another 10 miles, we started our way up the steepest part of the hike for the day. It started on the Verde River Trail #11 to the Wet Bottom Trail #269. This portion of the hike was in great shape and the views were to die for!!

We next met up with the Highwater trail #20 for our trek North to meet the Verde River Trail #11 again. A GPS track from here on out is highly recommended. There were many cairns out there, but when it seemed you needed one most, there was none to be found. For the most part the trail was easy to follow, until it made is turn to the west to meet the Verde River Trail.
We chose the path of least resistance for the most part here, roughly following the GPS track I'd traced.

The next decision we had was where to cross the River again. Joe waded in and tried one possibility. I walked back down South a bit, and ultimately chose to cross in the knee deep rapids area.

After a late lunch it was time to make the march south on the Verde River Trail.
**Note** When leaving the River basin area, and trying to find your way up the Verde River Trail, there is a 20' pole with a yellow reflector. This marks the entrance to the overgrown climb up. ... ature=plcp

The Verde River Trail was also very faint in spots and required a GPS track. At one point the clouds opened up casting incredible shadows on the surrounding mountains. WOW.... ... ature=plcp

We finally caught a break and the trail turned into a faint two track that had not been used in 50-60 years. We caught this all the way back to the Red Creek Trail.

The last 45 min up Red Creek to the truck were by Headlamps.
What a great day in an area I've been eyeing for sometime.

Thanks for keeping it interesting Joe-Joe.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry 🦅
average hiking speed 2.53 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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