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Pacheta Lake Campground - 1 member in 3 triplogs has rated this an average 1 ( 1 to 5 best )
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3 Triplogs

Jul 04 2019

 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,332
 Triplogs 1,432

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
White Mountain 4th, AZ 
White Mountain 4th, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2019
Hiking3.80 Miles 390 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles   3 Hrs   2 Mns   1.25 mph
390 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Headed up Wednesday night for a weekend in the cool pines. It could not have been more fun. We did a few short hikes with the dogs, along with some scenic drives and a lot of good old relaxing and laughing at anybody who wasn't us. No, we laughed at each other and ourselves too! :sweat:

The Whiting Knoll fire was a sight to see. The fireworks in Springerville and Sunrise were more impressive than I would have guessed. The weather was great and the company top notch (who doesn't love dogs ;) )!
Fire - Wildfire
Profound observer
1 archive
Apr 05 2015

 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

59 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Pinetop AZ and Area - April 2015, AZ 
Pinetop AZ and Area - April 2015, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 05 2015
Backpack29.32 Miles 2,120 AEG
Backpack29.32 Miles4 Days         
2,120 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Pinetop AZ and Area - April 2015

197 miles, 3hrs 45min per Google Maps

Bob Mohle's country getaway cottage on the outskirts of Pinetop AZ was offered up as an excuse to burn off some forfeitable vacation time. With some backdrop interest in the local history surrounding lumbering/lumberingu railroads, we headed out to the White Mountains with seven basic clues;
Clue #1, Apache Railway :next: azmemory.azlibrary. ... d/34
Clue #2, Apache Railway :next: ... lway
Clue #3, Apache Railway 2004 :next: ... html
Clue #4, Southwest Lumbering Industries logging train, circa 1910 at Standard AZ in the White Mountains :next: azmemory.azlibrary. ... c/14
Clue #5, White Mountain Scenic Railroad (7 page brochure) :next: archive.library.nau ... 1967
Clue #6, White Mountain Scenic Railroad locomotives :next: ... .htm
Clue #7, Maverick AZ ghost town :next: ... ashx

Day 1 - Sunday April 5th, 2015
FitBit totals = 7.64 miles, 770 AEG (77 floors)

On the road by 3pm after Easter brunch with the family. Arrived at Bob's Pinetop cottage about 7-ish and enjoyed some crisp country air with temperatures expected to drop into the hi 30's later that evening...

Day 2 - Monday April 6th, 2015
FitBit totals = 6.97 miles, 410 AEG (41 floors)

Up at dawn with a loose plan to visit Kinishba Ruins, Fort Apache Historic Park :next: ... .htm , Pacheta Lake, Pacheta Falls, and scout out remnants of the logging railway that ran between McNary and the ghost town of Maverick. Flat tire on our way out from Pacheta Falls to Maverick put an end to the exploration (made it back to Pinetop to see NCAA final game tipoff).
Apache Railway that ran from Holbrook to McNary to Maverick :next: azmemory.azlibrary. ... d/34 NOTE: ran as a tourist train during 1960's and 1970's until fire in 1980 (1976 in some references) at the McNary Lumber Mill combined with changes in tribal lumbering policy led to its closure. Ran under brand of White Mountain Scenic Railway.
Maverick ghost town :next: ... html
McNary lumber history :next: https://fhsarchives ... lls/
Finish the day with some "Hollywood History" by watching Walter Hill's "GERONIMO - An American Legend" with Wes Studi, Jason Patric, Gene Hackman, Matt Damon, and Robert Duvall :next: ... 004/.
Our visit to Fort Apache and seeing General Crook's cabin made me think that movie would be a great bookend to our day...
Later that night, I find the best historic reference for the Apache Railway, an article from the January 1963 Arizona Highways entitled "First Caboose to Maverick" :next: islandpondrailroad. ... .htm

Day 3 - Tuesday April 7th, 2015
FitBit totals = 9.60 miles, 790 AEG (79 floors)

Up at dawn and after a hearty breakfast, headed over to Greens Peak - Four Knolls area to take in the stellar panoramic views (despite hurricane-like winds). Explored Sunrise Ski Resort area to see if tram to top of mountain was open (everything closed to public). Off to explore the headwaters of the Little Colorado and the Mount Baldy Loop. When we parked at the West Baldy Trail #95 TH, I heard a distinct hissing sound - Another flat tire!
Fortunately I was able to limp back to Pinetop where Rex @ Future Tire ( ) took care of us. Today's flat was caused by a roofing nail and a simple plug-n-patch repair to the Goodyear Wrangler P275/65R18. Monday's flat was a rock puncture and not repairable. Disappointed with Ford's off-road package tires (these weren't my first off-road flat tires), I let Rex sell me a Cooper Tire Trailcutter AT2 that we mounted as my spare for now as I contemplate what to replace my other 4 tires with (anyone have experience with Cooper Tire Trailcutter AT2's???). A special "shoutout to Louis Weaver (Bob's handyman in Pinetop) who met us as we limped into town just in case we needed a ride
Lugs are 21mm, stock tire wrench lugs 7/8", yet have specialty 21mm wrench in truck
(Shouldn't the 7/8" lugs on truck all be 21mm to fit wrench?)
Back on the road after lunch at Red Devil Pizza :next: (Randy and CJ took care of us during lunch) and headed over to Porter Mountain and
Ice Cave Trail #608 :next: [ description ]

Day 4 - Wednesday April 8th, 2015
FitBit totals = 5.11 miles, 150 AEG (15 floors)

On the road home with a stop at the Salt River Canyon...

29.32 miles, 2120 AEG
85 images on iPhone 5S
87 images on Canon 6D
9 images on Canon 7D
12 images on Canon Rebel XT

1. Kinishba Ruins :next: [ description ]
2. Fort Apache Historic Park :next: [ description ]
3. Pacheta Lake :next: [ description ]
4. Pacheta Falls :next: [ description ]
5. Maverick Ghost Town :next: [ description ]
6. Railroad Grade Trail :next: [ description ]
7. Greens Peak :next: [ description ]
8. Four Knolls :next: [ description ]
9. Candy Mountain Trail :next: [ description ]
10. Sunrise Park :next: [ description ]
11. West Baldy Trail #95 :next: [ description ]
12. Ice Cave Trail #608 :next: [ description ]
13. Salt River Canyon - AZ60 Crossing :next: [ description ]
14. Upper Salt River :next: [ description ]

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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
1 archive
Jun 28 2009

 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

59 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Pacheta FallsAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 28 2009
Hiking5.00 Miles 120 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   5 Hrs      1.00 mph
120 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
White Mountain Apache I.R. - Pacheta Lake & Falls

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly...

• Hi 75, Lo 50 while the Valley forecast was 110
• Joe's GPS track is an absolute MUST to save you from frustration
• Total calm at night with only the occasional sound of birds and animals - amazing given the small city population we had a Pacheta Lake!
• Unbelievably fresh mountain air
• Finally got a chance to do some fly-fishing in Arizona
• WMAR bans all 2, 3, 4 wheel ATV's, motorcycles, and modified golf carts
• Pacheta Falls is as spectacular as everyone says!

• Arrived at Pacheta Lake only to discover 5 groups of campers - is there a camp site for us?
• At least 2 other groups of campers arrived at the lake after sundown and they seemed to be shut-out from finding a suitable site...
• Pacheta Lake hyped as incredible fisherman's lake - everybody we talked to was skunked...
• No monster elk, but plenty of slow elk (aka cows)
• Permits - $15 per day and nobody really seems to know what kind of permit you need for Pacheta Lake

• Set up camp at Pacheta Lake and finally sat back in our camp chairs with a beverage to enjoy the view and the sounds of the outdoors only to hear a generator start up (a freakin' generator out in the wilderness - give me a break!)

A 480 mile roundtrip weekender to much hyped Pacheta Lake and Pacheta Falls that included a side trip to Kinishba Ruins and Fort Apache. A summer camp in the White Mountains with a trek to Pacheta Falls has been in the "works" for sometime - "sometime" finally happened for us the weekend of 6/27 - 6/28

Mike and I picked up our $15 special-use permits from the Sportsman's Warehouse midweek. A little confusion as to what the correct permitting requirements are. A phone call to the White River Tribal Headquarters indicated that the Black/Salt River Corridor Special-Use Permits should cover all outdoor activities for both Pacheta Lake and Pacheta Falls (NOTE: no definitive answer, only an indication that they "should cover"...). Four people for two days - $15 x 4 x 2 = $120. I'm not going to lament the cost, only the lack of clarity as to what you really need for permitting...

Our group departed our Phoenix Starbuck's rendezvous location by 7am Saturday (needed to compensate for the Friday late night at the Clapton/Winwood concert), and we arrived at the Kinishba trail head at 10:30am giving us plenty of time to explore before we broke out the picnic lunch (Wraps by Ralph - most excellent!). After lunch, we made a quick stop at historic Fort Apache and then onto Indian Route Y55.

Had some deer and wild turkey encounters along Y55, but none of the monster elk encounters some previous Pacheta trekkers have reported. After travelling about 50 miles from historic Fort Apache, we were surprised by some signage at a T-intersection indicating "Y55 Ends". Arrows pointing to Hurricane Lake, Reservation Lake, Tonto Lake, Maverick, but nothing indicating Pacheta Lake - did we miss a turn? We get out of the vehicles to investigate and discover a tangle of intersecting roads beyond the sign. We spot another sign indicating "Pacheta Lake". Back into the vehicles and off to Pacheta Lake!

We soon catch our first glimpse of Pacheta Lake - YES! We spot some canoes on the lake and a couple of occupied camp sites. We circle down to the earthen dam noticing every camp site is occupied! We talk to a couple of the campers and they indicate that there should be some unoccupied sites at the north-east end of the lake away from the water.

We find our spot and begin to set up camp. With the tents set up and our rain tarp placed up in the trees above the picnic table, we finally sit back in our camp chairs with a beverage to enjoy the view and the sounds of the outdoors. Suddenly a screaming portable generator starts up (a freakin' generator out in the wilderness - give me a break!) making it impossible to conduct any conversation. We look at each other with that look - we paid $15 a day to get away from the sounds of civilization and we've got this?

We make our way down to the offending noise where the apologetic camper indicates that the generator will be going for 2 hours until his trailer battery is charged. Guess we won't have to dump that pound of sugar into the gas tank after all...

In the meantime a gentle rain starts to fall. That rain tarp sure comes in handy. When the rain stops, so does the generator. We break out the fly rods and head down to the lake. Ralph gives us a lesson in the basics - 10 o'clock and 12 o'clock, less wrist, more arm, feel the rhythm - got it. I'm soon able to get that fly out about 30 feet from shore. Apache trout are jumping everywhere, some even lunging at my fly in mid-cast!

Pacheta Lake is catch and release only - good thing we've got 4 New York Strip steaks waiting for the BBQ! As the sun sets, I pull the corn-on-the-cobs and mushrooms over to one side of the grill and get the steaks going. A fine selection of beers is sampled by all in final preparation for our camping feast. It's getting dark fast as I cut into a thick steak to check the grilling progress - thin red line - perfect, time to eat!

There's total calm that night with only the occasional sound of birds and animals - amazing given the small city population we had a Pacheta Lake!

Sunday morning Mike gets us going with our traditional eye-opener - Prickly Pear Vodka and orange juice. Grill up some bacon and chocolate chip pancakes and we're ready to find Pacheta Falls.

I have Joe Bartel's GPS route loaded into my Magellan SportTrak making our trek to the falls a relative breeze. 4WD was really only needed for the last half mile before you reach the falls, otherwise everything is doable in my 2WD F-150.

The falls - WOW!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
2 archives
average hiking speed 1.13 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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