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Oak Spring Trail #16 - 13 members in 33 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 28 2020
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 58
 Routes 524
 Photos 7,274
 Triplogs 477

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Pining for Oak Spring, AZ 
Pining for Oak Spring, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 28 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking11.00 Miles 1,963 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   4 Hrs   26 Mns   2.73 mph
1,963 ft AEG      24 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I was driving through Pine on my way to the Grand Canyon, and decided to stop and do this hike since I was in the area. The Oak Spring Trail got on my radar screen after reading a triplog that @hikerdw posted the other day.

Starting from the Pine TH I took the Oak Spring Trail to Oak Spring. Then I went north to Hardscrabble Mesa Rd, aka FR 428. From there I reversed course and went back to the TH.

I really enjoyed the hike. I wish that I had more time and I would have done the loop around Hardscrabble Mesa that @hikerdw did on his hike.

There were quite a few big tooth maples with some showy fall color in the stretch between Oak Spring and Hardscrabble Mesa Rd. The maple trees weren't real big, but the color was quite nice.

I did not see any wildlife, but I did see some bear scat in the middle of the Oak Spring Trail.

I will have to add this hike to my fall foliage rotation. It might be a nice spring hike also if there was water in the creek, but the creek was as dry as a bone on this day.
Flora
Flora
Bigtooth Maple
Named place
Named place
Bradshaw Tank
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
There were some colorful big tooth maples from Oak Spring north toward Hardscrabble Rd

dry Bear Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Bradshaw Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
It looks like cattle frequent this tank, so I don't think that I would want to drink out of it

dry Oak Spring Dry Dry
I did not see any water anywhere
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
Jan 20 2020
ShatteredArm
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 121
 Photos 552
 Triplogs 133

38 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Pine Creek Narrows - Isolation CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 20 2020
ShatteredArm
Hiking9.56 Miles 1,419 AEG
Hiking9.56 Miles   5 Hrs   23 Mns   1.86 mph
1,419 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Been wanting to check out Pine Creek narrows for a little while, so I got a few friends together yesterday for a little exploration. Honestly, I didn't expect to be able to make it all the way through the narrows, as I'm not much of a climber, and didn't know what to expect.

Made quick time getting to Pine Creek, and headed downstream. Once we hit the slickrock sections, I was really impressed. Throughout the whole canyon, the rock has a pinkish/purplish hue, and lots of deep pools. Water was flowing nicely.

Eventually we got to the part where there are a few pouroffs, and it didn't look easy to get down. Maybe it would be easier dry? We scrambled up a scree slope on creek left to a bench that slopes down to the creek, and followed that down. There was a 40 foot or so drop down to the creek, but we found a break in the cliff that provided a moderately easy scramble down a boulder field.

Headed back upstream to see it from the bottom, and saw a really nice waterfall, something the grammers would probably flock to if it weren't so hard to get to.

We continued downstream, making pretty good time. There were a couple of spots that required wading through numbingly cold water, but it felt pretty good on the wounds. Overall, we only had to do 4-5 easy scrambles, with the worst being a 10 foot or so climb. Really not too technical if you bypass the pouroffs.

Eventually we made it down to Oak Spring Canyon, and headed up there to AZT for our exit. Good outing, and it's such a great little canyon. Can't believe I didn't even know about it, despite dozens of visits to Pine Trailhead.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Bradshaw Creek - Pine Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Oak Spring Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Intermittent. Decent flow in some spots, dry in some spots.
_____________________
Aug 05 2019
MountainMatt
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 194
 Photos 3,407
 Triplogs 514

male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Oak Spring Trail #16Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 05 2019
MountainMatt
Hiking4.41 Miles 388 AEG
Hiking4.41 Miles
388 ft AEG45 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Quick little rainy day evening stroll originally hoping to harvest some berries but other than a handful of goods the local thicket surprisingly doesn’t seem like it will produce any fruit this year.
Made our way to one of our favorite “ponds” and found some cool stuff along the way and was treated with a pink pastel sunset on the way out with a little bit of sprinkling rain.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bradshaw Creek - Pine Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bradshaw Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
Jul 23 2019
MountainMatt
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 194
 Photos 3,407
 Triplogs 514

male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Oak Spring Trail #16Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2019
MountainMatt
Hiking5.91 Miles 714 AEG
Hiking5.91 Miles
714 ft AEG45 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
What was supposed to be a short berry harvesting walk turned into a solid little afternoon loop across interesting and familiar terrain.
Plentiful amounts of worked stone and a couple metate encountered but no ruins or petroglyphs this trip.
Boggy hot all day long in relentless sunshine as the flirtatious monsoon storm stayed and loomed over the Mogollon Rim and unfortunately never came south.
I still want to hike up to the nearby 6107’ “Oak Springs Tower” one of these days as the view of it from the south just beckons for it and I’ve came across all sorts of neat stuff around it’s perimeter.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bradshaw Creek - Pine Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bradshaw Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
4 archives
Jun 22 2019
MountainMatt
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 194
 Photos 3,407
 Triplogs 514

male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Oak Spring Trail #16Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 22 2019
MountainMatt
Hiking7.62 Miles 1,389 AEG
Hiking7.62 Miles
1,389 ft AEG45 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Four separate short hikes into the area merged into one triplog for convenience.
I meandered across the scenic Bradshaw Meadow and used the Oak Spring trail simply as an expressway to get me to the intriguing surrounding areas of many canyons, mesas and cliff bands.
I had theories of likely prehistoric activity and after discovering some projectile points and many other promising signs I am now even more eager to explore the vicinity.
Coues deer seen frolicking in the meadow with every visit and no elk as there usually out and about foraging the in the backyards and businesses of Pine around the evening.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bradshaw Creek - Pine Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bradshaw Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
Apr 15 2018
jochal
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,884
 Triplogs 553

37 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Oak Spring Trail #16Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2018
jochal
Hiking9.30 Miles 1,654 AEG
Hiking9.30 Miles
1,654 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Feb 02 2018
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 7
 Photos 1,233
 Triplogs 466

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Bearfoot TrailPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 02 2018
toddak
Hiking23.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking23.00 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   2.42 mph
2,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Nice big loop around Pine. Clockwise from the Strawberry trail head: BF13 > PC26 > OS16/AZT25 > W251 > PS15.

Bearfoot steadily improves along its length and the new bridge over Pine Creek is fiberglass art. Warm and very dry conditions, only a few meager patches of snow. The Pine-Strawberry fuel reduction program has done an incredible amount of work - several long stretches along this loop have nearly all the chaparral chopped down to a foot high, hundreds of acres have been thinned.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Oak Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
full clear tank
_____________________
Nov 11 2017
hikeaz
avatar

 Guides 6
 Photos 341
 Triplogs 219

64 male
 Joined May 13 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Oak Springs from Hardscrabble RdPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2017
hikeaz
Hiking7.00 Miles 552 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
552 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Hiked a bit of a "T" hike, starting at Hardscrabble down to Oak Spring then eastish on the Oak Trail #16 and headed down-and-back the Narrows about an hour each way and then over to the Pine T/H.
Leaves are about 3 weeks past prime but still colorful, especially the maples.
Saw Shawn R. and a couple of com-padres apparently scouting a trail re-route near the Narrows intersection. Also saw the AzT section steward out for a walk on the Oak Trail.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Oak Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Trough is full with flowing water.
_____________________
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
2 archives
Nov 10 2017
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 7
 Photos 1,233
 Triplogs 466

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Whiterock Mesa - AZT #25Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 10 2017
toddak
Hiking26.00 Miles 4,000 AEG
Hiking26.00 Miles   12 Hrs      2.17 mph
4,000 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Partners none no partners
A few moonlit warmup miles from Doll Baby, then NOBO to Pine. Many miles of rugged, rocky hiking, but the navigation is straightforward.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Oak Spring Dripping Dripping
full and clear

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Whiterock Spring Dripping Dripping
full and clear
_____________________
Sep 23 2017
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 801
 Photos 10,159
 Triplogs 1,555

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Good-Pine-Oak-Walnut-StrawBearyfoot, AZ 
Good-Pine-Oak-Walnut-StrawBearyfoot, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 23 2017
The_Eagle
Hiking18.48 Miles 2,982 AEG
Hiking18.48 Miles   7 Hrs   45 Mns   2.49 mph
2,982 ft AEG      20 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Denny and Joe refused to hike with me 2 weeks in a row.
The Dbacks kept me up late. I slept in until 6:00 and didn't hit the trail until 8:00.

Got dropped off at the Good Enough Trail. First time on this one. It's in decent shape and a short steady climb to The Pine Canyon Trail. Passed up Wild Bill Spring on the way up.

Pine Canyon Trail #26 yields great views down to Pine and back into the canyon. It's a super highway. A brief stint on the Highline trail and I was at the Pine TH.

I had not been on the Oak Spring Trail #16 in over 7 years, since we did the AZT in 2010. It really has a lot to offer. You get to peak at "The Narrows" (on my list) on your way to the picturesque Bradshaw Tank and meadow area. The blind has been changed up from last time through, with the same familiar note inside.

The drop and views into Oak Spring Canyon is what I'd remembered most about this trail. It did not disappoint.

I was going to take a side trip to relive the Butterfly Whisperer moment [ photo ] [ photo ] , but I was on a timetable.

I'd forgotten everything about the Walnut Trail #251. I'm sure there may be some walnut trees here, but most of what I saw were Oaks and Maples on the cusp of their seasonal turning. Worth a visit for sure.

The Pine Strawberry Trail #15 is a MTB highway, yet I saw none. This is an enjoyable trail that has had some slight reroutes since my last time through.

I finished up on the Bearfoot Trail.

I saw 4 hikers total on an absolutely perfect weather day.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Walnut Canyon's maples are just starting to turn.

dry Bear Canyon Dry Dry


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bradshaw Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Apr 09 2016
DallinW
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 105
 Photos 1,740
 Triplogs 228

29 male
 Joined Feb 26 2015
 Gilbert AZ
AZT: Roosevelt to Washington Park, AZ 
AZT: Roosevelt to Washington Park, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 09 2016
DallinW
Backpack132.20 Miles 26,979 AEG
Backpack132.20 Miles7 Days         
26,979 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
April 9th
Miles: 19
AEG: 6,413 ft

We started the climb from the 188 around 7:30 AM. The goal for the day was to make it to Pigeon Springs. The weather was great, and the views of Roosevelt Lake got more spectacular as we climbed out of the basin. After taking a break at Buckhorn Spring, the trail climbs relentlessly before topping out and contouring the mountain.

Eventually we turned a corner and BAM!, the four craggy peaks were staring us right in the face. Quite the view! The trail through the Four Peaks passage is very well maintained, except for a small stretch where we were pushing through overgrowth that nearly obscures the trail. Despite the large swaths of burned forest, this passage was one of my favorite so far. Eventually we reached Pigeon Springs and found a relatively flat spot to set up our tents.

April 10th
Miles: 19
AEG: 2,196 ft

The morning began with a clear sky. After packing up the gear we headed for Pigeon Springs Rd to begin the long road walk. I'm usually not a fan of road walks, but this was an exception. There were great views on either side of the Superstitions, Sierra Ancha, and Lake Roosevelt. The immediate area itself was very beautiful as well. Around 10 AM we could see clouds beginning to build on top of Browns Peak, and a storm hitting the Supes.

We stopped to take out the rain jackets and a white mini-van rolled up and asked if this road would take them all the way back to the 87. I pulled out my map and told them it looked like the road ended well before reaching the 87 and that they needed to turn around and take El Oso or the other forest road. The wife sitting in the passenger seat seemed concerned that we were about to be backpacking out in the rain. :roll: By 11 AM it was lightly raining, which was initially quite exciting (I needed to test the rain gear anyway).

Just as we reached the Boulder Creek drainage the storm began to give us its all. Heavy rain, wind, and thunder! By the time we reached Sunflower, the trail was a muddy slip and slide, my phone was soaked and unresponsive (may it RIP ](*,) ), and we were slightly chilled.

We waited under the 87 underpass for my brother to arrive, who was picking us up so I could take an exam for an online class I'm taking before returning to the trail the next day.

April 11th
Miles: 12
AEG: 2,643 ft

After finishing up my exam, we were back on trail around 1 PM. Under the 87, we did some last minute gear prep before heading out and ran into three other hikers, Giltch, Kegel, and Minus. They were 17 days into their thru-hike and were excited to get into Pine for some much needed beer. We were all aiming for McFarland Canyon for the night.

We started up Saddle Mountain and enjoyed all the green scenery in the area. Just before reaching camp, we passed the half way mark for the AZT and celebrated with the thru-hikers before settling down for the night in McFarland Canyon.

April 12th
Miles: 21
AEG: 5,249 ft

The thru-hikers were up and leaving camp just as we were beginning to pack up. We weren't sure if we would ever see them again. The trail gets a little hard to follow just after McFarland Canyon to Thicket Spring. The Guthooks app says to head straight up a wash but apparently there is an alternative route that is clear of brush and well defined that you can take at the first junction past McFarland.

Once we reached the junction for the Peeley TH we stopped to take a break and ran into Joe, a gentleman I had met at a trail maintenance event about a month earlier. Quite the coincidence, if we would have left a minute earlier we probably would have never seen him. He was meeting up with another fellow to remove some downed trees along the trail.

The views along the Mazatzal Divide from Peeley to Y-Bar were my favorite for the entire trip. The rugged peaks of the Mazatzals and expansive views on either side were exciting to see. We ran into Minus again at the Bear Spring junction taking a lunch break. After taking our own lunch break at the spring, we headed for Horse Camp Seep.

As we approached Horse Camp Seep, we ran into the three thru-hikers again. There was another hour or so of light, so they continued on, we decided to call it a day where there was water. Horse Camp Seep was a sweet spot and had great camping.

April 13th
Miles: 18
AEG: 2,907 ft

The goal for the day was to make it to the East Verde River, a relatively easy day that was mostly downhill. We made our way along the Divide trail and passed "The Park", an inviting stand of pines and great campsites. We stopped to take a lunch break at the Red Hills seeps. From here the trail descends steeply to the East Verde River. Not very fun for the knees.

We camped just across the river and enjoyed the warmest night of the trip. We were now done with the Mazzies, and I felt the proposed "overgrowth" was kind of blown out of proportion, or there has been a lot of trail work in the past couple of months. Probably a bit of both. ;) I never felt like the trail was hard to find (except for the stretch between McFarland and Thicket) or that I had to deal with excessive brush that I wouldn't expect on most wilderness trails.

April 14th
Miles: 23
AEG: 4,196 ft

With burgers and beer on our minds, we got up early to make it into Pine with sufficient time to hit up THAT brewery and the market. The rocks along Whiterock and Hardscrabble Mesas were annoying and it felt like I was constantly stubbing my toes or rolling my ankle. Otherwise the area is quite beautiful and welcoming. The rocks put these two passages high on my list of "one and done" passages.

We reached Pine around 5pm with plenty of time to get burgers and beer. Lo and behold, we run into Minus, Kegel, and Giltch at the brewery along with another thru-hiker, Thomas, who was taking a zero in town. We joined them and enjoyed the comradery. Thomas decided to join us at camp for the night near the Pine TH while the others reserved the cabin in the back.

April 15th
Miles: 17
AEG: 3,303 ft

We woke up with frost all over our gear. :yuck: After packing up, Thomas headed for the Highline and we headed for breakfast at the Early Bird. Just before we finished up eating we ran into Minus who was getting some breakfast himself.

We headed for the Highline. It was nice to be climbing on a well graded trail with less rocks, especially because a hole was beginning to develop in my right shoe. I could feel every rock under my foot on that spot.

At Red Rock Spring we made a quick stop and finished off the last bit of the Arizona Trail Ale we picked up the night before at the market.

Once we reached Webber Creek we caught up with Thomas who was drying out all his gear. We stopped to take a break, and eventually Minus came strolling down the trail to join us. Minus decided to hike with us for a stretch after the break. The Rim gets right up in your face along this stretch and red dirt contrasting with the green pines and cedars made for great scenery.

We were about 9 miles from the finish and a little antsy to finish up. Eventually Minus stopped to take a lunch break and we continued on after filtering some water. Now with only 5 miles left, we kicked it into high gear and made for the Washington Park TH. Clouds started to build along the rim.

We reached the trailhead and got ready to hunker down for a few hours of inclement weather before our ride would arrive. However, after a few snow flurries, the clouds broke. Eventually Thomas and the other three thru-hikers caught up with us, we exchanged information, and said our goodbyes. All of them were very enthusiastic about Arizona and couldn't stop commenting on the diversity of the state and how we had a pretty cool home.

---------------------------------------

Besides my foot issue due to my failing shoe on the last day, I felt great this entire trip. I never woke up sore or feeling exhausted. I listened to my body, and I was proactive about keeping my feet and knees happy. It really paid off and made the trip that much more enjoyable.

This concludes all of Southern and Central Arizona passages for me. I'm looking forward to the easy walking on the plateau to the UT border!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Lots of lupine in the middle elevations, not much at the highest and lowest elevations.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Bear Spring - Fisher Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Chilson Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Pools and light flow in drainage just south of spring.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max East Fork of Chase Creek @ Highline Light flow Light flow

dry Granite Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hopi Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Flowing across the trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Horse Camp Seep Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max North Sycamore Creek @ Highline Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Oak Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pigeon Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Flowing over the cement box.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Polk Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Flowing across the trail, really muddy.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pool East of 4264 - Boulder Creek Light flow Light flow
Pools with light flow in some areas.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Red Rock Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Shake Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Great flow, great water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Upper McFarland @ #88/95 Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Webber Creek @ Highline Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Whiterock Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Best water of the trip.
_____________________
1 archive
Mar 21 2016
nathanbrisk
avatar

 Routes 27
 Photos 264
 Triplogs 51

34 male
 Joined Aug 06 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Walnut Trail #251Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 21 2016
nathanbrisk
Backpack9.07 Miles 1,212 AEG
Backpack9.07 Miles
1,212 ft AEG55 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
My bros and I had a bit of a hassle getting on the trail!

We were all set to get to the Roger's Canyon trail via the Roger's Trough trailhead . . . I've been into Angel Basin six times, but I've never had enough time to check out the cliff dwellings. In the past, we've started at the Woodbury Trailhead, and lemme tell ya--the hike up to Tortilla Flat (the junction of the JF Trail and the Roger's Canyon Trail) is a beast . . . I don't want to do that hike again (with a pack). So this time, the plan was to bring a high clearance vehicle to the Roger's Trough trailhead. But, I had engine trouble at the last minute. DOH. A low clearance minivan will have to do. :lol:

Next plan--hit up the Barbershop Trail and U-Bar trail on the Mogollon Rim. I've had great experiences there in the past. So we drive up to Woods Canyon Lake to hop on the Rim Road (FS300) only to find that . . . it's frickin' closed. People close roads? Who would have thought? Not me . . . I guess the road wasn't passable or something. Even the visitor center had a sign on the door saying it wouldn't be open until May-ish. So I figured we'd just get on the Rim Road from the west side off the AZ87. We drove back down the 260 into Payson, and my brother pulled over into a parking lot and suggested I call the ranger station. And sho nuff . . . the Rim Road was ALSO closed from the east. So what am I gonna do? I fire up HAZ on my cell phone and try to find something that has water. 30 minutes later . . . voila! Oak Spring Trail out of Pine, AZ it is.

We parked the minivan at 34.3714183, -111.4797109 on Hardscrabble Mesa Rd and headed down the Walnut Trail. I had found from the HAZ entry that Oak Spring was about 4.5 miles in or so . . . . So we made it to the junction of the Walnut Trail and Oak Spring Trail and I thought to myself "well we're looking for the spring, so that must be up the Oak Spring Trail," so regrettably, we took the Oak Spring Trail thinking that Oak Spring was up that way. So we ended up hiking to what we later found out was Bradshaw Tank. There was some good water here for treating at 34.3679893, -111.4558701. That was coo. We set up camp in Bradshaw meadow. You can find our firepit at 34.3688631, -111.4589177, and you can find our awesome natural toilet at 34.3691812, -111.4588189. This seemed to be reaaaaallllyyy close to town. My cell service was off the hizzle. Maybe we shouldn't have camped there . . . not sure. But we were tired and hongry.

That night, I figured that we didn't really find Oak Spring, so it was probably just further down the Walnut trail. So we hiked back to that fateful trail junction and went (a little) further down the Walnut Trail. And there it was . . . Oak Spring. So close . . . great water. We set up camp this next night at 34.3500167, -111.4728984, and we set up another rockin natural toilet at 34.3502227, -111.4724498. You're welcome.

Good 2 night trip
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Oak Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
plenty of water flowing. Horse trough was full
_____________________
leaving no trace of liberty-confining voices in my ears
3 archives
Mar 12 2016
friendofThundergod
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 313
 Photos 8,934
 Triplogs 848

38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
AZT Trail: Picketpost to Pine, AZ 
AZT Trail: Picketpost to Pine, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 12 2016
friendofThundergod
Backpack161.56 Miles 32,262 AEG
Backpack161.56 Miles6 Days         
32,262 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I was kind of looking to see where I was at for another big trek this summer and Karl was looking to experiment with a lighter weight higher mileage backpack, so I proposed Picketpost Mountain, or the beginning of section 18 of the Arizona Trail to Pine and the end of section 26 of the Arizona Trail. Karl was down for four days and had a somewhat flexible plan for ending his trip when he needed to. Meanwhile, I was about 50-50 if I could do the entire hike and was content with just seeing how far Karl and I could get and then playing the rest of my trip by ear, or I should say by body.

Day 1: 29.92 miles 6268 aeg

We made it to our planned first night's campsite on day one, Walnut Spring. Section 18 really exceeded my expectations. This is about the best time of year to be walking though that desert right now and Whitford proved to be a real treat with the flowing water and abundance of green. The climb was grueling and relentless but it offered some very solid views of the area and was really made manageable by liberal use of switchbacks. Karl was so confident with our performance at that point in the day that he insisted we bag Montana Mountain while we were up there. I agreed, but only because I was born in Montana and I said it had to count it as our break. Reavis Ranch looked like Daytona Beech and I had not apprehensions about making the short trip past it to my cozy little campsite at Walnut Spring. Got to Walnut just at headlamp time. Blew through camp chores, made a fire, ate and got to bed as soon as we could.

Day 2: 25.67 miles 6392 aeg

We came up a little short on our proposed campsite on this day, but the hiking was great so no worries. No stranger to the Eastern Supes, but Sunday still offered me all new areas after Two Bar Ridge. Cottonwood Canyon was great! No shortage of water in there and some cool little sites in this random little riparian jungle in the far corners of the northwestern Supes. A little bit of road and then it was the traverse from hell along the 188 waiting for that damn bridge to come into sight. From the bridge it was up the stairway to heaven. Where fittingly we had a trail angel waiting for us with tons of snacks and H20. After our sugar, hops, and caffeine binge at Mills Ridge we decided to just push for Buckhorn Creek. However, on that side of Four Peaks, pushing for a few extra miles usually entails a nice chunk of aeg as well, so we earned it. I did find a set of Indian ruins though along the way, so that was cool. We were both excited to learn that after carrying all that fresh water from Mills Ridge, there was water flowing in Buckhorn Creek. Oh well no filtering to do, quicker camp set-up, quick fire and in bed even earlier than previous night.

Day 3: 31.24 miles 5239 aeg

Day three was all new ground for me. Four Peaks makes you work, but alas the beauty of nature is enhanced by the ardor of the journey. I really enjoyed this section, an instant new favorite! I hiked through perhaps one of my nicest sunrises in a long time and marked several rock pile sites along the trail for future exploring. This section just kept getting better for me as we neared Four Peaks and started contouring towards Pigeon Spring. The lingering and previous snow had some of the creeks flowing nicely along this stretch and the trail got very nice as we approached its end. The road felt a little like Mad Max with the amount of Jeeps, trucks and atvs out. However, I must say not one negative experience with any driver and I do not think I have been offered as much water in such a short amount of time as I was along that 11 mile stretch of road. One guy asked, "is there anything else I could give you?" I said I could use some sunscreen and he offered up the whole bottle. The hike down into Sycamore was also very nice, again a great time to be in the lowlands, a little water, some flowers and green. However, it was hard to appreciate at times with the fatigue and anxiety over coordinating a last minute drop off of some additional things I felt I needed, if I was going to have any chance of reaching Pine. The drop and pick went smooth, a small adventure, but relatively smooth. We did not get an ideal spot to camp, but spirits were high after our resupply.

Day 4: 24.7 miles 6297 aeg

This was the day Karl and I would be saying our goodbyes. Karl decided on a Peely exit and I would push on to Bear Spring from there. More new trail for me to start the day and again I was not disappointed. The canyons on the way up to Saddle Ridge were picturesque, there was a lot of water and signs of some pretty extensive trail work in spots. I will admit things got a little dicey after we left the quaint McFarland Spring area, but we endured. The trails definitely need some work in there. I found myself kind of embracing the ruggedness and challenge the area presented. However, I could see that area becoming another hiker's hell if they were not expecting it. Karl and I parted at Peely. Losing Karl sucked, as he and I had a good thing going the first few days. Karl was keeping our pace in the areas where I tend to day dream and I was doing what I could do to keep us at a respectable place for some of the more stout climbs. But no time to dwell, I was solo now and needed to reach Bear Spring, just another 2000 feet of aeg and a shade under ten miles. There is no sense harping on the point, but the Divide Trail is getting nasty along there and I did make it to Bear Spring before head lamp conditions, but I was obliterated from that last little push from Peely. I replaced Karl with another Carl at Bear Spring. I am going to assume he spells his with a C. Anyways, I ran into Carl, better known as Spiced Rum on HAZ. He was on the final night of a backpack to gather some information for future work in the area. We chatted it up for awhile and I am not ashamed to admit I took some extra snacks from him. He was leaving a day early and I could not believe the amount of food I was going through on these long days, so I had no problem taking the charity. Superb stuff too, some great dried fruit, trail-mix and a Rice Crispy treat. Good guy all around and a source of wealth on some other major trails that I am interested in. And what a nice little spot to camp near Bear Spring, that saddle is great, I see why toughboots is fond of the place.

Day 5: 26.9 miles 4051 aeg

This was my make or break day. I had my city creek trailhead bailout option if needed, or I was pushing for the East Verde via the dreaded Red Hills and making my final push for Pine from there. The divide trail has its ups and downs, both in terrain and condition, but overall it was pretty smooth going. There is a section of Divide Trail that is now immaculate from about the intersection with Brody Seep to the intersection with Barnhardt. Kudos to that trail crew. I stopped for way too long to soak my legs and filter water and then realized I was looking at about ten more miles to include the worst part of the Red Hills and it was nearly three. My rational side said, "set up camp here, hike out LF or Saddle Ridge tomorrow," however, my other side said, "quit making excuses and finish the original plan." I am not sure what it was, but I was really dreading the last half of the Red Hills. Out of paranoia of being too exhausted to complete the entire section and having to dry camp somewhere I carried way too much water. This weighed me down and annoyed me even more as several of the creeks and main valleys I crossed had running water in them. As it turned out, while my worries were warranted, I did just fine and to be honest felt the area did not seem as bad as it had before and I must give props to the horse(s) whose tracks I followed through the entire Red Hills section, a doable stretch, just may require more time and detail. Camped at the Verde where I was serenaded to sleep by cows, frogs, chickens, maybe peacocks, cats and perhaps even a species of monkey. A very lively river at night.

Day 6: 23.08 miles 4329 aeg

This was the one I was waiting for, the "easy" day. A nice early start, I don't think there is a better place to be in the world than a half hour before light in the mountains somewhere, just pure serenity. There were ankle breakers abound on this day of Whiterock and Hard Scrabble. A nice steady pace was all I tried to keep and I followed a liberal break plan, as I crawled into Pine. The final two sections were not my favorite, but they were also the last two sections of a 160 mile trek so they would have had to have been perfect to really capture my imagination. Nevertheless, I got through both of them and endured the lava rock tread and bland road. I did find the last few miles to be more redeeming with the scenic Oak Spring and Bradshaw tank area. It was a reunion at the trailhead with Jackie and the pups, Del Taco and then home.

Final Notes

I need to work on a better nutrition plan for these big ones. I simply did not bring enough caloric energy for the type of days I was doing and the amount of energy I was putting out. I need to go healthier and more efficient, just a good lesson to learn.

Karl played a huge role in getting me through those first four days, very glad to have him through there, he was missed later.

A good song to have stuck in your head while hiking is Passion Pit, "Take a Walk."

I can definitely go lighter on these ones too, I packed light, but by no means did I make any attempts to go ultra-light. In the future, that may be needed to knock out some of these more ambitious multi day treks.

The hardest days by far were Day four with its nearly 7000 feet gained and day five with its 27 legit miles through the Mazzies without as much as a foot of road relief until the very end.
Flora
Flora
Brittlebush
Named place
Named place
Four Peaks Oak Spring Pigeon Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
About normal to not so great, to really good in spots. Most action in the first few sections though.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bear Spring - Fisher Quart per minute Quart per minute
Spring box full.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Bradshaw Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bullfrog Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Did not observe spring area, but light flow in canyon and some of surrounding drainages..

dry Chillicut Spring Dry Dry
Very dry in area, trough in disrepair, might find a seep if lucky.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

dry Crabtree Spring Dry Dry
Did not observe spring, but some light flowing water with small pools in wash near

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Oak Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Full trough, flow in wash, quality water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pigeon Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Spring box full, quality water, seeping out around base.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pine Creek at Reavis Gap #117 Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Reavis Creek at Fireline #118 Medium flow Medium flow
Nice flow as usual

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reavis Creek at Gap Trail #117 Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reavis Saddle Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
A pool in area marked spring, not overly reliable though from my experience..

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Rogers Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Saddle Ridge Pasture Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
Muddy and dirty.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Sandy Saddle Falls Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
some pools, not much in way of flowing water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Shake Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Medium flow in wash with several nice pools and small cascades.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Theodore Roosevelt Lake 51-75% full 51-75% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Walnut Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Spring box full, good quality water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Walnut Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Box is full, quality water

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Whitford Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

dry Windsor Spring Dry Dry
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6 archives
Jul 18 2015
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 363
 Photos 8,048
 Triplogs 962

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Bradshaw Tank - Meadow, AZ 
Bradshaw Tank - Meadow, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2015
BiFrost
Hiking5.90 Miles 655 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles   2 Hrs   56 Mns   2.58 mph
655 ft AEG      39 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
slowandsteady
Easy stroll over to Bradshaw Tank and Meadow from Pine Trail Head. The trail follows the AZT from the parking lot which is also the Oak Springs Trail #16. It crosses Hwy 87 and heads up a hill about 2 miles to the tank and meadow. First things first Cup needed to cool off in the tank which is more of a pond. She scared away a blue heron that was in the pond when we arrived. After Cup's quick dip we headed across Bradshaw Meadow and discovered a second tank which was dry. Then headed back to the pond and had lunch while Cup took another dip. The blue heron decided Cup was not a threat and was back eating a small fish out of the pond for it's lunch while we looked on.

After lunch we made our way back towards the trailhead but took a detour to make a short loop out of the AZT and Pine Canyon Trail back to the vehicle. We expected some rain with the daunting forecast thunderstorms and heavy rain possible but only had a few sprinkles :D

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bradshaw Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
good water...almost full
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3 archives
Jul 18 2015
slowandsteady
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

47 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Bradshaw Tank - Meadow, AZ 
Bradshaw Tank - Meadow, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2015
slowandsteady
Hiking5.90 Miles 655 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles   2 Hrs   56 Mns   2.58 mph
655 ft AEG      39 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
Nice afternoon stroll to take a doggie to a pond.
_____________________
May 03 2015
winotron
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 Guides 2
 Routes 6
 Photos 1,167
 Triplogs 298

39 male
 Joined Nov 12 2013
 Phoenix, AZ
Oak Springs from Hardscrabble RdPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 03 2015
winotron
Hiking4.54 Miles 764 AEG
Hiking4.54 Miles   2 Hrs   50 Mns   2.02 mph
764 ft AEG      35 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
My girlfriend and I were staying at a cabin in Pine for the weekend, and this hike was only about 5 minutes away, so we figured we'd check it out. Didn't expect a whole lot from this hike, but it turned out to be pretty nice. We were thinking we missed the trailhead, but it turns out we actually hadn't gone far enough down the road. The TH is very visible from the road and there's enough parking for several cars. It was a little warm when we got there but there was some cloud cover and a breeze.

Most of the trail meandered gently through the forest. The area is very lush with a lot of greenery. At some points we got some good views of the canyon. There were some nice patches of wildflowers here and there. The area seemed very vibrant and alive. I've never seen so many butterflies in one place!

I didn't do a whole lot of research on this one, so a couple miles in when we got to the sign pointing left to the Oak Spring Trail, we figured that was the way to the spring. You'd think the "Oak Spring Trail" would get you to Oak Spring, right? Nope. Lol. The trail immediately started switchbacking up out of the other side of the canyon and we knew we went the wrong way. We backtracked to the sign and just continued ahead on the Walnut Trail for a few minutes and saw the sign for the spring itself. There were a couple nice little meadows before getting to the spring.

The spring area was a very nice shaded setting, though it was loaded with yellowjackets. Looked to be a good amount of water coming from the spring, but it was hard to see it as it was almost completely covered in greenery. We enjoyed the shade, dodged the yellowjackets, and hung out for a while before heading back. The hike back was a nice stroll. Saw a good sized snake on the way back.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Mar 28 2015
hikerdw
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,787
 Triplogs 476

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Hardscrabble Mesa Lasso, AZ 
Hardscrabble Mesa Lasso, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2015
hikerdw
Hiking15.32 Miles 2,871 AEG
Hiking15.32 Miles   5 Hrs   53 Mns   2.86 mph
2,871 ft AEG      32 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Wanted to check out the Hardscrabble Mesa area so threw together a lasso loop using Oak Spring Trail #16, Walnut Trail #251, and FR's 1655, 1654, and 428. Really nice hike; the weather was great, 37 degrees at the start, warming up to a nice 77, saw a herd of 5 elk that actually weren't camera shy, and chatted with, a thru-hiker from Ohio, who, even with my bright florescent green shirt on, didn't see us until I startled him with a shout-out :)

I posted a water report for Oak Spring which was flowing very nice. All the tanks we passed were full but not sure I would drink from them. Even in dire-straights, Pine-Strawberry is just a stone throw away, and That Brewery is a much better choice.
Named place
Named place
Bradshaw Tank Oak Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Oak Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Really nice flow on this day. The entire area was wet/damp.
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Oct 13 2013
mazatzal
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 Routes 33
 Photos 2,345
 Triplogs 1,157

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Whiterock Mesa - AZT #25Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 13 2013
mazatzal
Hiking10.60 Miles 1,860 AEG
Hiking10.60 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.90 mph
1,860 ft AEG      55 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
From Pine TH headed out on Oak Spring trail to the intersection with Walnut Trail and up onto Pine Ridge a bit past Ridge Tank. There is a lot more loose rock on Oak Spring trail than I remember. Autumn colors are just getting going in this area, probably 2+ weeks until prime. Great weather and some nice views of the RIm.
Named place
Named place
Oak Spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Oak Spring Dripping Dripping
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Jun 04 2013
topohiker
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 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,540
 Triplogs 2,253

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Pine Canyon / Geronimo LoopPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2013
topohiker
Hiking22.48 Miles 4,519 AEG
Hiking22.48 Miles   11 Hrs      2.70 mph
4,519 ft AEG   2 Hrs   40 Mns Break
 
no photosets
Mike and I started the summer hiking season by doing the Pine / East rim / Turkey Spring / Geronimo / Highline loop.

The Pine and Turkey Springs trails have a bunch of new dead fall on it. Nothing too hard to work around.
The only people we saw was two guys in jeans with a rifle on the Geronimo trail.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dripping Springs Dripping Dripping

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Red Rock Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
spring box was full

dry Turkey Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max West Webber Creek Medium flow Medium flow
flowing
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"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
Mar 09 2012
BobP
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 Guides 2
 Routes 185
 Photos 3,888
 Triplogs 2,325

59 male
 Joined Feb 26 2008
 Scottsdale, AZ
Whiterock Mesa - AZT #25Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 09 2012
BobP
Hiking12.10 Miles 1,393 AEG
Hiking12.10 Miles
1,393 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
Tortoise_Hiker
Denny was bossing me around this morning....so I forgot to turn my tracking on the gps. :doh: This was option B which Denny chose out of A,B, or C. He is in the top 5 of my crowded top 5 list...he has a seat in the nosebleeds.

All I can say is Denny you rock...thanks for everything you did to help me out. The hike was ok but the company was much better than topnotch.
Culture
Culture
Horseshoe
Named place
Named place
Polk Spring
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Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
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average hiking speed 2.39 mph
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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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