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Fig Trail #92 - Tonto NF - 1 member in 3 triplogs has rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Nov 21 2020

 Guides 7
 Routes 160
 Photos 701
 Triplogs 198

39 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Fig Trail #92 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 21 2020
ShatteredArmTriplogs 198
Run/Jog5.11 Miles 670 AEG
Run/Jog5.11 Miles   1 Hour   49 Mns   2.89 mph
670 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wanted to do something close, short, and easy. I think I got the first two boxes checked. The first mistake I made was forgetting to make sure I had the actual route on my electronic device. Whoops.

The river crossing was pretty easy; I think with current flow I could probably even get my Jeep across. Took a wrong turn after the crossing, since it seems more people continue along the river. Realized it was wrong when we got to another crossing, and headed north-ish cross country until we got to the correct road.

This was easy enough to follow until the spring, which actually had water, and was a nice little spot. Looks like it is Javelina central. Opposite side of the creek we lost the route, and couldn't figure out where it went. There are so many game trails there that even if there were an actual trail somewhere, it'd be impossible to distinguish it.

Fun time, but this one definitely requires a map.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Fig Trail Spring Dripping Dripping
Intermittent flow in the creek, and a good seep coming out of the spring.
Feb 11 2018

 Guides 33
 Routes 78
 Photos 1,293
 Triplogs 199

37 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Fig Trail and a Kayak, AZ 
Fig Trail and a Kayak, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2018
jacobemerickTriplogs 199
Hiking14.59 Miles 1,108 AEG
Hiking14.59 Miles   8 Hrs   49 Mns   1.82 mph
1,108 ft AEG      49 Mns Break30 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked linked
[9 Best] Stroller Friendly Hikes Se...
[9 Best] Stroller Friendly Hikes Sedona In (2022)
Partners none no partners
Well, this is one way to do Fig Trail and avoid an out-and-back.

Met sister at SB Cove and we took a vehicle up to FR 42, starting down the road with the sun. Great views along the way, I had fun pointing out Horseshoe Dam and the ranch, as well as the different peaks of the Mazzies, to an increasingly bored sibling. We took a roundabout way down to the river, ending at the gauge, and then stared at the Verde. Instead of trying to ford it we decided to kayak across because, well, we were carrying inflatable kayaks and they're cool. Those become more important later. Anyways, we spent an hour inflating/deflating for a sixty-second crossing and then started up FR 477 to the trailhead.

Fig #92
Found the twisted stump marking the beginning and followed a shockingly well-defined tread east. The old road that the trail follows is washed out at the second wash crossing and we had to find our own terrible way up the other bank, and then we re-discovered the trail on the other side of the next hill. We'd follow the tread few a few hundred yards, get slightly confused and/or make stupid decisions, and then pick it back up a short time later. Along the way I built a few cairns and we admired the views. Overall we were just impatient to reach the cabin.

Sheep Creek
Sheep Creek was terribly overgrown, as any Arizona creek should be, and we fought our way towards the cabin, not spotting it until we were twenty feet away. Cabin is in great shape - someone recently cleaned it out and added a photo of the builder. Cool stuff. After that we still had another half mile of battle along Sheep Creek (which was flowing great, by the way) until things dried up and died down and we could stroll the rest of the way to the Verde River.

Verde River
Now to the water stuff. We inflated our vehicles and set down the river. There was a decent amount of rapids due to the low level of Bartlett, at least six sections in all, and three of them were shallow enough to force me out and walk it down. Sister weighs at least fifty pounds less and had no troubles... I blame it on a different model of kayak. She also moved way faster in the flat water and soon left me in the mist. There wasn't enough watercraft in the north end of Bartlett to give us much trouble, though I did snap my paddle near the Flats and bailed early. Worked out fine - I deflated, packed up, and met my sister just as she was loading up at the dock. Walking > kayaking.

Mazatzal Miles: 199.6/275 (73%)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Fig Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Dripping/pouring down the bank and created a steady stream down into Sheep Creek.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Fig Trail Spring Dripping Dripping
Good dripping flow from source of spring heading down the wash. Several large pools, including rock tanks, of clear water, more than deep enough to pull from.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sheep Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Was flowing great near Fig Cabin, dries up about 1/2 mile downstream.
2 archives
Jan 19 2013

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

 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Fig Trail #92 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2013
topohikerTriplogs 2,616
Hiking27.48 Miles 4,945 AEG
Hiking27.48 Miles   13 Hrs   50 Mns   2.73 mph
4,945 ft AEG   3 Hrs   45 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners partners
What a day! This was our second attempt to reach the Fig Spring cabin. We started at Horseshoe dam and hiked to the KA Ranch. We went about a half mile past the ranch on FR479 and crossed the Davenport wash. Then we climbed up an unnamed mountain and bushwhacked over where FR477 meets the gauging station by the Verde River. We saw that a vehicle recently forded the Verde by the gauging station. I roamed for a little bit looking for the Cable Crossing, but didn't find it. We took a break by the Verde.

Next we located the Fig Trail #92. The only indication of a junction is a burnt out piece of wood sticking out of the ground. Once you're on the trail you can almost make out an old road. The road gets a little better. We were following horse prints down the road. About 3/4 a mile down the road, the trail hits drainage.

:scared: *DISCLAIMER* Past this point you need a GPS track (or a very detailed map) of the trail and be very comfortable with route finding and bushwhacking. There is NO TRAIL past this point. If there was one, it hasn't been used in years or decades. *DISCLAIMER* :scared:

We lost the horse prints in the drainage. This time we used the GPS track as a guideline for where to go. Last time we tried to stay on the track and that go us no-where fast. I would see what direction the track was going, then look for a nice open path in the desert and go for it. I would check the GPS every 10 minutes to make sure we were still on-track. I tried to stay with 100~200 feet of the GPS track. This made the bushwhacking easier, because we zigzagged around vegetation. Every so often we would 'see' trail, but who knows if it was just a game path.

We had to cross numerous drainages. This was time and energy consuming. Sometimes we had to go a 1/4 mile out of the way to find a viable crossing. When we were about 1 mile from the cabin, we entered a wash and saw a cairn! Then we saw a second cairn when we turned down a second wash! We both agreed that if you got this far, you didn't need cairns. Then we climbed to a ridgeline and saw a path clear of rocks going the opposite of the GPS track. The GPS track made a semi-circle to the Sheep Creek, but the clear rock path went straight for it. We gambled and took the ridgeline path. The path got us about 1/3 mile from the cabin and it ended in a drainage. It was 1:10 now. There was butte blocking our way to the sheep creek ](*,) . We veered towards the GPS track and had to go through a couple of scree fields with drop offs into the drainage.

We hit the track/trail and dropped into a nice wash. Soon after I could see trees! The Sheep Creek was close! Then we hit a fence line going across the wash. I didn't see any openings in the fence, so crawled army style under the fence. There was heavy vegetation and shade by the creek :FG: .
Finding the cabin was a challenge. We found another fence line on higher ground and tried to follow that. Then I remembered that Outlander mentioned the cabin was next to the Fig Spring. We found the spring and another fence line closer to the creek. We followed this fence line for about 300 feet to the cabin! :y: Mission accomplished! :y: The Cabin has seen better days. My GPS showed the cabin at N 33 55.6310, W111 37.8709. It was 2:00. It took us 50 minutes to travel that last 1/3 mile! We took a much needed break and lunch.

On the way back we followed the GPS track back to the ridgeline. This avoided the scree fields. Then we deviated from the GPS track when it showed the trail going down a steep ravine and climbing out the other side. We detoured by going around on a ridgeline to the other side.
The hike back seamed harder because we tried to stay close the hike in. Crossing the drainages seemed harder on the way back. We got to the Fig Trail / FR477 junction at 5PM. The GPS track is 3.5 miles long, but both Fan's and my GPS showed we hiked 5 miles one way!

We decided to take FR477 back instead of bushwhacking across to the ranch. We knew it was longer, but with darkness coming, it was the safer option. As we got closer to the Davenport wash, it got colder and colder yet by the Verde River. I was concerned about crossing the Davenport wash at night, but we followed some Jeep tracks across without issue.

It was a fun but a tiring hike. I don't recommend doing this in a single day, unless you start very early or ford the Verde to reduce the mileage. I don't think you can do this hike twice the same way! Even on the way back, we took a slightly different way back.

It was great being back in the Mazzies!
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Fig Spring Cabin
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
average hiking speed 2.48 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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