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Murphy Ranch Trail #141 - 9 members in 33 triplogs have rated this an average 3.4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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33 triplogs
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Jun 06 2022
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 Photos 86
 Triplogs 11

male
 Joined May 17 2022
 Scottsdale, Ariz
Murphy Ranch Trail #141Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Volunteer avatar Jun 06 2022
AnchaGladtrailzTriplogs 11
Volunteer1.18 Miles 639 AEG
Volunteer1.18 Miles
639 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We worked the Murphy Ranch Trail #141 yesterday down to the Rim Trail #139. #141's all clear now. It started getting warm as we got lower, especially in the open burn areas where the shade was scarce. Good thing we both had plenty of fluids! On the grunt up the hill we were mostly in the shade, so it was smooth sailing. We are looking at Abbey's Way #151 as our next victim.
May 31 2022
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 Photos 86
 Triplogs 11

male
 Joined May 17 2022
 Scottsdale, Ariz
Murphy Ranch Trail #141Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Volunteer avatar May 31 2022
AnchaGladtrailzTriplogs 11
Volunteer1.18 Miles 639 AEG
Volunteer1.18 Miles
639 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Salida Gulch Trail #95 - Bradshaw ...
Salida Gulch Trail #95 - Bradshaw Mountains - Prescott Arizona
Partners none no partners
On this trip last Tuesday, May 31, after touching up two points on the Reynolds Creek Trail #150 we began working downhill on the Murphy Ranch Trail #141 (which was also badly overgrown and blocked by trees) towards the Rim Trail. We did not make it all the way to the Rim Trail, probably about half way.
[ youtube video ]

Another nice cool day!
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Trail Maintenance
2 archives
Jan 13 2022
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 Guides 7
 Routes 10
 Photos 572
 Triplogs 15

male
 Joined Jun 14 2019
 nomadic
Tour de Anca (version), AZ 
Tour de Anca (version), AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jan 13 2022
eruTriplogs 15
Backpack16.00 Miles
Backpack16.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Directly inspired by [ triplog ] :)

2022-01-13 to 2022-01-14 - a bit rushed, bit locust thorny, the post-holing at the end wasn't great - but a really neat shoulder season feeling trip. The mix of AZ vegitation & vistas while crunching up snow was an interesting visual mix. :)

This was meant to be a two night trip, but mechanical issues Wednesday made a short 1 night trip.

FR487

The gate was open - we parked below it. A couple of muddy tire ruts through snow patches on the way up, with the road getting properly snowed over on the sinuous curves near workman creek falls. We met a snowbird on an ATV making his way down (we had a midday start), and then two guys in an OHV that bailed a bit before the Peterson TH due to things being too slushy. No issues hiking up in boots, the tracks had nicely compressed snow like a groomed nordic ski track.

Parker Creek Trail #160

Lightly snowed in from the junction to the pass, saw either some bobcat or coyote tracks (claw tips or tufty hair?). Trail pretty clear (of snow and obstacles) from the pass down to the 139/160 junction - I tested out my new Silky folding saw on some new mexico locust trunks that were getting too close to the trail and it worked admirably.

Rim Trail #139

No significant snow here - springs were dead as far as we could tell, but plenty of little snowmelt in gulleys that we could use. We carried 2.5-3L of water each and always had a solid reserve.

We were able to stay on trail for the bit that eagle lost it (we were uncertain at his back on trail point but quickly were back on it as evidenced by cairns and cut logs). There's a large cairn on a slickrock drainage shortly before the trail was marked lost that we went up to meet, and we found ourselves below his route. Other than that his track was spot on, and far more accurate than USGS & OSM. We lost the trail ourselves a few times after that in snarls of new mexico locust trees. Some great viewpoints, but there was one section I called "barbed hellcsape" and my partner named "hellsnarl". For the most part it's faint single track / game trail with cairns and some nice views through grassy areas. I cleared a few limbs blocking the trail at one point.

Devil's Chasm and the "Coon Creek Canyoon Overlooks" were great. It would have been nice to see this area with some more tree cover, as the areas that still had canopies kept the locust thorns away.

Murphy Ranch Trail #141

The first part of this was pretty straightforward, and in better shape than 139. Once it widens up the locusts begin to close in a bit, but it wasn't anything as near as bad as 139 and 151. Once in the shadow of Aztec Peak we encountered enough snow that I was postholing up it a bit. Not too terrible, but we were looking forward to being on an "easy" fire road after all the bushbashing. Heh.

FR487a

Slooow going. Was postholing up to my midcalves most steps up to the junction (step, wait, fall, lift, repeat) where the road was mostly melted out. After a turn or two it was snow covered but consolidated and with some previous footprints to follow in. Made it up to the peak shortly after sunset. :(

Abbey's Way 151

The upper part would be great with more light, nice views. The switches going down were pretty clear - no significant downed trees but the locust was creeping in a bit in places. Jogging down the snow was kind of fun, and it was a warm evening so we hopped off of the path we were on to wander peterson meadow by moonlight (headlamps off) and then dropped back onto the main trail shortly before the Peterson TH. We wandered over to the ruins marked on eagle's route and found a functional looking weather monitoring station.

FR487

A few more OHV/ATV users had tried to get up the road during our trip and failed - I saw a few spots where people had turned around on the way up. Tracks had frozen over, which made for treacherous footing, but we avoided them and enjoyed the moonlight on snow before putting on our microspikes as we got near workman falls. Once past that it was an easy walk down and the snow below that on the road was almost completely melted out.
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Halo Sunrise Sunset

dry Armor Corral Spring Dry Dry
No sign of water from the trail - didn't venture off of it.

dry Hunt Spring Dry Dry
No sign of water from the trail - didn't venture off of it due to a hellscape of thorns. Plenty of snowmelt creeks nearby.

dry Mud Spring Dry Dry
No sign of water from the trail - didn't venture off of it due to vegetation.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Workman Creek Falls Medium flow Medium flow
Flowing well, presumably radioactive. :p
2 archives
Oct 24 2021
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 Guides 3
 Routes 195
 Photos 3,493
 Triplogs 527

male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Murphy Ranch Trail #141Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2021
MountainMattTriplogs 527
Hiking4.40 Miles 1,122 AEG
Hiking4.40 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.52 mph
1,122 ft AEG      36 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Forgot to add this trip and a couple dozen excursions lately but it was a nice little stroll checking out some new and familiar land of the Anchas.
Fall colors in the creeks and drainages were incredible, no apples at the orchards but the dwellings are always amazing!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Workman Creek Falls Light flow Light flow
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Nov 01 2020
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 Guides 1
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 Photos 2,451
 Triplogs 143

38 male
 Joined Mar 01 2018
 Chandler, AZ
Reynolds Creek to Devil's Eye, AZ 
Reynolds Creek to Devil's Eye, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 01 2020
John10sTriplogs 143
Hiking13.52 Miles 3,327 AEG
Hiking13.52 Miles   8 Hrs   7 Mns   2.05 mph
3,327 ft AEG   1 Hour   32 Mns Break
 
Three weeks ago, I tried hiking from Reynolds Creek Trailhead to Devil's Eye, but I ran out of time to make the final traverse along the ledge and came up a few tenths of a mile short. I wanted to try it again before winter hit and the weather got cold at higher elevations, and I wasn't entirely sure if the upper Sierra Anchas got any snow during the cooldown that hit over the past few weeks.

Like last time, my partner and I were going to give it another shot from Reynolds Creek, which would make it a 13+ mile round-trip hike. Time was still going to be tight to get back by sunset, but we hoped to avoid a few pitfalls that slowed us down last time. We'd stay on the main section of Trail #150 instead of taking the shorter but steeper decommissioned section along the rim, we had the route mapped out and knew exactly where to go this time, and hopefully we wouldn't repeat the near run-in with a bear that we experienced on the last trip. We'd take Reynolds Creek Trail to Murphy Ranch to Rim Trail, go off-trail down the steep slope above Devil's Chasm, and, time permitting, hopefully complete the final traverse to the window.

I was expecting cooler weather, but the temperature was already in the mid-50s when we got on the trail in the morning, and there was no snow in sight. A lot more leaves had fallen since we were there three weeks ago, and the the fall colors were brighter. We'd hiked portions of that trail four times since August, so it was familiar territory and we moved quickly. With more leaves down, the thick brush was less of an issue, and I'd done a lot of pruning along the trail on our last hike here. Both factors helped us move faster this time.

We reached the top of the steep downhill more than an hour ahead where we were at the same point three weeks ago. My partner isn't as comfortable on the steep, rocky slopes, so I knew that short stretch down to the ledge would take some time, and it ended up eating up 30-45 minutes. But we reached the ledge, and I knew we still had a few tenths of a mile along the traverse and not a lot of time to spare. Based on what I'd seen last time, it didn't look too bad, and there was really just one spot at the start of the ledge that had some exposure.

I crossed that initial spot and looked to round the turn, but my partner had some hesitations about crossing that tricky spot with the exposure. We decided I'd continue and check out what was around the bend and see what was ahead. I turned the corner and didn't see the Eye yet, which was consistent with what I'd read--I expected I'd have to round another corner or two. Given our time crunch, I decided to continue on my own and moved as quickly as I could along the traverse, crossing several piles of loose rock, but there really wasn't much in the way of bad exposure.

I finally saw the remnants of a small cliff dwelling that I'd read about and rounded one more bend and saw the opening to the Eye--I'd made it! The window was filled with a pile of rocks, and the view down into Devil's Chasm was spectacular, though the north side of the Eye that overlooks the north fork of Devil's Chasm has some trees partially blocking the view in that direction. The wind was blowing through the opening and felt great, and I wish I'd had more time to enjoy it. With my partner waiting for me and a long hike out, I shot a quick video [ youtube video ] , took some pictures, and set up a tripod to get a picture or two of myself in the Eye, then looked around one more time to take everything in before I started back across the traverse. Other than a handful of cactus spines, it went smoothly.

Going back up the steep slope at the end of the traverse was much faster than it had been going down, and we connected with the Rim Trail and started back toward Reynolds Creek. Like last time, I carried a Geiger counter but didn't get any above-normal readings, so that was good. We made it out in time to drive down Highway 288 with a fantastic sunset over Four Peaks. I'm glad I was able to reach the Eye this time but wish we'd had a little more time so my partner could have joined me...we'll have try it again from a closer trailhead next time :). Thank you to friendofThundergod and Oregon_Hiker for finding this cool spot and posting the route!
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[ checklist ] Old Rusty Stuff
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Autumn - Color Foliage Sunset
7 archives
Oct 10 2020
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 Guides 1
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 Photos 2,451
 Triplogs 143

38 male
 Joined Mar 01 2018
 Chandler, AZ
Reynolds Creek to Devils Eye, AZ 
Reynolds Creek to Devils Eye, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2020
John10sTriplogs 143
Hiking13.46 Miles 3,292 AEG
Hiking13.46 Miles   8 Hrs   7 Mns   1.95 mph
3,292 ft AEG   1 Hour   12 Mns Break
 
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Late this summer I stumbled across the Devils Eye write-up on HAZ and added it to my list. It was a recent add to the site and looked like a fun one--I've always enjoyed the Sierra Anchas, especially the off-trail adventures. The official guide starts at Moody Point Trailhead, but I haven't yet experienced the road conditions on the Workman Falls route, so rather than take any chances with my vehicle's ability to reach that trailhead, I mapped out an alternative route from Reynolds Creek Trail to Murphy Ranch Trail to Rim Trail, where we'd leave the trail for the traverse, making the hike 10+ miles round-trip.

Topo maps of the Sierra Anchas are dotted with mine prospects, and there are areas around Aztec Peak and Moody Point with known radiation contamination from uranium mines, so rather than spending time researching which areas are affected and to what extent, I picked up a Geiger counter to monitor radiation levels along the route. If I didn't succeed in reaching Devil's Eye today, I figured one of three causes would be to blame: radiation, time, or the route itself. With the longer hike and not knowing how slow the final traverse would be, running out of time was a possibility, and I wasn't sure how steep or dangerous the final traverse to the Eye might be. There are only two trip logs, written by the group who found the Eye and authored the official guide. The route didn't sound particularly difficult--one triplog mentioned "nothing too hairy", but you never know...one man's "nothing too hairy" can be another man's full-on sasquatch :). But I certainly wanted to check it out.

This was my third hike starting at Reynolds Creek in the past two months, the first two visits focused on searching for the Reynolds Creek ruins, the latter visit in mid-August a success. There were a lot of campers along Highway 288 and FR 410 today, but the small parking at the Reynolds Creek Trailhead was empty. I fired up the Geiger counter, and we headed up the hill and past the dry Reynolds Falls.

The route I'd mapped followed what I'd hoped would be a shortcut on Center Mountain Trail and then the decommissioned portion of Reynolds Creek Trail that follows the rim. I hadn't taken that route on my previous visits, and it looked like it would trim some mileage off the route and give us a chance to see some nice views from the rim. Unfortunately, the northern portion of that old trail is virtually non-existent and slow-going up the steep slope through the forest, so that route ended up costing us some time despite saving a little mileage. But the view from the rim was beautiful and may have justified the added time, and there were some interesting caves and tunnels in the cliffs in that area.

We connected with Murphy Ranch Trail and had a close encounter with what was almost certainly a bear. We heard some thunderous movement just off the trail, and given the amount of noise, it had to be a bear. I had to quick-draw the bear spray, and we made lots of noise to try to scare it off. Fortunately, we heard the crashing sounds moving away from us...unfortunately, we never got a look at it running away.

We lost more time due to some route confusion along Murphy Ranch Trail. The route I'd created in RS followed the CalTopo map version of Murphy Trail, and the trail was either re-routed at some point or the topo map is incorrect. There was a large cairn at the point where the GPS route said another trail should branch off to the right, but there was no visible trail. We tried bushwhacking our way through, but the brush got so thick that we eventually decided to backtrack and continue following the trail we'd been on, only realizing when we reached the Rim Trail intersection that were still on Murphy Ranch.

We exited Rim Trail toward the traverse, and given the earlier slowdowns, it was looking unlikely that we'd have time to reach Devil's Eye, but I wanted to see what we were up against with the steep descent and at least find the cliff band that leads to the Eye. My hiking partner is a little slower and less comfortable on the steep, loose terrain, so she waited at the top of the slope while I made my way down to check it out. I found it as described in the official route and trip logs--it was a steep and a little slow going at times, but I didn't have any trouble getting down and didn't have to get close to the cliff edge at the bottom of the slope.

I rounded a corner and found the cliff band I needed to follow, but with my hiking partner still waiting above and our turnaround time quickly approaching, I knew there wasn't enough time for both of us to reach the Eye today. The GPS said I was ~ 0.2 miles away, but I resisted the temptation to make the traverse on my own and turned around. Even though I came up just short, I still considered the day (mostly) a success. I got a good sense for the route, and everything I could see of the final traverse appeared to be well within my comfort zone.

I climbed back up the hill, and we returned to Reynolds Creek Trail, this time staying on the main trail instead of taking the decommissioned portion. The fall colors along the creek were fantastic, and we saw just a hint of water in the creek in one area. Large stretches of all the trails we hiked today were overgrown with thorns and brush, and I'd packed some pruning shears and trimmed as I hiked, which made the hike out a little easier, but I still came out covered in scratches.

The only above-normal radiation reading the Geiger counter picked up was near the Reynolds Creek Trailhead at the very end of the hike near a large pile of loose dirt, but the reading wasn't alarmingly high. Some campers had set up near the trailhead, but they were the only people we saw all day. We finished with a little over 13 miles of hiking, and, weather permitting, I plan to return in the next few weeks and finish off that last stretch and reach the Eye. Hopefully without the slowdowns and following a now-familiar route, we can complete that final stretch and look the Devil in the Eye :).
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Jun 27 2020
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 Guides 84
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 Photos 17,480
 Triplogs 1,703

49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Locust, AZ 
Locust, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 27 2020
chumleyTriplogs 1,703
Hiking11.66 Miles 2,374 AEG
Hiking11.66 Miles   4 Hrs   59 Mns   2.68 mph
2,374 ft AEG      38 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Well this one was an unexpected adventure.

151 was cleared of the deadfall we had to navigate the last time here. But now it was largely overgrown with NM Locust and raspberries (a little early on 151 yet). It was hiking in a tunnel from above the orchard to halfway up the switchbacks.

The road to Murph was the clearest stretch of the day. 141 had seen some work at some point but was also largely a locust tunnel. Cuts were not limited to legs as thorns reached 8 feet high. Glasses or goggles would have helped and blood was drawn from head to toe. The raspberries on 141 and 139 were closer to ripe. Blackberries here too.

Not surprisingly, plenty of sign of bear, though no sightings. Just a couple of deer along the way. The overlooks were a bit warm in the sun today, but still nice. And the rocky exposure was locust-free! :y: Next up we hit a drainage full of unavoidable poison ivy which was an unexpected surprise.

The climb up 139 to the road was half locust and half sun-blasted. It was nice to top out and get a quarter mile of lovely grassy shade forest. Quick work back down the road to the truck.

I'd do this one again after a good trimming. Or maybe in cooler weather when pants and long sleeves make more sense.

Don't know if @beebee is out this weekend but there was a group on the peak participating in "field day", a global radio event this weekend. They make connections with others as far as Europe and Australia. Cool stuff I guess.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Aztec Peak Fire Lookout
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3 archives
May 08 2020
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 Guides 9
 Routes 418
 Photos 7,472
 Triplogs 556

76 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Moody #140 - Rim #139 - Murphy #141 Loop, AZ 
Moody #140 - Rim #139 - Murphy #141 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 08 2020
Oregon_HikerTriplogs 556
Hiking7.74 Miles 1,368 AEG
Hiking7.74 Miles   8 Hrs   12 Mns   1.30 mph
1,368 ft AEG   2 Hrs   16 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I set up my car camp near the Moody Trailhead off of FR487 in the Sierra Ancha (near Aztec Peak) for a 6 night stay. The plan was to go on day hikes in the area over the next 5 days. The first day hike was down the Moody Trail #140 then follow the Rim Trail #139 north to where that trail passes by the very upper end of the North Fork Devils Chasm. That part of the canyon had some interesting looking geology on Google Earth which I wanted to explore. My hike went off trail to follow the rim of that canyon north from its head to where it makes a right angle turn to the east. The canyon does indeed have some amazing geology starting out with a very narrow slot canyon that gets wider until it opens up as it turns east. The upper part of the canyon was a deep slot so narrow that a person could touch both sides with his hands near the top if lowered into the void and then it widens out near the bottom.

Following the canyon rim to the east, it opens up but still lives up to its name as a chasm. This canyon is seldom visited because of the rugged terrain and the boulders and brush that choke the bottom. There is a small cliff dwelling in this canyon but I've never been able to confirm its location from view points along the rim. I completed a short loop along the rim and then back to the Trail #139. I had planned to backtrack to the Moody TH on the return but my compulsion to turn all hikes into a loop led to the decision to proceed north on Trail #139 to the Murphy Ranch Trail #141. Then take that trail to its trailhead on FR487 and walk the road back to camp. That part of the Rim Trail and much of the Murphy Trail passes through scenic pine forest and patches of blooming lupine. The Rim Trail appears to get very little traffic other than critters but was in fairly good shape except for a number of fallen trees. Same with the Murphy Trail.

I made the short side track to take a look across the fence at the Murphy Ranch apple orchard. It's privately owned so no trespassing. It has been renamed by the current owner. There has to be some interesting history of that place but my researching hasn't turned up much. Walter G Murphy patented this homestead of 40.6 acres on March 14, 1921. He may have occupied this land several years before the homestead was officially recorded because the official recording couldn't be done until a land survey was completed. I suspect a Robert S Knowles (or Knoles) was the original occupant circa 1890 and was the source of the name for Knoles Hole which is a short distance from the ranch site.

I was sort of hoping to catch a ride back on the road but decided not to push it because of Covid19 social distancing restraints. Just as well, no one offered a ride although one guy on an ATV did stop to check if the old geezer with a blue Frog Toggs Chilly Pad towel wrapped around his head was OK.

It was a scenic hike I would recommend with the addition of the short off trail wander along the rim of that slot canyon part of the upper North Fork Devil's Chasm. The off-trail part is through open forested area so heavy duty bushwhacking can be avoided.
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Sep 29 2019
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40 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Murphy Ranch Trail #141Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 29 2019
FOTGTriplogs 920
Hiking1.18 Miles 639 AEG
Hiking1.18 Miles
639 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I got back to my roots a little in the Sierra Ancha over the weekend. I had a some obligations in the valley on Saturday, so we were only able to make it in time for an awesome sunset Saturday evening, but Sunday was event filled and fun. We started off with some climbing at Workman Falls and finished with a nice hike along the Rim Trail.

Murphy Ranch and the Rim Trail have some sections of overgrowth but nothing too unmanageable. I think I have noted this before and I know there were some that were unhappy with the response to the latest forest fire in the Ancha, but based on my non expert eye and opinion, it seems this was a relatively healthy fire. We did not climb much at Workman, but it was enough to convince me to come back. There is a new 5.11- route that climbs up directly next to the falls. I would like to come back and give it a shot before winter comes. Can't go wrong with the Ancha for a quick overnight trip.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Some decent flowers along the trail in spots. Or maybe just colorful weeds IDK.
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Jul 22 2019
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 Guides 47
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77 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Reynolds Crk Tr RIM Loop - Sierra Ancha, AZ 
Reynolds Crk Tr RIM Loop - Sierra Ancha, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 22 2019
GrasshopperTriplogs 560
Hiking5.53 Miles 1,268 AEG
Hiking5.53 Miles   6 Hrs   47 Mns   1.06 mph
1,268 ft AEG   1 Hour   33 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Oregon_Hiker
With some challenging off-trail and route finding required, this was my fourth (and last) day hike on day five of Oregon_Hiker and my planned 6nt/7day Sierra Ancha Wilderness Vehicle Camping Trip on upper Workman Creek Road (FR487).

I had originally hiked this remote and very scenic, enjoyable Sierra Ancha Wilderness area nine years ago in May, 2010, with our late HAZ-GPSjoe. It had left a lasting memory, especially our primary destination [ photo ] and I was very pleased to have interested Oregon_Hiker in adding it on our trip hike agenda for this week trip/monsoon period revisit to enjoy cooler Summer temperatures above ~7000 feet.

With all the off-trail bushwhacking that we do enjoy hiking which most always includes a certain amount of overgrowth, down trees, and etc. that we just take for granted, I should mention that for this 7/22/19 loop hike on these three official trail sections linked above, that there is presently a significant amount of heavy Spring overgrowth with down trees to negotiate over, under, and around.. but still a beautiful, peaceful, and remote deep forest/spectacular canyons area to be and to enjoy.. which we did! :D
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[ checklist ] Risky
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3 archives
Jul 22 2019
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 Guides 9
 Routes 418
 Photos 7,472
 Triplogs 556

76 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Reynolds Creek Loop, AZ 
Reynolds Creek Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 22 2019
Oregon_HikerTriplogs 556
Hiking5.70 Miles 1,380 AEG
Hiking5.70 Miles   6 Hrs   48 Mns   0.84 mph
1,380 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
Grasshopper
This was a new hike for me but not for GH. He did this loop hike back in May, 2010, with GPS Joe. [ photoset ] But GH was anxious to do it again after all those years. I talked him into shortening it a little by not including a hike down to the Reynold Creek TH which put it into a more doable range for a day hike now that he(we) are 9 years older.

The trail starts out from the Murphy Ranch TH in thick forest and doesn't open up to grand views until taking the abandoned trail section over the top of a ridge. We went off trail in this section along the spine of the ridge to get some fantastic views. The abandoned trail is very faint in sections and a gps track helps to find the way. But even with the gps track to follow GH wandered off trail down the west side of the ridge before I could get him back on track. This isn't the first time we've had a disagreement on following our gps tracks. :) He always says I'm off track because my old Garmin Oregon 450 doesn't include tracking data from the Russian GPS Satellites that are included on his newer GPS. But I think this time the Russians were leading him astray. :scared:

We stopped for lunch at what GH calls the Pueblo Canyon Bluff View Point. The views here were exceptional. Unfortunately there is also cell phone reception there and I got an urgent text from my wife that she was having computer problems at home. I wasted about 20 minutes composing a detailed text explaining how to fix the problem only to find out later that she had gotten a friend to fix it.

The return hike up Reynolds Creek Trail #150 goes through thick forest as it approaches Knowles Hole. There appeared to be a string of springs along the creek in this section and there were many pools of water along the creek bed. I've always been curious about the origin of the name "Knowles Hole". I found an account of the 1890 murder of Edward Baker that said his nearest neighbor was a Robert S Knowles who's homestead was a mile away. Checking the map it turns out that Knowles Hole is a mile north of where Edward was killed. It appears that Knowles didn't hang around to prove up on his homestead and by the 1900 census he was living on the San Carlos Indian Reservation. Perhaps the murder of his neighbor scared him away. Could there be the remains of his homestead cabin hidden somewhere in the thick growth of brush and forest at Knowles Hole?

This was a most enjoyable hike with amazing views of the upper end of Pueblo Canyon, deep forest solitude, and some history to contemplate along the way.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Murphy Ranch Pueblo Canyon
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Aug 18 2018
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 Guides 9
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66 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Tour de Anca, AZ 
Tour de Anca, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 18 2018
The_EagleTriplogs 1,939
Hiking12.94 Miles 2,588 AEG
Hiking12.94 Miles   7 Hrs   13 Mns   2.12 mph
2,588 ft AEG   1 Hour   7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Preamble
This area always has been and will be a special place to me. Remote, beautiful, BIG views.

We did this loop in a CCW direction for the first time.

Parker Creek Trail #160
Evidence of rain the night before had the flora wet at the top. This added to the jungle humidity and wet shoes.
This was a short drop to meet with the rim trail.

Rim Trail #139
5 miles and 800'+ AEG with many scenic view spots off the rim. That's been the attraction for me.
Now, the official GPS track and long pants a a requirement. The trail has disappeared in spots and the fresh, green, thorny locust became way annoying.

Murphy Ranch Trail #141
1.25 miles and 650' AEG to the old Murphy Ranch
This seemed to be the most humid part of the day and a climb and the clouds would not cooperate.
Lunch looking over the apple orchard, was the best temps of the day

Reynolds Creek Trail #150
1.15 miles and 375' AEG
In decent shape for the most part. We took this to the signed junction for the unnamed? trail that takes you to the rim.

Unnamed? Trail
We went out far enough to get views checking out the rumble in the sky. I got enough of a signal to check the radar. We opted to cut it short and make it back to the Truck.

We scrambled up to Murphy 7732 and over to Aztec Peak. Lightning was crackling, so not good to be up top.

Abby's way Trail #151
Less than 2 miles to go and the rain started. It was never more than light. Rumors of this trail being cleared since the last time we were through are true. All the big stuff is gone. What remains are just a few easy ones to hop over, that have fallen since.... and 5 miles (ok, under 2) of agonizing wet raspberry bushes scraping against already torn up legs.

We saw quite a few White Tails, with one huge buck, still in velvet

Take aways
Long pants
Cooler weather/Lower humidity
Good GPS track
Trails need some love
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Rain Thunderhead
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry 🦅
Aug 18 2018
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 Guides 260
 Routes 841
 Photos 13,090
 Triplogs 5,289

52 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Rim #139 - Murphy #141 - Abbey's #151 Loop, AZ 
Rim #139 - Murphy #141 - Abbey's #151 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 18 2018
joebartelsTriplogs 5,289
Hiking12.80 Miles 2,526 AEG
Hiking12.80 Miles   7 Hrs   12 Mns   2.14 mph
2,526 ft AEG   1 Hour   13 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
If you enjoy blackberry torture this is the hike for you! Mid to low 70's was the bait. Held like a champ with humidity that would make Louisiana blush.

Rim Trail #139 drops from a 4 to a 3. New Mexico Locust among other skin irritating brush consumes several miles. Murphy Ranch Trail #141 wasn't better. I just like it too much to drop a star.

We lunched just outside the ranch. Kids appeared to be having a grand ol' time yet struggled to fly a kite in the field. Cut the hike short since annoying outweighed enjoyable. Thunderstorms forming nearby made that choice easier too.

Heading down Abbey's Way Trail #151 was torture. The blackberry never let up.

On the brightside we only crossed paths with a few downed trees all day. Pants would have worked wonders.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Sunflowers are out in force
Scarlet Creeper
_____________________
- joe
Jun 30 2018
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 Guides 33
 Routes 78
 Photos 1,293
 Triplogs 199

37 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Central Sierra Ancha Tour, AZ 
Central Sierra Ancha Tour, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 30 2018
jacobemerickTriplogs 199
Backpack30.17 Miles 6,712 AEG
Backpack30.17 Miles2 Days         
6,712 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Someone once told me that there were more than just two wildernesses in Arizona. After a derisive scoff I spent the next three years exploring the Superstitions and Mazatzals. Finally headed out to the Anchas last weekend and boy howdy it was pleasant.

FR 410 & FR 235
Necessary evil to make a loop in this area. As far as road hikes go it was rather nice, shaded by ponderosa pines and frequent deer distractions. The climb up FR 235 (?) was a bit relentless. Culvert work referenced in https://hikearizona.com/x.php?x=144483 is finished, road is drivable. View from Billy Lawrence Trailhead is jaw-dropping.

Center Mountain #142
Quick jog on an old two-track (Lucky Strike #144) to the start of Center Mountain Trail. Climb is immediate and steep, though the fantastic trail construction makes it enjoyable. Once the steep section is done it's a gentle rise over the rounded dome of the mountain, where the trail is straight and easy to follow. Open meadow gets a bit annoying to track, though the views over Reynolds Creek and Baker Mountain are worth the extra time hunting cairns. Soon its back under the pines, a few more good views east over Cherry Creek, then a gentle drop towards Reynolds Creek.

Things get a bit confusing here. There are two connector routes to Reynolds Creek and a third route that climbs up to 7677'. I think the third route is the continuation of #142, not sure. Anyways, did all three for completionist sake. Upper connector climbs a bit (unexpected) and is clear and easy to follow, lower connector is starting to get overgrown by short plants with angry thorns. Think that's going to be the name of my band: Short Plants with Angry Thorns.

Time to climb. Getting up to 7677' was a pain, trail seemed to be mostly washed out. This was my last big climb of the day so I was also mentally checking out. Didn't get much better on top, cairns seem to be randomly placed around without any intention of guiding a hiker in a certain direction. Views were amazing. Near the summit an old road showed up to guide my feet down to the junction w/ Reynolds Creek #150. A magical mile later and it was time to descend to the rim.

Murphy Ranch Trail #141
Lots of variety over the short trail. Shade, berries, and exposed burnt land. I liked the berry section the best, as did some of the local fauna, judging by the scat and prints. A good rain and the sad little raspberries would plump right up. Trail was well-defined and descended in a knee-friendly manner.

Rim Trail #139
Junction worried me a bit: north looked clear, south looked brushy. For today I only had to worry about north. Trail quickly swung into the dreamy Cold Spring Canyon. Some fire damage, still amazing. Creek was barely a trickle. Next mile dragged in comparison, all exposed with thorny sections (am now intimately familiar w/ New Mexico Locust), and when I got within a few hundred yards I bee-lined to Edward Spring to filter up. Checked out the great views, setup camp, and eventually drifted off to sleep.

Note about hammock: my original campsite was down by the fire pit. As soon as I set it up I realized how dumb this was, as I'd be in a potential cold-collecting spot within a stone's throw of the spring, so I relocated to some of the trees on the ridge above. Kept warm all night, was out of the wildlife corridor, and enjoyed eery views of Pueblo Canyon in the moonlight.

Woke up the next morning, packed and filtered in the predawn, and quickly backtracked down Rim Trail. View of the early morning sun in Cold Spring Canyon will be permanently etched in my head. Trail wasn't that bad after the Murphy Trail junction, either. Helpful cairns were tall, obvious tread. Spent some time looking for a few springs, Hunt and Armor Corral, no luck. Worst overgrowth is still near Armor Corral, though @CannondaleKid's work was apparent and appreciated. The views down Devil's and Deep and the unnamed canyons were good, just not as awesome as Pueblo or Cold Spring. Views down Coon Spring were depressing, so much fire damage. At the end I hauled up Parker Creek Trail to reach FR 487.

FR 487 to Workman Creek Falls
While in the area... road seemed steep, both down and uphill. Falls were barely running. Wondered if there was a way to get down there - for today I was happy staying up on the road. Backtracked to Peterson TH.

Abbey's Way #151
Meadow is quite pleasant, some flowers along trail and orchard across the way. Obvious recent trail maintenance, clearing brush and cutting deadfall, even new cairns, made the steep hike up a breeze. Well, as much of a breeze as it could be with the 23 miles behind me. Last switch was fully exposed and quite hot. Reached the top, stumbled around to take some photos, and then found some shade to eat a quick lunch. After lunch I took FR 487 & 487A down to Murphy/Haldi Ranch.

Reynolds Creek #150
Home stretch. The first mile was a gradual climb under wonderful shade, not much breeze until I crested the saddle. Next few miles were great, distracting enough that I forgot to look for Knoles Hole. Trail construction is on point, especially the section near the falls, though the creek was dry here. In fact, most of the creek was dry with only a few stagnant pools of water. Forgot about the nettles near the trailhead, not sure if I avoided them or crashed right through. Reached the trailhead exactly 24 hours after leaving it the day before.

Didn't see another soul on the trail. Think I'll be back up here fairly soon.

Sierra Ancha Miles: 17.7/59.1 (29.9%)

dry Armor Corral Spring Dry Dry
Searched area, did not find anything besides dry drainages.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Cienega Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Not sure where all this water is coming from, but pipe was flowing and trough was topped off.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cold Spring Canyon Creek @ Rim TR 139 Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Couldn't find any spots deep enough to filter, would have to dig a hole or be very patient.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Edward Spring Dripping Dripping
Spring itself was deep enough to dip a cup in for filter, overflow has been mauled/fouled.

dry Hunt Spring Dry Dry
Searched area, did not find anything besides a dry drainage.

dry Mud Spring Dry Dry


dry Trailside Spring Dry Dry
Dry at trail, did not attempt the ridiculous bushwhack to check exact coordinates.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Workman Creek Falls Light flow Light flow
_____________________
Nov 11 2016
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 Routes 228
 Photos 9,446
 Triplogs 262

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Aztec Peak and Six Disks, AZ 
Aztec Peak and Six Disks, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2016
FLYING_FLIVERTriplogs 262
Hiking5.38 Miles 930 AEG
Hiking5.38 Miles   6 Hrs   50 Mns   2.08 mph
930 ft AEG   4 Hrs   15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I have hiked around Aztec Peak twice before, during my ‘Pre-HAZ’ days, and my ‘Pre-Locate-Benchmark’ days. This time, I parked at the top of Aztec Peak and searched for 6 little disks in the ground, then finished by hiking back to the top via part of the Reynolds Creek and Murphy trails.

I have read articles that Edward Abbey would tell fire outlook visitors that Aztec Peak should be called Aztec Mesa. After roaming around the top, I tend to agree with him.

Of the six disks I attempted to locate, four were located, one is gone and one is buried 14 inches below dirt and rock - and not found.
Aztec Benchmark and its two reference marks were set in 1938, atop the peak. The surveyors placed them 47 feet east of the ‘original’ fire lookout tower. The original tower, built in 1925, was about 800 ft east of the present tower, and just east of the final turn in the road to the top. The original tower was on the easterly edge, whereas the present tower is near the southwest end of the peak.
The two Aztec Benchmark reference marks are in great shape. However, sometime after May 2013, the Apache BM disk was stolen. All that’s left is a hole and a circular silhouette.

Next up was Murphy Benchmark (1938), which is located west of Murphy Ranch (now AKA other owner’s names). I easily located both Murphy reference marks, and then spent more than 3 hours attempting to locate and unearth Murphy BM. I failed to do it.
Surveyors, in 1938, set the benchmark disk in bedrock, 14 inches below ground level. (The surveyors DID put some kind of a surface mark at ground level, but that is long gone).
After many measurements from the reference marks, and attempts to dig down 14 inches, I finally gave up. The ‘soil’ below the surface is mostly rock, about the size of a human fist, and packed tightly. It was like a rock quarry, and digging through that stuff was impossible with the tools I brought along. I should have brought a pickaxe.
Alot of wire and nails from the now, long gone Height of Light was found, but no sign of any wood.

After the Murphy debacle, I hiked north to the Reynolds Creek Trail and wound around the Murphy Ranch area and went back to the top of the peak.
My off trail portion was a true obstacle course, dodging charred trees and other charred vegetation. Not a pretty sight.

This was a rather short hike that took all day, with my search for the Murphy benchmark disk taking up most of my time. I’ll need a pickaxe and a metal detector next time. :)
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 05 2016
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 Guides 80
 Routes 426
 Photos 5,473
 Triplogs 1,574

42 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Reynolds to Aztec, AZ 
Reynolds to Aztec, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2016
LindaAnnTriplogs 1,574
Hiking10.76 Miles 2,723 AEG
Hiking10.76 Miles   5 Hrs   6 Mns   2.53 mph
2,723 ft AEG      51 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Chumley's triplog summed up the hike pretty well, so I don't have much more to add. I've spent very little time out in the Anchas, and the last time was more than a decade ago, so I was happy to just follow along without much of a clue where I was. Prior to starting the actual hike, the only info I had was a one paragraph text from the day before with drive time, distance, aeg, and a very detailed weather report--at least I knew to bring a jacket! Although I made the unwise decision to wear white clothing on a hike through a burn area, which gave myself the extra challenge of attempting to avoid anything burnt the entire day.

Plenty of uphill in the first three miles, but it was nice and cool, so it wasn't too bad. We missed one switchback near the beginning, which I half suspect (once again) was done to see how much poison ivy I'll walk through without complaining. Walking along the creek to the sound of running water was very pleasant. The views from the top of Aztec Peak were great in all directions. Did a short distance of off trail on the way back down, to which I heard the comment "This path looks like it was padded down by a bear, let's follow it!" Oh yay. Once we got back on the "trail" it wasn't much easier to follow for a while. The last few miles were an easy walk back down, and the afternoon lighting allowed for pictures of some of the scenery that was too shaded for pictures in the morning.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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If it’s above freezing, it’s too hot.
1 archive
Nov 05 2016
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 Guides 84
 Routes 694
 Photos 17,480
 Triplogs 1,703

49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Reynolds to Aztec, AZ 
Reynolds to Aztec, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2016
chumleyTriplogs 1,703
Hiking10.76 Miles 2,723 AEG
Hiking10.76 Miles   5 Hrs   6 Mns   2.53 mph
2,723 ft AEG      51 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Originally I was hoping to catch some fall colors since they typically seem to linger in Reynolds Creek much longer than I would think based on the elevation. But after midweek rain, I was pretty confident that there wouldn't be much left. Sure enough most of the leaves were on the ground making a carpeted forest of rain-soaked foliage.

My second priority was to see the effects of the Juniper fire, and for that I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The Reynolds Creek drainage was almost entirely affected only by low-intensity ground fire. In many areas I would think that fire managers actually would have hoped for more burning as there is still quite a bit of fuel to burn. There were some small pockets of crown burn, but they were quite limited in this area. (Looked like the Parker Creek drainage was not spared this fate). I'd still like to see the FS post a burn severity map, but I wasn't able to find one online.

Weather was perfect in the 40s to start, 60s by the end of the day. The trail conditions were generally excellent, which was a surprise to me given the potential for fire erosion. The exception being the trail section above Pueblo Canyon from the Center Mtn trail up the switchbacks to the 7400 foot contour. There were spots here where post-fire erosion has destroyed any former trail tread. It's a short section though and not difficult to travel without the trail. (While this section is on topo maps, it is not a signed or named trail, so it's possible that it will not be repaired/maintained).

Turned out to be a pretty good day. It's nice to hike at elevation at this time of year to actually feel like it's autumn!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Mostly on the ground after rainy weather. Poison Ivy looked best!

dry Knoles Hole Spring Dry Dry
Didn't find the spring. No visible surface water in the area

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reynolds Creek Falls - Sierra Ancha Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max The Switchbacks Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Didn't see a spring ... but the creek was flowing lightly here
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two scoops!
May 02 2016
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 Guides 9
 Routes 418
 Photos 7,472
 Triplogs 556

76 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 02 2016
Oregon_HikerTriplogs 556
Hiking6.40 Miles 1,290 AEG
Hiking6.40 Miles
1,290 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routes
Partners partners
Grasshopper
This was the fifth full hiking day of our 7 night camping trip to the high Sierra Ancha. The plan was to hike out to the Pueblo Canyon overlook via the Murphy Ranch Trail #141 and Rim Trail #139. Grasshopper has been there several times but it was my first time to this very scenic overlook. Of course I had an ulterior motive to use my zoom camera to search for cliff dwellings in the upper part of Pueblo Canyon above the well known CDs. I had also made a couple of planning tracks to explore the top of the ridge between Pueblo Canyon and Cold Spring Canyon out to the rim above Cherry Creek Canyon. This second objective was not a high priority and we decide not to add it on to this hike. Maybe another time.

It was another beautiful day with ideal hiking temperatures and a blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds. The trail was in good shape except for a few downed trees. There was a trickle of water in the upper end of Cold Spring Canyon where the trail crosses and offers a good alternative to water at Edwards Spring if you are backpacking - just don't know if it's perennial. The views at the overlook were amazing. Two of the well known Pueblo Canyon cliff dwellings could be seen with the zoom camera but we had no luck in finding any others in the upper part of the canyon. After spending some time on the rim including lunch we bushwhacked across to the nearby Edwards Spring. It had a small trickle of water but no pools over an inch deep which would make it difficult to scoop up water for filtering. GH dug out a pool to make it deeper but that probably will soon fill up from animals stepping on the bank. But it was a beautiful setting with the patch of green grass fed by the spring amid the surrounding forest. We took a leisurely pace back to the TH and made it back to camp in plenty of time to relax and make dinner.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Edward Spring Pueblo Canyon
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May 02 2016
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 Guides 47
 Routes 495
 Photos 9,166
 Triplogs 560

77 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 02 2016
GrasshopperTriplogs 560
Hiking5.70 Miles 1,249 AEG
Hiking5.70 Miles   6 Hrs   27 Mns   1.82 mph
1,249 ft AEG   3 Hrs   19 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
Oregon_Hiker
My sixth out and back hike (one not posted) to my favorite trail end destination of the thirteen published Sierra Ancha Wilderness Trails :D

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cold Spring Canyon Creek @ Rim TR 139 Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Edward Spring Dripping Dripping
Dripping Seep acceptable for a filter hose setup and/or chemical treating.
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Apr 30 2016
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 Guides 47
 Routes 495
 Photos 9,166
 Triplogs 560

77 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Cold Spring Canyon - Box Canyon Overlooks, AZ 
Cold Spring Canyon - Box Canyon Overlooks, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 30 2016
GrasshopperTriplogs 560
Hiking5.10 Miles 1,122 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   7 Hrs      1.70 mph
1,122 ft AEG   4 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Oregon_Hiker
Excellent "off-trail" high rim plateau viewpoints down into Upper Cold Spring Canyon, UN-named Box Canyon, and at our hike high plateau ending point, outstanding views down into Devils Chasm- North Fork & Main South Fork :D
Flora
Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Manzanita
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
4 archives
average hiking speed 1.88 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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