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Powers Garden Trail #96 - 6 members in 17 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Nov 25 2018
nonot
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 1,969
 Triplogs 471

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Sycamore Trail #278Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 25 2018
nonot
Backpack24.50 Miles 5,300 AEG
Backpack24.50 Miles4 Days         
5,300 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
First time in the Galiuros!

Sycamore canyon appears to be a trail the forest service no longer cares about as once you drop off the mesa it is pretty badly overgrown. Still I was able to find most of it, including a corral not shown on the map at the last crossing of Sycamore Canyon.

The Powers Garden Trail is in good shape other than one or two spots.

Visited Mailbox canyon where I slipped on some granite/moss and cracked my GPS. Wandered a little further up Mailbox following the trail, but after perhaps a mile I wasn't feeling it being any special and turned around, as I also wanted to give myself enough time to explore the ranch area of Powers Garden. It is reminiscent of the Tony Ranch in the Superstitions with the exception that the main building is still being fairly well maintained.

Nights were cold and a bit below freezing since the entire area is a cold sink for the air between East and West Divides.

Last day I took the Tortilla trail out, which is in pretty good shapre with just a little bushwhacking but more noticeable erosion problems in several areas.
Fauna
Fauna
Wild Turkey
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horse Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry at Rattlesnake but small pools as you ascend, probably from recent rains.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mailbox Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry at Rattlesnake but a little surface water in pools, probably from recent rains

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mud Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Hard to tell the flow amount, the area has been destroyed by cows.

dry Pipestem Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at the intersection with Rattlesnake

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Powers Garden Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
The entire creek was flowing well at this point, so impossible to know how much the spring itself is pumping out.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Rattlesnake Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Water was intermittent, alternating between good surface flow and underground flow. It was roaring pretty well at maybe 600 gpm at the intersection with Sycamore canyon

dry South Field Canyon Dry Dry
dry at intersection with Rattlesnake

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sycamore Canyon Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
I'd estimate a quart per minute, light trickle coming from the small natural rock pool.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sycamore Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Dry where you drop in. Surface water is random but by the end it is flowing 200 gpm.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Upper Sycamore Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
The giant swimming pool had a little bit of water in it but the plumbing is hosed up and the tanks are dry.
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3 archives
Nov 03 2018
sami_h
avatar

 Triplogs 5

35 female
 Joined Sep 25 2011
 Tucson, AZ
Sycamore Trail #278Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 03 2018
sami_h
Backpack13.00 Miles
Backpack13.00 Miles3 Days         
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Short version: Sycamore Canyon Trail between Lower Sycamore Spring and ??? is very overgrown and hard to impossible to find.

Long version:
Working for the Forest Service and Sky Island Alliance, we backpacked into Sonora Basin (the drainage between Rattlesnake and Sycamore) to validate water rights at an old dam/spring. We had permission to come in through Power's Hill, so we parked on Rattlesnake Mesa, and hiked in the last 3 miles of the road. We headed down Power's Hill, and turned off onto the Sycamore Trail about halfway down, at the sign (which is fallen over). Like last fall, there is a fair bit of catclaw mimosa to deal with on this trail. Rattlesnake Creek was running well. The trail is pretty easy to follow and decently cairned until Sycamore Canyon Spring (really, Lower Sycamore Spring). A fair bit of catclaw between Power's Hill and the Rattlesnake Creek crossing, but manageable. We camped up on the top of the hill (man, that's a steep hill!) between Rattlesnake and Sycamore - a sweet little spot for a few tents, with great views. The next day, we headed up Sycamore Canyon. The trail was mostly easy to find to the spring. Once you cross Sycamore Creek, go about 15' downstream, up on the other bank, and through the corral. Then climb the hill and continue up canyon. It's easy to lose the trail on the final approach to the spring, but by then you can see where you're aiming for anyway. After that, the trail is really hard to find. We alternated between following it, and shoving through catclaw in the general vicinity of where the trail should be. Lots more catclaw, one several minute stretch where I really wasn't on the trail, and I managed to lose the trail on the way back and came in too far below the spring. Anyhow, we only went about 3/4 mile past (south of) the spring. Once we came back down to the creek, we just went right up it until we reached a side drainage on the west side, where we bushwhacked up to a saddle that drops you into Sonora Basin. This was surprisingly easy. Headed down into the basin, found the dam, which must be fed by a nearly-perennial spring or groundwater. Beautiful pools below it, ash, dock, sedges, deergrass. Then back to camp. As you near the top of the hill to drop back into Sycamore Creek at the corral, it's so easy to keep going on a game trail. I've done this hike twice now, and missed the turn both times. Anyhow, we found our way back the right way eventually. Backpacked back out the next day (missed a fork near Power's Hill and came out a little below the trail sign), only had to hike up half the Hill (yay!), then back down the road, with another exciting bushwhack detour with full packs over to Grapevine Spring. What a pretty spot.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Ash in full swing.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Turpentine bush was all pretty yellow.

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Lower Sycamore Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
This is upstream, at the Dam marked on the topo. The dam is filled with sediment, but there were large pools below it.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Sycamore Canyon Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Really running strong. Couldn't climb the first small waterfall to get to the main hanging garden, cause it was too wet.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sycamore Creek Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
Sep 30 2017
sami_h
avatar

 Triplogs 5

35 female
 Joined Sep 25 2011
 Tucson, AZ
Tortilla Trail #254Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 30 2017
sami_h
Backpack8.50 Miles 1,560 AEG
Backpack8.50 Miles3 Days         
1,560 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
A couple SIA volunteers and I hiked in to Power's Garden to gather water rights data for the Forest Service at some springs and dams. It took us about 7.5 hours to go each way on the Tortilla Trail. We started at noon on Thursday and only made it to the saddle before you drop into Horse Canyon. There wasn't much water out there. We got lucky and found some in a small drainage right before the saddle. In retrospect, we really should have filled our water at Upper Sycamore Spring/Dam. After stopping by Horse Canyon Spring and Horse Canyon Dam, we made it to Power's Garden late the next morning, where we encountered a large and very unafraid black bear wandering up the creek to the main spring for water. There wasn't water in Rattlesnake Canyon until we got pretty close to the spring (about where the trail goes to the creek). We hiked out to Apache Dam and were shocked to find that it existed and was actually not totally full of sediment. We headed back for a rather restless night listening for bears. Friday, we headed back up the Tortilla Trail. We stopped at Upper Sycamore to gather data, refill on water, and eat lunch. We made it back to the truck by 4:30. The Tortilla Trail was in ok shape. It was there, but the tread was often very rocky and cobbly, and grasses and small shrubs covered it so that you had to look through them to see the tread. There were a couple washed out spots that weren't too hard to navigate. But overall, I'm really glad I had my phone's GPS and a map with the HAZ trails loaded on it to follow in several places. It definitely requires a bit of route-finding skill right now. It needs some work. Last October, we talked to some gentlemen who took 9 hours and a few falls to hike in and they thought the trail was in pretty rough shape. We only had to climb over one dead tree, though.

dry Horse Canyon Dry Dry
One tiny pool of water upstream of trail/canyon junction at small confluence.

dry Horse Canyon Tank Dry Dry
Totally dry on this visit. Filled with sediment.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mud Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
The small dugout pool was dry, the trough had only a little water in it, but the spring box had plenty of water and the big tank down the hill was full - it's apparently being diverted there right now for the cows.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Upper Sycamore Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
The dam is filled in. The tank had a little water. But there were some nice pools in the drainage below the tank to filter water. I'd estimate the flow rate was <1 liter/min. Fill up here if you're on this trail!
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1 archive
Oct 14 2016
toddak
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 Guides 7
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,044
 Triplogs 382

54 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Powers GardenTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 14 2016
toddak
Hiking18.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking18.00 Miles   9 Hrs      2.00 mph
3,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Nice day in the Grass-iuros on an out-and-back to Powers Garden. Very long drive to the Deer Creek trailhead and the hike itself is pretty gnarly (and cow infested), but the destination is very cool. Lots of tents in the meadow but no one around, probably a trail crew out there. PG reminds me a lot of Reavis Ranch in the Supes.
_____________________
Apr 22 2016
nomphy
avatar

 Triplogs 2

35 male
 Joined Jan 23 2015
 Tucson
Powers Garden Trail #96Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 22 2016
nomphy
Hiking
Hiking
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Made the drive out from Tucson to hike this trail, but access to the trailhead from FR 96 is now blocked by a locked gate on private property just off of Klondyke Rd. Couldn't find any way around it.
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Oct 12 2015
friendofThunde
avatar

 Guides 16
 Routes 271
 Photos 7,496
 Triplogs 694

36 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Powers GardenTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2015
friendofThundergod
Hiking36.68 Miles 7,322 AEG
Hiking36.68 Miles
7,322 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Its hard to imagine a three day backpack turning out this well after it was chosen as a somewhat last minute alternative to a cancelled LCR trip, but simply put it turned out to be nearly perfect. The landscape was rugged, the views were extraordinary, the company was great and the attractions in the area well worth it.

We made the long drive to the Galiuros Friday night. We agreed on knocking out the southern portion of our loop for our approach to Powers on Saturday with a stop at Kennedy Peak along the way.

The route to the cabin on Saturday was the best of times and the worst of times. The best of times consisted of: our fun group, the copious amounts of water spewing out of the mountain, a fun summit and some great scenery. The worst of times consisted of: the complete absence of a trail in spots, the thickest wildflowers any human has ever traveled through, concealed ankle breakers, not so concealed New Mexican Locust, grass as tall as one's eyes and trail obliterating washouts and landslides.

The trail conditions were much nicer day two and the hiking more rewarding. After the obligatory stop at the shootout site, we headed for some "fun" in the mine. The mine was very extensive inside and contained several remnants of its operational days. The more adventourous spent a considerable amount of time exploring the several passages and I completed a pretty dicey descent down an old ladder to explore a very deep vertical shaft. However, as my support team began to express their disaproval in the venture, I decided to call it quits. There was still probably a solid 30-40 more feet to drop, but I was starting to lose my faith in the old ladder, as the distance between rungs grew to a precarious 3 feet in spots and the bottom was still not clearly visible; that and I was not crazy about the wire holding some rungs on in replacement of nails.

After the mine and cabin, some headed for the garden, others headed for the ridgeline. John and I followed up on a a lead I had discovered while looking over some topo maps of the area. As it turned out, my lead turned out to be quite the rewarding little find. We came across presumably a prehistoric dwelling that had been recycled and certainly utilized in more contemporary times. The cave and its scenic surroundings were very interesting and the trail there was great with flowing water nearly the entire distance, modest cascades and the discovery of the classic wooden Galiuros Wilderness sign along the way. Inside the cave there was a man made cistern inside catching water from a seep and and a little loft area that was reachable by a ladder complete with some modern pictographs. After the cool little find, it was back to camp for the standard good times around the fire.

Day three offered some of the nicest views of the trip. A challenging little climb out, but some great creek side hiking due to the recent rains and some small waterfalls worth leaving the trail for a closer look. The trail was in better shape than our Saturday route in, however, it could certainly use a little TLC. Fast times out and fun times at the trailhead!

dry Brush Canyon Dry Dry

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

dry Corral Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Deer Creek Cabin Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Holdout Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Full concrete box/trough, good water

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Horse Canyon Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Mud Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Full trough

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Powers Garden Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
water at spring and creek was flowing

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Upper Sycamore Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
_____________________
10 archives
Oct 11 2015
chumley
avatar

 Guides 74
 Routes 666
 Photos 12,889
 Triplogs 1,393

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Powers Divide S.Field Loop, AZ 
Powers Divide S.Field Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 11 2015
chumley
Hiking14.48 Miles 3,211 AEG
Hiking14.48 Miles   7 Hrs   56 Mns   2.39 mph
3,211 ft AEG   1 Hour   53 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Day hike loop from Powers Garden to the shootout cabin and mine, with the return trip along the West Divide Trail.

Powers 96 was in fine shape, especially upstream of Corral canyon which was the source of a recent flood. South of Corral, there is no sign at all of the 2014 Oak Fire down in the valley. Once reaching the saddle and the Divide trail junction the trail down to the cabin is overgrown with catclaw. I'd say this trail should be cleared, but I suspect the FS is perfectly happy making it a pain to get to. And I'm actually ok with that. It's neat to see the cabin, having only scraped the surface of the history there. I'll have to watch Powers War again now that I've been there. I'm sure some of it will make more sense now.

We took a lunch break there and continued down the road to the mine where I was quick to voice my disapproval of the lack OSHA safety protocols in place. :o

On the way back, FOTG, LP, and Steady headed their own way while Karl and Pat and I decided to take the ridge back.

Like the other trails we hiked in the Galiuros, West Divide 289 is overgrown and involves some good bushwhacking, but isn't really too tough. The views were great, and a nice breeze kept the warm and largely shadeless route quite pleasant.

When we arrived at the first option to drop back to the garden, we opted to continue. The first trail is signed as Field Canyon 294, but I believe it is actually called Tent Lookout 294.

From this junction north on West Divide 289 we encountered the nicest trail conditions of the weekend. The ACC trail crew had been clearing this section and it was an absolute dream :y: . Almost too good to be true! --And soon enough, in fact, too good to be true! We reached the end of where the trail had been cleared, and we were faced with about a mile of the worst trail of the weekend. The only good thing is there was no manzanita and no catclaw, but it was otherwise a linebacker's worth of pushing through trees, bushes, and branches. Crawling was a regular part of getting through. ](*,)

Finally we reached the junction with the trail that drops into South Field Canyon. The Divide Trail north of this point was clear again, as was the trail that we followed downhill. Despite the flowing water all over the east side of the Galiuros, we were surprised that this canyon was bone dry. Nonetheless, it was a scenic canyon and a pleasant hike. The trail deteriorated and fell into what seems to be a common state for trails out here ... overgrown.

One short climb up a ridge brought us to the junction of the lower end of the signed Field Canyon 294 trail that we had bypassed up top earlier. Before heading back to camp we decided to check out the Powers Spring area, which was an amazing narrows of rocks and flowing water.

This was a great day hike loop from the garden. It'll be great once the final northern section of the Divide trail is cleared.
Culture
Culture
Benchmark

dry Field Canyon Spring Dry Dry
No sign of a spring here. Entire canyon was dry.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Rattlesnake Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Didn't find spring source. Water flowing in the creek. Water also in tank at junction with Powers Cabin trail just upstream from here.
_____________________
smoke it
1 archive
Oct 10 2015
chumley
avatar

 Guides 74
 Routes 666
 Photos 12,889
 Triplogs 1,393

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Powers GardenTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 10 2015
chumley
Backpack20.95 Miles 5,253 AEG
Backpack20.95 Miles2 Days   4 Hrs   8 Mns   
5,253 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Outstandingly fun weekend trip into the heart of the Galiuros with a great group of people!

East Divide 287
Starts off reasonably well with some minor route-finding issues due to the healthy growth of summer grasses. Turns into a full-fledged machete-required jungle in the Oak Creek drainage before rising up through the burn area toward Kennedy Peak.

Kennedy Peak 287a
This trail cuts through a moonscape burn area and the trail is largely lost to erosion. Cairns exist, but staying along the old barbed wire fence will get you most of the way there. The resulting wildflower display is impressive. Great views in all directions: Santa Teresas, Pinalenos, Bassett Peak, Wrightson, Mica, Rincon, and the Catalinas.

Corral Canyon 291
This trail is almost completely gone. Recent rain over the burn area has washed out many of the traverses leaving a very difficult challenge to travel through. Add to that wildflowers that are waist deep and it's a fight to push ahead. Once in the bottom of the canyon, much of the trail has been obliterated by flash flooding. Especially in the upper part of the canyon. The last mile or so, most of the shelf and the trail remains, but the crossings are a challenge. This trail needs a full-fledged reconstruction.

Powers Garden 96
Post-wildfire floods have wiped out some of the shelf along this trail as well rendering travel a bit more of a challenge than I suspect it once was. But the route can be found if you look for it. The fire didn't reach this low, so the valley is still shaded and cool.

Tortilla 254
Not much flood damage on this trail, but still in pretty rough shape. Travel was much quicker than the East Divide/Corral combo on the way in, but plenty of growth to fight through.

On the way in, I commented out loud that if somebody had told me it would take 5 hours to hike in I wouldn't have believed them. I repeated the same and updated it again at 6 and 7 hours! :o So yeah, it was a real grind due to unexpectedly terrible trail conditions on the south side of the loop.

Nonetheless we arrived safely and met Claire, 9L and Kyle who had arrived the previous day. We set up camp and settled in for the night. Sunday we all did our own thing, and Sunday evening a group of trail workers from the ACC stopped by our campfire for a while. Kudos to these volunteers for the work they do. It is impressive and much appreciated!

Monday we all headed out together around 8am. We split up into different groups all taking a different pace. A few of us finished via the Deer Creek Cabin route which is a nice option that we were pleasantly surprised about and resulted in a mile of fast road walking rather than rocky trail. It was a welcome end to a long weekend on tough trails.

I feel like we were very lucky with the amount of water. It's a beautiful area, but I could see it being much more of a challenge without the creeks and drainages flowing with water.

But I'll be back to the Galiuros for sure! :)

* I meant to mention that I successfully used Route Scout for all navigation and track recording over the entire three day trip. I charged my phone with a backup battery (anker) on the second night as it would not otherwise last 3 full days while recording 7-8 hours each day. I'm very happy with how well it worked!
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Saw a few small bright red somethings that I can't remember what are, and some poison ivy changing colors. Otherwise nothing yet.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Amazing display still popping on the upper slopes exposed by fire.

dry Brush Canyon Dry Dry
dry where it drains into Rattlesnake. Had flashed and was filled with rock and gravel.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Corral Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry in most areas, but some pools or light flow in bedrock areas.

dry Corral Spring Dry Dry
Spring box is filled in. There was water in the creek, but it was from rain runoff.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Deer Creek Cabin Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Crystal clear water in the spring box

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Horse Canyon Light flow Light flow
A week after 1-2" rain, and 3 weeks after 3+" rain, this canyon was still flowing nicely.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mud Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Clear and full spring box.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Powers Garden Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Source of spring unknown. But Rattlesnake Creek was flowing nicely over the dam structure near where the spring is marked as well as downstream through Powers Garden.


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Upper Sycamore Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Tank was full and water was flowing down both drainages that come together here.
_____________________
smoke it
1 archive
Oct 10 2015
johnlp
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,059
 Triplogs 3,123

61 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Powers Garden backpack Oct 9-12, AZ 
Powers Garden backpack Oct 9-12, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 10 2015
johnlp
Backpack36.40 Miles 7,250 AEG
Backpack36.40 Miles3 Days         
7,250 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Four years ago JJ and I day hiked the loop counterclockwise but ran out of time to visit the shootout cabin, mine, and Kennedy Peak. So these were on the top of my list of things to see in the Galiuros this trip.

Chumley drove Lee, the dogs, and I to the Deer Creek TH Friday night where we camped with most of the group. We decided to hike up the Kennedy Peak side first and return on the Tortilla Trail. Trail conditions are less than optimal once you start getting within a couple miles of the saddle by Kennedy Peak. Lots of erosion and plant growth. Going down the back side on the Corral Canyon trail is even worse. Still, an excellent hike in to Powers Garden, but quite a workout.

Day two we six of us donned our daypacks and headed out to see the shootout/Powers cabin and mine. Nice hike in the pines and oak most of the way. Some catclaw action near the cabin, but not horrible. The cabin and mine are very interesting. Lots of history to say the least. On the way out Lee and I split from the group that was returning on the ridgeline. A little too warm for the dogs. We hiked up Rattlesnake canyon for some mostly shaded sightseeing. Saw some pretty cool stuff.

Day three we broke camp for the traverse out via the Tortilla trail. Lots of water and big views once you gained some elevation. Many wild flowers on the way in and out. We took the fork that leads to the Deer Creek cabin. Nice spot.

Our group was twelve strong. But for so many it never felt crowded. Great group. Lots of fun. Thanks all. :)
_____________________
“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
Oct 09 2015
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 168
 Photos 4,811
 Triplogs 1,610

40 male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Powers Garden & Cabin - Galiuro Mountains, AZ 
Powers Garden & Cabin - Galiuro Mountains, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 09 2015
John9L
Backpack28.16 Miles 5,729 AEG
Backpack28.16 Miles3 Days         
5,729 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners 8 partners
BiFrost
chumley
clairebear
friendofThundergod
johnlp
Jonnybackpack
slowandsteady
Tough_Boots
Our original plan was to head to the LCR for a few days in the Grand Canyon. That plan fell through because a storm dumped a ton of rain up north and flooded the LCR with muddy water. We decided to reschedule and settled on Powers Cabin. Claire, Kyle and I drove up on Friday morning and started hiking in. The others will head in on Saturday morning and will stay one day longer.

The dirt road to the Deer Creek trailhead is roughly 36 miles and is in excellent condition. We made good time and started hiking before noon. The first mile was relatively easy. Our plan was to take the East Divide Trail towards Kennedy Peak. Right before the intersection we talked to some people on horseback who said that route suffered major damage from a fire and the rains have washed out the switchbacks. We decided to keep it simple and head in on the Tortilla Trail and this turned out to be a good choice. The going was relatively easy but we had to fight our way through tall grass and be on the lookout for the correct route. Carrying a GPS with the route loaded helped keep us on track. At one point we passed a herd of cattle that was a tad aggressive & angry at us passing. Kyle kept Lily on a leash and we pushed through.

The next few miles ticked on by as we dropped into a drainage and then wrapped around to the high point to the west. There was lots of water out there as there was heavy rain the week before. After the high point we started the drop towards Powers Garden. We made good time and eventually walked up on the cabins. We noticed several tents in the field. This turned out to be a trail crew working on the West Divide Trail. We picked a campsite to the southeast of the garden nestled in the trees. It was a perfect site with lots of shade, a fire ring and close to the creek which had a good flow of clear water.

The three of us settled in for the night with a fire and yummy dinner. The next day we slept in and then had breakfast. Kyle decided to hang out near camp while Claire and I made the hike to the south to see Powers Cabin. We started off on the road and made good time as we crossed the creek several times and admired this beautiful canyon. There was lots of bear scat but we didn’t see any bears. The hike to the cabin is about 5.5 miles and most of it is fast travel. We topped out just above the cabin and that’s where the fun begins. It’s .4 miles to the cabin and you drop 400 ft but the trail has lots of catclaw to fight through. Claire and I were both wearing shorts and our legs were cut to shreds! It’s was borderline awful! With much effort we reached the cabin and admired the area. We both felt the history of this area after watching The Powers War a few months ago. Four men were killed here in a shootout back in 1918. That must have been quite a sight in this remote part of the Galuiro Mountains. We soaked everything in and checked out the mine and then had some lunch.

After visiting the Powers Cabin we made the return. The catclaw wasn’t as bad on the return up to the high point. From there it was very easy going back toward the garden. Along the way we ran into Chumley and Patrick who were on their way in via the East Divide Trail. They said the route was really overgrown and tough to follow. The washouts on the switchbacks were nasty. Claire and I were both glad we opted for the Tortilla Trail. We all returned to Powers Garden and the rest of the group trickled in as well. There will be twelve of us camping tonight. We all settled in for the evening an enjoyed another campfire. It was a very relaxed evening. Everyone who joined us was really tired after the tough hike in. Pretty much everyone turned in before 10pm.

We woke fairly early on Sunday morning and enjoyed coffee & croissants (Thanks Chumley!). The rest of the group was prepping for day hikes while Claire and I packed up to return to Phoenix. I had to work on Monday. We started hiking a little before 9am and made good time on the hike out via the Tortilla Trail. The going was a little easier considering we pushed a lot of the grass out of the way on the hike in. Claire and I took a few breaks and eventually were back at the jeep in the early afternoon. From there we made the long drive out and stopped for dinner & beers at Arizona Wilderness Brewery.

Powers Garden and Cabin are a wonderful destination with fascinating history. The Galiuro Mountains are rugged and beautiful and one of the highlights of southern Arizona. I’m really glad we made the trip and hope to return another day.
Culture
Culture
Camp-fire Campsite
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Lots of foliage in bloom
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2 archives
Oct 09 2015
Tough_Boots
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 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Powers GardenTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 09 2015
Tough_Boots
Backpack25.50 Miles 5,946 AEG
Backpack25.50 Miles4 Days         
5,946 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners 8 partners
HAZ - Event
BiFrost
chumley
clairebear
friendofThundergod
John9L
johnlp
Jonnybackpack
slowandsteady
Our canyon trip had to be canceled last minute so we bumped up our Powers Garden trip. Lily and I rode in on Friday with 9L and Claire. We started on the East Divide trail but found it soon disappeared shortly after the junction with the spur trail over to the Tortilla Trail. We could have fought our way through but I don't think any of us were too interested in that so we opted for the more pleasant experience and took the spur to the Tortilla and headed that way.

We had a nice hike in. We came across a herd of cranky cattle. Lily's pads have been a bit shop worn since our last two hikes so I had her boots on her-- of course she lost one early on and I never could find it. Luckily, its really just her rear pads she's had issues with so she really only needed two. We eventually reached Powers Garden to find a trail crew down there working. They were nearing the end of their week down there and looking forward to a week off before they return again.

I decided just to be safe that I would give Lily a pretty easy time for the two days down there. On Saturday, we stuck near camp while Claire and 9L went down to the mine. We spent some time exploring a bit both directions on the Powers Garden Trail. I also caught up on some reading while waiting for the big Saturday crew to arrive. There's nothing much better than reading Wallace Stegner next to a creek. The others turned up much later than expected and I learned that our way in was definitely the more pleasant option :D

On Sunday morning I decided to take a quick easy hike up the Field Canyon Trail. Its only 2.3 miles each way but I hadn't expected the quick 1,500 ft gain so Lily and I managed to get in a nice little workout. I ran into the trail crew boss and talked with him a bit on the way down. I invited him and his crew to come hang out in the evening and share a fire with us. They all showed up later-- great group of workers.

On Monday morning I tried to head out relatively early. I knew it would be a little warmer so I wanted to get Lily out between noon and 1. It was pretty pleasant until we got past Muddy Spring and then it got a bit toasty. I could tell Lily was getting a bit worn out with the heat and the pack and the boots which I'm sure are uncomfortable. Luckily a breeze and some clouds showed up for the last mile and a half and Lily recovered pretty well and we had a nice end of our hike.

This area is absolutely beautiful and quite rugged. I really enjoyed it. We ended up here at the perfect time. There's water everywhere right now and I have a feeling that's pretty uncommon. I hope I get the chance to explore more of this area. Some of it reminded me of the Mazzies and some of it reminded me of the eastern Supes but it was all very much its own place.
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"there is no love where there is no bramble."
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Oct 09 2015
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 333
 Photos 6,613
 Triplogs 777

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Powers GardenTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 09 2015
BiFrost
Backpack36.75 Miles 8,118 AEG
Backpack36.75 Miles2 Days   6 Hrs   12 Mns   
8,118 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Great weekend in the Galiuros with awesome group. We hiked in on the East Divide Trail and did a drive by of Kennedy Peak. The peak had great views but the East Divide Trail as others have mentioned was in rough shape from recent heavy rains and major erosion on the steep slopes resulting from fire damage. Much of the trail on the slopes either side of the peak were completely washed out so it was slow going. Once down in Rattlesnake Canyon the trail improved and easy walking to Powers Garden.

After relaxing night of hanging out by the fire with the group we headed out on various day hiking adventures. Chumley, Johnlp, Patrick, Lee, Kathy and I headed for Powers Garden and Mine to check it out. Very cool cabin and mine with the history making it even more interesting. We spent some time exploring the mine checking out the old mining relics of the past and the impressive tunnel.

Hiking back from the mine we split up on the West Divide Saddle with Chumley, Patrick and I heading up West Divide Trail towards Grassy Peak. The goal was to hike West Divide Trail and check out South Field Canyon. West Divide Trail was fairly easy to follow despite being overgrown because it was on top of the ridgeline. Near the end of the ridgeline we found some areas that had been trail cleared by trail crew who just happened to be in Powers that weekend. Once off the ridgeline we headed down South Field Canyon and back to Powers Garden for another relaxing evening around the fire. That night the trail crew stopped by and we had the opportunity to chat and thank them for all their hard work.

Next morning headed out Tortilla Trail which is in much better shape than the East Divide Trail. Great wide expanse views on the way out...best views of the Galiuros range and surrounding ranges of the weekend.
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1 archive
Oct 09 2015
slowandsteady
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 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

45 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Powers Garden backpack Oct 9-12, AZ 
Powers Garden backpack Oct 9-12, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2015
slowandsteady
Hiking30.00 Miles 7,000 AEG
Hiking30.00 Miles
7,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Great to get in the Galiuros and see Powers Garden and Mine.

I followed the crew in on the East Divide Trail with a trip up to Kennedy Peak and then on to Powers Garden.

On day two I made the trip up and back to the Powers Cabin and Mine.

On day three I hiked out on the Tortilla Trail.
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Oct 09 2015
clairebear
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 Photos 178
 Triplogs 158

37 female
 Joined Oct 26 2011
 Tempe, AZ
Powers Garden & Cabin - Galiuro Mountains, AZ 
Powers Garden & Cabin - Galiuro Mountains, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 09 2015
clairebear
Backpack28.16 Miles 5,729 AEG
Backpack28.16 Miles3 Days         
5,729 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners 8 partners
BiFrost
chumley
friendofThundergod
John9L
johnlp
Jonnybackpack
slowandsteady
Tough_Boots
Since LCR was no longer an option the Powers That Be elected to move up the Powers Garden trip ^^^.

Anyhoo. Kyle, 9L and I departed PHX on an overcast rainy Friday morning. After an enjoyable ride on the Klyondyke road we set out for the old Powers sites. On the hike in we passed some cowboys and their pack of hounds who warned us to look out for the angry cattle protecting their newborns. We did pass through the largest herd of future steaks, however they were indifferent and left us alone. Kyle kept Lilly close and we made it safely through the bovines and continued to our destination.
As we arrived at Powers Garden it was obvious that another group was well established in the meadow so we headed further upstream to find a campsite for our large group. Later on we discovered the tents belonged to a youthful trail crew who had set up a base in Powers Garden.

On day 2 9L and I departed for the shootout cabin. As we neared the cabin we endured the densest trail of unavoidable catclaw that I've yet experienced. That was a painful and memorable hike, thought it was worth it to get to Powers Cabin. We were familiar with the area after having seen the film highlighting the violent shootout that culminated at the cabin that stood before us. Now that the cabin sits alone in the isolated wilderness its difficult to imagine the brutal shootout that once took place here. So, we checked out the cabin and the mine and then lunched there quietly.

Again, we fought the horrible catclaw trail and headed back to our camp. Along the way I heard a Chumley voice in the not too far distance. It was good timing and we had caught up with Chumley, Patrick and Blanco on their hike in. Eventually the entire group rendezvoused at our camp and we had quite a large group around the campfire.

On Sunday morning 9L and I had bfast and got ready to hike out while the others were planning day hikes since they were staying for an extra day. After a brisk and uneventful hike out we returned to the Jeep and made our way to AZ Wilderness for beers and food.
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Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
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Mar 28 2015
whereveriroam
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 Guides 8
 Photos 48
 Triplogs 57

49 male
 Joined Mar 07 2003
 Apache Junction,
Rattlesnake Trail #285Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 28 2015
whereveriroam
Backpack4.29 Miles 2,014 AEG
Backpack4.29 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs      
2,014 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
After a long 5 years I decided a return to the Galiuro's was long overdue. On my prior trips the destination had been either Powers Garden or the Ash Creek/Bassett Peak areas. This time it was time for something new! After recently seeing the documentary "Powers War" I decided on a return to "Shootout Cabin" aka "Powers Cabin". The route we hiked to Powers Cabin utilized High Creek #290, East Divide #287, Rattlesnake #285, Powers Garden #96 and the West Divide #289 trails.

Accessing either end of this trail is a hike by itself. You'll be better off doing this trail as part of a backpacking trip and that will give you time to explore the interesting interior of the Galiuros. I posted this trip on the BCH Meetup groups site and only got two others to join me (Fan & Gary H.). Although there are numerous trails you can use to gain access to the Powers Cabins this one MAY provide the easiest access, passes through unburned forest (for now) and also passes a neat spring named Holdout (seasonal) that's located in a cave. In June of 2014 a fire burned the NE portion of this wilderness, the fire didn't reach this far south.

We started this trail at its high point at the JCT with the East Divide trail #287 (7200')and descended it to its other end at the JCT with the Powers Garden trail #96 (5300'). We also hiked back up this trail since this backpack was an out and back. For those looking to make the journey to the Powers cabins; "Powers Garden" is 3.5 miles down (North) the Powers Garden trail #96 from the JCT with the Rattlesnake trail #285. The other Powers Cabin "Shootout Cabin" is 1.5 miles away in the other direction (South)from the JCT.

As you approach the Rattlesnake trail #285/East Divide trail #287 JCT you'll have an impressive view off to the west of the Catalina's, Rincons, Santa Rita's and Whetstones. You'll also get a memorable view of the southern half of the Galiuro's and be at the head of Rattlesnake Creek, this creek eventually ties into Aravaipai. You may notice a trail below you that clings to a slope, it's more then 500' below you. SORRY but that's where your heading!

This trail drops 1900' over its 4.9 mile course but I'd say 2/3's of that is in the first two miles. The trail pretty much plunges from the JCT of #287 with few switchbacks. Even though there's a good amount of oaks, pinyons, juniper and manzanita this trail offers very little shade along this stretch. You'll come to the first of three saddles just prior to the part of the trail that could be seen from above. Past this saddle the trail is narrow and covered in scree as it passes on the north side of a hilltop. A slip here would result in a nasty plunge that you'd probably survive, AFTER the 100' roll. I found two abandoned shovels hidden here in the manzanita. I left one and took the other with the intention of leaving it at Holdout Spring (left it in cave). Soon you'll come to a second saddle and pass on the south side of another hilltop. The plunge will still continue but now you'll have some tree cover. In a short time you'll encounter a few switchbacks that will lead you to an undercover third saddle. From this saddle you'll plunge down a feeder drainage and into Rattlesnake Creek.

Now you'll enter hiking paradise. The Galiuro's are a little strange, its an upside down mountain. Lower elevation trees can be found up in the higher terrain along with pines but down in the low canyons you'll find a lot of BIG pines. The remainder of this trail will be a gradual decent crossing the dry creek numerous times in a pine forest. There are plenty of places to camp but you'll want to spend the night near Holdout spring/cave. Its about a 20-30 minute walk along the Creek to the signed JCT of the Holdout Spring trail #285A. The JCT is 3.3 miles from the East Divide #287 JCT and 1.6 miles to the P:owers Garden #96 JCT. The spur to the spring is .3 mile and climbs about 75'. There's a cleaned up fire ring and although the area isn't flat you can set up about a dozen tents in the area. The spring and cave are about a 2 minute walk from the fire ring.

The remaining 1.6 miles of trail continue to gradually descend to the JCT of the Powers Garden #96 trail. There are a number of intriguing holes in the ground of the same depth and size along the way. They almost look like craters from artillery and although there was mining in the area I don't think they are prospecting holes. You'll pass a mine on north side of the creek near the end of the trail and an old wooden structure with no roof. We missed the wooden structure on our hike down the trail so I'd say its not obvious. At the JCT of the Powers Garden #96 trail there is a modern horse trough (galvanized tub). It was empty and my guess is the plastic tubing needed repair. Although most of the creek was dry we found water by the trail JCT, this would be a great spot to camp because of the nearby mining relics.
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Nov 06 2013
mazatzal
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 Routes 31
 Photos 2,115
 Triplogs 1,064

61 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Powers Garden Trail #96Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 06 2013
mazatzal
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,870 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.25 mph
1,870 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
canadarambler
Drove over to Rattlesnake Mesa and parked where it is marked ATV only. Went over to Powers Hill and down into Rattlesnake Canyon. We made it a couple of miles further but not all the way to Powers Garden :( On the way back we met UofA associate doing some flora surveying he was the first person we'd seen in three days! Saw 3 deer on the drive out and then went to Safford for the night and Mexican :)
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Extreme

dry Pipestem Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sycamore Creek Light flow Light flow
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Feb 07 2013
johnny88
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 Photos 791
 Triplogs 16

30 male
 Joined Jan 17 2011
 Phoenix, AZ
Powers Garden Trail #96Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2013
johnny88
Hiking8.11 Miles 963 AEG
Hiking8.11 Miles
963 ft AEG34 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This long-winded trip report is about a 4-day backpacking trip I made into the Galiuro Mountains with my dog, two friends, and a friend's dog in early February 2013. This trip marks our 2nd visit to the Galiuros; to hear about our first trip to the range in March 2012, you must hike to the cabin at Powers Garden and read the log book yourself. For our first trip, we hiked into Powers Garden via the Deer Creek trailhead. This time, we decided to try hiking in from the North via Rattlesnake Canyon. If this trip report is too long or I have posted too many photos, someone let me know and I can trip it all down.

Day 0: Our trip began on a Thursday night. I drove down to Tucson to pick up my friends, and after a slight delay, we began the 4 hour drive. We stopped at Willcox, the last real city we'd see before arriving at the trailhead, for some gas and some food. Between trips to the Gila and the Galiuros, I'm amazed at how many times we've eaten at the Salsa Fiesta and McDonalds in Willcox now. A short while later and we were on Bonita Aravaipa Rd, which seemed smoother than it was last year; we'd see no other cars the rest of the night. After turning onto Rattlesnake Road, we signed in for a ranch pass and continue our drive in the dark. Up until Rattlesnake Hill, my friend's truck handled Rattlesnake Road just fine. I think that with some care, a small SUV could make it; a car would have some difficulty in a few spots and might come away damaged. Once we arrived at Rattlesnake Hill, we decided to see if his truck could make it all the way to the Powers Garden trailhead, 2.5 miles away. This idea quickly disintegrated after the first turn when the truck's headlights revealed several mighty obstacles. We decided that only a modified truck or ATV should attempt the final 2.5 miles of Rattlesnake Road, and made camp at Rattlesnake Hill. Here we would eat dinner #2 while listening to nearby cows moo-ing. Strangely, we were eating steak and lots of garlic and squash.

Day 1: Friday morning began early. After a windy night, I woke to a great AZ sunrise and some stormy looking clouds. After having breakfast and packing up, we secured everything else in my friend's truck which now smelled strongly like garlic. Hoping that cows are not attracted to the smell of garlic, we left his truck and began our hike along Rattlesnake Road, which would prove to be some of the best "road" hiking I've ever done. The road is quite hilly and really more of a wide trail in many parts; along it, you are constantly bombarded with panoramic views of the Pinalenos and Santa Teresas. Propelled by the excitement of the first day, we quickly reached the end of the road at Powers Hill. We took a quick snack break and then made the short but steep descent into Rattlesnake Canyon via Powers Garden trail #96.
Upon reaching the canyon floor, we were greeted with an entirely different world - pines and sycamores surrounded by tall rock formations - and delighted to find flowing water. Our hike through Rattlesnake Canyon was pleasant and pretty easy (substantially different than our hike from the Deer Creek trailhead last year). The abundance of leaves, crisp air, and barely overcast sky made it feel like October. I was constantly reminded of the Middle Fork of the Gila River (which you should hike if you haven't), along which I've spent a total of 7 days and have many good memories of. As we carried on, we continued to find the occasional pool and short section of flowing water; a couple pools were probably 4 or 5 feet and quite clear. At some point, we got passed by some day hikers who surprised us. As I said earlier, most of the water was clear and perfectly drinkable, but one section of water had a foul smell (almost like sulfur) and was oddly colored; it wasn't warm. Somewhere around the turn off for Pipestem Canyon, we saw our last bit of water.

With lunch and a mid-day nap under our belts, we arrived at Powers Garden at about 3 pm. It would be dark in a few hours, so we quickly began setting up camp. Instead of staying in the cabin, we chose to pitch our tents just south of the corral. Last time we were in the Galiuros, we never really found Powers Spring and got our water from natural rock tanks. This time, however, we found Powers Spring without issue (a special thank you to RedRoxx44 is in order here - she gave me some helpful directions). To find Powers Spring, you basically walk South to the corrals and make a left onto the obvious trail, from which you follow along the wash until you find water (provided that water is actually there to be found - I understand it may be dry some parts of the year). We found Powers Spring to have fairly good water. It was stagnant and there was some algae, but the water came up clear! After fetching water, two other backpackers walked by our site; they were out for an overnighter and were staying in the cabin. With our tents pitched and water secured, we had a nice evening with a fire. We enjoyed some Hottie Totties, my new favorite backpacking drink. All it takes is 1 cup of hot water, 1 packet of cider mix, a little cinnamon, and some whiskey and you have a delicious and warm drink.

The Galiuros have some of the darkest skies I've ever seen. When I'm out there, I can see the Milky Way and stars I never knew existed. When we went to bed that night, the sky was particularly clear and there was only a light breeze. Given these conditions, I left the door to my Tarptent Rainbow wide open and my friend left the fly off his tent. And this is why I was particularly surprised to awake in the middle of the night to wet snow falling on my face through the mesh. I wasn't really sure what was going on at first so I just rolled over and went back to sleep. A short while later around 4 AM, I decided I'd have to get up and pitch the door; my friend managed to get his fly on a little earlier. Lesson learned: weather changes. The weather report stated there was a 0-10% chance of precipitation for Tucson for the next 10 days when we left.

Day 2: It continued snowing the remainder of the night, and pretty soon my tent was covered and I could see that a couple inches had piled up outside. Just after 7 AM, I began banging the walls of my tent to knock the snow off. At this point, one of the backpackers we had met the previous night came by our camp site and kindly invited us into the cabin where they had the wood stove going. How could we resist?! Within minutes we packed some stuff up and walked over to the cabin. We only saw a low of about 27 F that night, but we were quite happy to enter the warm cabin where temps were in the upper-40s. Upon exiting my tent, I saw that Powers Garden and all of the surrounding mountains were covered in a beautiful layer of fresh snow. It was a great surprise and I feel lucky to have seen the area in rare form.

After having breakfast and sending off the other 2 backpackers (the last people we would see that weekend), we took down our tents and moved into the cabin. We decided that with the snow and cold temps, it would be nice to have a dry and warm place to spend our next 2 nights in, a decision that would prove to be quite wise. For our second day, we planned to do a day hike. We planned to hike the Tent Lookout Trail, take the West Divide Trail North for a mile, and then return via the South Field Canyon Trail. So at about 10 AM, we finally hit the trail. By this time, it had stopped snowing where we were; however, it looked like places to the North, South, and West of us were still getting some.

It's always a great feeling when hiking along a trail with fresh snow. The cold air feels great and you're propelled forward if for no other reason than to keep your hands and feet warm. The first mile or so of the Tent Lookout trail was well maintained and relatively free of brush. After the first mile, we were frequently plowing our way through catclaw and Manzanita. The trail would be clear for 50 feet, then have 5 feet of thick brush (this was, however, somewhat made up for by expansive views of the Galiuros we were treated to along the trail). It was like this all the way until we met up with West Divide trail. Upon reaching the West Divide trail, we realized we were able to see the Catalinas (which were also getting a good snow). From here, we headed North for about 50 feet until we lost the trail to brush. After several minutes of scouting, we were unable to determine where the trail went - it simply seemed to fade away. We decided to try hiking South along the West Divide trail instead. This proved to be a good decision and yielded us better trail, but after about a 1/4 mile, we decided to turn around and return to camp via the Tent Lookout trail.

With our shoes soaked and hands cold from the melting snow, we arrived back at the cabin at Powers Garden around 3 PM. A friend and I decided to go fetch us a bunch of water from Powers Spring while my other friend would gather and chop firewood for the night. We all tried our hand at using one of the axes at the cabin to chop some wood; it was fun but hard work. My friend had spent some time chopping wood in Germany so he was able to instruct us (and do most of the work). By 5 PM, the sky had filled with gray clouds. It looked like we were about to get another round of snow/rain/sleet/hail, so we settled into the cabin for the night and got the wood stove started up.

We spent a great evening in the cabin waiting for the storm to come, but it never did. My friends propped their shoes near the stove to dry them off, but I used the plastic bag technique which has worked quite well for me: I put on my thick and dry sleeping socks, slip a plastic bag over each foot, and then stuff them in my trail runners. This keeps my feet warm and dry for very little weight/bulk, and it'll dry off my shoes in just a few hours. I prefer to use those plastic veggie bags, but I just used some Ziplocs this time. It was nice having the wood stove to cook on (and by cook, I mean boil water). We loaded it before retiring for the night; we would see a low of about 47 F in the cabin that night, with a low of 17 F outside.

Day 3: Staying in the cabin and not having to pack up snow-covered tents, we got a much quicker start this morning. Our plan was to day-hike to Powers Cabin and Powers Mine, a little over 10 miles round trip. We tried making it to Powers Mine last year but ran out of daylight and had to turn back just half a mile shy. The morning's hike through Rattlesnake Canyon was awesome. We walked along the trail, covered in about 1-2 inches of untouched snow, and were able to see many animal tracks including some from a mountain lion. Rattlesnake Canyon is like the highway of the Galiuros in my mind, providing a fairly easy path through part of the range. We saw some spots of lightly flowing water from the melting snow, as well as the usual assortment of odd cabins and mining equipment along side the trail. How on earth did they get that giant ball mill out there?? I really need to read up on my history as I'd be interested in learning more.
We reached Powers Mine in about 3 hours. Two of us decided to venture in while the other stayed outside with the dogs. After passing through a heavy section of flies, we found a deep hole and some cart tracks. Why they decided to mine at this particular location is beyond me, but it is sure an eerie place to visit. Unsure of how far back the mine goes, we turned back not very far from the entrance. We then visited Powers Cabin. I am amazed they managed to eek out an existence in this place and it makes me wonder what the water situation was like then. My life seems easy in comparison. I am not sure if I'd have the courage to head into an unknown mountain range and make the place my home.

Glad that we were finally able to see the mine and the cabin, we decided to head back. The small layer of snow had melted significantly that afternoon, particularly where we hiked along the trail. Our loss of snow cushioning and the "warm" temperatures (maybe in the 50s), made our afternoon hike back seem a little more difficult than the hike in. Regardless, we still made it back to camp around mid-afternoon. After gathering and chopping some more wood, we went into the cabin for our final night. We expected it to be a cold one, seeing as how it was already below 30 F by 5 PM. Another round of hottie totties was enjoyed and we went to bed. Outside, it would get down to 17 F that night, and only about 44 F in the cabin.

Day 4: A little sad to leave but excited to return to civilization (as is the case with all my backpacking trips), we packed up quickly, tidied up the cabin, said our farewells, and began the hike out. Due to the cool temperatures, we kept a fairly brisk pace for the first hour through Rattlesnake Canyon. Again, the trail was great and even had little spots of snow still left. In one patch of snow, we found some large footprints. I think they were from a bear, but they could have been from a mountain lion. We also noticed that the water levels at several of the crossings were higher than on our way in. Before we knew it, we reached the spot where we have to hike up to Powers Hill.

Once at the top of Powers Hill and out of Rattlesnake Canyon, it became apparent that a big storm was headed our way. There were dark gray clouds East, South, and West of us. The approaching spurred us on and we ended up hiking the remaining 2.5 miles back to the car in just over an hour. We did stop at least once to look at a cow and change layers. Once we got back to the car (which smelled a little less like garlic now), we changed clothes and took some celebration photos. At this point, it began snowing on us and we decided it would be a good time to start the drive back to Tucson.

While we were on Rattlesnake Road, the storm caught up with us and we saw snow blowing around us on all sides. We eventually made our way out of the snow and got to Bonita Aravaipa Rd just fine. Hungry for food, we stopped by Salsa Fiesta in Willcox before continuing on. Surprisingly, we also ended up driving through snow on the I-10 near Vail. Regardless, we all made it back home safely, marking the end of our adventure.

My 4 day trip was awesome; however, 4 days is simply not enough time to explore the Galiuros. The Galiuros are a challenging range: water can be hard to find and trails can be overgrown or hard to find. They are also incredibly remote and should not be tackled by the lighthearted. Still, I find myself drawn to them. I hope to make it back to the range again next year as there are many trails I still wish to hike and areas I still wish to explore.
Fauna
Fauna
Cow Dog
Named place
Named place
Powers Mine
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average hiking speed 2.21 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.

90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
Woodbury Fire Perimeter
Updated 2019-06-25 115,750 Acres - 48% Contained
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