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Sunflower Trail #344 - 6 members in 35 triplogs have rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 15 2021
mazatzal
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 Routes 33
 Photos 2,316
 Triplogs 1,146

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2021
mazatzal
Hiking4.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
600 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Started at SR 87 and went in about a half mile to check out the tread work done by the scout group a few weeks ago. Added a bit more tread work here and there.

Two air force jets screamed by overhead… then a few minutes later two more (or a second pass by the same two?). This time I got my camera before they were gone but pictures are poor.

Decided to drive to Cross F and finish up some brushing at that end the trail. On the way I saw multiple horse trailer staging areas, lots of sheriff vehicles and someone galloping down the road ahead of a long line vehicles behind sheriff vehicles with lights flashing. It was the Hashknife Pony Express :lol:

Finished brushing near the unnamed tank south of FR 393 but no more jets or galloping horses.
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Wildflowers Observation Light
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Mar 07 2021
mazatzal
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 Routes 33
 Photos 2,316
 Triplogs 1,146

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2021
mazatzal
Hiking8.00 Miles 930 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
930 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
ONB starting from SR87, went about 4 miles, did some brushing on the single track portion.
Only saw two people, one day hiker and one thru hiker who had just started from SR 87 where he quit last year due to coronavirus. His quote: "1 mile done 399 to go!”
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Feb 21 2021
KBKB
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 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,216
 Triplogs 237

59 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Sunflower Trail #344Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 21 2021
KBKB
Hiking8.80 Miles 1,214 AEG
Hiking8.80 Miles   3 Hrs   51 Mns   2.72 mph
1,214 ft AEG      37 Mns Break11 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Starting from the Cross F trailhead, my wife and I hiked the connector trail (from Old Beeline Highway) to the Arizona Trail. At that junction we turned south, hiking for a little over 4 miles along the Sunflower Trail. When we returned, we took FR393 back to Old Beeline Highway.

I enjoyed the 1.33 mile section of single track south of the junction (with the connector trail and the Little Saddle Mountain Trail). Unfortunately, after this point, the trail becomes a double track / road until the road branches off to the Diamond Ranch. After that, the trail becomes a single track again, which made me happy. We turned around perhaps 3/4 mile from reaching SR87 though, so I can't say what the southernmost section of the trail is like. My wife found that the double track was easy to hike though, so she was happy with that section.

We had views of Mount Ord along the way where we could see evidence of fire damage from the Bush Fire of 2020. However, we did not see any (localized) evidence of that fire along the sections of the Sunflower Trail that we hiked.

Aside from a Trail crew - working on a Sunday! - and a hiker who had started from the trailhead at the Bushnell Tanks sign, we met no one else along the trail that day. (Well, we did encounter a truck driving down FR393 on our way back.)

I found this to be a peaceful hike with okay-to-good views. The trail is in good condition and route finding is easy. There are several branches off of the road / double track section of the trail. If you don't see an Arizona Trail sign shortly after passing one of these junctions, you're probably going the wrong way. There are markers at several of these junctions though which means that you probably won't go wrong.
Named place
Named place
Mount Ord
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Feb 19 2021
KBKB
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 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,216
 Triplogs 237

59 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Black Ridge Loop - MazatzalPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 19 2021
KBKB
Hiking7.92 Miles 2,057 AEG
Hiking7.92 Miles   4 Hrs   2 Mns   2.34 mph
2,057 ft AEG      39 Mns Break11 LBS Pack
 no routes
Partners none no partners
On Friday, the 19th, I hiked the Black Ridge Loop by myself. I hiked it nearly a year ago with a group. Conditions last year were significantly wetter - muddy even. This time around, the ground was soft in a few places, but not especially wet.

This loop is much easier to navigate than it was when I first did it several years ago. It appears to have gotten a lot of horse traffic, so there's a well beaten path for most of the hike. The only part that's not well beaten is a short section just off of the Sunflower Trail. In some places there are multiple paths to choose from. I added a little distance to my hike by backtracking some of these paths to see if the route might be better had I gone another way. I think the answer is "no", but didn't explore them far enough to know for certain.

I encountered a group of 5-6 horses w/ riders shortly after passing Brunson Tank. I didn't get an exact count because I was keeping an eye on their many dogs - I'd say that they had at least seven. I found them to be loud and annoying. Weird thing was - well, I'd never seen it before - each of the dogs appeared to be outfitted with some sort of antenna attached to their collars. Maybe a GPS tracker w/ radio in case they run off?

Near the end of the hike, I came across a crew doing maintenance on the connector trail between Cross F Trailhead and the Little Saddle Mountain Trail. I think they were adding some rocks for erosion control.

I didn't see any areas that had burned in the past year, definitely a good thing.
Named place
Named place
Brunson Tank Mount Ord
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Feb 04 2021
mazatzal
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 Routes 33
 Photos 2,316
 Triplogs 1,146

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 04 2021
mazatzal
Hiking3.00 Miles 620 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
620 ft AEG
 
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Partners none no partners
Started from the new Cross F Ranch TH and cut up the hillside to FR 393, followed the road to the AZT, turned south and trimmed back the brush for the half mile to the tank.
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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2 archives
Jan 31 2021
mazatzal
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 Routes 33
 Photos 2,316
 Triplogs 1,146

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 31 2021
mazatzal
Hiking7.00 Miles 930 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
930 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Started from the new Cross F Ranch TH and took Little Saddle Mtn trail to the AZT and turned south on the AZT. Took the AZT / Sunflower trail south for a few miles then turned around and did a little brushing on the way back. Main creek (unnamed) alongside the trail was flowing nicely.

Saw one hiker who started at SR87 and was planning to go to Peeley and back :o but 18” of soft snow along Saddle Man trail forced him to turn around.
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1 archive
Nov 19 2020
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 33
 Photos 2,316
 Triplogs 1,146

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 19 2020
mazatzal
Hiking6.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
800 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Started from the new Cross F Ranch TH and took Little Saddle Mtn trail to the AZT and turned south on the AZT. Took the AZT / Sunflower trail to where it follows the jeep trail for 2 miles. Went off trail along the hillside where the new single track will be (hopefully) and re-joined the two track and headed back along the current trail. Did some brushing on the single track on the way back and built a couple of cairns.
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Apr 12 2020
jacobemerick
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 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,079
 Triplogs 142

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Little Saddle Mountain Loop, AZ 
Little Saddle Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 12 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking3.16 Miles 518 AEG
Hiking3.16 Miles   3 Hrs   40 Mns   1.16 mph
518 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Familiar, easy-to-reach loop for Easter hiking with kids. Up Little Saddle, with a few pauses to admire the wooded sections and babbling brook, continue past Sunflower junction until it rejoined the creek, then follow the creek downstream to the Sunflower crossing. Creek was overgrown, as could be expected, and I had to coach/bribe/threaten them at times to continue on. Still don't understand what's so scary about a little catclaw. Scars build character. Anyways, easy hike up Sunflower to FR 393. Flowers were pretty, things were green, clouds were lovely, trail is great, etc. Saw a two 2-person groups on AZT, one ORV on 393, and a ton of people camping on Old Beeline, otherwise a successfully social distant outing.
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Mar 17 2020
mazatzal
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 Routes 33
 Photos 2,316
 Triplogs 1,146

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 17 2020
mazatzal
Hiking8.00 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
1,400 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
The first part of passage 22 (just a bit north of SR 87 after the third gate) follows a two track for 2 miles.
Scouted an off trail route for possible new single track. The proposed route seems to work quite well but needs some fine tuning. Saw 4 deer and lots of water!
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Oct 01 2019
mazatzal
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 Routes 33
 Photos 2,316
 Triplogs 1,146

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Sunflower Trail #344Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 01 2019
mazatzal
Hiking10.30 Miles 1,520 AEG
Hiking10.30 Miles   5 Hrs   10 Mns   2.17 mph
1,520 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Hadn’t been all the way through to Sunflower on this trail since 2000 :o
70F when I started and 73 when I finished. Saw 6 horses and 1 deer. Nice hike :)
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Jan 01 2019
jacobemerick
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 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,079
 Triplogs 142

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Little Saddle Mountain Loop, AZ 
Little Saddle Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2019
jacobemerick
Hiking2.62 Miles 450 AEG
Hiking2.62 Miles   2 Hrs   22 Mns   1.30 mph
450 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
With the recent weather happenings my heart wanted the Mazzies but my fatherhood responsibilities had me solo parenting, so I compromised and took them to the Mazzies. Expected to find a light dusting and was greeted with inches on the ground before Sunflower, an incredibly icy 627, and otherstately scenes along the trail. Kids were totally enamored with this adventure from start to finish. Highlights:
- 5 yr old teaching his brother how to make snow angels
- 3 yr old getting a dumped on by a tree branch and, instead of crying, releasing the deepest and most authentic belly-laugh I’ve ever heard
- 1 yr old wolfing down mitten-fulls of snow as fast as she could scoop

One of the best adventures we’ve ever been on. Can’t wait to take them deeper into these mountains.
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Nov 08 2018
mazatzal
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 Routes 33
 Photos 2,316
 Triplogs 1,146

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 08 2018
mazatzal
Hiking6.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
800 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
scatdaddy
Four of us cleared 2 deadfall along Little Saddle Mtn trail. The first was a very large sycamore with three major trunks. That one took almost 3 hours using small hand saws (didn't have a crosscut). The next one was easy and took less than half an hour because after a few cuts we could rotate off the trail.

Perfect weather and a nice day on the trail.
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1 archive
Nov 04 2018
mazatzal
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 Routes 33
 Photos 2,316
 Triplogs 1,146

63 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
AZT #21 and #22, AZ 
AZT #21 and #22, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 04 2018
mazatzal
Hiking6.00 Miles 660 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
660 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
We went out to check a couple of gate locations and then hiked south on Sunflower #344 for a bit.

First we hiked the AZT #21 connector from the Bushnell gate.

Next we drove over to Cross F Ranch and took Little Saddle Mountain #244 to the gate on the AZT (not the one on the connector). From here we hiked south on the AZT (and Sunflower 344) for a couple of miles. Returned to FR 393 and took that back to the start.

We saw a lot of hunters probably at least 8 or 9 groups and coming down FR 393 spotted a baby rattler crossing the road :o
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Mar 16 2018
toddak
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 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,204
 Triplogs 462

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 16 2018
toddak
Hiking26.00 Miles 4,500 AEG
Hiking26.00 Miles   11 Hrs      2.36 mph
4,500 ft AEG
 no routes
NOBO to Peeley TH on very well maintained trails. Minimal water - saw small pools and slight trickle flows: 1) north of the Cross F trail junction, 2) McFarland Canyon 3) lower end of Cornucopia.

Exited down DC45. Intermittent / light water flow starts about a mile down from Peeley and persist nicely until near the canyon mouth. The first ~3 miles of trail have had some recent maintenance and are very pleasant, after that it's moderate thrash until you near the canyon mouth.
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Jun 11 2017
jacobemerick
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 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,079
 Triplogs 142

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
S Mazatzal Roundup, AZ 
S Mazatzal Roundup, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking35.42 Miles 6,039 AEG
Hiking35.42 Miles   16 Hrs   14 Mns   2.62 mph
6,039 ft AEG   2 Hrs   44 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Wanted to knock out a gaggle of trails in the southern Mazatzal area. Most of them are AZT, so I figured a +30 mile day wouldn't be terrible. Today my feet disagree, but details.

Little Saddle Mountain #244
Did most of this trail lit by headlamp + full moon. Seemed pretty. Along the creek things got a little overgrown and it was hard to navigate in low light. Turned off headlamp at 4:30 and enjoyed the predawn views for the last mile.

Saddle Mountain #91
This trail is legit. Big views, well maintained, and minimal elevation gain. I cruised along this section when I wasn't drinking in the sights. I wanted to make the Story Mine loop at the end for completion sake and regretted it - as soon as the path leaves the AZT it is quickly swallowed up by catclaw. And I didn't even find the mine :(

Sheep Creek #88
Beautiful drop into McFarland. Bit steep, could see the south direction being painful. Headed to Squaw Flat Spring to complete this segment of the trail and was surprised at how easy the way was. Few deadfall, some overgrowth, clear tread. Still no water at the spring so I filtered up at a murky pool on the way back.

Thistle Spring #95 (Sheep Creek :next: West Fork)
Pleasant jaunt along McFarland and then a sudden twist and climb up a dry wash. Legs were starting to get angry here so that climb was not appreciated. There was a tripod set up at the West Fork junction that was weird.

West Fork #260
Short climb and long descent. It's a short one, so there's not much to say. Decent views. I tried to track where 25A came down into the canyon below to pass the time.

Cornucopia #86
Hot climb up a trickling creek. A few sections didn't have any burn damage, so I imagine that this is what the non-ponderosa pine forest areas looked like before 2004/2012 (depending on where in the Mazzies you're looking). Sporadic junipers, willows along the creek, and random tall pines. Could be wrong. Anyways, after the junction w/ Thistle Spring the trail got mean fast. Steady uphill over rolling rocks in full exposure to the sun. As soon as I tapped the Mazatzal Divide Trail sign I turned and fled back downhill to the shade.

Thistle Spring #95 (Cornucopia :next: West Fork)
Tough climbs with well-earned views on top. Lost the trail on the second (shorter) climb and meandered around until I could pick it back up. This trail is definitely getting thick, probably because the AZT skips past it now, but being able to see (Little Saddle Mountain?) and Saddle Mountain to the south and Sheep / Peeley ridge to the north from one spot was pretty awesome. Fast drop back to West Fork where I found the tripod waiting - glad it didn't go War-of-the-Worlds or anything.

West Fork #260
Again? Same as last time, only hotter. Filtered some water at the bottom for a late lunch break.

25A to Cross F Trailhead
For a road walk / connector this was pretty nice. There is a well-defined trail connecting the West Fork / Cornucopia junction south to the end of the road, and then the road jumps in and out and back and forth across West Fork Sycamore Creek. A smell of diesel hung in the air but I didn't see or hear any vehicles along the way. Most of it was shaded and a breeze was starting to kick up and rustle the hot air. Connecting to N Beeline was annoying, as the old track is gated off as private, so I just jumped into the creek and hung out with some cattle before climbing back out north of the trailhead.

Sunflower #344
A quick water refill and shirt change and it was back up on Little Saddle Mountain to connect to Sunflower. LSM was pretty in the light, partly shaded and dancing along the edge of the creek. Turning onto Sunflower meant a quick drop and climb, going under some powerlines, and then miles of rocky two-track. Closer to Sunflower the path breaks off on its own and swings towards Diamond Mountain before going under N Beeline. But it's not done yet - another half mile of AZT, a quick crossing of the Sycamore, and then a dusty haul up to Bushnell before this trail is completed.

N Beeline to Cross F Trailhead
The tumble down from Bushnell parking back to Sycamore was graceless but got me back on N Beeline without playing frogger on AZ-87. Whole herd of deer was near the bottom of the bridge, unperturbed by the traffic overhead yet terrified of me. Paved roadwalk was about as fun as paved roadwalks can get. No traffic, as the sun was setting by now, and I returned to the trailhead before eight.

Mazatzal Miles: 129.8/275 (47%)

Asides
Hot. Drank 3 gallons of water (~half mixed w/ electrolytes) and 2 frozen powerades (for good luck). Forecast promised 85ish, thermometer claimed 95+.
Not a single person on the trails today. Well, there were some vehicles at Cross F when I stopped back in the afternoon, but didn't see any people on the trail. Only one driver was spotted from a distance. Quiet day in the Mazzies for such accessible trails.
Distance wasn't that big of a deal, though I need some better insoles to deal with the darn rocks.
Really need to start looking to the west/north. There's a lot of trails up there (Verde/Wet Bottom/Red Hills) that I haven't touched yet :(


dry Thicket Spring Dry Dry
Dry at spring. Water can be found downstream along Cornucopia Trail.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Upper McFarland @ #88/95 Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Pools below junction.
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1 archive
Mar 12 2016
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 24
 Routes 303
 Photos 8,749
 Triplogs 824

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

Day 1: 29.92 miles 6268 aeg

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

Day 2: 25.67 miles 6392 aeg

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

Day 3: 31.24 miles 5239 aeg

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

Day 4: 24.7 miles 6297 aeg

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

Day 5: 26.9 miles 4051 aeg

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

Day 6: 23.08 miles 4329 aeg

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

Final Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

dry Windsor Spring Dry Dry
_____________________
6 archives
Feb 20 2015
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,523
 Triplogs 2,171

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Alder Creek, AZ 
Alder Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 20 2015
topohiker
Hiking31.90 Miles 5,446 AEG
Hiking31.90 Miles   13 Hrs   40 Mns   2.77 mph
5,446 ft AEG   2 Hrs   10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
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fan3992
We started at the Cross F TH and looped the AZT back to FR393. We took FR2138 and checked out the corrals and tanks. We bushwhacked from one tank area to another. Then we headed back to FR393. Fan took lunch and an extended break by the Chinatown spring / Alder creek area.

I headed down Alder creek to Bartlett lake. This was the best part of the hike. Alder creek has intermittent water running through it. At times there’s big canyon walls and sometimes there’s big tracks of grassy fields. The only issues I had was having to push through occupational trees and vegetation. When I got near the lake I noticed 2 sets of boots prints in the wash. I took lunch on a drought exposed rock outcropping. As I ate, I felt someone watching me and turned around and saw 2 young backpackers looking at me. They were near the start of the Maverick mountain wash(about a 1/3 mile away). I waved and they walked away.

I looped back to FR393 by taking the Maverick Mountain wash. I saw the backpackers footprints go down a side canyon/wash :-k .

Animal sighting:
My 1st Gila monster of the year :) ! The Gila Monster said we only have 5 more weeks of spring left :sl: !
Big animal prints in the mud :scared:
Dead fox on FR393

It was an interesting hike with some new areas that I hadn’t explored before. The overcast held back the heat, but it did get cold when we got above 3,500 feet.
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
2 archives
Feb 14 2015
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 362
 Photos 7,928
 Triplogs 942

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 14 2015
BiFrost
Hiking18.18 Miles 4,182 AEG
Hiking18.18 Miles   8 Hrs   31 Mns   2.43 mph
4,182 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Another section of AZT completed. This one eluded us for awhile with the long shuttle to Peeley TH but we managed to coordinate with Lee who was backpacking from Peeley TH to Twin Buttes. So at the end of our hike we drove his vehicle to Twin Buttes end of Whiterocks Mesa AZT. Worked out well with everyone having to do minimum shuttling. As for the hike the first 4 miles of this section is decent trail with long stretches being old road until it reaches the turn off for Little Saddle Mtn Trail #244. This section was really cool despite the burn with plenty of water, rock cascades, and small pools for about a mile. Eventually the trail intersects with Saddle Mtn Trail #91 where we took a break before heading towards McFarland Canyon about another 3 miles up trail. McFarland is another nice section that survived the most recent fire so we took a another break. From here the trail gets much rougher and steeper with significant fire damage in the last 6 miles. Eventually made it to Peeley TH and Lee's vehicle was waiting as planned....he also left a surprise gift of beverages and snacks :D
Named place
Named place
Saddle Mountain 6,535

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Upper McFarland @ #88/95 Light flow Light flow
Light flow with plenty to filter.
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1 archive
Feb 14 2015
slowandsteady
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

47 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 14 2015
slowandsteady
Hiking18.18 Miles 4,182 AEG
Hiking18.18 Miles   8 Hrs   31 Mns   2.43 mph
4,182 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
_____________________
Dec 13 2014
topohiker
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 113
 Photos 4,523
 Triplogs 2,171

male
 Joined Oct 29 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Bartlett Lake via Cross F/Bee-Line, AZ 
Bartlett Lake via Cross F/Bee-Line, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 13 2014
topohiker
Hiking31.31 Miles 3,961 AEG
Hiking31.31 Miles   13 Hrs   31 Mns   2.83 mph
3,961 ft AEG   2 Hrs   28 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I parked at the Cross F TH. There was a light rain that stopped 5 minutes after I started hiking. I was surprised to see that the Alder spring was dry. Adler creek had a very light flow to it.

I took one of the washes down to the lake and had lunch. By now the sky was mostly sunny. As I headed back from lunch, the western sky turned black. Soon there was one of the localized thunder storms. There was numerous lighting strikes on the west side of the lake. The black cloud covered the entire sky. I quickly put on the rain gear (again). This was the first time I got to use my waterproof fishing gloves. The gloves keeps the hand dry and very warm.

Through the day I seen about 10 javelinas. There was pair (adult and baby) that started to charge at me! I yelled at them, and then they stopped and ran the other way.

The temps dropped fast when the sun dropped. It was so cold at the end of the hike that the Jeep had ice on it! The windshield was one sheet of ice.
Next time I want to check out the Alder Creek wash down to the lake.
Fauna
Fauna
Long-nosed snake
Meteorology
Meteorology
Double Rainbow
_____________________
"Everywhere is walking distance...If you have the time"
-Stephen Wright
average hiking speed 2.29 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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