After a fantastic night under the practically-full moon at Camp Grasshopper - Byous Butte, the kids and I headed over to Hidden Spring for a morning hike. Decided to take an adventurous route and soon paid for it. Getting up over that saddle with all the current growth, with the 5yo yelping that every other green thing was poking him, took a mixture of patience, promises, and threats. Eventually we pulled over and saw the steep drop down to the spring, forcing me to change tactics. Ended up ferrying the kiddos down a few dozen yards at a time, first a carry for the 2yo, followed by coaching/assistance for the 5yo and 6yo. When we finally reached the flowing spring and easy rock-hop down to FR172 it felt like a bonafied manicured trail. After that long three hours, I decided Elephant Arch can wait for a future visit.
Short morning walk to the rock walls just north of the trail head. Bouldered/scrambled a half dozen routes with some interesting problems including one broad face with nice holds. However, solid holds were the exception and every rock seemed more than willing to flake off and head down the slope to the water. Good practice testing each hold and making sure I never was depending on only a single hold
Returned down the wash that passes the campsite and forms the first part of the Butte trail. I found a weep that might be considered a spring a ways up stream.
This was a wander in the general area of Grasshopper flats looking for interesting bouldering and scrambling. I went north from the Byous trail head stopping to scramble on an interesting wall before going over the top into the canyon with the hidden spring. Water flow was pretty minimal but definitely a bit of stream.
I went down the stream to the south crossing the FR and scaling the wall out of the wash to head up the hill south of the trail head. There were a few short scrambles on the south side of the summit but just south there was a lone butte with a fun to climb chimney.
From here I went down to Hewett creek to wade in the cool water and wash up before returning the Grasshopper flats cafe for lunch. The lunch time entertainment consisted of the largest and angriest Diamondback I have ever seen - and I am a native of Arizona so this was not the first After ice water Hank finished cooking lunch about 3 feet from this fellow, we chased him off to a dense mesquite where he noisily sulked for the next hour. He was a dandy specimen and it is nice to see that they are still able to grow old (10-14 rattles, but who was counting) with all the people traveling the FR out there.
This short, easy, and partly "off trail" hike starts at the Byous Butte primitive campsite area TH (see pic set & hike descriptions) and proceeds up FR172 then off trail through a wash/drainage for a short distance to what I have named as "Hidden Springs". After just posting the GPS Route for this new hike description, I noticed that the HAZ- MY TOPO Map has it labeled as "Canyon Springs" and as "Negro Head Spring" (which was not noted on my Mapsource & TOPO! map software). Anyway, this small perennial springs serves as a welcomed lifeline for the local area wildlife during our dry and hot months of the year and is also a nice little hike to consider when in the area!
This is a perennial spring with water seeps and small pooling;
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
average hiking speed 1.62 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.