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SB Mountain / Cabin via Bartlett Lake - 2 members in 4 triplogs have rated this an average 2 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 19 2019
KingLeonidas
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 Guides 8
 Routes 38
 Photos 112
 Triplogs 74

31 male
 Joined Oct 23 2017
 Tempe
SB Mountain / Cabin via Bartlett LakePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 19 2019
KingLeonidas
Hiking1.44 Miles 484 AEG
Hiking1.44 Miles   2 Hrs   4 Mns   0.95 mph
484 ft AEG      33 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Made an attempt at SB Mountain / Cabin with my wife while on a canoe camping trip to Bartlett Lake. The hike did not go as planned...

The approach from the lake was fairly straightforward. We were camping at SB cove and it was not difficult to paddle north along the far coast looking for the inlet. There were several small canyons and coves along the shoreline. The one that serves as the trailhead is almost directly across from Bartlett flats. It is significantly larger than the other coves you may see on the way.

Having arrived at the trail head we found a rocky shelf along the right hand side that was suitable for beaching our canoe. The water level in the reservoir was at historically high levels, about 98% full, so it is possible that the rocky shelf we used is not normally an option. The high water levels also complicated and possibly compromised our access to the trailhead. Rather than go along the creek, which was difficult to get to, we opted to head up the ridge on the right hand side and attempt to rejoin the creek later on. This did not end up working out.

The wet winter we had apparently prompted the growth of any enormous quantity of foxtails. We immediately ran into trouble trying to push through them. They filled our shoes and socks every few hundred feet or so and we had to stop frequently to pull enough of them out to keep walking. Gators might have mitigated this issue but we did not have any. The large amount of overgrowth also served to cover up cholla and in many places it was very difficult to squeeze between Cholla plants and we got stuck several times by cactus covered with other shrubbery.

We were able to see the correct route through the canyon in several places but were unable to find the spot suitable to descend. The canyon walls were too steep and we did not have canyoneering gear. The vegetation was even thicker around and on the canyon walls. In the end we opted not to descend at all but rather continued along long the ridge in the hope that a way down would eventually preset itself.

With the fox tails continuing to torture our feet we eventually abandoned the attempt altogether and instead rerouted to the edge of the yellow cliffs. We figured if we were going to quit early we would at least get a good view of the lake before turning back. At the edge of the Yellow cliffs we were able to SB cabin in the distance. The views of the lake from the Yellow cliffs was excellent and there is definitely some scrambling/climbing opportunities on the rocks

We took a more direct route back to the canoe as there was no longer a need to follow the canyon on the return. This was a difficult area. We probably would have gotten much further if we had managed to start and stay on the canyon floor. I expect it is possible to reach SB Cabin without bushwhacking but the route to SB Mountain is probably always rough. I would try it again but probably in the fall or winter when there is less vegetation to fight through.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Canyon Creek Light flow Light flow
The end of Canyon Creek was running slowly, it was dry on the surface further upstream.
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Jan 10 2019
kelly14
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 Routes 92
 Photos 851
 Triplogs 137

26 male
 Joined Sep 27 2015
 Phoenix
SB Mountain / Cabin via Bartlett LakePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2019
kelly14
Hiking3.50 Miles 417 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles   3 Hrs   1 Min   1.41 mph
417 ft AEG      32 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
What a perfect day! Weather was in the 50’s and 60’s and mostly cloudy. Blew up the inflatable kayak and kayaked across Bartlett Lake and stashed our yak in some bushes on the side of the canyon. Hiking up Canyon Creek we found water a couple hundred yds away from the lake and had really good flow the whole way up till our turn around point. Flow looked like it went underground at that point. Hiking up the creek was a breeze with game trails and some nice old foot trails. Had no problem keeping our feet dry. Sb Cabin was pretty neat. Animal tracks galore up this canyon. This little kayak/hike trip would really hit the spot for anyone who wants to do a little kayaking, some easy creek side hiking, and see some history but still be home for dinner. So anyone who wants something that specific I’d recommend you do this, it’s a winner!

I do think parts of this creek dry up in the summer but some of it is probably perennial. Took a side trip up a side canyon on the way back which led to more trickling water flowing around huge boulders. Pretty cool. Had a blast today!
Named place
Named place
Canyon Creek S B Cabin

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Canyon Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Flow started less than 1/4 of a mile up from Bartlett Lake and ran well our whole route.
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1 archive
May 02 2015
juliachaos
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 Routes 37
 Photos 2,160
 Triplogs 627

38 female
 Joined Mar 01 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
SB Mountain / Cabin via Bartlett LakePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Kayak avatar May 02 2015
juliachaos
Kayak7.00 Miles 500 AEG
Kayak7.00 Miles2 Days         
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
MunkiDahle
Kim and I decided it was time to break out the kayaks! We figured Bartlett would be a good way to start the season, since it was close and had lots of amenities. We picked a spot on the map to camp the night before and drove there... so it turns out there are a LOT of noisy rednecks who hang out down there. That wasn't in the brochure! So I'm stating it here: if you want to actually camp and have a good night's sleep that isn't interrupted by drunks intimidating their girlfriends and fighting their buddies, THIS ISN'T THE PLACE FOR YOU. We managed to park somewhere that was mostly away from that stuff, but didn't bother with making a fire. I slept in the Subi all night and found it to be quiet enough.

In the morning, I had to drive down to the marina, as I had somehow forgotten to pack my paddle. Kind of like forgetting a pair of shoes for a hike, it's a bit of an essential item. So after a lot of fiasco, I was eventually able to rent a paddle from the shop there. I'll update this later with the names of the people who helped me, because they were super awesome and deserve a shout-out. They have a SUP business and run all the rentals down at the marina.

Got back to Kim within an hour, and we found our put-in at one of the boat ramps. First thing on the agenda was to go in search of S B Cabin. The walk is really nice, up a fairly sizable wash. Pretty straight forward. We did upset a bunch of javelinas when moving through the brush, but the rest of the hike was uneventful. The cabin itself is in good shape, with a picnic table and a couple bed frames. There also appeared to be some bees in the area, so we went back down to the boats to find a campsite farther up.

We paddled up and went into the no-wake zone, settling in on a small beach. There were a few fishing boats nearby. They all ended up staying the night, and at times playing a little bit of music. It wasn't the wilderness experience we were looking for, but it was actually kind of nice. We had some dinner and watched the clouds roll in and out for a bit before retiring.

In the morning we packed up and started paddling back. Took our time, for the most part. Got back and dropped off the paddle, then headed to Cave Creek for some food at the Horny Toad.

Pretty good way to start the kayaking season. I will now always remember my paddle!
Fauna
Fauna
Red Spotted Toad
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1 archive
Sep 23 2011
Outlander
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 Routes 68
 Photos 807
 Triplogs 64

male
 Joined Aug 03 2007
 Tolleson, AZ
SB Cabin, AZ 
SB Cabin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 23 2011
Outlander
Hiking25.00 Miles 3,600 AEG
Hiking25.00 Miles   39 Hrs      0.93 mph
3,600 ft AEG   12 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The mission was to hike the desert north of Bartlett Lake, see a couple of rustic cabins, and hack through some beautiful riparian forests.

The Tonto National Forest never disappoints; it offers a multitude of flora and fauna that can surprise even the most seasoned of travelers. From afar, this corner of the Tonto National Forest appears to be rather ho-hum, but for those who take a closer look, they will find it to be a diamond in the rough.

7AM FR 393

The first stop was at Brush Spring, just a few minutes up from the road. Having many miles ahead of me, I was in a hurry and forgot to keep one eye on the ground. This neglect nearly cost me, as on the way out, I discovered a coiled up diamondback rattlesnake just a few inches from where I had previously stepped. It would have been a shame to have crossed so many miles this summer only to get nailed on the last trip of the season.

I then walked a rough 4X road three miles to Canyon Creek spring, which is set up for cattle with a couple of functioning water troughs. From then on, it was open country without road or trail. The uplands of Black Ridge range between 3500' to 5000', supporting isolated stands of juniper, prickly pear cacti, and good pasture. The volcanic strata in the area act as sponge, creating an upland aquifer that keep dozens of springs flowing year-round. It is the abundance of water that makes this area so unique, allowing a wide range of fauna to thrive there.

The next 8 miles skirted along the southern face of Lion Mountain, checking ten springs that are not listed on the map. Most of the water can be found at the 3200' level, but there are a couple higher up, also. Huge cottonwood trees tower over the springs, drawing up hundreds of gallons of water each day, bogarting every drop they can. Despite this fact, enough water remains to provide for the local wildlife and to thirsty hikers.

The only thing of interest I found along the way was a dead mountain lion and lots of bear sign. This was a true desert bear, living off of cactus and mesquite beans, in what could be called an extreme fringe habitat. I made a point of trying to find him, following the bear tracks through the hedge. The bears just plow through the Manzanita like it is nothing, submarining under the scrub oak, leaving black hairs in their wake. The bear had been eating mass amounts of red prickly pear cactus fruit as of late, the offensive leavings deposited every ten feet along the track, with the newer piles a bright red and the older a smelly brown. He eventually gave me the slip at South Fork Sheep Creek, where I ended up camping for the night.

I spent the better part of the next day in the riparian forest along the lower section of Sheep Creek and its south fork. It has all three aspects of a riparian habitat: a gallery forest, marshlands, and mesquite bosques. Huge specimens of cottonwood, sycamore, ash, willow, and mesquite can be found here; so big in fact, they might be new Arizona record.

The best spring on the trip was Fig Spring, located just below the confluence of Sheep Creek/S. Fork. Not only does it have good water and fig trees, a cool little homestead can be found there, as well. The cabin looks to be '20s era I would guess; with a little housecleaning, this could be a home once again, though that packrat will have to go. In a few years, when the bankrupt U.S. government is forced to auction off the public lands, you will get a chance to buy this little piece of paradise.

After lunch, I hit a few more springs near Bartlett Lake, spooking about 40 javelina along the way. Then it was on to the S B Cabin over in Canyon Creek. A few vandals had scrawled their names in the wood and left beer cans, but it appears to seldom get a visitor, despite its close proximity to the crowds of people at the lake. This should come as no surprise, between the boats, the booze, and the boobs; there is little time for hiking, nor is hiking a good remedy for a hangover.

The sun was setting so I hustled to get the worst behind me before going to the flashlight. The distant city lights cast a glow across the landscape, providing a good horizon to navigate, despite the moonless sky. My map had been destroyed from sweat soaking, and the GPS batteries gave way around 9 PM, but it worked long enough for me to find a good line back to the truck around 10 or so. It is a fun area and I am glad I went.
Flora
Flora
Fig - Common
Culture
Culture
Wooden Dwelling
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Brush Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Watch out for the snakes.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Canyon Creek Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
This spring has water troughs for livestock.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Fig Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Best water in the region. The spring runs all year.

dry Jack Spring Dry Dry
This spring does not deserve a name,not a single blade of grass grows in this dust bowl.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Middle Water Quart per minute Quart per minute
This spring flows late into the summer, possibly all year. (no pic)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Upper Alder Creek Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Access is easy, road is right there.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Walnut Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
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average hiking speed 1.09 mph

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