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Hassayampa River Trail - 2 members in 5 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 08 2017
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 227
 Routes 826
 Photos 11,361
 Triplogs 4,464

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Cooper Trail - Seal Mtn - Hassayampa Loop, AZ 
Cooper Trail - Seal Mtn - Hassayampa Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2017
joebartels
Hiking19.19 Miles 3,136 AEG
Hiking19.19 Miles   10 Hrs   43 Mns   2.00 mph
3,136 ft AEG   1 Hour   8 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Bruce put together this loop and was determined to get 'er done. His selling points leaned heavy on weather and tree "cover". This Weaver Mountain hike lies in the outer bounds of the Bradshaw Mountains. It's perplexing why this range filled with history is rarely visited by avid hikers close to Phoenix. Their willingness to travel to other states and continents before exploring their backyard seems out of character for an explorer.

Our boy Lucky greeted us at the trailhead. He is one of the dogs from the Williams ( dude ) Ranch. He hiked with us two years ago on another big hike so we were happy to see him.

Cooper Trail
Like all trails out yonder here, nothing is signed. It's rolling hill hiking on a trail that starts out good with a few hiccups then fades to rarely used. The largest mix of wildflowers I recall lured us on. Bruce had Seal Mountain as on off trail destination. A matrix of ground cover from the wet winter made the bottom portion easier stabilizing the steep ascent. The top is large jumbled black rocks. Lucky patiently waited for us 50-100 feet below.

From Seal Mtn we hiked down to a rarely if ever used dirt road that took us by a tank. Then soon into Cottonwood Creek which had a nice flow along with a quarter mile of tree cover! The advertised tree cover gave way to granite, some pink, and a narrow twisting canyon.

9.5 miles of the return hike is along the Hassayampa River. We've done 1.5 miles on this river in his nearby hit single Treasure - Hole - Roy Waits - Slaughterhouse loop. Which is the reasonable limit of river sloshing. A mining camp with lots of equipment near the tail end was the saving grace spirit lifter in my opinion.

A good memorable hike. Wildflowers galore, Seal Mtn, Cottonwood Creek and the mining area were true highlights. Hiking along the Hassayampa River is nice for a mile. The weather was phenomenal as promised!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
scorpionweed, poppies, cream cups, desert trumpet, flat top buckwheat, desert mariposa, brittlebush, banana yucca, new mexico thistle, microseris, lupine, desert globemallow, desert rock daisy, arizona penstemon, indian paintbrush, white ratany, claret cup cactus, strawberry hedgehog, fiddleneck, blue dicks, cliff fendlerbush, rattlesnake weed, london rocket, desert tobacco, chia, canaigre

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cherry Creek Light flow Light flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Good and clear

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Cottonwood Creek Medium flow Medium flow
keeping your feet dry is not currently an option

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Hassayampa River at Williams Ranch Heavy flow Heavy flow
appears it will be running for months

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Oak Creek Light flow Light flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Seal Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Large tank looked full from a quarter mile away. Appears mostly dry on satellite view so that may be more typical.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Spring Creek Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
- joe
Apr 08 2017
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 345
 Photos 7,218
 Triplogs 854

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Cooper Trail - Seal Mtn - Hassayampa Loop, AZ 
Cooper Trail - Seal Mtn - Hassayampa Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2017
BiFrost
Hiking19.19 Miles 3,136 AEG
Hiking19.19 Miles   10 Hrs   43 Mns   2.00 mph
3,136 ft AEG   1 Hour   8 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
The_Eagle
Bruce put together this loop and it had just about everything. Good trail, bad trail, off trail, cool summit, variety of wild flowers, scenic creek along Cottonwood and Hassaympa, and rounding out the list an impressive assortment of mining ruins. Starting from the Williams Ranch area with one of the ranch dogs named Lucky we hiked upstream along the Hassaympa to the turn off for Cooper Trail. We proceeded to gain about 2500 AEG on the climb up to the first objective Seal Mountain. We were surprised to see that Lucky was still with us and made it within 50 feet of the summit and waited for us to finish lunch.
After lunch we headed down the other side of Seal Mountain and picked up an old road which eventually led us toward Cottonwood Creek. Really surprised by the scenery in Cottonwood with nice rock slabs and plenty of water. Finally we hit the Hassayampa for the dreaded 9.5 mile walk back to the Williams Ranch to close out the loop. Although it is was very scenic along the Hassayampa I think we all agreed it was about 4 miles too long of river slogging than we wanted. However, Lucky seemed to really enjoy the walk and kept looking back at us wondering what the hold up was. All around nice temps all day and most important Joe made it out of the sink hole! [ photo ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
2 archives
Apr 08 2017
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 793
 Photos 9,480
 Triplogs 1,146

64 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Cooper Trail - Seal Mtn - Hassayampa Loop, AZ 
Cooper Trail - Seal Mtn - Hassayampa Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2017
The_Eagle
Hiking19.45 Miles 3,079 AEG
Hiking19.45 Miles   10 Hrs   43 Mns   2.00 mph
3,079 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
joebartels
I enjoy hiking and documenting old trails that get little use, in the hopes that maybe it'll draw interest and keep the trail tread alive. The Weaver Mountains and Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness area is one that sees few visitors, other than than those from the Williams Dude Ranch. There is a lot of mining history in this area.

The temps were going to be perfect for this one. The filtered sunlight made it even better.

We were greeted by our past hiking buddy Lucky, at the TH and started on the Hassayampa River Trail, heading upstream.

We crossed the Hassayampa River, taking our shoes off, and headed up the Cooper Trail. There is zero info on this trail, other than the line on the BLM map at the Trailhead. It shows it ends in the middle of nowhere. I was able to trace the route for us to follow, using Route Manager's Sat. view.

This trail is a steady climb up from the Hassayampa River. It's easy to follow to the point it meets The Hole Trail. It appears the Dude Ranch uses it to this point. The fainter Cooper Trail takes a hard right here to head uphill, on it's way towards Seal Mountain. It's faint at times, but always there.

Pick your line to the peak of Seal Mountain. Great lunch time views for sure.

Seal Mountain summit Video :next: [ youtube video ]

Down a long ago used road we descended to Spring Creek and then into Cottonwood Creek. Cottonwood Creek was a smooth granite playground. Quite scenic for sure.

Finally in the Hassayampa River and on the home stretch... the final 10 miles.

We checked out some mining building ruins I saw on GE at the confluence of Cherry Creek, that were interesting.

The last destination for the day, was the large mining ruins just North of Buckskin Canyon. There was tons of large heavy equipment that was left behind on this one. Quite interesting to check this area out.

Good hiking with Lucky and Karl again.
We almost lost Joe to the quicksand.
It was actually a bit spooky.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cherry Creek Light flow Light flow
Light flow to Cherrt Creek. Hassayampa flowing well here

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Creek Light flow Light flow
Goo flow the entire length. Hassayampa flowing well here

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hassayampa River at Williams Ranch Medium flow Medium flow
Flowing as strong as I've seen

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Oak Creek Light flow Light flow
Slow flow out of Oak Creek. Hassayampa has a real good flow here

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Seal Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
Plenty to filter from or let your dog drink from.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Spring Creek Light flow Light flow
Plenty of water.
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Jan 10 2016
tyyyyler
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 Triplogs 1

26 male
 Joined Feb 05 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Hassayampa River TrailPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 10 2016
tyyyyler
Backpack0.50 Miles
Backpack0.50 Miles   23 Hrs      0.02 mph
45 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Decided to try this place out for the 1st of 24 trips this year. Me and some friends did a new years resolution to do 2 overnight trips a month for 2016. This was a great spot to kick it off!
We parked at the BLM register, looks like someone broke down the large sign denoting the wilderness area. :( We introduced ourselves to the 3 ranch dogs as soon as we exited the vehicle. One stayed up top by the ranch house and spoke his excitement the whole time. We got here way later than we would have liked, and only got to hike about a half mile upstream before the sun went down. The dogs were following us and chilled at our camp, coming and going as they pleased. The river was flowing pretty good, and I was temped to get in even though it was mid January. We camped on a nice sandbank above the flood line. It rained all week before we came, and luckily we got clear skies all night. One of the ranch dogs stayed with us all night and slept next to my sleeping bag :zzz: . Those dogs were so cool. We filtered or boiled the muddy river water and did not get sick. Tasted like the Verde! We left about noon the next day because of rain.
This would be an awesome area to do a 2 or 3 night stay, especially during summer after a big rain.
_____________________
Mar 21 2015
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 793
 Photos 9,480
 Triplogs 1,146

64 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness Loop, AZ 
Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 21 2015
The_Eagle
Hiking16.72 Miles 3,096 AEG
Hiking16.72 Miles   7 Hrs   39 Mns   2.42 mph
3,096 ft AEG      44 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Fast Facts
:next: The word Hassayampa is an old Indian word that means “the river that flows upside down.” All tributaries on the west side of the Bradshaws flow into the Hassayampa.
:next: This is one one of Arizona's longer rivers running just over 100 miles before dumping into the Gila River.
:next: The Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness was created in 1990.

Caveat:
Trail locations and names were derived from a document provided to me from the BLM. These names do not necessarily agree with the sign at the trailhead at Williams Ranch.

The drive on Constellation Road was in much nicer condition this time, then the last time I was on it the end of 2014. There would probably be no problem getting a sedan all the way to the Trailhead a Williams Ranch.

The Hike:
We started our hike before 7am and were greeted by the Ranch Dogs. Three to four of them. After calls from the ranch, all but one returned. Lucky for us we got the nice one (I think Joe wanted to take him home) and the best hiker of the bunch. You could tell he'd been on the trails before.

Across the flowing Hassayampa we found a trail on the opposite side that took us right to the Treasure Canyon TH

Treasure Canyon Trail is 2 miles and 600' of AEG to get to the Hole Trail. The trail is thin is spots requiring a track to stay on trail. Nothing too thick, but I was glad I had long pants on to begin. I'm assuming the Canyon we traversed, to the east, was Treasure Canyon (Unnamed on Topo), but we found none.

Hole Trail is on an old jeep road, and climbs very steeply coming out of Jesus Canyon for 2 miles. There's some big views from up here. Flowers were substantial in pockets with a wide variety, accented by brittlebush.

Roy Waits Trail was a last minute decision. I'm glad we decided to give it a try. Pretty well defined and great views all the way down. Second favorite trail on the day

A half mile stint on the Fools Canyon Trail and we jumped on the Slaughterhouse Canyon Trail. Use your GPS track to determine the real trail from the cow paths on the west side. Once you crest and start the drop, you get some great views to the east.

Joe, Route Scout and myself took a short lunch at the Hassayampa, before heading up the Williams Trail, to an unnamed canyon, and forcing Route Scout to turn around at a 30' climb up a dry fall. Thinking he'd turn around and go back to the ranch, he rejoined us a 1/2 mile later, after finding a way around

Needle Trail was next and another decent climb out of the canyon. This was probably my favorite trail on the day. We once again lost Route Scout on this trail, this time to the horsemen and their fellow dogs from the ranch.

Once in the Hassayampa River, it was time to forget about trying to stay dry on the crossings, and just walk through the water. The water was quite refreshing

I really enjoyed checking out these new trails....and there more out there.

Hassayampa River :next: https://youtube.com ... 5rQc
Flora
Flora
Claret Cup Cactus
Fauna
Fauna
Dog
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Substantial to extreme in spots.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hassayampa River at Williams Ranch Medium flow Medium flow
Plenty to filter from

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Jesus Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Pockets of water and running slightly where we crossed at Hole Trail
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
average hiking speed 2.11 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.

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