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Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCT - 7 members in 16 triplogs have rated this an average 3.1 ( 1 to 5 best )
16 triplogs
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Jul 18 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 377
 Photos 7,633
 Triplogs 575

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.79 Miles 1,153 AEG
Hiking10.79 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   2.27 mph
1,153 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did another segment of the BCT working my way up north. Looks like a recent fire just hit up here south of Table Mesa Road. Must have been while I was out of town. I completely missed the fire retardant drop, which cuts across the trail, on my way in. I think this must have been due to the orange morning light. My first pic in this photoset shows this area, and even in that pic I can't see it. Looks like they dropped it just south of where all the burn area is.

About 2 miles in I spotted a buck with felt antlers. It was moving way too fast for me to get any picture. It ran up to a ridge and probably went over the other side. The trail gained elevation up above the ridge soon after. i looked down to see if I might get lucky to spot it again, but no luck.

Soon after, there was a young diamondback on the trail. It saw me very quickly and rattled a little bit as it moved off the trail into a bush. I cautiously moved past that point and onward.

I made it to where I left off last month. I marked it with a cairn, which I found, but I also had it marked on my GPS, redundancy always helps. Doing this extra bit last month saved a mile and half hiking today, which was a good thing by the time the heat set in.

The views on the way back seemed to be nicer due to the lighting. There were two major saddles and shallow valleys to walk through. The saddles gave the best views and a nice breeze to go with it. I enjoy the views looking up at the grasslands above Black Canyon from these saddles.

The weather was breezy and not too hot until the last mile or two. I never felt really bad, but it suddenly seemed to hit me when I got to the car. I drank 2 Gatorades very quickly and couldn't get into the AC fast enough. The ride home I suddenly seemed to have a thirst that wouldn't go away after drinking a good 50-60 ounces of liquid.

Saw one other hiker who started just after I did and turned around about a mile or so before I did. At the start of the hike the shooters off of Table Mesa Road were making a lot of noise. On my way back, it was much quieter, the heat chased them away by late morning.
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Apr 09 2020
kingsnake
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 Guides 95
 Routes 230
 Photos 9,161
 Triplogs 721

59 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2020
kingsnake
Hiking8.71 Miles 1,064 AEG
Hiking8.71 Miles   3 Hrs   17 Mns   2.65 mph
1,064 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Not much to add to my previous rather long triplog ( [ photoset ] ) in 2011, other than the shooting garbage had all been cleaned up: There was just a few stray brass at the small knoll where Gasline Rd. meets the Black Canyon Trail, and none of the large shot up objects -- like a propane tank 🙄 -- just south of Table Mesa Rd.

Oh, and a flower report!

Descending from the top of the first small climb, towards the saguaro forest, is where the owl clover kicked off in earnest. North of the saguaro forest, I started to see more flat top buckwheat. There were also a lot of fairy duster, but unfortunately none that really struck me as photogenic.

Strawberry hedgehog, aka Engelmann’s Cactus, still had bright pink flowers. (Despite supposedly blooming only five days a year, I’ve been seeing strawberry hedgehog blooms for several weeks now.)

I had occasionally seen desert globemallow earlier, but descending from the second sort of climb towards the power towers, there were just scads of them. I took advantage of a cloud passing over to pop some against the cloud’s shadow with a flash.

The owl clover somehow got even better between the saddle and the power line!

I finially found my first non-hedgehog cactus flower -- a prickly pear -- just before I finished my hike at Table Mesa Rd.

The Black Canyon Trail is really an under-appreciated flower hunting destination. Particularly this segment, and segments 6, 7, and 8, between Black Canyon City and Bumble Bee.

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/470413079
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fair weather cumulus cloud
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
The largest, densest, patches of owl clover I've ever seen. Lupine in abundance. Most desert globemallow I've ever seen, though not nearly as many as the lupine or owl clover. Not too many globe chamomile.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
1 archive
Mar 22 2020
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,145

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 22 2020
rcorfman
Hiking8.01 Miles 883 AEG
Hiking8.01 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   3.00 mph
883 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With all of the "social distancing" going on, I decided to try to find a less crowded piece of trail not too far from home. I figured hiking south on the BCT from the Table Mesa trailhead might work and it mostly did. The Table Mesa rec area was busy. There where a lot of people out shooting and ATVing and camping nearby to do those things. It was noisy out. When I reached the trailhead, there were a couple dirt bikers there but they rode off as I parked. There were no other vehicles and it was just past ten (yes a late start). When I returned, there were five other vehicles at the trailhead. I didn't see any of them so they must have headed north on the BCT or done something else.

Normally I head north on the BCT from the trailhead but knew there would be lots of water flowing in the Agua Fria. That was one of the main reasons to head south today. I used to worry about shooters on the first mile of trail but several years ago, BLM did a lot of work closing off areas where shooting was a hazard to the BCT. One can still hear lots of shooting, but not in the direction of the trail.

When I reached a road, I mistakenly turned right instead of left and went off trail for a bit following the road. Shortly I knew I was not on the BCT since I had been on the road too long. I looked at the track on HAZ to see where I messed up as I thought I had this trail memorized. I probably should use this part of the BCT more...

Shortly after I was back on the BCT, I passed two people going the other way. I think they were behind me but got ahead while I was on my detour. Interestingly, I saw two others on my way back in almost the same area. They had parked just off the road and walked from there though.

I walked out to where the BCT crosses another road with a small parking area. Sort of an unofficial BCT trailhead. There I turned back to my start.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Apr 08 2019
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,145

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 08 2019
rcorfman
Hiking5.10 Miles 630 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   1 Hour   52 Mns   3.00 mph
630 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is one of my favorite sections of the BCT though one I don't get on as often at it's a bit harder to get to than most sections of the BCT. Basically I took the Table Mesa Rd exit from I17, then instead of going north on the access road, I turned up a rough dirt road, just west of the access road. It goes north for a short distance to a tower, then heads south for awhile, then heads west across the gas line scar and eventually reaches the BCT. That's where I parked.

I walked south to the north side of the Boy Scout Loop, then turned back. I did leave the trail to find a geocache that was near the top of a hill.

The Staghorn Cholla have a lot of new growth, and the Hedge Hog cactus are all in bloom. There were some other flowers, but not much; things are starting to dry out. I did see one poppy.
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Dec 22 2018
joebartels
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 Guides 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,313
 Triplogs 4,968

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
BCT - Bob Bentley TH to Table Mesa, AZ 
BCT - Bob Bentley TH to Table Mesa, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 22 2018
joebartels
Hiking18.00 Miles 1,631 AEG
Hiking18.00 Miles   7 Hrs   8 Mns   2.73 mph
1,631 ft AEG      33 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Choose this hike to get it over with in the best possible conditions: pleasant weather after a moisture rich October.

Bentley to Emery
Either something that never panned out or has yet to get enough attention to amount to squat. Glad I did it. Blips of interesting vegetation. Curiosity of area cured.

Boy Scout Loop from Emery Henderson TH - BCT
Trailhead is impressive. Serious Saguaro country. Boy Scout Loop from the Gasline Rd would be an outstanding 3.25 mile hike.

Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCT
Good segment through desert rich hills. Well, if you don't mind concerning gunfire in the northern mile.

Synopsis
Portions were trashed as expected. Gleaned ideas for future hikes. Easiest 18 mile hike I recall. Tread is a touch rocky in areas. Consumed a whopping 30oz.
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Dec 22 2018
The_Eagle
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 Guides 9
 Routes 805
 Photos 10,311
 Triplogs 1,630

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
BCT - Bob Bentley TH to Table Mesa, AZ 
BCT - Bob Bentley TH to Table Mesa, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 22 2018
The_Eagle
Hiking17.94 Miles 1,832 AEG
Hiking17.94 Miles   7 Hrs   8 Mns   2.69 mph
1,832 ft AEG      28 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
After we set up the Shuttle on Table Mesa Road, we started as the full moon was setting and the sun was rising.

We started from the area that some are calling the Bob Bentley TH. Not really an official TH, but it's shown on Google Maps. Parking is beside the road, with passage next to a locked gate and no signage. Not sure who this Bob Bentley is/was, but the best I can figure, this is, or is close to where the historic trail Native American/Sheep trail was located. Some start 1/4 east at 51st Ave. I tried checking the BLM BCT site, but because of the Government Shutdown, the web site is down. :?

I expected this section from Carefree highway to the Emery Henderson TH (about 6 mi.), to be a bore. It was not great, but better than expected. We were brayed at towards the beginning, but never saw them. The beginning portion (until you start to see official signage), follows game/burro trails. We hiked past running water that seemed to go on for a couple of miles, until we reached the source at the FCI Phoenix Federal Prison. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_C ... n,_Phoenix

At the unexpectedly nice Emery Henderson Trail Head, we continued North. I like this portion better. Interesting area for potential future little climbs to the west, that I'm sure would yield nice views of Lake Pleasant.

Saw one runner, one hiker and a handful of mountain bikers.

Without a doubt, the flattest 18 mile hike I've ever done, Just the hike I needed to test things out.

Another section of the BCT completed! Carefree Highway to Bumblebee Complete.

wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
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1 archive
Jun 10 2018
mt98dew
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 Guides 24
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,788

52 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 10 2018
mt98dew
Hiking12.07 Miles 1,604 AEG
Hiking12.07 Miles   3 Hrs   3 Mns   3.96 mph
1,604 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was planned to be a run, but old age, rattlesnakes, no water, and perhaps doing too many hikes without enough rest in between kept this from coming off as I envisioned. Got to the TH a little before 5am. I was running later than I wanted to so skipped my store (and water) and came straight to the TH. Temps were great throughout, probably upper 60's when I started. This being my 3rd time on the trail...the trail is super easy to follow and has a nice rolling feel to it. No huge climbs. Ideal for running in that sense. But the trail seemed more rocky than I remember it, or at least, more rocky than other sections of BCT. I feel that terrain/and biker usage makes for a much smoother trail in other sections of the BCT. I will have to pay attention to this as I progress to see if this is indeed the case. I had 2 rattlesnake encounters. One about 3 miles in and the second around mile 9. Both snakes were just off the trail and we're kind enough to let me know of their presence. Also saw 12 very quiet burros (no braying) just off the trail. Ended up, walking-jogging the last 3 miles, only in part because of the snake enounters.
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Jan 09 2018
toddak
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 Guides 8
 Routes 7
 Photos 1,244
 Triplogs 474

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2018
toddak
Hiking25.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking25.00 Miles   10 Hrs      2.50 mph
2,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
SOBO Rock Springs to Emery Henderson on a quality trail with nice scenery and views. Not a lot of wilderness feel though, with I-17, power lines, gravel pits, shooting, etc. Good water at the 2 Agua Fria crossings.
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Dec 30 2017
Mudhole
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 Routes 28
 Photos 1,661
 Triplogs 20

48 male
 Joined Apr 05 2013
 Peoria, AZ
Bob Bentley TH to Table Mesa TH - BCT, AZ 
Bob Bentley TH to Table Mesa TH - BCT, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 30 2017
Mudhole
Hiking17.68 Miles 1,603 AEG
Hiking17.68 Miles
1,603 ft AEG10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
I won't lie... this day hike was a dog. This 17.8 mile double section ended up being my biggest single-day hike mileage to date. I was joined today by Patrick Fuchs, and we did our usual car shuttle to put a vehicle at the Table Mesa trailhead and then made our drive back to start on the Carefree Highway at the hard-to-spot Bob Bentley trailhead. Roadside parking at Bob Bentley was sparse, but we were able to park right at the locked gate alongside the road. Yes, I said locked gate. With no signage posted here, many start at the Game & Fish building about 1/4 mile to the east, but we're nostalgic so we slipped under the barbed wire and made it official.

Today we would do 2 sections of this trail - Bob Bentley trailhead to Emery Henderson trailhead, and from there to Table Mesa trailhead.

In the past few weeks, I've only been hiking some occasional short trails around my home, so this was a good test to see how I can still do on the longer miles. Anyways, this section of the Black Canyon Trail has the reputation of being the least impressive part of the whole thing - but the views actually didn't disappoint especially as we got further north. I'll admit that the first few miles before Emery Henderson trailhead (about mile 7) were flat and pretty basic, but necessary.

We set off from Bob Bentley trailhead and quickly move north through the "boring" section. Flat desert somewhat next to a dirt road that had little to look at except the views of the mountains and mesas in the distance. We saw some oddities, like a dying saguaro cactus that was oozing some sort of black sludge from a wound. We crossed an intersection of the Maricopa Trail, and started seeing more signage for the Black Canyon Trail. I must say that the BCT is VERY well signed along the way, including at every junction we came across. The trial surface was in great shape as well.

Once we came across the Emery Henderson trailhead, it was easy to see why many start their BCT hike here as well. Skip the boring part and get right down to business. I must mention that the trailhead is very well-developed with a large parking lot, quality pit toilets, and even shaded canopies for parking a couple of RVs. We took a quick water and snack break here before pushing on. For some reason I didn't take a picture here. Not long after EH, we came to the junction for the Boyscout Loop, which is a fork in the trail that re-merges after 1.2 miles regardless if you take the east or west arm. We went left as we had read that the trail followed along a higher ridge instead of down in a network of washes. The views on the east section were well worth it.

The trek from Emery Henderson to Table Mesa was a quality section of sonoran desert wilderness. Quality trail surface, rolling drainages, forests of saguar cacti, Doe Spring (which had water and lots of trees around it just off trail), and terrific views of the Bradshaws to our west. I would say that the last 3-4 miles was probably the best as the trail wound through at least a dozen washes and arroyos, up and over small ridges, past a large mine, and dropped us off right at the Table Mesa trailhead where our shuttle car awaited us. With lots of room for at least a dozen vehicles, the Table Mesa trailhead is a great staging point for section hiking this part of the Black Canyon Trail.

Just over 36,000 steps since we started, it was time to head home.
_____________________
"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clean away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." - John Muir
Nov 12 2017
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,145

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
BCT Yo-Yo No Go, AZ 
BCT Yo-Yo No Go, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Nov 12 2017
rcorfman
Backpack58.15 Miles 5,714 AEG
Backpack58.15 Miles3 Days         
5,714 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
My plan was to hike from my home, to the south end of the BCT, then hike the BCT to its north end at the Prescott NF boundary, turn around, and head home. The goal was four days out and three days back for a total of ~166 miles.

In preparation, I stashed a gallon of water and food resupply at the Big Bug trailhead, 2 gallons at the Glorianna TH, 2 gallons near the Table Mesa TH, 2 gallons at the Emery Henderson TH, and a gallon at the southern end off of Carefree Hwy. I also performed some trail maintenance trimming brush from the southern end of the BCT. It's not maintained and is overgrown and I wanted an easier time through there on my return which I expected to be in the dark.

Day 1 - Sunday, 15 miles
I left my house about 2pm and saw my neighbor unpacking from a trip along the Escalante Route, GCNP. We chatted for a minute before I continued. I took my trail access into the SE side Deem Hills Park, and got on the Circumference trail and followed it up to the saddle and then took the Basalt trail down to the other side of the Circumference trail and followed it to the NW of the park where I got on the Canal road to 51st Ave, crossed the bridge over the CAP, and continued on 51st to near the 303 where I diverted east a bit to cross under it. From there I headed to Gibson Tank, an old cattle corral and watering station that was fairly large. I think it was last worked in the mid 80s, so about 30 years ago. From there, I finished my walk NW to the Carefree Hwy and about 57th ave, where there is a locked gate just west of Carefree Hwy mile 28. A bit west of the gate is a wildlife crossing in the fence that I took, then I headed east on the dirt road until I turned north onto where I believe the BCT is supposed to start, there the Bob Bentley TH may one day be built. There are no trail markers until reaching the Maricopa Trail, (which aligns with the BCT about a mile north of Carefree Hwy and a bit west of 51st Ave, north to Pioneer Rd.), not long after that, the first BCT trail signs are seen.

It was getting dark where the BCT and MT part ways and there was thick brush to the west filled with birds making quite a racket. I stopped and listened to them for a few minutes. I was able to make it past the federal pen before turning my headlamp on. The only tricky part in the dark was crossing New River. Normally I'd look for trail signs across the way but wasn't able to in the dark, so I depended on some GPS tracks I had on my GPSr to pick the trail back up on the other side.

I made it to the Emery Henderson TH a bit past seven and found my cached water and set up camp under the north most ramada. Technically, there's no camping at the TH but I figured I'd be in and out without anyone knowing I was there with a minimalist footprint. There is a camp host there now too, something I haven't seen there for a few years.

Day 2 - Monday, 23 miles
I don't know when I got up, but there was a beautiful sunrise. I was on the trail about 7. The sky was overcast and temps were perfect for hiking through the morning. I took the west side of the Boy Scout loop and then enjoyed walking through a stand of giant saguaros along one of my favorite sections of the BCT. The sun came out and it started to warm as I headed up and over the hill into the Table Mesa area. I had took a short food and water break at my water cache in Table Mesa. When I reached the Little Pan Loop, I went right to the east side. It was getting warmer as I finished the loop and I was ready for a break by the time I reached Cottonwood Gulch, about 17 miles in.

From there, I knew I could make it to the Agua Fria before 5 so no night hiking today. This is the part of the trail I'm most familiar with too as I've done it several times. I passed the only crested saguaro I know of along the BCT. If you know of any others along the BCT please let me know. Most of this section is all up hill until the final descent to the Agua Fria. When I reached the descent, I decided to call home and check on some things before finishing, as I wasn't sure I'd have phone service by the river. I did, so it didn't matter but it was nice to relax for a few minutes before finishing up for the day.

I enjoyed the day's hike, but my legs were bothering me all day, I got a blister on my right heel which totally surprised me, and a mild case of chafe which I didn't notice until I stood up after my break at Cottonwood Gulch. Thank goodness for Body Glide to finish the hike with and medicated powder before bed.

Day 3 - Tuesday, 20 miles
I was slower getting out of camp this morning than yesterday even though I started earlier. Ugh. After about 2.5 miles, I reached the next Agua Fria river crossing and stopped for a few to clean up some. I didn't feel like cleaning last night and it was a bit chilly this morning. Plus, I was stopping for water anyway as there was no reason to carry extra water for the distance from camp to here. The past few years, there has been a large pool of water here but it seems to have got washed away since last spring. The river is always changing. Slate Creek was dry and then it was warm walking to Soap Creek. I felt like I was moving okay, but I was slow. Then from Soap Creek to Black Canyon Creek I was loosing muster and halfway up from Black Canyon Creek to Maggie Mine Road, I was really flagging and stopped in some small shade and drank a bunch and ate some. That helped a bit, but I was still dragging. By the time I reached the Glorianna TH, I was ready for another break and my water cache, especially so after walking through the scorched desert from a summer wildfire. At least the trail is in good shape.

I had about 10 miles left from Glorianna to General Springs, the next water and my day's target. It was looking like I'd finish in the dark. The trail continued in and out of the burn and I was not enjoying myself at all. the whole day I'd had little energy and was wanting off trail. When it took me well over an hour to hike 3 miles and all I wanted to do was lie down, I figured it was time to go home. I tried calling my family but no answers, so I sent a text to come get me and I turned around and headed back to Glorianna TH. My wife was there waiting for me and we headed down the hill and had dinner at Chileen's in Black Canyon City. Just so you know, it was Taco Tuesday with $1 tacos.

Aftermath
Not sure what my problem was. I think I'm getting a cold as my nose is getting stuffy. Perhaps it was that, perhaps not. This morning I went and picked up all my cached water and resupply. It was nice not walking today.

More water reports
I crossed the Agua Fria in three places: The north east end of Little Pan Loop, going south from BCC TH and going north from BCC TH. The BCT crosses it in five places (in addition to the three I mentioned, the SW end of Little Pan Loop [usually has water] and way north [normally dry]). There was flowing water at all three crossings I passed. The Agua Fria goes above and under ground many times on its length, so perhaps there should be a few Agua Fria water sources?
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Mar 10 2017
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,145

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Bct Fkt, AZ 
Bct Fkt, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 10 2017
rcorfman
Backpack80.29 Miles 6,374 AEG
Backpack80.29 Miles4 Days         
6,374 ft AEG21 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Last week I got just over halfway hiking the BCT when I threw in the towel due to a swiftly flowing Black Canyon Creek and Agua Fria River. What I didn't mention, is that I was attempting to set an initial mark for the Fastest Known Time (FKT) for hiking the BCT from end to end. I believe the BCT is a gem of a trail and my purpose in the attempt was to hopefully garner this National Recreation Trail some more interest and recognition. I knew any mark I would set could be bested by many others but I hoped my endeavor would at least let people know of the trail and hopefully hike it too. Since I had publicly announced the attempt, I figured I better give it another shot.

March 10, Staging - 2.6 miles, 255 aeg

Not much to say here. My daughter dropped me off at Orme Road and FS 68B at dusk and I walked for about an hour to near the Prescott National Forest Boundary, the northern end of the BCT. I had thrown my gear together last minute and unfortunately, had left my wind jacket and groundsheet at home. I didn't bring a shelter and the moon was big, so I pulled my beanie over my eyes so I could sleep.

March 11, Day 1 - 31.13 miles, 2188 aeg

I set my alarm for 5 and was stirring by 5 after. It didn't take too long to get going and I was heading to the PNF boundary, the start of the BCT about 5:40. I officially started my FKT attempt at 5:47 AM.

With the moon out, it was nice hiking as the sun slowly made its appearance. There was some cloud cover, so the sunrise was very nice. In the early light, I thought all the snow had melted from the Bradshaws but as the day brightened, I was able to see that there was still some snow on the north facing slopes. When I reached the Agua Fria river, I quickly took my shoes and socks off and waded across. The water wasn't as cold nor as swift as the week before.

After I crossed Old Sycamore Rd and was heading down towards Big Bug Trailhead, there was a group from the Black Canyon Trail Coalition doing some trail work. I talked to a couple of the men for a few minutes. It appears that the Prescott National Forest has approved a corridor for extending the BCT north, all the way to the Verde River. There's a route over jeep roads for now. I don't know if there is any schedule for building actual trail.

I took a short break at the Big Bug Trailhead, then took off my shoes and socks and waded across Big Bug Creek. I grabbed a liter of water, before continuing.

The trail had dried out some since last week and there was no longer any mud and a few of the creeks that were flowing last week were just a trickle or small pools this week. There were more flowers out though, especially when I dropped down Antelope Hill and beyond.

I stopped for water at Government Spring. I left there a half hour earlier than last week. It was hotter out too and I was starting to fade, so when I was a couple miles before my planned stop, I took a break. I took my shoes off and actually laid down for a few minutes. That helped a lot and afterwards, I was able to cruise the rest of the way to my planned camp.

So this day ended up being a repeat of last week. I started and ended at the same places. I kept the same plan, even down to this trip's menu.

March 12, Day 2 - 28.93 miles, 2872 aeg

I hit the snooze button a couple times this morning and didn't make it on the trail until a bit past six. I had no trouble moving once on the trail though, so that was good. There was still water flowing just north of the Gloriana trailhead, but as before, I had water cached at the trailhead, so I continued to it and filled up there. I didn't leave with as much water as last week since I knew there would be plenty ahead.

Shortly past the trailhead, there was a bike packer breaking camp. He gave me some beta on the upcoming trail, namely Black Canyon Creek. Supposedly, he was meeting a friend at the trailhead and riding back to Rock Springs. I expected to see him again, but I never did.

There was still good flow of water through the canyon just north of and below Maggie Mine Road. There was a lot more flowers than last week as I went through there and then dropped down to Black Canyon Creek. The creek had dropped about a foot from last week and wasn't flowing nearly as swiftly. I wasn't concerned about crossing it today. I did make sure everything was sealed up in my pack before I crossed, just in case I might fall. I did take my shoes and socks off and waded across as I figured it wouldn't be that bad, and it wasn't.

There was some water in Soap Creek, and when I was climbing up towards Soap Creek Rd, there was a nice pool of water below, with what appeared to be a slide. That would have been a great place to relax and splash around at. Once I reached the road, I was surprised to see trail on the other side. I've always followed the road for a quarter mile or so until it turned to trail again. I don't know if this is new trail or if I had never noticed it before. I think it's probably new trail. Anyhow, it was nice to avoid the road.

When I reached Slate Creek, I quickly grabbed a liter of water before continuing. I knew I would reach the Agua Fria shortly, but the water here was cool and clear, and I didn't know how turbid the Agua Fria might be. As I neared the Agua Fria, I found a good stick to use as an aid crossing the river.

The Agua Fria was flowing pretty good. There's a large pool of water where the trail is as it gets backed up from a bunch of debris. Usually, one walks down stream a ways until there is a good place to cross. The current was very swift as the water poured out from the mass of debris. After securing everything in my pack, I ended up crossing over to the debris and working across it for a ways. Once I was off the debris, it was easy to finish fording the river. The stick helped a lot and I decided to carry it the two miles to the next crossing and not have to worry about finding another.

The next crossing of the Agua Fria was much simpler. One walks upstream a short distance where the river is shallower and breaks into two parts. The water was maybe knee high. Again, I sealed everything inside my pack just to be safe, though it really wasn't necessary.

Once across, there is a huge pile of sticks and branches and other debris that has piled up that I had to walk across to get to the trail. It's easy enough to walk across but it was just amazing how much stuff there was.

Shortly after the river, the trail starts climbing. About halfway up the climb, the trail goes around a false summit before continuing the ascent. I had some sand in my shoes from the river so I stopped under a tree and took a break to clean them out and to wring my socks out too. I cleaned the shoes out too well, because afterwards, my insoles started slipping around. I had to stop a couple of times in the next few miles to reposition them. What I finally tried, was rubbing the bottoms of the insoles in some dusty sand. That worked, and they stayed in place after that. Moral of the story: don't clean between the insole and sole of your shoes.

When I reached Little Pan Loop, I took the west side of the trail. The west side is all trail while the east side follows road for the first part of it. I like the west side better, so that's why I took it.

I was hoping to make another 30 miles but it was getting late and that wasn't looking likely. Plus, the heat was getting to me and I was worried about water. I had a gallon cached near the Table Mesa Trailhead at 27.5 miles or so, so I decided to make it there with enough water for the night and then use the cached water for tomorrow. My main concern though, was getting across the Agua Fria for the third time, before dark.

From above, it looked like the best place to cross would be downstream a bit from the trail, but when I reached the river, the crossing looked pretty good right at the trail. It looked deep for the first few steps, but then would get shallow quickly and be easy the rest of the way. Again, I sealed everything inside my pack, then I rolled my shorts up and took the plunge. It wasn't as deep as I was expecting; it was just above my knees and was easy to get across. I grabbed a liter of water along the way and barely stopped to get my camera back out of my pack.

The sun was starting to set as I climbed up from the river and it wasn't long before I stopped to get my headlamp and finish the hike to my water cache. I found a nice place to camp, but I kept finding small clumps of cactus spines as I was cleaning the area. I ended up setting camp up right in the middle of the trail since I didn't want to poke a hole in my Thermarest.

A BLM Ranger saw my headlamp as he was driving by making his rounds, so he stopped to see what I was doing there. We talked for a few minutes before he left.

March 13, Day 3 - 17.6 miles, 999 aeg

I knew it would be hot today, so I wanted to get going early but didn't get on the trail until a bit past six. Not far down the trail, I realized I didn't know where my bag of spare batteries was. I would need a set for my GPSr later in the morning, so I stopped to figure out where it was. I opened my pack up and started pulling things out but didn't spot it. I finally found it at the bottom of the pack, outside the pack liner. It was 6:20 by the time I was finally on the trail.

Despite my intentions of being hydrated this morning, my mouth seemed too dry when I was trying to eat. I was able to get the food down, but I had to drink more than I figured I should have had to. Somewhere in the morning, I saw a burro. That was nice, especially since I hadn't seen much wildlife so far. Most of the trail is pretty easy from Table Mesa south and it is easy to make good time. I especially like the part that winds through the saguaros north of the Boy Scout Loop. When I reached the Boy Scout Loop, I took the east side. The west side is mostly roads while the east side is all trail. When I reached the south side of the loop, I stopped to change out the batteries. It was nice to know right where to find them.

I made it to Emery Henderson Trailhead a little past 10. I had a gallon of water cached there so I grabbed it and rested at one of the ramadas for a bit. I took my shoes off and drank a bunch of water and ate a bit too.

The temps had been pretty nice so far, but when I left Emery Henderson, it seemed very hot, especially when I crossed New River Road and entered Biscuit Flats. Once south of Emery Henderson, the trail isn't used nearly as much and it is narrow and overgrown in places. This whole section of trail could use some love. There was one part completely overgrown that I was walking through absent mindedly when I almost stepped on a rattlesnake. The Diamondback didn't want to be stepped on so it let me know it was there. The Commemorative Air Force was also out flying in formation so I got to watch them make a few passes too.

By the time I was near the Federal Penitentiary, I was hurting. I wasn't able to slake my thirst and I carried a bottle so I could easily get a drink. I had no desire to eat either. In hindsight, I think overall, my food was lacking in sodium and having to drink more with the heat, I became a bit hyponatremic.

When I was about past the penitentiary, there was water running down the trail for a ways. My guess is that some convict tried to tunnel out and broke a water pipe. Ha!

The last mile and a bit of the BCT is not marked in any real way and is very difficult to follow. I mapped it out November, 2015 and was following the tracks on my GPSr. It was especially overgrown in places this year. There are places where you can tell the trail is there and there are other places where it's just gone. Every once in awhile, there is some old flagging on a bush. I really don't know where the trail is supposed to end, so I took it to a gate on the Carefree highway just west of mile post 28. My official finish time was 1:19 PM.

My plan was to hike from the end of the BCT another 8 miles or so to my house. I knew I was in a bad way, especially when I wasn't recovering after resting a few minutes, so I called my dear wife and she came and picked me up.

FKT
I was able to complete the BCT in 2 days, 7 hours, and 32 minutes (Saturday 3/11 05:47 to Monday 3/13 13:19).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Lots of wildflowers after crossing Antelope Road and dropping down Antelope Hill. Before then, not so much.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Black Canyon Creek @ BCT Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bumble Bee Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Government Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Troughs at coral full, pond full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Purcell Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
Muddy

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Slate Creek @ BCT Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Soap Creek Light flow Light flow
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Jan 02 2016
rcorfman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,145

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 3, AZ 
Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 3, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jan 02 2016
rcorfman
Backpack23.06 Miles 2,542 AEG
Backpack23.06 Miles   10 Hrs   53 Mns   2.83 mph
2,542 ft AEG   2 Hrs   44 Mns Break23 LBS Pack
 
triplog for Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 2

Last night we camped where the trail crosses the Agua Fria river near Horseshoe Bar south of the Black Canyon City trailhead. It was calm when we went to bed, but was breezy this morning when we broke camp. We were on the trail shortly after seven.

It was cold and windy when we started but we warmed up quickly as the trail gains about 665' in the first few miles to reach our high point for the day where there is some milk quartz arranged in BCT, a bicycle, and peace sign. A while later we saw a geocaching buddy of ours searching for one of Craig's puzzle caches. We yelled hello and Happy New Year across the way then continued our hike.

At one point I noticed a crested saguaro so I stopped to get a picture when three mountain bikers rode up. We chatted for a bit before they headed off. Shortly after that, I crossed a small saddle where there were a couple of brothers and their sons out camping. All but one were in their tents. It seemed like a cold place to camp. Just past Cottonwood Gulch, before the road to Tip Top, I caught up to Craig where he stopped for a break in a sheltered but warm spot. We had a snack and took off a layer of clothes as it was finally warming up.

When we reached Little Pan Loop, we took the west side to avoid the road, plus we both like it more than the east side. As earlier, I would slow to take pictures, so Craig was ahead of me. I passed a couple hiking with their dog. The man backed into a Buckhorn Cholla. Ouch! A bit later, I passed two men out hiking.

The man camping seemed happy when I told him there was good flow at the Agua Fria at Horseshoe Bar. He said there was no water were they crossed it so I was surprised when I approached it and there was lots of water both up and down stream. Well, the river was actually underground where the trail crossed.

Craig was waiting at the far side of the river. It was getting warm out and he stopped for some drink. I had a drink too and we continued on to across the road from the Table Mesa trailhead where we had water cached and stopped for lunch. There were a lot of people out shooting so it sounded like a battlefield. I turned on my phone and had a message from a friend saying he was enjoying a beer with his lunch. He didn't get a very friendly response.

I don't know why, but the Table Mesa area was very warm. We were a little concerned about the amount of water we had to get to the Henderson trailhead. Fortunately, after we crossed a ridge about four miles later, it cooled off and was very comfortable for the rest of the hike. The trail is really nice from there on the approach to the north end of the Boy Scout Loop though it does get rocky as it drops to the loop.

We took the east side of the Boy Scout Loop for the same reasons we took the west side of Little Pan Loop: to avoid the roads and we both like it better than the other side. Shortly after we finished the Boy Scout Loop, we stopped for a quick break before continuing. Craig took off ahead of me, so when I passed by some OHVers they commented how I was behind. They asked where we came from and I said Orme Road. Some woman asked if we started this morning and I said, "No, no, no." The others laughed and one commented how we probably started 20 minutes ago. It actually was pretty funny.

From there, I picked up the pace trying to catch up to Craig before we reached Henderson. He had developed a sore foot and wasn't walking his usual pace so I figured I would. I reached him just as we crested a hill that I thought was right before Henderson though it was close to a mile farther. We hiked together most of the rest of the way until I decided to take some pictures of the sunset.

Once we reached the Henderson trailhead, I went and fetched the water we had cached and we had a nice evening relaxing at the picnic table and eating dinner. It was cool, but not cold like the previous nights. It was a good feeling to know that we were almost done traversing the BCT and close to finishing the trip.

triplog for Black Canyon Trail to Home - Part 4
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2 archives
Mar 07 2015
mt98dew
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 Guides 24
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,788

52 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Mar 07 2015
mt98dew
Run/Jog12.00 Miles 1,604 AEG
Run/Jog12.00 Miles   2 Hrs   49 Mns   4.26 mph
1,604 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike had been planned for last week, but the rain pushed it back a week. Parked at the Table Mesa TH and went north to south. Got on the trail a little before 7. Despite getting lost last time I did this trail, this trail is very easy to follow. It is a single track that climbs very gradually for the first 2.85 miles and then undulates for the last 3. It does quite a bit bobbing and weaving to make the climbs very easy. It crosses three dirt roads on its way: the first one is right at the trail head, the second is about 1.4 miles in (the trail actually uses the road for about 50 yards as you take it EAST to get back on the single track) and the third is about 4.25 miles in and in this case the trail goes straight across the road. The trail is a little rocky which makes jogging it more challenging. Saw 5 bikers, but otherwise had the trail to myself, with gun enthusiasts serenading me in the background. However, when I got back to the TH there were 6 vehicles there in addition to mine. I guess everyone else took the trail north. Saw a couple of rabbits and a squirrel, but nothing else.
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Oct 30 2011
mt98dew
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 Guides 24
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,788

52 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 30 2011
mt98dew
Hiking11.85 Miles 1,604 AEG
Hiking11.85 Miles   4 Hrs   12 Mns   2.82 mph
1,604 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
Did what I consider to be stage 3 of the BCT going in from Table Mesa Rd. On this hike my gps got me into trouble and then got me out of it. I went in having downloaded Kingsnake's hike of this trail. Feeling that this was enough, I didn't read closely any of the write ups about the trail. Not to bore you with the details...my gps wasn't cooperating when I started the hike so I wasn't able to compare my trail to Kingsnake's. Not a huge issue until the trail crossed one of the many desert roads that crisscross the land. I went right, when I should have gone left. After a few miles of not seeing a BCT sign and being able to clearly see on my gps unit that I was off trail, did I come to the conclusion that I had missed a turn. Luckily, my gps could point me in the direction of Kingsnake's trail. This caused me to trailblaze for about a mile until I hit another dirt road that eventually took me to the BCT. I was able to "stay" :D on the trail for about the last mile to reach the Boy Scout Loop. I had no trouble following the trail back. This really was a beatiful trail. I look forward to do doing it again.
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Jun 26 2011
kingsnake
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 Guides 95
 Routes 230
 Photos 9,161
 Triplogs 721

59 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 26 2011
kingsnake
Hiking8.25 Miles 881 AEG
Hiking8.25 Miles   2 Hrs   49 Mns   2.93 mph
881 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Directions: North I-17, exit 232, west New River Rd. After you cross under I-17, and drive up the small rise, take the very first right, 43rd Ave., which is dirt. About 100 yards up the road, turn left (west), along the southern edge of the housing area. Another 1/4 mile will bring you to El Paso Gas Pipeline Rd., which is about as far as you should go with low clearance two-wheel drive.

Report

Time out: 0502. Doing Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop (BCT #3) backwards, as a one-way, with shuttle (a very loving wife). From Gas Pipeline Rd. hiked .4 miles to the Glassy Knoll, where unlike Dealey Plaza there is obviously expended ammo (and many shot up bottles). At the bottom of the knoll is BCT #2. Turned north up the west segment of the Boy Scout Loop. (The only part of the hike where I could not hear semis on I-17.) At 1.4 miles total distance came to the gateless fence. At 1.8 miles, still on jeep trail, came to a gully that even a high clearance 4WD might have trouble with. Just past that, the trail finally turned to single track, and at 2.1 miles I reached the northern tip of the Boy Scout Loop, which is also the southern terminus of BCT #3. Took a break to apply sun screen, as the sun was finally starting to light up some of the nearby hill tops. The trail was very smooth to this point.

I proceeded along the west side of Hill 2605, where the trail surface had become rocky (but still not bad). The first of two highpoints on the trail is 2435 feet, in the saddle between Hill 2605 and Hill 2802. Trail smoothed out on the descent. At 2.9 miles a jeep trail splits to the left; stay right. I crossed a series of three close, very lush washes. No sign of water, but still very healthy vegetation: mesquite, palo verde, and a very thick cluster of saguaro. As I began climbing out of the washes, at 3.4 miles, there was an unsigned split in the trail. Stay right. Proceed northeast from Hill 2519 towards Hill 2508. Immediately west of Hill 2508 is the halfway point, 4.1 miles. Somewhere in there I realized my right knee felt twingey. I did not twist it, roll it, crack it, strain it, blow it out, or anything else. It suddenly felt ... not right. I was halfway, and in any case my pickup was ahead of me, so I kept going.

Just past the halfway point, a mountain biker came up behind me and stopped for a short chat. Nice guy. At 4.7 miles, crossed another jeep trail. Was taking notes, when a pair of mountain bikers, coming south, stopped to see if I was okay. Fine, thanx, just taking notes. :-) Climbed up to the second high point of the hike, 2455 feet, at 5.1 miles, in the saddle northeast of Hill 2647. Could actually see I-17 from the saddle. Could also hear, at 7 a.m., heavy gunfire coming from north, or north northeast, of the saddle. Could have been semiauto, but the interval between shots was too smooth, so I'm guessing it was full auto. Probably AK rounds, as it sounded too heavy for an M-16 type weapon.

Headed down into the valley, where the terrain changed from desert to scrub grass. One thing I've noticed about the Black Canyon Trail, is that rather than hey-diddle-diddle straight up the middle, when crossing washes, or going up hills, it tends to wiggle around contours, especially at washes, which really minimizes the climbs. Just before I got to the high tension lines, took a left onto a jeep trail, then a quick right back onto BCT #3. At that point could still hear heavy gun fire, now to my right (east), so I'm guessing the shooters were somewhere between Hill 2176 and Hill 2290, just north of the mining claim. (You can see a mobile home, at the claim site, from the trail.) Crossed the high tension line at 7.1 miles, or about a mile from the Table Mesa trailhead. A half mile from the trailhead, BCT #3, parallels a small wash that is littered with shot up debris and (mostly) shot gun shells.

Arrived at the trailhead to find no pickup. Luckily there is cell phone reception, so was able to contact my wife, who was maybe a quarter mile east. Changed shirts, socks and shoes, then started driving east on Table Mesa Rd. About a half mile east of the trailhead, saw some signs and maps up on a board. Pulled into the area to look at them. Got out of the car and ... HOLY FREAKING PUMPKIN! The sand area was riddle with hundreds of screws and nails. Checked the tires. Did not see anything. Basically walked the car back onto the road, a foot at a time, picking up screws as we went. Awful. Seriously, if you see those signs, STAY ON THE ROAD!

Finished the morning off with breakfast at the Rock Springs Cafe. Exitted the cafe. Tires still inflated. Knee tightening up. By night time, and this morning, barely mobile.

Time In: 0828. Duration: 3h 26m. Hike time, minus breaks, map reading, etc.: 2h 49m. Distance: 8.25 miles. Pace: 2.93 mph. AEG: 881 feet.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Apr 26 2009
e005229
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 Photos 180
 Triplogs 49

63 male
 Joined Nov 25 2005
 el mirage, az
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 26 2009
e005229
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,604 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   4 Hrs   10 Mns   2.88 mph
1,604 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was a little concerned just after starting out on this hike what with all the shooting going on. Seems this is a very popular area for those folks who like to muck up the desert by shooting at junk (paint cans, VCRs etc) then leaving their trash behind. What a mess! Anyway, once I got past all that this hike isn't too bad. Not a whole lot of interesting scenery out here and you're always reminded that civilization is not too far away with noise from planes, helicopters and the ever present ATVs. Beats holding down a couch watching TV though. :)
_____________________
average hiking speed 2.76 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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