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Parsons Grove & Canyon via Rug Road - 4 members in 6 triplogs have rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Dec 08 2017
chumley
avatar

 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,251
 Triplogs 1,424

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
East Aravaipa, AZ 
East Aravaipa, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2017
chumley
Hiking15.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   3 Hrs   16 Mns   14.52 mph
1,000 ft AEG   2 Hrs   14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I had an opportunity to head to Aravaipa for a couple of days and having never been to the east end, jumped at the chance. I now know I prefer this side and will come back for sure. At 3 hrs, it's really not a bad drive to get there and the benefits outweigh a little extra time on the road.

Thursday night was the coldest of the season statewide, but we were prepared so it turned out to be no problem despite dropping into the 20s. Friday was an exceptional day exploring a couple of miles down Aravaipa and up the geologic wonder of Hell Hole Canyon. It was a real treat. I'd love to see this one with a little bit more water flowing in it.

After seeing a bighorn up on the cliffs earlier in the day, we spotted some deer as darkness fell. The next two hours proved to be very entertaining!

We wouldn't have noticed the next critter if not for its glowing eyes as we approached on the opposite bank, wondering what it was. Once we were perpendicular across the creek we shone our headlamps to get a better view. At this point it realized we would not just walk by without noticing it was there and it subsequently repositioned. When that happened both Jon and I caught a glimpse of its silhouette and both had the same reaction simultaneously: tarzan swing! That's a big cat! :scared: It seemed nervous at our presence as we shined our lights directly into its glowing green eyes 25 yards across the river. As is common on our hikes, Jon and I each complimented each other on how large and strong we were -- loudly and repeatedly -- :sweat: while once again heading upstream. Jon noted that our hurried 3mph pace in the dark had suddenly increased to about 4mph! :lol:

Shortly thereafter a new set of eyes was watching our passage, but these were yellow. Though they sat high above us along the creek, as we got closer we could see it was just a curious raccoon (my first ever az wild sighting!). As we neared the trailhead, a skunk waddled across our path and seemed to be in no hurry to let us by. At this point we were trying to figure out what animal we wouldn't see tonight! Of course we weren't done yet. Next we spotted a gray fox that thought it was hidden and didn't run until it was obvious we knew it was there. Not much later we spooked a herd of javelina, and enjoyed watching the babies fight the current while swimming across the creek their parents had simply walked across. :lol:

At this point we were happy we would be sleeping indoors for the night and headed back to TNC cabin to meet up with the others and share our stories over a warm fire and some wild fermentation in the coolship.

The next couple of days included more wildlife sightings including coatimundi, turkey, and bobcat. Apparently there are cool birds here too!

I'm a fan of wildernesses. Some are more wilderness-y than others. I've only been to Aravaipa three times, but I think it's one of Arizona's truly wild wildernesses and a wildlife gem. FWIW, we did not see a bear. ](*,) Maybe next time! :)
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
A little dull. Sycamores were solid rust. Some cottonwoods still had a lot of green, others had some nice yellows, and some were mostly bare. Walnuts were prime yellow. Ash hadn't started yet.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deer Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Mostly dry. Some pools and light flow up canyon near the spring, which was flowing nicely.

dry Parsons Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Turkey Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
98% dry. Just a couple of pools along the way
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Profound observer
Nov 26 2014
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,599

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Parsons Virgus Negro Henry, AZ 
Parsons Virgus Negro Henry, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2014
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking9.66 Miles 1,736 AEG
Hiking9.66 Miles   4 Hrs   42 Mns   2.32 mph
1,736 ft AEG      32 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
CannondaleKid
Mark and I have been planning a 4x4 trip down Rug Road for awhile now. The last scheduled date didn't work out however today was a perfect day for our adventure. I met Mark at 5am and we headed out in his very capable Cherokee. Rug Road is certainly not passable for most vehicles. It was no problem for Mark and his machine.

Once we arrived at Parsons Grove he parked the Jeep and we went for a hike. We made a loop out of it and then added in Virgus Canyon and Negro Henry Canyon. Along the way we would check out several corrals and old cabins. Evidence of Fall colors still remains and enhanced the scenery today.

When we finished the hike we decided to take Rug Road all the way out the other end. This would have us leaving via Turkey Creek at the Eastern end of Arivipa. We stopped on the way out and took a quick trek up to the Turkey Creek Cliff Dwelling. From there it was over to Klondyke and then home thru Globe.

We stopped at Chalo's in Globe for a pre-Thanksgiving bite. I had a blast! Thanks for driving today Mark.
Culture
Culture
Grave - Identified
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2 archives
Nov 26 2014
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,568
 Triplogs 1,927

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Parsons Virgus Negro Henry, AZ 
Parsons Virgus Negro Henry, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2014
CannondaleKid
Hiking9.66 Miles 1,736 AEG
Hiking9.66 Miles   4 Hrs   42 Mns   2.32 mph
1,736 ft AEG      32 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
JuanJaimeiii
If we hadn't had to postpone the trip two weeks we may have hit some peak fall colors, but it sure didn't dampen our spirits on a beautiful fall day. In fact, just the opposite... seeing a new area for the first time has simply whetted my appetite for more hikes in an area much larger than I realized.

We started off where Hank and Erik began their hikes back in May 2009, began our loop hike clockwise, first following Parson's Canyon south to the cabin at the spring, then returning northward past Cement Tank Spring in Virgus Canyon back to the TH, where we simply continued north as far as where Negro Henry Canyon connects to Virgus Canyon, taking a side-trip partway up Negro Henry Canyon.

Almost all the way on the second part of our hike north in Virgus Canyon I had noticed JJ constantly casting eyes upward to the cliffs and ridge on the east side of the canyon, so on the return I suggested he go ahead and climb up to the ridge and I would climb up the next drainage and meet him then continue along the ridge for a view on Virgus Canyon from above. Of course rocket-man JJ had no trouble beating me to the overlook. That's when JJ said "Hey, we missed that cabin completely!" Sure enough, we had been so focused on continuing down the canyon we didn't notice it up the hill.

Well we can't let that opportunity go now, can we? So JJ immediately starts down the cliff while I, being the old guy becoming more wary with advancing age, sought a slightly less threatening route. So, JJ took the straight route and I took the angled route which meant I had to backtrack a few hundred yards, which by that time JJ had found the small chain-link-fenced cemetery with a solitary gravestone for Joseph G. Bleak. After checking out the grave-site and Bleak Cabin (at Bleak Spring, naturally) we headed back to the Jeep.

Having set a deadline of 3 pm to be heading back out to Mammoth (I didn't want to be on Carpet Hill after sundown) and it was just after 2 pm, we decided to take the long way out, again with the plan to be off the worst of the road near Turkey Creek before sunset.

It was too bad we didn't have a 48 hour day to hike to some of the destinations in the vicinity, Boulder Mountain, Table Mountain, Little Table Mountain, Holy Joe Peak, Zapata Mountain, Bluebird Peak, Sixtysix Peak and Turquoise Peak have all been on my to-do list for way too long... waiting until I had a chance to drive Rug Road all the way through. Now that I found the section of Rug Road from Mammoth to Parson's Grove to be almost a piece-of-cake I'm already planning a number of multi-peak hiking days.

See my soon-to-be-posted Rug Road 4x4 triplog for details but suffice to say, Carpet Hill was nowhere near the terrible condition it was in 2012 when we aborted the trip with my Samurai. Truth be told, the drive between Parson's Grove and Turkey Creek was way worse than the Carpet Hill to Parson's Grove.
Culture
Culture
Grave - Identified
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CannondaleKid
Nov 26 2014
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,568
 Triplogs 1,927

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Rug Road - Mammoth to Klondyke to Hwy 70Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
4x4 Trip avatar Nov 26 2014
CannondaleKid
4x4 Trip70.00 Miles 8,464 AEG
4x4 Trip70.00 Miles   5 Hrs   24 Mns   12.96 mph
8,464 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Partners partners
JuanJaimeiii
After our aborted trip when I had the Samurai back in 2012 when Tracey said in no uncertain terms she wouldn't be caught dead on Rug Road, it pretty much put a damper on taking another stab at it, since it was one place I really didn't want to do completely solo.
:whistle:
But after JJ prodded me with a "when are we going to do another 4x4/hiking trip" I figured JJ wouldn't be a-feared'a no Carpet Hill (think Red-Neck language) so Rug Road would be the perfect trip... and from such thoughts are plans born. With a false start two weeks ago, the day before Thanksgiving would be the do-or-die-trying trip... Should we run into any trouble, we had a tent and sleeping bags to make it into an over-night if needed.

I picked up JJ in AJ at 5 am, planning on reaching Carpet Hill after sunrise as I didn't want to be in the dark first time all the way through. The group of white-tails we saw shortly before Carpet Hill would be the only wildlife for the whole day, hikes included.
:(
It took slightly longer than I remembered to reach Carpet Hill, but once heading down, I wondered, was this actually Carpet Hill? All I remember was 3 & 4-foot boulders strewn all along the center of the road down the hill, which had proved to be a bit too much to safely pass with the Samurai. But what did we see? Not a single boulder in the road, just the series of bare rock steps near the bottom which were mere child's-play for the Cherokee. Still, it was slow going, averaging lowly 7.6 mph from Mammoth to the TH in Virgus Canyon.

After our figure-8 loop hike we hit the road heading east, hoping to find the going easier, or at least not so rough.
:pray:
Ha! Fat chance of that happening! This part of the trip was by far the roughest and thus slowest part of the drive, averaging a lowly 5.3 mph from Parson's Grove to Aravaipa Road. A number of times we took what appeared to be a bypass around a real bad spot, only to find the bypass worse than the drop-off, deep hole or boulder we were avoiding. Yet with all the bad-stuff we encountered the whole trip, only once did a rock kick up and hit the rock-slider bar on the driver side. Other than that, at no time did anything contact any part of the Cherokee.
:y:
I'm feeling the down-side to that fact today... holding my left foot hard on the brake for probably well over 2 hours while the Jeep literally crawled over/around obstacles has left me with a royal pain in the arthritic hip.
:-({|=

But back to the drive...
Once we hit Aravaipa Road things went at a faster pace.. until we turned onto Klondike Road heading east to Hwy 70, when we hit rocket speed... topping 75 more than a few times on the dirt road.
:guilty:
That managed to boost our overall average for the 52 miles from from Parson's Grove to the 70 to a whopping 12.96 mph. (Thank goodness it's not an unlucky 13!) Yes, averaging 60 mph on Klondike Road had a lot to do with that.
:whistle:
But overall, a fun time that just whetted my appetite for a series of return trips, albeit maybe not all the way through each time.
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CannondaleKid
3 archives
May 17 2009
Grasshopper
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 Guides 42
 Routes 458
 Photos 8,104
 Triplogs 508

74 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Parsons Grove & Canyon via Rug RoadGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
4x4 Trip avatar May 17 2009
Grasshopper
4x4 Trip6.40 Miles 915 AEG
4x4 Trip6.40 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   2.33 mph
915 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
ssk44
On our 2nt/3day (5/16-18/09) seventy mile road trip on the legendary "Rug Road" Eric & I had one full day to do a couple of seperate day trips from our primary campsite which served as the TH Start for this days' activities. On this Sun-5/17, our second day outing was via a 4x4 trip in my "Grasshopper" to Parsons Canyon.

This popular side trip which the "Rug Road" crosses at Parsons Grove/Canyon & Cabin offers a look back in time at old Arizona 19th century remote ranching & corral building history. After viewing Parsons Grove & Cabin area, this side trip continues for 2.25 miles on an old two track route up Parsons Canyon (see posted GPS Route) past the old Don Jose Corrals to end at the small, scenic setting, & historic Don Jose Cabin with its unique corrals;
Culture
Culture
Wooden Dwelling
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
May 17 2009
ssk44
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 Guides 19
 Routes 12
 Photos 2,250
 Triplogs 274

44 male
 Joined Mar 31 2008
 Gilbert, AZ
Parsons Grove & Canyon via Rug RoadGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
4x4 Trip avatar May 17 2009
ssk44
4x4 Trip6.40 Miles 915 AEG
4x4 Trip6.40 Miles
915 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
(Parsons & Don Jose, 05/17/2009)

Great destination overall. The Don Jose Cabin near the end was not one of the better homestead sites that I have visited throughout Arizona, however this is a Rug Road side trip that is worth looking into if you have the extra time.

8)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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ISAIAH 6:2-3 / MATTHEW 11:28-30
3 archives
average hiking speed 2.32 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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