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Murphy Mtn Viewpoints/Summit - Sierra Ancha - 2 members in 4 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 19 2019
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,272
 Triplogs 4,936

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Reynolds - Center Mountain Loop, AZ 
Reynolds - Center Mountain Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2019
joebartels
Hiking16.00 Miles 3,764 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles   8 Hrs   15 Mns   2.31 mph
3,764 ft AEG   1 Hour   19 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Vitals
On the drive in, prime Autumn foliage looked a week away. Neon lime Canyon Grape, red Virginia Creeper and scarlet Smooth Sumac dabbled a few pockets and ravines. Personally I think they are great accents. Also a tell tale sign weather has a good chance of being delightful. In my online experiences, inspiration comes from being liked and waterfalls should dwarf Havasu... we had a group cry.

Bruce's - Sierra Figure 8 Loop
We've enjoyed this classic Ancha tiptoe a few times. Typically in search of cooler temps when the Sonoran skillet is blazing.

Pants
Come prepared, do not wear shorts. It's not a bushwhack. It's not catclaw or locust. It's raspberry, blackberry and below the waist scratchies that torture shorts enthusiasts. Easy peasy if prepared.

Cienega Spring
You can hike this loop from multiple starting points. Believe Cienega Spring was in the middle of one of our forays. One year a deluge ripped a huge crater sized ravine blocking FR145 between spring proper and the trough. Our starting point for today.

FR410
We utilize the road to Reynolds TH and sneak over to Cienega Spring on FR235 because it has comfy parking. Now that Bruce has a ride with delicate tires our road sensors are on high alert. FR410 & FR235 are doable in factory featherweight side wall tires. That's if luck is on your side and you don't gash a tire on a rock. Karl joined and escorted so we moched the wannabe rocks in glee blasting Pantera... I might be mixing that part up with a Stiller hike.

Boogie
The hike begins backtracking FR235 then up FR410. If you're not a I-refuse-to-hike-roads snob it's a pretty forest hike along Reynolds Creek ( Thunder Trickle ).

Reynolds Creek Trail #150
Looked like a new sign on an old post for Reynolds #150. The first half mile of #150 is etched in my mind as semi torture in shorts. Wearing pants for the first time wouldn't you know it, looks like it was semi cleared a year ago. We did not see cuts but the raspberry definitely was not over the trail. Perhaps cows? Fear not, there was plenty of other foliage on the loop that made us grateful to be wearing pants. Nothing to fret nor dissuade this statistics sensible to terrain loop.

3.5 miles in, now past the waterfall Karl darted off into the woods. Bruce and I looked for a resting spot and encountered a memorable 5 minutes with an elk. It quickly became obvious this gal either had an injured family member nearby or injured herself as she would not leave.

Substantial foliage color in the half mile pocket leading up to Knoles Hole Spring. #150 has been on my Autumn todo list for twenty plus years. It's one of the best maple displays in Arizona I know about. I was ecstatic to experience the half mile of color bliss. I'd guestimate the widespread color scream is about 5 days away. It may never crest as the factors of time, cold nights and moisture might not dance.

Knoles Hole Spring
We looked around. Still haven't found the source. Notably due to lack of effort. Dirty water in the creek that I wouldn't bother filtering unless it was the only option.

Balance
The final ten miles are great if you enjoy a good hike.
Named place
Named place
Haldi Ranch Murphy Ranch
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Substantial for a half mile. Majority of hike was light or isolated. This is serious maple tree country. Blood red leaf thrill seekers should be rewarded in 5-7 days IMHO.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Hands down the most wildflowers I recall in October.
Large swaths of yellow daisies
Isolated Western Orange Wallflower
_____________________
- joe
Oct 19 2019
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 803
 Photos 10,253
 Triplogs 1,599

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Reynolds - Aztec - Center Mtn Loop, AZ 
Reynolds - Aztec - Center Mtn Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2019
The_Eagle
Hiking16.84 Miles 3,715 AEG
Hiking16.84 Miles   8 Hrs   17 Mns   2.30 mph
3,715 ft AEG      57 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Loves me some Ancha

Reynolds Creek Trail #150
The beginning of this one was in better shape than the last time we were on this. I think the bovine in the area have helped. Karl and I took a short side trip to check out the scenic falls.

Just shy of the western intersection with the Center Mountain Trail, I heard a noise down in the creek bed. A cow elk became our guest for the next 5 or so minutes. She was somewhat distressed and confused. I said "Hey" and quickly ducked behind a tree to keep from getting trampled. She turned, and ran past Joe, almost running over him. We left the area, thinking she was either sick or protecting an unseen young-un'.

Video :next: [ youtube video ]

Past the intersection, the maple color started. It lasted pretty vividly for a mile or so up the canyon. It will probably peak this week.

We took advantage of the Flintstone recliners on Aztec, for a comfortable lunch.

Murphy Mountain Viewpoints

Next off to 7662' for upper views of the Murphy Ranch, Murphy Peak, and then the steep scamper back down to Reynolds Creek #150.

Unnamed Connector
This connector is/was a trail at one time. There is a sign at the southern intersection with Reynolds Creek #150, but it does not mention this trail. It's thin, but with a track loaded, no problem to follow. There are some good views off the rim on this one.

Center Mountain #142
A steady climb to more great views.

Luck Strike #144
Ditto on the views, the low sun and long shadows were a plus.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cienega Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Plenty of cool clear water

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Knoles Hole Spring Dripping Dripping
Water pooled in the area. Not sure of exact location of the source
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Oct 19 2019
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 370
 Photos 8,213
 Triplogs 989

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Reynolds - Aztec - Center Mtn Loop, AZ 
Reynolds - Aztec - Center Mtn Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2019
BiFrost
Hiking16.84 Miles 3,715 AEG
Hiking16.84 Miles   8 Hrs   17 Mns   2.30 mph
3,715 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Bruce and Joe put together a nice loop/tour in the heart of the Sierra Anchas. We started in Reynolds Creek at Cienega Spring. On the upper part of Reynolds we started to see some good color. A little before peak but still a good show. We topped out and then dropped down to Murphy Ranch trail head and took short break. Then we followed some road and hit Aztec Peak visiting the rock loungers on the summit with views and break for lunch.

After lunch we had some off trail but was relatively easy crossing Center Mountain eventually picking up trail again. Once across Center Mountain we dropped down to Lucky Strike Trail and followed road back to Cienga Spring. Great views on Aztec Peak and Center Mountain then color in Reynolds made it a well rounded hike with a little of everything :)
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
1 archive
Jul 21 2019
Grasshopper
avatar

 Guides 47
 Routes 486
 Photos 8,946
 Triplogs 550

76 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Murphy Mtn Viewpoints/Summit - Sierra AnchaGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2019
Grasshopper
Hiking1.20 Miles 169 AEG
Hiking1.20 Miles   2 Hrs   51 Mns   0.55 mph
169 ft AEG      39 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
nonot
Oregon_Hiker
This was my third off-trail day hike on day four of Oregon_Hiker and my planned 6nt/7day Sierra Ancha Vehicle Camping Trip.

HAZ-nonot (Steve) came up on Friday of this week and before his departure on this Sunday, he had time to join Larry and myself for this short, but very scenic out-n-back hike to first summit an awesome plateau view area, then continue on to summit Murphy 7732ft Benchmark (with no Benchmark present).

This short and relatively easy to navigate off-trail hike to the Plateau View Areas [ photo ] is a most enjoyable area to hike to, then I recommend just returning back to the TH the way you came in. As I mentioned in the notes of my posted and recommended to download and follow Gps Route, it is recommended to "only hike to the noted Gps Route very scenic Viewpoints area as the more involved hike to the 7732ft Summit is not worth the effort and no Summit Benchmark is present."

Oregon_Hiker and my posted and geocoded picsets with captions and tag notes will hopefully confirm this short off-trail hike, shortly before arriving at Aztec Peak summit is a winner! :DANCE:
Flora
Flora
New Mexico Locust
Culture
Culture
Risky
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
2 archives
average hiking speed 1.86 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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