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Salt Flat Connector Trail - 1 member in 1 triplog has rated this an average 1 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 15 2022
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 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Nelson Trail #159Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 15 2022
nonotTriplogs 511
Backpack17.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Backpack17.00 Miles
3,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
My plan for this backpacking trip didn't really work out because of the lack of water. The only available water appeared to be within 1 mile of the trailhead from a series of 4 springs that collectively appear to be called Nelson Place spring.

If I would offer a suggestion it would be to explore the Pine Mountain Wilderness via dayhiking. The Salt Flat campground area is pretty nice, though you have to bring all your water with you.

I would also warn potential backpackers that other triplogs reporting water for "several miles along the start of their hike" probably aren't really counting their distance and don't realize that the water ends after the first mile.

While the Nelson trail was in good shape, most of the other trails are in poor condition. The worst was the Salt Flat connector trail, and the second worst was the Verde Rim trail. Surprisingly you will find cows along every trail, including at the top of Pine Mountain itself!

I ran through 90% of my water when I was only halfway through my Saturday loop, likely due to the higher than forecast temperatures, so I struggled to finish the trip.

Takeaways:
The spring fed areas along Nelson trail are very nice, and I was surprised to see all the trout.
Pine Mountain is an enjoyable destination, and there are great views of the entire Mazatzals from the top.
The rest of the trails suffer from significant overgrowth. Some also suffer from not-existingness in sections. There was easily a half mile stretch of Pine Flat trail where I didn't see any evidence of a trail.
For some reason, once you get away from Nelson trail by more than a quarter mile (except Pine Mtn itself), you will only see Junipers, no pine trees.

Driving: Lots of triplogs speak to road conditions. I would say the last 7 miles to the trailhead is rated a high clearance rd. I think 2wd with limited slip differential or else 4wd is helpful due to the rough road. From highway 17 to trailhead took 60 minutes. From trailhead to highway 17 took 56 minutes.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

dry Beehouse Canyon Dry Dry

dry Beehouse Spring Dry Dry
I was on the lookout for this spring, but didn't see anything wet.

dry Bishop Spring Dry Dry
No water in this area that I saw, perhaps I didn't go far enough off trail downcanyon?

dry Black Alder Spring Dry Dry
Perhaps I missed the spring, but didn't find anything.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Nelson Place Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
A lifesaver. Collectively the 4 different areas water came out of the ground probably add up to 100 gallons per minute.

dry Willow Spring Dry Dry
Perhaps I missed the spring, but didn't find anything.
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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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