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Holdout Creek Trail #69 - 10 members in 28 triplogs have rated this an average 3.7 ( 1 to 5 best )
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28 triplogs
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Feb 19 2022
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 Photos 916
 Triplogs 20

34 male
 Joined Jan 17 2011
 Phoenix, AZ
Holdout-Blackrock Loop, AZ 
Holdout-Blackrock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Feb 19 2022
johnny88
Backpack
Backpack
 no routes
1st trip
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I decided to see how the Santa Teresas faired after 2021's Pinnacle Fire by backpacking a loop of Holdout and Blackrock canyons. I had planned on driving up FR-6630 (the GET) and parking at a pull-off near some trees about 3/4-mile before the gate. This spot was previously recommended to me by the guy who ranches this area and my Subaru had made up there before just fine. However, after about 1/2-mile from leaving Klondyke Rd, there is a large gash in the road (I'm guessing made by 2021's summer monsoons).

Not wanting to risk trying it in my Subaru by myself, I made a 27-point turn on the narrow road and returned to Klondyke Rd. I drove North a very short distance, turned onto the next gated forest road (can't find its name) and parked my car at the first pull-off. This was spot was also recommended to me by the rancher. As luck would have it, that same rancher pulled up just as I was getting out of my car. He recognized me and offered me a ride up the road, eventually dropping me off near Reef Tank where I began hiking. Thank you! This saved me a ton of hiking and uphill.

Reef Tank had some water in it and the area around it was unburned. Heading up the saddle before going into Holdout Creek, you quickly enter the burned area. Everything around here has been moon-scaped. The trail isn't too hard to follow though. Going down Holdout Creek, it seems most everything near the creek is completely burned, while rockier areas appear to be untouched. It's still a pretty and scenic canyon, but the wonderful forest surrounding the creek is gone. The fire has made travel through Holdout easier for now - the path is much less brushy. I still lost the trail many times and got some scrapes from catclaw though. I expect that within a few years or less, the path will be overgrown with catclaw and manzanita. Holdout Creek had some water flowing down it, although it looked quite brownish.

I made it to the corral area near the Holdout and Blackrock intersection and made camp for the night. The creek intersection seemed much sandier than what I remember - debris being washed down from monsoons in the burn areas? I had a peaceful night aside from some cows wandering near my camp. I woke up early the next morning and began hiking up Blackrock Canyon. Blackrock has also been burned and I followed some combination of cow paths and hiking trails. The water in Blackrock was much clearer than Holdout and the flow seemed pretty good. After a mile or less, I hiked out of the burn zone. The next miles up Blackrock make for some great hiking through a beautiful forested canyon. This was my favorite section of the trip.

Hiking out of Blackrock, I made use of forest roads to make my way back to Reef Tank, where I then took the GET back down to Klondyke Rd. This section of the GET (from Reef Tank down to the road) is unburned. It's hard to follow and brushy, but the trail usually exists somewhere. Once back to the gate on FR-6630, I had the long descent back to Klondyke Rd and my car.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Reef Tank

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Reef Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
Maybe 1/3rd full? Water seemed decent
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Mar 28 2020
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47 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ 
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 28 2020
GrottoGirl
Backpack17.24 Miles 3,392 AEG
Backpack17.24 Miles2 Days         
3,392 ft AEG
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BiFrost
RedwallNHops
A return to one of my favorite places. Escapism.
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Mar 28 2020
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 Guides 4
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 Photos 8,884
 Triplogs 1,064

52 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ 
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 28 2020
BiFrost
Backpack17.24 Miles 3,392 AEG
Backpack17.24 Miles2 Days         
3,392 ft AEG
 
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GrottoGirl
RedwallNHops
Great loop in the Santa Teresa Wilderness starting at Reef Tank and dropping into Holdout Canyon. Holdout has plenty of brush and catsclaw but the scenery more than compensates. By the afternoon we made to some of the bigger pools and nice boulder stretch of the canyon. We dropped packs and spent about 2 hours exploring the area before circling back to the packs. Then we headed for camp at the confluence of Holdout and Black Rock creeks which both had decent water flow.

After a relaxing night in camp we packed up leisurely in the morning and headed up Black Rock Canyon. It was a fun hike up canyon with some stops along the way at rocky outcrop and small waterfall for lunch. Nice too take our time and just enjoy the scenery. Always a great loop and thanks to Joel for putting the trip together!
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Mar 28 2020
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 Guides 1
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 Photos 613
 Triplogs 1,354

47 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Holdout Creek Trail #69Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2020
RedwallNHops
Hiking17.34 Miles 3,392 AEG
Hiking17.34 Miles1 Day   4 Hrs   46 Mns   
3,392 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
The Santa Theresa's are a great way to get away from everyone. Great weekend seeing no one else but a few choice companions.
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1 archive
Mar 01 2020
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42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Holdout Creek Trail #69Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 01 2020
AndrewAZ
Backpack20.00 Miles 5,000 AEG
Backpack20.00 Miles4 Days         
5,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I journeyed to the Santa Teresa wilderness to do some brush clearing. I had previously hiked this section in 2018 as part of a GET segment hike and greatly enjoyed it, but knew the trail needed some work.

The drive to Reef Tank was exciting. The ~34 miles of Klondyke Road was scenic and easy to drive, but the ~7 miles of 4x4 driving along FR 941 was much more difficult. The best part was the ridgeline portion where it was a drop on both sides and felt like the road might disappear over each little rise. The last .75 mile down to Reef Tank wasn't bad on the way in, but I spun my wheels a little on the way out.

I camped at the big parking area near Reef Tank. That's a very nice camping area for such a remote location. On the drive in, I ran into Nathan/g-string, who was hiking the GET. He had come up Trail 68 but was opting to do the Black Rock Creek alternate instead of Trail 69. That's the only hiker I saw.

I arrived on the 1st and left on the 5th. Each day, I hiked along the trail and cut back what I could using lopping shears, a brush saw, and an axe. My goal was to improve the first 3 miles and then get a start on the second 3 miles, but the trail had gotten much brushier in the first 3 miles since I was last there, so my time was limited to those first 3 miles.

I remembered the first 3 miles being brushy but passable, but the manzanita and shrub oak had grown together in a number of places to make impenetrable walls. Some of the drainages required extensive clearing. There are still some brushy spots in the first two miles, but I opened up the worst of the thickets.

Once in Holdout Canyon, I cleared the worst brush to improve the sightlines and built cairns (hopefully visible for both west- and east-bound hikers) where the trail meanders through little washes starting around mile 2. I remember that being really frustrating in 2018 when the trail would just disappear. Up until the trail reaches Holdout Creek proper for the first time, it should be much easier to follow.

I stopped where the trail reaches Holdout Creek and then climbs back up into the brush. The trail hits a massive patch of manzanita there, and I know the trail is there thanks to the flagging tape, but I couldn't get a feel for where it went and where I should be clearing.

I will head back next year and try to get to that second 3-mile stretch. I'll have an extra pair of lopping shears this time (managed to snap the cutting blade off the pair I had) as well as flagging tape. I'll need to camp out in Holdout Canyon, but I should be able to make good progress with 3-4 days working on that second stretch.
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Mar 24 2019
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 Guides 84
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49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ 
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 24 2019
chumley
Backpack23.08 Miles 3,669 AEG
Backpack23.08 Miles2 Days         
3,669 ft AEG
 no routes
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Jaxbe22
Decided to visit this little gem again in springtime.

I wore gaiters, but somehow forgot about all the catclaw. Pants might be advisable unless somebody gets out there and cleans it up a bit.

Water flow looked similar to last fall after the October rains. Plentiful. I thought it was flowing about the same until I dropped into the rabbit hole at the top of the chute and quickly discovered it was significantly higher flowing in the narrows. This thwarted my efforts to run the whole thing, but we managed to dip down into a couple of my favorite spots to play.

Black Rock was flowing nicely all the way to the climb out, including a couple of the side drainages. But I doubt I'll ever see it flowing as high as last October in a steady rain.

The ruts in the road to Reef Tank have been cleaned up a bit, and there was an FJ and an F150 with street tires camping there. That was a bit of a surprise. We didn't see the campers. We did encounter another hiker on the loop who looked like he had probably just disposed of a body. He was from Tennessee of all places. And of course we followed in the footprints of the grotto norb group all weekend, without realizing it was them until getting back to town Sunday night.

Always a good one!
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Benchmark
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Reef Tank
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two scoops!
Mar 23 2019
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 Guides 3
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 Photos 11,810
 Triplogs 1,448

47 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Holdout Creek Trail #69Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2019
GrottoGirl
Hiking20.12 Miles 4,892 AEG
Hiking20.12 Miles1 Day   4 Hrs   46 Mns   
4,892 ft AEG
 
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RedwallNHops
Amazing how much water was flowing in the Santa Teresa. I had gone in December of 2017 for NY’s and it was nearly dry.

Lower Holdout was still the gem of the trip, however, I was sad I didn’t get to do the full down under journey.

I played a joke on Chumley when we left the trailhead and saw his vehicle! Hehe!
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Mar 23 2019
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 Guides 1
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 Photos 613
 Triplogs 1,354

47 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Holdout Creek Trail #69Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2019
RedwallNHops
Hiking20.12 Miles 4,892 AEG
Hiking20.12 Miles1 Day   4 Hrs   46 Mns   
4,892 ft AEG
 no routes
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GrottoGirl
After sampling the Santa Theresa's a few weeks ago, I had to get back there with all the flowing water. What an awesome overnight trip.
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Mar 09 2019
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 Guides 1
 Routes 10
 Photos 613
 Triplogs 1,354

47 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Holdout Creek Trail #69Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 09 2019
RedwallNHops
Hiking8.86 Miles 2,038 AEG
Hiking8.86 Miles
2,038 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I can't believe I waited this long to visit the Santa Theresa's. After being aware of them(and a few of the hikes there) for over a decade I finally pulled the trigger. Left Tucson early on Saturday and met a friend in Klondyke and then caravaned to the TH. We got distracted by a nice flowing canyon and got off track a bit and missed Reef Tank. I thought I'd just gradually lead us back to the trail, but there was a lot of brush so it took us a bit. Once we got on the trail it was easy going. Hiked into the heart of all the formations, took a quick nap and headed back to setup camp. I need to explore this more!
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Mar 09 2019
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 Guides 2
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66 male
 Joined Mar 01 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Holdout Creek Trail #69Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 09 2019
Pivo
Hiking9.25 Miles 2,211 AEG
Hiking9.25 Miles   6 Hrs   46 Mns   2.00 mph
2,211 ft AEG   2 Hrs   8 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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MyRudy
RedwallNHops
Fun and beautiful area, route finding is involved here. Trail gets very little use.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Reef Tank
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Lookin’ back on the track, gonna do it my way, Lookin’ back.... ahhhhhhhh
Oct 07 2018
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 Guides 84
 Routes 694
 Photos 17,273
 Triplogs 1,689

49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ 
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 07 2018
chumley
Backpack23.08 Miles 3,669 AEG
Backpack23.08 Miles2 Days         
3,669 ft AEG
 no routes
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JoelHazelton
Jonnybackpack
Powerstroke
After a perfect trifecta of issues that thwarted another plan, this was part 1 of our last minute revision. You just can't go wrong here, and I can't believe it took me three years to return.

Note to self: gaiters ](*,)

On Reef and Holdout most of the ribbons are long gone, I saw maybe half a dozen remnants clinging to life. Rare cairns are a treat though we certainly managed to get off track a handful of times. Black Rock is easy creek hiking, though the turn to leave the canyon can be missed.

We camped higher up to be closer to the creek. Pat and I ran the chute first while the others set up camp, and it was so much fun, we hiked back up and ran it again! I took the first leap of faith off the last waterfall into the darkness below. The pool ended up being over my head, and after swimming out to the other end I decided it would be a good time to put things in my drybag! :sweat: Many photographs were taken in this unique geologic wonderland.

It must have been the noise that four people tend to make, but I am absolutely shocked we didn't see either a bear or mountain lion, as the prints in the sand all along the creek near our camp were plentiful. The weather provided some great cloud drama in the morning and I hiked up canyon into the heart of Lower Holdout in search of Crows Nest Spring, but came up empty. Not even a sign of something that might have once existed there. Luckily the scenery here was more than worth the effort!

We hiked out in a steady rain as the cold front pushed through. Black Rock swelled with flow from the runoff, which made this even more fun than normal. As darkness fell we were treated to the spectacle of the SpaceX rocket from Vandenberg illuminating the moonless night sky. :D
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two scoops!
1 archive
Dec 29 2017
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 Guides 3
 Routes 316
 Photos 11,810
 Triplogs 1,448

47 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Holdout Creek Trail #69Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Dec 29 2017
GrottoGirl
Backpack16.00 Miles 1,800 AEG
Backpack16.00 Miles2 Days         
1,800 ft AEG
 
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spaceholder
Pete and I did a NY trip for our first anniversary. On the way to our adventure we stopped at the Klondyke cemetery to pay our respects to the Power family. I’ve been fascinated with the Galiuros and the Power story for a while.


We didn’t know if there would be water in the Santa Teresa’s so we placed 10-11 liters of water a piece plus supplies for three days.

We headed down Holdout first. The beginning part of the trail was well maintained by cows. You just need to pay attention that you don’t take the wrong cow trail. After a while there is a gate and that means less cows so the trail was faint at best to follow until we got to Blackrock.

Holdout is amazing! It’s like the Dragoons but better. Beautiful rocks and no people!!! I really can’t wait to come back and explore the Upper part of Holdout more. I was more focused on doing a loop than on exploring and trying to figure out which tower was which. Definitely will have to return.

We decided to camp before the confluence. I admit that the weight of the water plus all the catclaw was getting annoying so I wanted to stop. By carrying our own water we could camp anywhere so we picked out a nice spot.

In the morning we did an explore without our big packs. We went into the drainage and explored the amazing passages under all the gigantic boulders! I definely want to come back when the water is flowing through there. It would be a site to see. There was some water in the pools but we were able to stay dry.

After our adventure we decided to pack up and see how far we could make it. Blackrock Canyon was much easier to navigate. It was dry and mostly clear of catclaw so we pressed on and we were back to the truck by sunset.

What an amazing place!!! Even the drive in is an adventure - definitely recommend 4x4.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Holdout Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Pools near the confluence with Blackrock

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Reef Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
Enough for the cows and deer to be happy.
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Dec 11 2015
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 Guides 36
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76 male
 Joined Mar 27 2008
 tucson, az
Holdout Creek Trail #69Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2015
rvcarter
Hiking13.26 Miles 2,540 AEG
Hiking13.26 Miles   7 Hrs   21 Mns   2.17 mph
2,540 ft AEG   1 Hour   14 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Excellent hike to a beautiful canyon of rock formations straight out of Disney World. It's a little longer than I normally like, but we had a great group and excellent weather. The trail is in pretty good shape and easy to follow. Just go north of Klondyke and park off the road at a corner where the road turns directly west toward Arivaipa east. The trail is much easier to find than when we were here a few years back, probably because of the increased traffic on the Grand Enchantment Trail Segment #8, of which it is a part. The only tricky part is to make sure you go just past Reef Tank and find the nice path that goes directly east. There is a few feet of water in Reef Tank, but I hope you don't have to drink it. Highly recommend this hike, but it's a bit difficult to get to from ANYWHERE! Long way in from Willcox (~30 miles) or Pima (35 miles), both gravel roads in good shape.
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Check out my Instagram posts at "cartershift", and videos on my Rumble channel "rvcarter".
Oct 30 2015
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,442
 Triplogs 1,640

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ 
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 30 2015
John9L
Backpack25.91 Miles 3,873 AEG
Backpack25.91 Miles3 Days         
3,873 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
chumley
clairebear
nonot
slowandsteady
Chumley planned this hike and it turned out to be fantastic! The hiking was rugged but not overwhelming. The views were epic and vast! We spent three days and two nights exploring this area. It was a great trip with a fun group!

Our trip started on Friday morning. The five of us (Karl, Kathy, Chumley, Claire and myself) left Phoenix in two vehicles and met at McDonalds in Globe. From there we caravaned to trailhead. Nonot is hiking in solo on Saturday. All of us will hike out together on Sunday.

The first mile and a half are easy going as you descend to the creek in Laurel Canyon and then make your way to the northeast towards Reef Tank. At that point we started our lasso loop and headed east into Holdout Canyon. The going was rugged and slow going as we were constantly route finding. It really helped having a GPS route and a group of five to sniff out the route. Sections of the route are overgrown but we pushed through and dropped down towards the confluence of Black Rock Canyon and Holdout Creek. We selected a campsite near the bend in the creek located next to the corral. We set up camp in the waning light and started a fire. I brought brats for dinner and there were dynamite!

Our group of five woke on day two and talked about our options. We decided to spend a few hours exploring to the north into Fisher Canyon and the GET. The going was tough as we proceeded up a drainage. After a mile we hit the old road. The GET takes off to the east and Fisher Canyon heads to the north. We originally followed Fisher but the old road has deteriorated and is covered in catclaw. It was no fun so we turned back and followed the GET for a bit. The landscape looked rather plain up ahead so we cut that short and returned to camp.

After a break our group hiked back up our trail from yesterday and dropped into Holdout Creek. From there we worked our way down canyon and admired this beautiful creek! It was very picturesque with lots of water flowing. As we neared the bottom of Holdout Creek we came to a large cluster of boulders. And by large I mean house size boulders with lots of debris from flash floods! Karl and Chumley explored the creek below the boulders while Claire and I checked it out from above. The going seemed like too much of a hassle to me so I climbed out and returned to camp via the trail. Our group reconvened at camp and were met by Nonot right before sunset. We settled in for another night around the fire.

On day three we took our time packing up camp and enjoying breakfast. Our group of six then started the hike up Black Rock Canyon. We were all pleasantly surprised to find the hiking very easy and enjoyable. The creek was wide open with a decent flow of water. Just about all of us got our shoes wet as we worked our way up canyon heading west. We took a break at the scenic waterfall and then continued on to the old road. From there we climbed out of Black Rock Canyon and made our way via the old road back to Reef Tank. We made good time and then completed our lasso loop back to the vehicles where we took one last break before making the drive back to Phoenix with another stop at Arizona Wilderness Brewery for beers and dinner!

This was another great trip and a wonderful area! I never paid much attention to the Santa Teresa Wilderness and didn't quite know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised with the beauty and intimacy of this canyon. It has a feel similar to Wilderness of Rocks. Plus we were the only ones in this wilderness. That was a real treat. Thanks Chumley for driving and organizing! It was a fun trip and a great group!
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Camp-fire Campsite
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4 archives
Oct 30 2015
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 Guides 101
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 Photos 2,067
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male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ 
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 30 2015
nonot
Backpack18.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Backpack18.00 Miles2 Days         
2,500 ft AEG33 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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BiFrost
chumley
clairebear
John9L
slowandsteady
It is always great when you can head into the desert without concerns about water or it being too hot/too cold. Also, visiting a Wilderness you have never been to before is always a treat.

The road to Reef Tank TH is definitely 4wd/high clearance, but you could always just hike it as it is part of the GET.

I'm still not quite sure where Holdout Creek Trail starts, nor where it exists in places. Someone has done a good job of flagging a route, but large portions of the trail are overgrown, and it seems in some places that the flagging simply takes a brush free path, rather than following the original trail. Once you get over the second major ridge the impressive inner basin of Holdout Creek greets you with the large granite mountains and boulders with a lightly flowing creek that you skirt along, more or less. The views are great throughout this basin, while the catclaw is annoying it isn't terrible and I made it to the confluence to meet up with the rest of the group who had gone in the day before. Arriving at dusk, they already had a campfire up and going for me, and despite my alias, 9L did a fine work of tending to the fire all night.

The next day we headed up Black Rock Canyon. There are slim signs of a trail, but the hike along the creek is fantastic, and there is a good road that allows for a brush free journey back to reef tank. I would rate this entire section as fantastic, as even the hike up the road was nice, since it was still clear of catclaw.

It was good to meet a new HAZ member and to see other HAZ'ers I haven't seen in years.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
I seem to recall a trickle coming out of this canyon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Holdout Creek Medium flow Medium flow
nice flow through the lower half of this creek.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Reef Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
disgusting
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Oct 30 2015
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 Guides 4
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 Photos 8,884
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52 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ 
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 30 2015
BiFrost
Backpack25.91 Miles 3,873 AEG
Backpack25.91 Miles3 Days         
3,873 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
chumley
clairebear
John9L
nonot
slowandsteady
Great long weekend in the Santa Teresa's exploring Holdout and Black Rock Canyons. We started on the Klondkye side driving up an old two track to forest boundary. From there it was up the Reef Tank Trail over the divide that drops into upper Holdout Canyon. Once in upper Holdout the views of the pinnacles and granite rock slabs as well as range high point Cottonwood Mtn and Pinnacle ridge were awesome! We continued down Holdout in some light rain following the GET blue ribbons occasionally crossing Holdout Creek which had decent water. Eventually we made it down to the Holdout-Black Rock confluence and found a camp spot arriving just before sunset.

Next day we headed out on day hike up Fisher Canyon to explore more of the GET section. We briefly continued up Fisher Canyon leaving the GET but found the cats claw and deteriorating trail conditions more than we wanted to slog through. We turned around and hiked back to the GET exploring more of that section before heading back to camp. We only hiked about 4 miles total that morning but it was slow going particularly in Fisher Canyon although the water was nice to see.

Back at camp we took a short break and then headed our for second day hike this time back up Holdout and dropping into the creek 2 miles upstream from the confluence. The goal was to explore Holdout Creek since the trail goes around this entire section. We were not disappointed as this section had the nicest rock formations and pools in the entire range. Towards the bottom there is a 1/4 mile section where the creek goes under house sized boulders creating caverns, pools, and waterfalls. Chumley volunteered to carry my day pack while I climbed and waded through the pools eventually navigating to the end. Holdout Creek was definitely the highlight of the weekend.

After exploring Holdout we headed back to camp to spend another relaxing night around the fire. We also linked up with Nonot who hiked in that day and joined up that night. Next day we hiked out and up Black Rock Canyon which was very nice walk in the creek bottom. Very easy walking despite no trail and just following the creek for 4.5 miles. Then we hit an old road/trail which also was easy walking and great views on the ridgeline above Black Rock Canyon. Eventually we passed by Reef Tank completing our loop and back out to the vehicles. Thanks for organizing the trip Chums :D
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
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1 archive
Oct 30 2015
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 Photos 178
 Triplogs 158

40 female
 Joined Oct 26 2011
 Tempe, AZ
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ 
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 30 2015
clairebear
Backpack25.91 Miles 3,873 AEG
Backpack25.91 Miles3 Days         
3,873 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
chumley
John9L
nonot
slowandsteady
First of all, I loved so much about this trip- the beautiful and rugged scenery, the company, our exposed and treeless camp and especially the isolation. This was one of those great wilderness experiences where there was not a single other person to be found except those in our group.

DAY 1 ~
We departed Tempe on an overcast morning and rendezvoused with Kathy and Karl in Globe. Our trip will take us back down the familiar Klondyke road from a few weeks ago when we hiked to Powers Garden. We turned onto the 4x4 road, passed some cute cows and admired the landscapes. Once prepared at the trailhead we departed and dropped into Laurel Canyon. After passing the slimy green reef tank we followed Holdout Creek Trail. Views in Holdout creek for this portion of the hike are fantastic ~. I've very partial to watery Arizona hikes along creek beds.

We determined that camp near the confluence of Black Rock Canyon and Holdout creek would be work since we would be exiting via Black Rock Canoyn on day 3. With sunset approaching we started to set up camp. 9L made us a very nice fire while Chumley had engineered some bridges to cross the creek to our tents. The rest of us settled in and gathered firewood. Later that night while we were trying to sleep some neighborhood coyotes serenaded us with some not too distant howling and the next morning fresh coyotes poop was found on our beach camp.

Day 2 Exploring from basecamp
It was nice to wake up and pack a few things in a small day back. From camp we headed north to Fisher canyon. For a mile we boulder hopped off trail through the canyon and followed some more of the GET. After we found some shade and took a break we decided to return to camp and before perusing a hike through Holdout Canyon. I was glad to return to camp to filter some more water from the creek and after relaxing a bit we headed out. Our hike in had bypassed this part of the creek so it was great to go back and check out the scenery. Holdout canyon is so picturesque with interesting rock formations carved out from the water. I followed the creek as much as possible. Once the canyon narrowed and the boulders grew to house sizes and I struggled to find a dry path. Chumley and Karl explored deeper into the canyon, with Karl opting for an adventurous canyoneering route. I wish I had been more patient and waited to follow their route. I did enjoy navigating my own way through this part of the canyon, however I had to bail and climb back up to the top when it seemed like forging a
path through the house sized boulders alone was no longer safe. Another time !!! As we settled in by the fire that evening we were joined by Nonot.
Silence from coyote camp that night.

Day 3
We broke down camp and made our way out sometime around 9:30 AM. Our hike out through Black Rock Canyon was easier than much of the trails we had followed all weekend. For five miles we enjoyed the picturesque creek of Black Rock Canyon until reaching the Jeep trail that will take us back to Reef tank. Steep uphill climb, but the trail was wide and there was no fighting with catclaw here.
On our way back into town we stoped at AZ wilderness because it was fitting and delicious to end the trip drinking a Santa Teresa Enkel. Thanks for indulging me with my AZW cravings :D

Thanks Chumley for putting this together ! I adored this trip and I'm glad everyone came together for it ^^^^
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1 archive
Oct 30 2015
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 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

48 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ 
Holdout Black Rock Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 30 2015
slowandsteady
Backpack23.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Backpack23.00 Miles3 Days         
3,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
chumley
clairebear
John9L
nonot
Great into to the Santa Teresa's, hiking is definitely a pants party to get through all of the prickly stuff.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
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Feb 07 2015
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 Guides 29
 Routes 329
 Photos 9,658
 Triplogs 918

40 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Holdout Creek Trail #69Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2015
FOTG
Hiking11.01 Miles 1,893 AEG
Hiking11.01 Miles
1,893 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I have been wanting to get back to the Santa Teresa since my first visit in December. I decided I better take advantage of another weekend of relatively low gas prices and make the quick 200 mile trip back to Holdout Creek before they are back up to $2.45 a gallon again.

My plan was to find a nice scenic spot along Holdout Creek and just spend some time exploring the area, as Dave and I were in through hiker mode when we went through back in December. I also wanted to maximize my time in that area by hitting up the Cobra Mine Trail on Sunday along with Turkey Creek. I found a great spot, but waited to unpack my gear. I was only about five miles from TH and the thought crossed my mind that it might be more efficient to car camp instead and make my way over to the Cobra Mine TH and leave myself more time on Sunday, as I did not want too late of a finish, with the nearly four hour drive ahead of me as well. So I hung my gear and through on my daypack and decided to see how I felt after exploring the area some.

The more I explored the more impressed I became with the area, just a gorgeous area, especially with all the water flowing. I decided on the car camp idea and headed back to the car after a pretty lazy day of minor exploring, eating snacks along the creek and even a nap. I was a little fatigued the whole day for some reason, my legs just seemed dead. I probably doubled my mat time over the last week or so getting our boys ready for sectionals and states and I think it caught up to me a little on Saturday. My body may have been thinking lets take a day off and sleep in, probably not lets get up at 3:30 in the morning to go hiking. My hike out was pretty leisurely and very slow, but I did spend some pretty good time with the clippers conducting some modest trail maintenance on my way out.

My Cobra Mine Trail idea was stopped by what I am pretty sure is an illegal gate job complete with lock on public road leading to TH. Needless to say, I was not getting through and I was a little pissed by that point because I had nixed my over night in Holdout so I would have time to do Cobra Mine and Turkey Creek. Now it was on to Turkey Creek.

I did not realize that one can literally drive right to the Turkey Creek ruins. So I visited them quickly with a head lamp and then hit the road again to find somewhere to hike Sunday on my way back to Phoenix.
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Dog
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Holdout Creek

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Holdout Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Reef Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
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5 archives
Dec 27 2014
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 Guides 29
 Routes 329
 Photos 9,658
 Triplogs 918

40 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
GET 7 through 9, AZ 
GET 7 through 9, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 27 2014
FOTG
Backpack61.94 Miles 11,320 AEG
Backpack61.94 Miles4 Days         
11,320 ft AEG
 
1st trip
The Grand Enchantment Trail was never on my radar until azdesertfather suggested knocking out segments 7,8,9 over a three day trek. I thought it sounded cool and said sure. After all I had never did Aravaipa and had heard great things about the Santa Teresa's from the few that have hiked them. I had to leave the pups back on this one because of Aravaipa which was a bit of a bummer. However, I was excited to get to a new area and knock out some more mileage over my holiday break and I knew the kiddos would be in good hands at uncle Chumleys.

Day 1: Section 7, Aravaipa Wilderness

This day would be characterized by closed highways, a late start, wet boots and cold water. We knew we were going to get a late start on the first day, as we had to set up our shuttle. This meant a 330 departure time from Phoenix for me and a very early dog drop off at Chumleys. HAZ appreciation Chumleys way one more time for taking on my unruly children, I swear I am going to pay you one of these times ;) After the dog drop off, things were going perfect for our 0630 Pima link up. Then we hit a small snag an accident just outside of Superior on the 60 necessitated a scenic 0530 in the morning detour through Winkleman. Nevertheless, we only found ourselves about 45 minutes behind schedule by the time we reached Pima. We set up our shuttle and were stepping off at Araviapa just after 11:30. Aravaipa was simply amazing for me even with the extremely cold water and long stretches of sunless very cold canyon we had to wade through, if the water was not running it was frozen in these sections. Aravaipa was so scenic I am almost ashamed to say I spent less then five hours in the beautiful canyon, no worries though, it will be there next time and we had a mission to complete. Day one culminated with a very liberal interpretation of the Nature Conservatory's no camping policy.

Day 2: GET 8, Santa Teresa Wilderness

Day two started very cold, and I mean like Stalingrad winter of 43 cold! I have woke up to cold boots, wet boots and torn up boots, however courtesy of Ariviapa Creek this was the first time I woke up to frozen solid boots. I got a quick fire going and coaxed Dave out of his tent, but I could tell from the start he was feeling the effects of a very cold morning and uncomfortable night. I had listened to my go to guy for weather and bought an 11-20 degree liner for my 25 degree down bag, as I was told to be prepared for a deep freeze. I got my first real view of the Santa Teresas just after Reef Tank and all I will say is if you have not made it there, find away to get there. A stunning landscape of rocks, snow covered peaks, mixed in with some pine and several partially frozen cascades along the robust flowing inner drainages and creeks. I coaxed, prodded and annoyed Dave literally about as far as he could go on day two. We made camp, refueled and prepared for another night in the Arctic.

Day 3: GET 8, Cottonwood Mountain

The second morning was some how colder. The water I had brought up from creek for breakfast and hot drinks froze in the little less then 15 minutes it took me to get to ready to heat it. The first part of day three was spent finding a "creative" way to skirt the stretch of private land that breaks up the section 8 of the GET as you leave and reenter the Santa Teresa. From there it was up Cottonwood Mountain. The climb was not overly bad and other then a few faint spots the trail was great, cacti mingling with ponderosa and snow covered agave. Dave equally enjoyed this section, albeit it at a much more leisurely pace. We regrouped at the top and started making our way down. I will admit I still had small aspirations of pushing through head lamp marathon style, but it simply was not in the cards for Dave on this day. He did allow/tolerate me to push him until just after sunset, as I did not want anything to do with camping above 5000 feet with the temps we had been dealing with. I think we made it to exactly 5000 feet and actually enjoyed are nicest camp site of trip. Although, I may be using the word enjoy a little loosely, as night three proved to be hands down the coldest night of trip. We found our water freezing in mere minutes if taken away from the fire and even as we unpacked our gear ice formed on any object with the slightest amount of moisture left on it from the previous night's condensation. I slept relatively well, Dave had a bit of a restless cold night, but we survived and it did not take us much to get going the next morning.

Day 4: GET 9

Aravaipa and the Santa Teresa's were amazing, however, I would rate this segment somewhere between dull and stale. Although, the above mentioned are two tough acts to follow, it would have taken a lot for segement 9 to impress me. Dave was doing much better on the initial stretches of quad trails and forest roads, however, he knew he was not where he would normally be and certainly not where I was. He suggested leaving his gear at Klondike road and finishing the last 8 miles pack free. Initially, I was dreading the detour back to Klondike, but I knew it meant a lot for him to complete the segment and heck I only had a trip to Tuscon and Phoenix still left on my day, so what was a small detour at this point? ;) It would have made perfect sense for me to leave my gear as well, but I opted to carry mine out. Anyone who knows me, knows I have no problem leaving people in the wilderness, but never gear, too expensive to replace. It actually turned out to be a pretty good idea, Dave was like a new man once he shed that pack and was able to knock out the final 8 miles at a pretty good clip and arrived at the TH about 20 minutes after me. We both agreed had he carried pack, we would have been looking at a mid afternoon finish instead of our lunchtime finish. Dave found a nice shortcut via a decent forest road that got us back to his gear quicker then we had expected. I think the trip back to his gear mall only ended up costing us a little over a half hour. In the end a really good four day trek, rugged, a little challenging, great company, some tremendous areas, and generally good times. It was really nice to get back to that part of the state and I am already planning a return. I am grateful to have gotten the invite to help Dave knock out some coveted sections of the GET.

Final Notes: Blisterfree writes superb descriptions, with spot on routes and directions, so some well deserved HAZ is appreciation his way, as he blazed this very rugged rewarding route.

Trail humor: Apparently my very dry humor is equally as unappreciated among hiking partners as it is in the classroom. For example, Dave says, " I think this is the last trip for these shoes they are no good anymore" my response, "ya, but you can save the "souls" right?" Dave, "huh?" Me, "never mind."
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Wild Turkey
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Reef Tank
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4 archives
average hiking speed 2.08 mph
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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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