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Mormon Lake - AZT #29 - 14 members in 56 triplogs have rated this an average 3.6 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 12 2018
corwinwilkins
avatar

 Routes 9
 Triplogs 33

48 male
 Joined Jul 30 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2018
corwinwilkins
Hiking14.80 Miles 1,095 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles   5 Hrs      3.70 mph
1,095 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break22 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Originally was going to do 29&30 together as an overnighter, but sketchy weather made us decide to just to 29 as a dayhike and go home. Great trip, very easy terrain, very pleasant to hike through the woods.
_____________________
Aug 12 2018
alexofaz
avatar

 Routes 10
 Photos 11
 Triplogs 37

male
 Joined Jul 10 2011
 Peoria, Az
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2018
alexofaz
Hiking14.80 Miles 1,095 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles   5 Hrs      2.96 mph
1,095 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
corwinwilkins
We blasted this one out on a rare clear day.
_____________________
May 18 2018
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 178
 Photos 7,779
 Triplogs 628

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar May 18 2018
kingsnake
Hiking15.66 Miles 1,074 AEG
Hiking15.66 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   2.98 mph
1,074 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Despite being slightly ahead of the curve for my 50 monthly miles, this week I was looking for a longer hike in a cooler clime. Hiking Arizona Trail segment #29, just west of Mormon Lake in the Coconino National Forest, is what I came up with.

The Coconino National Forest is under Stage II fire restrictions — no campfires or smoking in the open — but I was unaffected as I neither camp nor smoke. While I was doing the hike, the Forest Service actually closed several areas in the CNF, including Mormon Mountain, the east slope of which AZT #29 passes through. 🚫🔥

Rather than take AZ-87 through the Payson traffic jam, then get stuck behind slow people on the two lanes north of Pine and Strawberry, I followed Google Maps’ recommendation to take I-17 north, then cut across on Stoneman Lake Rd. / FR 213. Rather than taking nearly three hours, I made it to the Arizona Trail’s Allan Lake trailhead in one hour, 45 minutes!

Overall, there were not many flowers on Arizona Trail #29. The southern third of the hike, was almost all dandelions. The middle third there were a few more species, but still mostly yellow flowers. The northern third had the most variety, with some brilliant claret cup and a huge patch of spreadfruit goldenbanner.

The only grab & stabs I saw, besides a few small cacti, was about a 200 yard wide patch on Mount Nestor’s north slope. Those were tall, brittle, vines with rose bush-type thorns, rather than catclaw. Take care to avoid involuntary blood donation, as the AZT passes right through the middle of the patch.

Arizona Trail #29 is always well-defined. Plus, there are plenty of AZT signs to show you the way. Cairns can be a useful tool, but here they are totally unnecessary. It appears a particularly strong microburst may have blown a few of them over. 😇

I did not drink much water, so I did not need to refill. But at Double Springs Campground there was a tap running out of the ground. There was no “non-potable” sign, so I figured what the heck and opened the spigot. I was expecting clear, cool, tasty well water. Instead, what I got was so cloudy it was gross. 🤢

I poured the water out. I carry bottles, and had several more waters, a couple of Gatorade G2s, and a trail beer (Peroni), so I was good.👍

I took my second break at Double Springs Campground site #14, which was where I saw all the spreadfruit goldenbanner flowers. Verizon reception at Double Springs was only 0-1 bars. I was barely able to get a text out to my wife, telling her I would soon be at Mayflower Spring for pickup.

Going to be tough finding a decent hike this week, in moderate temps, with all the closures ... 🤔

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Mormon Lake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Mostly dandelions in the southern third. Tons of Spreadfruit Goldenbanner in Double Springs CG site #14. Brilliant claret cup in final miles. But overall, light coverage.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
May 06 2018
ultrazona
avatar

 Photos 591
 Triplogs 151

32 male
 Joined Mar 07 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar May 06 2018
ultrazona
Mtn Biking14.80 Miles 1,095 AEG
Mtn Biking14.80 Miles
1,095 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
DAy Ride
_____________________
ultrazona.com
Apr 14 2018
Mudhole
avatar

 Routes 27
 Photos 1,661
 Triplogs 20

45 male
 Joined Apr 05 2013
 Peoria, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 14 2018
Mudhole
Backpack16.88 Miles 1,181 AEG
Backpack16.88 Miles2 Days         
1,181 ft AEG14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Taking a new hiking friend out for their first passage of the Arizona Trail, we did an easy one as a gear shakedown. Passage 29 is a great day hike, but we broke it into 2 days so that my partner could do a full camp setup to prepare for future passages.

Day 1 was a very easy 5 miles to a cattle tank that had some really murky water. Luckily we packed in plenty of clean water and it lasted us until Navajo Spring the next day where we filtered plenty of water for the rest of day 2.

Day 2 was about 11 miles to the northern trailhead. This was a great little section with rolling ridges and full tree coverage. A few windows in the trees allowed partial views of Mormon Lake to the north. Tons of elk and deer scattered along this section, and the mining history is fascinating. No big climbs at all, and we found water at Navajo Spring and also at one of the campgrounds before the finish.
_____________________
"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
Sep 26 2017
jwwilhit
avatar

 Photos 28
 Triplogs 2

59 male
 Joined Jan 22 2013
 az
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2017
jwwilhit
Hiking14.80 Miles 1,095 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles
1,095 ft AEG34 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have on my bucket list to complete the AZT so I had to start somewhere and this was it. I was hiking North to South but actually ended up starting 2 miles North of the actual trailhead. The random directions of unmarked right turn about 3 mi. down the road led to the trail but I think is was the last two miles of section #30. No biggie. Started hiking about 11AM, ran into a nice couple of ladies and their dog about 1/2 a mile in. Ran into another nice lady and her dog after crossing through one of the campgrounds. And that would be the last human I saw for the next three days. Section #29 was a beautiful hike. Stopped by Navajo Spring and topped off one of my water bottles. Good, clear water. I literally filled it up at the faucet. Strange. I did filter it through my Sawyer. Filled up again at Van Deren Spring. The water was surrounded by reeds so I had to wade in a little. As a result the water had a good amount of gunk in it but tasted ok through the Sawyer inline. I ended up hiking about 12.5 miles the first day and finished it up the next morning. Thanks for a great start.
Culture
Culture
Memorial

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Navajo Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Once I found the literal faucet it filled my 1L bottles relatively quickly. Water was clear.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Van Deren Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Water in both the lower and upper tanks. Surrounded by reeds so it required getting the feet wet. Not sure of the fill rate as I just dunked my bottles. Water was a little chunky but filtered just fine
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2 archives
Jul 15 2017
toddak
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,044
 Triplogs 382

54 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 15 2017
toddak
Hiking21.50 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking21.50 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   2.26 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
NOBO, Allen Lake to Pinegrove
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Jun 25 2017
writelots
avatar

 Guides 19
 Routes 38
 Photos 5,577
 Triplogs 337

46 female
 Joined Nov 22 2005
 Tucson, AZ
Happy Jack - AZT #28Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 25 2017
writelots
Backpack42.90 Miles 2,600 AEG
Backpack42.90 Miles3 Days         
2,600 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Did a quickie last minute type backpack on the Happy Jack and Mormon Lake Passages as part of our efforts to plan work events in the area. We've gotten 2 grants that will allow us to move lots of the trail that's currently on old forest roads off the road and onto brand-new single track. Exciting! After three days of walking through the pondorosa (pondo, pondo, pondo, pondo) my feet were a little flatter and my appreciation for the desert was heightened. I love the forest - but give me the sweeping views across barren peaks any day!

The trip was made easier by arranging for trading-shuttles with my co-worker and fellow trail nerd, Zach McDonald. He rode both passages on his mountain bike in 1 day. Can't say that sounds fun, but it is more efficient for scouting a long, flat passage!

We found water in nearly every tank even though it was a hot June. Overall the trail is very easy to follow, well marked and clear tread. The gnarly places were few, but there's clearly some work to be done on maintaining the existing single-track as well as building new. I thought the Mormon Lake passage was prettier - with more meadows and occasional glimpses out of the trees. Finished up the trip with a big dinner at the Mormon Lake Lodge.

This was the final trip for my trusty Warbonnet Blackbird hammock. I ordered a new one, though...seven tough years is a GREAT run!
Flora
Flora
Showy Milkweed
Fauna
Fauna
Leopard Frog
Named place
Named place
Pine Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max 9486J Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Allan Lake Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bargaman Park Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Clear and cool - tempting for a swim!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Gonzales Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Maxie Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
Murky and green

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pine Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Beautiful and clear!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Shuffs Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
A little more murky

dry Waldroup Tank Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Wild Horse Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
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-----------------------------------
It troubles me that these days no matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up
- Lilly Tomlin
1 archive
Jun 02 2017
kaiboxer
avatar

 Photos 3
 Triplogs 19

45 male
 Joined Sep 12 2006
 Phoenix, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 02 2017
kaiboxer
Backpack21.00 Miles
Backpack21.00 Miles2 Days         
36 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike was great, but a little warm doing it in July. We started at the Gooseberry springs trail head around 11 am with the plan of getting to Navajo Springs (~8 miles) for the night and to refill water. Nice WARM hike to the spring, very little water at the spring, just a drip out of the pipe that took us an hour to fill 3 gallons of water. We went back up the trail about 500 feet to an established camp off the trail in a meadow and spent the night. Fire restrictions were in place, so the night sky was Really clear.

Day two we got a late start on the morning, and headed down to the Lodge to get water instead of waiting the hour at the spring again. We happened to catch the Fourth of July parade on July 1st at 11 am. After a short break in town, we angled back to the trail and continued on to Dairy Springs Campground where when refilling our water we decided we stay at the campground and take advantage of unlimited water, a picnic table, and vault toilets for the night ($20).

On the trail by 8:30 am and done at the Pine Grove Campground TH before 11:30 am. Very nice end to the hike, very level and mostly downhill for the last 7 miles.

Note: The Mormon Lake Loop of the AZ Trail now ends at Mayflower Springs (most have missed them) and much of the last 7 miles was on what is now the Anderson Mesa Passage of the AZ Trail.
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1 archive
Jul 23 2016
screeslider526
avatar

 Triplogs 46

67 female
 Joined Jun 24 2015
 Tucson, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2016
screeslider5267
Hiking14.80 Miles 1,095 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles
1,095 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wound up sleeping in cars rather than setting up tents since it was wet and rainy, especially toward the end of the day. Started Thursday with just 2 of us and ended with 3 of us on Saturday. Started the first day at Double Springs CG and did 5+ miles from Weiner Springs Rd. finishing just as the torrent began. Got to help out a guy and his dog who got seriously caught in that downpour. Slept that night in cars again near Weiner Springs trail junction...the mosquitos were oppressive. Up at 4:30 the next morning and hit the trail SOBO by 6 am., traveling Marshall Lake back to Weiner Springs junction. Ran across what must have been a pack of Boy Scouts carrying massive amounts of gear and dangling gallons of water jugs from their packs. I had my bright orange rain poncho on because rain had started to pick up just a bit beyond light sprinkle -- and I looked like a big ol' pumpkin. Last night, car camped at Gooseberry TH and met a new hiking buddy who traveled from Tucson late the night before. Saturday morning the 3 of us drove up to Double Springs CG and hiked SOBO back to Gooseberry.
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Jul 21 2016
sandyfortner
avatar

 Photos 888
 Triplogs 61

63 female
 Joined Mar 16 2009
 apache junction,
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2016
sandyfortner
Hiking33.40 Miles
Hiking33.40 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
WanderingWildcat
2 of us had planned to backpack this, but with the weather moving in each afternoon, decided to car camp each day instead. Made it up to passage 30 around 9ish on Thursday. By the time we accepted that backpacking would probably subject us to lightning each day, and then sorted out what we could get done that day, it was 10:30. We left a vehicle at Double Springs CG and drove up to Weiner Springs Rd. and knocked out that 5+miles, arriving at our vehicle MINUTES before the sky let loose!! As we pulled out on Lake Mary Rd., we saw a guy and his dog - with no rain protection - standing under a tree. Swung around and picked them up. The guy was grateful but the dog was ecstatic!! Took them down by their camp and waited for the rain to let up before letting them go on their way. To save time and dealing with wet gear, we both decided to sleep in our vehicles in a nice camping spot just up the road from Weiner Springs trail junction. Up at 4:30 the next morning and headed to Marshall Lake. Hit the trail SOBO at 6 am. Had a beautiful day hiking back to Weiner Springs junction. Quite surprised and pleased to see most of the earthen tanks full or at least with accessible water. Lots of cows along the mesa but the tanks didn't look too awfully awful. Saw a post-looking structure off trail and had to go look at what it was. Still don't know, but as soon as I trekked over to check it out, realized it was the same tube / plastic bag collection post that Tibber had queried about in her previous post. Enjoyed seeing the old railroad remains and reading the interpretive signs. It's nice to have some information when one comes across old or abandoned relics. A few sprinkles caught us before we made it back to the vehicle, but nothing much - certainly not like the day before! Retrieved our other vehicle from Marshall Lake and headed to Flag to gas up, have some yummy food and wander around REI before heading out to camp at Gooseberry TH. We were joined by another hiker who drove MILES and arrived around 11:30 pm, just to get up at 4:30 and hit the trail!! Wow! Saturday morning the 3 of us drove up to Double Springs CG and hiked SOBO back to Gooseberry, heading out at 5:30. Another beautiful morning! On the way we saw elk and deer. Saw 1 turkey on the trail, horseback riders, hikers and bikers. Easily made it back to the vehicles before the afternoon storms and decided to save the planned backpack of Happy Jack for another time when we would not have to worry about lightning.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Some areas were lighter than others. Lupine, Indian Paintbrush and many others out.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Allan Lake Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
Maybe more water than that. Healthy stand of pond reeds surround much of the tank, hiding actual water levels, but definitely accessible water.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horse Lake 1-25% full 1-25% full
2 water sources side by side. Larger one that is fenced has accessible water but is low. Still, water could be retrieved. Smaller one next to it that isn't fenced was probably 25 - 50% full.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mormon Canyon Tank One 26-50% full 26-50% full

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Prime Lake 1-25% full 1-25% full
Didn't hike over to edge, but had visible and accessible water - even if it meant wet feet to get it.
_____________________
:M2C: Goldilocks
Jul 09 2016
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 556
 Photos 25,009
 Triplogs 822

63 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Anderson Mesa - AZT #30Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 09 2016
tibber
Hiking11.16 Miles 760 AEG
Hiking11.16 Miles   6 Hrs   11 Mns   2.64 mph
760 ft AEG   1 Hour   57 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Dairy Springs to Mormon Canyon Tank. Was supposed to be a backpack of AZT 28 but other plans got in the way so this was Plan B. We shuttled to Mormon Canyon Tank to leave Tonto Jr on 129A and took Shawn's truck to Dairy Springs Campground TH where we started.

After about 3/4 mile of a slight climb you get from the TH parking to the AZT 30 and for us we turned right (NW) to head on down the trail. We walked thru lots of forest and thru lots of gates and Shawn sawed through 12 logs (some requiring two cuts). The girls assisted and did some sawing and helped to move the logs off the trail. I brot out the umbrella to provide the person sawing (mostly Shawn of course) some shade. Shawn thot this was a little much but we insisted ;) .

The trail seems to be in very nice shape and not much in the way of elevation change. Following and some times walking on the railroad grade is pretty cool. There are still many old wooden tree ties and many spikes still tucked into them. You can see where the bridges were. The rock-piled grade was quite impressive.

Part of the trail past the Horse Lake TH actually has gravel on it as you climb up to the Mesa. The road walk to the Tank is pretty too because of the wide open views. It was a very nice day as the breezes kept up for most of our hike. We took two 10 minute breaks after lunch for the last 5 1/2 miles. We saw two bikers at the beginning of our trek, another hiker about 1/4 of the way and two horse back riders where we had stopped for lunch. Now all we have left is from Mormon Canyon Tank to Marshall Lake and we'll finish off Passage 30.

On our way back to pick up Shawn's truck, we stopped at Horse Lake TH along 82E (which is not at Horse Lake) to do our 22 push-ups (support https://www.22kill.com) and recruited Tracy for the cause (we made Shawn film it). Ambika joined me the night before. We finished off our day with an early dinner at Mormon Canyon Lodge.

The video lighting will probably not be the best thru the forest as the pictures were a bit of a struggle to edit out the white out areas (HATE that!).
Arizona Trail Passage 30 – from Dairy Springs northbound, a lot of sawing going on [ youtube video ]
Part 2: [ youtube video ] to the rock railroad grade
Part 3: [ youtube video ]
Part 4: [ youtube video ] from the meadow to the tank
Culture
Culture
Trail Maintenance
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
4 archives
Jul 09 2016
desertgirl
avatar

 Guides 20
 Routes 1
 Photos 3,098
 Triplogs 424

female
 Joined Mar 31 2002
 Chandler, AZ
AZT #30 Dairy Springs to Mormon Cany Tank, AZ 
AZT #30 Dairy Springs to Mormon Cany Tank, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 09 2016
desertgirl
Hiking11.16 Miles 760 AEG
Hiking11.16 Miles   6 Hrs   11 Mns   2.64 mph
760 ft AEG   1 Hour   57 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
Paintninaz
Sredfield
tibber
Tracking AZT
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Jun 11 2016
ttretta
avatar

 Photos 55
 Triplogs 28

54 female
 Joined Jul 28 2015
 Gilbert, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 11 2016
ttretta
Backpack33.40 Miles
Backpack33.40 Miles2 Days         
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had a bit of a late start when I was dropped off at Gooseberry Springs TH Saturday morning at 8:30. Stopped at Navajo Springs for a water break. There was a very smelly dead rodent right next to the water spigot, and a dead bird near it. That worried me a bit as to the quality of the water, but had faith in my trusty sawyer mini. That was a really beautiful spot. Hiked to Double Springs campground when the sky opened up and dumped hail for a couple of minutes. Broke out the trekking umbrella to continue on to Dairy Springs, but it didn't rain again until Saturday night, after I set up my campsite there. I was a bit surprised they charge the full $18 for a walk-in campsite there, thinking they may give hikers a break (silly me). But it was a pleasant night there. Packed up my wet tent and started off at 6 am. I looked for Mayflower Spring, but couldn't find it. I seem to have a knack for missing water sources. The highlight of the trip was the logging railroad remnants. I thoroughly enjoyed that. Then to the uneventful trek across Anderson Mesa, which was extremely windy, followed by the pleasant Horse Lake. I was hoping to finish out the hike by 5:00, so didn't spend any time there. Perkins telescope was a treat - hadn't seen that before. Ran into two men on horseback coming southbound, but other than that, didn't see any other people on the trail, except a few day hikers near Pine Grove Campground. Got to Marshall Lake trailhead by 4:30. Was a slow tough day dealing with some hip issues, but overall a very pleasant trip.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Navajo Spring Dripping Dripping
_____________________
1 archive
Jun 01 2016
DallinW
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 105
 Photos 1,740
 Triplogs 228

27 male
 Joined Feb 26 2015
 Gilbert AZ
AZT: Mormon Lake to Utah, AZ 
AZT: Mormon Lake to Utah, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 01 2016
DallinW
Backpack260.25 Miles 25,126 AEG
Backpack260.25 Miles17 Days         
25,126 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
I'm not even sure how to approach a trip log of this magnitude, so I'll try to keep it short and focus on the highlights/lowlights.

The hike took place between May 31st and June 16th. We had 2 zero days (one in Flagstaff, one in Tusayan), and one "nero" out of Tusayan. We averaged 25 - 30 miles a day, except for in the Grand Canyon. This trip started out with a few hiccups (feet, gear, fires, heat...) but after Tusayan we had the kinks worked out and I felt like a well oiled long distance hiking machine.

Hightlights

Humphrey's Summit Side Trip
We decided to include a side trip to Humphrey's Peak. It was a great way to escape the hottest part of the first weekend and let things cool down below 9000ft, even if the summit was swarming with gnats and people. :) On the way back down, I met @joebartels and @the_eagle. Very cool! Nice to have met you both!

Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim was AMAZING. The scenery had my jaw on the ground nearly the entire time! I was extremely nervous about doing this passage in June and thought it was nearly impossible to score walk-in permits, but the stars aligned and we had no issues grabbing permits for both campgrounds.

We did it over 3 days to beat the heat, camping at Bright Angel and Cottonwood campgrounds, moving only between the hours of 5am - 9am. Soaking in Bright Angel Creek made the heat tolerable, and it was a nice change of pace compared to the 25 - 30 mile days we were doing above the rims.

One of the rangers issuing the permits gave us some dire warnings about "130 degrees in the sun", and how "nobody has fun down there this time of year." I even asked him about soaking in the creek to ward off the heat and he made it sound like it was only mildly effective. Contrary to what he said, it probably never got above 105 in the sun and sitting in the creek was actually extremely relaxing.

We took the short side trip to Ribbon Falls and it was totally worth it. What a neat little oasis in the canyon! We saw a beaver in the creek between Bright Angel and Cottonwood campgrounds, I never expected to see that.

The climb out of the Canyon from Cottonwood to the North Rim was well graded, and we topped out in about 2 hours 45 mins.

There is definitely a lot more Grand Canyon hiking in my future come fall/winter/spring.

North Rim + Kaibab Plateau
It was so nice to get a break from the hot temperatures when we topped out on the North Rim. They didn't last for long, though. As soon as we were back down around 7000 ft it was getting warm again.

The aspen and fir lined meadows were also a nice change of scenery. Easy going, dreamy hiking. It was also cool starting the day at Cottonwood and within a few hours being in a drastically different environment.

We ran out of food just before highway 89A, so we went in to Jacob Lake for a small resupply and also had a great breakfast at the restaurant. We probably had less than 2000 calories per day from the North Rim to Jacob Lake, needless to say the hiker hunger was strong when we reached Jacob Lake.

Finishing the AZT
Damn did it feel good. :)


Lowlights

Feet Issues
On day one I had a nasty blister form on the bottom of my foot due to AZ rocks tearing up the tread on my one month old Altra shoes. When we reached Flagstaff I initially tried to remedy the problem by buying thicker insoles (SuperFeet) for my shoes and taping up my foot with climbing tape. I was apprehensive about getting new shoes because I've always had issues with breaking in new shoes, even trail runners. The tape and thicker insoles worked for about half of a day. I think the tape actually might have made matters worse. I decided the next day after leaving Flag to hitch back into town from Snowbowl Rd in order to pop the blister and let it heal with a zero day. We got a ride by the first vehicle that I thumbed!

Popping the blister and staying off of it for a day helped, but after our Humphrey Summit and a couple more days of hiking the blister was back with a vengeance by the time we reached the Babbit Ranch passage. I was very nervous about going forward from Babbit Ranch because it would mean committing to about 60 miles before any relief in Tusayan. I nearly walked out to the highway from the TH and called for pickup. But after sleeping on it, I sucked it up and continued. Eventually, after hiking on it for another 40 miles, it stopped hurting so much.

When we reached Tusayan I decided to bite the bullet and take a shuttle back to Flagstaff to get some new shoes. I bought some Brooks Cascadia 11's, swapped out the insoles with the SuperFeet I bought, and never had a single foot issue the rest of the trip. :)

Gear Issues
Sleeping pad got punctured and I lost my sunglasses the very first night. These items were replaced on the first visit to REI in Flag. Somewhere along the way, the "stay bar" in my backpack ripped through the bottom of my pack again and went missing.

Fires
The nearby fires on the rim made the miles into Flagstaff smokey. It was particularly bad on the second day when we woke up at the Horse Mesa Trailhead with thick smoke to hike through til Marshall Lake. Those were some lightheaded, oxygen deprived miles.

Heat
When I planned this trip, I expected the highs to be in the high 70s to low 80s, actual highs were in the high 80s to low 90s for the entire trip, expect for the North Rim and Kaibab Plateau South & Central passages. As expected, it reached low triple digits in the Grand Canyon. We combated the heat by taking a long 2 hour break during the hottest part of the day under a cedar or pine. If there was a good enough breeze, usually we could still hike in the heat. We were also consuming up to 2 gallons of water a day.

Final AZT Thoughts

In my opinion, the Grand Canyon takes the cake for the most scenic passage of the trail. That being said, I believe that below the Mogollon Rim the AZT is way more scenic per-mile than on top of the plateau. It's easy to keep motivated below the Rim when you're getting drowned in gorgeous wide open views in every direction, and hard to keep motivated above the Rim when all you're seeing most of the day is the next ponderosa or ceder 10 yards ahead of you. Just my opinion, though.

AZ rocks with eat up your shoes.

If I was to ever attempt a thru-hike of the trail, I would most likely start in the early fall and head south. The terminus in Utah isn't a terrible place to end, but Miller Peak and Mexico would have been a much grander ending.
Culture
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HAZ - Hike HAZard
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2 archives
Dec 22 2015
Sredfield
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 Joined Sep 08 2002
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
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Sredfield
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"nuther gate, this one in the right-of-way fence on the east side of Lake Mary Road. Same basic drill but with winter added in. We'll go back when the snow is gone for a few finishing touches.
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Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
1 archive
Oct 24 2015
Sredfield
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 Joined Sep 08 2002
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
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Sredfield
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The usual suspects installed AZT super-gate numbers 22 and 23 today at the Lake Mary Road crossing. The usual drill; removal of the old structures on the west side was bit much but all went well. The group convened to the restaurant at Mormon Lake Lodge for lunch, then headed home. My condolences and extreme appreciation for their drive from TUCSON.

Conversation in the car on the way back to Pine:
Me: God I love this country up here; sure doesn’t look like what you think of when you think of Arizona. Ya just think of desert and whack-job politicians when ya think of Arizona. We could do something about the politicians but probably not the desert.

David: I think it would be easier to do something about the desert.
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Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
2 archives
Aug 01 2015
garyc57
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62 male
 Joined Mar 20 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 01 2015
garyc57
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles   2 Hrs   50 Mns   2.12 mph
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Back in June 2014, I hiked the Mormon Lake Segment, #30, of the Arizona Trail (AZT). At that time, they were doing forest thinning operations on part of the trail near Mormon Lake Lodge, and I was forced to bypass 5 miles of that segment. Well, we finally got 'er done!

The plan was for my trail angel, sweetheart and wife (all the same person! :lol: ) to drop me off at the horse corrals near Mormon Lake Lodge, then drive on to Double Springs Campground, and walk up the AZT to meet me, then we'd walk back to the campground together.

We arrived at the lodge shortly before 8:00, suited up, and started hiking.

Just behind the High Mountain Trail Rides offices, there is a kiosk, showing the Mormon Lake area, and the numerous trails one can hike. I was surprised to see the AZT NOT listed. Hmmm... I noticed a "Lake View Trail" going east out of Double Springs campground. I warned my wife, that if the AZT wasn't clearly marked, to NOT continue following this "Lake View Trail". No telling where she would have ended up. My wife later reported that the AZT was VERY clearly marked where it left the Lake View Trail. She had no problems at all seeing the junction.

It was bit hard figuring out which of the numerous trails behind the offices was the right one. I took a guess, trying to remember the trail I had followed two years ago, and got the right one.

My wife walked with me a short ways, then returned to the car. It's always nice to hike with her.

The morning was overcast, which made for a nice hike. My only wish was for a bit of a breeze. Today, there was no breeze at all, and we sweated - a lot!

The entire day, the trail was easy to follow. I don't believe I looked at my GPS for trail reference at all.

Once or twice, the AZT crosses a forest road, but the trail is clearly marked with carsonites and/or rock cairns.

About 2.4 miles from the end of the trail, I saw my sweetheart hiking towards me! WOW! That was fast! She's getting to be a pretty good hiker!

We got a tiny bit of rain a couple of times. Just a bit of a nuisance. Nothing major.

We passed several burn sites - apparently where they burned the thinning they had done.

The trail stewards have done an excellent job in marking where the trail enters and leaves the forest roads. They've laid branches across the road to "herd" the hikers off the road and onto the trail.

We were hiking along one of those roads, when my wife lets out a scream, and jumps about 3 feet into the air! She almost stepped on a horny toad. She wanted to pick him up, and I wanted a picture. She let me take the picture.

All in all, a great day for hiking, great company, and a great trail.
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Sep 06 2014
BiFrost
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49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2014
BiFrost
Hiking34.42 Miles 1,789 AEG
Hiking34.42 Miles   12 Hrs   17 Mns   3.06 mph
1,789 ft AEG   1 Hour   1 Min Break
 
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Early start to get this hike in with shuttle added. We left a vehicle at Marshall Lake end point and then drove to the southern end Mormon Lake AZT #30 at Gooseberry turnoff. Finally off and hiking at 715 and within the first mile we made a mistake missing a turn and adding an extra mile to the hike. Back on track we kept a quick pace as small arms fire echoed throughout the forest. This continued for about first 6 or 7 miles until we were closer to south side of Mormon Lake. Once the trail gets closer to Mormon Lake it moves away from Lake Mary Road and traverses the west side of the lake.

First break at mile 13 near Double Springs campground recharging a bit before continuing the west side traverse. As we hiked around to north side of the lake things start to open up with some nice meadows. Around mile 18 we came across the old railroad grade which was apparently in operation from 1923 to 1927. Besides the meadows we thought this was the coolest part of this AZT section.

At mile 23 the trail crosses back over to the east side of Lake Mary Road and then immediately climbs up on Anderson Mesa. Once on top the trail joins a road which it follows for 4.5 miles. We were able to knock out these miles pretty quickly before it turns back to single track at mile 28. We made mile 31 by sunset and took one last break before finishing the last 3 miles. Had to hike last 30 minutes in the dark but not bad considering the mileage. Definitely one of the easier sections of AZT with the middle section from about mile 14 to mile 23 being the most interesting.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horse Lake 1-25% full 1-25% full
looked like decent water for filtering
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Sep 06 2014
slowandsteady
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 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Mormon Lake - AZT #29Camp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2014
slowandsteady
Hiking34.42 Miles 1,789 AEG
Hiking34.42 Miles   12 Hrs   17 Mns   3.06 mph
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Due to the length of the hike, the drive and setting up the shuttle, we left for Flagstaff at 4:30am. We left a car at the Marshall Lake Trailhead and then drove down to Gooseberry Trailhead to start our hike at 7:15am.

We had on HAZ Tracks today to try and keep ourselves (me) from dropping to a real slow pace. Karl thought we could keep at 20 minutes and not get up to 25.

Around mile two we followed a road instead of looking for carsonite signs and added an extra mile to our day. For the next 10 miles we listened to gunfire and the sound of ATV's. Two trail runners made laps around us. The cows in this area seem extra skittish.

We stopped for lunch at mile 13 just before Double Springs Campground. It's hard to lunch knowing you still aren't even halfway. Continuing on, Double Springs Campground was surprisingly deserted, it seemed like a pleasant area. The three miles along the old railroad were a highlight. It was a peaceful walk in the pines, the gunfire had stopped and we came upon a small herd of elk and then later a few deer.

As we crossed Lake Mary Road, HAZ Tracks flipped over 23 miles. I declared break time, but Karl said there would be less mosquitos if we got up Anderson Mesa first. Hmmmm, highly suspect. We did get a little break on top and as we neared a dirt road we saw the only sign for Marshall Lake which said 9.7 miles to go! Whoo hoo. We walked the dirt road for about 4.5 miles and even clocked a 16 minute mile at 26! That road was in great shape and the end was near.

The AZT book says Horse Lake is mostly dry, but it looked like it was a wildlife refuge and we saw flocks of ducks.

Turning off the road back onto trail, you realize the road was very spoiling. The trail was easy to follow but the cows had beat it up while it was wet. It was rough on the tender feet bottoms. The cows over here were skittish too. No one wanted their picture taken.

At mile 31 I got one more real brief break. The mosquitos were relentless. At mile 32 we turned on the headlamps. We could just make out the water in Prime Lake and see the Observatory. There was one car in the parking lot and as we searched for the carsonite sign, we woke up a guy sleeping next to his car.

It was about a mile down to FR 128 and then it was a cruise down the road to the end! We did manage to end up with a 3 mph pace, thanks to the lack of elevation and excellent trail/road conditions.
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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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