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Black River - Mainstem - 8 members in 24 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jul 28 2018
RickVincent
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 Guides 4
 Routes 5
 Photos 3,351
 Triplogs 649

49 male
 Joined Aug 20 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 28 2018
RickVincent
Hiking2.80 Miles
Hiking2.80 Miles   3 Hrs      0.93 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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Took the family out to the Black for some hiking and swimming. Parked at Wildcat Bridge and made our way up river. Swam and jumped off rocks at a nice little hole about 0.5 miles in. We caught some isolated rain showers afterwards. Nothing to complain about since we were already wet from the swim. Returned to car as it approached 1pm and we had to be back at the cabin to meet up with some friends.
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This is my gym. I have to travel down a bumpy road to get there. There are no treadmillls, no machines, and no personal trainers. I walk..I run..I breathe the fresh air. I can go any time I want, as much as I want and there is no membership fee.
Jul 06 2018
lhalloran
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 Photos 9
 Triplogs 4

25 male
 Joined May 09 2018
 Phoenix, Arizona
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 06 2018
lhalloran
Hiking13.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles
500 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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Started our day on 7/6/18 at the Wildcat bridge and set off downstream for a long weekend of camping and enjoying the outdoors. The trail was quickly lost on several occasions, much of it was massively overgrown. It is clear that the trail from the Wildcat bridge heading downstream has not been a popular spot for a long time for anything other than the wild horses. Didn't encounter any critters other than the horses and a few squirrels. Good amount of crayfish in the river.

River was beautiful and we made a campsite a good distance downstream. If you are planning on doing this, though, bring a machete.
Sep 02 2017
MountainMatt
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 Guides 3
 Routes 192
 Photos 2,791
 Triplogs 443

27 male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2017
MountainMatt
Hiking4.21 Miles 389 AEG
Hiking4.21 Miles
389 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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Checked out a few different parts of the Rio Negro over the course of a few days so I'm just combining it into one.
Dropped straight down into a drainage not far from Loggers Bog, the area was ravished by the Wallow Fire but it is steadily rejuvenating with a lot of young aspens growing on the hillsides. Steep getting down and lots of deadfall but all in all not bad that bad, the river gorge in that area is deep, downright awesome and worth the effort.

The following day I checked out a pristine little section off of FR 25 and wandered around there marking out campsites for future visits along with visiting one I labeled on the map long ago.
Later that day the group I and hit up Buffalo Crossing and while the rest of the gang enjoyed happy hour I walked down the East Fork about a mile and snagged a bit of the only decent sunset of the weekend!

This was my first time even seeing the Black River and I find such a connection with this impressive area of Arizona!
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Aug 19 2017
brademan76
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 Photos 18
 Triplogs 1

33 male
 Joined Aug 03 2018
 LAVEEN
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 19 2017
brademan76
Backpack12.00 Miles 500 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles   30 Hrs      0.40 mph
500 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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Jumped off around Wildcat bridge and backpacked downstream with my wife and 2 larger dogs. Lots of river crossings. As has been mentioned, the trail can be lost here and there due to less traffic on this section of the trail. Saw some bighorn sheep, a couple of deer, and flushed a couple coveys of mearns quail. No bears as I was hoping to see.

Enjoyed fishing the river, caught browns and a couple apaches/rainbows (can't be sure) as well as a couple smallmouth.

We overnighted a mile or a bit more from the reservation line- next time we'll make it all the way to the line, but it started getting pretty steep and cliffed out, plus we were tired from a full day of hiking an fishing. Really enjoyable in and back overnight trek. Will return.

Looks like the Rattlesnake fire (April 2018) may have affected this area... anyone have any reports from the fire-mapped area since then?
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5740/

Culture
Culture
Campsite
Sep 25 2015
ADGibson
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 Photos 2
 Triplogs 3

48 male
 Joined Jul 11 2003
 Phoenix, AZ
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 25 2015
ADGibson
Backpack3.50 Miles 900 AEG
Backpack3.50 Miles
900 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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Back in the saddle after more then 10 years!!

Took my girlfriend for her first backpacking trip. We planned for two nights, but equipment failure forced us to leave a day early. Went southwest of the bridge. Crossing was very difficult due to heavy flow. Managed to cross twice and even caught two trout on spoons. Plan to do this trip again next year.
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Jul 21 2015
ALMAL
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 Routes 7
 Photos 1,929
 Triplogs 173

54 male
 Joined Oct 17 2010
 GILBERT
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Fly Fishing avatar Jul 21 2015
ALMAL
Fly Fishing5.00 Miles 900 AEG
Fly Fishing5.00 Miles
900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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I have been wanting to get to this area for a long time. Plan was to park at Wildcat Bridge, hike and camp upstream for two nights, car camp the third, then hike and camp downstream from bridge on fourth night. The weather was clear, but the damage had been done. The Black river was actually chocolate colored. I hiked upstream to the first mandatory crossing and it was a no go for me. The strange combination of white water but too dark to see the bottom, was enough for me to think twice, actually four times... I spent the next three days driving to other spots in the area, Buffalo Crossing. West Fork, Three Forks, and Big Lake. Each morning I checked the river level at Wildcat bridge and it never changed one bit. I chose this month because the fishing report said "with increased turbidity fishing should improve". I did manage to catch a few browns in the west fork, it was much more clear than the east fork or mainstem. I found a decent car camping spot off of 25 on 72 (north) just about a half mile off of 25. Camped there two nights. Friday I decided to bail for Horton Creek.
All in all, it was worth the trip to get an idea of the roads, creeks, camps, etc... in the area for future trips. Although I can probably drive to Albuquerque faster.
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Jul 04 2014
chicarex
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 Photos 61
 Triplogs 7

49 male
 Joined Apr 05 2011
 mesa, az
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2014
chicarex
Hiking1.00 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles   1 Hour      1.00 mph
900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
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4th of July hike and maybe a little fly fishing is what we hoped for on this overnight trip. What we found was a lot of traffic just trying to get away and the beginning of the monsoon's. The dogs, wife & I had breakfast at basecamp (my toy hauler parked east of Heber)then headed east towards Big Lake to do the Thompson trail hike that midday before our final destination of West Fork Black river. The parade was just letting out in Show Low and ended taking about an hour and a half to get thru town. Getting to the Thompson trailhead, we were just in time for the afternoon showers, so after waiting to see if the weather would pass we decided just to head over to the Black River. The rain was just as bad there, so we set up our camp at the trailhead parking lot and waited it out.

It rained all night, but finally stopped in the morning. So we geared up and were preparing to hike all day. We were not sure to start heading east or west, everything was so brushy and "thick". There was a fairly new looking trail sign that was pointing us east, so that is the way we went. The river seamed to be flowing well, but along the bank and the trail everything was so thick. Tried the fly rod a few places where I could get in between the brush, but no luck. The trail seemed to end about a mile in, died into a big canyon wall. We back tracked to see if the trail crossed the river at some point but did not find anything. We were bummed it only went in that far, but decided to go back and try the west route. The west route was worse than the way we had just come from. After passing under the bridge there was no sign of a trail. It was just to thick, especially for the dogs. So we decided to load up and head back and do that Thompson trail hike, the sun was out and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day.

Pulled up to the trailhead and there had to be 15 to 20 cars parked there. Oh why cant I get away from the crowds UGH! Oh well, let's do this. Turned out to be a very nice "picturesque" hike. Reminded me of the Mount Baldy hike. Went in a few miles, very well established trail and an old jeep trail up top above the river, 2 choices both very easy. Thru the fly rod in a few times and stopped to have lunch by the river and just enjoyed the time with the family. There was a monsoon cloud forming above us so we decided to head back after lunch, instead of doing the whole way. I think I convinced the wife to do her 1st backpacking trip with me after doing this one. Maybe Mt. Baldy!
Fauna
Fauna
Dog
Named place
Named place
Black River - Mainstem
Meteorology
Meteorology
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_____________________
Jul 12 2013
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 365
 Photos 4,732
 Triplogs 720

66 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flag-summer-Need
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 12 2013
azbackpackr
Backpack14.51 Miles 2,497 AEG
Backpack14.51 Miles1 Day   18 Hrs   54 Mns   
2,497 ft AEG
 
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Athena
mountainlaurel57
Starting at Wildcat Crossing bridge, (FR 25) we hiked downstream, setting up a base camp for two nights. This was a fantastic trip, and it's going to take me a while to post up everything. We swam, explored and laughed ourselves silly. There were five of us women on the trip. On the second day we hiked downstream but didn't quite reach the reservation boundary. We lucked out that it didn't rain. It spit on us for a few minutes, but the rain stayed upstream, causing the river to rise a little bit overnight. However, the crossings were rarely more than knee deep. I lost count of crossings. We probably crossed more than 20 to 25 times during the course of the weekend, which is why I always call my trips to this place "The Black River Wade."

I'll be back again to explore more sections, since this is just about my favorite place in Arizona other than Grand Canyon.

Note: My camera battery died. Some of the photos are mine, others are Deb's, Laurel's and Patty's.
Flora
Flora
Butterfly Weed
Culture
Culture
Campsite
Named place
Named place
Black River - Mainstem
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Lots of monsoon flowers coming out now!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Conklin Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Snake Creek Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jul 07 2013
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 365
 Photos 4,732
 Triplogs 720

66 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flag-summer-Need
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2013
azbackpackr
Hiking7.00 Miles 451 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
451 ft AEG
 
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HAZ - Event
Scouting out the area downstream of Wildcat Crossing Bridge (FR 25) since I am leading a backpacking trip there next weekend. It sure is a super area! Looked for campsites and swimming holes, and found both. The river was mud-colored due to runoff from the Wallow Fire areas. Not much is burned down in this stretch--it's mostly all upstream.
Culture
Culture
Cairn

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Conklin Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
May 24 2013
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 365
 Photos 4,732
 Triplogs 720

66 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flag-summer-Need
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar May 24 2013
azbackpackr
Backpack13.40 Miles 750 AEG
Backpack13.40 Miles2 Days         
750 ft AEG
 
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TrailHappy
Wildcat Crossing Bridge (FR 25) upstream almost to Bear Creek.
Once again, the Black River delivers: beauty, solitude and isolation, wildlife, flowers, etc.
We spent only one night (having planned on two) due to a minor ailment (mine) and freezing temperatures at night (see ice on boots photo!! :o )

My friend, Petra from Yuma, and I drove to Wildcat Crossing Bridge and hiked up several miles and set up camp on one of the Black River's fine park-like flats. No campfires are allowed at this time, and we spent a rather chilly evening and cold night. The hiking (and wading!) itself was great, with new awe and wonder around every bend. At one point Petra spotted a large herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, about 18 of them! It appeared that they were waiting for us to get the heck out of there, (darned paparazzi), so they could approach the river for a drink of water.

On the second day we arose, finding ice on my boots. I was kind of sick (no I was NOT hung over, didn't even drink--maybe that's the problem!) But I recovered by about 10 a.m. and was able to have my breakfast. We decided to leave our backpacking gear and just day hike upstream a few more miles.

Our destination was Bear Creek, but once we had gotten fairly close to it we reached an area that had been rearranged by the Wallow Fire (on the south side of the river only) and I was a bit confused about where we were. Anyway, we were tired and ready to get back, so we turned around, hiked back to our big packs and headed for the car. All in all, a great overnight backpack, but could easily be done by a strong hiker in a day. We saw a total of 5 people, all of them fly fishermen standing thigh-deep in the river.

This area gets so little traffic that in the midsection there is almost no trail, and you have to watch for the big cairns to find the best places to cross the river. You have to cross the river many times, which is why I call it "The Black River Wade."
Culture
Culture
HAZ Gear
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Centerfire Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Fish Creek Light flow Light flow
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Apr 14 2013
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 365
 Photos 4,732
 Triplogs 720

66 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flag-summer-Need
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 14 2013
azbackpackr
Hiking1.00 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles
200 ft AEG
 
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I hiked down the creek that runs off Becker Tanks, between Bear Creek and Beaver Creek. I parked right there at the T intersection where FR 26 hits FR 24.

FR 24 toward Bear Creek is gated off right now. I heard it's closed because they can't keep the landslides from happening, due to Wallow Fire erosion. I suppose you can walk into the area, but I saw enough recently fallen trees where I was hiking to make me pretty nervous about hiking in fire areas.

I had planned on hiking along the river, and brought my sandals for crossing it, but the water was running fairly fast and high, so that crossing it did not look like a safe proposition.

We'd had high winds for several days, and I noticed many live trees down, especially on the flats across the river. So, not just the trees from the fire are falling.

In the area where I hiked the fire damage is spotty but you can sure see where there was a lot of flooding after the fire.

A reminder, the Wallow Fire started Memorial Day weekend 2011, burned over 500,000 acres, and wasn't out until July.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max West Becker Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
May 29 2011
sirdubious
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 Routes 3
 Photos 157
 Triplogs 6

38 male
 Joined Oct 21 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar May 29 2011
sirdubious
Backpack
Backpack2 Days         
 
1st trip
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Started what we thought was going to be a 3 day trip...cut short due to the fire. We arrived at the 25 and Black River crossing on 5/28. Camped at Fish Creek confluence. Day two we day hiked upstream just short of Bear Creek. On our way back to camp we noticed smoke towards Bear Wallow. We decided to head out...turned out to be a goode decision. I am posting what might be the last photo set of this area for quite a while.

On a positive note, the drive and hike were great. plenty of creek crossings to cool down. Found a good swim hole and did some cliff jumping. Temperatures were perfect, wind was mild compared to what weather reports were anticipating. A shame we wont be returning any time soon.

GPS route will be posted once i clean it up a little.
_____________________
"I'm just a happy camper! Rockin' and a-rollin'!" - Patrick Bateman 2000
1 archive
Sep 18 2010
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 365
 Photos 4,732
 Triplogs 720

66 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flag-summer-Need
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 18 2010
azbackpackr
Backpack11.00 Miles 900 AEG
Backpack11.00 Miles2 Days         
900 ft AEG
 
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Went on a short overnight backpacking trip with people from White Mountain Conservation League, USFWS Mexican Wolf Recovery Project, TRACKS hiking club, and Defenders of Wildlife. We accessed the Black River via the Bear Creek Trail. The hike leader was Don Hoffman, who BUILT the Bear Creek Trail.

The purpose of the hike was to visit the site where Aldo Leopold killed a she-wolf in 1909 and wrote about it over 30 years later in A Sand County Almanac. He wrote that he "saw the dying green fire in her eyes" and as a result of his experience he began to change his perspective on predator control as a land management tool. Leopold is truly the father of modern conservation practices, having written textbooks on the topic. He is also revered as one of the most inspiring environmentalists of the past 100 years.

Because of recently found letters to his mother, pretty much the exact location where he shot the wolf has been found, over near the Caldwell Cabin. We hiked up-river, crossing many times, and then climbed the bluff (before reaching Beaver Creek) to the north side of the river. We then gathered at the bluff and took turns reading the essay "Thinking Like a Mountain" from the book. 10 backpackers attended, and 11 more day hikers arrived on Sunday for this very special event.

It was an interesting weekend, and a lot of fun, too.
Fauna
Fauna
Dog
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Sep 16 2010
Azbackcountry
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 Guides 2
 Routes 2
 Photos 502
 Triplogs 11

male
 Joined Sep 08 2008
 Az
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 16 2010
Azbackcountry
Backpack5.00 Miles 900 AEG
Backpack5.00 Miles5 Days         
900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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Headed out of the heat of Tucson and up to the cool breezes and weather of the white mtns. Long drive in to where we parked our trucks high up on a ridge and then grabbed our packs and headed down the ridge. Once we reached the bottom of the ridge we had lost close to 1300 ft, now we just followed the dry creek bed about a quarter of a mile out to the river where we crossed and then headed down river about a mile or so until we found a suitable place to pitch camp and call it home for the next 4 days. Plenty of great fishing the entire time, probably close to 80+ fish over the 5 days consisting of mostly rainbows, some browns, and quite a few small mouth. Saw plenty of white tail deer, heard some bull elk bugling, 2 bear, and a couple of bald eagle. Saw 1 other person out the entire time we were out there and both of us were very very surprised to see another person in the area.
Culture
Culture
Campsite
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
Sep 14 2010
cabel
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 Guides 4
 Photos 2,681
 Triplogs 395

55 male
 Joined Nov 13 2005
 Cave Creek, AZ
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 14 2010
cabel
Hiking4.00 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Flora
Flora
Blanketflower
_____________________
All who wander are not lost...just me.
Aug 19 2010
keepmoving
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 Guides 34
 Routes 208
 Photos 1,855
 Triplogs 519

33 male
 Joined Aug 16 2006
 Portland, OR
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 19 2010
keepmoving
Backpack2.00 Miles 900 AEG
Backpack2.00 Miles2 Days         
900 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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michellancholy
After backpacking at Wildcat crossing, we drove up to Buffalo Crossing to backpack downstream. Ended up hiking to the confluence of the East & West Forks of the Black River where we found a great campsite on a ridge above the river. Overnight temperatures were a little cooler than Wildcat crossing, but still very comfortable. Fishing not nearly as good as it was at Wildcat Crossing.
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Aug 19 2010
michellancholy
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 Guides 1
 Triplogs 54

34 female
 Joined Nov 11 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 19 2010
michellancholy
Backpack2.00 Miles 900 AEG
Backpack2.00 Miles2 Days         
900 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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keepmoving
This time from Buffalo Crossing. We headed to the confluence of the East and West Forks and set up camp on the ridge above. I didn't do much fishing here, but I did enjoy lounging on the clover covered banks of the West Fork while Rob fished. The trail seems easier to follow here and there was no need to wade, at least in the few miles we covered.

In the morning, we stuck to the ridge that we were camping on. It paralleled the East Fork and led us back to the truck. We also realized that there was a road up on the ridge that we could have used to access the confluence a little easier. There are just so many roads in this area that are not on maps or are unlabeled.
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Aug 18 2010
keepmoving
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 Guides 34
 Routes 208
 Photos 1,855
 Triplogs 519

33 male
 Joined Aug 16 2006
 Portland, OR
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 18 2010
keepmoving
Backpack1.50 Miles 900 AEG
Backpack1.50 Miles2 Days         
900 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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michellancholy
Overnight trip from Wildcat crossing upstream about 3/4 of a mile to a nice campground at a bend in the river. Thought it would rain, but it never happened, perfect weather the whole time. And good fishing too!
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Aug 18 2010
michellancholy
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 Guides 1
 Triplogs 54

34 female
 Joined Nov 11 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 18 2010
michellancholy
Backpack1.50 Miles 900 AEG
Backpack1.50 Miles2 Days         
900 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
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keepmoving
My first ever backpacking trip. We parked at Wildcat Crossing and made our way upstream. There was a bit more scrambling over rocks than we had anticipated in a few places where the trail got cliffed out, but we found a great, green, lush shady campsite about .75 miles in.
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Jul 18 2008
azbackpackr
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 Guides 26
 Routes 365
 Photos 4,732
 Triplogs 720

66 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flag-summer-Need
Black River - MainstemAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Jul 18 2008
azbackpackr
Backpack5.00 Miles 900 AEG
Backpack5.00 Miles2 Days         
900 ft AEG
 
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mikehikes
I call this one "The Black River Wade." Had fun with a small group on an easy backpacking trip. We camped two nights by the river, having accessed via Bear Creek Trail #66. We hiked upstream. After six or seven crossings we found the swimming hole I'd heard about, plus a rope bridge desperately in need of repair. Water was pretty cold. How come I'm the only one who ever swims these days?
Fauna
Fauna
Osprey
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
average hiking speed 0.97 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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