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Fish Creek Trail #60 - 1 member in 7 triplogs has rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 06 2020
RickVincent
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 5
 Photos 3,366
 Triplogs 680

51 male
 Joined Aug 20 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Fish Creek Trail #60Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2020
RickVincent
Hiking2.60 Miles
Hiking2.60 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Started from Wildcat Bridge. Hiked in about 1.3 miles, set up hammocks, then hiked out same way.
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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.
May 24 2010
big_load
avatar

 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

61 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Fish Creek Trail #60Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 24 2010
big_load
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   5 Hrs      1.80 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I started from the Hannagan Meadow campground and went to the big blowdown area and back. It was a gorgeous cool morning. Red-tailed hawks were soaring and woodpeckers flitted between the pines. There were still some patches of snow and the water was deep enough to get wet feet. The trail fades in and out along the creek, which I figure is how it's always been. It started getting warm on the way back up, and was downright hot by the time I was done, maybe 25 degrees warmer than the day before. Strawberries are starting to bloom and I saw a single iris just opening. Apart from dandelions and other little yellow flowers, that was about it.
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Jun 08 2009
wolfman
avatar

 Triplogs 1

55 male
 Joined Jun 08 2009
 Prescott,AZ
Black River-Wildcat Crossing, AZ 
Black River-Wildcat Crossing, AZ
 
Fishing avatar Jun 08 2009
wolfman
Fishing
Fishing2 Days         
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
An Arizona Fisherman’s Guide to a Great Weekend

The trouble with fishing Arizona lakes, at least on the weekends, is that you don’t get away from all those two-legged critters and the fish you’ll catch are all stockers. Maybe you’re still thinking about where to go fish without a crowd this weekend? No crowd means you have to work for it. Go try the Black River in Arizona’s White Mountains.

Yes it’s a drive, but if you want fine trout fishing and some peace, go to Wildcat Crossing in the Apache National Forest and start walking. The place is south and a bit west of Big Lake on forest road 25. Traveling either up or down river, you’ll find fine habitat and great scenery at a pleasant 7,000-foot elevation. Don’t forget your “water boots” as you’ll spend plenty of time crossing the river.

Upstream, where Fish creek joins the Black is a good spot to try. After all, it is called Fish creek. Often, some fish feed just down river as the creek spills some food into the bigger water. I’m mostly a spin-caster, but even I have taken fish on a fly rod at this spot. The farther up you walk, the narrower the gorge becomes and the fewer people you’ll see. The Black has cut through some substantial volcanic formations all along its way to meet the White River to form the Salt River.

Last spring, my wife and I took a few days backpack trip down river from Wildcat and had a very nice trip. Downstream is easy going for about three miles. You cross the river here and there and walk amongst some big Ponderosa pines upon the benches along the Black. In about two miles you hit a big bend in the river where the rock formations are quite stunning. The resulting pool is the size of a small pond. This is a fine spot to fish and even see some ducks. Great blue herons, ospreys and hawks are common along the Black. If you see a large raptor with a straight leading edge on its wing with rounded tips and a big white head and tail- then you’ve just seen a bald eagle.

I chose to fish farther down river, but there are plenty of good spots to fish without making an expedition out of your day. But, then again, what does the river hold farther down? Play it safe, tell them you’ll be back by dark. That way you have all day to enjoy a great place without being too rushed.

After the first three miles of easy walking, the route dances along the Black amongst rocks, willows and New Mexican locust trees. The route eventually becomes a traverse above the river. Soon it becomes a climb and then you’re on another bench looking down on the water. This process repeats as you hike farther down river.

Look for those bends where fast water dumps into a recovery pool. Throw your bait or lure in that fast water upstream and let it come down in a natural way to the pool. Let the water take it into that pool and wait for it- wham! There you go, bring ‘em in. Repeat. Move on to another pool once you spook them.

Tried and true bait includes nightcrawlers, grasshoppers and crickets. Panther-Martin #2 spinning lures work great as well. If you are playing catch and release, consider using barbless hooks to keep those fish healthy. It pays to keep an eye on your GPS unit’s “best” hunt/fish times based on the solunar tables, yes it really does work. Be stealthy in your approach to the river to fish it. Having the sun at your back and in the fish’s eyes also helps you see better and keep a darker profile to the fish.

If you go up to the Black River you’ll see a beautiful place that boasts some really good fishing. Keep an eye out for some elk, deer and black bear, as it’s their home. If you don’t see all sorts of hawks and some great blue herons, then try looking up from your fishing! Enjoy your trip, leave no trace and respect the land.
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Jul 01 2007
BelladonnaTook
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 Guides 12
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,291
 Triplogs 58

73 male
 Joined Aug 26 2002
 Lakeside, AZ
Fish Creek Trail #60Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 01 2007
BelladonnaTook
Hiking17.00 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   1.79 mph
1,100 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Trailhead access has changed since we last visited Fish Creek, and the changes are not reported at the Apache National Forest web site. At the lower (northern) end, FR 83 no longer exists; instead, if coming from Buffalo Crossing on FR 24 or from Highway 191 on FR 26, proceed 4.4 south on FR 24 from the intersection with FR 26, then turn west (right) on FR 24U. Stay with it until you reach the sign announcing the trailhead. To that point roads are good; after that, for the last half mile, high clearance is a good idea. The southern trailhead now is beside the store at Hannagan Meadow.

Saturday we started at the northern trailhead and hiked upstream to Hannagan Meadow. The area is dry - so dry that grass crunches underfoot - but gorgeous nonetheless and home to some really fine old growth timber. We met a family of five coming down to spend the night but no other hikers. The climb out of the canyon was brutal on a 90 degree day, and then the store had nothing but Bud in stock.

Relaxing later on the lodge porch, we observed three hot shot crews and several Forest Service vehicles driving south. Someone mentioned seeing smoke near the rim earlier in the day, then a patrolman arrived to announce the highway was closed, and conversation turned toward possibility/probability of evacution. We pondered the logistics of retrieving our vehicle, many miles to the north, if told to vacate at once. That thought might have oppressed us if we hadn't been distracted by deer frolicing in the meadow and watching from our bed a nearly full moon rise.

Sunday, still unevacuated, we hiked back down the creek. The sun light was tinged with smoke, and by midmorning we could see billows above the canyon rim. We encountered the family again - they said they had never camped before where they didn't hear other people. We didn't mention the register at the trailhead had only six entries for all of 2007. Saw a deer and a turkey, and arrived at our vehicle completely dehydrated.

We drove home via Big Lake and from the base of Rudd Knoll watched smoke rise from the now named Chitty Fire.

BTW Fishing is prohibited in Fish Creek.
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Apr 17 2006
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Fish Creek Trail #60Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking5.50 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles
1,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I led a hike here for the Southern Arizona Hiking Club in early June of 2004. It was just as this HAZ write-up describes. However our eventual destination was a deep swimming hole in the Black River, about 1/2 mile upstream of the confluence of Fish Creek and Black River.

The creek was running at a moderate flow when we were there, so no Tevas were necessary to cross it, just boulder hopping. We disturbed a bear within about 1/2 hour after starting the hike. It was down in the creek bottom and when it saw us it took off up a steep open hillside, giving us a view of its backside for about a minute or so. Those bears sure can run fast!

Last summer we went to the same swimming hole, but this time hiked down Black River from Bear Creek trailhead. Both hikes very easy and rewarding. You just feel like you are a million miles from anywhere.
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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.
Jun 30 2003
fatoldsun
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 Guides 1
 Photos 185
 Triplogs 20

66 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Glendale, AZ
Fish Creek Trail #60Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 30 2003
fatoldsun
Hiking5.50 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles   2 Hrs      2.75 mph
1,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After pulling into Hannagan Meadows Lodge and checking into our cabin, my son and I trekked off down this magical trail of which the trailhead was just behind our "Sprucedale" cabin before sunset. We were a little fearful because bears had been sighted in the area during the day but we always try to enter the wilderness as guests instead of adversaries. I took several picture, I will post a few after writing this and you will see what I mean.

Immediately upon hitting the trail from Hannagan Meadows, you head down, about a 20% grade into primitive untouched, uncleared forest. Along the way, there are at least 3 meadows after the grade levels off. Deer and elk are prevalent. The aroma of the untouched forest is rejuvenating and indescribable. When you reach a forest road, then you can hear and see fish creek. At the time it was very low. My son did manage to catch and release a small Apache trout in a hole he had found, as for me, I was just enjoying the surroundings. This is one beautiful area of Arizona I want to explore further. Oh, the picture of the butterfly was just off the trail, I chased it into a heavily vegetated part of the stream, it was after the nectar of some wild irises growing by the tream. I lost my glasses to get that photo (and later found them :).
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Jun 16 2001
GregHembd
avatar

 Photos 11
 Triplogs 70

male
 Joined Mar 03 2003
 Phoenix, AZ
Fish Creek Trail #60Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 16 2001
GregHembd
Backpack5.50 Miles 1,600 AEG
Backpack5.50 Miles2 Days         
1,600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Black River/Fish Creek; Near Hannagan Meadow, Arizona

Starting from Hannagan Meadow we backpacked down Fish Creek Access Trail #320 and Fish Creek Trail #60 to the Black River where we camped. We fished and explored. We day hikes down the Black River to the bridge where we met Scott's dad and we had a steak fry.
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Greg
1 archive
average hiking speed 2.11 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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