username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs photosets comments more
Algonquin Trail #225 - 11 members in 43 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
1, 2, 3  Next
43 triplogs
  All Months
43 Triplogs
Jan
2
Feb
7
Mar
4
Apr
10
May
8
Jun
1
Jul
0
Aug
1
Sep
4
Oct
1
Nov
1
Dec
4
 

Dec 21 2019
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 236
 Routes 828
 Photos 11,597
 Triplogs 4,523

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Algonquin - Horsethief - Recreation Loop, AZ 
Algonquin - Horsethief - Recreation Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2019
joebartels
Hiking16.39 Miles 4,083 AEG
Hiking16.39 Miles   9 Hrs   33 Mns   1.88 mph
4,083 ft AEG      50 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
The_Eagle
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
This is for those that prefer to skid in broadside and totally worn out.

Algonquin Trail #225 has three personalities. Heading straight down from FR 259 ( Crown King Road ) the tread is good with occasional naggy pokies. From Poland Creek where most turn to the Big Dipper it is obvious a trail crew put in serious work. 2-6 foot wide freeway almost to Horsethief Canyon Trail #30.

So nice in fact that Bruce started slipping from reality. He spotted Mount Rushmore and plastic flowers.

By extremely lucky chance, we headed up Horsethief Canyon Trail #30. It's steep and pants keep blood loss to a minimum. 6 hrs sleep in two days and the leg warmer attire had me anxious for a pre five mile break. The eagle granted and I was charged back up.

Horsethief Canyon Trail #30
We've had trouble finding the east terminus/origin before and today was no different. Bruce figured it out and vowed to update the Official Route for future hikers. A third of this trail is a brush whack.

FR 52 - Senator Highway
This loop is possible by utilizing the dirt hwy just over 2 miles. Only 1 vehicle on our beat and we lunched 1.5 mile in. Witnessed and picked up some nice mica.

Turn the Record Over
Our return was Algonquin Trail #225 in full. Welcome to the third personality. 3.75 mi / 2,160 ft drop to Horsethief Creek. Not maintained is sugar coating the situation. Disaster. Fear the trail maintenance crew took one look and ran away screaming hell no.

Return of Sanity
We enjoyed the semi maintained #225 for 0.6 mile to the cabin. The super maintained portion spans from the cabin to Poland Creek. 0.22 miles before Poland near Mount Rushmore(gasp) Bruce continued while I changed into shorts. Then enjoyed a run on the maintained trail catching up just before the Poland crossing. We both found the 1.5 mi / 1k ascent to be easier than anticipated.

Synopsis
Nobody loves the Bradshaws save me. This isn't helping. I look forward to the next hike. Hope the trail maintenance continues!
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Final hint at best
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
- joe
Dec 21 2019
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 796
 Photos 9,558
 Triplogs 1,198

64 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Algonquin - Horsethief - Recreation loop, AZ 
Algonquin - Horsethief - Recreation loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2019
The_Eagle
Hiking16.03 Miles 4,096 AEG
Hiking16.03 Miles   9 Hrs   33 Mns   1.84 mph
4,096 ft AEG      50 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
joebartels
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
We've done this loop a few times.

Starting at the northern Algonquin 225 TH, The trail drops 1,100' to Poland Creek. This was the first time crossing here, where we had to look for a place to cross to stay dry. Quite a decent flow here. The trail from here to the collapsing cabin / mining shack, is my favorite section. It's now a super highway after recent maintenance.

Maintenance and/or flagging stops at the Horsethief Canyon Trail. It's still relatively easy to follow except for a section 4.7 miles from the start as you start the last climb to the Recreation Trail. The water was flowing the strongest I've seen, the entire length of this trail.

We've had trouble finding the NE Recreation Trail TH in he past. After bushwhacking to the trail, I followed it back to where it met the Horsethief, to be able to update the official track. The Recreation Trail is still there, just tight in spots.

Based on the maintenance to the northern part of of the Algonquin Trail, we had high hopes for the Southern section that starts at the Senator and drops back to Horsethief Creek. No such luck. This trail has such possibilities with the views. Some of my notes.

11.80 miles - 2:29 pm
This trail is bullschmidt

12.36 miles - 3:04 pm
A lot more dead fall than the last time we came down here.
We cleared a bunch, but barely scratched the surface.

Back down to the creek (and manicured trail), all that was left was a peaceful hike along the creek again and the climb to the TH.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horsethief Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Dec 02 2017
mt98dew
avatar

 Guides 18
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,558

50 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Algonquin Trail #225Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2017
mt98dew
Hiking2.70 Miles
Hiking2.70 Miles   8 Hrs      0.34 mph
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Drove up with the thought of visiting the Big Dipper, but got side tracked with my war on Cat's Claw : rambo : About 2 years ago I had done some "pruning" on the first .5 miles of the trail. Today I got down to the first river crossing (almost), about 1.35 miles in. The first .5 miles still looked pretty good, though there are patches of "Cats" that are starting to "Claw" there way back on the trail. My thought was to touch this up on my way but by the time I turned back my hands were so sore and blistery that I didn't have the motivation to do the trimming that I had planned on. That being said, the trail down to the first river crossing (today it was a dry river bed crossing) is fairly clean. Encountered one family that had hiked down hoping to see some water. No luck :( Hope to return in the near future to enjoy some of the fruits of my labor...and maybe do some more trimming along the way.
_____________________
Apr 27 2017
MountainMatt
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 192
 Photos 3,249
 Triplogs 492

28 male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Big Dipper - Castle Creek WildernessPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 27 2017
MountainMatt
Hiking6.03 Miles 1,760 AEG
Hiking6.03 Miles   4 Hrs   48 Mns   1.92 mph
1,760 ft AEG   1 Hour   40 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Nice little visit back to one of my favorite swimming holes!

The whole area is recovering quite nicely from the Gladiator Fire and is healthy as can be after the bounty of winter storms.
It's thriving so well that the trail is now becoming somewhat overgrown in many places, especially the lower sections, I sported shorts and a tank top and received quite a bit of cats claw exfoliation.

I had to make a quick stop at the old Algonquin mine to check out the leaning architecture this time around.
Horsethief Canyon is a gem right now, vibrant greenery, clear cascades and dynamic views make this a return visit destination just on its own, a Bradshaw backpacking trip may now be on my agenda before it gets too warm.
Has there even been any Hazzers that have backpacked in the Bradshaws lately?
I can't recall seeing anything but day hikes over the past couple years in this area which continues surprise me because of how beautiful and diverse I find this overlooked mountain range.

The weather, conditions and day could not have been any better!
I had the Big Dipper all to myself, cooled off in the pools and most importantly just enjoyed myself.
Just had one little quicksand scare in the pool directly donwstream from the falls, with one footstep the shallow sandy water I was walking on suddenly turned into a gut wrenching sinkhole that certainly gave me a scare considering I was out there solo like usual.

Other than that this was one of those rare perfect days where everything just went smooth as butter from start to finish.
8)
Culture
Culture
Intrepid Back Shot
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Big Dipper - Crown King Quad Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horsethief Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Poland Creek Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
http://www.mattwhelanphotography.com/
Feb 04 2017
mt98dew
avatar

 Guides 18
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,558

50 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Algonquin Trail #225Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 04 2017
mt98dew
Hiking14.04 Miles
Hiking14.04 Miles   10 Hrs      1.40 mph
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
BLAST FROM THE PAST! Did this hike back in February. I had hiked from the Algonquin TH twice before and knew of some of the pleasures that awaited. Got to the TH a little after 6am excited about my upcoming hike. However, I was slightly annoyed because I did not have my handy dandy clippers...a necessity on some of these wilderness trails. My initial thought had been to do the Big Dipper, but I could hear the roar of the water from the TH so I hiked in with some reservation. About .5 miles into my descent I dropped my one and only water bottle puncturing the bottom :lone: there was still water in the bottle, but it was leaking badly. I stashed the bottle alongside the trail, figuring I would appreciate whatever was left on my return trip. This hike was not starting out well....first no clippers and now no water.

About a mile in I reached the first water crossing. As expected it was flowing "fast and furious". And this was only a tributary! By heading upstream a bit, I was able to cross without changing into my water shoes. I then followed the trail (and the tributary) about .5 miles east to where it merged with the primary stream -----. Wow! I seriously pondered trying to cross/and follow the river down stream, but the water was flowing fast and would have been above my knees in most spots. Since the Big Dipper is primarily a streambed/bank hike I thought it prudent to go with option #2. In a previous visit I had hiked a portion of the Algonquin, but never taken it to its end. So I hiked back up to the Algonquin Trail and followeid it for another 1.5 miles. This took me past the cabin (the hike in just for that is pretty cool, especially with an active stream in the background - and is very doable) and involved 2 river crossings. I utilized a down branch as a walking stick to test for depth and provide stability. At about 3 miles I reached a metal sign indicating a split in the trail. Last time I stayed with the river and followed Horsethief Canyon Trail. This time I turned west and started a climb through .5 miles of catsclaw. This was brutal! I was wearing shorts and I had no clippers : rambo : The trail was evident but there was no avoiding the catsclaw. After the catsclaw, the trail path cleared up quite a bit and started a steady climb for the next 1.5 miles. It was during this time that the sound of running water faded away and I started to encounter patches of snow. (I'm doing this from memory), I want to say it was between the 4.5 and 5.5 mile section that I lost the trail completely. At this time the elevation change was gradual enough and the foliage was sparse enough that there seemed to be plenty of options. I had to pull my garmin out a couple of times to get me back on track. At about the 5.5 mile mark I came to the next metal Algonquin trail sign. (This was the only trail marker I had seen since departing the river). After the trail sign the trail flattened out quite a bit and took up a southward bearing. I encountered numerous patches of snow some of which I sank into past my ankles. (So much for having a set of dry shoes and wet shoes....by the time I headed back down the trail to do the river crossings, my dry shoes were as wet as my water shoes). :lol: The cool thing about the snow was that it caused a lot more flowing streams - nothing major, but as I continued southward I counted 6 small streams that I had to cross. I'm sure that any other time of the year this would have been a dry gulch crossing. Also during this stretch came across some rusted metal railings and cement foundations from an old mining operation. I couldn't ascertain where the digging was occurring, but I. Sure that was the meaning of those remnants. The views during this section were very nice, especially to the east and north. I reached the end of the trail around the 7 mile mark. There appeared to be a weathered wooden sign in station (similar in design in what I saw at the beginning of my hike - only wooden), only there was no log to sign. I walk down to the road and turned around. The worst part of the return trip was going through the catsclaw again. There's nothing worse that having 3-hour old scratches being scratched again. The fjording of the rivers were actually a luxury as the coldness of the water numbed the scratches. It was a long haul back, especially since both of my shoes were wet from the snow/river crossings. I was very happy to reach the 13th mile because that was were I had left my broken water bottle and what was left of the my water. Made it back to the car a little after 4pm, having seen no one the entire hike and no wildlife worth mentioning either.
_____________________
Oct 16 2016
extremehikerba
avatar

 Photos 104
 Triplogs 47

27 female
 Joined Oct 17 2016
 Phoenix
Algonquin Trail #225Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 16 2016
extremehikerbabe
Hiking
Hiking   4 Hrs      0.00 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my second jaunt into the big mountains and quite an interesting trail. Very nice to begin with as it is all downhill into the canyon. The rocks are absolutely beautiful- speckled with silver mica and the trail feels almost like a beach at the top-sandy with speckled rocks. We wore pants and were very glad that we did as the trail was pretty overgrown with lots of scratchies on either side. But the pants definitely helped mitigate that. There was a creepy abandoned cabin down by one of the springs near the bottom. That was pretty cool to explore. We followed the trail as far as we could but we couldn't go too far as it actually ended, burned down by a wildfire. We didn't want to keep pushing so we sat near a creek and had lunch and a break. We had probably gone down about 3-4 miles before the trail ended but didn't have a way to track mileage (didn't know about this site/app back then. Wish I had!). Kinda disappointed by the burned out trail but the hike was absolutely beautiful. Overall a pretty short hike, about 4 hours total, but totally worth it.
_____________________
4 archives
Mar 19 2016
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 796
 Photos 9,558
 Triplogs 1,198

64 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Dipper - Horsethief - Recreation - Algonquin, AZ 
Dipper - Horsethief - Recreation - Algonquin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2016
The_Eagle
Hiking16.39 Miles 4,521 AEG
Hiking16.39 Miles   10 Hrs      2.07 mph
4,521 ft AEG   2 Hrs   5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Big Dipper
Finally hit the Big Dipper for the first time. Easy to get there with only minor rock hopping. Kept dry easily.
Such a pretty area. The mSD Card in my phone self destructed, so I have no pictures. Hopefully Joe got some.
I can see why this place is popular. We got there early enough in the day that noone was there.

Horsethief Canyon Trail #30
This is a favorite of mine in the area. The creek has been flowing every time I've been there. This trail in the past has seen very little traffic, but it seems to be getting a bit more now.

Recreation Trail #201
I'd remembered this one as being hard to follow. The last time all we had to follow was a trace from the TOPO maps Those are notoriously inaccurate. This trail actually is not all that bad to follow, when you are on it... The track that I posted is spot on for all but the first 100 yards on the east end. I adjusted out our "exploration" and used RM/Satellite predict where it actually starts on the east. It may in fact start a little farther South than I show it.

Senator Highway #52
We had a 2 mile road walk on this to get to the Algonquin Trailhead.
Kind of a busy day with 4x4's, ORV's, and Motorcycles.

Algonquin Trail #225
The start of this one is all but impossible to find without a track. I'm sure the fire took out the old TH sign. This one needs some love. There are numerous downfalls across the trail. Joe and I put a dent it it by clearing the ones we could and adding some appropriate Cairns. There are some real nice views from this one. I saw a red headed wood pecker on this trail.... without a body. :o

Back down by Horsthief Creek we were mostly in the shade w/ a light breeze. Perfect.
4 or 5 other groups had signed in after us, but we saw no one the whole day.

Another very enjoyable day in the Castle Creek Wilderness!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Big Dipper - Crown King Quad Medium flow Medium flow
Plenty to go around

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horsethief Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Running water the full length
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
1 archive
Mar 19 2016
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 236
 Routes 828
 Photos 11,597
 Triplogs 4,523

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Dipper - Horsethief - Recreation - Algonquin, AZ 
Dipper - Horsethief - Recreation - Algonquin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2016
joebartels
Hiking16.39 Miles 4,521 AEG
Hiking16.39 Miles   10 Hrs      1.89 mph
4,521 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Check out Bruce's triplog loaded with details!

Still love this loop. We last hiked the exact loop five years ago.

Wore pants on a whim. It would have been brutal without. There is a little catsclaw, not really the issue. The killer brush is shin height, more of a low lying gauntlet of swords. It jabs right through thin pants that ward off catsclaw.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
- joe
Mar 01 2016
MountainMatt
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 192
 Photos 3,249
 Triplogs 492

28 male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Big Dipper - Castle Creek WildernessPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 01 2016
MountainMatt
Hiking3.20 Miles 1,008 AEG
Hiking3.20 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   0.91 mph
1,008 ft AEG   2 Hrs   45 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Such a beautiful little solo stroll to The Big Dipper for a day of cold beers and relaxation! :y: I'm still blown away how easy it to access such a nice place so close to the I-17. Along the switchbacks I could see snow at the top of the mountain which was a nice sight to see since I wanted a strong flowing waterfall, and the recent scaring of the Gladiator fire gave the whole area such a unique look. Anyway the only part I was somewhat not excited about was the "the wall to wall narrows" that everyone put in their hike descriptions. Well when it came to that portion I almost didn't even notice because I just simply walked right down the middle of it in soft mushy sand, the creek still running strong pitched to the right of the narrow instead of filling it like a pool. The Big Dipper itself was flowing like a champ and I took photos from a scenic rock vista and proceed to down scramble around to get some photos from the base which turned into nap on a perfect rock throne I found. The bottom pool was bigger than I've seen in most photos but what confused me is why the narrows section upstream was not completely filled with water. :-k I got in the water intentionally to test it out and although the hit temps outside the water was still almost too cold to even comfortable have your feet in. Before I left I proceeded to take final photos along the edge of the pool and then got to comfortable because the edge of the muddy brim gave way and I plunged waist deep into the pool. :sl: Luckily managed to knee my arms above my head with my phone clenched in hand, the dip in the pool was actually a good thing because the hike out was a hot one due to the lack of shade and beaming setting sun. All in all a fantastic day and can't wait to come back during the summer! :DANCE:
Fauna
Fauna
Canyon Tree Frog
Named place
Named place
Big Dipper - Crown King Quad
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 Horsethief Creek Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
http://www.mattwhelanphotography.com/
1 archive
Feb 14 2016
mt98dew
avatar

 Guides 18
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,558

50 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Algonquin Trail #225Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 14 2016
mt98dew
Hiking1.00 Miles
Hiking1.00 Miles   2 Hrs      0.50 mph
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Iiiiimmmmm back. Talk about your unplanned "hikes". (Refer back to my Horsethief Canyon hike about my old age and forgetfulness. It was in full force today)! I woke Sunday morning with the plan of hiking something close to home...but I couldn't find my Garmin. I spent an hour looking for that dumb thing with no luck. :( After doing three thorough searches of the house and my car I determined that I must have left my Garmin on top of my car when I left the Algonquin TH. ](*,) So back up to Algonquin I went. I got up there around 9am to discover an empty parking lot and no Garmin. Upon pacing the lot I determined there might be one place the Garmin might be...back at home.

Since I had driven all the way up here, I figured I might as well get a "hike" in and do some trail maintenance. Today I had brought my clippers! I thought I would trim down to the first crossing (1.35 miles in) but I didn't come close. Since I didn't have my Garmin I'm not sure how far I got, but I don't think it was much more than .5 miles. I might have been a tad aggressive in my trimming of the cat's claw, but it felt good to get some payback. This is a great entry point into the Bradshaws and It is a shame that these trails are not better maintained. Perhaps if these trails were more friendly to hikers, they might get more use. I'd be more than willing to hike and trim if anyone was interested in coming up for a weekend.

End of the story. When I got back home I checked the one spot I thought my Garmin might be. Yep! I found my Garmin inside one of my water shoes...which I had thrown away because they had gotten worn and uncomfortable. I had to dig my Garmin out of the dumpster. :oops: It sucks getting old!
_____________________
8 archives
Sep 06 2015
Peter_Medal
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 121
 Photos 1,342
 Triplogs 81

49 male
 Joined Feb 19 2013
 Prescott, AZ
Big Dipper - Castle Creek WildernessPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2015
Peter_Medal
Hiking9.50 Miles 2,600 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles   7 Hrs   40 Mns   1.24 mph
2,600 ft AEG28 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
We hitched a ride with day hikers for a hike to the Big Dipper on Saturday afternoon, planting our exit vehicle at the junction of Poland Creek and Forest Road 688 (34°15'2.67"N 112°14'4.54"W). Mapping out a straight line path of the Poland Canyon on Google Earth, figured our trip was going to be 7.3 miles to our exit. About 1/3 mile downstream we found an ideal place to break for camp ( 34°13'3.47"N 112°17'44.29"W) for our next days adventure. We set out a little later then we wanted at 9:15. The journey along Poland Creek was a boulder hoppers paradise. Temps got up to 96 degrees. It was a very warm day except when the sun was behind the clouds. Hiking along the creek, there were a couple occasions the canyon did not permit a non-technical descent, or would place you into yet another pool of water. None of the team were looking to getting wet, so in said occasions, we back tracked and bush wacked "up and over", at times having to take our backpacks off for some rock climbing up or down the canyon walls. The thorny bushes were unforgiving. At the end of the day all of us looked like we barely survived a knife fight. The gameplan was to catch up to the Silver Chirstmas Mine and poke around, but the extended length of our planned route, coupled with the torture of the sun and heat forced us to scrub our little side trip. None of us GPS'ed the route, so sorry, do not have any exact metrics of the trip.
_____________________

"Before there was a trail..... there was no trail"
Feb 07 2015
emilystardust
avatar

 Triplogs 247

37 female
 Joined Jun 23 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Algonquin Trail #225Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2015
emilystardust
Hiking5.00 Miles
Hiking5.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Sep 20 2014
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 236
 Routes 828
 Photos 11,597
 Triplogs 4,523

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Algonquin - Horsethief Cyn - Twin Peaks Loop, AZ 
Algonquin - Horsethief Cyn - Twin Peaks Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2014
joebartels
Hiking16.10 Miles 4,075 AEG
Hiking16.10 Miles   10 Hrs   26 Mns   1.74 mph
4,075 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
We headed out with a pleasant 75° forecast into terrain known to be a winner. The drive in showed lush tall green grass blanketing the mountains.

6:55am trailhead
Despite many visits this trail would be difficult to find without the carsonite post hinting the way. Recent record rains have turned this transitional zone into a jungle. Three entries in the register offered a suggestion to wear pants. Bruce advertised the event as "17+ miles and some blood" so luckily I came armed with pants.

The first and last four miles of our lasso loop hike had some unpleasantries. In addition to random catclaw there was miracle grow grass nose high in areas. Three species seemed to dominate. The shorter variety was seeding out. Not itchy just made Italians envy your legs. The minor annoyance was one of the tall hay bundle wannabes. Seeds plumed out in passing. The worst of the worst was a half mile stretch through wet sugar type sticky vegetation.

75° was probably the low, perhaps the forecast should have read 75% humidity...

enough of the negative
The rewards out weighed all the above. Ivy is out of control. Wildflowers had me thinking it was spring. Vertical terrain is the star of the show. Each hike out on the Horsethief Canyon Trail #30, especially heading back, leaves me in awe. It's friggen awesome. I love it, I love it, I love it! Due to the trail condition most will despise this gem never looking up from their feet.

fear no evil
We finished off the western end of the Twin Peak Trail #240. Albeit 75% evil end to end there is a gift for the persistent hiker. The fire didn't plow the tall pines down. It reminded me of Ballantine above Rock Tank in the southern Mazzies.

Bruce showed me where Denny used to take dance lessons. We yodeled in his honor, square danced with butterflies and headed home.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Box Elders in a pocket up near Turney are getting a two day jump start on Autumn.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Smaller white and purple daisy varieties are out in mass. Other ground cover and such varieties I'm clueless on identifying.
_____________________
- joe
Sep 20 2014
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 796
 Photos 9,558
 Triplogs 1,198

64 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Algonquin - Horsethief Cyn - Twin Peaks Loop, AZ 
Algonquin - Horsethief Cyn - Twin Peaks Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2014
The_Eagle
Hiking17.27 Miles 4,283 AEG
Hiking17.27 Miles   10 Hrs   29 Mns   2.02 mph
4,283 ft AEG   1 Hour   56 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Joe and I are in a small group that are hooked on discovering what the Bradshaws have to offer.

We have a few more trails to discover out there. Today was to find out if the section of trail between the Horsethief Canyon Trail #30, going east, still existed.

For this hike, long pants and a GPS track is helpful. The route is cairned throughout, but gets sketchy at some of the many creek crossings. If you are hiking just the Algonquin to and through the Horsethief Canyon, you will have water opportunities the entire way. For the route we took, we were next to water probably 70% of the time.

Down the Algonquin #225 from the road to Crown King. All of the entries provided warnings to go back and get your long pants. The majority of the hike included knee high grasses/weeds interspersed with catclaw, locust and other things that liked to cling to you. With long pants on all you had too worry about, was the crap that clung to your socks.

You pass the old Algonquin Mine building along the way. This is quite an interesting area. Someone spent a lot of time shoring up the walls that created the road to the mine. Just past here, the Algonquin Trail veers off to the west and the Horsethief Canyon Trail #30, continues to the south. The Horsethief Canyon walls are steep and close to you, adding to the wow factor on this hike. The climb out of the canyon is a steep one. Just south of leaving the Wilderness area, you'll hit the western start of your next trail.

The Twin Peaks #240 Trail was flagged to be cleared by the forest Service, maybe 2 years ago. These flags made it possible to follow this trail. The brush was not too thick except for one section where we lost the flags. I hope they do come back to clear it. Along the way on this trail we found the burned remains of trail sign, indicating trails 800 and 801? (could not read the names) There were cairns going off to the Northeast. I've never heard of these, or seen them on any Topo maps. Sounds like another trip to this area.

On the way down from the Twin Peaks area, I finally checked out and named an unmarked pond, that's had my curiosity the last few times out there.

To round out the first time experience, we went in through the Turney Gulch CG area to pick up the southern end of the Horsefthief Canyon Trail #30. It follows an abandoned FR52F, past the old Rec Hall Ruins? and the old Sewage plant ruins, before finally turning into trail.

Another fun day in the Bradshaws!!

Video :next: http://youtu.be/6zdmkDkRxlA
Fauna
Fauna
Teva
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Some trees are starting to turn yellow
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Eagle Pond - CC Wilderness 76-100% full 76-100% full
Plenty of filterable water

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Horsethief Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow the entire length
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Nov 26 2011
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,116
 Triplogs 426

55 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Algonquin Trail #225Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2011
toddak
Hiking15.00 Miles 4,300 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   9 Hrs      1.67 mph
4,300 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Did Joe and Bruce's lasso hike - pretty cool, especially if you like route finding challenges. Horsethief Canyon had isolated trickle flows between reasonably clean pools. If you want to visit this rugged stretch of the Bradshaws you should do it soon, as nature is hard at work erasing some of these little-used trails.
_____________________
May 14 2011
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 236
 Routes 828
 Photos 11,597
 Triplogs 4,523

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Algonquin / Horsethief / 201 Loop, AZ 
Algonquin / Horsethief / 201 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 14 2011
joebartels
Hiking15.25 Miles 4,300 AEG
Hiking15.25 Miles   9 Hrs   55 Mns   1.71 mph
4,300 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break14 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
The_Eagle
Bruce threw together this loop and I was excited to see some new terrain in the Bradshaws. While at the same time expecting horrid catclaw based on our Twin Peaks loop last June, in addition to what others have reported.

This turned out to be a nice loop. The worst overgrowth is from Poland Creek for a mile or so to a tributary of Horsethief where #30 ascends out of the creek. To be honest it really isn't that bad. I didn't come home blood nor scratched up. Being the jewel views of the hike your attention is diverted anyhow.

The cabin area was cool. We looked around for the mine without success. Did find some mining equipment. While Bruce went for another look I realized sitting by the cabin it may be more of a workshop. The door on the end has a huge pipe making it a sliding door. The construction is metal too. Gotta check up on the history. Very cool that spring seeps out under the tree next to the structure.

I was surprised to see Horsethief Creek flowing mid May in this dryer than normal year. Such a cool area that nobody seems to checkout. Heading up on #30 we lucked out as it was flagged maybe a year ago for a good portion going up and cairned along the way. While the fire damage is sad, it still offers great views. This is a true rugged mountain loop with very apparent mountain grades. It must have been phenomenal before the fire. The trail is trenching in steep parts due to uncontrolled runoff, yet I've seen worse in the Phoenix Preserves.

With only one hour sleep due to some unknown site outage issue I was dragging big time once we hit trail #201. 201 is pretty much gone and would not have been possible without Bruce's GPS route. Our loop had a little road walk in the middle that I looked forward to relaxing. Of course it was all up hill...lol

Shortly onto the upper Algonquin Trail Bruce found a shady spot for lunch. I was beat and desperately needing the break and food. Refueled, finally heading down and the ibuprofen circulating I started feeling better. Once again the views are awesome. This trail wasn't a bad bushwhack either. It does head straight down without switchbacks on unsure footing. Sections have survived the fire giving you hints of yesteryears.

We finished this one up with some nice shady stretches. The dreaded climb out lacked the pain we feared most and this hike turned out much better than I anticipated. Thanks Bruce!

Wildflowers where moderate throughout with some substantial areas. Not large flowers that photograph well with point and shoot cameras. Beautiful to view in person.

Looking back it's been just over 10 years since I hiked from this Algonquin trailhead to the Big Dipper. Until I read over my notes just now I forgot all about a bad experience. The Big Dipper page is titled "Mean Fall". I didn't fully explain out of pride or something. On that trip I was jumping boulder to boulder and slipped backwards falling on my hip and hitting my head to unconsciousness. Not sure how long I was out. Seems like it was around a half hour. Then I woke up dazed and in an odd position partially submerged. Apparently luck was on my side that day!
Flora
Flora
False Indigo
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
- joe
May 14 2011
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 796
 Photos 9,558
 Triplogs 1,198

64 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Algonquin / Horsethief / 201 Loop, AZ 
Algonquin / Horsethief / 201 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 14 2011
The_Eagle
Hiking15.25 Miles 4,300 AEG
Hiking15.25 Miles   9 Hrs   55 Mns   1.71 mph
4,300 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
The Algonquin Trail #225 has been on my "To Do" list for quite some time now. I kept putting it off because I thought the entire trail looked like the Southern TH. I had nightmares of head high Cats Claw and climbing over 100's of burned fallen trees. Today was the day and decided to make it a loop and pull in a couple of other little traveled trails up there (Horse Thief Canyon #30 & Recreation Trail #201).

First of all, the road to Crown King was in the best shape I have ever seen it. This made the 25 miles of driving off of I-17 much more pleasant than in the past. We hit the TH at a smidge after 7am and were the first car there. I'd always read the stories of how painful the drop down the Algonquin Trail to Poland Creek was (More importantly, the trek back up). It was not as bad as expected. Poland creek was running nicely and surprisingly, Horse Thief creek was even nicer. There were a few spots on the way to the Horse Thief / Algonquin intersection, where the trail was thin, but following the trail and Cats Claw was not bad at all. The trip up Horse Thief as well was not bad, but finding the Recreation 201 trail would be near impossible with out GPS. If you are doing it with out GPS, hang a right up the hill at the Castle Creek wilderness sign and follow the fence line. That will get you close and you should cross the faint trail in spots. It's only a short 1.6 miles on this until you reach FR52.

From this point you have a 2.2 mile road slog. Something to cover your mouth would be handy on this section because of the smattering of car, quad, and motorcycle traffic. The road is quite dusty.

Now you turn on the Algonquin Trail again to start the hike back. This section is 6 miles and drops from 6,900' to 4,400' into Poland Creek. This part of the hike reminds me of the Wilderness of Rocks trail down in Tucson.

If you do this loop, it is suggested to do it Clockwise. The Algonquin Trail drops about 2,000' in 2 miles and is steep and loose in spots. I would not want to climb up this.

On the feared climb out of Poland Creek to the trailhead we saw a Black-tailed buzzworm sunning himself in the middle of the trail. We waited a bit and talked to another hiker that had just come back from the Big Dipper. The hike up was nothing like what I'd feared. It really was not bad at all.

I'm glad to have this one knocked off my list. The Creeks and the Cabin area were way cool, as well as the ruggedness of this little traveled area. This is a very nice hike, in temps 25 degrees cooler than the valley. Thanks to Joe for joining me on this one. Whine factor today was in full force.
Flora
Flora
Astragalus
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
May 04 2011
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 564
 Photos 7,818
 Triplogs 1,654

53 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Big Dipper - Castle Creek WildernessPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 04 2011
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking4.20 Miles 1,008 AEG
Hiking4.20 Miles
1,008 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Hiked down to the Big Dipper with a small group of friends yesterday. We waded through the channel and then rock hopped the rest of the way down. The water was down in the river a bit but still flowing okay. The waterfall was AMAZING! We all jumped in and the water was ice cold! Didn't swim long. Good times though!
_____________________
Mar 23 2011
JuanJaimeiii
avatar

 Routes 564
 Photos 7,818
 Triplogs 1,654

53 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Big Dipper - Castle Creek WildernessPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2011
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking3.20 Miles 1,008 AEG
Hiking3.20 Miles   3 Hrs   14 Mns   0.99 mph
1,008 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Yesterday I hiked down the Alognquin Trail #225 to Poland Creek. The destination was the Big Dipper Pool but I didn't make it all the way. What I estimate to be a quarter mile from the finish line was a pretty challanging area with water in the middle and steep rocks on either side. My buddy and I attempted to go up and over on the right side but were attacked by the many trees and prickly bushes. We are going to return in a month to do the East Fort Trail hike just past Crown King and at that point we plan to swim/wade through the channel. Yesterday it was just a tad too cold for this. Nice hike otherwise and the trail seems to be rarely used. Lots of overgrowth.
_____________________
Dec 13 2010
AZWanderingBea
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 62
 Photos 2,620
 Triplogs 700

64 male
 Joined Jan 23 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Algonquin Trail #225Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 13 2010
AZWanderingBear
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   2 Hrs   50 Mns   1.76 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked this trail from the north as far as the Algonquin Mine with a side trip to the Big Dipper. The trail down as far as Poland Creek was good, steep but good. From the creek on to the Algonquin was overgrown with catclaw. It follows an abandoned road hewn out of the side to the mountain to service the Algonquin. Some of the old mine building remain, though in disrepair. Various pieces of abandoned mining equipment can be found as well.

My intent on this hike was to place a geocache near the Algonquin. Below is the write up that accompanied the hide.

In 1902 a new hotel opened in Manhattan. The Algonquin quickly became New York City’s unofficial literary center. Famed writers and actors including Gertrude Stein, Sinclair Lewis, Helen Hayes, and William Faulkner frequented the bar for decades. The Algonquin Round Table was a group, mostly newspaper writers, novelists, and the occasional actor/actress, that lunched daily. Their wit and conversations filtered into the nation’s newspapers. Essentially they set the country’s literary discourse. The hotel remains open today and is a designated national landmark. It is said that if you visit, are in the right mood, and have a cocktail or two you can hear ghostly excerpts of those long gone conversations emanating from the walls.

Further west in the early 1900s a mine began operating in the Bradshaw Mountains near the tiny mining town of Crown King. The Algonquin Mine was an ambitious project. Hardy men cut a road by hand slightly over 2 miles long from the Crown King Road into the rugged landscape down to Poland Creek and then into Hell’s Hole. The remnants of that road now form the first few miles of the Algonquin Trail. You can still see some of the rock retaining walls that held the road to the steep sided canyon. Today, the remaining buildings of the mining project are in ruin, sitting high above the creek.

While literary dandies drank and had wildly entertaining conversations in the Algonquin of the east, hard men now long forgotten labored in a mine called the Algonquin out west. They undoubtedly had their own conversations over drinks inside the two story building near the mine on their rare days off. Both groups built and moved America, but in far different ways.

If you ever find the remains of the old Algonquin mine, sit by the spring just north of the ruins and listen to the stream trickling below. Open your mind and you just might hear the echoes of hammer and pick against hard stone. And if you are lucky enough the timeless desert breeze just might bring you the faint murmurs of a conversation at the Algonquin.


This log is late. I wasn't logging my hikes on HAZ back then. Correcting as many as I can remember now.
_____________________
All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
average hiking speed 1.58 mph
1, 2, 3  Next

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.

90+° 8am - 6pm kills
prehydrate & stay hydrated
11.5 inch Teflon Coated Umbrella
Super Wide Brim Sun Hat for Men or Women
help comment issue

end of page marker