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Apr 13 2009
sumnergeo
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 Guides 2
 Routes 1
 Photos 44
 Triplogs 24

77 male
 Joined Mar 26 2004
 Houston, TX
Horseshoe PassTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 13 2009
sumnergeo
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,900 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   6 Hrs      0.83 mph
1,900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Four of us headed up South Fork to cut back brush from the Burro that goes from Maple Camp to Horseshoe Saddle. Steve, Tony, Mel and I lopped until our arms drooped (or dropped) and we almost cleared the trail to the ridge high above the South Fork. We found one serious wash out about ½ mile above Maple Camp that will need more than just a few rocks to fix. Another perfect spring day.
_____________________
it's the only earth we have
Mar 04 2008
samnjean
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 Triplogs 2

77 male
 Joined Mar 03 2008
 Battle Creek, Mi
Horseshoe PassTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 04 2008
samnjean
Hiking9.50 Miles 1,900 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles
1,900 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We did the hike on a pleasant early March day. Trail was in great condition. A nice combination of shaded woods and open vistas. The first almost 2 miles in the woods along the creek are a nice warm up to the later climbs. Not super strenuous. Highly recommended.
_____________________
Mar 04 2008
samnjean
avatar

 Triplogs 2

77 male
 Joined Mar 03 2008
 Battle Creek, Mi
Horseshoe PassTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 04 2008
samnjean
Hiking9.50 Miles 1,900 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles
1,900 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We did this hike on a sunny cool early March day. Trail is in good condition with the exception of some rough spots on the switchbacks caused by shortcutting. Nice combination of wooded areas and open vistas. First 1.8 miles are thru the woods and a nice warm up to the later climbing. Not super strenuous, but a good workout. Took us about 6 hrs for the 10 mile round trip.
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Oct 24 2004
desertlavender
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 Photos 109
 Triplogs 23

67 female
 Joined Nov 29 2004
 Tucson, AZ
Horseshoe PassTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 24 2004
desertlavender
Backpack9.60 Miles
Backpack9.60 Miles2 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my first attempt to organize a two-day trek since I resumed backpacking one year ago, at the age of 50. The trip began with a day of frantic packing and four trips to Summit Hut to replace missing and hopelessly outdated equipment including my cushy but seriously overweight sleeping bag and my trusty but rusty MSR stove. The next challenge was finding a trail that would be interesting but not too difficult for two old duffers. We were focusing on the Chiricahuas to sample a bit of fall color, but many of the trails in the Crest area have been scarred by seven years of drought and attendant forest fires. So we fixed our sights on the South Fork Cave Creek area south of Portal instead. The fastest route is I-10 into New Mexico and than returning southwest via Route 80 to Portal. It took us about four hours with the required stop at the Claim Jumper Cafe in Wilcox.

We hit the trailhead about 10:30 and worked out the kinks on a gentle 1-1/2 mile stroll along the South Fork River which was full of water from a recent rainstorm. The trail is lined with colorful red maple and yellow cottonwood and sycamores as well as some truly imposing Arizona Cypress.

At Maple Camp, a smaller trail crosses the river and heads rather steeply up the side of the canyon. There is no water above this point -- contrary to the Forest Service web site, Log Spring below Horseshoe Saddle is bone dry. Pinon, manzanita, alligator juniper and yuccas decorate the brilliant orange-red rhyolite cliffs, and a half-mile takes you to a promontory with spectacular views in all directions. The lunch rocks overlook an extremely steep-walled canyon that is certainly a lush riparian area, and we were entertained by a golden eagle dive-bombing a gang of ravens who had encroached on his territory.

Above the lunch rocks the trail becomes rather difficult to follow. It is seriously overgrown on the uphill side and seriously eroded on the downhill slope. We hacked our way through Manzanita jungles and scampered over downed trees and across rock slides.
Fortunately, the trail eventually opened up and distant views more than made up for the difficult trail conditions. Past Maple Camp, we encountered no other hikers and very few signs of previous visitors. Just mountains of well-seeded bear scat!

At about 3:30, with five miles of heavy slogging behind us, we emerged in a wonderfully open saddle at the top of Horseshoe Pass. To the north, we were looking down into Cave Creek and over the Peloncillo Mountains into New Mexico. To the south, another canyon falls away toward the Mexican border. Although it was quite windy, we pitched the tent in the open to enjoy the scenery.

During the night, the wind became even stronger and the tent spun around like a luffing topsail. However, thanks to the front, the temperature only dipped into the 30s, even though we were camped out at 7200 feet.

The return trip was considerably easier, although once again we lost the trail several times. This is a challenging but very rewarding hike, and is probably one of the easiest trails in the Chiricahuas, with a vertical rise of only 2500 feet over a distance of five miles. Highly recommended!
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average hiking speed 0.83 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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