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West Fork Trail #94 - Greer - 7 members in 24 triplogs have rated this an average 3.4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jul 11 2020
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,014
 Triplogs 134

35 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ 
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2020
jacobemerick
Hiking30.11 Miles 4,425 AEG
Hiking30.11 Miles   11 Hrs   25 Mns   3.20 mph
4,425 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Felt a bit bummed after last weekend's failed backpack attempt w/ kids, trying to split the typical Mt Baldy Loop into 3 days, so decided to head back and do it as a solo day hike. Was inspired by @lindaann, @joebartels, and @tortoise_hiker's route. Camped along FR 409 in order to get an early start, parked car at West Fork TH at 4am and had a pleasant moonlit hike through downtown Greer to start the day.

East Fork #95
Was faced by a few different forks right at the river crossing, rolled a die and headed up the correct one. Was nice to get this little climb knocked out in the predawn. Passed a few interesting signed spurs (Amberon Point, Scenic Loop), stuck to the main trail, hoping to get healthy distance before sunrise. Spooked a large herd of elk at the top, right at the fenceline. Made it to the Marble Spring area for a fantastic sunrise. Pleasant stroll through chilly meadows and small stands of pines, saw more elk and deer along the way. Trail is in great shape and easy to follow, only got confused once near Colter where the singletrack forks for a quarter mile before rejoining. Picked up a water cache at FR 409 before cutting over to Gabaldon Camp.

East Baldy #95
Utilized the camp trail before joining the 'main' route. Didn't do a lot of research on this trail, leaning into the unknown, was surprised at how much pine forest it went through (compared to West Baldy's meadows). Passed one campsite and a few slower backpackers, overall pretty quiet on the trail. The hoodoo overlook was cool, the exposed flanks were cool, the crash site was cool... This is a solid, enjoyable trail, less than a dozen deadfall to deal with, I was just getting tired at this point. Paused for a few more breaks than necessary to enjoy the area. Reached the saddle and did a quick dance towards the summit, just to be scared away by quickly-growing storm in the west.

West Baldy #94
Nice to walk downhill. The burn area was sad to walk through, though it did give good views of the West Fork meadow below. Quickly made it to the meadows and the trail began to get congested, lots of in-and-back hikers down here to skip around. Filtered up before the Crossover Trail (should have left a second water cache). Last mile dragged, didn't expect that little elevation and forest before trailhead.

West Fork #94
Swung over to culvert on the start of this (thanks @lindaann), then slowly strolled across the open meadow. Was definitely feeling the miles at this point and stopped for a lengthy rest. This trail felt much rougher than the other ones - more rocky sections, more annoying deadfall, and a few eroded spots - though I'll admit I was also feeling grumpy and sore, so... grain of salt. Views across West Fork were nice and I picked out different landmarks from the morning's hike. Also, that little drop before passing 9375', plus the spring box on the round, were enjoyable. Got a little sprinkle for the last mile, enough to soak me through right before getting back to the Jeep.
Fauna
Fauna
Elk

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Colter Reservoir 26-50% full 26-50% full
Didn't look that full, but there was still a healthy flow below.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Marble Spring Dripping Dripping
Didn't see actual spring, but there were puddles visible downhill from trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mount Baldy Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Decent flow, but it'd be challenging to collect.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Potatoe Hollow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Overflowing, ground was saturated. Pipe makes for easy access if one didn't want to scoop from the trough.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Spring Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Overflowing.


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max West Fork Little Colorado River Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow, definitely need to use the footbridge to cross.
_____________________
Sep 21 2019
LindaAnn
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 Guides 42
 Routes 382
 Photos 3,509
 Triplogs 1,205

40 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ 
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 21 2019
LindaAnn
Hiking29.74 Miles 3,445 AEG
Hiking29.74 Miles   13 Hrs   19 Mns   2.46 mph
3,445 ft AEG   1 Hour   13 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Denny had his sights set on doing a Baldy Marathon & 5K. We left the Valley around midnight, and got to the Greer area at 0400. We cached water at the East & West Baldy trailheads along hwy 273 so that we wouldn’t have to carry water for the whole distance nor have to spend time filtering, then parked at the West Fork trailhead at the north end of Greer. Not much of a trailhead, but there’s room for about four vehicles to park east of the sign.

Got started around 0450 and walked the main road south through Greer to the East Fork trailhead. We immediately crossed the Little Colorado and started climbing up to Amberion Flat. The trail is more defined through this part and easy to follow. After a couple of miles, the trail fades significantly in places and becomes a search of fiberglass signs, cairns, and deciding which trampled path in the grass is a real trail. Using a gps track helped take a lot of the guesswork out of the way for a few miles. After a while, the trail became more defined again and turned into a series of passing through as many gates as possible before reaching the road. We saw a coyote running towards two elk, which was kind of fun to watch.

Short walk north on Hwy 273 to the East Baldy trailhead. We picked up our cached drinks and headed up the trail. And up. Reasonably easy incline, but with so many miles already behind us, it was a little more challenging than usual. I think there was only one downed tree crossing the trail, which was nice. The elevation was not Denny’s friend today, so at the East/West saddle, we opted to skip the side trip so the summit and headed down West Baldy after a short break.

The top of West Baldy has seen some recent erosion from runoff, but overall in good shape, with only three or four downed trees to deal with. The lower part of this trail is always my favorite with the trail on the grassy windswept hillside and the river running down below. Once at the West Baldy trailhead, we picked up our remaining cache, which it turned out we didn’t need, and took a short break before beginning the West Fork trail.

Finding the start of West Fork was a little challenging. It turns out you walk under the highway on the north side of the trailhead. There’s a gate immediately on the east side of the highway where the trail begins. West Fork is reasonably easy to follow, with cairns and signs helping in a few places. After listening to bugling elk all day, we were treated to almost endless elk sightings along most of this trail. Eventually, the trail descended into Greer, and the sight of the vehicle parked right next to the trailhead was most welcome.

Great hike, absolutely perfect weather, and great company. We got back to the Valley just after 2230. Driving to Greer and back in one day is usually a full day in itself, and throwing a 30 mile hike into the middle of that definitely makes for a big day.
_____________________
Sep 21 2019
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 241
 Routes 830
 Photos 11,838
 Triplogs 4,681

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ 
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 21 2019
joebartels
Hiking30.00 Miles 3,572 AEG
Hiking30.00 Miles   13 Hrs   16 Mns   2.35 mph
3,572 ft AEG      29 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
LindaAnn
Tortoise_Hiker
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Prologue
14+ years ago I photoshopped this loop when static maps were more common. Denny pitched this loop with three weeks notice. Interest piqued. Scrolling through my history a hike over 26 miles had not occurred since 2014. East Valley of the Sun midnight meetup... what!

East Fork Trail #95 - Greer
My first trip to Greer, I was a little wide eyed. This loop favors a drivable water cache setup between trails so that was task one. 4:47am dark and cool we hiked over on Osborne Rd. Then dragged Main Street to East Fork Trailhead.

I thought Denny secretly had a cool app that occasionally shrieked screams to get us in the Halloween spirit. Elk bugling, gimme a break I don't get into the high country often... lol

This was my least favorite trail of the day. The 2011 Wallow Fire toasted the terrain. Still a nice cool morning hike. It quickly rises 600 ft out of Greer valley then an easy stroll through warm-morning-light meadows to 9,410 ft. RS helped decipher the only notable route finding on the day.

East Baldy Trail #95
Still love this one. Lycium berry bushes were loaded, battery-acid pie lovers would have been in 7th Heaven. Get a good night's rest or beware the rattle-squirrel passing the hoodoo rock outcrop. Denny was rethinking the pace further up so we slowed the train down.

West Baldy Trail #94
It was windy at times throughout the day. Overall perfect weather otherwise. After a little break we decided to omit the mile out-n-back to the summit then headed down. Just a great hike down IMHO.

West Fork Trail #94 - Greer
Majority is toast. Potatoe Hollow Spring looked dependable. The final mile down to the Greer trailhead is a nifty hobbit pine forest.

Synopsis
Great company on a memorable hike. Crawled under a half dozen dead tree obstacles tops. Doubt I'll forget this 24h 55m door-to-door day-trip from home on 1h 40m sleep.
Named place
Named place
Potatoe Hollow Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Shocking substantial mini swaths of yellow above 10k. A dabble at best otherwise.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Mount Baldy Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout About a tenth of a mile past the spring on Topo a slow trickle Creek is passed, gotta be the spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Potatoe Hollow Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Super clear and flowing quick

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Spring Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout
_____________________
- joe
Sep 21 2019
Tortoise_Hiker
avatar

 Routes 78
 Photos 7,357
 Triplogs 2,767

59 male
 Joined Apr 02 2005
 Mesa, AZ
Mount Baldy LoopAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 21 2019
Tortoise_Hiker
Hiking29.92 Miles 3,401 AEG
Hiking29.92 Miles   13 Hrs   18 Mns   2.47 mph
3,401 ft AEG   1 Hour   11 Mns Break
 
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I had thought about doing the Baldy Loop from Greer for a few years. I mentioned it to Linda on one of our local hikes and to my :o she was interested and ok with a early start time! Joe B jumped on board and it was a go :y: .
The departure time, cache set up and hike start time went great. We started a few minutes before the planned time of 5am. We walked down the middle of main street for our first mile and not one car interrupted our stroll :) . We started on East Fork and crossed the LCR without incident . Headlamps were only needed for another mile. The Aspen in the burn area are up to 15 or 20 ft. now. We heard the first of the Elk bugling in this area and it would continue off and on the rest of the hike. The second half of East Fork is overgrown with grass. The grass was no bother to our legs and Route Scout kept us on trail. We saw our first of many Elk on this section and one Coyote.
We grabbed our cache and headed up East Baldy. A nice section. The hoodoos with the Aspen and the views for miles our my favorite part of the East Baldy side. Only a couple down trees on this section. The climb with the Altitude hit me more then I thought it would :( . My pace slowed and by the time we got to the East/West junction I didn't have a summit in me. Joe and Linda wouldn't do it without me so we took a break and got ready for our next section. The Loop itself was our main objective.
West Baldy is a little chewed up on the top half mile from runoff. After that the trail is pretty good and only has a handful of downed trees in the (tree dead zone :scared:). The grassland along with the LCR on the lower section are my favorite on the West Baldy. This was my first time on the section between the crosscut and West Baldy trailhead. We grabbed our cache here, took a break and were ready for our final section.
Once we got on trail the West Fork was easier to follow then the East Fork. Once we started hitting open grass areas the Elk sightings would really pick up. It was very 8) to see a herd of cow Elk follow a big Bull Elk around with his every move. We saw this several times :y: . There were a few smaller bulls mixed in here and there as well. The bugling continued as well. This section was our shortest but we were tired so it seemed a little long :? . We finished before dark which was another goal as well :D .
The weather was great and the company top notch! Thanks to Linda for doing all the driving and Joe for making sure she was awake for it. Like Haz, you two rock!
I also want to thank you for putting up with my bellyaching! A lot of Hazers have joined me or let me join them on some epic hikes and backpack trips. Thanks to all of you. The bellyache is gone in a day but the memories :) :D :y: !!!!
_____________________
Tortoise Hiking. Stop and smell the Petrichor.
1 archive
Aug 22 2014
Tortoise_Hiker
avatar

 Routes 78
 Photos 7,357
 Triplogs 2,767

59 male
 Joined Apr 02 2005
 Mesa, AZ
West Fork Trail #94 - GreerAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 22 2014
Tortoise_Hiker
Hiking6.29 Miles 287 AEG
Hiking6.29 Miles   2 Hrs   17 Mns   2.75 mph
287 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My friend(Tom) and I did this from the top down and then hiked a little more at the bottom. The trail itself was only 5.68 or so. It confused me for a few minutes at the top but we were right on trail within a few minutes. It was 49 when we started and felt great. We saw 4 Deer by the top and 2 more towards the bottom. We didn't see any humans until we were almost done. Great hike and company! :D
Named place
Named place
Potatoe Hollow Spring
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
_____________________
Tortoise Hiking. Stop and smell the Petrichor.
Jun 27 2014
wha
avatar

 Photos 88
 Triplogs 338

male
 Joined Feb 10 2012
 Arizona
Mount Baldy Superloop, AZ 
Mount Baldy Superloop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 27 2014
wha
Backpack30.50 Miles 4,089 AEG
Backpack30.50 Miles4 Days         
4,089 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Day 1 - 5 miles

Started at the West Fork Trail TH in Greer a little after 3pm. A few minutes up the trail is Trail Spring Tank, a beautiful small pond. I saw two hikers walking around the edge. They would be the only people I saw that day.

The trail then goes through some forested areas and large meadows. And burned areas. Lots of blowdowns to climb over or walk around.

Potatoe Hollow Spring had a good flow. The spring and the earlier tank were the only water sources along here.

I stopped for the night on the edge of a large meadow about a half mile short of Sheep's Crossing. As I was boiling some water for dinner a bear walked by, maybe 100 feet away. This time I had my camera at hand and got a couple pictures and some video. It didn't seem too concerned that I was there, not even when I made some noise. A few minutes later, 5 or so turkeys walked past.


Day 2 - 10 miles

Crossed 273 and arrived at the West Baldy TH. One vehicle in the lot with a guy sitting in a lawn chair. We chatted a bit. He'd been out hiking with friends and got worn out from the altitude, returning to the car while the friends went further on the Crossover trail. I admitted I was concerned about the elevation. I've never hiked to 11000, much less backpacked. My plan was to try Baldy, but if it was too much, I'd come back down and take the crossover to make a shorter loop.

The trail soon follows closely along the West Fork Little Colorado. Very scenic. I like water features. I think this was my favorite section of the loop.

I met a pack train and a trail crew coming out. They did a great job. Only had to detour around one blowdown on the West and East Baldy trails, with lots of recently cut through blowdowns.

At the last drainage before the trail starts seriously climbing I stopped for lunch and to load up on water. I figured the next sure source wouldn't be until the East Fork Little Colorado. As I picked up to leave, two guys came huffing and puffing up the trail and passed me. Ten minutes later they passed me going back down. They didn't say anything.

I was huffing and puffing too, but I kept going. I was on the last stretch to the trail junction when something exploded out of the brush next to the trail. It was a Dusky Grouse (I think) hen squawking and carrying on like it had a broken wing. I took a couple quick pics and moved on. My heartrate slowly returned to it's normal pounding.

Made it to the trail junction. Yay! Highest I've ever hiked. It's all downhill from here. (I thought briefly about sneaking to the summit, but after hearing that it wasn't that difficult to actually get permission from the tribe, I decided no, I would do it right sometime.)

I headed down the East Baldy Trail. I checked out the airplane wreckage, and the unnamed spring near the saddle with Mount Thomas. Not big, but it was flowing. I could have filled up here.

Spent the night at the saddle below Mount Thomas.


Day 3 - 10.5 miles

The trail so far had been quite clean, but at my campsite and one a bit further down I found a fair amount of trash including a large glass bottle. Some people are disgusting. If you carry it up, you can carry it back down. I stuffed it in pack pockets and hung it off loops, figuring I'd haul it down to the Gabaldon campground. But they don't provide trash collection, so I ended up carrying it all the way to Greer.

I think this was my second favorite section. The trail is good, some nice forrested sections, and interesting rock formations. Some good views down towards Big Lake too. But I think I like the trail along the West Fork LC better.

I met several groups of hikers in the morning, all asking things like how far they had come, if it's steep all the way. I tried to be encouraging, but they'd only started up the steep bit.

Took the trail over to Gabaldon CG after grabbing some water from the creek. Crossed back over 273 and started on the East Fork Trail. It follows the same route as the 601 railroad grade trail for a bit over a mile. I've thought some about backpacking the 601 and the Overland trail as a longer trip. Now I'm not so sure. The 601 may be an easy grade, but the surface isn't that easy to walk on.

I saw a couple people in the distance walking out to the dam at Colter Reservoir, but they turned around and headed back on the 601 before I got there. The East Fork splits at the dam. I saw no people or even footprints after that until almost Greer. It seems this trail doesn't get much use.

Colter reservoir had some water, and was nice and green around, as was the EFLC below the dam. But after that, the most interesting thing was a billowing smoke cloud from what I found out later was the San Juan Fire. Shortly after crossing the EFLC, the trail enters cattle country. Dusty trails. Cows that insist on walking ahead of you down the trail, kicking up more choking clouds of dust. Or being agressive and threatening. Burned areas with so much blowdown you can't follow the trail. Others where there are so many cowpaths you don't know what trail you're on. I guess it's clear this was my least favorite section. I don't think I'd do it again except as part of loop or longer hike.

I stopped for the night on a meadow a bit past Dry Spring. Which was dry.


Day 4 - 5 miles

Woke to cows staring at me.

I wasn't in a hurry. Just a few miles in to Greer now. This part was hit hard by fire. There's a point where you can see down into the EFLC river valley, and Greer in the distance. It's all burnt sticks. I do believe in the goodness of fire, and that fire is natural. But not this devastation. On the upside, I guess there wasn't much of a clear view before all the trees burned. At least the last bit into Greer was in nice trees again.

A little log "bridge" over the West Fork and I was done.

Well, except for mile and a half of roadwalk to the West Fork trailhead and my car. Stopped at the Rendezvous diner for a cold soda. I reeked pretty bad, but they were polite and didn't hold their noses.
_____________________
May 24 2014
nonot
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 2,001
 Triplogs 477

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
West Fork Trail #94 - GreerAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 24 2014
nonot
Hiking15.60 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking15.60 Miles   7 Hrs   9 Mns   2.18 mph
1,500 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Loop with East Fork Trail and Railroad Grade Trail. Shortcut a bit of the East Fork trail to knock off some distance. The offtrail mile or so saved about 4-5 miles and didn't require any fences to be crossed.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Potatoe Hollow Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Very nice spring. Spring box was full though was growing algae.
_____________________
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May 24 2014
tibber
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 Guides 21
 Routes 588
 Photos 27,667
 Triplogs 993

65 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Railroad Grade Trail #601Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 24 2014
tibber
Hiking8.25 Miles 427 AEG
Hiking8.25 Miles   3 Hrs   20 Mns   2.68 mph
427 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This trip log should be titled "NOT the West Fork Trail" as the West Fork 94 was my goal. I have no idea how I missed the sign :doh: to the right (I spotted it on the way back) as you come through the gate after passing under 273 except that I was filming and looking straight ahead. Anyway, after we set up the Baldy shuttles and I got the group photo of the gang before they headed up West Baldy Trail, it was time for me to hike. (Kathy was initially going to take me up the east side as I think the elevation gain is less but because of the late start and unstable weather, I decided it would be best to pass).

I didn't have a map or anything for the West Fork, LCR Trail as it was not my intended hike. I did have a hike description for West Fork, Black River Trail which is what I thot I was going to hike. Believe me, there was mass confusion :tt: on this West Fork Trail stuff so it's no wonder nothing was matching up not to mention that there was no trail numbers anywhere. I knew I was on a grade as I headed up the trail.

I passed by two large open meadows as I made my way on the grade not too far from FR 87. There was a camping area with some occupants that would have many more occupants when I passed by on my way back. I could see a bridge in the distance so I zoomed in for a pic of it not realizing I would actually be crossing on that bridge. Eventually you cross the road toward the pedestrian bridge that crosses Benny Creek as you start heading west.

Not too far from Boardshack Knoll the graupel flurries came and went. It was interesting round little balls of snow (graupel). One hit my lip and it was definitely cold :o . Previous to getting in this area, the wind had been blowing pretty good. The Knoll has beautiful newly leafing aspens. (There are two cinder pits in the Knoll which looks like they can be accessed from FR 112 from 273. In fact, if you look at the topo, there seem to be other cinder pits in this area). Eventually off to your right (N) you pass Bull Pasture Spring where it looked like there were some sort of troughs. Mind you I didn't know the name of any of this stuff as I was somehow trying to figure out where I was :-k other than just on a Trail per the several carsonite signs I passed indicating as much.

I came to an intersection with another off-road that was coming in from the south. Straight ahead I could see a major dirt road, a stop sign and a snow storm. I decided I would walk to the road and then turn around. When I got to the road I could see a kiosk ahead a bit so surely there would be some sort of information ...there was NADA!!! Sheesh this was frustrating. It does appear I was by an empty Mountain Reservoir. I did spot Green Peak in the distance. Our camp wasn't too far from there. It is the peak with a bald spot on its west side and a gazillion towers on top.

The storm was nearly on me now so I got out my jacket, my hat and gloves and bundled up as it swarmed around me. The storm had much more bark than bite and was fleeting. However, I am sure as vehicles drove by they probably wondered about that bundled-up hiker making her way east in the middle of nearly nowhere. Once past the Knoll, I un-bundled and went back to my normal hiking wear. It was slightly windy at this point but not bad.

As I continued on the grade after hiking across the 87, the graupel flurries came and went so I pulled out the umbrella (you can hear graupel while snowflakes aren't quite as noisy ;) ). I was going to try and hike without stopping for a break but decided I would pull over at a rock or log in this one protected section to rest for 5 minutes. A little further down the trail I stopped to enjoy this one section where the birdies seemed particularly active :) . As I got closer to the TH I spotted this carsonite sign off to my left that said TRAIL... imagine that! I couldn't believe that I didn't see that :oops: .

So I debated with myself as to whether I should follow this obviously little-used trail or head to the TH. I decided since I was stupid for missing it, I should have to go see if there was an indication as to what trail this might be since once again, there is no indication whatsoever. The weather was getting worse so I thot I might just venture up 2 miles.

I headed over to the other side of the clearing following the cairns and then the posts that took me up into the forest. This is kind of a neat area but the graupel started coming and with my umbrella out, it made it difficult getting thru the narrow areas. I threw in the towel and said I was hungry and I would save this hike for another time. As I opened and closed the barbed wire gate I thot, "if I HAD been on the right trail, I might indeed have run into Nonot as he was doing the W and E Fork Trail loop". I passed by his car and then headed up to the parking lot.

I decided I would have some lunch and then drive over to the East side to check out the E Baldy or connector trail. As I was working on the second part of my lunch the graupel started coming down; well it started graupeling (precipitation that forms when super-cooled droplets of water are collected and freeze on a falling snowflake) pretty seriously. And it kept coming down for about 1/2 hour :o .

Not only that, it started getting cold. Fortunately I had my chenile Mexican blanket so I wrapped myself up in that (ya I know, "why didn't you just start the car for a bit?"). Then my fingers started to get numb; it was the strangest thing. I did everything I could think of to bring the feeling back including rubbing and clapping and blowing into my hands but nothing seemed to work. My first fear was what if I couldn't shoot pictures anymore :lol:? I quit fussing and just waited for the storm to pass. I did shoot some video and pictures during the event and worried 8-[ that my buddies on the mountain were getting pummeled.

The sun finally came out and as the graupel started to melt and the vehicle warmed a little, the feeling came back in my fingers. What a relief! This is my second bad experience with the cold up in these White Mountains. The last time was during a ski trip. It's a long story :-({|= but that's when I think my body thermometer went on the blink permanently (mid 90s). I was glad when the Mount Baldy hikers showed up and hadn't experienced the weather I had here.

Anyway, it was a great hike and I was fascinated by the weather and I got some pretty cool video and pictures.

Snow in May at the White Mountains including at camp on Fri afternoon, along the trail and at the parking lot: http://youtu.be/p7ZwdcAK3p8
Part 1 of my hike to just before the Knoll and some small graupel flurries: http://youtu.be/2MwIne4goDA
Part 2 of my hike to Mountain Reservoir including view of pending storm and in the graupel flurries as I headed back toward the TH http://youtu.be/ZoaIrgQAo2U
Flora
Flora
Engelmann Spruce
Fauna
Fauna
Dark-eyed Junco
Culture
Culture
Bridge
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
Jul 13 2013
Pivo
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 Guides 2
 Routes 379
 Photos 4,345
 Triplogs 3,438

64 male
 Joined Mar 01 2009
 Tucson, AZ
West Fork Trail #94 - GreerAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 13 2013
Pivo
Hiking10.16 Miles 1,287 AEG
Hiking10.16 Miles   4 Hrs   32 Mns   2.73 mph
1,287 ft AEG      49 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Floridasunshine
MyRudy
What started as an attempt to summit Baldy, turned into a leisurely hike up the wrong trail. I wanted to do the West Fork of the LCR, however we drove all of the way into Greer and started from there. As it turned out it was a good thing that we didn't use the correct TH due to weather.
It has gotten me thinking about doing a Baldy summit from Greer in the future. It would be a looong day hike, yet I know Joseph, BK, and JR would be up for it.
Culture
Culture
Spring Box
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Potatoe Hollow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
_____________________
Jul 13 2013
MyRudy
avatar

 Photos 3
 Triplogs 106

21 male
 Joined Apr 23 2012
 Tucson, AZ
West Fork Trail #94 - GreerAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 13 2013
MyRudy
Hiking10.60 Miles 1,287 AEG
Hiking10.60 Miles   4 Hrs   32 Mns   2.85 mph
1,287 ft AEG      49 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Floridasunshine
Pivo
_____________________
Apr 28 2013
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 414
 Photos 5,116
 Triplogs 773

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
West Fork Trail #94 - GreerAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 28 2013
azbackpackr
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
1,100 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
SUN_HIKER
I met up with 3 women from Show Low and Overgaard, and was pleased to learn that one of them was a HAZzer, Sun_Hiker, (you'll recall, GPS Joe's friend and hiking pal).

Despite a minor health issue with one of the gals, we had a great time. The weather was fantastic. The Wallow Fire did burn a bit of this area, but it wasn't overwhelming. A view of snowy Mount Baldy graced the horizon for much of the hike. We hiked to Sheep's Crossing/West Baldy TH, and back to Greer again.

For a backpacking trip, Potato Hollow Spring offers a good source of water, but it is not on the list. I messed around with the function but it is slow, so I will try adding it later. You can start in Greer, and hike to Baldy, do the Baldy loop and come back down this same trail. (East Fork Trail burned heavily in the fire. I have not hiked it since. I will, though.)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Spring Tank 76-100% full 76-100% 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.
Jan 02 2013
Randal_Schulhauser
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 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

60 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
White Mountains Winter 2013, AZ 
White Mountains Winter 2013, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jan 02 2013
Randal_Schulhauser
Backpack12.00 Miles 500 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles2 Days         
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
White Mountains Winter 2013


I needed to feel some snow beneath my feet - so having heard from my neighbors Terry and Giselle about their New Year's trek to Sunrise Ski Park (check out => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1307 ), I thought a couple of days in the White Mountains would be "just the ticket". I couldn't take advantage of my Marriott Rewards or Priority Club Rewards booking a hotel since none of their hotels in the vicinity of the White Mountains are "pet friendly". Luckily the Best Western in Eagar AZ will accept dogs in the room, so we had our base camp.

Wednesday 1/2 - Arrived in the White Mountains late morning via Hwy 260 with our first stop near Sunrise Ski Park and FR112 and the Railroad Grade Trail #601 (see => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=15451 ). Lots of snow fun on the slopes of the Railroad Grade. FR117 was unplowed so our afternoon plans to explore Green's Peak and the Four Knolls (see => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=792 ) were thwarted. Our back-up plan was to explore trails near the village of Greer. Mini-hikes on West Fork Trail #94 and Butler Canyon Trail #98 (see => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=784 and http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=2250 ) and exploring some real estate poking around the village. You can see the scarred forest and how close it came to torching all of Greer from last summer's Wallow Fire (see => http://wildfiretoday.com/2011/06/09/wal ... r-arizona/ and http://hikearizona.com/map.php?QX=769 ). We ended the day with a sunset hike of the G&F Grasslands (see => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=963 ). Grasslands lived up to the hype for surefire wildlife encounters as we met up with a herd of mule deer.

Thursday 1/3 - After a frigid night, arrived at the South Fork Trail #97 (see => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=602 ) trail head with my truck thermometer indicating 19degF (neglected to get photo evidence, but did capture the noon time temperature of 23degF). We hiked the 3 miles to the bridge with the dogs enjoying the snow. Once again scars from the Wallow Fire could be seen along the hiking route. Next up was Pole Knoll (see => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=802 ). Hiking was challenging post-holing your route beside the set track for cross country skiing. I was very impressed with the skiing conditions at Pole Knoll - makes me want to break out my skis! We Wrapped up our White Mountain tour with some photo ops at Horseshoe Cienega (see => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17512 ) and Los Burros (see => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=603 ). We had a late day dinner in Show Low and returned home via Hwy 60.
:)
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
_____________________
Aug 31 2011
Randal_Schulhauser
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 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

60 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
West Baldy Trail #94Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 31 2011
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking7.00 Miles 2,364 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   6 Hrs      1.17 mph
2,364 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Mt. Baldy Wilderness Trails - August 2011

West Baldy Trail #94
West Fork Trail #94
East Baldy Trail #95
East Fork Trail #95

Thompson Trail #629 => status?

Having recently completed a business trip around the world in 7 days (Phoenix to Minneapolis to Amsterdam to Delhi to Hong Kong to Shanghai to Singapore to Tokyo to Los Angeles to Phoenix), I booked a week off to recharge the batteries and spend some time with the wife and dogs.

With a request to escape the Valley heat for some cooler climes, I scouted up some of my favorite trails in the White Mountains. Escudilla, South Fork Trail #97, Indian Spring #627 all seem to have fallen victim to the 2011 Wallow Fire :( :( :(

It's been a few years since I've been to the Mt. Baldy Wilderness (check out => http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=2661 ) and I seem to recall that SR273 formed the western fire line. With the Mt. Baldy Wilderness being on the west side of the fire line, it should have been untouched by the Wallow Fire. A quick check of the weather forecast, Hi 72degF, Lo 52degF, 30% chance of T-storms and Lynn, Skippy, Chrissy, and me were off on our first trek in the new F-150...

There have been a few changes to the Mt. Baldy Wilderness since my last trek. No longer is SR273 a rough, washboard gravel road - it's now paved from the SR260 turn-off to the intersection with Big Lake Recreation Area campgrounds (check out => http://www.rrmofa.com/BigLakeRecreationArea.html ). There's a new road bridge crossing the West Fork of the Little Colorado River, and 3 new paved parking lots at the West Fork Trail #94 trail head, beside the new bridge (Phelps Cabin TH?), and at the East Fork Trail #93 trail head. Even the access road to the Lee Valley Reservoir is paved now!

When we pulled into the West Baldy Trail #94/West Fork Trail #94 parking lot noon-ish, we'd seen scant evidence of the Wallow Fire :) With only one other vehicle in the ample parking lot, we were anticipating a true wilderness experience. The Shih Tzu and Springer Spaniel were excited about hitting the trail and set a blistering pace to the intersection of the Phelps Cabin Trail at the open meadow near the Wilderness Boundary. We had perfect conditions to relax and explore the banks of the West Fork of the Lower Colorado - spoke too soon...

Echoing claps of thunder punctuated the sounds of nature as dark clouds began rolling over Mount Baldy. A light rain began to fall as we trekked further along the trail. We're past the Wilderness Boundary sign and I can't help but notice the recent ATV double track paralleling the trail - what's up with that?

We enter a forested area right beside the Little Colorado River and decide to wait out the rain here. A couple of Fish & Game workers amble down the trail and stop to chat. They've been electroshocking trout and taking inventory upstream. Indicated they inventoried only a couple of dozen no bigger than 4 inches. As they depart, they say; "Break out the rain gear because it's going to rain the rest of the day". Not exactly what I wanted to hear...
Flora
Flora
Blue Spruce
Fauna
Fauna
Dog
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
_____________________
May 29 2011
jochal
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 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,878
 Triplogs 525

36 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
West Fork Trail #94 - GreerAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 29 2011
jochal
Hiking11.50 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles
1,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a pretty nice trail. The hike description is pretty accurate in its assessment. It gives a nice walk through forest and meadows, with some aspen groves and a chance to see some wildlife. Got off trail a couple of times due to spur trails and crisscrossing old roads, but I didn't really mind since the trail is bounded by the West Fork LCR canyon and Fs 87. Fs 87 can be a little annoying.

Saw a couple of small herds of deer.

Started the hike from the Greer Lodge and ended the hike at the coffee and ice cream shop :D
Culture
Culture
Spring Box
_____________________
Sep 18 2010
sneakySASQUATCH
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 Guides 4
 Routes 25
 Photos 3,973
 Triplogs 922

51 male
 Joined Aug 23 2005
 Pike National Fo
West Fork Trail #94 - GreerAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 18 2010
sneakySASQUATCH
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   3.20 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Headed up to Greer to get out of the heat with my wife and sidekick Muesli. Had a great breakfast at the Greer Resort and Lodge. Decided we then needed to burn off breakfast so we headed down the street for the trailhead. The weather was fantastic a nice breeze and most of the hike was in the shade of the pines. My wife had a little difficulty with the altitude early on especially during the initial climb. I had to invest in some shoes for Muesli since his pads were still healing from Peralta trail this week. Thought for sure he would hate them and lose them somewhere on the hike, but he made it back with all 4. Saw some wildlife both dead and alive. All in all a relaxing day. Best of all it was a hike that didn't require bushwacking, have cactus, or huge elevation changes so my wife enjoyed it without being beaten up and may hike with me in the future! :y:
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:o
Jun 04 2010
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 414
 Photos 5,116
 Triplogs 773

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
West Fork Trail #94 - GreerAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2010
azbackpackr
Hiking9.30 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking9.30 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   2.66 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Most of the triplogs for this hike, the people did not do this hike at all! This hike starts right from Greer, from right behind the Rendezvous Diner and Molly's off of Osborne Rd., and goes to the West Fork Baldy Trail. It is about 6 miles one way. I think it was originally intended as a horse access trail to Baldy. The original write-up by Belladonna Took is correct, though. Once it gets to the Baldy area, it is NOT this trail anymore! So if you are doing only the Baldy Loop, please leave this one off your linked hikes!

Ok, now that I have vented...

I hiked up 4.8 miles one-way, and then retraced my steps, carrying my new multiday backpack, with 26 pounds in it, so got over 9 miles and 1000 feet. I saw a mother deer with triplets! And later on, some other deer, and a garter snake of some kind. And a Stellar's Jay.

Good views of Baldy, which I heard that someone has climbed last week, using snowshoes. He said crampons also necessary if you want to actually summit.

The aspens are greening up. Dan Quayle Spring ("Potatoe" Hollow Spring) is flowing very nicely.

If you want to backpack on this trail, it is best to go past "Potatoe" Hollow Spring, where the trail no longer is close to the road. There is a nice flat area about .2 mile beyond the spring (if you started the hike in Greer.)

Despite what other triplogs say (the ones that actually hiked THIS trail) I like this trail. There is never anyone on it. The trailhead is known mostly only to Greer residents, although of course, it is published in the FS booklet.

Locally, Trail Spring Pond is known as Badger Pond, and the trail is often referred to as Badger Pond Trail. "Potatoe" Hollow Spring is on the map only as "spring."

Starting a long backpacking trip in this area, one could start up this trail, do Baldy, then perhaps the RR grade on over to Indian Springs, then down W. Fork of the Black River to main fork, then to Fish Creek Trail and up and across into the Blue, and on down Foote Creek to the Blue River and cross it and up Lanphier and across into New Mexico and on to the Gila. Then, do the Gila. That would occupy a pleasant month and would be an nice little thru-hike...

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
This is called Badger Pond locally. Not sure why "Potatoe" Hollow Spring is not on here, except that on the map, it just says "spring."
_____________________
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.
Aug 09 2009
hhwolf14
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 Photos 832
 Triplogs 173

42 female
 Joined Oct 13 2007
 Loveland, CO
Mount Baldy LoopAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 09 2009
hhwolf14
Hiking15.35 Miles 1,840 AEG
Hiking15.35 Miles   6 Hrs   50 Mns   2.25 mph
1,840 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Beautiful day to escape the heat and the crowds. This was my first trip to this region, and I came away very impressed. I don't mind a bit of a drive, but I was more than ready to get started on this one after 4 hours. I followed trail 95, then 94, and finally the connector. Each leg had it's own highlights- meadows, wildflowers, the river, wildlife. Overall, a very sweet hike, definitely will return to the area to explore a bit more!
Culture
Culture
Airplane Wreckage
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
Jun 23 2009
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 414
 Photos 5,116
 Triplogs 773

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
East Fork of the Little Colorado, AZ 
East Fork of the Little Colorado, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 23 2009
azbackpackr
Hiking4.00 Miles
Hiking4.00 Miles   2 Hrs      2.00 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Mileage given is round trip. This was a very little hike up the actual East Fork of the Little Colorado, a non-official trail. It is very near the official trail of the same name (see linked hikes.) It seems that everyone who lives in Greer knows this trail because on a Tuesday we saw a whopping 8 other hikers! That's a lot of hikers for around here, especially on a Tuesday! It is absolutely gorgeous, while it lasts. It tends to die out and become pretty much bushwhacking, although I was told you can follow the drainage to the rim if you are persistent enough. I was with a group of retired ladies who hike on Tuesdays, and they weren't up for the scramble. But at least now I know it's there.

I can't tell you exactly how to get to it because we went through several people's back yards. You take the road to the Montlure Summer Camp and there is a link to this trail near the camp. I was told you can also start at the regular, official, East Fork Trailhead, near the end of 373, but don't go up the switchbacks, just cross the river and they say you can find it??? I will have to go check that out.

The official trail does not follow the creek but the unofficial one does. The unofficial trail just follows the East Fork, the east side of Amberon Point (see Big Lake topo map) whereas the "Official" trail switchbacks up the west side of Amberon Point, tops over the rim, goes to Marble Spring and East Baldy Trail. In addition to Big Lake topo you should use Greer topo.

I tried some different settings on my camera, and did use flash on a couple, as suggested. But it tended to give a washed out look, such as when I took photos of ferns on a log in the shade. Perhaps I should have changed the exposure setting as well??? Thanks for previous suggestions, y'all!

(Edit, post Wallow Fire, 2011. This trail will never be the same in my lifetime.)
_____________________
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.
Aug 03 2008
trujillo_aaron
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 Routes 2
 Triplogs 2

43 male
 Joined Nov 05 2007
 Show Low, AZ
West Fork Trail #94 - GreerAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2008
trujillo_aaron
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
1,000 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Dusted off the ole mountain bike for some high altituded riding, first mile has about 800 ft of gain but what a great ride, took it to Potato Hollow Springs where I turned around after seeing signage that the trail was not maintained after this point...not sure if because of the Big Lake construction...
_____________________
Sep 02 2007
JoelHazelton
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 Guides 16
 Routes 10
 Photos 967
 Triplogs 406

34 male
 Joined Mar 22 2006
 Phoenix, AZ
West Fork Trail #94 - GreerAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2007
JoelHazelton
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.50 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Couldn't figure out how to get to Mount Baldy (original plan) because of the road closures, so we decided instead to camp near the west fork trail. Camped too close to the road and heard too much traffic fly by.

On Sunday when we hiked the trail we got dumped on, but the rain felt nice. The small pond after the first climb from the trailhead is very pretty.

Sunday night we heard what sounded like a pretty serious altercation with an obscene yelling match and multiple gunshots. Considering the fact this sounded almost directly across the street from us (vision from our campsite was obscured by trees) we got pretty spooked and put out the campfire and went to bed.
_____________________
"Arizona is the land of contrast... You can go from Minnesota to California in a matter of minutes, then have Mexican food that night." -Jack Dykinga

http://www.joelhazelton.com
average hiking speed 2.31 mph
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