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Bronco Trail #245 - 17 members in 40 triplogs have rated this an average 2.4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 11 2021
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,147

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 11 2021
rcorfman
Hiking7.11 Miles 1,324 AEG
Hiking7.11 Miles   2 Hrs   43 Mns   2.79 mph
1,324 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did an out and back on the Bronco trail. I went from the Bronco Trailhead to where the Bronco Trail connects with the Cottonwood Trail #247 where a geocache was hidden. I found the geocache and returned.

The trail is in good shape now, better than I remember it from last June. Maybe that's because I didn't continue on the #247 like I did then. There was never an issue with brush. There were some rocks that had fallen onto the trail. I pushed a few off but didn't worry too much about them. Parts of the trail are quite rocky but it was still easy to navigate.

There was one car at the trailhead when I started and maybe 30 minutes into my hike I saw two ladies hiking out. They commented that I was the first person they had seen. I didn't ask how far they went but I know it wasn't past the last saddle before dropping down the the end of the Bronco trail as there were no fresh tracks. When I was finishing up, there was a man heading up the first hill.

The weather was pretty good for my walk. I started later than I would have liked, but it was pleasant the whole hike not getting as warm as I figured it would.
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Mar 16 2021
PhxRiles
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 Guides 2
 Routes 1
 Photos 453
 Triplogs 35

62 male
 Joined Dec 02 2020
 Phoenix, AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 16 2021
PhxRiles
Hiking7.40 Miles 1,292 AEG
Hiking7.40 Miles   1 Hour   52 Mns   3.96 mph
1,292 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Seems like there's always something of interest on my Maricopa Trail hikes lately. Today was no different. I intended to hike part of the segment from Bronco TH south toward FH 1058. Got to the TH about 8:45. It was breezy, cool (my car said 38 degrees) and cloudy. Seeing the MT trail marker near the rest room, I started hiking south...or so I thought. The first .3 to .5 mile was uphill, a short but decent uphill stretch. I continued along the ridgeline with great views of Humboldt Mountain and also to the south. I kept waiting to cross the gravel road, but it never happened. At the 2.4 mile mark I started downhill and looked at my route. Oops. That's when I realized I was on the MT going between Bronco and Spur Cross. Ah, this is the section I wanted to save for hiking with LosDos. At least I was going in the right direction! Seeing that it was clouding up and getting cooler, I decided to head back.

It wasn't long before I noticed tiny objects drifting in the air around me. Dust? Nope. Ah, flurries...snow flurries. And the flurries turned to full-on snow. Very eerie, any sounds were somewhat muffled, and the surrounding hills were obscured in a snowy fog. The wind along the ridgeline was blowing right-to-left, and the snow started accumulating along my left leg. I was in the snow for perhaps 15-20 minutes...nothing accumulating on the ground, just on me and my hat. I don't frequent snowy areas, so haven't done any snow hiking. I got a day of rain on the Camino, but no snow. So a very interesting experience.
[ youtube video ]

I'll have to take a mulligan on the Bronco to FH 1058 section. Save that for another day. The whole idea today was to cover some of this section in the Bronco area before it gets too hot. Guess I solved that problem.
1 archive
Feb 20 2021
hikerdw
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,829
 Triplogs 488

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 20 2021
hikerdw
Hiking11.75 Miles 2,136 AEG
Hiking11.75 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   2.56 mph
2,136 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Haven't hiked the last .5 mile of this trail so completed that today. Did some wandering along Bronco Creek as a bonus, kicked up one deer along the way. Nice temps the entire day. Only saw one pair of hikers on the hike out.

As with most areas, the highlights here are found when you leave the trail :)
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Dec 25 2020
RoadrunnerAZ
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 Triplogs 23

48 male
 Joined Nov 14 2014
 Phoenix, AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 25 2020
RoadrunnerAZ
Hiking13.55 Miles 2,633 AEG
Hiking13.55 Miles   9 Hrs   1 Min   1.69 mph
2,633 ft AEG      59 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Wanted to do a longer hike on Christmas Day and the Bronco Trail that we never hiked before seemed like a great option. There was no one in the parking lot and we didn't see anyone on the trail - quite unusual for a trail in this area. Weather was great, with quite a few birds near the trail and a few jackrabbits. Bronco Trail was in good shape (we could follow it on the way back only using moonlight) but the Cottonwood Trail while still in good condition and easy to follow was starting to get overgrown in places especially while in the wash. Lots of great views especially while following the ridgeline after the initial climb and then of Skull Mesa and Quien Sabe Peak further along the trail.
_____________________
Dec 11 2020
muskybankr
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 Routes 30
 Photos 266
 Triplogs 36

82 male
 Joined Dec 11 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 11 2020
muskybankr
Hiking7.40 Miles 1,292 AEG
Hiking7.40 Miles   3 Hrs   20 Mns   2.47 mph
1,292 ft AEG      20 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I noticed that HikeAZ gives me no credit for hiking any of the six trails around Seven Springs although we have hiked most of them for years and years, just never posted them. I guess they're not mindreaders. Since we’ve been somewhat shut out of the AZ Trail, which we were approaching in a day tripping, piecemeal fashion, by Mother Nature, wild fires, closures and deadfalls, we opted to rehike the trails up around Seven Springs. We’ve done most of these with the exception of the Quien Sabe trail which is a bit too much like the AZ Trail to be hiked by seniors. So today, we rehiked the old Bronco Trail out to Cottonwood and back. We got about .5” of rain yesterday which was needed except when your boots are full of mud and you’re slipping and sliding along slogging uphill carrying mud, you don’t think about the beneficial aspects of rain. The vistas from the trail are all wonderful and the weather was perfect (37 degrees to start, about 57 to finish). Someone said that a pound of mud on your boots was equal to five pounds on your back, but why someone would be carrying five pounds of mud on their back escapes me. While three cars were parked at the TH, we saw no other hikers today. All photos taken by Phil for reasons explained on our 12/18 post of Skunk Tank.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation None
Nothing on trail but Seven Springs road just below TH had very pretty cottonwoods.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
none, but the grasses were pretty
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Jun 29 2020
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,147

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 29 2020
rcorfman
Hiking12.94 Miles 2,325 AEG
Hiking12.94 Miles   4 Hrs   57 Mns   2.77 mph
2,325 ft AEG      17 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
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Last May, a geocache was hidden along trail 247 and since the temps were expected to cool off, I decided to make the hike and find it. I debated whether to start at Spur Cross or the Bronco trailhead. I've never hiked from the latter, so I chose it. Started walking just before 6am. It was almost chilly but closer to perfect out when I started. When I finished, almost 5 hours later, it was low 80s, so quite a nice day for a longer hike.

Bronco Trail was in pretty good condition. It's used a fair bit and was mostly clear of brush, though rocky in places but not too bad. The trail was obviously less used and more brushy immediately after the junction to Cottonwood Trail. In general, I had no trouble following it though once along Cottonwood Creek there was a lot more brush and I had to pause in a few places to see where to go.

After the junction to Skull Mesa Trail #248, 247 follows a ridge then drops fairly steeply back down to Cottonwood Creek. Near the bottom, where the trail was recently reworked, it was broken up with the last drop to creek bed. A couple good rains and it may be a big mess. The geocache was shortly after that and where I turned back.

Since I expected the trail may be overgrown and have pokey things, I wore shoes. First time in a long time and wouldn't you know it, but my middle right toe got bruised. I like my shoes fairly loose and I think I may be loosing a nail in the future. Should a just worn the sandals.

It was nice to walk some trail I've never been on before and to see a different view of Skull Mesa, Elephant Mt., Sugarloaf, etc.
_____________________
Go find a LonelyCache
Jan 25 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 377
 Photos 7,633
 Triplogs 575

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 25 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,030 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   6 Hrs   4 Mns   1.98 mph
2,030 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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I decided to hike the Bronco and Cottonwood Trails from the Bronco Trailhead to the 7Springs area, or at least to the junction with the Skunk Tank Trail. I got about 1000 feet or so short of it when the trail had disappeared completely. Looks like the fire from 2005 to that section of the Cottonwood Trail out and it wasn't rebuilt.

Started just before 7am in the dark. It was a bit chilly but not bad. At the one saddle on the way up to the high point someone had a tent set up for an overnighter. I could hear the people inside as I walked by. Bronco Tank has some water in it. Made note of the China Wall Trail junction past that, might try that one sometime soon. Bronco starts smooth but soon gets rocky, then rockier.

The Cottonwood Trail from the junction was flat and smooth, then I lost it as it climbed and I stayed in the creek. I bushwhacked my way back up the hill to the trail, then descended as it has turned very rocky. Back in the wash, it begins to fade. It was as this point that I tripped, smacked my bad knee on a rock, and punctured my hand with a stick. Just as my knee had quit burning I noticed the blood on my hand. There was a puncture at the web of my hand between my thumb and forefinger. It wasn't all that big, but it was pretty deep. I used a handkerchief to soak up the blood and then to protect the wound while using my hiking pole. I continued on until the trail was gone beyond a doubt and I was on a steep hill sideways and the stress on my hand from the pole was making it burn more.

On the way back along the Bronco Trail I encountered several older hikers. It turned out they were all part of a big group, some of which were just hanging out at the trailhead, probably after shorter hikes. I stopped and talked to quite a few of them, both on the trail and at the parking lot.
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May 20 2019
MEWhiteman
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 Guides 42
 Routes 93
 Photos 802
 Triplogs 354

77 male
 Joined Dec 24 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 20 2019
MEWhiteman
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,490 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   3 Hrs      2.33 mph
1,490 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
hiazny10
Planned to hike to China Wall and back via the Bronco Trail and Bronco Creek Trail, but I had a deadline to return so ran out of time. We got partway up the Bronco Creek trail when we lost the trail. Since a thunderstorm was approaching and we were short on time we turned around. It was cool (high 40s) and we did get wet but we enjoyed the hike. I’d like to try again at some later time.
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Dec 17 2018
DixieFlyer
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 Guides 60
 Routes 586
 Photos 8,276
 Triplogs 523

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Bronco Butte - CarefreePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 17 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking12.90 Miles 2,625 AEG
Hiking12.90 Miles   7 Hrs   18 Mns   2.52 mph
2,625 ft AEG   2 Hrs   11 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Tracie and I were looking for a hike that we haven't done and for a peak to bag, and Bronco Butte fit the bill on both counts, so off we went.

It was a crisp 40 degrees at the TH when we started the hike. The TH was huge -- I can't imagine that there would ever be a shortage of places to park.

Bronco Butte Trail #245 was in good shape and was easy to follow. After a little over 3 miles, we went on the China Wall/Bronco Creek Trail the rest of the way to Bronco Butte. This trail was pretty easy to follow until we got to a barb wire corral. Thereafter, the trail was faint in some places, and I had to use a GPS some on the way to Bronco Butte. On the way back I had an easier time following the trail.

The hike to Bronco Butte was nice. We stopped and looked at a water trough that had a pipe dripping water in it, presumably running from a spring. A drip of water came out about every 2-3 seconds.

The views on top of Bronco Butte were much nicer than I would have thought. We had good views of Quien Sabe Peak, Skull Mesa, New River Mesa, and Elephant Mountain. To the SE, you could see Butte Peak(the City of Scottsdale High Point) and Gold Hill not far away. It looked like the private trails going up to Butte Peak were well constructed and maintained.

Judging from the entries in the log book at the summit, not many people bag this peak. There was only one entry before ours in 2018 -- back on St. Patricks Day.

On the way back we went by some of the China Wall. We didn't spend as much time looking around as I would have liked, but we did see a couple of mining sites where there were holes in the ground where rock had been blasted -- the holes were maybe 4 feet deep.

This was not the greatest hike that I have ever done, but it certainly isn't the worst...and I imagine that I will do the hike again sometime, and will spend a bit more time poking around the China Wall.

EDIT: I came out here again and found the airplane wreckage just west of the northern part of the China Wall. Here are some details on the plane crash, which occured on Feb. 25, 2011: https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=94036
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
I noticed quite a few poppies and globemallow in bloom.
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
2 archives
Nov 11 2018
KBKB
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 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,216
 Triplogs 237

59 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2018
KBKB
Hiking9.76 Miles 1,768 AEG
Hiking9.76 Miles   4 Hrs   55 Mns   2.30 mph
1,768 ft AEG      40 Mns Break24 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
My wife and I hiked the Bronco Trail for our Sunday afternoon hike. Marilyn wanted to get in 8 miles for the day, so we hiked north for a ways on #247 (Cottonwood) until her GPS passed 4 miles.

On the way back, I explored a bit of the China Wall Trail w/ Bronco Creek. There seemed to be more than a few paths in this area - I'm not certain I was on the right one, but I did eventually find one that seemed like more than just an old cow path or game trail. I got confused on the way back to #245, but my GPS helped me to find the trail that I came in on - I was following the wrong drainage back up to #245.

When I caught up with my wife, she thought that she had lost her phone. We spent a while searching for it. A pair of hunters saw us, thought that we were lost, and provided helpful directions on how to get back. It turned out that she hadn't actually lost her phone - it was in her backpack, but not in the compartment where she normally keeps it. But she didn't figure that out until we were back in our vehicle driving home. We spent perhaps half an hour to forty minutes looking for her phone.

In addition to the hunters, we saw a woman with her dogs hiking behind us for the first two miles of the hike.

This was my first time on the Bronco Trail. I didn't much like the mile and a half or so nearest to the trailhead, but the rest is pretty nice. I also enjoyed my exploration of the China Wall / Bronco Creek area.
_____________________
Nov 03 2018
Zort
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 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 94
 Triplogs 18

52 male
 Joined Aug 12 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Rustic 7 Springs Ride from Bronco TH, AZ 
Rustic 7 Springs Ride from Bronco TH, AZ
 
Mtn Biking avatar Nov 03 2018
Zort
Mtn Biking21.13 Miles 3,355 AEG
Mtn Biking21.13 Miles   8 Hrs   10 Mns   3.00 mph
3,355 ft AEG   1 Hour   7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Having a more positive experience than expected the previous weekend on Bronco (247), on Saturday 11/3 I decided to go back out, add some mileage and up the ante with a ride from Bronco TH, pursuing a very rustic CCW loop on: Trail 4 south from the TH :next: Cottonwood (247) south :next: Skunk Creek (246) south and west :next: Quien Sabe (250) south with a jog west through Matty's Fork then south again :next: Skull Mesa (248) west then south :next: Cottonwood (247) east/northeast :next: Bronco (245) east then northeast with a nice downhill bomb back to the Bronco TH. See the GPX.

8:56 AM - Rode from Bronco TH to Trail 4 TH. The road is in decent shape. Passenger cars will have no problem. Things are drying a bit, so it's pretty dusty again.

9:13 AM - Started on Trail 4. Riparian loveliness down along the creek. Nice photo ops.

9:25 AM - Crossing the creek was easy, though I didn't find the cairn marking the Cottonwood trail on the other side quite as easily as the previous week. It's a steep grunt up from the creek, but then the trail becomes a fun challenge of water bar step-ups and climbing. Cartwright Ranch - location, location, location!

9:35 AM - Junction of Cottonwood and Skunk Creek. Skunk Creek is generally too steep and full of baseballs and baby heads to ride many of the climbs, but the scenery is rugged, remote and totally worthy. Steep uphills lead to steep downhills, and things can become eye-popping and hilarious if you let gravity have her way with you. Keep off the front brakes and out of the deep ruts, and you could be just fine. Wow, this trail has a ton of elevation gain! Oh look, a tarantula tiptoeing down the trail.

10:22 AM - Junction with Quien Sabe. Hmm... Before long the machete came out of its sheath and extra time was spent in several places hacking cat claw and prickly pear from the wreckage that was perhaps a trail once. There appears to have been no work done and very, very little foot traffic on Quien Sabe since the Cave Creek Complex Fire in '05. Several skeletal trees crossed the trail. Some were cleared, but plenty of cat claw, prickly pear, tall grass, ruts, holes, dead-fall and general mayhem remain to entertain adventure seekers.

12:30 PM - Matty's Fork stopped me cold. What a stunning little gulch! What a welcome bit of shade! There was simply no resisting a quick explore down the creek bed on foot. Noshing and extra hydrating was done. Water was not flowing in the stream bed, but there may have been some under the sand. From Matty's, finding the remnants of Quien Sabe required patience, GPS and a huge cairn. Even then I repeatedly lost it in the high grass, or did I? Who knows? ;) Nearing the junction with Skull Mesa, there was a short section of trail utterly choked with Desert Holly (or something similar) that required more hacking to pass.

1:18 PM - Skull Mesa Trail east of the mesa is really sketchy, eroded, and a tricky thing to follow. A pair of red-tailed hawks circled and screamed above Quien Sabe Peak. As a boy growing up in the rain forest of the northwest, I dreamed of being a bald eagle. Now, in the desert southwest, the dream soars on tawny wings and super-heated updrafts. Uh-oh, all the route finding, daydreaming and playing with the machete were putting me way behind schedule. No mechanical issues with the bike though, so things were sure to get better. They didn't - at least not yet. Finding the cut where the trail drops off the shoulder of Quien Sabe Peak down to Cottonwood required wandering, backtracking, GPS and a few extra minutes. The downhill section of this trail is a nasty gutter. Being solo, I dared not attempt riding down the steep, loose-powder, jumbled garbage chute sections. Further down, off in the weeds (literally) I abused a prickly pear with my front tire and had to futz with the tire to get it to seal up. Yep, getting further behind schedule.

3:05 PM - Finally, I made it down off the mesas and into Cottonwood Creek. Yesssssss!!! Thank you, Jesus and praise to Allah! Just upstream from the trail junction was a shady spot where two arms of the drainage came together and the creek flowed strong. I dug a small depression, and the silt quickly cleared leaving a pool of clean, cool water. I treated a couple liters, and snacked on some Dukes sausages and an RX bar. And there was a great rejoicing. After that, riding in the creek and sometimes alongside it on the Maricopa Trail was much more enjoyable than the chossy and choked mess I'd been through to this point. In fact, it was downright pleasant.

4:15 PM - Junction with Bronco Trail. Climbs too steep to climb were attempted, and when that didn't work there was pushing the bike uphill. And there was *lots* of this lung-busting fun. Not to worry, the trek was nearing its end. Good thing, too - the shadows were growing taller than my, uh...metaphors. Or something.

4:42 PM - Tank in the East Fork of Bronco Creek. Really, seriously, there was just One. Climb. Left. A nice little seep partway up the trail darkened the soil and gave off that unmistakable water-on-the-desert smell of life and salvation. Then it was smooth sailing down the ridge to Bronco Trailhead.

5:10 PM - Bronco Trailhead. 21.6 miles all wrapped up in a tidy 8 hours and 10 minutes overall. Moving time was 5 hours 29 minutes, and the moving avg was just about 4 mph. That's a solid day's work, and great solo adventure.
Fauna
Fauna
Tarantula
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

dry Quien Sabe Spring Dry Dry
Dark soil but no flow from the spring at the trail. I did not explore up to the spring itself
_____________________
Zort
http://instagram.com/zort_the_beholder
Jan 28 2017
rayhuston
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 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,971
 Triplogs 683

64 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Bronco Butte - CarefreePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 28 2017
rayhuston
Hiking13.04 Miles 2,702 AEG
Hiking13.04 Miles   6 Hrs   48 Mns   2.02 mph
2,702 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
The_Eagle
Bruce wanted to bag another Bronco Butte and invited me to join him. We started the hike a few minutes before 7am with only a hint of the sunrise to come and the hope that moving fast might warm our shivering bodies. It was cold!

The hike in was was wonderful. We walked the China Wall for a ways, checking out the prospects and the remnants of the plane crash mentioned in previous posts. After gaining the saddle west of Bronco Butte, Bruce wanted to go up to the top of the hill to our right to check out the views. We found another old prospect while we were up there.

We did not follow the China Wall trail to its end. We were on a schedule so we headed up to the Butte. Bruce signed the summit register for us. We took in some wonderful views under sunny skies before starting the really fun part of the hike, some creek hiking that Bruce drew up as an alternate return.

From the summit, we headed down the mountain in a NE direction rather than returning the way we came. This would get us to the creek much faster. It was steep, but we found some nice game/cattle trails that took us to the creek without any blood letting. With the recent rain, the creeks were flowing nicely. The creek portion was fun; easy hiking and the sound of running water made it all the more enjoyable.

Half way down the creek, an old, crumbling, grown over road that crisscrossed the creek became part of the hike. We used the road when the creek wasn't passable. The creek and the road ended on private property. We took a left (west) and looked for a route out of the canyon. The best option looked to be up and over a steep hill. That started a Six Flags roller coaster ride of steep up then down then up again. Soon enough we were back on the Bronco Trail and a return to easy hiking.

This was a very enjoyable hike. I liked the alternate route back along the creek in the Rackensack Gulch area. It wouldn't have been as fun without the water, but Bruce picked the perfect day to do it. Thanks again for the hike, Bruce, and for driving us out there. I had a great time!
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1 archive
Jan 28 2017
The_Eagle
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 Guides 9
 Routes 805
 Photos 10,311
 Triplogs 1,630

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Bronco Butte-China Wall-Rackensack, AZ 
Bronco Butte-China Wall-Rackensack, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 28 2017
The_Eagle
Hiking13.40 Miles 2,711 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   6 Hrs   52 Mns   2.05 mph
2,711 ft AEG      20 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
I needed this one to complete all the Seven Springs / Spur Cross Trails. I'd driven by the Bronco Trailhead dozens of times without stopping.

On the agenda the 2nd Bronco Butte of the month, China Wall and some 'splorin'. Since I prefer Loops to OaB's, toss in Rackensack Canyon, which looked interesting.

Ray and I started just before first light on a chilly, breezy, crisp, clear morning. We were on Bronco #245 for a bit over 3 miles before turning off on an old unsigned, cairned route to China Wall then Bronco Butte.

China Wall is an interesting geologic feature. We followed along the top of the wall until we got to the area of the plane wreckage. Most of the 2011 wreckage has been removed. We made our way to Peak 4600 to check out the views to the west. This is a good vantage point to take in the overview of the Seven Springs, Spur Cross areas.

From here, Bronco Butte was just a short climb. Here you have 360 views of the area. Snow Covered Mazzy's to the East, Supes to the SE, McDowells, Camelback, Squaw to the Southish, Snow covered Bradshaws to the WNW.

We opted for the shorter route off Bronco Butte to Rackensack. Ray led us down, following some game trails into the canyon. It worked out well.

Rackensack was an easy follow for the most part. Water was running for the majority of the length of it, with even some interesting cascades. Towards the end, we skirted some Private property. There were indications of recent, but not current activity.

We improvised our route up and out of the canyon back to the Bronco Trail.

We only saw 2 hikers all day, one with a golf club :doh:

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Head of Rackensack Springs Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Hard to tell where the source was with all the recent rains

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Jack Springs Dripping Dripping
Mainly muddy in overgrown bushy area
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Nov 28 2015
toddak
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 Guides 8
 Routes 7
 Photos 1,244
 Triplogs 474

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2015
toddak
Hiking18.00 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking18.00 Miles   9 Hrs      2.00 mph
3,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Lasso loop out Bronco, up and across Skull Mesa then back around on Cottonwood. Logged some miles, worked off some pumpkin pie, completed my last trail in the Seven Springs area. Gnarly country.
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Apr 04 2015
hikerdw
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,829
 Triplogs 488

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
China Wall Trail w/Bronco Creek #287Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 04 2015
hikerdw
Hiking12.08 Miles 2,255 AEG
Hiking12.08 Miles   5 Hrs   20 Mns   2.60 mph
2,255 ft AEG      41 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I added this hike to my list after reading the triplogs posted by mazatzal and Oregon Hiker when they hiked this area back in December. Really enjoyed hiking this area, lots to explore. The "China Wall" is very interesting, although I was hoping the back side would have been a steeper drop. Very little water found, just a few drops at the two troughs we checked. We did see a nice pool of water just upstream from the 2nd trough. Like Oregon Hiker reported, not too much remains from the plane crash but it was interesting to see what was left, shoes, hydraulic lines, doors, etc. In the cooler months we will make a return trip to summit Bronco Butte, do more exploring, etc.

Temps were pleasant early but did warm up on the way out. There was a slight breeze which provided a A/C effect. Carried 2 liters of water and consumed 1.5.
Named place
Named place
Jack Springs
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Jack Springs Dripping Dripping
Dripping only.
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Dec 22 2014
mazatzal
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 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Bronco Butte - CarefreePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 22 2014
mazatzal
Hiking12.60 Miles 2,514 AEG
Hiking12.60 Miles   8 Hrs   58 Mns   1.49 mph
2,514 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Oregon_Hiker
Headed up Bronco Butte with Oregon Hiker. It was a tad chilly when we started in the shade but soon warmed up. We took Bronco trail over to Bronco Creek and headed south on the decommissioned Bronco Creek Trail #287. After passing Jack Springs we headed up to the north part of China Wall where Oregon Hiker found a shallow mine / prospect and we found some mining drill rods. We continued to the crash site and summit for lunch. We checked out the southern part of China Wall and then headed back. Fun trip to Bronco with OH and thank you for driving.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Jack Springs Dripping Dripping
Not much water, dripping slowly.
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1 archive
Nov 02 2013
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 02 2013
mazatzal
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,850 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   7 Hrs      1.97 mph
2,850 ft AEG      55 Mns Break
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Took Bronco trail to Bronco Creek trail to Jack Springs and then followed the cairned route to Bronco Butte passing by 2 springs along the way each was dripping very slowly. This is a great hike although it was better before the CC Complex fire but now getting more enjoyable. At the end of the cairns (unless Bob has been here) you just go off trail to the summit which is very cool. Great 360 views of the Mazzies, all the valley ranges, New River Mtns and ranges to the north as well.

I spotted some metal on the descent and went to investigate - I believe this was plane wreckage from a fairly recent airplane crash site, 2-3 years ago, very sad.

Despite the burn from the CC complex fire this peak is a nice trip.
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Mar 05 2013
Tim
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 Guides 10
 Triplogs 432

60 male
 Joined Feb 25 2002
 Scottsdale
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 05 2013
Tim
Hiking7.10 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking7.10 Miles   3 Hrs      2.37 mph
1,600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had to burn some vacation time so I headed out to the Cave Creek Complex this morning. When I pushed off from the Bronco Trailhead at 7:15 it was a chilly 45 degrees but thankfully there was no wind. I'd forgotten my fleece so I was a little chilly until I started climbing in earnest. The trail is pretty un-inspiring as the landscape is still rather barren from the Cave Creek fire in 2005. Once I reached the saddle above the tank the terrain got more interesting as the trail goes up and down the drainages until it intersects the Cottonwood Creek Trail #247. It was 90 minutes to the end of #245. The return trip immediately had a nice steep climb which presented a good workout. It took me the same 90 minutes to get back to the trailhead as the AEG is the same each way. Additionally, coming down from the saddle the trail was a little dicely in spots between the loose rocks and unevenly dried mud from the horse traffic during the recent rains. I had to take it more slowly and watch my step is all. All told, the trip came in at 7.1 miles in 3 hours with 1,600 feet of AEG. It was 62 degrees when I finished at 9:30.
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Dec 23 2012
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 23 2012
mazatzal
Hiking11.60 Miles 1,910 AEG
Hiking11.60 Miles   7 Hrs   20 Mns   1.88 mph
1,910 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 no routes
Partners partners
guitar
Bronco TH to Spur Cross TH. A few ice patches above 4K and we saw a deer on Bronco. "mt98dew" passed us on Cottonwood - we talked a bit but didn't make the HAZ connection :doh: On the lower Cottonwood alternative route we saw a herd of javelinas - we counted 23 of them! Weather was perfect today.
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Dec 01 2012
mt98dew
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 Guides 24
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,789

52 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Bronco Trail #245Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 01 2012
mt98dew
Hiking13.45 Miles 530 AEG
Hiking13.45 Miles   4 Hrs   20 Mns   3.10 mph
530 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Got a late start on this one. Wife dropped me off at Bronco TH, then took my car (and my wallet) to do some shopping in Cave Creek :o . Plan was to pick me up in about 5 hours at the Spur Cross TH. BroncoTrail was exposed, easy to follow. Wish I could have seen it prior to the fire. For me, the best view was near the beginning after the trail passes between the two hills and I see the interior for the first time. Beautiful view of the mountains to the south and east. I didn't see another trail until I got to the Cottonwood 247. I did not see Bronco Creek 287. There were two possible spots where it might have been, but I didn't take time to investigate. Can someone tell me is the "stock tank" the dry watering hole with the skeleton by it? I did not see anything else that looked like a tank out there.

I was a little worried about following the Cottonwood Trail because it was so far into the interior, but I need not have been. The trail was fairly easy to follow with the help of large cairns placed intermittently when negotiating the dry creek bed. I really enjoyed this portion of the hike. There was still fire damage for the first few miles of this trail, but the further in I went the less true that became. I got an idea what the whole area might have like prior to the fire. I was surprised at how much the trail stayed in the creek bed. If water ever flowed here this would definitely be considered a "wet hike." I was also surprised at how how much I was going downhill on this trail. It was gradual but evident. (My GPS said that on this hike I ascended over 3300 ft. but I find that hard to believe, based on the fact the trail was sloping down so frequently). I came to the first meeting with the Skull Mesa Trail. It was signed, but it did not look heavily used. I would definitely encourage people to have a GPS route if they intended to do that trail. I'm not sure what spring it was, but came upon a trickle of water about a mile before the next Skull Mesa Trail intersection. It was a small patch, but the trees and shrubs seemed to be surviving off that small oasis.

Did not see anyone until got to the Spur Cross trail, when I encountered several parties coming in, one of which was on horseback.

Didn't see any wildlife except for two rabbits.

Interesting side note. I have a National Geographic map of this area and it looks to show what I believe is the Bronco Creek Trail 287 (on the map the trail is shown but not named) and the Cottonwood Trail from where I picked it up to be part of the Maricopa Trail...that big looping trail that is up suppose to connect all the trail systems in the valley. I did not see any signage on the trails to indicate that this was the case. The first Maricopa Trail sign I saw was in the Spur Cross section at the cattle guard just to the north of the creek bed and the Metate junction.
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average hiking speed 2.27 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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