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    Deb Lauman reviewed Salome Wilderness Trails

    over 8 years ago

    This review is about Salome Jug:
    The Jug is located in the rugged, mountainous Salome Wilderness of Tonto National Forest, on the northeast side of Roosevelt Lake -- land of saguaros, prickly pear and ocatillo, and, in the summer months, rock almost too hot to touch.
    The two-mile hike in, all but about a half-mile of which is the same old jeep trail as the two-mile hike out, was a scorcher in the mid-day sun. We each cached a few liters of water by a large boulder at the point where we'd rejoin the trail on the way out. My hiking companions and I brought cooler bags to hold our stashed water bottles, which we'd frozen the night before. We then continued another quarter-mile to the top of Salome Jug and the first, slime-covered pool. Green gunk or no, it was certainly refreshing and a nice partly-shaded spot for a snack.
    The surface scum (a/k/a slime, gunk and algae) is a summer occurrence, when water levels are low. The most popular time to visit Salome Jug is in May and June, when the water is clear and not too cold, and the flow rate is moderate. Even in the middle of summer, though, the trip through the Jug entails almost continual wading and swimming, and the largest, deepest shaded pools are cool and virtually algae-free. This trip is not possible -- or at least not at all advisable -- during the winter, when flow rate is high.
    If there was a high-point in the adventure for me, it was the 30-foot rappel into the main pool, near the end of the Jug; although the 20-foot traverse along the sloped shelf -- sloped towards the cliff, that is -- at the top of the rappel made me nervous. But we set up a rope from a fixed bolt near the start of the traverse over to the rappel bolt, and we each in turn hooked a caribbeaner onto the rope for safety.
    At the bottom of the "rap," we enjoyed some swim-time in the 50-yard-long main pool, where bats squeaked from crevices in the vertical walls and, every so often if I were still, little fish tickled my legs. My companions did some cliff-jumping while I floated on my daypack.
    After several more deep pools and a few minor downclimb, we came to the final pool, where the gorge ends and the view opens up towards the wide valley and Roosevelt Lake in the distance. We followed the switchbacks up to the bluff, where we rejoined the Jug Trail and picked up our water cache. All ice had melted, but the bottles were still cool. By the time I reached the parking area, what little water I had left was hot. I strongly recommend bringing at least four liters per person on this hike, and a water filter wouldn't be a bad idea either, especially in the hottest months. And, of course, don't forget your sunblock!

    Deb Lauman followed Backpacking and Adventure Group

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman updated Chimney Springs Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman reviewed Chimney Springs Trail

    over 8 years ago

    I decided to do this hike simply because I never had before. I had never heard anyone mention the Chimney Springs Trail, and, looking at the map, I could see it likely would not be big on views. But not every hike needs to be about vistas or anything more than a nice walk in the woods. And that is what Chimney Springs turned out to be.
    Things are a bit confusing at the southern end, where there is a network of unmarked trails, used most often by mountain bikers and, in the winter, cross-country skiers. At least some of these trails were depicted on my map, but the lack of signage and some additional paths made me stop and go "hmm" more than once. I generally kept to the left, as my map indicated, except where an old road went left and narrower trail went straight (in which case I chose straight), and that finally brought me to the gas pipeline, which is one and the same with the trail for a while. (Another trail does continue across the pipeline, but I assumed that had been made by bikers and, being that it was not shown on my map, was not the official route.) Though I kept my eyes out, I somehow missed the point where the Chimney Springs Trail leaves the pipeline and re-enters the trees, but I did find another old road, also on the map further along, which got me back on track.
    All in all, this is an easy walk. A nice trail for a sunny day and long chat with your hiking buddy. Or maybe just some time alone with your own thoughts. As I'd expected, there were no big views, but it's just as well to look at the smaller stuff. I studied trees, admired some wildflowers, and pondered a pile of twisted and rusted old metal. The actual spring for which the trail is named is labeled on the map, though it is not right along the trail, and I opted against searching for it.

    With all of the hiking options around here, I can't say for sure I'll ever hike Chimney Springs again, but it was time well spent nevertheless. At least now I can look at that particular red line on my map and not wonder.

    Deb Lauman updated Chimney Springs Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman updated Chimney Springs Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman completed Chimney Springs Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman completed Lava River Cave

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman followed Lisa Landtroop

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman completed Pipeline Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman completed Dry Lake Hills Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman updated Dry Lake Hills

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman completed Wupatki Ruin Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman followed Lindsay Kane

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman updated Kekekabic Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman updated Kekekabic Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman added Long-Distance Hikes

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman completed Laurel Highlands Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman updated Laurel Highlands Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman updated Laurel Highlands Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman saved Hermit Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman saved North Bass Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman added Chimney Springs Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman saved Sunset Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman saved Weatherford Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman reviewed Heart Trail

    over 8 years ago

    The Heart Trail, though rocky in stretches, is generally well-graded and not as difficult as I'd thought it would be. And the scenery, both up-close and at a distance, is awesome. Something like twenty-five, thirty years ago, the whole south-side of the mountain burned (started by a teenage runaway's campfire), and the affected area is still obvious today. Many charred remnants remain standing, and instead of pines, the mountainside is covered with young oaks, grasses and wildflowers and some clusters of aspen and rock formations.
    There's little shade along this trail, so it can get hot on an otherwise comfortably warm day, as the sun beats down and reflects off of the red dirt.
    To get to the Heart Trail, we hiked an easy couple of miles on Fatman's Loop, Christmas Tree and Sandy Seep Trails to the junction. At the top of the Heart Trail, we hopped onto the Sunset Trail. We traversed the catwalk of the Sunset Trail to the summit of Mt. Elden, then descended the heavily switchbacked Elden Lookout Trail back to Fatman's Loop. We headed west (right) around the loop to return to our starting point for a total of 8.9 miles.

    Deb Lauman reviewed Sunset Trail

    over 8 years ago

    The Sunset Trail is one of my favorites in Flagstaff, in part because it offers multiple options for longer out-and-back and loop hikes. While a hike just on the Sunset Trail to the catwalk on Mount Elden, where you can continue 1.8 miles further to the summit, is a great outing, the following are some other choices that don't require retracing your steps. While not all loops in this area need to include the Sunset Trail, these routes begin and end from the same parking area, where several trails converge:
    Sunset Trail (moderate uphill) to the Heart Trail (downhill) to Little Elden Trail, which takes you around the base of Mt. Elden, back to the starting point (10 miles)
    Little Elden Trail to Little Bear Trail (moderate, well-graded uphill) to Sunset Trail (north/right, a short up then downhill) back to the starting point (8 miles)
    Little Elden Trail to Little Bear Trail to Sunset Trail (south/left, uphill) to Upper Oldham Trail (downhill, sometimes steeply) to Brookbank Trail (uphill) to Schultz Loop Trail (Brookbank Trail continues to the right, but go straight for this particular loop) to Dry Lake Hills and back down to the starting point (11.8 miles)
    Schultz Loop Trail (uphill) to the Brookbank Trail (downhill) to Rocky Ridge Trail to Schultz Creek Trail back to the starting point (9.7 miles)
    As you walk these trails, keep an eye out for old carvings on the aspen trees, made by Basque sheep-herders who once frequented the area.
    Like the other trails in the area, the Sunset Trail is generally well-graded and rarely all that steep, making it a popular destination for trail runners and mountain bikers. So expect to make way for quite a few bikes, and you won't be surprised.

    Deb Lauman reviewed Weatherford Trail

    over 8 years ago

    I must admit, the upper part of the Weatherford Trail, traversing Mt. Agassiz, unnerved me. Above tree-line, the steep, talus slope with no visual break of rock or vegetation between the edge of the narrow trail and a long way down caused me some stress. I felt exposed, and fixated on the idea of slipping and sliding down the mountain and over an unseen cliff.
    But, finally, that stretch was behind me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the Weatherford trail, marveling at how a long portion of it used to be a wider dirt road called the San Francisco Mountain Boulevard, a toll road on which finely-dressed men and ladies would ride their Model T's to Doyle Saddle for an afternoon in the mountains. The road fell into disrepair during the Depression years.
    Despite the section that gave me the willies, the Weatherford Trail is one of my favorite hikes in the San Francisco Peaks. My hiking partner and I made a long, 17.2-mile loop day-hike of it, beginning with the Humphreys Trail up to the saddle, then the Weatherford, and then the Kachina Trail back to our vehicle. And this would make a great two-day backpacking trip, as well.

    Deb Lauman updated North Kaibab Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman reviewed North Kaibab Trail

    over 8 years ago

    This trail sees much less use than its counterpart to the south (South Kaibab). At 14 miles long with an elevation gain of 5,800 feet, the North Kaibab Tail is the only maintained trail from the Colorado River to the North Rim.
    The first half of the North Kaibab--the seven miles between Phantom Ranch and Cottonwood Camp--are relatively easy as you hike along Bright Angel Creek and through The Box, where the walls of Vishnu Schist in Bright Angel Canyon close in on you. Several footbridges take you from one side of the creek to the other.
    After Cottonwood Camp heading north, the easier walking ends. More than half of the North Kaibab's elevation gain is accomplished in the top one-third of the trail. Two miles before the end of the climb, you'll pass through Supai Tunnel and can stop for a rest (and a potty break if you need one) before the final push. Potable water is also available here from May through mid-October.
    Leaving the tunnel, you'll likely start to feel the effects of the higher elevation if you're aren't used to it ... and, even if you are, it can make you breathe a bit harder.
    The North Kaibab trailhead is located about 2 miles from Grand Canyon Lodge. There is trailhead parking available. A campground (right on the rim) and shower house is open seasonally, so be sure to pack some quarters for the showers if you're gonna want one.

    Deb Lauman updated The Wave Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman updated West Fork Oak Creek Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Deb Lauman reviewed Bright Angel Trail

    over 8 years ago

    The Bright Angel Trail is the most heavily used trail in Grand Canyon National Park. It begins just west of the historic Kolb Studio and follows a fault line 7.8 miles (12.6 km) to the River Trail, which you then hike another 1.5 miles to Bright Angel Campground via the silver suspension bridge. (Phantom Ranch is half a mile beyond that.) I usually think of the Bright Angel and River Trail as all one 9.3-mile trail to the bridge and campground beyond.

    Many hikers ascending from the Colorado River to the South Rim usually prefer the Bright Angel Trail (a.k.a. B.A.) to the South Kaibab Trail (to the east) even though it's longer. The availability of potable drinking water at the halfway point at Indian Gardens and, seasonally, at two other locations between there and the rim make it more appealing, as do the two shaded rest houses three miles and 1.5 miles before the top. If you time your hike out for the late afternoon, a good portion of the trail itself will also be in the shade.

    As on the South Kaibab, B.A. hikers share the trail with mules. If you see a mule train approaching, stand off to the inside of the trail and remain still as the mule train passes.

    You'll definitely see plenty of human traffic on the B.A., especially the closer you get to the rim. So if solitude is what you're looking for, the Bright Angel is definitely not your best bet. But it IS a good choice for those who are hiking below the rim for the first time.

    Deb Lauman reviewed South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Ridge

    over 8 years ago

    The South Kaibab is a ridge trail with amazing, expansive views all along it's 6.3-mile (or 10.1 km) route from rim to river. Keep in mind there is no shade or water to be had on this trail, so hike early or late in the day during summer months, wear sunscreen and a hat, and carry more water than you think you'll need. I personally carry four liters on this trail, even when going down ... just in case.

    This trail begins near Yaki Point and descends 4,860 feet to the black suspension bridge at the Colorado River. Because there is no water along this steep trail, Park rangers recommend hiking DOWN this trail only and using the Bright Angel trail for a hike out.

    To access the trail, you can park a vehicle in the dirt lot along Desert View Drive and walk the quarter-mile or so to the trailhead, or park in Grand Canyon Village and take the free park shuttle right to it.

    Deb Lauman reviewed A B Young Trail

    over 8 years ago

    Yes, there really ARE 33 switchbacks on this trail. But I actually enjoyed every one of them. The trail itself, while climbing quickly, was never excessively steep, so I found the hiking very comfortable and the views amazing. This is definitely a trail that makes you feel like you're getting somewhere very fast. Just don't start counting switchbacks, or they might seem like they go on forever. But what a reward when you get to the top.