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    S. Baker reviewed Quartz Peak Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Pretty difficult hike. Not for beginners. It's all uphill to the peak, which requires some pseudo-scrambling in the last quarter mile and then some light rock climbing.

    The roads to get there also require high clearance. If you approach from the southeast using the power line maintenance road, you might need 4WD/AWD depending on your vehicle setup (tires, power, etc.). You will definitely need high clearance for the washes, they are not maintained and get dicey. Taking Empire blvd. or Riggs rd. from the west is a bit milder but still requires decent ground clearance.

    S. Baker completed Quartz Peak Trail

    over 1 year ago

    S. Baker reviewed Goosenecks State Park

    almost 2 years ago

    Incredible experience to walk right up to the edge of the canyon. If you head towards Natural Bridge National Park you can drive up to Muley Point Overlook which makes the view even better.

    S. Baker completed Goosenecks State Park

    almost 2 years ago

    S. Baker reviewed Bright Angel Trail to Bright Angel Campground and River Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    I've done Bright Angel three times now. Fantastic hike.

    However, they're not kidding when they say "hard".

    Unless you're a veteran badass, you'll be strained to do this trail in a single day. However, not impossible. My 2nd and 3rd completions were day trips.

    S. Baker reviewed Y Bar Basin-Barnhardt Canyon Loop Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Very cool hike. You traverse a variety of different landscapes. There are scenic sections on parts of Barnhardt and on the south western side of Y-Bar (the AZ trail part).

    There's a bit of forest fire damage on the Y-Bar section of the loop. Took some tricky navigation to get over a few trees and identify the trail through some damaged brush areas but, otherwise, pretty safe to continue doing this trail.

    BRING TOUGH PANTS! Or you will get shredded up. Trail is not very maintained on the Y-Bar side (though it was recently trimmed up to the AZ trail marker coming from the Barnhardt trailhead).

    S. Baker reviewed Algonquin Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Cool trail. Had some water in the creek. Definitely take tough pants and even long sleeves (even if it's hot) or you're going to get scraped up by thousands thorny bushes that cover the trail path.

    There's a creepy abandoned shed a few miles in and abandoned machinery. The actual trail also crosses over what appears to be a man-made set of roadways (maybe for horse and cart when the trail was fully operational?). If you look to the east side of the creek at the ~3 mile marker, there is another shed on the opposite side (could get to it if you hike the creek instead of taking the trail). There is a man-made pathway on that side as well, which took impressive effort. Interested in the history of this place but couldn't find it online.

    The trail eventually ends where a forest fire did damage a few years ago. The rock cairns at this point are obviously destroyed and withered, as the trail at this point is mostly abandoned. You'd have to rough and tumble your way further down the trail.

    With that said, the overall walkable trail is probably no more than ~6-7 miles and receives quite a bit of traffic since it's so close to Bumble Bee Ranch and Crown King.

    S. Baker completed Algonquin Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    S. Baker reviewed Bear Wallow Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    The flowing creek here gave Fossil Creek a run for its money. However, the trail itself is mostly gone/destroyed since the 2011 fire.

    I do not recommend doing this trail unless you are experienced at terrain navigation or have a GPS (e.g. on your phone or something--make sure it's CHARGED!).

    I actually got completely lost on the way back. The part where it forks back east up towards FS25 is basically loosely stomped-down grass patches. I ended up missing it completely and had to climb over a mountaintop from the south to get back to it.

    Overall it was a ~20 mile mountain excursion through basically-raw wilderness.

    Again, you should not brave this trail unless you're experienced. It has not been maintained at all. Fallen trees are on the trail in a few dozen locations. You can follow the creek for the most part but--this is important--the "trail" portion is mostly gone. You're traversing re-vegetated wilderness.

    S. Baker completed Bear Wallow Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    S. Baker reviewed Hualapai Mountains

    almost 2 years ago

    The views are neat on the Aspen and Hayden trails. However, kind of a tame place for adventurous folk. There is some mountain climbing towards Hayden peak, near radio towers, but otherwise a mild experience with the main loop being only 3-4 miles round trip.

    Would be a great place for a family outing, though. Lots of cabins nearby for rent. Friendly rangers at the ranger station.

    S. Baker reviewed Cherum Peak Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Magnificent view of Chloride, AZ, and the surrounding mountains and plateaus. Best part? No one seems to know about this place.

    Road is pretty tame but does get bumpy from rainfall trenches in some places. Don't recommend passenger cars, you will want ground clearance.

    Go straight for a ways on Big Wash Rd just north of Chloride to reach the trail. Road gets narrow in some places and goes along cliff edges, so drive carefully.

    I tried coming in from the south, but the roads are abandoned once you get up to the foothills near Chloride. Only [non-sketchy] way in is from Big Wash Rd, as far as I know.

    S. Baker completed Cherum Peak Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    S. Baker reviewed Lees Ferry and Spencer Trail Lookout

    about 2 years ago

    Review for: Spencer's Trail & Spencer's Lookout

    My most-memorable hike to date. It was short but goes straight uphill for a few miles: and is worth every second and every step.

    The trail itself is wicked. You are essentially walking up the side of the Vermilion cliffs. It feels raw. You trample shifting and broken piles of limestone and walk along what, at times, barely resembles any trail you're probably used to. Hard to describe. You know where you're going: the path is beaten down and visible, but there are few man-made alterations and it lacks that canny resemblance of, say, a forest trail.

    The top of Spencer's Trail features one of the most breath-taking scenic vistas I've personally experienced, with an epic view of the Colorado and Page (head a bit North West to the edge to get a good look at the river).

    Overall, this trail is unlike other national parks. Once you're at the top of the plateau, the next amount of time and distance is up to you. You can walk north a bit, do some cliff climbing towards the southern part: there are seemingly no limits except for what you're comfortable with. That true freedom in such a magnificent, beautiful place is a rare treasure and rare experience after visiting so many heavily-controlled and exclusion-zone-riddled national parks.

    Sidenote: if you climb the small plateaus/cliffs to the south east at the top of the lookout, you will find a geology survey marker. Uploaded a pic of it, and a few sick panoramas.

    S. Baker completed Lees Ferry and Spencer Trail Lookout

    about 2 years ago

    S. Baker reviewed Lava Flow Trail

    about 2 years ago

    This natl. monument is, in general, a place for casual tourists and families (not avid hikers and explorers). Maybe a good one-time visit. There are no decent hikes and it's the type of monument where literally everything is off limits except for the designated walk areas.

    Pretty boring, to be honest. It's a drive-through experience.

    Lava flow trail was the most interesting, as you actually get to immerse yourself a bit more in the actual feature of the place: volcanoes and crap.

    S. Baker completed Lava Flow Trail

    about 2 years ago

    S. Baker reviewed Mount Baldy Trail

    about 2 years ago

    This trail rocks. Western side is more of a flat walk until the last 2-3 miles. Great trail alongside the Little Colorado.

    Starting at the west trailhead parking lot will take you up towards the peak, where it branches off to the eastern trailhead. There is then a 3.5 mile crossover back to the western trail as you approach the east trailhead parking lot (if you are heading from east trail to west, this crossover trail goes up--bit strenuous), where you can make your way back to the west parking lot.

    East trail is a bit more mountainous: more rocks, better views, cliffs.

    West trail is 8 miles, east is 6 miles, crossover is 3.5 miles, and there's a ~2 mile trek back to the west trailhead after completing the crossover: making the whole west-east loop just shy of 20 miles.

    Worth noting: you can backpack in on this trail to set up a camp in a pretty secluded little oasis on the west trail.

    If you're one who fancies pictures and views instead of distance, just do ~half of the east trail (takes you to a nice view, 6-7 miles round trip: it's uphill) and maybe a mile or two of the west trail to check out the Little Colorado.

    S. Baker completed Mount Baldy Trail (West Baldy)

    about 2 years ago

    S. Baker reviewed Sugarloaf Mountain

    about 2 years ago

    Really short but cool trail. You get to go through a small man-made tunnel, which was a surprise. The view on top is incredible. Awesome view of the monument park in addition to the valley and nearby mountains.

    I'd venture to say it's the best trail in the park.

    S. Baker completed Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

    about 2 years ago

    S. Baker reviewed Massai Nature Trail

    about 2 years ago

    Cool place. Check out Balanced Rock.

    Also recommend hiking a ways into the canyon. It's a different experience seeing the rock spires tower above you.

    S. Baker completed Massai Nature Trail

    about 2 years ago

    S. Baker reviewed Chiricahua Peak to Monte Vista Peak Loop

    about 2 years ago

    Really great view of the valley at the top. There was a recent fire and the Forest Service doesn't come there but every 5-6 years according to an elderly fellow I met who hikes there often. There were 100s of downed trees on the path and the trail was overgrown and washed out in many areas. It would be very easy for the unwary to get lost. Also, lots of missing and damaged signs. I recommend a map, a compass and a general idea of where you are going if you do the whole loop.

    Lots of flowers, turkey, deer. Does not get too scenic until you approach the southern ridge.

    Check out Bear Spring if you go to Monte Vista. If you go directly from the tower across and over the man-made helipad you will find a pseudo-trail that leads down to a sign which points in the right direction. It's a steep climb down. Don't fall ;)

    S. Baker reviewed North Kaibab Trail to Roaring Springs

    about 2 years ago

    Good way to spend July 4th weekend :)

    Amazing trail. Crushes Bright Angel IMO. Also, way less people.

    Easy day hike.

    S. Baker reviewed Bright Angel Trail to Bright Angel Campground and River Trail

    about 2 years ago

    Did a day hike to the river for the 2nd time. Fantastic trail. Every hiker should do it at least once.

    S. Baker reviewed Weatherford Trail

    about 2 years ago

    I always avoided Flagstaff stuff because I thought it was too orthodox. However, Mt. Humphrey was way-cool. ~17 mile round trip day hike from parking lot to peak. Can be done in a day if you're seasoned.

    S. Baker completed Weatherford Trail

    about 2 years ago

    S. Baker reviewed Barnhardt Trail

    about 2 years ago

    Barnhardt is the best hike I've done on the 87. The variance in terrain is astounding (at least when I went). There were areas covered in low shrubs, flat plains, cliffs, burnt areas and creeks and even pseudo-pine regions if you go back far enough. Apparently there is an actual flowing creek you can get to, but I did not manage to find it (was summer, not sure if seasonal).

    I did the Barnhardt trail + an extra few miles to the north, doing part of the loop then turning back.

    This is a moderate to difficult hike. I don't recommend doing the ~24 miles that I did in a single day. If you do, double the amount of water you would normally bring if it's summer and the creeks are dry. Also, bring sun protection.

    The initial Barnhardt trail is good enough. You don't really need to meander through the northern mountains like I did. You won't miss much.