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Tag: Tonto National Forest (page 1 of 8)

Sunday Hike – Saddle Mountain Trail #91

Marilyn and I hiked the Saddle Mountain Trail from the Mormon Grove Trailhead. I hiked the entire trail, including the small loop at the end. On the way back, I hiked a bit of Sheep Creek Trail. The loop at the end is not worth doing – there was a lot of bushwhacking and it was slow going. Sheep Creek Trail was easier to hike and very pretty too – I wish I would have spent my time on that trail instead of doing the short (but long in terms of time) loop at the end of Saddle Mountain.

I ended up with 8.9 miles for this hike.

This flower looks like globe mallow, but is somewhat smaller and redder than the globe mallow flowers that I’m accustomed to seeing at lower elevations. It was identified by someone on HAZ as a Trans-Pecos Morning Glory.

That’s Mount Ord in the distance. We had views of Mount Ord throughout our hike. Marilyn also found that she had a cellphone signal when Mount Ord was in view.

Indian Paintbrush:

Both Marilyn and I liked the small mountain with the exposed rock.

This is Saddle Mountain after which the trail is named.

We encountered this snake on our way back. It’s not a rattlesnake – I’ve been told that it’s a Western Patch-nosed Snake. Marilyn observed it’s tongue flicking in and out of its mouth, but beyond that we didn’t observe any movement.

Sunday Hike – Pole Hollow Canyon

Marilyn and I hiked a little over seven miles on our out-and-back hike of Pole Hollow Canyon. This hike, near Payson, starts at the City Creek Trailhead on Doll Baby Ranch Rd.

We encountered this snake early in our hike. It’s not a rattlesnake – it’s probably some type of Bull Snake.

The hike was mostly on trail, but it had significant deadfall to either cross or go around.

Sunday Hike – FS 242 & Pinto Creek Canyon

Marilyn and I set out with the intent of hiking Pinto Creek Canyon. It was billed as a creek with clear, ankle deep water. We inadvertently parked two miles away, but hiked the forest road (FS 242) to the creek. When we got there, we found that it was mostly dry with occasional slippery mud plus a few stagnant pools of water. It was very scenic from the forest service road, however; I enjoyed the views from the road.

Sunday Hike – Pine Canyon Trail #26

Marilyn hiked four miles of the Pine Canyon Trail with me. At the four mile mark, I went on and she turned back, eventually picking me up at the northern end of the trail further up Beeline Highway. I hiked nearly 12 miles with over 2500 feet of total ascent.

Sunday Hike – Highline-Donahue

On Sunday, I drove to the Pine Trailhead and did an out-and-back hike of the Highline and Donahue trails. I also hiked two forest roads beyond the Donahue Trail – these were FR 218 (Milk Ranch Point Road) and FR 9382L. The hike that I did – well, the return portion, anyway – is the latter half of a loop that can be done. I’m thinking about doing this loop and wanted to scout the latter part of the hike.

Sunday Hike – Black Ridge Loop

I did 8.1 miles on this loop hike in the Mazatzals.

This is Brunson Tank. Not much water, but more than there was when I did the same hike in March.

This is a flower on the side of an agave stalk. (It may even be a Century Plant.)  The leaves at the bottom of the plant were dead. I would guess that the main blooms were at the top of the stock a season ago.

Almost done with the hike – I liked the shape of this cone shaped hill.

Sunday Afternoon Hike – Ballantine to Boulder Flat

Starting in mid-afternoon on Sunday, I hiked the Pine Creek Loop and then, once I got midway through the loop, Ballantine out to Boulder Flat and back, finishing the loop on my return. Trail conditions were better than when I was last there in September. Temps were in the high eighties, good gradual acclimation for summertime hiking here.  Total distance was 7.7 miles with 1700 feet of total ascent.

Prickly Pear blossom:

A boulder pile near Boulder Flat.

Sunday Hike – Black Ridge Loop

I hiked the Black Ridge Loop in the Mazatzals on Sunday. Total distance was about 7.6 miles with over 1900 feet of total ascent.

Indian Paintbrush:

This is Brunson Tank.  When I visited it at about this time of year in 2016 and 2017, it was full of water – I had to skirt the edge to avoid getting my feet wet. No such problem today. I did encounter some water when I got to the drainage that runs along Little Saddle Mountain Trail. It seems to be spring fed.

Heading down the Little Saddle Mountain Trail…

New sign!

Friday Hike – Barnhardt Trail

Marilyn, Nora, Linda, and I hiked part of the Barnhardt Trail on Friday. We went out about five miles on the Barnhardt Trail. We had planned to also hike the Sandy Saddle Trail to Casterson Seep and then hike down to the first waterfall in Barnhardt Canyon, but the manzanita not only obscured the trail but also greatly slowed us down. We hiked perhaps a quarter of a mile of Sandy Saddle before turning back.

Looking into Barnhardt Canyon from midway up the trail:

We’re much higher on the trail now, perhaps even on the Sandy Saddle Trail – I don’t remember exactly.

As we continued on, we saw greater evidence of damage from the 2004 Willow Fire. It’s my understanding that there used to be a forest of Ponderosa Pines in this area.

We were intrigued by the fallen tree. It looked like someone had drilled a bunch of 7/16″ holes in the wood.

Looking into “Big Kahuna” falls from the trail. I also got a shot from further into the canyon on the way up, but I decided that I liked this shot better.

One of the blocky rock walls along the trail.

This was a well shaded area – it doesn’t appear to ever get much direct sun.

Another secluded spot for cacti to grow:

Some kind of toad…

Looking back…

Some interesting veins of zig-zaggy rock.

Mona, Linda, and Marilyn:

Linda provided this photo of Nora and me looking over one of the edges.

Sunday Hike – Praying Hands / Massacre Falls Loop

Nick, Mike, Bob, Marilyn, and I did a hike in the western Superstitions on Sunday. I hiked nearly 7.5 miles with about 1700 feet of total ascent.

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