West Side Story & Tunnel Vision Trails Reversed Thursday, Jul 9 2020 

West Side Story Trail Self-portrait

West Side Story Trail Self-portrait

Thursday morning, we parked at the Iron Springs Trailhead and hiked West Side Story Trail #725 to Tatanke Trail #735 which we used to connect to Tunnel Vision Trail #714. We hiked these trails in the opposite direction from recent visits. We returned to the parking area using BLM Trail #729 and Javelina Trail #332. Today’s 3.99-mile hike had a minimum elevation of 5,491 feet and a maximum of 6,013 feet. We encountered 7 mountain bikers on the trails and three hikers starting out as we finished our trek. Not many wildflowers were evident beyond one expansive plot on the BLM Trail with common mullein and sacred thorn-apple.

Potts Creek Trail & More Sunday, Jul 5 2020 

Slash Pile

Slash Pile

Sunday morning, we drove on Thumb Butte Road to the Big Juniper. From there we hiked on Forest Road 51 to the junction with Potts Creek Trail #327. The trail meandered through recent logging that left slash piles for prescribed burns. We took Circle Connect Trail #322 to Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 for our return to Forest Road 51. Our 2.56-mile hike had a minimum elevation of 6,029 feet and a high point at 6,425 feet. We encountered 6 mountain bikers. The only wildflowers were Arizona thistle.

Horsecamp Loop Trail Saturday, Jul 4 2020 

Horsecamp Loop Trail Riders

Horsecamp Loop Trail Riders

Saturday morning, July 4th, we hiked 2.79-miles on Horsecamp Loop Trail #383. This trail, sometimes called the Groom Creek Inner Loop, circles the Groom Creek Horse Camp which is closed. We have previously hiked this trail going counterclockwise; today we hiked it clockwise. The elevation ranged from 6,165 feet to 6,482 feet. We met one couple on horseback. There were not many wildflowers, but the ones we saw were new to us: butterfly milkweed, golden columbine, and wild bergamot, which is also called beebalm, Oswego-tea, mintleaf beebalm, wildbergamot beebalm, or wildbergamot horsemint. The red bark of a pointleaf manzanita dazzled us.

When we returned and while watching news during lunch, we were surprised to see Prescott featured. A local non-mask wearing Trump supporter waving an American flag ranted about the evils of antifa and abortion. In contrast, Prescott city council member Cathey Rusing, a retired nurse, recommended wearing a mask and maintaining social distance. There does not seem to be much social distancing around the Yavapai courthouse where the Prescott Rodeo Days Fine Arts and Craft Show is taking place. The World’s Oldest Rodeo is taking place each evening with attendance limited to 25% of the usual crowd. The parade and some other activities were canceled this year. We are hoping to see fireworks from our deck tonight. Be safe!

Noodle Trail Reversed Thursday, Jul 2 2020 

Common Ravens

Common Ravens

Thursday morning, we parked at the Spence Springs Trailhead and hiked Noodle Trail #760 counterclockwise, the opposite direction from our recent visit. Our 2.95-mile loop also included a short segment of Waterline Trail #733 and Side Kick Trail #721, both new to us in our exploration of the Spence Basin. The elevation for this mostly flat outing ranged from 5,557 feet to 5,695 feet. We encountered 9 mountain bikers and 4 hikers, 3 with leashed dogs. A cawing common raven serenaded us. Wildflowers included Arizona thistle, common mullein, and Wright’s thimbleweed.

Tunnel Vision & Spence Creek Trails Tuesday, Jun 30 2020 

Tunnel Vision Trail

Tunnel Vision Trail

Tuesday morning, we parked at the Iron Springs Trailhead to explore two new to us trails: Tunnel Vision Trail #714 and Spence Creek Trail #719. To get to the Tunnel Vision Trail, we descended Javelina Trail #332, Vista Trail #706, and BLM Trail #729. Going the opposite direction on a trail, as we did with BLM, gives one a different perspective. After we walked through the tunnel on the Tunnel Vision Trail, we ascended to Javelina and walked to the Spence Creek Trail. It connects with West Side Story Trail #725 by which we returned to the parking area. The elevation ranged from 5,748 feet to 6,007 feet on our 3.08 -mile hike. We encountered two mountain bikers and one hiker with a leashed dog. In addition to seeing Apache plume, beardlip penstemon, common mullein, Dakota mock vervain, and Arizona thistle, we spotted for the first time this year common yarrow and sacred thorn-apple wildflowers.

Lynx Recreation Trail Sunday, Jun 28 2020 

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Sunday morning, we grabbed one of the last parking spots in the Lynx Northshore parking area before circling the 55-acre Lynx Lake on Lynx Recreation Trail #311. Our 2.79-mile clockwise hike crossed below the Lynx Lake spillway and dam. A passing hiker alerted us to her sighting of a bald eagle. We were not disappointed. Fishing was taking place around the lake. A paddle boarder and several kayakers were enjoying the calm water. We encountered many other hikers on this popular trail. The elevation ranged from 5,519 feet to 5,580 feet. Wildflowers included beardlip penstemon, common mullein, and Arizona thistle. Another wonderful hike.

Next Page »