Overview

Description

Six-day trip in January 2015 after 2014 Oak Fire burned much of northern wilderness. Our goal was to figure out where we went on a 1975 overnight loop trip as well as check out condition of the formerly vast Galiuro trail system. More remote trail sections are deteriorating from lack of use/maintenance. ***Points numbered below since Garmin software does not allow formatting*** NAVIGATION INSTRUCTIONS: (1) If map doesn’t load, leave site and click on link again. (2) To follow trip, click on furthest right “camera” and/or "flag" icon—trip started/ended at Deer Creek Trailhead. (3) Zoom in & out on Google map by clicking on + or – at in upper left. (4) Click “Terrain” to change map backgrounds; use “Aerial” to zoom in on burned areas. (5) Remove photos, mileages or way points from map by unchecking “Layers” on upper right. (6) Enlarge photos (change size ratio of photos to map) by clicking tabs below “Layers” icon (top narrow bar gives largest photo and smallest map). (7) To view photos in location taken, click on “camera” icons throughout map. Photos are numbered in order of trip sequence and some have captions with more information. Some photos seem out order but numbers correspond to repeats of a given trail (for “out & back” or return to Deer Creek trailhead). Some captions note trip day to help reader follow trip. (8) Can also view photos (mostly) in sequence under "Points of Interest" or click "camera" icons; top of photo visible on upper right corresponds to highlighted camera icon on map. MAP DETAILS: (1) Numbers on map are mileage distances; may be a little confusing as this was not loop trip. (2) Map route made from Garmin BaseCamp software which seems to subsample route points underestimating mileage about 10-20%. (3) Software also treats route as continuous, so 2 sets of mileages for out-and-back hiking sections (such as mile 15/40 at same site near Corral Canyon).

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Elevation

Details

Created by: dc_chojnacky
Distance: 50.5 mi
Ascent: 14,564 ft
Date: 07/20/2017
Descent: 14,563 ft
Tags: Arizona hiking, 2014 Oak Fire, Wilderness
Difficulty: Intermediate

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Points of Interest

01. Deer Creek Trailhead: start & end
Fairly new trailhead, easiest to find access to wilderness. We started 2015 trip here after finding access closed to Powers Hill Road on north end.
02. Old East Divide Trail junction
Old trail sign; East Divide trail rerouted to meet Tortilla trail further west.
04. Camp1
Camped below ridge in juniper above drainage with running water; Cindy sets up kitchen.
05. Effects of  2014 oak fire
The 2014 Oak fire burned 14,000 acres and affected much of the area we hiked.
06. Wilderness boundary near Mud spring
Three way trail junction. We took Tortilla Trail #254. On day6 we returned here via East Divide Trail from Kennedy Peak junction.
07. Relocated East Divide Trail to Kennedy Peak
East Divide Trail to Kennedy Peak comes in at this junction; not as shown on most maps.
08. Upper Sycamore tank
Tortilla Trail #254 descends into upper Sycamore Creek and crosses creek near this tank (although map shows trail above; not crossing the creek).
09. Only other hikers met
We met a couple and their nervous dog near Sycamore. They were returning from 2 days camping at Powers Garden.
10. Break above Sycamore
Cindy enjoys drink and view.
12. Much unburned Wilderness
Considerable patchiness within 2014 Oak Fire. Many large areas not burned at all and canyons often lightly burned; fire most severe on ridges and steep slopes.
14. Camp2...near Powers Garden
Dropped backpacks here to camp in ponderosa on edge of Powers Garden. Day hikes to Powers Spring and up Field Canyon; andt hat evening down Lower Rattlesnake.
15. Powers Garden
Remnants of old ranch owned by Powers family includes fences, fields & buildings.
19. Day3...morning sun vaporizing frost
On day3 again passed Powers Garden buildings again continuing up Powers Trail on Upper Rattlesnake Creek.
16. Field Canyon junction
Marks turn off from Powers Garden trail to Field Canyon.
17. West Divide junction
Trail divides; right fork goes up canyon and left up ridge to West Divide trail.
18. Looking back to East Divide
View from trail climbing towards Grassy Ridge on West Divide Trail; looking across Rattlesnake Canyon to East Divide.
Did not make it to Grassy Ridge; turned around because trail unmantained and brushy.
We initially tried to enter wilderness from northeast via Powers Hill road but access closed. So from Powers Garden we hiked down the old jeep road a couple miles to see what access like. Road was fine, canyon almost flat, lots of sticky clay wash crossings.
21. Old-growth ponderosa pine
Considerable beautiful ponderosa along Powers Garden Trail in Rattlesnake Canyon.
23. Mine shaft
Across Rattlesnake Creek on hillside.
24. Murky water near mine
Rattlesnake Creek was running about a mile above (south of) Powers Garden but was rust-colored, perhaps due to adjacent mining activity; although, we did filter for drinking with no ill effects.
49. Dwarfed by old-growth ponderosa
Day5 returning down Rattlesnake Canyon to Corral Creek.
25. Upper Rattlesnake junction
Powers Garden behind us, we dropped packs at this junction and took day hike to Powers Cabin and mine. Another trail continues up Rattlesnake Canyon to East Divide Trail.
26. Chihuahua pine resprouting
Probably evidence of fire crews clearing trail to Powers Cabin.
27. West Divide trail junction
West Divide Trail joins the southbound trail here and is supposed to continue south past Powers and Long Tom mines to Redfield Canyon. We hiked a mile or so beyond Powers Mine. Maps also show northbound trail along Grassy Ridge to Rhodes Peak but we have not checked it out.
29. Inside Powers Cabin
Powers Cabin is site of famous shootout between Powers family and sherriff's deputies. Firefighters probably spared this historic cabin from the 2014 Oak Fire.
30. Powers Cabin
David looks out of Powers Cabin window.
31. Historic steam engine
Lots of old machinery near Powers Mine including this engine.
33. Park with garbage can
Perhaps old cowboy camp on West Divide trail. We wandered around awhile before finding trail continuing uphill through trees.
34. Old dam and reservoir
Presumably Kielberg Tank. After a brushy scramble up a hillside we found this old dam and pond.
Trail increasingly obscure and blocked by many downed trees, so we turned around.
35. Remains old Wilderness sign
After day hike on West Divide trail we went east on Upper Rattlesnake past this old sign--presumably indicating an earlier wilderness boundary excluding mining and cabin ruins.
47. Wilderness quiet interrupted by jet
Day5 returning down Upper Rattlesnake.
48. Down logs not fun with backpack
A few down logs from 2014 Oak Fire...which we would find much worse in 2016!
37. Holdout Spring
David pumps excellent water at Holdout Spring. Wondered if we had camped here first night out, based on vague memories of 1975 trip.
38. Camps3&4...near Holdout spring
Cindy at base camp near holdout Spring; stayed 2 nights to explore East Divide trail. Not particularly flat but beautiful area.
46. Evening on red rock
Returning evening of Day4 from Sunset Peak above Rattlesnake below East Divide Trail.
39. East Divide trail junction
Day4 day hike trying to reconstruct our 1975 visit to Galiuros We think our group came up High Creek, made round trip day hike to Basset Peak (or Sunset Peak ) then descended into Rattlesnake and perhaps camped near Holdout Spring.
40. Rincon Mtns in background
East Divide Trail contours around ridge and offers nice views of Rincon Mountains east of Tucson.
41. What did we do in 1975?
David ponders our 1975 route.
42. Rugged Galiuros
Tall trees in moist canyons and exposed rock with brushy woodlands on upper slopes characteristic of Galiuros.
43. High Creek Trail junction
Puzzling new sign at High Creek-East Divide trails junction says Bassett 8.6 miles; earlier sign about 1.5 miles back said 'Bassett 8.4 miles.
44. Sunset Peak
Trying to reconstruct our 1975 trip. Perhaps we only hiked to Sunset Peak, about four-mile round trip from High Creek junction, then went down Rattlesnake to camp.
45. Could not find route up Sunset
Although we circled Sunset Peak, we found no route up it on either side--undermining the Sunset Peak theory or perhaps trail gone. This was also southern terminus of Day4 near mile 30 where we turned around for Holdout Spring camp.
Ran out of time at Sunset Peak; returned to Holdout Spring camp before sunset.
50. Day5...back to Corral Canyon junction
Day5 we descended Rattlesnake back down to Corral Canyon marked by this sign which does not mention the canyon! Corral Canyon was shortest loop and best prospect for our 1975 day2 hike out of Rattlesnake, with long climb and ridge run back to vehicles.
51. Oak woodland
Corral Canyon only lightly burned by 2014 Oak Fire for first mile or so.
52. Corral Canyon Trail crossings not yet washed out
Corral Canyon trail was in fair shape in 2015 with minimal washouts after the 2014 Oak Fire; not so in 2016.
53. Corral Spring
Cindy moleskin's sore feet at Corral Spring, which offered a lovely waterfall and nice lunch spot.
54. Trail leaves canyon at spring
Above the spring, trail abruptly left canyon and climbed into heavily burned "moonscape" below Kennedy Peak. Had some trouble finding initial switchbacks up.
57. Little left after high intensity fire
Although David finds oak quick to resprout.
59. Camp5...near junction
Despite heavily burned peak, saddle below provided welcome campsite nestled in remnant pines and oaks; we packed water from Corral Spring. Next day we dropped down severely burned canyon and took the old Deer Creek Trail back to a Forest Service administrative site north of the new trailhead. No photos for day6 because no extra camera battery!
60. Ridge near Kennedy Peak heavily burned
Without pack took short hike to Kennedy Peak
61.Turnoff to Kenndey Peak
Cindy ready for route from the East Divide Trail to bag Kennedy Peak. Unfortunately camera battery died here so no more photos for 2015 trip!
Hiked down Sycamore Canyon to Rattlesnake Creek up to East Divide Trail as far as Sunset Peak; backtracked down Rattlesnake to Corral Canyon, up to East Divide and back to Deer Creek trailhead.