Overview

Description

Four-day trip in March 2016 from High Creek seeking to replicate 1975 ridge hike and backpack loop. [Since Garmin software does not allow formatting, subheads in caps and points numbered below provide additional user information.] NAVIGATION INSTRUCTIONS: (1) If map doesn’t load, leave site and click on link again. (2) To follow trip, click on furthest right purple “flag” icon—trip started/ended at High 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 captions offer more information. Some photos may seem out order due to Garmin quirks (see below). Captions note trip day to help reader follow trip. (8) Also view photos (mostly) in sequence under Points of Interest; click on photo to highlight corresponding camera icon on map. MAP DETAILS: (1) Numbers on map are mileage distances; may look confusing for out & back sections. (2) Map route made from Garmin BaseCamp software which seems to subsample track points underestimating mileage about 10-20%. (3) Software treats route as continuous, creating multiple mileages on out & back hike sections. Zoom in on orange route to see multiple tracks (slightly offset due to GPS error). Unfortunately software does not allow different colors for multiple tracks on same trail.

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Elevation

Details

Created by: dc_chojnacky
Distance: 39.7 mi
Ascent: 10,974 ft
Date: 06/23/2017
Descent: 10,978 ft
Tags: Arizona, winter hiking, Oak fire, Wildernes
Difficulty: Experienced

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Points of Interest

The 2016 trip was aimed to cover route hypothesized for our 1975 trip starting at High Creek. Started early afternoon on March 3, 2016.
01. Walked last part of rough road to trailhead
We did the 1975 trek on a weekend: two days from this trailhead. This time it took over 3 days! Trails are much rougher and are getting worse in aftermath of 2014 Oak Fire and following weather events.
02. Two years after fire and still no trail work
Instead of trail work or specific information on problem areas, Forest Service places generic sign where High Creek Trail starts.
37. Considerable downfall
High Creek Canyon had not burned but we encountered considerable downfall, apparently from a wet snowy winter. Since we returned to same trailhead, this is actually last photo of our trip, taken at end of day4.
05. East Divide & High Creek junction
We would pass this junction 4 times; twice more out-and-back to Bassett Peak and then on return to vehicle.
06. Camps1&2
Cindy sets up camp in small saddle just above East Divide and High Creek trail junction, small spring was running below north side of saddle.
07. Trail not brushed in years
We hoped to day hike to Bassett & back and head down Rattlesnake to camp, replicating our 1975 trip. But brushy trail was slow going.
08. Sunset from south view
Two miles from High Creek junction, possible we only hiked to this peak in 1975. But no route found up rocky face.
09. Snow in March
Snow found on north slopes similar to conditions experienced in January 2015.
12. Cindy weary of considerable up & down
The East Divide Trail crossed many small peaks and ridges enroute to Bassett.
13. Ash Creek junction
We got to this junction well after noon. Another 1.5 miles to the peak! Most hikers climb Bassett from Ash Creek trailhead.
15. David saved lunch for Bassett Peak
East Divide Trail continues along ridge beyond Bassett, while a flagged route is mostly rock scramble to peak.
Objective was to reach Bassett Peak; a 13 hour-circuit with return to camp after dark because of rough trail.
17. Clouds enhanced sunset
Day2 returning from Bassett, sunset with several miles to go; hiked last few miles in dark. Too late to continue down Rattlesnake as initially planned so camped second night at saddle.
18. Washed out trail challenges Cindy in places
Major washouts common on steep descents of East Divide trail.
36. Rattlesnake and East Divide junction
We passed this junction twice on our loop. Cindy on day4 returning on East Divide trail from Corral Canyon.
19. Gambel oak woodland
Rare deciduous oak trees in upper Rattlesnake; evergreen oak more common in Galiuros.
20. Beautiful Holdout Spring
Holdout Spring a must stop for excellent water. We think this might have been our campsite on the 1975 overnight trip; after a day hike to Sunset or Bassett. If latter, we did 23 miles that day according to GPS—trails were better and/or we were much faster!
21. Fire released vegetation
Cindy found Rattlesnake Canyon much rougher hike in 2016 (than 2015) two years after Oak Fire.
23. Corral Creek washout
Creek much more washed out than in 2015 and more down trees.
24. Abundant water
Corral Creek ran well but dry about mile below the spring due to stream bed alteration from post-fire washouts.
25. Camp3...Corral Canyon
Powers Garden and Corral Creek trails much worse in 2016, slower going. Having lost the trail in flat little disturbed area, camped short of Corral Spring planned destination not knowing if another suitable camp site in washout ahead.
29. Oak sprouting and some shrub growth 2 years after fire
More vegetation that in 2015 and less black.
30. Corral & East Divide junction
Our 2015 campsite on the saddle below Kennedy Peak.This time we continued along the East Divide trail to replicate 1975 hike..
32. Pinyon seedling
Seedling sheltered by log.
33. Pine-oak woodland
Unburned piney areas provided nice relief on the trail.
35. Outdoor program group
On day4 return to trailhead, telephoto captured colorful group far below off trail. Only people encountered on this trip; perhaps Outward Bound or similar program.