Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Gooseberry Springs Day Hike
when Trip Report : July 7, 2018
  Trip Report : June 18, 2016
where Mormon Lake Village
the hike     This will be a one-way hike along the Arizona Trail on the San Francisco Plateau. The hike is relatively flat through forest with some more open areas at elevations 7000 to 7500 ft. We will hike the length of Passage 30 segment a, and then down the Navajo Springs Trail, ending in Mormon Lake Village.
    This will be a car shuttle. We start at Gooseberry Springs Trailhead, just off FR 3 north of Mormon Lake Village, and hike north for 7.9 miles to the junction with the Navajo Springs Trail. We turn right and descend 400 feet in 1.3 miles to the Village. The trail starts just 0.2 miles east of FR 3 at a standard large AZT metal sign. Elevation at the trailhead is 7450. The trail heads north on a very narrow single track trail that looks like it was formed by equestrians. In a quarter mile we cross FR 3 and continue north. Eventually we merge onto a double track, pass through a gate, and continue. The trail is relative flat, and easy walking. There are a couple of ponds just west of the trail, some fallen trees that do not pose too much challenge, and 4 gates in the first 2 miles.
    The Navajo Springs trail has a mud bog just below Navajo Springs, but we were able to negotiate around it OK. The lower part is rockier but is easy. Elevation at Mormon Lake Village is 7100.
distance 9.6 miles
time 6-7 hours
EC +401'-772' elevation change
elevations 7270' (Fulton Canyon) to 7582' (Navajo Spring)
type one way
starting at
Gooseberry Springs Trailhead 34.82130° N, 111.43177° W
on trail 100% — Arizona Trail, passage 30
rating "C+"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Happy Jack
meet 6:30 AM in the parking lot of Target Center on the south side of Shea Blvd., about a mile west of Highway 87 (Beeline). For those leaving their cars behind, please park up against the northernmost curb facing Shea Blvd. opposite the Target store.
•  North on SR 87 through Payson, Pine and Strawberry.
Continue to the intersection with FR 3 near Clint’s Well.
Turn left and continue north on FR 3 to just past Mile Post 312.
The trailhead is on the right (east) and the turnoff is well marked as Gooseberry Springs with a smaller sign for FR 92.
Go 0.2 miles on an unpaved road that is passable by all vehicles.
Look for the AZ Trail sign on your right. Park there.
It’s also possible to reach the Gooseberry Trailhead starting from Fry’s at I-17 & Bell:
Take I-17 north 93 miles to exit 306 (Stoneman Lake Road).
Continue east on Stoneman Lake Road for 17 miles to FR 92 and then continue as above (the first six miles of this road are paved and the next 11 miles are well-maintained gravel suitable for most cars).
Here are the comparative times and distances to the Gooseberry Springs Trailhead as calculated by Google Maps:
Leave Target in Fountain Hills and take AZ-87: 2 hours 12 minutes, 122 miles.
Leave Target in Fountain Hills and take I-17: 2 hours 21 minutes, 136 miles.
Leave Fry’s at I-17 & Bell and take I-17: 1 hour 52 minutes, 111 miles.
Please indicate your preference when you sign up for the hike.
We will drive as many cars as needed to Mormon Lake Village and return to Gooseberry Trailhead to start the hike.

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updated July 12, 2018 © Copyright 2018, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.