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Schultz Creek Loop Day Hike
June 25, 2016
by Gabrielle McConnell
  GPS Map 
by Jim Buyens

This Schultz Creek Loop was a 12.14 mile hike with 9 hikers. We decided to leave Phoenix a little earlier due to possible traffic issues on I-17, so we set off at 6 AM. Seven of us met in Phoenix and met Mark and John at the Target parking lot. We made great time going to Flagstaff and were on the trail at 8:30.

It was a gorgeous day, sun was out, sky was blue, we had shade and the temps were not too high. So, after brief introductions and reminders by Monika and me to stop at junctions, the 9 hearty souls set out for this great hike. The club has done this hike several times in the past but each time we’ve taken a slightly different route, just to keep things interesting.

Our group is ready to go. [photo by Tracy]
back:  Michael, Yanis, Mark, John, Jim
front:  Gabe, Monika, Diva, Tracy

This time we took a counterclockwise route and figured we would just keep turning left. We were fortunate enough to have Jim and Michael with us, and they have both hiked this loop several times. Our plan was to take the Rocky Ridge Trail, then connect to the Brookbank Trail. Take the Bookbank to the Sunset Trail, then left on Schultz Creek Trail (along FR 420). However, it appears that somewhere along Brookbank trail we took a left instead of continuing on to the Sunset Trail. Jim’s GPS Track shows this quite clearly. Ah, well!

Schultz Creek Pre Hike: Mark John and Diva. [photo by Tracy]

This first trail, the Rocky Ridge Trail was beautiful, but this is where we had the elevation gain. Fortunately we had shade along the way.

Starting our climb from Schultz Creek. [photo by Tracy]
Hiking the Rocky Ridge Trail. [photo by Tracy]
John, Monika, and Yanis on the trail. [photo by Tracy]
Horned lizard came to visit. [photo by Tracy]
Having fun with Diva and Tracy. [photo by Tracy]

After all the elevation gain, we went through some incredible meadows and headed to the Schultz Tank Trailhead for a break. From this point we figured we would join the Schultz Creek trail. We had been moving at a pretty fast pace, so we welcomed the break.

Break time under the trees. [photo by Monika]
View from our lunch area. [photo by Tracy]

The view from this break area was amazing, mountains, large pines and meadows. As we left the break area, we headed through another amazingly beautiful meadow.

Meadow in the Dry Lake Hills. [photo by Tracy]
Hmmm, let’s look at the map. [photo by Tracy]

We consulted the maps a few times as there seemed to be some “extra” roads. In the end we took consensus of the team and kept turning left. On the last leg of the hike, we walked down this newly graded road. It seems this road was just graded this year, very interesting.

They’ve graded the Little Gnarly Trail, making it a road. [photo by Tracy]

We all made it back safely to the parking lot after a great five and half hour hike. We had started at 8:30 and were back by 2:10 PM. We then all met up at Busters and enjoyed a wonderful, relaxing lunch.

Tracy, Diva, Monika, Mark, Yanis, John, Gabe, Michael, Jim. [photo by Tracy]

Thanks again to everyone for joining this hike!

Supplemental Report
by Jim Buyens

It was really great seeing you all and having a great hike together last Saturday. I certainly enjoyed it and I hope you did too. Gabe, you did a great job organizing the hike and I’m sure we all really appreciate it. Bravo!

Sorry for the creative pathfinding but there’s nothing like a little adventure to spice up a hike, right? One of these times I’m going to get it perfect.

Thanks again for hiking with Arizona Trailblazers and I hope we meet again soon!


Hike Statistics
Total Distance:12.14miles
Starting Time:8:38AM
Moving Time:5:12hrs:min
Stopped Time:0:19hrs:min
Finishing Time:2:10PM
Avg. Speed Moving:2.3mph
Avg. Speed Overall:2.2mph
Starting Elevation:7,125ft
Minimum Elevation:6,781ft
Maximum Elevation:8,252ft
Total Ascent:1,506ft
Starting Temperature:72°
Finishing Temperature:84°
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated July 5, 2016