|when||Trip Report : September 3, 2022|
|where||Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff|
Join me on a hike at Gooseberry Springs, which sits at the base of 8,532-foot Hutch
Mountain 30 miles south of Flagstaff, that offers a glimpse into a time in the late
19th and early 20th centuries where homesteaders ran sheep and cattle in the forests
and meadows of the Mogollon Rim.
We will start at the Gooseberry Springs Trailhead, where a kiosk shows historical information on the area’s geography, early inhabitants, the railroads, logging, wildlife in the area, and information about ranchers and settlers. The informative sign states that Hutch Mountain was named after CC “Hutch” Hutchison, an early 20th century sheep rancher and owner of the Grand Canyon Sheep Company.
We will hike on the AZ Trail, where an open meadow with thick pine oaks woodlands will be followed by smatterings of fir and spruce. We intersect FR 92 and begin a 400-foot climb along a ridge above Fulton Canyon. The hike will continue on the AZ Trail that will intersect FR 135 and FR 135C. These dirt roads were initially built for logging operations in the area that had a great supply of one of the world’s largest ponderosa pine forests.
We will hike past Maxie Tank to Shuffs Tank that is a popular watering hole for mule deer and elk in addition to horses carrying their riders. Riders on horseback could continue a 30.7 miles route along the AZ Trail in a southerly direction that would eventually intersect with Rt. 87 in Payson.
Shuffs Tank is our turn around point of about five miles, where we will stop and eat lunch. We will then re-trace our hike on the AZ Trail through the Coconino National Forest heading back to the car.
Portions of this hike are written on page 39 of Mare Czinar’s book The Hike Book Volume 2, published by Phoenix Magazine.
Pace: Moderate (2 miles per hour, averaging). If you are a speed demon and only want an intense workout, this is not the hike for you.
|EC||+-467' elevation change|
|elevations||7467 to 7,934 feet|
|starting at||Gooseberry Springs Trailhead and FR 92|
|on trail||100% — AZ Trail|
|rating||"B" Rate yourself as a hiker.|
|cost||Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
|meet||6:15 AM in the Macdonald’s parking lot on the northeast corner of I-17 & Carefree Highway, Tramonto Marketplace. Park away from the restaurant.|
|Schedule of Events||Arizona Trailblazers Home Page|
|updated September 6, 2022||© Copyright 2022, Arizona Trailblazers. All rights reserved.|