Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Rim Tank Basin Day Hike
when April 22, 2023 Saturday
where Mogollon Rim
the hike     Join me on this venture that starts on a dirt track road at the intersection of Highway 677 and Forest Road 677. The trailhead is rather mundane, but a brief uphill will land us on a ridge above Salmon Lake Basin, a green pastoral depression ringed by junipers and barbed wire circling corrals. The basin itself is a largely shade less, yawning valley peppered with enormous alligator juniper trees with gnarled canopies arching over fields of wildflowers and tall grasses that can be seen in the summer months. The road twists through the basin and begin an easy climb revealing hazy glimpses of the Bradshaw Mountains to the south and the San Francisco Peaks and Sedona’s red rock formations to the north. At the 2.2-mile point Forest Road 142 G spins off to the left exposing Ponderosa pines and Gamble Oaks encroaching upon the juniper grasslands.
We will continue straight on Forest Road 667 to the hike’s highest elevation where we will get our first peeks of the massive gorge of West Clear Creek that can be seen at the edge of Rim Tank Basin. This viewpoint silhouettes the 7,307-foot Apache Maid Mountain and the 6,674-foot Buckhorn Mountain. We will descent into the basin’s drainage-carved woodlands. At the bottom of the first dip, Forest Road 677B heads off to the right. Forest Road 677 veers left and swings by a wildlife water tank contained by an earthen dam before making its final descent to the hike’s premier attraction at the edge of the West Clear Creek Wilderness.
Roughly paralleling State Route 260 but not easily seen from the road this long 13,600-acre wilderness waterway runs east-west from Bull Pen Ranch in the high desert Verde Valley to the pine swaddled headwaters of Clover and Willow Creeks on the Mogollon Rim and an excellent place to stop for lunch. We will head back but unlike our original trek will make a right turn on Forest Road 142G in hopes of obtaining a second view of West Clear Creek Wilderness at Bull Hole on Forest Road 9376C. We will turn around and head back to the cars at the five mile point or at our second viewpoint—whichever comes first.
    Moderate pace to enjoy scenery. Fast hikers will be required to wait for the leader at junction points. This hike is mentioned in Mare Czinar’s Blog AZ Hiking on 10/3/22
•    Warning: The hike leader checked out the conditions on Monday 4/17/23. The snow had all melted and there was NO MUD!
    Please bring rain gear with you, intermittent rain showers are a very real possibility.
distance 10 miles
time 6-7 hours
EC +-900' elevation change
elevations 5,900' (Trailhead) to 6,250'
type round trip
starting at
Rim Tank Basin Trailhead
on trail 98% — Rim Tank Basin 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.
dogs allowed no
weather Camp Verde
leader    You must email the leader to confirm. Limit of 15 hikers
meet 8:15 AM in the parking lot of McDonald’s parking lot on the NE corner of I-17 & Carefree Highway, Tramonto Marketplace. Park away from the entrance to McDonald’s.
•  From I-17 in Campe Verde, take the State Rout 260, Exit 287 and travel 24.8 miles east (towards Payson) on SR 260 (Zane Gray Highway) to Forest Road 677 on the left at milepost 243. This is just before where a power line crosses the highway. Park in any of the nearby dirt road pull outs behind the cattle guard gate (be sure to close behind you).

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updated March 1, 2023 © Copyright 2023, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.