Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Tap Tank-Hunting Tank Day Hike
when Trip Report : October 8, 2022
where Coconino National Forest
the hike     Join me on a hike to two of Arizona’s premier cattle/wildlife tanks where the Arizona Central Highlands meet the edge of the Colorado Plateau roughly 35 miles south of Flagstaff. We will begin on Forest Road 213 F, located 1.8 miles off the paved Stoneman Lake Road, just outside a gated parking area surrounded by a ring of boulders. We will wind though a landscape of volcanic canyons and acres of pastureland.
    This seldom traveled slice of the Coconino National Forest starts in the hybrid high desert that meets tall Ponderosa Pine trees and exposes vistas of Sedona. We will proceed to Top Tank Forest Road 213J, turn around and then proceed southeast to Forest Road 9248D, where we will encounter Paqueno Tank.
    From late September through October this rangeland is dominated by the peaking of the annual goldeneye flowers that blanket the rolling hills in a style reminiscent of impressionist painters. This knee-high shrub-like plant (Heliomeris longifolia) is in the sunflower family and produces golden flowers from May through October. We will do a loop to Forest Road 644 F through Rarick Canyon and head back to the cars, passing Table Mountain to the west and Tap Tank to the east.
    We will hop back into our cars onto Stoneman Lake Road for about 2.9 miles to Forest Road 80 (on the opposite side of the road/north), where there is a gate, cattle guard, and a sign commemorating the Chaves Historic Trail, an important old travel corridor between Prescott and Winslow.
    The second half of our journey involves the hike to Hunting Tank, meandering through Rattle Snake Canyon and encompasses the Red Rock Ranger District. Hunting Tank is located to the north descending to an unsigned junction, roughly 0.2 miles in. It is a scenic detour of just over a half mile round trip and features a rustic corral and sizable watering hole. From that junction FR 80 dips into a finger of the Rattle Snake Canyon, that is open to high clearance vehicles but gets rough at the south end. High point vistas reveal Alligator junipers, Gambel oaks, and Yellow Evening primrose overlooking the Bradshaw Mountains to the west. In addition, there are walls of sheer basalt paralleling Rattle Snake Canyon that levels off just yards from the I-17 Freeway. FR 80 continues north for another 7+ miles and serves as a good turnaround point.
    This hike is posted on Mare Czinar’s blog:
    Pace: Moderate (2 miles per hour, averaging). If you are a speed demon, don’t like uneven terrain and only interested in getting a calorie burning workout, this is not the hike for you.
    Pre-hike photos.
distance 9.17 miles
time 5-6 hours
EC 623' elevation change
elevations 6314' to 5628'
type round trip
starting at Stoneman Lake Road (RF 213) and Forest Road 213F
on trail 98%
rating "B"     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 Sedona
meet 7:00 AM in the Macdonald’s parking lot on the northeast corner of I-17 & Carefree Highway, Tramonto Marketplace. Park away from the restaurant.
•  From Interstate 17 drive 19 miles north of Camp Verde.
Take the Stoneman Lake exit 306.
Head east (right) at the bottom of the ramp and follow Stoneman Lake Road (Forest Road 213) for 1.8 miles to Forest Road 213F on your right.
Park just outside the gate.

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updated October 10, 2022 © Copyright 2022, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.