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Gooseberry Springs
Coconino National Forest
September 3, 2022
by Vicky Johnson
Trailblazers on the march. [photo by Li Li]
Mike, Vicky, Li, Randall, Diane, Terry

Six hikers showed up on a warm September morning at the Gooseberry Springs Trailhead, where a group photo was taken by a kiosk showing historical information on the area’s geography and early inhabitants.

Sign tells the history of Gooseberry Springs. [photo by Vicky Johnson]
You are here. [photo by Vicky Johnson]
Shuffs Tank. [photo by Vicky Johnson]
This must be the Arizona Trail. [photo by Vicky Johnson].
Trailblazers on the Arizona Trail. [photo by Vicky Johnson].

The group proceeded on the AZ Trail, where an open meadow with thick pine oaks woodlands was followed by smatterings of fir and spruce in addition to a herd of longhorn cattle.

Only the bulls have long horns. [photo by Vicky Johnson]

The AZ Trail intersected FR 92 and began a 400-foot climb along a ridge above Fulton Canyon, displaying basalt rock formations. Further along the AZ Trail intersected FR 135 and FR 135C dirt roads initially built for logging operations involving a large supply of ponderosa pine.

Don’t just sit there like lumps on a log.

The group went past Maxie Tank to Shuffs Tank, that is a popular watering hole for mule deer and elk and that also provided an excellent lunch spot. The hikers continued for another mile along the AZ Trail in a southerly direction before turning around.

We made it to Shuffs Tank. [photo by Vicky Johnson].
Shuffs Tank sign. [photo by Randall Greely].
Shuffs Tank. [photo by Vicky Johnson]

Had the group continued another 30.7 miles they would have intersected Rt. 87 in Payson. The hikers re-traced their steps in a northerly direction on the AZ Trail through the Coconino National Forest heading back to the car.

Dinner was at Fat Olive by Route 66 in Flagstaff.

Total Distance Hiked: 9.97 miles
Minimum Elevation: 7,449 ft
Maximum Elevation: 7,700 ft
Total Ascent: 251 ft.
Total Time: 4:46:10
Average Moving Speed 2.8 miles per hour
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated September 7, 2022