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Willow Springs Hike
Mogollon Rim
May 20, 2023
by Victoria Johnson
group A
Time to see if the Trailblazers can find the canyon. [photo by Vicky]
Ron, Carol, Michael, Li, Bruce, Scott, Tom, Deborah.

Eight hikers showed up on a brisk Saturday morning for this hike atop the Mogollon Rim on Forest Road 236 that revealed several high-tension buzzing power lines at the trailhead. FR236 is maintained by a logging company and closed off to public motorized vehicles. The hikers came onto a large outcropping of ponderosa pine that had recently been thinned. At the 1.3-mile junction, the group came upon a herd of elk that was the first of five sightings.

Starting down the trail. [photo by Vicky]
Ponderosa pine forest that had recently been thinned. [photo by Vicky]

At the 2.34-mile junction the group was told to head east into the Sitgreaves National Forest that would have been followed by a large watering hole used by hunters during hunting season. Unfortunately, this was the wrong turning point that should have been at the 2.93-mile junction had the hike leader correctly checked her map. The group was led in a circular north and south direction alongside the edge of Willow Springs Canyon.

White flower beside the trail. [photo by Vicky]
On the edge of the canyon. [photo by Michael]

Half of the group headed back on one of several newly excavated logging roads. For the half of the hikers who remained behind the group was eventually led to a small clearing on a ridge at the edge of Willow Springs Canyon that exposed rocky steep columns of basalt lava rock that was also our stopping point for lunch. Heading back to the car the group ran into two individuals riding horses who had just finished going up to a small dam on Old Rim Road. Approximately 1.2 miles from the cars the group came upon a group of five wild horses that included a young foal who was likely born in the spring. An early dinner was eaten at La Sierra Mexican Restaurant.

New logging road. [photo by Vicky]
Storm clouds build. [photo by Vicky]
View into the canyon. [photo by Vicky]
Wild horses in the forest. [photo by Michael]

Note: these links are temporary. Look at the pictures while you can.

→   More pictures, by Vicky
→   More pictures, by Debbie
→   More pictures, by Ron
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona updated June 3, 2023
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