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Ryal-Box T Canyon Loop Day Hike
Camp Verde
May 30, 2015
by Bill Zimmermann
  GPS Map 
Trailblazers pause on the bridge.
Kasia, Michael, Anikó, Scott, Sana, Monika, Bill

With trailhead elevation just under 3200 feet and the valley heating up, Bill changed the meeting to 6:00 AM. The goal was to get to the intersection with trail #511 “Box T” (end of the uphill portion) by 11:00 AM.

We found the unlabeled trailhead 200 yards off an unlabeled road exit. Yea! No time wasted hunting. At 7:45 AM we were walking ... on trail #521, we hoped.

Upward along the side of Ryal Canyon. [photo by Monika]
Kasia finds the best camera angle.
Michael and Anikó on Trail 521

We have now gotten almost to the top of the mountain and can see that we have been on Trail 521. This is the first sign that shows the trail number, and it is for persons going downhill.

The bridge is picturesque.
Sana makes a strategic sock adjustment.
Looking back at the Verde Valley.

Sporadic junipers lined the trail providing shaded rest spots prime for photographing the yellow blooms of the prickly pear cactus. We followed black plastic pipe connecting water tanks. At each stop the valley below became more distant. As we got higher junipers gave way to short needle pines.

Golden columbines brighten the forest.
A glen of golden columbines.

At 9:50 AM we were at “TX” (intersection with trail #511). We were at a 4736-foot elevation after climbing 1475 feet. A hiker quipped the write-up said 2200 feet. It was clear that by staying on the loop we would not achieved that. Bill presented an option to continue climbing on #511 with a half hour turn around time. At 10:20 AM and 5114 feet we headed back down to join Michael for a break.

Lunch. Towering walnut trees among others provide welcomed shade. They lined the banks of a small stream. Yellow columbine flowers choked the source of the spring. Relaxed and fed, we were ready to start our downhill return to the cars.

At “TX2” we left the wide trail for a narrow (possible new) path. GPS showed that we were headed toward Cottonwood Spring. At the spring some hikers used the water source to wet their clothing.

Bill finds a shady spot.
Sure, you can get under that fence.
It’s warming up as we hit the down grade.
Prickly pear is a late bloomer. [photo by Kasia]
Hold your nose.

Some distance past “D9” we were overwhelmed by a stench. Dead animal. Decaying cattle carcass. Bill abandoned thoughts of a trail treat souvenir as his riders were making plans of abandonment.

We’re getting closer to the valley. [photo by Kasia]
The road! At last! The end is in sight.

The trail ended at “B10”. It was the unmarked trailhead for #511. We choose to avoid walking the paved road back to the cars. Sort of. After bushwhacking down a hill, under a fence, and down a wash all but Bill gave in to walking the blacktop.

At 1:00 PM and 100 degrees we arrived at the cars. We had our second (mid day) lunch at the Verde Brewery. Although wrong, Bill thought they must have moved it to the other side of the street.

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updated August 13, 2018