Upcoming Events

Generally, hike meet-up is at 8:00am on the day of hike.  Meet-up for hikes on Mt. Graham and east of Safford is at the main gate of the Graham County Fairgrounds.  Hikes west of Safford will meet-up at the Pima Town Hall parking lot in Pima, Arizona. From the meet-up point carpools are organized and driving directions are shared.

Check the calendar below for dates of future hikes or download our calendar of events by clicking on this link: 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzUswbhetKhZU2JodU8xNm92M0k


Scheduled Hikes & Events


Black Canyon Natural Arch
March 25, 2017
Easy rating

North of Fort Thomas is a real treasure.  There in the foothills is a dry desert wash leading to the towering walls of a box canyon.  An easy walk up the wash reveals a canyon full of saguaros, natural windows, small caves, raptor nests, and interesting rock formation.  The treasure at the end of the wash is a large natural arch.  There is plenty to explore in this hidden spot.

Direction:  North of Fort Thomas, across the Gila River, you can see a large white "T" for Fort Thomas and a prominent gash that cuts through the foothills.  This is the Box Canyon where you are headed. Locating the wash running into the Box Canyon is the most difficult part of this hike. From the highway 70/highway 191 junction in Safford, drive west on highway 70 for 16 miles to signed turnoff for Brice-Eden Road on the right.  Follow it for 1.3 miles to Hot Springs Road on the left.  Turn left and follow the Hot Springs Road for 8.8 miles. (This does become a dirt road.  Maps refer to it as McEwen Ranch-Geronimo Road.)  Turn right into the Box Canyon Wash.  You can park here and walk the 3 miles into the canyon.  High clearance vehicles can drive another mile up the wash to the actual mouth of the canyon.  (GPS coordinates are N 33.05136 / W 109.05677)

Warning: Box Canyon seems to be loaded with beehives. Be(e) careful before approaching any alcoves.

 
Bassett Peak
April 8, 2017
Easy to Difficult rating depending on distance you hike




If you've been waiting for a challenging hike, this could be it.  (But, some of us are going to take it easy.)


This Saturday, April 8, we will travel into Ash Creek in the Galiuro Mountains southwest of Ft. Grant and Bonita.  We have hiked this trail in the fall to see the fall colors, but Saturday, we make a run for Bassett Peak.  (But that doesn’t mean you have to be a marathon hiker to join us on Saturday.  Come hike what you can and return to the vehicles when you are ready.)

The 4 mile Ash Creek Trail moves up the canyon through heavily wooded area of oaks, junipers, and pinon pines.   The trail makes several stream crossings.   At the midway point of this hike you come to the upper Ash Creek Spring.  This is a good turn around point for those who don’t want to go all the way to the top.  But for those who want to keep going, the trail takes a dramatic turn.  At this point, you follow the trail up the north side of the canyon out of the riparian area and into the high desert leaving the tree cover behind you.  Here the trail gets steeper.

Along the way you will see interesting rock formations.  You will also have a great view of Bassett Peak and the Pinalenos in the distance.  In a short period of time, you will gain a considerable amount of elevation.

 After about 4 miles, you will come to the ridgeline of the Galiuros with outstanding views of Mt. Graham, the Huachucas, Santa Ritas, Rincons, Santa Teresas, Mt. Lemon in the Catalinas, Chiricahuas and the remains of a WWII B-24 bomber crash laying in the saddle below Bassett Peak.  The bomber crashed into the side of a cliff during a WWII training run in 1943 claiming the lives of all 11 crew members..  The group may continue on or choose to return the same way we came. 

The return trip will be downhill and the sun may be setting, but you will have had a great hike few take.

Meet up is at 8am at the Fairgrounds.  High clearance vehicles required.  (We will carpool.)  Bring extra water, sunscreen, hats, lunch, and your smiles.

Meeting April 20, 2017
USFS/BLM Building  711 14th St.  Safford, Arizona   6pm

Input for the Summer/Fall Event Calendar will be taken at our meeting.
 
  
Bear Canyon
April 22, 2017
Moderate


Bear Canyon Trail provides access to four Forest trails that lead down the mountain from Ladybug Saddle. Ladybug Trail #329, Dutch Henry Canyon Trail #297, Turkey Flat Trail #330 and Ladybug Peak Trail #300 all connect to the Bear Canyon Trail. In addition to offering access to a number of other trails, Bear Canyon Trail provides good views to the south. Among the features you can see from the upper reaches of this trail are the Dos Cabezas Mountains east of Willcox, with the Greasewood Mountains in the foreground and Sulphur Springs Valley in the distance. Closer in, you'll enjoy good views of the lower slopes and southern peaks of the Pinalenos as well.

The trail essentially starts among mixed conifer forest surroundings and drops down to an oak- and juniper-dotted desert grassland. As you might suspect, Bear Canyon is a good place to see black bears which are quite common on this mountain range. (Remember that bears are secretive creatures, and usually you have to be looking for them to see them.) Bear Canyon Trail is also a good place to see a much smaller predator-ladybugs, lots of them. Ladybug Peak Trail #300 branches off the main trail and leads to the summit of Ladybug Peak. Here, during the summer, rocks and trees are sometimes covered with these aphid-eating insects.


High Creek, Galiuro Mts.
May 6, 2017

This trail is closed for a prescription burn.  We will be selecting an alternative hike for this day.  We will post as soon as a hike is selected and scouted.  High Creek will be rescheduled for fall or winter.



Meeting May 18, 2017
USFS/BLM Building  711 14th St.  Safford, Arizona
6pm

Information for Summer/Fall Event Calendar will be presented at the May meeting. 


Snow Flat to Hospital Flat
May 20, 2017
Easy Moderate

As you enter Snow Flat near the lake, an old Jeep trail marked by a "closed to motor vehicles" sign marks this hike.  Follow the road uphill as it lead into the trees.  After a quick climb, the road levels off and arrives at a junction 0.4 miles near a campsite.  Continue to the left.  The road turns south and travels through mixed conifers and towards Treasure Park.  Keep and open eye for wild turkeys and deer.  They are abundant in this area, but rather elusive.

At 1.2 miles, the trail enters the largest meadow on the mountain, Treasure Park.  Make sure to locate the interpretive sign on the east side of the meadow explaining the history of this spot.

At the bottom of the meadow, near the road junction, cut up the hill and continue west.  You will soon find an old logging road. You can continue either direction and find Hospital Flat.  Just watch for the Forest Service sign denoting the trail if you go north.  An interpretive sign near the restrooms in Hospital Flat shares history of this area.

You can continue up through the meadow on the west side of the campgrounds to the road and then  0.1 mile on the road to the Grant Hill Loop trail system.  Follow the trail (road) to the left for .25 mile to the junction with a road to the left.  This road will take you back to Treasure Park on an alternate route.  Then you can retrace your steps back to Snow Flat.
 

The Summer/Fall Event Calendar will be posted in June.


 
 

       

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