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Coconino National Forest

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Coconino National Forest

Postby SimonRidgewalker » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:05 pm

Hello,
after visiting the Northeast last year I have the chance to visit the US again, this time Arizona. Unfortunately on a very short notice and since I still have to prepare a lot of work I don't have any time to properly plan my two days off, which will be next weekend (March 12-13) :shock:

I decided to stay in a campground near Sedona (the area just looks so amazing) and will have two full days for hiking around there. After that I will visit the Grand Canyon and return to Phoenix.

If you could help me out just a bit to find the right hikes I would be very very grateful! I found both the pages of hikearizona.com and US forest service to be full of great information, but I'm just overwhelmed by the amount of possibilities. There's hundreds of small trails and six wilderness areas.

The perfect thing for me would be 10-20 mile hikes (preferably loops) that allow me to escape from the busy places without missing the most beautiful summits, scenery and canyons. I will have a car and I don't mind driving a bit from campground to trailhead.

Thank you very much in advance for any suggestions!

Simon
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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby SimonRidgewalker » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:27 pm

Hey,
thanks for the advice. I already expected Sedona to be very crowded from what I've read. But I had thought that the small trails would be somehow connected and that you could leave the "strollers" behind once you have made the first miles after a parking lot and then just keep walking.

I just took a brief look at the Superstition area here at summitpost and it looks really great. And March seems to be just the perfect time to see the desert. I've never been to the desert and now that you mentioned the weather up in Sedona will still be cold and wet it really makes me think I should stay south instead.

Just taking a look at these pictures makes me want to start off immediately!
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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby lcarreau » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:56 am

Extremely short notice, but I have a SLIGHTLY different take on Sedona.

There's a system of trails near the Boynton Pass Road that you may be interested in, even though
(like Leghorn says) they may be particularly crowded on weekends, so you gotta be at the TH early.

http://www.summitpost.org/bearer-of-unforeseen-shadows/702323/c-288038

I've been living in Arizona since 1992, and I've learned a long time ago that weekends aren't the
BEST time to go hiking, because that's when everybody else goes.

It really depends on what you want to see. The flowers won't be all that great this year, but the
warmer weather and March winds seem to be drying out things very quickly.

I was on the Cockscomb Trail last Wednesday, and I didn't run into any mud.

The Sycamore Canyon wilderness has always been a favourite of mine, as it's far less crowded than the Red Rock /Secret Mountain and the Munds Mountain wilderness areas.

If you're not interested in viewing red rocks, the Superstition Wilderness would be a great place
to consider. You could set up camp at Lost Dutchman State Park. I believe the fee is a nominal
$15.00 per night.

Actually, the desert east of Apache Junction doesn't begin "heating up" until the final week of March, but bring lots of water anyway. Drinking water is available at Lost Dutchman State Park.

http://www.summitpost.org/the-tall-mothers-stand-there/613423

8)
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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby lcarreau » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:21 am

Oh, and you might want to steer clear of Sweat Lodge leaders and Time Share hawkers during your
short visit.

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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby 4corners » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:27 am

The Superstitions are my "home" range, and this is the perfect time of year. The guys are right, Lost Dutchman State Park would be a good base camp for you, and it would be easy to link up 10-20 mile loops. The one photo you linked to showing Miner's Needle is on one such popular loop. The weather is dry now, but I've seen a lot of water pockets. You would still want to bring at least 3 liters with you, though. The Hiker's Guide to the Superstition Mountains will give you much to choose from - you can order from Amazon or pick up one at a local bookstore here. Enjoy your trip! I see you are from Berlin - Lost Dutchman SP is pretty popular with other folks from Germany it seems as quite a few others from there do camp there, I've noticed.
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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby SimonRidgewalker » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:02 am

Hi again,
thanks a lot for the feedback. I will definitely start with Superstition Mountains. The way it looks right now, I will have an additional day free and since everything is not that far apart I may still go to Sedona and Grand Canyon afterwards. In that case I will keep in mind Cockscomb Trail!
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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby lcarreau » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:53 am

Sounds great !

Another "AZ wilderness area" you might want to consider is Fossil Springs Wilderness, which is
accessed from Highway 260 near Strawberry, Arizona.

It's a very popular area for hikers, and includes a series of springs at the bottom of a 1,600 foot deep canyon. It's probably nothing like what you've seen before there in Germany. Here's a link ...

http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/red_rock/fossil-spgs-wild.shtml
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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby lcarreau » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:10 am

Yes sir - Fossil Springs is definitely a gem in the AZ wilderness ..

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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby SimonRidgewalker » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:36 am

lcarreau wrote:...
It's probably nothing like what you've seen before there in Germany
...


Don't underestimate Germany in terms of turquoise water:

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:wink:
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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby lcarreau » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:52 am

Sorry, I was just trying to give Arizona a boost after Mister Leghorn's seething editorial on how much he favors life in AZ.

:D

It's NOT that bad of a place, especially if you ignore the Space Age Nuts.

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:shock:
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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby lcarreau » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:15 pm

Mr Leghorn wrote:
Hey, anyone want to use my 1 year pass? It is good to the end of the month. Free. The new age stuff is weird.


Oh, for crying out loud! I just laid down $20.00 for my annual pass the other day.

If I was a New Ager, I would have been able to telepathically read your mind that you didn't
want to use your pass.

C'mon, it really isn't as bad as you say here. The only place I ever heard drums was at the mouth
of Boynton Canyon and somewhere on Mingus Mountain.

Like I said before, to each his own. The Gods gave us all the power to move (relocate) out of
an area if we become completely sick and tired of it.

Best of luck to you, Mister Leghorn. :D
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Re: Coconino National Forest

Postby lcarreau » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:31 pm

Mr Leghorn wrote:The new age stuff is weird. It's not different than going to Jerusalem and seeing the Orthodox Jews rocking back and forth at the old Temple Wall, except the new age basis seems to be even more bizarre than a magical bronze age creator god, and they want you to eat vegan, and raw, quite often.


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