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Gooseberry Springs Day Hike
Mormon Lake Village
July 7, 2018
by Jim Buyens
  GPS Map 
Hikers pause for a photo along the trail. [photo by Tom]
Li, Biljana, Dubravka, Daniel, Jim, Ken, Ann, Scott, Tamar, Heather, Jori, Ralph, Mary

With most of the club’s favorite trails near Flagstaff closed because of fire danger, finding a place to hike was a little harder than usual. Passage 29 (used to be 30, renumbered) of the Arizona Trail south of Lake Mormon Village was open, though, and had been a good hike two years before. So our planned route was northbound from the Gooseberry Springs Trailhead to the Navajo Springs Trailhead near the village.

Getting everyone to the trailhead was a more interesting exercise than usual. Out of fourteen hikers, we had five carpool from Target in Fountain Hills, four carpool directly from the east valley, two drive out from Flagstaff, one drive from Prescott Valley, and two arrive by foot.

The two by foot were Scott and Ken, who started from the Navajo Springs Trailhead and hiked southbound for 9.5 miles to meet us at Gooseberry Springs. Then they turned around and hiked with the group back to Navajo Springs for a double dose of adventure!

Mary and Ralph drove out from Flagstaff in separate cars. Mary left hers in the village and then carpooled to Gooseberry Springs with Ralph. That way, after the hike she could drive the drivers back to Gooseberry Springs to pick up their cars. That saved us from waiting for a car shuttle at the start of the hike.

Ken, Tamar, and Ralph lead the way across a cattle guard. [photo by Tom]
Li, Scott. Daniel, and Heather hold still
long enough for a photo. [photo by Tom]
Biljana and Dubravka are ready to go. And no, I don’t know what the photographer just said. [Tom]
Tamar, Mary, and Ann press on. [photo by Li]
We had no problems on the first three quarters of the trail, but then most of us missed a turn. The trail was following a forest road and I guess there was an Arizona Trail sign that should have told us to fork off onto a regular trail, but somehow we shot right past it.

After a while we noticed that we hadn’t seen any Arizona Trail signs for a while, and so I checked the Arizona Trail app on my phone, and sure enough we were south of our intended route. We could have backtracked or bushwhacked back to the trail, but by then it was starting to rain and everyone wanted to finish the hike as quickly as possible. The map showed that the forest road led to Lake Mary Road which in turn led to Mormon Lake Village so that’s the route we choose.

The forest road was muddy and the mud stuck to our shoes, but eventually we did arrive at Lake Mary Road, and from there, walking on the shoulder at least, knocked the mud back off.

It was still raining as we approached Mormon Lake Lodge, which offered an overhang and shelter. And of course the rain stopped just about the time we got there. Oh well.

Jim, Biljana, and Tamar wait for a table at Mormon Lake Lodge. [photo by Tom]
Enjoying a well-earned repast. [photo by Tom]

Mary gave all the drivers a ride back to their cars and then once we were all reunited most of us stopped for lunch at Mormon Lake Lodge and its rustic, near-historic atmosphere. The food was only average and when it came time to pay the service was slow, but we still enjoyed the visit.

See you next time!

Hike Statistics
Total Distance:8.8miles
Starting Time:9:15AM
Moving Time:3:14hrs:min
Stopped Time:0:30hrs:min
Finishing Time:12:59PM
Avg. Speed Moving:2.7mph
Avg. Speed Overall:2.3mph
Starting Elevation:7,835ft
Finishing Elevation:7,113ft
Minimum Elevation:7,091ft
Maximum Elevation:7,835ft
Total Ascent:378ft
Total Descent:1,100ft
Starting Temperature:72°
Finishing Temperature: 77°

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated July 12, 2018