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AZT 28 Gooseberry Day Hike
Happy Jack
June 23, 2018
by David French
Tom’s     GPS Map 
Jim’s GPS Map
Jim’s Elevation
Jim. Robert. Ramona, Katrina, Tamar, Quy, Terry, Billie, Li, Michael,
Tom, Kate, Dwight, Michelle, Scott, Ken, Heather, Janet, Rudy, Dave

With temperatures hitting close to 110 in the Valley, a hike in the forest at elevation over 7000 feet is just what the doctor ordered. Twenty hikers made this venture, with 17 meeting at Target at 6:30, picking up one in Payson and meeting two more at Lake Mary Road and FR 294 at MP 305. We arrived there between 8:30 and 9 AM in 5 cars and took a group photo. Switched cars so that 2 cars went east on FR 294 and 3 went north on Lake Mary Road to the turnoff to the Gooseberry Springs area near MP 312.

I led the NB group from FR 294 while Scott led the SB group from Gooseberry Springs. I will describe the hike that we did. We drove the 5 miles on FR 294, which is in decent shape and passable by all vehicles although high clearance is always preferred. We drove to where the road comes to a tee and there is a forest sign partially hidden in the trees straight ahead. Turned right into a meadow area and parked to the right facing the forest and a vertical AZT trail marker. After a quick group photo, we were on our way.

Away we go! [photo by Tom]
Easy hiking, but we missed the turn. [photo by Tom]
Back on track. [photo by Li]
Where in the heck are we and where is the trail? [photo by Tom]
Terry Kate
Terry and Kate hiking along the wrong trail. [photo by Tom]

We had hiked about a mile when we came to a gate that led us onto an old road along a double set of transmission towers. We proceeded down that road, parallel to the towers, until we came to a much better unpaved road. Turned left and then saw a marker that said FR 294.

I immediately thought we must have gotten off trail. Tom went left to see if he could find a trial marker and some of the rest of us went right. We found no trail markers, so decided to backtrack to the gate where we had last seen a marker. After looking around a bit, someone spotted a trail marker under the transmission lines a couple of hundred feet off the old road. As we approached that turn off, the trail was very faint and there were some rocks there that probably was a cairn but needed to be re-stacked.

“Who, Me?” says Tom. [photo by Li]
Katrina Billie
Katrina and Billie pass through another gate.
Ramona leads us through the gate. [photo by Li]

We followed the trail that led us onto an old road that was quite rocky. This road took us back to FR 294 where we had been a little earlier. We had missed a turn off again. So we backtracked a little ways and then found the trail and the markers. Again the markers were well off the road, so you really have to be alert to know when to depart from the road onto a single track trail. As a result, we had made a 1 to 1.5 mile loop that was totally unnecessary, but fun!? Tom’s GPS trek shows the circuitous route that we took.

Proceeding on the single track through a nice forest, there were trail markers about every 200 feet it seemed. Gee, why would they not put them at the turn offs? Once you are on a single track it is easy to follow so the abundance of markers seemed superfluous. We met the SB group at a nice spot where there was shade and a few logs and rocks to sit on. The SB group had hiked about 6 miles on-trail while the NB had only hiked 3.5 miles on-trail but a total of about 5 miles.

Northbound Group, led by Dave: Dave, Terry, Kate, Tamar, Tom, Ramona, Michelle, Billie, Katrina, Li
Southbound Group, led by Scott [photo by Quy]:
Rudy, Janet, Ken, Robert, Jim, Heather, Scott, Quy, Dwight, Michael

After lunch and a brief rest, we swapped keys and headed in our respective directions.

The combined group sits down for lunch break.
“As I was sayin’ ...” [photo by Tom]
Resting at lunch. [photo by Li]
Dwight, Jim, Terry, and Scott break for lunch.
Through the forest. [photo by Tom]
Ramona and Katrina having fun. [photo by Tom]

The NB group soon came to an old road and hiked along it quite a ways. There were trail markers occasionally to let us know we were on trail. The group started getting stretched out, with the faster hikers about a quarter of a mile ahead of the rest of us. Tamar noticed a trail marker high on the trunk of a tree in the shade that said we were to turn right here. We hollered and radioed to the faster hikers to get them to turn around and come back to the turn off. That was mistake number 3. On the good side, we did spot a fleeting deer in the forest.

Schuff’s Tank.
Stumps are good for sitting. [photo by Li]
This must be the Arizona Trail.
We quickly got into the trees. [photo by Quy]
Nice rock outcropping. [photo by Quy]
Gates are no problem for Heather. [photo by Quy]
Are there any frogs in the pond? [photo by Quy]
Now who put this log here? [photo by Quy]
OK, which way do we go now? [photo by Quy]
Better fix this cairn so those northbound folks don’t get lost. [photo by Quy]
What’s this? Yet another gate? [photo by Quy]

After that we were on a single track the rest of the way so no more missed turns. We reached the Gooseberry Springs trailhead which is the north end of the Happy Jack passage of the AZT. After some quick refreshments and a change of shoes, we loaded into the cars that we rode up in. The group reassembled at THAT Brewery in Pine to get some hikers and gear into the right vehicle.

Scott says the SB group had no trail finding issues and everyone made it just fine. How boring! They did see a bat in broad daylight catching bugs near the tanks. Rudy was diligent in exploring each tank and each one had very little water in it.

The pause that refreshes. [photo by Quy]

The hike was about 10 miles with 900 ft elevation change and took about 5 hours to complete.

Supplemental Report
by Jim Buyens

Once again it was great hiking with everyone on the Arizona Trail. It was great hike, and Dave, thanks for organizing and leading it. Thanks, Tom, for sending me the GPX file containing the data from Saturday’s northbound hike.


Northbound Hike Statistics
Total Distance:13.2miles
Starting Time:9:32AM
Moving Time:4:09hrs:min
Stopped Time:1:01hrs:min
Finishing Time:2:42PM
Avg. Speed Moving:3.2mph
Avg. Speed Overall:2.5mph
Starting Elevation:7,414ft
Finishing Elevation:7,472ft
Minimum Elevation:7,414ft
Maximum Elevation:7,654ft
Total Ascent:1,097ft
Total Descent:1,038ft
Starting Temperature:79°
Finishing Temperature: 86°
Southbound Hike Statistics
Total Distance: 10.23miles
Starting Time: 9:33AM
Moving Time: 4:05hrs:min
Stopped Time: 0:16hrs:min
Duration: 4:21hrs:min
Finishing Time: 1:55PM
Avg. Speed Moving: 2.5mph
Avg. Speed Overall: 2.3mph
Starting Elevation: 7,540ft
Finishing Elevation: 7,331ft
Minimum Elevation: 7,331ft
Maximum Elevation: 7,609ft
Total Ascent: 929ft
Total Descent: 1,231ft
Calories: 840
Starting Temperature: 79°
Finishing Temperature:  86°
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated June 26, 2018