Posts Tagged ‘Highline Trail’

The Hikes from Washington Park

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

There have been a few fires since I last visited here, including the nearby Wagon Wheel fire – so I cannot guarantee how much of the specific topography is still accurate.

I started two separate hikes from the Washington Park trailhead, smack in the middle of the Mogollon Rim: the Col. Devlin/RR Tunnel trail and then the Highline Trail west to Camp Geronimo.

Stats given below reflect both hikes combined.

DATE: 5/30/08

COMPANIONS: None

START TIME: 11:40 am

END TIME: 7:25 pm

TOTAL ACTUAL MILES: 13.2

My mother helped me set up the car shuttle for this, which was a blessing and a curse. My mother is not a morning person, so an early start was never a possibility.

There a part in the intro of the book where I talk about her dropping me off at a trailhead: this hike.

Ben had been invited to go, but was pouting for some reason, and missed out on one of the cooler trails – at least from an 11 year old perspective. So let that be a lesson for the young readers.

Col Devlin was one of the shorter hikes in the book, but contained a serious grade. I still got lost. The note at the end about not following the goat-trails around the ledge: GAFDE.

One of my sources for the history of the Railroad Tunnel:  http://www.paysonrimcountry.com/MountainRecreation/NaturalLandmarks/MogollonRim/tabid/232/Default.aspx

And the Sharlot Hall museum provided good source material on Col. Devin.

I personally believe that the Highline Trail, as a multi-day through hike is over-rated. You beat up your knees for not much variation in scenery. The Highline was built for horses. You’re better off on top of the Rim on the General Crook trail.

I was very grateful for the one flowing stream in the middle of the hike.

There was a lot of fire damage when I hiked through,and now there is even more. Better views. Less shade. How long until the whole Rim is naked?

Followed the last of the switchbacks in the last of the daylight, but didn’t need to pull y flashlight out of the bag.

Don’t try both of these on the same day unless you’re very hardcore (or behind deadline).

Horton Springs

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Part of our ongoing series of behind-the-hike profiles.

NOT part of the 10-day run. We’ll get back to that.

See my profile on Upper Tonto Creek Campground on Examiner.

DATE HIKED: 7 October 2007

COMPANIONS: Ben

START TIME 10:45am

END TIME: 5:15pm

ACTUAL MILES:9.5

This was the very first hike I undertook for the book, and while I didn’t get lost, I learned a lot anyway.

This hike takes the Derrick Trail #33 up the Mogollon Rim to the Highline Trail to the lush and reliable Horton Springs. It then takes the Horton Trail #285 back down to form a cool loop.

October 7th, it turned out, was the last day the campground was open. The caretaker was in the process of closing up for winter. He did take the time to show us the trailhead, which is still not well marked in the campground (at least, not compared to the giant sign that signifies the Horton Trail). It remains, though, across the road from the outhouse. It’s a six way intersection, but every corner has a campsite except the one with the trailhead.

If you do this as a loop, you’re far better off starting up the Derrick. The Highline is unmistakable as you come up the Derrick. You can, however, easily (and repeatedly, as I did years ago) miss the Derrick from the Highline. If you just want the easy up and back, stick to the Horton trail.

Ben had a tough journey. He ripped his pants crossing a log on the Derrick, and then fell into Horton Creek as we crossed it a few hundred yards down from the springs. It was cold enough that wet socks wer an issue. He made it down the Horton sans socks.

The entry in the guidebook on this hike is by far the most heavily edited couple of pages in the book. The original editor, Russell Helms, made me write multiple drafts trying to beat me into Menasha Ridge Style. (Menasha Ridge actually has a 60 page style manual they give to authors. I didn’t really read it.)

Among his many notes, I couldn’t just write “big trees”. I had to describe what kind of trees. I can now tell an Arizona Sycamore from a cottonwood on sight, but at the time, they were all either pine trees or other trees.

This site helped me suss out that mystery.

We also, after some negotiation, settled on the term “horse apples” to our mutual satisfaction.

Still one of my favorite hikes.