Posts Tagged ‘RR Tunnel’

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


START TIME: 11:40 am

END TIME: 7:25 pm


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:

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).

Col Devin and Railroad Trail

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

[Part of our ongoing behind-the-hike series concerning hikes covered in Day and Overnight Hikes – Tonto National Forest.]

This area was in the recent “Rim Fire” (see last entry) – and I can’t say what may be left of it.

This was part of my Rim Rush – a 4 day weekend where I banged out several trails including this one, two segments of the Highline Trail and Mescal Ridge.

DATE HIKED: 30 May 2008


START TIME: 10:30a

END TIME: about noon


There’s a part in the book’s introduction where I describe my mom reluctantly leaving her little boy (Now – I’m 42!) alone at the trailhead. This hike. Relatedly, my son Ben had the opportunity to go, but chose to hang around in camp instead – mostly, it seemed, to prove he could hang around in camp instead. Since this was an easy hike up to a railroad tunnel, I gotta think that decision was political.

This route up and down the Rim was originally part of the Moqui Trail,an ancient route connecting the central deserts to th Navajo and Hopi lands up north. South of the Rim, the route roughly follows AZ89.

It was then re-blazed by Col. Devin, while he worked for General Crook.

Now, it is part of the Arizona Trail.

Some good source material about the RR Tunnel.

I hiked this trail on the same day I hiked the Washington Park – Geronimo portion of the Highline. Had I gotten my dear mother (who was part of that car shuttle) out of camp in time, I would have made the whole odyssey with daylight to spare. As it was … well, next time. Mom, to her credit, prodded her little Prius within up the rutted dirt road to within a couple hundred yards of the trailhead. That’s where I inherited those tendencies.

Washington Park has several unofficial campsites right on the creek, and would make a nice basecamp if you got there early enough. The road gets worse the higher you go, though, so HC if you want to actually park at the TH. There are a number of private residences dotting the area – so watch where you pee.