Category Archives: backpacking




100 Miles of Single Track!!

That was the cry every weekend ride for a ride choice.
For good reason.  With trail names like “Desert Dingleberries” or “Dare a Sarah” and “Skill Hill” you just knew there was always going to be a good loop.  Over time though, things became a bit muddled there.  Use and erosion had played the game.



“Trails of the City of Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve ~ Northern Region~”

We called it “let’s go ride up to Brown’s Ranch!” AKA “sub24”

The power line road  is exactly the same.  Unfamiliar trails like “Rustler Trail” and “Chuck Wagon Trail” are all new.  The trails have taken on an easier approach to most things, fitting it is because the current locals using them are much different than the generations before.  The even have a HD monitor playing at mid-volume a loop of information about the area.  It was kind of strange, this monitor..out there in the swanky new trail-head building.  In riding up there, we found a little connector to McDowell Mnt Park and proceeded to ride around on familiar grounds again.



Must ride again.  Soon.


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Went to Bisbee.


plenty to look at

plenty to look at


there is the Bisbee Bicycle Brothel.
oh, the times had in there.

c d

March and April are prime for desert camping and hiking.  We did our share this past two months.

o f g h i j k

Any time I see flowing water I think it is the greatest thing.

Any time I see flowing water I think it is the greatest thing.


Gnome and Frogger

Gnome and Frogger

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April 9, 2013 · 6:34 pm

Bartlett Lake



Quick Sub24.

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Sycamore Canyon

Part 2.  Last June, we started our investigation of Sycamore Canyon.  This time we set out to go further South to look at and use some of the many springs on a backpacking trip.

Memorial Day weekend in Sycamore Canyon

Dorsey Spring trail-head

the sign-in. Not too many people in the last year here.

the trail meanders along effortlessly until it drops off a 600′ plunge into the canyon itself

no bikes – again!

We set up a base camp at Dorsey Springs. The campsite near there is just awesome.

The Columbine flowers are out in force. I am particularly fond of this flower.

Sycamore point as seen from the Winter Spring Cabin trail.

most of the hiking was in the shade

without a fire, we had some time to build a table so we could play some crazy 8’s with the kids all proper like.

finished product

Great view looking South down Sycamore Canyon. Next investigation will be from Parsons Spring and some longer loop trails along the bottom of the canyon this Fall.

Our tent-site – about 200′ North of Dorsey Spring. A great spot!

Our backpacks at a point where everyone is really pretty light and comfortable. Finally! Everyone can do some pretty rugged trails and decent distance to really explore. It has been a process.

An impressive canyon. Go check it out!

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Towel Creek Trail #67

An overnight backpack down to the Verde River to camp and fish.

5 of us headed out at about 11 on Saturday to  hike down Towel Creek trail to the river.  Trail is fairly underused and quite picturesque.

Cone Mountain where we parked - no parking at trail-head itself - about 1/2mile away.

beautiful rolling rough country as we approached the high-point before we plunged to the river

right at the top the ATV tracks stopped and we started down on a really untended trail to the Verde

bear track near Towel Springs - courtesy Dave.

photo by Dave

down, and then up

cowboy line shack

neat and tidy on the shelves, the rest? not so much.

Sinagua cliff dwelling ruins

on the way down some of us deviated off trail and followed Towel Creek itself to the flowing water in the Verde

frustrating day with cameras. First battery runs out in good kit and the phone pics are all over the place.

on the way out - on the right trail this time - photo by Dave

Trail was pretty good.  Rather well marked with cairns but clearly it is little used.  We saw 2 backpackers that went in about 2 miles, but after that, nobody.  I like the changes in the vegetation from the top to the bottom.  Lots of wildlife.  We saw a peccary of about 15-20 – they were very healthy looking.

Our next idea is to get on the Verde itself and float it down a ways.


Should be good.


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Kelsey Spring Trail

Sycamore Canyon.

Took a quick family backpack down the canyon and looked at the scenery.

no bikes this weekend

no hang gliders either. damn.

the sign in sheet

steep down switch backs

camp pet

this is the first of many springs on the trail into the canyon

Babes Hole Spring. Running strong.

camp pet and camp pet 2

lot's of spider webs around

Babes Hole Spring is in a deep canyon and lush.

moon rise

poison ivy

the somewhat reliable MSR Whisper Lite Internationale set-up

the family portrait



bright vibrant flowers all over the place



big and old alligator juniper

I want to eat one.

some entertainment and refreshments at Flagstaff Brewing

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madera canyon

A great place to check out lots of trails, birds and views.

general map of the area.

We traveled to and fro in a really big RV that friend’s of ours were gracious enough to share. Only Tegan got to sleep in it, Karen and I opted to make the tent our home for the stay.

I simpy can't get enough of the incredible detail that this cactus has.

Sprocket in his element. About 40 degrees out and that water is snow melt.

We made a day trip to the Titan II Missile Museum down the road from the canyon. Impressive.

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