Sunday, October 27, 2013

Willie White Trail-( FT 113 and 112) Lincoln National Forest

We hiked this trail once, eight or nine years ago. We started out at the popular Bluff Springs picnic area, where there is ample parking. After checking out the springs, which seep out of the grassy hillside and then over travertine cliff, we started heading southeast on a short spur trail. Eventually the trail turns to the south and then back to the west as it follows the old narrow gauge railroad beds. It crosses an area with a large grassy swale,which looks like it could hold water  after the snow melt, or during the summer monsoon. I can't really remember if this was a man-made cattle tank or a natural feature. We then began hiking up hill on the wide trail following the dry stream in Willie White Canyon. Where it  tops out  was an area of extensive logging by the many stumps all around. It's also a little confusing as to which way to go,as the top of this hill is the juncture of several trails. We eventually continued west and downhill  in the heavily wooded Telephone Canyon. There are many springs along  this part of route, so the small stream may be running much of the year. The trail comes out  of the woods at Forest Road 5009  in the aptly named Water Canyon which has even more flowing springs. We walked past several pleasant, occupied campsites on our way back to Rio Penasco Road  ( County Road C 17) which winds it's way back to Bluff Springs. This is an okay hike. Not spectacular  by any means, but it may have several things to recommend it depending on the season. Elevation gain is about 1000 feet. The thing I remember most about hiking this trail, was a  tree, and not a particularly small one either, fell across trail right before our eyes, when we were just a short  ways into our walk. Note: We did this hike on weekday and saw no one. However,  by the condition of the second half of the trail it  was obvious that it  receives  heavy motorized use at times. Check with the Lincoln National Forest website as to the current rules for it use. It is possible to use the Wills Canyon Trail( FT 5008) to make this hike a " lollipop" loop, if wish to avoid the several miles of road walking that we did.

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