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home : blogs_old : heads up hiker April 29, 2016

Heads Up Hiker
By Cheryl Hartz, Prescott Valley, AZ
The best hikes in the county, safety, plus plants, trees and wildlife on the way!
Blog: Slide Fire in Oak Creek Canyon
Driving to Sedona Monday, we weren't thinking about the devastating Slide Fire in Oak Creek Canyon. But it made its presence known in a spectacular way...
Friday, May 30, 2014
Blog: Black Hawk Trail
With February's extra mild weather, birds we usually don't see until spring began to return to Arizona. In fact, I think the first robin showed up in my Prescott Valley backyard in January. So by Valentine's Day weekend, a trip to the Bubbling Ponds Fish Hatchery near Page Springs was in order.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Blog: Honanki Ruins
My family started the New Year with a visit to an ancient site: Honanki Heritage Site just south of Sedona, off Highway 89 - about 10 miles (or more) down a bumpy and sometimes rocky dirt road. There's no charge to see the ruins. Dogs are not allowed, though.
Friday, January 17, 2014
BLOG: Trail 9851 and 9851 B in West Sedona
This could be my shortest trail blog. Ever. Not the shortest trail, just the shortest blog.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Blog: Cedar Valley Nature Trail in Iowa
If there's one thing that really makes me appreciate Arizona trails even more than I already do, it's Iowa trails. Not that the trails there aren't beautiful or well-maintained, because many are. It's the mosquitoes. Unless you drench yourself with repellant, you'd better be moving faster than an amble. Bike riding and even slow jogging can keep the critters at bay. But stop for a rest or to take a glug from your water bottle and you're toast. Itchy toast.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Blog: Chance to help wildlife
Back in March, Field & Stream magazine, along with the Mule Deer, Rocky Mountain Elk and Arizona Antelope foundations, Arizona Game and Fish, and the U.S. Forest Service, sponsored a fence fixing project on Sycamore Mesa near Dugas to improve wildlife habitat and help save deer and pronghorn lives. Nearly 40 volunteers showed up and for some, it was a weekend event that camping and fellowship with other wildlife enthusiasts.

Another great opportunity to get outdoors and help enhance wildlife habitat takes place north of Flagstaff on Saturday, Aug. 17, with the Arizona Antelope Foundation and the Arizona Game and Fish Department again on board.

Thursday, August 8, 2013
Blog: Red Rock Trail Meeting July 25
The Red Rock Ranger District invites anyone interested in the future of the district's trail system to attend a meeting from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, at the Village of Oak Creek Hilton.

The meeting agenda will focus on the public's priorities for the future trail system and the Forest Service plan "sideboards" on new trails.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Blog: Forest Service closes Bull Pen for summer
Looking back on my blogs since 2007, I can't believe I haven't written about Bull Pen, an extremely popular swimming and fishing destination.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Blog: Red Rock State Park trails
Red Rock State Park is a great place for an adventure encompassing both riparian areas and desert. The 286-acre day use park just outside Sedona offers daily and weekly outdoor activities, as well as special events. I once experienced an incredibly full day of guided activities, starting with a 7 a.m. bird walk and ending with a moonlight hike.

The guides take the park's three main functions of preservation, education and recreation seriously, and share their knowledge of plants and wildlife, history, archeology, geology and more.

Friday, June 7, 2013
Blog: Hot Loop Trail in Munds Mountain Wilderness
Our original plan for Sunday, May 19, was to hike Humphreys Peak in Flagstaff, after Myron's tennis match. But wind and the thought of too cool temps at high altitudes made us change that plan. So, we headed south a few miles for the much warmer Village of Oak Creek, where we had a tasty lunch at Tara Thai, and I changed from jeans to shorts. We drove out Jacks Canyon Road and found a parking lot and trailheads for Jacks Canyon (#55) and Hot Loop (#94) trails that go into the Munds Mountain Wilderness of the Coconino National Forest.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Blog: Hikers get lost on social trails
OHV users aren't the only outdoor enthusiasts who cause trail damage.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Blog: Chiricahua Crest Trail 270 and Horseshoe 2 Fire
Visiting relatives in Tucson over Easter weekend, we decided to check out the Chiricahua Mountains in Southeast Arizona to see what damage the Horseshoe 2 Fire caused nearly two years ago in the summer of 2011.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Blog: Guns or no: Are you 'packing' when backpacking?
In all fairness, if you're expecting an article on gun use, gun control, Second Amendment Rights, hunting, or my opinion on any of the above, you will be sorely disappointed. I'm simply curious as to how many hikers routinely carry a gun on their jaunts, excluding hunting trips.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Blog: Drift Creek Wilderness Oregon
Fortunately when Myron and I visited our son and his girlfriend in Oregon the first week in February, we were prepared for gray, cold, wet weather.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Blog: Becoming an Outdoor Woman workshop
This one's for the gals. The Arizona Wildlife Federation offers the annual 3-day workshop on "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" from Jan. 25-27, at Saguaro Lake Ranch.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Blog: World didn't end, but stay away from Sedona today
Well, all heads up hikers knew the world really wasn't going to end today, as per the end of the 5,000-plus-year-old Mayan calendar.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Blog: Arizona information on Pronghorns and AZGFD access map
Arizona Game & Fish Department recently launched a web-based mapping tool, "Recreational Access Arizona," providing important information about access to and through private lands. This can be helpful to any outdoor recreationist, and especially hunters and anglers who need to be aware of private land when they're using land-locked public sections.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Blog & photo gallery: Fall color on West Fork Trail No. 108 near Sedona
A drive up Highway 89 north of Sedona through Oak Creek Canyon is spectacular any time of year.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Blog: Fall color on the Mogollon Rim's General Crook Trail
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I took a drive to the Mogollon Rim for a two-picnic day among the fall color. The aspen and maple leaves were just starting to change in our favorite spot.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Blog: Trailhead burglar behind bars, Trail Spree and black-footed ferrets
Area trail-users can breathe a little easier now, and not because of the air quality - our air is very clean up here - but because a trailhead burglar now sits in the Camp Verde jail.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Blog: Mine Tour Forest Road 9270N near Poland Junction
I'm too lazy to move tons of rock to mine gold, but not too lazy to boulder-hop straight up a mountain through prickly scrub and cactus in the blazing sun to explore a played-out mine. Actually explore isn't quite the word, as I merely followed in experienced guide Kevin Leonard's footsteps. Abandoned mines are too dangerous to mess around with, if you don't know what you're doing. It was the first mine I'd entered in 26 years living in Arizona.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Blog: June 9 is National Get Outdoors Day
June 9 is National Get Outdoors Day. The purpose is to reach first-time visitors to public lands and reconnect our youth to the great outdoors. Some sites offer free admission and special activities.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Blog: National Trails Day
National Trails Day,® a celebration of trails, is June 2. In 1987, Ronald Reagan's President's Commission on Americans Outdoors report recommended Trails for All Americans - that all Americans have access to trails within 15 minutes of their homes.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Blog: Bicyclists sometime are stupid on trails, too
Just so you know, trail stupidity isn't limited to hikers.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Blog: Pueblo La Plata Trail 9023 on the Agua Fria Monument
On St. Patrick's Day, I was fortunate to go along on an American Legion Post #122-sponsored trip to Pueblo La Plata ruin in the Agua Fria Monument.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Blog: Boynton Canyon Trail No. 47 near Sedona
One of many, many scenic trails around Sedona is Boynton Canyon Trail #47 in the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness of the Coconino National Forest.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Blog: Trail of Time at Grand Canyon National Park
It's bizarre when your kids come to Arizona to see snow, especially when they live in Iowa and Oregon. We thought we'd get some new hikes in when the kids were home for Christmas, but snow and cold kept us from going too far. We did walk around the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park for three hours, after a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway out of Williams.

We never get tired of the Grand Canyon, and this time we checked out the Trail of Time.

Friday, January 27, 2012
Blog: Year ends in tragedy on local hiking scene
My final blog of 2011 is not good news. Sedona's second hiking-related fatality of the year happened just four days ago when a 21-year-old New York man fell 150 feet from a ledge where he had been stranded near Castle Rock.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Blog: Autumn splendor on the Mogollon Rim
This weekend may be the last gasp for most of the fall color, but it's worth the drive to go in search of it.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Blog: Stupid Hikers (with dogs) Part III
Folks have asked for more synopses of emails I've saved from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office concerning people who have to be rescued by Search & Rescue teams.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Blog: Hiker trail awareness
The U.S. Forest Service promotes a smart saying: "Look up, look down, look around."
Friday, August 12, 2011
Blog: Call-of-Canyon, Trail No. 108: West Fork Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona
When our two kids were very small, the clear shallow water over broad expanses of flat rock made for ideal water play without worry.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Blog: Wallow Fire destroys Arizona treasures
The Blue Range was the only remaining primitive area in the United States. Now it's the black range.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Blog: Verde Search and Rescue is Unit of Year
In Arizona, one of the busiest SAR teams is in the Verde Valley, where they frequently are called to the Sedona area to rescue tourists.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Blog: Stupid Hikers Part II
Because someone took exception to my calling people who get in trouble on the trail through their own negligence "stupid" and "idiots," the following reports of rescues from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office are prime examples of why I used those perfectly descriptive words. I'm going out of order, datewise, but felt these are apropos to my point and didn't want to save them any longer.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Blog: Stupid hikers Part I
Top 12 excuses pseudo-hikers use when they've gotten in a jam and need be rescued.

Thursday, April 21, 2011
Blog: Sedona's Jordan and Cibola Pass Trail Loop: Urban But Not Suburban
The name of Sedona's North Urban Trail System might give hikers the wrong impression. This is no stroll on a city sidewalk.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Blog: Seven Mile Gulch Trail No. 9854 steep and challenging
Starting at more than a mile high, Seven Mile Gulch Trail gains nearly 1,200 feet in elevation over three miles.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Blog: Pneumonia delays hiking
Isn't it funny how we take our mobility for granted? Not funny haha, but funny peculiar, as my mom used to say.

A simple stubbed toe can keep us hobbling around, never mind a wrenched ankle, broken leg or sprained back. For a confirmed hiker, any of these can force us to get our exercise in a most unpleasant way - through an exercise in frustration.

Friday, March 11, 2011
Blog: Sedona's Turkey Creek Trail No. 92 gives nature's lessons
Whether you ride a horse or go by shank's mare (on foot), Turkey Creek Trail No. 92 gives a great glimpse of Yavapai County's Red Rock Country.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Blog: Updated info on Trail No. 64 near Cherry
Good news about Trail No. 64. Former Yavapai County GIS dept. employee and now a volunteer, Nigel Reynolds, who also is president of the Yavapai Trails Association and the Historic Trails Committee, reports No. 64 is part of the General Crook trail and leads to the Old Stone Corral, which still has some five-foot-high walls. The corral, on a former road between Prescott and Camp Verde, dates to the 1860s. Residents of the ranch grew produce for the civilian and military people in Prescott/Fort Whipple, including hay for horses. By the corral, Ash Creek almost always has water, while elsewhere it often flows underground, Nigel says.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Blog: Trail No. 64 near Cherry is a mystery
This past weekend, Myron and I took Duke and Jack for another training mission, this time on Trail No. 64, just off Hwy.169 near Cherry. It's an official trail - marked with a U.S Forest Service signpost, but I can't find it listed on any of the USFS sites online. So far, phone calls to the Prescott and Verde offices haven't turned up any more information. (Still waiting to hear from one of the field guys.) I'm going to have to find my Prescott National Forest map, but it since it was published in 2000, the trail may not be on there.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Blog: New canine hiking buddies provide double the fun
Overcrowded conditions at the Yavapai Humane Society and a desire to start training a dog while the weather was warm and before the kids came home for Christmas led my husband, Myron, and me to venture to the animal shelter on the first Saturday of December. It took us four hours to choose our new hiking buddy from the many sweet canines there. And even as we filled out adoption papers for one of two mixed-breed brothers, Myron said, "Let's get them both."
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Blog: Giving thanks for the Grand Canyon and Iron King Trail
Our son was home from Oregon and family came up from Tucson for Thanksgiving weekend, so hikers all, we waddled off in search of adventure Friday and Saturday after stuffing ourselves on Thursday.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Blog: Farewell to Hiking Buddy Mea
I tried to write this blog last month, but couldn't complete it. I think you'll understand when you read the first sentence: We lost one of the world's premier hiking buddies this past week. A buddy that was ready to hike anytime, anywhere, in any weather, for as far and as long as we wanted to go. A rapidly growing and inoperable tumor claimed the life of our Mea Dog, age 10.5.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Blog: On the Oregon Trail(s)
In a departure from desert hiking, my husband, Myron, and I enjoyed some rain forest trails when we visited our son in Oregon in June.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Blog: Iron King Trail is a favorite destination in Prescott Valley
I'm a regular visitor to Iron King Trail, a 4-mile Rails to Trails project in Prescott Valley. I've walked, jogged and biked the path, usually with my dog and sometimes all the way to the 4-plus-mile Peavine Trail in Prescott's Granite Dells. Lots of folks bike the whole connecting system for a good workout.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Blog: Jail Trail will captivate
For a peek into the Old West, hikers should try Cottonwood's Jail Trail, which starts at - the Old Jail.

Majestic and ancient, the town's namesake cottonwood trees shade the approximate one-mile path flanking the Verde River in the heart of Old Town Cottonwood.

Thursday, May 6, 2010
Blog: Hike Arrastra Wilderness before heat sets in
Before desert temperatures reach into the 90s and 100s, you might want to take a drive to the southern part of Yavapai County to the rugged Arrastra Mountain Wilderness.

Arrastra actually encompasses 129,800 acres in Yavapai, Mohave and LaPaz counties. The Santa Maria River traverses it, but more often than not you'll find it a sandy, rather than wet, hiking path through the wilderness.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Blog: Glassford Hill affords spectacular views of Quad Cities
Although we can drive to dozens of terrific trails from Prescott Valley in a couple of hours or less, sometimes we just get tired of traveling, especially when some family members have traversed 1,500 miles to get here. That's why one sunny day during Christmas vacation, my family opted for a hike up Glassford Hill.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Blog: Hike Out of Africa in Arizona
It's not a Wilderness trail, but you can get plenty of exercise at Out of Africa in Camp Verde, if you choose to walk, rather than ride. You might even get smooched by a giraffe.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Blog: More to see in the woods than fall color
Don't let the eye-popping red, orange and yellow of fall foliage and the gentle rustling of same dazzle you to the sights and sounds of other wonders of the woods.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Blog: Choose from 19 Wilderness Areas in Yavapai County
Whether they've lived here long or are new to the area, many people act surprised when I tell them Yavapai County is home to 19 designated Wilderness Areas. Encompassing hundreds of thousands of acres, they are: Apache Creek, Agua Fria, Arrastra Mountain, Castle Creek, Cedar Bench, Clear Creek, Fossil Springs, Granite Mountain, Hassayampa River Canyon, Hell's Canyon, Juniper Mesa, Mazatzal, Pine Mountain, Red Rock-Secret Mountain, Sycamore, Tres Alamos, Upper Burro Creek, Wet Beaver and Woodchute
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Blog: Take the plunge into Beaver Creek
My family loves to find good swimmin' holes near us in Arizona. The best ones are in designated Wilderness areas, and the best way to enjoy them is to follow a hot hike with a quick plunge from a cliff.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Blog: Nature's sculpture at Long Trail
The Red Rock Ranger District's backcountry trails around Sedona couple easy access with outstanding scenery and a feeling of remoteness, even though they begin barely outside of town. It can be a tad toasty this time of year, so start early and take plenty of water. Also, be mindful of summer thunderstorms.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Blog: Woodchute Trail No. 102 yields fantastic views of both Verde Valley and Prescott Valley
Woodchute Wilderness in the Prescott National Forest gets its name from the chute loggers used to transport shoring timbers from the north side of the mountain to railroad loading platforms that once served Jerome's copper mines.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Blog: Escape Summer Heat With Cool Hike in Prescott National Forest

Aspen Creek is dry, and aspens are absent altogether, but that doesn't preclude a beautiful hike on the Prescott National Forest's Aspen Creek Trail No. 48.

Thursday, August 14, 2008
Blog: Grand Canyon and Condors
If you live in Arizona and have never visited the Grand Canyon - shame on you. How can you be so close to one of the Seven Wonders of the World and not take a gander at it?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Blog: Take an aerobic hike on Little Granite Mountain Trail
If you're looking for a rigorous, aerobic hike in Yavapai County, you won't go wrong on the Little Granite Mountain Trail in the Prescott National Forest near Prescott. With its ups and downs, it's a great way to train for a trip into the Grand Canyon, if you're so inclined. (Pun intended.)
Monday, July 21, 2008
Blog: Green Gulch Trail offers Quad-community views
The Bradshaw Mountains in the Prescott National Forest west of Dewey-Humboldt offer a rich gold mining history as well as a wealth of hiking trails.
Friday, May 23, 2008

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