Mormon Lake - AZT passage 30

3:11 a.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Did a 3 day trip on the Mormom Lake Trail near Flagstaff,Az. This is passage #30, a 34 mile section of the Arizona Trail that stretches over 800 miles from Mexico to Utah

Day 1 started with a friend shuttling me from the end at Marshall Lake to the starting point at Allen Lake. Finally hit the trail about 1:00 pm
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trail starts out on Forest Road
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then I pic up the trail
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wandering thru the Ponderosa Pines with afew small clearings here and there
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found a nice table with stump stools that sombody had made so I took advantge for a rest stop
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continued thru some low rolling hills and decided to set camp
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this would become known as the Spiders den. When the sun went down the spiders came from everywhere! Glad I had bug netting.

Day 2 was again beautiful weather, after a couple of miles I came into Double Sprgs. Camp Ground. This was a scheduled water stop.
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After making some coffe and snacks I filled the tanks and headed out. From here trail goes thru the Oaks and foothils around Mormom Mtn.
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Once out of the foothils you hit real flat ground and start following the old Railroad bed used for logging in the early 1900's
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Enjoying the easy go of it I decided to push on to my next water stop on top of Anderson Mesa
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Anderson Mesa is a large plateu that doesnt have nearly the tree cover as the first stretch. Trail again follows a Forest road for awhile leaving you out in the open. I pick up my water stash and figure I better find some place to set camp due to the Thunderstorm on my heels
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After alot of thunder and a good light show storm goes around me without a drop. Was a windy night but dry.

Day 3 starts with a brief stretch on the road again passing by Horse Lake. No Horse and no Lake.
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Finally get off the road and back onto trail
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Sun is starting to get hot exposed out here on the Mesa so I find a small little stand of Oaks for a nice shaded breezy lunch
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While enjoying lunch I notice the afternoon monsoons are building early and fast
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better ready the rain gear and get moving, 30 mins. later it hits
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heavy rain, wind and a little hail for the next 20 mins before it blows over. Thats typical Monsoon action. Hits hard and fast. Fortunatly Im only about 1.5 miles from the truck, the trail becomes a greasy mud canal and all aroud it aint much better
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befor heading down off the mesa I went to the edge for a nice pic of Upper Lake Mary
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Made it back to the truck to finish up before the next round of storms hit. Passage 30 complete. Now I really want to do # 29 Blue Ridge Trail
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11:21 a.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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All that green there it looks like Spring!  Nice TR.

2:46 p.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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AZR, you got some great pictures! Thanks for sharing....

What were the temps like?

9:58 p.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Good stuff. I really need to take a trip out that way sometime in the not so distant future. Love the scenery. I'm getting somewhat played out on the scenery here...anywho

Nice pics. Your packs an Aether? If so what size ya haulin?

3:19 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Pics are from cheapo camera and phone. Most were not so good, need new camera. Monsoons sure green things up around here, wasnt to long ago all that was dried up brown. Other than the blast I got on the last day weather was perfect. Temps were low 80's for high and around 60 give or take for lows.

Funny how that works, Ive had about enough of scenery around here and want to go back that way. Its been way to long since Ive taken a trip out of state. Been itching to go fishing in Minnesota  or wandering back roads of Montana again. After seeing TR's from your neck of the woods I wouldnt mind checking out that area either

Yes pack is an Aether 70. Just got it about a month ago. That was its maiden voyage. Took it out a few times on day hikes to get it dailed in and after that trip let me say I BE LOVING ME SOME OSPREY. 

3:34 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Awesome pack.I swear by Ospreys. I have one(its out on loan) in magma. You using a bladder in it? Is this the trip that killed your Keens?

4:40 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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So far Im very pleased with the Osprey. Once I get everything set strap wise and make some minor adjustments after hiking a short ways everything stays put. I almost hate to stop and take it off for breaks cause its riding so good. My other pack a Kelty Coyote 4750 needs constant attention and the shoulder straps just dont fit me as well. I still think the Kelty is a good pack for the money and I do like some of its features like exterior pockets especially the belt pockets, I wish the Osprey had those.

I do use a bladder, its not the Osprey but a 2L one out of my Camelback style pack. I want to get a 3L bladder.

Yep this was the death of the Keens. Didnt notice how bad soles were torn up untill I got home and started cleaning all the mud off. I gave em a quik look over after 1st day and they were fine, didnt check after 2nd day but I think thats when they suffered the most abuse. 3rd days trail was pretty mellow not very rocky at all.

4:53 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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I wanted the magma but they only had the green or blue in stock. I already have three packs that are blue so I went whith the green.

11:45 a.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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I worked at the Mormon Lake Lodge for 6 weeks in May/June. That certainly is a beautiful area.

All those old railroad beds made of volcanic rocks impressed me, must have spent as much time making the railroad beds as they did cutting down the old growth trees.

I followed parts of the Arizona Trail while I was there too. Met a lot of thru hikers going both north from Mexico and south from the Utah borders.

12:20 p.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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azrhino said:

I do use a bladder, its not the Osprey but a 2L one out of my Camelback style pack. I want to get a 3L bladder.

 This one?


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I decided on a 3L as well. You can always put 2L of water in a 3L bladder but ya can't put 3L of water in a 2L...

With the way my trips have been as of late in regards to the lack usable water sources the extra weight of of the 3L isn't a problem. Most of the streams around here higher up(whereI go) are pretty dry.

Last trip I carried garbage bags with me(always do.) Came in handy when getting water from a stream that was only producing a trickle. I placed the garbage bag in the channel, secured it with a few rocks, waited for it to fill, then filtered from the bag. Alot easier on the filter as well because if ya catch any sediment just let it settle to the bottom of the bag so you don't end up cleaning your filter every 30 seconds...

2:05 p.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Thats the one. My normal full water load is atleast 5L (SUCKS!)  for an overniter since water is hard to come by out here. Most areas ya just cant depend on finding any this time of year. Have to take that into consideration on all trips. On this trip made sure I had water available at  CG mile 12, and did a stash at 22 where trail crossed the highway. Was real glad I did as any water tanks were dry along the way. Had some Springs marked just incase but didnt need to go looking for them.  So 3L bladder just means one less bottle to carry.

2:13 p.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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but then again... I might just keep the extra liter onboard

2:31 p.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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azrhino said:

but then again... I might just keep the extra liter onboard

 I carry an extra liter in a bottle with me. I use this as a backup in case I get into a bind locating a source but also as my cooking water.

9:10 a.m. on August 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Nice trip report azrhino any issues with snakes or Ticks out there?   It looks like a prime area for both?  

Also that pick of the rail road bed that is all rock, it that the trail??  Looks like a ankle buster!  Or is it fairly flat in the center?  Kinda hard to tell.

I was also wondering if you had ever done anything to catch the rain for drinking water, like a large sheet of thin plastic sloped to fill something?  I did that once in Eastern Washington and was quite surprised at how much water I got.  I think it was about 3 Qtr's in about a 1/2 hour.  Something to think about in the rainy season. 

Wolfman

10:39 a.m. on August 3, 2011 (EDT)
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The railroad bed is just that an old 1800s railroad bed for the logging traincars. They run all the way back up to where the trains used to come down to Mormon Lake for the loggers. The area was first a logging area late in the 19th century cutting the then huge old Ponderosa Pine growth.


Logging-around-Flagstaff-late-1800s.jpg

Look at the size of these pines!

12:22 a.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Wolfman - Trail runs alongside just to the right, in the trees by the rocky RR bed and is easy walking. Steped on the tail of a Garter Snake thet was only about a footlong, was to busy sight seeing while walking. First thought was Damn glad that wasnt a rattler! No tics but hundreds of spiders around camp the first night.

 I have caught rainwater in the past, I did bring a big garbage bag for that if needed. Had no idea about the water situation up there as for spring flows, couldnt find anything on the net. Figured all the so called lakes and cattle tanks would be dry this time of year which proved right. Figured with Monsoons Id be able to get water somewhere if needed but took the safe route, carried big tanks, new I could get water at the CG since trail went right thru it and stashed 5L along route. I always worry about water out here.

Gary - there were a couple signs along the way about the RR
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sorry but the other ones the pics were unreadable. I think that old steamer at the Northern Arizona Museum used to run this line. Just imagine that coming thru the woods......I bet it was quite a site.
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2:09 p.m. on August 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Looks like they used Railroad wheels on the log wagon in the picture I posted? I would have never thought ponderosa tree ever got so big, one of those logs says 72 inches and that was not at the stump!

2:39 p.m. on August 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

azrhino said:

I do use a bladder, its not the Osprey but a 2L one out of my Camelback style pack. I want to get a 3L bladder.

I decided on a 3L as well. You can always put 2L of water in a 3L bladder but ya can't put 3L of water in a 2L...

With the way my trips have been as of late in regards to the lack usable water sources the extra weight of of the 3L isn't a problem. Most of the streams around here higher up(whereI go) are pretty dry.

Last trip I carried garbage bags with me(always do.) Came in handy when getting water from a stream that was only producing a trickle. I placed the garbage bag in the channel, secured it with a few rocks, waited for it to fill, then filtered from the bag. Alot easier on the filter as well because if ya catch any sediment just let it settle to the bottom of the bag so you don't end up cleaning your filter every 30 seconds...

Interesting thoughts.  I've been using a 3L bladder all along, because I drink a lot of water on the trail.  Mine is an MSR (not sure of the model name), one of the models before they made them in red.

But I recently bought a 2L (MSR Dromlite) because I picked up a summit pack, and the 3L is too large for it.  I hope I don't end up regretting this decision.

Regarding the garbage bag idea,... very interesting.  Last summer I picked up a Sea to Summit bucket (http://www.trailspace.com/gear/sea-to-summit/folding-bucket/).  It doesn't help (or work well) with a trickle as described here.  But it does work well to collect water (from a reasonably deep source) and reduce sediment hitting the water filter.  Also it lets me carry the water away from the water source so I don't need to spend too much time there where the insects are usually much worse.   But it does add 4 oz to my pack :(, a lot heavier than a garbage bag.

1:55 p.m. on August 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Awesome pics and trip Rhino! When you planning a Reavis trek, lol.

12:54 a.m. on August 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm hoping to head into Reavis in December. Been trying to get together with Dan to plan a trip while he's Deer hunting out there. Figure I'll go along just to hang out and do some glass'n for em.

10:33 a.m. on August 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

azrhino said:

I do use a bladder, its not the Osprey but a 2L one out of my Camelback style pack. I want to get a 3L bladder.

Last trip I carried garbage bags with me(always do.) Came in handy when getting water from a stream that was only producing a trickle. I placed the garbage bag in the channel, secured it with a few rocks, waited for it to fill, then filtered from the bag. Alot easier on the filter as well because if ya catch any sediment just let it settle to the bottom of the bag so you don't end up cleaning your filter every 30 seconds...

 I like your idea of using a large bag to collect trickle water---in the winter when it's below zero I have used a gallon ziploc bag to gather trickle water and carry it to camp for filtering or boiling.  The ziploc can freeze up but I can still get it empty easy enough.

For trickles with sediment I usually dig out a trough and wait for the silt to settle and then use my pump filter to pull out the water---carefully---to avoid gumming up the filter.  But I like your idea too.

11:25 p.m. on September 5, 2011 (EDT)
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@MagOO1968- Matt, welcome to Trailspace. 

@Tipi-It seems to work well when water is very scarce. I always seem to run across people on my travels that are cleaning their filters. A little improvised technique like you mentioned above can make a world of difference.

I like the bag idea because even when I am not using it for this purpose there are other things it can be utilized for. 

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