Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Crystal Point Loop Trail, Munds Park AZ - 29 May 2016

Trip: Crystal Point Loop Trail, Munds Park, AZ.
Distance Traveled: 5.4 miles
GPS (Map): 34°56'20.57"N 111°37'10.69"W

Not a lot to say about this trail. It is a nice hike through the pines, not difficult so definitely something to take the little ones on. Easy to get to and the Munds Park Trail Stewards do keep it nice.

(Click On Photos To Enlarge)

And We Are Off!

Prescribed Burn In Progress

On The Trail

Sedona's Red Rocks

Thought These Were Cool

Overlooking Munds Park, AZ

Osprey Nest

Lake Odell

Gear List:

Feel free to post your comments below.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

West Fork Trail, Sedona AZ - 23 April 2016

Trip: West Fork Trail, Sedona, AZ.
Distance Traveled: 9.5 miles per GPS, although, this conflicts with other reports of the trail being about 6 miles.

GPS (Map): 34°59'26.5"N 111°44'34.6"W

On Saturday 23 April 2016, I along with my wife and kid as well as some friends of ours and their kids decided to hike West Fork Trail near Sedona, AZ. Depending on where you look, I have seen this trail rated hard as well as moderate.

This trail is extremely popular, we arrived at the parking area at 10:45am and finally gained entrance at around noon. I would suggest getting there as early as possible, the parking area opens at 8:00am, if the attendant is not there, there is a self-pay option.

This was my first time hiking this trail and it was a blast, scenery was amazing and while the trails were busy, other hikers were friendly. I was disappointed, however, to see people have carved various garbage into some of the rocks and slot canyon walls.

(Click On Photos To Enlarge)

Lets Get Started!

Just prior to crossing the foot bridge you will come to Mayhew Lodge which has a pretty amazing history behind it. Carl Mahew who was a Flagstaff photographer purchased the cabin then added on to it. In 1926 he opened Mayhew Lodge to guests and the Mayhew family operated it until 1968. Some of the guests at the Mayhew Lodge included; President Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Stewart, Walt Disney, and Clark Gable. In 1968 the Forest Service acquired the property, however, without having the funds, closed it to the public. In 1980, the complex was destroyed by a fire.

Remains Of The Mayhew Lodge

Behind the remains of the Hayhew Lodge stands the remains of a cabin that was converted into a chicken coop as well as a nook in the cliff wall that was likely used for food storage.

Cabin (Chicken Coop)

Nook In Cliff Wall

Now For Pictures Of The Hike

The last picture is about 100 yards past the official end of the trail. You can continue a couple more miles, however, you are going to have to get wet.

Little Wind Along The Way

Overall, this is a great hike and I highly recommend that if you like the outdoors you give it a try!

Gear List:

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Search For a New Backpack

So if you had the chance to read my Reavis Ranch via 109 South Loop post then you know I am in need of a new pack, if you have not...long story short is my Gregory Baltoro 65 pack was the wrong size and caused issues on our trip. So here are the packs that I have narrowed my decision to.

Here is the Gregory Baltoro 65 and some information on the bag.

Even after the fit issues I had with this bag, I still wanted to own it...granted in a smaller size. I headed in to REI, loaded the medium sized version with around 30 pounds of weight, and was disappointed that even the medium just did not fit my body comfortably. I wanted very much to love this bag as it offers some things that I truly like, for example, the day pack. What a great idea, make the water bladder sleeve removable and allow it to be used to hike a way from camp without needing to take the entire pack. In addition, Gregory now includes the rain fly with the Baltoro Packs which is nice.

Few Specs (Medium)
  • Volume: 65L
  • Weight: 5 lbs 1 oz
  • Torso: 18-20 in
  • Price: $299.00
(Click On Photos To Enlarge)

Next up is the Osprey Atmos 65 AG, this is actually the pack I had originally passed on to get the Baltoro. As I did with the Baltoro, I loaded it up with right around 30 pounds and meandered through REI, This pack was very comfortable, The AG (Anti-Gravity) system I really like, though this bag is a fixed hip and shoulder system which means the bag moves along with your body, unlike the Baltoro which moves independently. Not counting this bag out as I really like it.

Few Specs (Medium)
  • Volume: 65L
  • Weight: 4.37 lbs
  • Torso: 18-21 in
  • Price: $260.00
(Click On Photos To Enlarge)

Staying with the Osprey brand I tried the Osprey Aether 70, again another very comfortable pack, however, I need to make time to load this one up and try it out. One thing I like about this pack is that the hydration bladder sleeve is on the outside of the pack, this allows you to remove it without unpacking your main compartment. Great for filling from a stream while on the go.

Few Specs (Medium)
  • Volume: 70L
  • Weight: 4.92 lbs
  • Torso: 18-21 in
  • Price: $290.00
(Click On Photos To Enlarge)

And finally the Arc'teryx Altra 65, I have not had a chance to try on the bag, I have ordered it to have it delivered to REI so I can load it up and check it out. People rave about these bags so it will be interesting to see if they are worth the additional money. One complaint is the lack of axe/trekking pole loops, I have no idea why they left these off, however, it would appear to me that these would be a no-brainer to have on a pack.

Few Specs (Short/Regular)
  • Volume: 65L
  • Weight: 4.94 lbs
  • Torso: 16.5-20 in
  • Price: $449.00
(Click On Photos To Enlarge)

Feel free to post your comments below.