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Badger Springs Wash Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Striking views of Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, and Four Peaks grace this secluded and scenic hike in Tonto National Forest. Vineyard Trail is a segment of the Arizona Trail and also passes the site of historic Camp O’Rourke, where Roosevelt Dam construction workers lived in the early 1900s."
--Charles Liu, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Phoenix (Menasha Ridge Press).
From the I-10 / I-17 split, the drive was approx 63 miles, accomplished in 1 hr 15 min. The book says 1.5 hrs to hike it, but we easily made it 3 hrs, and could have done more but the heat (and hunger) made us turn back. The road in to the trailhead is a one-laner and is very sandy in some areas. Be cautious – and if you go after a heavy rainfall, I suggest you have a truck, or a higher clearance vehicle than a Honda Civic . Within 10 minutes of beginning the hike, we spotted a buck sipping water, and were able to admire him for a good 3 min before he bounded off. After reaching the river, we took the SW bend first and traveled about 35 minutes before turning back. We spotted a many-armed saguaro in the distance and made that our turnaround point. After returning to the wash, we took another 25 min to head down the SE bend. There looked to be a large stand of trees in the distance, but we didn’t make it that far. For me, the best part of the hike was being able to boulder hop in the riverbed practically the whole way. Even with the amount of water, most of my time was spent in the bed. I was surprised by how much water was still prevalent, and by how quickly it was running in the little falls. I can’t wait until it cools down; I will definitely be going back to this trail.
This is a good hike if you want to see some petroglyphs. The road that goes to the trailhead is unpaved. Be sure to have some decent clearance under your car. We hiked to the petroglyphs and back. The canyon is beautiful. Very desolate and peaceful. Petroglyhs in awesome condition
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