We are once again headed to Mt Graham near Safford for a weekend of cool car camping and hiking. Mt Graham is far less crowded than Flagstaff or Payson. We'll be camping at 10,000 ft elevation in a dense forest. Even in mid august, you'll need a jacket. You'll encounter unique animals like the endangered Mt Graham red squirrels, coatimundi, maybe even a twin spotted rattler.
There are 2 hikes planned, both on Saturday 8/18.
Hike #1 is my traditional annual trek down Ash Creek Trail, a scenic creek side trail with tons of wildflowers, wild mushrooms, lush rain forest like conditions, and view of an awesome waterfall. We will be hiking down as far as anyone wants to, minimum of about 5 miles RT (moderate hike) and maximum of 16 miles RT (strenuous with over a mile elevation drop and regain), depending on trail conditions.
Hike #2 is a spooky midnight hike up to an abandoned fire lookout tower on top of Webb Peak. It's a short easy hike to the top of a hill roughly 2 miles RT and minimal elevation gain. We'll hope to catch the remnants of Perseids meteor showers. Start making those wishes now!
Optional activities: Drive to the lake on top of Mt Graham and hike around it. Find another trail nearby. Visit Columbine visitor center.
No planned in-town meeting place. We can caravan if there's interest
8/12, 8 pm - Columbine Corrals CG (If full, then Soldier Creek CG) (see directions)
8/13, 8 am - Columbine Corrals CG (Ash Creek Trailhead) to begin Ash Creek hike
8/13, 11 pm - Columbine Corrals CG (Webb Peak Trailhead) for midnight hike
US60 east to Globe (1 hr from Mesa)
US70 east to Safford (1 hr from Globe)
US191 south from Safford for 7 miles
AZ366 (swift Trail) west toward Mt Graham, about 26 miles (last few on dirt, cars OK)
Look for Columbine Visitor Center on left side, but don't turn in there.
Go just past it and find the "public corrals" / campground on the right.
Campsites are first come first served (self pay, $10 per night).
If full, continue down the road for 3/4 mile to Soldier Creek CG
All your food / water for the hikes and camping.
There is a faucet up there, but we have found it not working in the past.
Headlamps for the midnight hike
Rain gear (monsoon season)
Cooler full of beverages
Don't forget a change of clothes for the long ride back.
Dogs are welcome
Walkie talkies (optional) - channel 6.6
Hope you can make it.