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Grapevine Springs to Big Bug Mesa 1800' elev. gain 7 miles RT

This hike is about 58 miles from Loop 101 & Interstate 17
Grapevine Canyon is in the Prescott National Forest
nearest town is MAYER

Friday, November 16,[masked]:00 AM
Grapevine Road is aka Forest Service Road 87A (Chaparral on Right side of 69),
Meet up at Highway 69 & Grapevine Road (mile post 274)
On your GPS, Grapevine Road is aka Forest Service Road 87A (Chaparral Road on the EAST side of 69 and Grapevine Road on the WEST side of 69), Mayer, AZ. There are two mailboxes; the street sign for Grapevine Road is actually set back off the road by the cattle guard.

Grapevine Canyon is a Prescott National Forest Botanical Protected Area. It lies on the eastern flank of lava capped Big Bug Mesa on the edge of the Bradshaw Mountains. This mostly pleasant out-n-back hike takes you up to Grapevine Springs. Unlike the barren drive in through the rolling hills this is grade "A" creek/forest/mountain country. It's a good mixed forest with several pine species. The creek flow was intermittent for the first few minutes, apparently going underground. After the first bend it resurfaced and was flowing for the entire length of the hike.
The lower canyon has a few patches of uncommonly large stands of Alders. A few small cascades keep the creek gurgling throughout the hike. Around 1.1 miles in the trail abruptly leaves the peaceful creek setting to bona fide Arizona blood sucking chaparral. After a short steep climb the trail levels out and soon enters an oak forest.

The topographical map plots several springs in the area. On location it looks like the side of the mountain is gently dispersing water from a large swath. There are remnants of an at least 4 inch diameter pipe that must have funneled water 30-40 years ago.

The hike starts here along Grapevine Creek for about 1/2 mile then forks West. From here it is about 1.5 miles up to the Springs with an elevation gain around 1100'. Continuing further on the hike; takes you up to the top of the Big Big Mesa for a total elevation gain of 1800'. Total distance is about 7 miles roundtrip.

Directions to Grapevine Creek/Canyon: From I-17 take SR69 towards Prescott. Turn left onto Grapevine Road (about mile post 274) 3.15 miles past Central Avenue of the town of Mayer. Grapevine Road is marked but it's a tiny street sign (set back about 50 feet from highway 69). There's no indication when turning left. Grapevine turns into FS87A follow it to a green gate, then about a half mile beyond until the road peters out. The road turns into a trail when you cant drive it anymore.

We will meet up at 7am at Highway 69 and Grapevine Road.

Anyone wishing to carpool; will be coming from the Prescott/Walker area and will drive by AM/PM at Walker Road and Highway 69 around 6:40am. call/text[masked]

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