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  1. #1
    im4Gsus
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    Campbell Mesa Trails RR

    after all the talk about this trail system on the board, my friend Rod and i headed up north this past friday to check it out. what a fun, mostly smooth and flowy bunch of trails in the south side of Flagstaff.

    leaving the valley at 5am


    3 hours later we arrive at the TH


    we're XC riders; we like to pedal our bikes, specially amongst sweet-smelling pines



    there were some rocky sections to keep things interesting


    and some tricky (for me) switchbacks


    we didn't see any deer or elk, but i did spot this little guy



    we crossed the road to the south and took the AZ trail towards Fisher Point.


    someone had posted that there were two HABs in this section. we didn't expect them to be going straight down the canyon over big rocks, scary drops (for us) and tight switchbacks. we turned around and went back to CM for more rolling single track.

    we rode 21 miles and plan to go back in the near future. this is a great place to take beginners as well as intermediate riders that want to do a great workout.

    PS i hope the pics upload; it's my first try inserting them instead of attaching them.
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  2. #2
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    Hi Sativa,

    The pictures didn't embed in your post.

    Thanks for a great trail ride on Fri.

    Rod
    What if you get scared half to death?.......Twice

  3. #3
    im4Gsus
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    grrrr!

    no pics....stupid mtbr...stupid facebook

    sorry 'bout that, here they are:
    1-leaving the valley
    2-at the trailhead
    3, 4- pedaling
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  4. #4
    im4Gsus
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    5-rocky sections
    6-tricky switchback
    7,8 horned toad
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  5. #5
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    Heh... yeah, that section of the AZ trail between CM and Fisher Point is fantastic, but it does drop straight down into the canyon in a couple spots. Definitely HAB territory unless you are on a DH bike and have a deathwish. The trail closer to FP is a real winner... just challenging enough to be interested, but fast and fun... just have to get there.

    IMO, Walnut Canyon Loop, going clockwise is the best CM has to offer. Twice a week, I do Campbell Mesa Loop and then Walnut Canyon Loop to get a ride in before work. Maybe I'll see you guys up here sometime.

    I took my GF and kids to CM on sunday and we tootled around for a couple hours, and the sky opened up turning dusty trails into an all-out mudfest in minutes. Good times.

  6. #6
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunset1123
    Heh... yeah, that section of the AZ trail between CM and Fisher Point is fantastic, but it does drop straight down into the canyon in a couple spots. Definitely HAB territory unless you are on a DH bike and have a deathwish. The trail closer to FP is a real winner... just challenging enough to be interested, but fast and fun... just have to get there.

    IMO, Walnut Canyon Loop, going clockwise is the best CM has to offer. Twice a week, I do Campbell Mesa Loop and then Walnut Canyon Loop to get a ride in before work. Maybe I'll see you guys up here sometime.

    I took my GF and kids to CM on sunday and we tootled around for a couple hours, and the sky opened up turning dusty trails into an all-out mudfest in minutes. Good times.

    Is Campbell Mesa the one that Walnut is adjacent too? Trying to match your description wtih the Crazy 88 route. I rode it last year, and handled the canyon except for one descent that I OTB'd, but it was raining and my tires were all muddied up which obviously made it harder. Not long after that, there was a mile or 2 climb out of the canyon, then a few miles gradual uphill to I guess Fisher Point. The trail forked a bit there, and I ejected onto some dirt roads that led out to a nice suburban neighborhood.
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  7. #7
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    Yup... That's the section of AZT that connects Campbell with Fisher Point. I don't even try to ride down that wall as it drops into Walnut Canyon... it's probably doable, but conditions are usually so loose as to make sliding off and down into the canyon a real possibility. You probably got off at FR 990 (EDIT: FR 301 [thanks kaboose]) which is near the top of Fisher Point. If you keep going on the AZT, you wind up on the other side of FP in a beautiful valley near the mouth of the canyon. There are some cool caves and rock formations in the area.

    Much more fun in the other direction, IMO. The decent from FP to the canyon rim is techy and fun, and then on the other side, the descent to the campbell mesa area is rippin fast 'star wars trench' style fun.

    The loops at Campbell are just toodlers around 3-5 miles in length, and stay in the same area. There is a short connector at the southernmost part of the walnut canyon loop that crosses Old Walnut Canyon Rd. and winds up on the AZT.

  8. #8
    im4Gsus
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    cholla, here's a map of the CM trails and part of the AZ trail i rode. about a mile from the T is where the aforementioned death-defying HAB is.
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    • File Type: jpg 04.jpg (105.5 KB, 515 views)
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  9. #9
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunset1123
    Yup... That's the section of AZT that connects Campbell with Fisher Point. I don't even try to ride down that wall as it drops into Walnut Canyon... it's probably doable, but conditions are usually so loose as to make sliding off and down into the canyon a real possibility. You probably got off at FR 990 (EDIT: FR 301 [thanks kaboose]) which is near the top of Fisher Point. If you keep going on the AZT, you wind up on the other side of FP in a beautiful valley near the mouth of the canyon. There are some cool caves and rock formations in the area.

    Much more fun in the other direction, IMO. The decent from FP to the canyon rim is techy and fun, and then on the other side, the descent to the campbell mesa area is rippin fast 'star wars trench' style fun.

    The loops at Campbell are just toodlers around 3-5 miles in length, and stay in the same area. There is a short connector at the southernmost part of the walnut canyon loop that crosses Old Walnut Canyon Rd. and winds up on the AZT.
    Thanks, and thanks Kaboose for the map. Sounds like I endo'd in that spot. Soon after there was a tough climb, that would have been fun descending. Maybe I will walk that drop-in this year, knowing its hard. I wasn't sure and was kinda punch-drunk when I got there last year so just dove on in. Hopefully I can make it past Fisher Point this year if the weather cooperates - a nice view would be quite the mental lift at that point in the ride.
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  10. #10
    im4Gsus
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    HAB section coming from CM. is this where you crashed?
    Last edited by kaboose; 07-27-2009 at 01:38 PM.
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  11. #11
    im4Gsus
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    another box with an X for a pic. GRRRR!
    let's try again.
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  12. #12
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    Kaboose, how far from Campbell did you guys make it? That's the fun part! heh...

    Those pics are well before the drop off into the canyon, which is _much_ steeper and rockier. I did this trail with my son once, and I seem to recall scrambling up the rocks with his bike over my shoulder.

  13. #13
    parenting for gnarness
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    I was really battling for focus when I went down, so not sure my description is accurate. It seemed like I had been slogging gradually flat\uphill for a few miles (according to your map, moving west across the Canyon toward Fisher Point), then just started descending into the Canyon proper. I went over on a slot that looked pretty tough with a good steps, facing right into the canyon. Soon after that, the trail hugged the wall of the canyon for awhile before a steep rocky ascent.

    fwiw, when I embed photos, I just copy the html code right into the text field and the mtbr forum software recognizes it as html (rather than plain text). so if my image was at source location like this ***http:\\forums.mtbr.com\images\channels\mtbr\lef tlogo3.gif****, I just copy\paste and the image appears. Note I have purposefully reversed the forward slashes to backslashes so you can see this as text and not an image. If you have your pic on FB or whatever, you should just be able to right-click and select "copy image location" (in Firefox), and past the link.
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  14. #14
    im4Gsus
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    cholla:
    first: thanks for the tips on inbedding the pics. i use IE, not firefox. my options when i right click the pic in FB are just "copy" or "copy shortcut". at the bottom of the pic on FB it says to use the link below it to share the pic publicly. that's what i did when i first wrote the thread. i clicked on the little pic icon and pasted the link. dunno why it didn't work.
    ok
    second: i think we're talking about the same spot on the AZ trail. we rode about a mile or so after the T with the CM trail. here are two other pics of a bit further down. the first shows the edge of the canyon where the trail makes a sharp right turn. i highlighted the trail going down on the second. oh my, was that steeeeeep!
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  15. #15
    parenting for gnarness
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    In IE, you can right-click on a pic and select "Properties", then in the field for address you will see the html describing the pic location.

    I did a quick test on an FB pic, and the links you get when you use their shared link vs. the method I described (with FF or IE) are different. The first one is using their "Shared" code, which opens a page in FB's domain with you pic embedded. the MTBR forum probably kicks this. The second is the direct link to the photo. Again, I reversed the slashes so you can see the difference. if you use the right-click method to get the lcoation of your FB pics and paste that into MTBR's Insert Image feature, it should work for ya to embed.

    http:\\ww*.facebook.com\photo.php?pid=533448&l=52a9ad41a6&id=1258489935

    http:\\photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1\hs119.snc1\4989_1189377815450_1258489935_5334 48_7034518_n.jpg

    Your pic looks about where I ate $h!t, might have been a bit further on the turn. anyway, didn't mean to hijack your thread. So hopefully helping you sort out the pic issue makes us good.
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  16. #16
    im4Gsus
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    In IE, you can right-click on a pic and select "Properties", then in the field for address you will see the html describing the pic location.

    I did a quick test on an FB pic, and the links you get when you use their shared link vs. the method I described (with FF or IE) are different. The first one is using their "Shared" code, which opens a page in FB's domain with you pic embedded. the MTBR forum probably kicks this. The second is the direct link to the photo. Again, I reversed the slashes so you can see the difference. if you use the right-click method to get the lcoation of your FB pics and paste that into MTBR's Insert Image feature, it should work for ya to embed.

    http:\\ww*.facebook.com\photo.php?pid=533448&l=52a9ad41a6&id=1258489935

    http:\\photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1\hs119.snc1\4989_1189377815450_1258489935_5334 48_7034518_n.jpg

    Your pic looks about where I ate $h!t, might have been a bit further on the turn. anyway, didn't mean to hijack your thread. So hopefully helping you sort out the pic issue makes us good.
    we're good, CB; your "hijack" is constructive (4 me). i'm gonna give it a try here with a pic i just posted on FB of my morning ride with my friend vivace. let's see if it works.
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  17. #17
    im4Gsus
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    HA! i think it did; i can see it! THANKS, CHOLLABALL! u da man!
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaboose
    i think we're talking about the same spot on the AZ trail. we rode about a mile or so after the T with the CM trail. here are two other pics of a bit further down. the first shows the edge of the canyon where the trail makes a sharp right turn. i highlighted the trail going down on the second. oh my, was that steeeeeep!

    Kaboose, I have some good and bad news. Back in 2003 I had a small trail crew assigned to do trail maintenance on the AZ Trail from Cosnino to Ashurst Lake, plus rehab Rocky Ridge. When we got to the part of the trail you have highlighted, we thought seriously about a reroute. That last 60-80 feet is about a 28-30 degree slope, I've been told. We were not allowed to reroute the trail but we cleaned it up and made a banked corner you could survive riding down. That was then. Now it is blown out and can't be safely ridden. The mule traffic has left a lot of rocks all over the trail down there.

    Saturday I hiked from where the trail crosses FR 303, coming off Campbell Mesa, over to the AZ Trail and on to where you shot those pictures. I was looking for the corner markers for where two State Land one mile square sections meet. The reason is that we have PLC (Public Land Corps) grant money to reroute the trail near where it drops into the canyon. The Forest Service want to avoid traveling onto State Land. I think it will be difficult, if not impossible. I found another corner marker about 200 feet to the west of where the trail dropped to it's lowest point. It was just a few feet past where the fallen tree across the trail was lying. You may have seen it sticking out of the ground about a foot, with a lot of rocks piled up around it.

    So there may be several options. One might be to find a completely new route off of Campbell Mesa that allows the trail to be routed around State Land. The next idea would be to keep using the trail that lies down near the canyon floor and just redesign the trail as it drops in to avoid anything steeper than 10%. So maybe a few hundred feet of reroute on both ends. The best idea might be to get the OK from State Land to run through the middle of their land and keep the trail at the top of the Canyon and add some length to it as it follows the washesand stays up high, sort of like riding the Rainbow Rim Trail.

    Anyone who is interested, we need help doing light maintenance on the AZ Trail towards Fisher Point. We need to hike it and remove a lot of Mexican Locust plants that are returning to the trails edge. They have some very sharp thorns that will open you up like a razor.

    Sunset, if you are out and about on Thursday, there are something like 50-70 Americorps volunteers who I have asked to come over and do a few hours of trail maintenance on Little Elden Trail from Elden Springs uphill to where Little Bear dumps onto it, or about a mile. My hope is to construct maybe 16 new grade dips and clean out another 6-7 already existing grade dips. I'm guessing you have experience doing trail work and we are short on supervisors. We will begin work about 8:30 and quit at 11:45. If we have too many volunteers to watch, I'll probably just send a dozen of them up the trail with McLeod's and have them rake all the loose rocks off. Ride around that side of Elden some time. We have really cleaned up the trail between Christmas Tree and Elden Springs and it is quite fun to ride, except the 100 yards of Sandy Seep. Still trying to figure out how to firm that up.

    The Prodigal Son

  19. #19
    im4Gsus
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunset1123
    Kaboose, how far from Campbell did you guys make it? That's the fun part! heh...

    Those pics are well before the drop off into the canyon, which is _much_ steeper and rockier. I did this trail with my son once, and I seem to recall scrambling up the rocks with his bike over my shoulder.
    sunset, from campbell: we left walnut meadows loop and took the short connector to FR301. we continued and came to the T. i think the pics above were about a mile or so from there. once we returned, we went the other way on AZT but after crossing FR301 further east the trail was sort of uneventful and we didn't know where it went, so we turned around again and headed back to the CM loops.

    i'm not into technical riding, so the section in those pics was WAY too scary for me to even attempt a HAB. i figured if we went down into the canyon we had to climb out on the other side iot to reach FP. what for? to turn around and do it again in the opp direction? on that!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    Sunset, if you are out and about on Thursday, there are something like 50-70 Americorps volunteers who I have asked to come over and do a few hours of trail maintenance on Little Elden Trail from Elden Springs uphill to where Little Bear dumps onto it, or about a mile. My hope is to construct maybe 16 new grade dips and clean out another 6-7 already existing grade dips. I'm guessing you have experience doing trail work and we are short on supervisors. We will begin work about 8:30 and quit at 11:45. If we have too many volunteers to watch, I'll probably just send a dozen of them up the trail with McLeod's and have them rake all the loose rocks off. Ride around that side of Elden some time. We have really cleaned up the trail between Christmas Tree and Elden Springs and it is quite fun to ride, except the 100 yards of Sandy Seep. Still trying to figure out how to firm that up.

    The Prodigal Son
    First, let me say that you guys rock. I never get time to go out and help with the trails... work, two kids and all. I'll have to check it out. Usually my riding on the east side terminates around the end of Forces of Nature where FML starts up the side of the mountain.

    I've done some trail work in the past in the Colorado high country. Back when I used to just about live on my bike. Since moving to AZ, I have done exactly zero... except clearing the occaisonal deadfall and packing out junk left behind by others.

    I would be so down for this if I didn't have to pay my rent on time. There's no way I can get off work thursday. If anyone is planning trail work early (say 5am to 8am) or on the weekends, let me know. Also, does anyone know when/where the next work session for the Flagstaff Loop trail will be?

  21. #21
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    Hi Kaboose, your photos do illustrate the start of the hike a bike section that I mentioned to you in earlier. That is the start of the toughest .25 to .5 miles of the this entire section of the AZ trail.(from Fisher Pt. to Cosnino). I don't think I have ever fully "cleaned" that section rolling down, and coming up just is just short of impossible on anything short of a trials bike IMO. I have been riding this section of the AZ trail pretty regularly for 6 years, and it is definitely in the worst condition that I have seen it: numerous 18-24"+ drops with exposure, loose soil, an some tiiiiight swichbacks. Once you clear 3-4 switches, it becomes challenging, but rideable. The exposure diminishes, and then a tough climb out of the side canyon that you just desceneded into. Then, just a sweet roll of ups and downs onto Fisher Point.

    PS, I hear you on the locusts... lots of trail encroachment. Last time through I escaped with only a few scratches.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    Ride around that side of Elden some time. We have really cleaned up the trail between Christmas Tree and Elden Springs and it is quite fun to ride, except the 100 yards of Sandy Seep. Still trying to figure out how to firm that up.
    The Prodigal Son
    Good luck. The only thing that will firm that up is to add ready-mix. You probably know this, but that sandy section is because the underlying rock is Cocoino Sandstone. It's the only place it crops out between Sedona/Mogollon Rim and the Grand Canyon/Little Colorado River Gorge. Part of the cool story of the endogenous dome (Elden) pushing up like toothpaste the overlying layers.

    I suspect not many people notice that several of the rock outcroppings along Little Bear are not volcanic dacite but rather Kaibab Limestone that got rafted more than 1000' higher as it went along for the same, viscous magma ride. Some cool geology on that side of Dry Lakes and Elden.

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