Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hike #45: Babe Haught Trail, Tonto National Forest

Length: 6 miles

Starting near the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery nent to the vastly popular Horton Creek Trail, the Babe Haught Trail provides a challenging hike, which is extremely exposed and can be quite warm in the August heat!

Beginning at the base of the Rim, the trail almost immediately begins a study climb upwards. The first ½-mile is a relatively easy walk through tall grass; however, be on the lookout for the numerous cattle that apparently graze along this path (and watch even more closely for the cow manure hidden among the grass!)

Eventually, the cool grass parts and the real climb begins. Switchbacking along the Rim, the trail makes a rather steep climb directly up the face of the Rim. Although the heat is quite intense along this segment, the beautiful panoramic views are almost enough to make one forget the discomfort. Fortunately, once reaching the top of the Rim, the temperature makes a sudden drop and the wind can be quite intense.

From the Rim top, the trail becomes much less developed; fortunately, numerous cairns and the occasional marked-tree make the path follow-able if watch carefully. For this final segment of the trail enters the forest, where due to the isolation of the path, there are great opportunities to view wildlife. Eventually, the trail exits onto FR300 and continues into the Coconino National Forest. Unfortunately, I did not continue on past the forest road; however, I have read that there is a nice lake at the trail's end.

To view more photos of the Babe Haught Trail, click here.

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