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Name: Horse Camp Creek (FR2883) Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: No votes yet
Type: 4WD Difficulty: (Easy 4WD)
Time: 2 - 3 hours (Does not include travel time to get to the trailhead or the hike) Region: Central Arizona
Length: ~ 6.0 miles total (roundtrip to Horse Camp Creek Cabin). Add'l miles to Hilltop Indian Ruins Elevation gain/loss/change: ~ +1275 ft / -1275 / 0 ft (roundtrip)
Type: Out and back Avg Elevation: 5300 ft
Best time to go: fall, spring, winter Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Low/Medium Educational Merit: Medium
Danger/fear rating: Low Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: April, 2016
Short Description: An easy 4WD trail to and old stone ranch and beautiful canyon
Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area: Look Behind You; Ragen Canyon Cache; Devils Chasm
References / Contact Information: None at this time
Points of interest: Horse Camp Creek, Horse Camp Creek Cabin(s), beautiful canyon, Hilltop Indian ruins, views of Cherry Creek
Special Considerations: Some of the trail is fairly steep with loose rock. Trail (and FR202) may be dangerous and impassible in bad weather. Narrow canyon may be dangerous in heavy rains.
How to get there: From Globe, head north on Hwy 188. Drive on Hwy 188 for about 15 miles and take a right onto Hwy 288. Drive north on Hwy 288 for about 7 miles until you reach Cherry Creek Road (FR203). Take a right onto the dirt road. This is a maintained dirt road and should be good for most vehicles under good conditions. Drive north for another 16 miles until you reach FR202. Take a right. This road is a little rougher than Cherry Creek Road. Follow this road for approximately 12 miles until you reach Waypoint 001 and FR2883. Take a left here. Click here for directions. NOTE: Directions are approximate to Waypoint 001.

Trail Description

This is an easy 4WD trail which takes you to a couple of old stone ranches in a beautiful canyon. Getting to the trailhead is via a decent road (usually 2WD high-clearance, but could easily become 4WD), though it can take a while to get there. Although this trail may be possible to do in a day, I would recommend making it a two day trip and camping along the way. There are some really nice camping spots along FR202 and a few on the trail itself.

The trail is not traveled much and can be brushy in areas. Parts of the trail are steep with lots of loose rock. The trail after the ranch become very brushy and narrow. It eventually becomes impassible as it heads down to Cherry Creek.

The section of the canyon after the first ranch is really nice and worth the walk along it. If there's water, you're in for a special bonus. If you are really ambitious, you can also hike to some hilltop Indian ruins we discovered that overlook Cherry Creek. There's not a lot left to the ruins, but they have an awesome view. There are these hilltop and cliff dwellings on both sides of Cherry Creek. This is actually one of the easiest to access in the area (if you have a 4WD vehicle).

The drive along FR202 is also very nice. Typically this is 2WD high-clearance, but may become 4WD after any decent rain. You can drive all the way up to Young if want too.

General Information and History

I do not have any information on Horse Camp Creek and the cabins there. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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The Trail

Head west from FR202 onto FR2883 at Waypoint 001 (a left if you're coming from Globe). Drive 1.88 miles until you get to Waypoint 002. You can turn right here to go to what appears to be some Indian ruins at the end of the road (Waypoint 003). There's some very faint old stone walls and we found small bits of pottery nearby (please leave the pottery in place if you see any). Once you're done exploring those, head back to FR2883 and continue down into the valley below.

From here to the camp, you will begin the real descent into the canyon. This portion of the trail can be very rocky and somewhat steep. The rocks aren't big, just loose and there's lots of them.

Keep driving down the hill. As you get near the bottom, you will be able to see the windmill marking the old stone cabin. After 3.0 miles from the start, you will be at the first stone cabin and well at Waypoint 004 (I call it the Horse Camp Creek cabin).

Park here and take some time to explore the area. The old stone cabin is beautiful. You can see a date of 1927 carved into the wood in one of the windows. If you see a fat and fairly tame squirrel there, tell Roxy we said hi. By the way, she loves cashews and peanuts!

If you want to see the second stone ranch at Waypoint 005 (I call it the Flintstone's Cabin), you can either walk up the canyon or take the road. It's not very far (about 1/4 of a mile). If you decide to go through the canyon, you may not be able to see it when you're in the canyon, so make sure you have GPS coordinates. You can see it fairly well from the road if you're looking for it, so it's not as critical to have GPS coordinates if you walk along the road.

After that, if you are even more adventurous, you can hike to some interesting hilltop Indian ruins that overlook Cherry Creek. The road next to the canyon is a treat itself. There are some really nice sections of the trail with beautiful views into the canyon.

To get to the hilltop ruins, travel along the remains of the road for 1.7 miles from Horse Camp Creek cabin until you get to Waypoint 006. This is a nice small saddle with some awesome views to the west. It's possible to drive up to this point if you wish, though some sections are more difficult and narrow than the previous sections of the road.

From here on out, it's a fairly short hike to the ruins. You can do some of it on the remains of an old trail, then it's bushwhacking for the rest. Park your vehicles at the saddle and make a HARD left up the hill. The road really becomes narrow at this point and difficult to see. Walk along this trail for another 0.3 miles until you come to a nice open place at Waypoint 007. This is the jumping off spot where you will need to bushwhack to the ruins.

The bushwhacking isn't too bad. There's a animal trail that takes you most of the way to the ruins. It can be difficult to spot and follow for the first 100 feet or so. If you're not on it by then, it may be time to try to find it. The going is much easier on this animal trail than pure bushwhacking. For the first half, the trail attempts to keep you along the same elevation (or a slight climb) of the small knoll you're on the side of. When you get to the small saddle, the climb to the top of the hill the ruins are on begins. But don't worry, it's an easy climb.

The brush is fairly thick and you won't see the ruins until you're almost on top of them. Take some time to explore the area, being careful not to disturb anything. Look for pottery shards on the ground. Also, take a look back toward Cherry Creek. Beautiful views!

When you're done exploring. Head back down to Waypoint 007. When you were up on the ruins, you may have seen Cherry Creek road. It seems so close! Continuing on this road takes you to Cherry Creek, but it's washed out. We walked it for a while. It kept getting more and more narrow and overgrown. We could see portions of the road were badly washed out and probably impassable for anything other than feet. It's quite a climb back up too, so I don't recommend going any further on the road than Waypoint 007.

To get back to civilization, follow your footsteps back to your vehicle and head back out to FR202.

Have fun and be safe!

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