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Name: Oak Creek Cabin (FR 189) Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: No votes yet
Type: 4WD Difficulty: (Easy 2WD/4WD)
Time: 2 - 3 hours Region: Central Arizona
Length: 10.75 miles total (roundtrip) Elevation gain/loss/change: ~ +1575 ft / -1575 / 0 ft (roundtrip)
Type: Out and back Avg Elevation: 4200 ft
Best time to go: fall, spring, winter Fees: NA
Fitness rating: Low Educational Merit: Medium
Danger/fear rating: Low (depends on if you visit the Indian ruins, then HIGH) Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: March, 2016
Short Description: An easy 4WD trail to and old ranch with possible side trips to some hilltop Indian ruins
Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area: Awesome Canyon ;Refresh yourself and enjoy the view;Parker Creek Canyon(eering)
References / Contact Information: Coon Creek Trail; Sierra Ancha Wilderness Area
Points of interest: Oak Creek Cabin, cool old adits, Oak Creek, Hilltop Indian ruins; Oak Creek Trailhead access for a hike into Wilderness Area and the Coon Creek Trail (#124); Parker Creek Canyon nearby
Special Considerations: Narrow road along a sidecut - be very careful of oncoming traffic; lots of old mines in the area; hike to hilltop Indian ruins is very difficult and dangerous
How to get there: From Globe take highway 188 north and drive 14.7 miles to highway 288. Take a right onto highway 288. Drive 14.8 miles on highway 288 until you come to Waypoint WPT001.Click here for details .

Trail Description

This is an easy trail which takes you to and old ranch with two buildings near an old spring. The barn is almost ready to collapse, but the cabin itself is in very good shape (please help keep it this way). It was stocked with canned food and drink for those in need. It is a very cool cabin.

This trail will also take you through some beautiful scenery near Parker Creek Canyon. And if you're interested in some cool mining adits, then you've got a few to choose from on this trip.

Currently, the trail is in very good shape. I was able to do most of it in 2WD in my Jeep. There were a few spots that had loose rocks on some steep hills that needed 4WD high, but it was all very easy. The trail is narrow in spots that can be an issue if you encounter oncoming traffic. It is wide enough for a full-sized vehicle to make it through without any problems.

There are many side trails to explore. This trail ends at the Wilderness Boundry at the Oak Creek Trailhead and you can hike into Oak and Coon Creek on the Coon Trail. Be forewarned though. From the Tonto National Forest website: "No more than 15 people are allowed to be in a group. No more than 15 head of livestock are allowed in a group." I wonder if the have lots of problems with more than 15 head of livestock traveling in a group and give the cows tickets for this?

We also stumbled upon a very cool hilltop Indian ruins. I will not be sharing the exact information on the location, but anyone interested in visiting it can do a little research and find it themselves. I will say that you can drive within about 1/2 mile of the ruins. And that the hike to and from the ruins is dangerous and very difficult. It took us about 4 hours to complete the one-mile roundtrip hike. Only two of us made it to the top of the ruins. It's about a 200 foot drop to the bottom of the canyon they reside over. In the end, it was well worth the trip and extremely beautiful.

We also found the remains of a very large Indian settlement with probably the most pottery shards per square foot that we've ever encountered. The ruins of the settlement are completely overgrown and can barely be seen even when standing directly next to them.

Feature story on this hike coming soon!

General Information and History

I do not have any information on Oak Creek Cabin. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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The Trail

At WPT001, take a right off highway 288 (if you're heading up from Globe) onto Forest Road 189. Drive 0.1 miles until you reach a nice clearing and trail that heads off to your right (Waypoint 002). This is a nice spot to air down (and back up) your tires.

You can also take the short trail to the right to go look at some interesting adits (mines). The mileage from hereon (and in the GPS table) assumes that you do so. It is roughly 1/2 mile roundtrip.

Taking a right at Waypoint 002, keep on the main trail for approximately 1/4 of a mile (you will pass some large mounds of rocks on the right) until you reach a small (very small) parking area on the right (Waypoint 002A). Caution: do not drive past the large opening on the right and on the shelf road. This section of the road can be very dangerous and difficult to turn around on. There is also an adit that connects to the opening on the right in which the trail passes over. If you go down to look at it, you will see a lone timber column "holding up" the section of the rock that you would drive over. There is also a lot of rock above the open, so I'm not sure how much this column is helping, but someone thought they needed it, so I wouldn't test fate by driving over it. Seems very sketchy to me.

There are three or four adits along the trail that you can see. You can also climb down a level to look at a few more below the trail, including the double adit that is under the trail. Be careful, lots of loose rock around and footing can be treacherous.

When you're done looking at the adits, turn around and head back to the main road at Waypoint 002. Take a right onto FR189 at Waypoint 002. Note: not all side trails are noted here. Typically, keep to the main trail.

Drive about 2.5 miles along the main road until you reach Waypoint 003 and a side trail on your right. Keep straight to continue along FR189. Do the same thing after another 1.2 miles when you reach Waypoint 004 and the corrals on your left.

Drive another 0.93 miles until you reach Waypoint 005 and Oak Creek Cabin. You will pass a nice area with large oak trees just before you reach the cabin. There is a spring here (or used to be). When you get to the cabin, there is a large parking area on the right, next to the corral and barn building.

The cabin itself is in very good shape. PLEASE help keep it this way for others to enjoy. Once you're done exploring the area, you can head up to the Oak Creek Trailhead for access to the Coon Creek Trail (#124) if you desire, by taking the trail another 1/3 of a mile north of the cabins to Waypoint 006.

There is a small parking area here. We walked down to Oak Creek to see if there was any water running. There wasn't the day we visited, but I think this would be even more beautiful with running water. Lots of large oak trees in this area. Very nice.

Retrace the trail back to highway 288 when you're done exploring.

Have fun and be safe!

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Have you been on this adventure? What did you think? Comments and updates welcome by clicking here. You can also rate this adventure by clicking here.

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