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  1. #61
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    What type of trail markers are you planning on using for the group?
    TM's will not be necessary. Once you pass the Secret Canyon/David Miller trail split which is well marked you start heading west up the canyon - Accept for dry river crossings, trail deviation is not much of an option. You cannot miss a camp site and this part of the trail is lightly used. I doubt there will be any other overnighters this time of year.

    Looks like I will be packing water.
    I carried 5quarts. With no cooking/cleaning it was perfect for me for the overnighter but I'm not shy about my drinking From most of the reports there is water at the narrows at the end of the trail, another mile or so from where I stopped. If not there is rock pool water a couple miles back. Unfortunately the mile or so stretch where the camp site will be is on the side of the vertical canyon wall at least 100' above the floor/creek bed with no water.

    Special Caution; In this area you never know about the weather. Plan on cold nights in the 30's. Fortunately wind is not a concern due to steep canyon walls & trees. I did not take a tarp as I WOULD NOT DO THIS TRAIL WITH ANY CHANCE OF RAIN or recent rains. Watch your pack weight & know your equipment, this is NOT an easy hike. If you must hike the FR to the trail head you have doubled your distance and although not technical neither is it level - after a while you begin to fear the downhills as they can be almost as strenuous as the uphills when loaded and only mean an uphill is next. Finally, if it calls for rain a few days before or during I would abort. If you would like my email or cell phone PM me.
    The older I get the better I used to be. Superhero status is near.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    P.S. I would not want to do the second half of this hike in the dark, remember this is a canyon that is vertical on both sides. With that in mind I personally would be hesitant to attempt from trailhead after 2:30pm (for those hiking the FR add at least an hr). Sun will disappear around 4-4:30pm, dark by 6.
    The older I get the better I used to be. Superhero status is near.

  3. #63
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    ROLL CALL

    Okay, I'd like to get a head count of who all is coming. I'm hoping that one or two of my kids will join me (I'm going to get a confirmation tonight). Please chime in if you are coming.

    I'm planning to head up the trail Thursday afternoon and leave Saturday.

    The camping spot is about 3 miles from the trailhead.

    I'm guessing the overnight temperatures will be in the mid-30s, owing to the canyon effect. Sedona is suppose to be in the 60s during the day, 40s at night.

  4. #64
    Senior Member MuseJr's Avatar
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    I'm heading down on Friday and staying through the weekend. (In the area maybe until Tuesday ) Hopefully I will reach the TH about 12-1 with my pack loaded and ready to go.
    "I'm a connoisseur of BACON." - Anyways - 6/9/13

  5. #65
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    I will be shuttling dejoha in to the trialhead Thur late am & getting a look at road condition. It rained & snowed Sun & Mon. I'll will update post Thur.

    I'll be driving back in Friday mid to late am IF conditions are acceptable for me (I don't do mud hiking & traversing a slot canyon in wet conditions is out of my league). Calling for rain Sat & Sun so I'm not sure how I'm feeling on this. I'll know more after Thur morning & post.

    I'm not trying to rain on the parade here, no pun intended, but Secret Canyon in wet conditions just doesn't thrill me. Any thought to keeping the dates but changing locations? Mingus Mnt - Potatoe Patch or somewhere in Flagstaff perhaps. On a bright note finding water along the trail just became easier.
    The older I get the better I used to be. Superhero status is near.

  6. #66
    Senior Member MuseJr's Avatar
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    I had planned to stop at Lee's Ferry for a couple days of fishing on the way home. I could stop there on the way down if this falls through. Let me know what you guys decide.
    "I'm a connoisseur of BACON." - Anyways - 6/9/13

  7. #67
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    I've got one guy car pooling with me, plus MuseJr, that makes 3 confirmed. Swingblade, if conditions are right, makes 4. Any others planning?

    I hate to change the location this late in the planning. I don't really want to camp in Flagstaff because of the temperature (I will, if people want to. It just means packing different insulation).

    I'm going one way or another, so if this trip is boiling down to me, my friend, and MuseJr, I guess we can hijack it again and do something else.

    Muse, Swingblad, thoughts?

    I'm browsing for Plan B and C right now.

  8. #68
    Member SamuelJD's Avatar
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    I think there are several things I would like to just say since plans are being changed at the last second. First thing, this is the second year in a row that a fall hang is being foiled by it's flaws and tossed around like a bean bag. Secondly this location was decided at the first glance. It was known the road's leading to the location are only accessible by a rugged or 4x4 vehicle. That's great for what about maybe 20% of us that have a high clearance vehicle. Not so much for the other 80% that own a 2wheel vehicle ( just a generalization of those who can not access trails via rough roads). If we are to become a community of hammock hangers we need to pick destinations that have good access, are desirable to visit, and are geared towards inviting those who are both experienced and non experienced. That will introduced people in a comfortable environment, bring a larger group together, be more organized, and have less hassle. That being said in the Arizona community of hangers the more of us there are and acquainted with each other. Organizing more technical excursions over the forum would be an open door. On this note since this fall hang has already been planned, and is a great idea, the time window is closing in. It is always possible to push the trip to the next weekend if the majority feels that way. If its going to rain in Sedona it will rain in flagstaff and possibly everywhere else right now my weatherbug forecast's 50% for Sat and 30% for Sun in Sedona and expected chance 40% of rain all over the valley. This is definitely a deal breaker and as any trip has an unexpected weather variable only fool's predict the weather. As the expected date draws closer and the trip is in jeopardy my vote is for moving the date plan B, in this situation. Though if you ask me personally, I have the gear to hump it in the rain. Anyone up for a rainy trip, I'm in, nothing better!
    Last edited by SamuelJD; 11-09-2011 at 13:10.

  9. #69
    Senior Member Swingblade's Avatar
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    SamuelJD a lot of what you say makes sense. It may be prudent to plan group hangs around the thought of being tolerant to a wide variety of hikers/campers including car campers & easy trail hikers in the future. If the hang spot is central to attractive terrain then you get the best of both worlds. Easy access & for those more adventurous and/or experienced day hikes in close proximity (even in less than optimum weather).

    SamuelJD - Though if you ask me personally, I have the gear to hump it in the rain.
    I would think anyone capable of hanging in under 40deg temps would also be equiped for rain. The problem with this particular hike is that the FR itself is fairly tough dry, spectacular failure if wet or even if residual wet pockets exist. We don't even want to discuss the several run-off crossings when raining.

    Then you have the trail. First 2 miles gradually meanders up & down with wide shallow (usually dry) river crossings, easy enough, but it's all red silt & loose rock - your boots/shoes are going to get real heavy real fast & traction will be a problem. The second part of the hike traverses the canyon with at least one rock shoot & one river crossing (dry usually) to the camp site and with enough water can become treacherous. This is a deep, steep, narrow canyon so even when not crossing bottom your on a the side of a wall and we all know water flows downhill. Wash out & hazardous footing would be my main concern on this part of the hike as well as getting stranded on the wrong side of the canyon if the river flows. Less of a concern but still an issue is being wet, muddy & exhausted getting to camp then having to prepare for night time temps in the 30's in an area that gets limited sun even on a clear day. Even if you bring enough clothing to stay dry your hump back out is going to be considerably heavier.

    All that said I want to commend dejoha for choosing what may be arguably the most spectacular trail hike in the Sedona area. Views along this trail are both diverse & spectacular.

    I just had a thought. IF I can get to the trailhead Thur that would mean that the hike would most likely be okay at least until it rains again. Even if sloppy the first part of the hike doesn't pose much risk. Instead of turning left (west) at the David Miller/Secret Canyon split continue straight (north) towards David Miller. I have not ventured on this trail but I do know it has lot's of trees, wilderness campsites, appears to be on top a large knoll or mesa therefore flat high ground, has more than one way in & out, and is centrally located to several trails including Secret Canyon & a way back to sedona by foot on mostly high ground. Material or surveyor tape could be used by dejoha from the split to mark where he is at. A few pieces on shrubs in a row for 5 or 10 ft on which trail he chooses should be sufficient. What's your thoughts?
    The older I get the better I used to be. Superhero status is near.

  10. #70
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    I agree about choosing a spot that is more accessible to more people. I hate changing plans again but I agree that getting in and out of secret canyon this weekend is going to be a mess.

    I've already taken the time off so I'm going to do something this weekend, but I really want to hang up with some folks from the forum. If we want to delay the official hang to next week thats fine.

    Who's coming? This weekend it sounds like muse is on his way. If its just him and me maybe we can cross paths and do a mini hang. Maybe I'll do pump house wash. No hiking really; it's right off the forest road so we can easily find each other.

    I have no problem camping in the rain. Look forward to it. That and snow.

    My brain is a bit mush right now so if folks who want to hang can voice their opinion please speak now because I'm packing my bags.

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