|Hike Name:||White Creek Flat|
|Trip Date:||March 28, 2008|
|Duration:||3 days, 8 hours|
|Trail Conditions:||Fair to Good|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 71-80, Low: 31-40 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||Day 1: Mike and I hit the trail half a day late after blowing a tire on the Suburban. Not wanting to be without a spare, we headed back into town for a replacement. As we approached Willow Creek, we noticed that the road no longer existed. I mean it was totally washed away. A two lane road pared down to a foot wide. We parked the Blue Beast and started walking to Wilow Creek. Adds about 4 miles to the trip.
Upon reaching Willow Creek, we headed out towards Iron Lake. The trail here is easy to follow and in good shape. It winds steadily upward to the lake. The lake itself is usable for a water source, but thats about it. We had dinner and Baileys with coffee, followed by a frog seranade til we fell asleep.
Day 2: We hit the trail about 7:30, heading for Turkeyfeather Pass. The trip was beautiful, and we made the pass without event. Lunch by the trail refreshed us, and we then headed down into the canyon from whence springs the Gila River. The trail starts to get dicey here. At times it is great, and at times disappears. It was a hard push, but we made Cub Creek just before dusk. Fished for a few, but we were pretty pooped, so we made dinner, again with coffee and Baileys, and sacked out, this time listening to distant wolf cries.
Day 3: We had a goal in mind - White Creek Flat. It was a 10 mile push, so we took only day packs, and headed out. This part of the trail is ROUGH. For several miles, we waded in the river, knee to waist deep and vey cold. It is slippery and treacherous going, so be careful. We hit White Creek about 2:00, expecting to find a dam protecting a pool of rare Gila Trout. Alas, the flooding earlier had washed away the dam, and with it the trout. The Flat is badly overgrown by brush. A Forest Service cabin sits in what remains of the clearing, but it is sealed up tight. We took time for a quick smoke and some pictures, and headed back to Cub Creek, arriving just at dusk. A few more minutes fishing, and dinner with Baileys. A quiet night, with no critters singing us to sleep.
Day 4: Time to leave. We have 14 miles to go to get back to the car, so we have to move briskly. The haul back up the canyon is no fun, but the other side is downhill. We stop at the Continental Divide for lunch and a rest, and the day is beautiful. Caught a quick smoke and off we went. We straggled up the road the the Beast at about 4:00 PM, and fell into the front seat. No comes the long drive home, but it was all worth it!