Allan Hall, Lee Pearson, and several other experienced hikers have graciously agreed to lead a group hike in the Lower Slim Jim Creek area northeast of Wickenburg. This will be the second group outing organized by wickenburg-az.com authors — the first was a 4WD trip to Bradshaw’s Grave in late 2006 that attracted 31 people.
This trip is planned for March 15, 2008 with a “weather date” of March 22, 2008. This is a hike — not a 4WD trip — so it’s vital that you wear appropriate footwear, carry water, bring a bag lunch, and be prepared to walk.
According to Allan:
The loop trail hike encompasses ATOS Mine, Balanced Rock and lower Slim Jim Creek. This hike is approximately six miles in length and involves significant and frequent changes in elevation on the first two legs.
Interested hikers should understand three things:
- Except for a few areas between the ATOS Mine and Balanced Rock, this is not a technically challenging hike.
- There is a significant change in elevation (frequent negative and positive gain) throughout the first two legs of the hike. The final Slim Jim leg involves a 452 foot gain as they return to the trailhead.
- Hikers really should be in good physical condition.
Having said that, this is not a “tenderfoot” hike!
The ATOS and Balanced Rock legs are quite intriguing and provide rich photographic opportunities — even without regard to the spring flower season….In addition to the ATOS mine shaft, there are two mine tunnels, numerous building ruins, debris fields and the cyanide settling tanks. There is much to see at the ATOS and people may want to linger around this area….The principal attractions of the Slim Jim Creek leg are the Hassayampa River, the three mine adits, and unusual geological features.
Getting to the Trailhead
4WD transportation is required to get to the trailhead, but if you do not have transportation, you may be able to ride with another hiker. (My Jeep, for example, seats 4 but will have only 2 people in it, thus leaving space for 2 others.)
Hikers will meet in a central location near downtown Wickenburg to travel together to the trailhead. We’ll meet at 8:00 AM. The expected length of the hike, including the drive to the trailhead and back, is 6 to 8 hours. This is a full-day activity; please do not plan to join us if you cannot spend the entire day.
What to Bring
Each person must bring the following:
- Drinking water. We recommend at least 2 quarts per person.
- Snack or lunch. We’ll be out all day, so bring a sandwich or something else to eat when we stop for lunch.
- Proper footwear and other clothing. Hiking shoes with good treads are required in several places on the trail. Lightweight layered clothing works well. Long pants is recommended to protect your legs from thorns or scrapes.
- Sunscreen. This goes without saying.
Other recommended items:
- Walking stick. If you’re the kind of person who finds walking sticks useful, this is the hike you’ll need it on!
- Camera. We scheduled this hike during the spring flower season for a reason!
- Hat. This will protect your head, face, and neck from the sun.
- Day pack or small back pack to carry your gear. This will make it a lot easier for you to shed outside layers of clothing and carry water.
RSVP is Required
Because of the unexpected high turnout for the last outing, we’re requiring all participants to RSVP. There is limited parking at the trailhead and we’ll need to limit the number of vehicles to ensure that there’s enough room for everyone to park.
Are you interested in joining us for this hike? If so, call 928/684-1233 and either speak to me or leave a message. I will need answers to the following questions:
- What are the names of the people in your party?
- Are any of them under 18 years old? If so, which ones? (This trip is not recommended for children under 12.)
- Do you have a high clearance 4WD vehicle to get to the trailhead or do you need a ride?
- If you have a vehicle, would you be willing to take one or more other people to the trailhead?
- What is your phone number?
I will compile a list of people who want to join us. If you need a ride, I will attempt to hook you up with someone who has space for you.
If we have a significant response, we’ll have to limit participation to the first 25 or so people to RSVP. If you want to join us, call. But please don’t call if you’re not sure, since you may close someone else out of this great hike.
Because the return leg of this loop trail is in a creek bed, we will not hike if rain is forecast. In the event of rain or the possibility of rain, I will call everyone who has RSVPed to postpone the trip until March 22.
You Are Responsible for Your Own Safety
Finally, I need to remind everyone that the leadership of this hike is for guide purposes only. Leaders will not take responsibility for your personal safety, nor will they guarantee that the trail is either well-maintained or easy to travel. If you’re not accustomed to hiking in the desert on rough terrain or you are not in reasonably good physical condition, this hike is not for you. You alone are responsible for your own safety and well-being and the safety of any children under 18 in your party.
Current List of Hikers
I’ll update this list as hiker names come in.