Location

  • Highway 87 to Gooseberry Springs Trailhead

Distance

  • 29.4 miles

Southern Access Point: Highway 87

Access

From the intersection of AZ 87 and AZ 260 north of Pine, drive northeast 19.5 miles on AZ 87 then turn right (south) on FR 138. (This is about 0.8 miles west of the Blue Ridge Ranger Station on AZ 87.) Signs on the highway point to Moqui Campground. The trailhead is about 100 yards south on FR 138, on the left (east) side of the road.


Northern Trailhead: Gooseberry Springs Trailhead

Access

From the turnoff leading from Forest Highway 3 to Mormon Lake Village, continue south on Forest Highway 3 for approximately 5 miles and then turn left onto a prominent road (FR 92) on the south side of an open meadow, and drive 0.25 miles to a sharp left turn in the road; the trailhead and a steel AZT sign are on your right. You can also reach this point from AZ 87 by driving north on Forest Highway 3.


Trail Route Description

In late 2019 the USFS Mogollon Rim Ranger District, AZ State Parks and the Arizona Trail Association completed a three-year project to move this passage off two-track roads to newly-built single-track trail. The project included the new trail, several trailhead kiosks and hitching rails, signs and access road repair.

Passage 28 begins at the Hay Meadow TH, immediately south of the Highway 87 and FR 138 intersection. The trail crosses Highway 87 and heads north past Hay Meadow Tank and Hay Meadow Draw Tank, crosses FR 211 and drops into and follows Jack’s Canyon. It crosses FR 82 and soon FR 93D where it departs the former route. It passes Wochner and Waldroup Tanks and turns north towards the large Homestead Tank where it begins trending northwesterly before bending back north. It passes Foot In Tree Tank and continues north over gentle terrain through pinion-juniper and pine tree country before crossing FR 93A and an open meadow. Daves Tank is a quarter-mile northeast of the meadow crossing. The trail continues in a general northwesterly direction, climbs through pine trees until it drops slightly near Wild Horse Tank and an open area beyond which it again enters the trees and climbs slightly, then wraps around a ridge and heads west, crossing FR 294, to a trailhead at Bargaman Park—a large open area crossed by high voltage powerlines. Bargaman Park Tank on the west side of the park is a rather reliable water source. Trending west for a few miles, the trail crosses FR 135D and turns north, passes Shuffs Tank, re-crosses FR 135D and continues north. It passes Maxie Tank, crosses FR 135 and skirts the west side of a small hill. A short distance past FR 6048 the trail enters an open area and heads northwesterly to reach Gooseberry Spring TH and the end of this passage.

This is active cattle country so the fences and water tanks are maintained. Give the cows and wildlife unfettered access to the tanks by camping at least a quarter-mile from them. The trail goes through eighteen of the iconic AZT steel gates; please be sure to close them all.


Difficulty

  • Moderate

Season(s)


Water

Water may be found at some of the stock tanks along this route. There is also seasonal water in some of the drainages the trail crosses.


Notes/Warnings

  • All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
  • The USFS Mogollon Rim Ranger District, Arizona Trail Association and Arizona State Parks are improving 18 miles of the Happy Jack Passage through 2018 and 2019. Watch for new gates, new signs and kiosks, and NEW SINGLETRACK.  Volunteer work events, youth crew work, Trail Skills education events and other activity will continue throughout the project.

Resources

  • USGS Topographic Maps: Blue Ridge Reservoir, Hay Lake, Turkey Mountain, Jaycox Mountain and Hutch Mountain.
  • Coconino National Forest – Visitors Guide.
  • Coconino National Forest – Recreational Opportunity Guide.
  • Coconino National Forest map.
  • BLM Information Center maps.

For more information

  • The Passage Steward
  • Coconino National Forest, Mogollon Rim Ranger District, 8738 Ranger Road, Happy Jack, AZ 86024   (928) 477-2255.
  • BLM Information Center  (602) 417-9300.

Current Passage Info

 


Flickr Photos

Photos from the Arizona Trail Association’s Flickr galleries, for this specific passage. View the entire Flickr account.

[AFG_gallery id=’29’]