Doll Baby Trailhead to Polk Springs – Mazatzal Wilderness

Doll Baby Trail Back Pack2-17,18,19 2006Doll Baby Trailhead to Polk Springs – Mazatzal WildernessApprox 2 hr drive from N. Phoenix- good dirt road on FR406 dead ends at Doll Baby Trail Head Day temp 62, night 28 digress 2-17 First time in this area, book indicated a good route was thru the E. Verde River if the river is down. Since no rain in 115 days figured it was down about as low as it gets. This was to be a easy 3 mile hike & a lot of scenery. Well, lets say there was a lot of scenery, but since it took us a hour a mile, not a lot of scenery was being looked at besides our feet, rocks, & water.

Extremely bouldery, no matter what ridge you tried to take to get around the boulders it would end in a cliff or dead end. Best bet was to go down the river. The problem was the mulk in places, which were above our knees. With each of us having fairly new boots{plus can’t imagine having mulk in our new boots} one decided to put on her pretty bright red croc’s the other leaving her liners on. Long story short liners were not sucked off! The red croc’s caused some slipping & sliding & now we have the butt in the mulk not once but twice! Fair warning if you get into this stuff react like it’s quick sand walk fast to the middle where there is rocks or get out. Once we got out of this terrible stuff we put on our boots & waked down the river. There was evidence of beaver in the area, Blue Heron, Western Blue Birds & yes it was a pretty canyon. We finally found a cow path that brought us to Saddle Ridge Trail that by past LF Ranch { the only ranch still in Mazatzal Wilderness}. We hiked pass Rock Springs that was flowing, then on to our next 2 night camp at Polk Springs. Which was a complete delight, plenty of wood, spring flowing with lots of watercress, birds, & a perfect tent spot. The Red Croc Gal was quite happy after having a great fire in a barrel we found & a Sugar Drop Martini at hand & a Walnut, apple, chicken salad over brown rice. 2-18 We woke up with ice on our water bags, but a lovely morning. After a leisurely a.m. we took a day hike to the north called Polles Mesa. First 1/2 mile straight up on lava rock, then leveled off. Pass Red Saddle Tank but dry then to White Rock Springs a total of 6 miles on the AZT. Had time to work on some beading to make a bracelet. 2-19 No clouds so a bit cooler, but again a beautiful a.m. Started hiking around this time the old road that pass LF Ranch on a steep FR 406 Approx 5 miles to vehicle.Good Trip, I would do the E.Verde River again as long as the river was low, except bring old water boots/teva’s, walking stick & know it’s slow going. .