December 28, 2013

Jacob Crosscut Trail

There's a singletrack route from the Lost Dutchman State Park heading south, then east, into Gold Canyon. I rode...well at least half was on my bike, the other half was spent dragging it through the narrow overgrown boulder strewn trail corridor. I vowed to never do the southern end of Jacob Crosscut trail or the West Lost Goldmine trail again. It's a real shame too, these two trails have such potential. The trails are routed nicely enough, following the contour of the land. The views are second to none with the towering cliffs of the Superstition Mtns barely a stones throw away or so it seems. Their downfall lies in the lack of trail maintenance and over abundance of large embedded rocks along a narrow, often thorny trail easement.
Near the start/finish of the loop.
I needed to find another way. Satellite imagery indicated there was a bailout trail about 3 1/2 miles into the Jacob Crosscut from the First Water trailhead. This bailout would dump me into a hillside neighborhood in Apache Junction and from there a series of lightly used roads would connect me over to Gold Canyon.

In short, the bailout trail works just as well as I could have hoped. The turnoff comes just as the JC trail begins to deteriorate into a HAB only trail. On this day I was simply doing a loop back to First Water since I already knew the road route over to Gold Canyon. The hard part was navigating the multitude of dead ends in Apache Junction.
Jacob Crosscut starts off like a dirt sidewalk..
Early morning light over the Goldfield Mtns.
A cleared semi-circle of grass seems foreign in this landscape.
Some of the finer bits of Jacob Crosscut.
The Superstitions tower above the trail.
Four Peaks always standing guard.
Maybe someday the trail will continue all the way to Gold Canyon like this.
The trail starting to narrow and chunk up a bit.
Here it is, the perfectly timed bailout trail to the right.
Impressive view of Flat Iron.
Flat Iron is on my list of 'to-do' hikes.
Forgive me, for I have sinned...I took the road back to my car!!
Cool desert museum / tourist trap along the way.
It's better on the outside.
Hang 'em high!
The Tonto takes on many forms.

1 comment:

  1. Nice exploratory ride. This area is of interest for AZT-bike routes. I've been meaning to do a big exploratory ride through there for the last several years, but haven't made it happen.

    I didn't know the JC trail was so bad. Seems like your cutoff could be a happy medium. I'd be curious what the new guidebook tells cyclists to do. Probably something close to what the AZT750 route does (no singletrack, furthest east road through Apache Jct).

    I like the look of what you have. Does it make sense to jump back on trails on the south side of the wilderness, over to Peralta? Or is the JC HAB the missing/only link?

    Maybe I'll send you an email about it -- would sure like to add some reasonable ST to the AZT750 route if I can.