Horseshoe Reservoir & Bartlett Lake trail run with Stumpalump. Blazing hot, but found some sweet watering holes.
First stop, Horseshoe Dam.
There’s a walking path under the spillway so you can cross even when water is flowing. Pretty cool. (I googled around and found some pictures from 2010 showing what this place can be like.
Now, most of the time, I expect to find a lake on the other side of a dam. Not so, here. My first thought was climate change and overutilization – and I stand by those thoughts – but it seems this reservoir has always been somewhat cyclical. Still, a bit surprising to find a marsh in the middle of the desert.
Here’s another look from further down the ridge. The spillway is level with the top of that pipe, so four years ago, this lake was at least that deep. I hope it comes back soon.
Back in the trucks, we drove past the boat ramp to nowhere and quickly found ourselves driving across the lake bottom on an obvious trail.
It got a bit dicey at times. (Tried to hold the phone to capture the angle of the ride here.)
This is the view from the top of that hill in the first picture up there. My buddy with the double locked XJ just drove right up it, but I was caught out by a couple cross-axle lines I chose (poorly), and ultimately had to hug the trees (on the exposure side) to charge the second half of the off-camber, dogleg, washed out, loose rocky ascent. Going down, I simply let the truck idle in first.
After some more exploration, we took a semi-hidden turn through some mesquite trees and found ourselves climbing back out of the lake bed onto the ridges around.
After about 7 hours, we made our way back down the Verde to Bartlett Lake, which was actually a lake. Good place to call it a day.
That night, a nasty microburst would roll through these areas on its way to Phoenix. I suspect the trails we drove were all but washed away. This is a neat area to explore, as it changes every time you go. I can’t wait to go back again.
via gbxm.tumblr: http://ift.tt/1teuqyD