Dec 22 Annual Troop 323 Bike Outing
This was a 27+ mile cross-country mountain bike ride through the pristine desert of north Scottsdale, starting at Browns Ranch Trailhead and ending at the McDowell Mountain Regional Park on the edge of Fountain Hills
The Troop met at LOM school on Friday evening and then drove to McDowell Mountain Regional Park Youth Group Campground to set up camp.
Saturday morning we drove 30 minutes to Brown’s Ranch Trailhead. We started our ride at Brown’s Ranch trailhead. We stop at points of interest and had lunch at ‘Balanced Rock’, which is about halfway thru the ride. After lunch, we continue the ride back to McDowell Mountain Regional Park via the Delsie Trail and then on to the youth campsite in time for dinner.
Sunday morning after eating and packing up camp the troop once again had the option to do a short bike ride on the park’s “Sports track” a fast-flowing trail.
Nov 22 Humphreys Peak
This car camp with an extensive and challenging hike at a high elevation, including an ascent of Humphreys Peak which, at 12,600 feet, is the highest point in AZ. In late November it was cold!
The Troop camped off FR222. On Saturday morning they drive to the Snow Bowl parking lot for the Humphreys Peak Trail trailhead (trail #51, trailhead elevation is 9,300 ft).
Humphreys Trail is steep, long, extremely rocky, and icy at this time of year. Above the tree line, it exposes you completely to the whims of nature. Here it may snow during any month of the year.
Scouts had two options
- Scouts can choose to return to the trailhead, making for a 6-mile round-trip hike, and drive back to the camping area.
- Proceed up the trail another 2.5 miles to the peak (12,600 ft). This will result in an 11-mile round-trip hike with a total of 3,300 ft elevation gain. (Recommended for more experienced and older scouts only).
Two Scouts and one Adult chose to summit and return. Congratulations to the brave trio.
Cabin Loop Trail – Houston Brothers Trail
This month’s outing was an overnight backpacking trip along Houston Brother Trail part of the Cabin Loop Trail system. The Cabin Loop Trail is the link between the earliest fire guard cabin network in this area of the Mogollon Rim and has its roots at the beginning of the Forest Service era here.
Saturday morning the troop drove to the Houston Brothers Trailhead along Forest Service Road 139 near Happy Jack, AZ. We hike 5.5 miles along the Houston Brothers Trail where we passed the Aspen Spring Cabin and then camped at Pinchot Cabin.
The next day we ate and packed up then returned the way we came in.
2022 Knoll Lake Sep 2022
For the first time since, the troops has been going to knoll lake two options for hiking were provided
Option 1 – Full Babe Haught Trail #143 to #43 to Knoll lake and back.
This trail climbs up the Mogollon Rim. It has some fairly steep grades and some rocky areas. There are few areas of shade along the trail. The hike starts at the Hatchery Trailhead on Forest Road (FR) 289 North and ends at Forest Road (FR) 300 on the Coconino National Forest. From this point, the Option one group joined the option 2 group for the remainder of the hike.
Option 2 – Babe Haught Trail #43 – Upper segment from FR300 to Knoll Lake. This hike is an out-and-back hike from FR300 to Knoll Lake and back. The hike to/from camp can involve a few small creek crossings. Water shoes (or shoes you can get wet) are recommended for this trip as we camp next to the lake and scouts tend to get their feet wet. Scouts had the opportunity to work on rank requirements plus free time, including Fishing. Knoll lake is stocked with rainbow trout. A Fishing license is required for anyone who touches a fishing pole.
Sunday the Troop returned in the reverse order splitting into two groups for the hikes out. After the hike time was spent at the Arizona Game & Fish Department Tonto Hatchery where we saw how they grow fish for stocking the various lakes streams around the state.
2022 Planning Retreat at R-C Scout Ranch on August 13 & 14.
For the first time in troop history, the well at Bumblebee Ranch ran dry and they had to cancel our reservation. Mr. Geer found alternative accommodations at R-C Scout Ranch where we will spend the weekend in the Van Ness Lodge. The lodge has 6 bedrooms with a total of 32 beds, so everyone was able to sleep in beds.
This is a working weekend where the Scouts spend most of Saturday
determining the troop’s 2023 outings schedule and main events for troop
meetings. There was free-time Saturday afternoon after the planning
session was done. Hiking to Box Canyon, swimming in the swimming hole, and nighttime basketball were all enjoyed by the Scout leadership.
Food was supplied by the troop (planned by Mr. Geer and cooked by the Scouts). Sunday morning the PLC meets to organize the events for September.
It was a treat to hold this special event at a new location. Thanks for the quick planning, Mr. Geer!!!