Sep 9, 2012

Pedaling between Rio Verde and Bartlett Lake

Yeah, I am still around and I am still riding and paddling. Inspiration hit the utter day about a new adventure, and it was trying to figure out how to float the Verde River below Bartlett Lake. I haven't done it, and know people who have, but it has become increasingly hard since the closure of Riverside RAP (just below the dam) and the flood damage at Needle Rock/Box Bar. The gate to road down to Riverside RAP is locked at Bartlett Lake Marina, so that is two miles away. Booooo! (EDIT: TONTO NFS OPENED THE AREA BACK UP NOT LONG AFTER THIS POST.) My plan today was to see if I could pedal from the community of Rio Verde up to Bartlett Lake via the old jeep road that follow the Verde River. I scanned and studied Google Earth for a couple hours, and noticed a very viable route could be done. But some times when I see a path on GE, it just doesn't work. Today, it did. Hell, I only blew one turn (added an extra mile and half - but I was well worth my time to see that area). Shoot, it was so intuitive, that I didn't even bring a map or GPS. I just memorized the washes and and what big hills I need to be up on. I actually began my day scouting out a place to pull out, and I found a Pull Out in this area would work perfectly, since Box Bar is close. I know I would also need to be careful, not to float to far down and end up on the Indian Reservation (this link should be pretty accurate on where the boundary begins) . The path was about from the Pull Out I would uses is about 12.4 miles with miles with about 1,500 feet of climbing. I believe the road to Needle Park Rec Area is closed, so I access it down the road by coming down trail 2148 (off of 172nd and Dixileta Dr.) I headed on to Needle Rock, and ended up chatting with some doods doing some exploring on their motorcycles. They didn't think heading up to Bartlett could be done on the trails I described. I aimed to prove 'em wrong. Needle Rock was is actually a really kewl rec area. Really scenic. I snapped a bunch of photos and then made my way up the jeep road. I pedaled pretty slow, and paid pretty close attention to where I was at. And I didn't skip an opportunity to investigate the interesting things on my way. The hills weren't as big as I thought they were gonna be. I am tired of typing, so here are a few snaps:

5 comments:

chollaball said...

nice job Sam, very cool idea and execution

u2metoo said...

Thanks, man. I need to go back an edit this beast, but it is way more complicated that I could manage. I also need to go back an float this thing.

Ben Johnson said...

Box bar is not closed.they just fenced off the large open area for off roading.you can still go anywhere there and even camp but you have to park and hike in.just grab a tonto pass for the day/night

Ben Johnson said...

Box bar is not closed.they just fenced off the large open area for off roading.you can still go anywhere there and even camp but you have to park and hike in.just grab a tonto pass for the day/night

u2metoo said...

Yep! Thanks for posting up here. It is kinda funny to come back and read the post. They opened it back up not long after this post, and I've kayaked it a couple dozen times. I do like how they fenced off the area between Box Bar and Needle Rock. Before they did that it the area was getting pretty chewed up. What is not open this time of year is sensitive habitat area near the river above Needle Rock and below Riverside CG (between Dec and June - it is signed very heavily in that area). Kayaking is open all year when they are kicking water out of Bartlett, but the area is a 'no-stop zone'. Camp Crik wash is open. We paddled into a pretty awful scene a few weeks ago, when we saw a guy who hanged himself from a tree at Needle Rock. Pretty gruesome.