Backpacking Fish Creek Trail


July 2nd - 4th


White Mountains, Arizona, just west of Hannagan's Meadow


Me, Brian D, Kyle, Jeff, Brian J and Shannon, and Brad and Lorrie



We all met up at the trailhead on Saturday afternoon. It was a really hot and sunny day and I was wishing that we could have started earlier. We all ate a late

lunch at the trailhead and headed off. We had an equipment malfunction early on with Brad's pack and we had to fix that. The trail was really well

established and easy to follow. There were a lot of stream crossings, but the water wasn't high enough to get our feet wet. I didn't take many pictures so I borrowed

several from everyone for this trip report. Thanks!


Here is a picture of all of us before we started the trail.

Left to right (Brian D and his dog Cherokee, Brad, Lorrie, Brian J, Kyle and his dog CJ, Shannon, Me, and Jeff)



We hiked and hiked and hiked! We wanted to make camp around 7 miles in. The hiking wasn't hard or steep or anything, it was just hot and

the packs were heavy.



I'm on the right at a rest stop.



There were lots of cool ferns along the way.



We found a cute little garter snake (Thamnophis elegans) on the trail.



We made camp in a nice small clearing enough for all the tents. We didn't see any bear sign on the way in, but we still opted to hang our food

in case a big black bear came into camp at night. That first night we realized that only one of the three water filters brought was working! Luckily

it held up for the duration.


This is my new Mountain Hardware backpacking tent.



On Sunday we went on a day hike the rest of the way down Fish Creek to the Black River. It was another 5 miles beyond camp. Fish Creek is

supposed to be full of native Apache Trout, but we didn't see anything. We did see stacks of white buckets every tenth of a mile that the AZ Game and Fish

had left behind from a few weeks earlier. Seems they had to use a piscicide to kill off all the fish in the creek because some non-natives had

gotten into the creek. I hope they plan to come and get their buckets at some point, they were very unsightly in this pristine area.


Toward the bottom of Fish Creek we saw the fish ladder that was built to keep the non-natives from the Black River from getting into Fish Creek.




We also saw a very grumpy black-tailed rattlesnake along the trail. This was the best picture he'd allow. We let him go on his grumpy way!




We all messed around in the cool waters of the Black River and had some lunch.


I'm filtering water from the Black for the gang.


Kyle tries to get CJ to jump on the rock.




I ended up taking a pretty nice nap under the pine trees!






We hiked back that afternoon. The evening around camp was real relaxed. I heard several night hawks calling as dusk approached. Two

whip-poor-wills called around camp for much of the evening too.

Brian and Shannon



The next morning we woke early to get an early start on the hike out. I hike best in cooler temps and I knew once the sun hit me it'd

be harder going out. Me, Brian D, Kyle, and Jeff were out of camp by 6:30. This was 7:30 my time being from NM, so it seemed still late to me!


The hike out wasn't bad at all like I feared. We made the 7 miles back to the cars in no time at all. The four of us decided to head up to Hannagan's Meadow

and buy some cool drinks for the others still hiking. I drove separately and left for home from the store. The others were already at the cars when

the group returned.


The trip was a lot of fun and I look forward to more backpacking journeys. We covered ~22 miles in 3 days. Not bad!!



Brian has a trip report up on his website too. Check it out here. He took lots of great pictures and has an awesome website!



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