Sunday, November 11, 2007

Reno Pass FR491 to FR524


What an awesome ride and hike this morning! We decided since the weather is so terrific we'd take a hike up Reno Creek this morning. It's an interesting area to explore, home to a lot of early Arizona History. Reno Creek is a dry riverbed that runs through Reno Pass near the site of Camp Reno, a site that was used by the military during the late 1800s as a fort to protect early settlers and miners from Apache raiding parties. The soldiers built a road from the Phoenix side of the mountains, beginning at Fort McDowell and ending near Tonto Basin.  It's hard to imagine how the road was built through such rugged terrain. The road is still there, but from what we've been told, it's not for the faint-hearted, there's little clearance from the tires to the dizzying 600 foot drop-offs. Ralph hiked up the road a little ways and speculated that it could be driven using care, but not without a lot of complaining and audible gasping from me. The Forest Service has closed the road on the Phoenix side of the mountains to give the area a chance to recover from a devastating forest fire a few years ago, so even if we did make the trip, we'd have to turn around and head back from whence we came...not an appealing ride to make both coming and going.
We hiked a mile or so up the dry riverbed admiring the beautiful scenery along the way. By the time the sun was high in the sky, it was beginning to warm up, so we headed back. We'll return to Reno Creek and hopefully hike further up next time, maybe in the dead of winter when the temperatures stay cold. Perhaps we can find remnants of one of the many Indian skirmishes that took place in this area.
We finished up the trip with lunch at Butcher Hook Restaurant in Tonto Basin, sated, stuffed and happy, we headed home.