Arizona Hiking Gallery
Colonel Devin Trail Hike
Tonto National Forest, AZ
May 30, 2010
Gallery contains 57 photos
Gallery last updated: 6/25/2010

This hike in the Tonto National Forest begins at the Washington Park Trailhead just north of Payson, Arizona. Starting beneath the Mogollon Rim the Colonel Devin Trail (Trail 290) heads north for about 2 miles as it climbs its way up to the top of the Rim. The Colonel Devin Trail ends here near a monument to the Battle of Big Dry Wash. We continued hiking north in the Coconino National Forest along a dirt road for another half mile to General Springs and General Springs Cabin. We toured the two room cabin, ate lunch in a meadow in the shade of a ponderosa and then hiked back down the rim and took the Railroad Tunnel Trail (Trail 390) to visit the 1880's unfinished railroad tunnel. Our total wanderings amounted to just under 6 miles.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 1
A hillside seen through a break in the ponderosa and oak woodlands on the lower portion of the Colonel Devin Trail.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 2
Groundsel (Senecio sp.). Not sure but this might be New Mexico Groundsel (Senecio Neomexicanus).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 3
The bright green leaves of Bracken Ferns (Pteridium aquilinum) covered the forest floor in the recent burn areas.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 4
The bright green of Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) light up against a dark background.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 5
Closeup of Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 6
The Bracken Ferns (Pteridium aquilinum) love the newly opened sites around in burn area.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 7
Much of the Colonel Devin Trail is along an old dirt road used to service a pipeline and powerlines.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 8
The bark of one of my favorite trees the Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 9
Common Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus) blooms at the edge of a small stream.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 10
New Mexican Raspberry (Rubus neomexicanus) gathers along moist areas next a stream.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 11
A stream of sunlight filters through the forest canopy and brightens the white blooms of a large group of Richardson's Geraniums (Geranium richardsonii).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 12
Closeup of Richardson's Geranium (Geranium richardsonii).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 13
Richardson's Geranium (Geranium richardsonii).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 14
The white petals streaked with purple veins of a Richardson's Geranium (Geranium richardsonii) stands out against a wonderful green backdrop.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 15
Bracken Ferns colonize and brighten a recent burn area.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 16
An elk has recently passed this way.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 17
This Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum) displays its brillant orange flowers.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 18
Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum) is a member of the mustard family.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 19
Interesting shoots of something or other.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 20
Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). The needles are flat and soft and radiate singularly in all directions from the branch.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 21
Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon dubius).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 22
Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon dubius). After blooming the seed head will resemble that of a giant dandelion.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 23
The bright green Bracken Ferns bright the foot of a small cliff.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 24
Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 25
A Ponderosa Pine stands atop the thin edge of a small crumbling cliff.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 26
A view looking back as the Colonel Devin Trail climbs up toward the top of the Mogollon Rim.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 27
The Colonel Devin Trail ends at the top of the Mogollon Rim at a monument to the
Battle of Big Dry Wash
Seven miles north of this point a band of Apache Indians were defeated by United States Troops on July 17, 1882. A group of tribesmen from the San Carlos Apache Reservation had attacked some ranches in the vicinity, killing several settlers. Cavalry and Indian scouts were immediately sent into the field in search of the hostiles. Five troops of cavalry and one troop of Indian scouts converged on the Apaches, surrounding them at the Big Dry Wash. The resistance of the Indians was broken after four hours of stubborn fighting. The casualties numbered two soldiers and more than twenty Apaches.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 28
After topping out on the rim we hike another half mile north to General Springs and General Springs Cabin. The small spring flowing here was named after General George Crook who used the spring while traveling the Old Fort Apache-Camp Verde Military Road.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 29
General Springs Cabin at the north end of a meadow just inside the tree-line.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 30
General Springs Cabin was built in 1918 by Louis Fisher and used for many years as a fire guard station.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 31
General Springs Cabin: Enter here.

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General Springs Cabin. All it needs is a couple of comfy Adirondack chairs on the front porch.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 33
General Springs Cabin: Front porch.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 34
Shortsepal Lewisia (Lewisia brachycalyx) blooming in the meadow near General Springs Cabin.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 35
For lunch we sit among the elk droppings in the shade of a Ponderosa Pine at the edge of the meadow.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 36
This ponderosa provided a nice shady spot to eat lunch at the edge of the meadow.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 37
Spreadfruit Goldenbanner aka Golden Pea aka Pine Thermopsis (Thermopsis pinetorum).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 38
After lunch we hike back down off the rim and hike through a sever burn area on the way to the Railroad Tunnel. This area was scorched by the Water Wheel Fire in August 2009.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 39
A charred and blackened log shines in the afternoon sun.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 40
The Tunnel Trail (Trail 390) travels through the burn area of August 2009 Water Wheel Fire. Due to the fire the sign post for the trail is no longer there and the trail can be a little difficult to follow.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 41
Bracken Ferns.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 42
Bracken ferns beneath interesting sandstone layers.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 43
A roofless stone room sits at the entrance of the Railroad Tunnel, which can just be seen in the upper left of this window.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 44
Closeup of Bebb Willow (Salix bebbiana) catkin.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 45
A Bebb Willow (Salix bebbiana) grows near the Railroad Tunnel.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 46
In the 1880's the Arizona Mineral Belt Railroad started to bore a 3100-foot long railroad tunnel through the Mogollon Rim, but they soon ran out of money after having only dug 70 feet.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 47
The end of the tunnel. The Railroad Tunnel was to be part of a rail line to bring ore from Globe to the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad in Flagstaff.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 48
The entrance to the Railroad Tunnel.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 49
False Solomon's Seal (Smilacina racemosa).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 50
Leaves of a Bracken Fern ready to unfold.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 51
In Arizona Boxelder (Acer negundo) is usually found in high-elevation riparian communities.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 52
Boxelder (Acer negundo) leaves. Boxelder is a member of the maple family and is the most widely distributed of all the North American maples.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 53
Richardson's Geranium (Geranium richardsonii).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 54
Richardson's Geranium (Geranium richardsonii).

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 55
A hastily constructed lean-to along side the Colonel Devin Trail.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 56
The Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana) gets its name from its very distinctive checkered bark resembling the skin of an alligator. It is the largest juniper species in Arizona reaching a height of 50 feet.

Colonel Devin Trail Hike: Image 57
Leaves of the Bigtooth Maple (Acer grandidentatum).

All images Copyright ©2010 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.