Some of my favorite confections are crunchy on the outside and pretty smooth on the inside. FR 1548 is a lot like that. The southern end is very tight with overgrown brush, and almost immediately, there's a rocky wash crossing. It's an inauspicious start. But then this little trail climbs up onto a narrow ridge with sweet views all around. The rugged and impenetrable Mazatzal Mountains loom on the western horizon. Mount Ord dominates the southern skyline. Below is the relatively lush chaparral country common to the Tonto National Forest. Succulent agaves grow next to pinion pines and the ever-present cedars. Century plants shoot skyward. Gold Hill sits roadside, while Table Mountain is easy to recognize to the north. Of course, the crunchy ending comes via a narrow shelf road and off-camber erosion that keeps things interesting. Just the way we like it!
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