Aspen Everywhere: Indian Springs and Viet Springs

After our morning hike at Red Mountain we needed another short hike and so as Tom drove east back towards Flagstaff I scanned through the available (read: not inaccessible due to mud) options and found the short 2 mile Viet Springs Loop Trail. As a bonus the trailhead was located on the road to Mount Humphrey and I thought it would be nice to explore this area.

The route starts just below 8,700 feet amidst healthy aspen and fir forest but the further we walked the more predominant the aspen became. By the time we reached the ruins of the abandoned cabins near the two springs we were solidly in aspen territory, sheltered by the multitude of white branches just leafing out. In addition to the newly budding leaves the area around the springs was also full of green grasses and other budding ground cover.

After exploring the cabin ruins and the small pond formed by Viet Springs we walked along the base of the cliffs, watching for the seepage of Indian Springs. We found it under the most beautiful desert varnish, where colored streaks of minerals stained the side of the bluff. Abby in particular enjoyed this section, sticking her nose into the small cave where water was collected and taking a few drinks. We took our time here, criss-crossing along the foot trails and pointing out the interesting formations and colors of the cliffs but eventually we rejoined the main trail upon which we sauntered back to the trailhead under the watch of towering, mature aspen.