My Yavapai Experience Without a Needed GPS and Map of the Topography

Real Estate Agent with Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert DRE #SA554748000

I want to relate an experience I had this week involving GPS tracking as I walked a remote 80-acre lot in northern Yavapai County on Lot 808 in Sierra Verde Ranch near Seligman, AZ.

Here is a topographic view of the lot:

Topographic View, Lot 808 in Sierra Verde Ranch

In this view, the road comes up to the SW corner of the lot where there is a circle turn-around.

Reading the topography, one can see that there is a gently-sloping wash near the SW corner of the lot at 5,700 feet elevation. There is a "saddle" near the center of the south edge of the lot at an elevation of near 5,900 feet. One would expect the views to be the best from this point.

One can read the topography and deduce that the best potential building site is at the saddle at around 5,900 feet elevation.

The highest point on the lot is 6,100 feet on the north edge of the lot.

I had clients with me as we walked the lot. My plan was to avoid going to the top of the hill at an elevation of around 6,100 feet. We parked the cars at the SW corner of the lot and proceded easterly from that point. I did not have my paper printout of the topography but I remembered that I wanted to avoid the north side of the lot. This decision is also obvious while standing at the SW corner and looking up at the hill to the NE.

I have a Garmin 76csx (Hiker's GPS). It did not display my tracks as I was hiking, so I was guessing at where we were going.

The hike turned out to be a very exhausting and unpleasant experience as we did a lot of climbing and descended down a steep slope with an abundance of loose rocks. I knew we went the wrong way but I was uncertain about how we messed up.

When I got back to my office, I discovered that my Garmin did record my track. This is the record that my Garmin made from that trip.

GPS Track and lot outline for Lot 808 SVR

From the topo, it is obvious that we would have had a less-strenuous hike if we had stayed along the south and east edges of the lot. The elevation change runs from around  5,720 feet at the cars to a maximum of around 5,900 feet.  Of course the hike would also have also been less strenuous had we stayed within the parcel boundary. It would have also been better if we had backtracked from the NE corner of the parcel.

The views from the lot are great. Here is a photo of Cross Mountain that was taken from the south edge of the lot.

Cross Mountain as Seen from Lot 808 SVR

If there is interest, I will start a new group where we can share ideas on the use of GPS and topography to show vacant land.

I am not proposing to be either a Sensei or a Grasshopper, only that we set up a way to explore ideas on this topic.  I have set up a group in which to accomplish the sharing of ideas: 

I am inviting anyone interested in sharing ideas to join that group.  

Comments (5)

David Spencer
Keller Williams Northland - Kansas City, MO
Show Me real estate in Kansas City

I guess Google can not be everywhere despite their claims.

Mar 20, 2013 06:23 AM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

On the contrary, David. I was running Google Maps and Tracker on my Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet as I made the hike. It was showing me the satellite view all during the hike.

I have heard that there is an exploit that will enable Google Maps and the Tracker to show the topography.

In this case, I made this showing without going back to my office to get all my supporting documents. Going back to the office was a four-hour trip.

Mar 20, 2013 06:32 AM
Joe Daniels, Broker, Appraiser, Realtor(R),
Personal Service Realty - Jacksonville, FL

Technology does make it somewhat easier. Back in the Late 80's when I would show Juniperwood Ranch 40's it was compass and topo map only, but those were good times too, If you could read the maps. Haven't been back to the area in over 20 years, so I imagine I wouldn't even recognize parts of  Chino Valley.

Mar 23, 2013 11:45 AM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Thanks for your comment, Joe. I am sure you would not recognize the area now. I live in Prescott, so it is a big trip to go there. I concentrate on Sierra Verde Ranch and Shadow Rock Ranch SW of Seligman. My Brokerage does most of the work in Juniperwood Ranch.

I recently purchased a Samsung Android tablet. Now if I can marry my Garmin data with the Tablet I will really be in business.

When we walked this lot, I was determined that we would avoid going to the high ground.

Mar 23, 2013 12:06 PM
Joe Daniels, Broker, Appraiser, Realtor(R),
Personal Service Realty - Jacksonville, FL

I have both a Nexus 7 and an Ipad 2 that I run off my Verizon phone with a hot spot. They both work great that way and I can also run my netbook, which I used to before the tablets.

BTW love your pictures, they brought back a lot of memories from the area. Used to 4 wheel all over those hills. I have pictures of Thumb Butte and Watson Lake on my wall that I took back when I was out there. Used to live in Chino Heights and had a great view of the San Francisco peaks and Mingus from the front porch.

Mar 23, 2013 12:24 PM