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Gordon Creek Falls, AZ
Description 5 Triplogs 0 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 Payson Northeast
Difficulty 1.5    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 4.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,274 feet
Elevation Gain -378 feet
Accumulated Gain 450 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.75
Interest Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Author kingsnake
Descriptions 42
Routes 86
Photos 5,249
Trips 396 map ( 4,026 miles )
Age 53
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
25  2013-06-26 kingsnake
27  2012-05-05 WilliamnWendi
15  2011-05-15 Cultjam
18  2009-06-21 snakemarks
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Forest Tonto
Official Route
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.8  Hunter Creek Falls
1.4  Military Sinkhole Trail #179
1.4  Mogollon Rim Vista Loop
1.4  Highline Trail #31
1.8  Turkey Peak #7063
1.9  Christopher Mountain TNF 6960
[ View More! ]
     Automobile Remains/Wreckage
     Black Bear
     Greater Short-Horned Lizard
     Wild horse
     Claret Cup Cactus

Bring some carrots for the horses
by kingsnake

Overview: This is a popular trail -- I saw two other groups on a weekday -- but not crowded, and appropriate for dogs & children. If it is dry season, it will be a bummer, as the falls will at best be a trickle. So, you will probably want to come in early spring, when there is mountain snow run off, or monsoon season when there is rain run off.

Warning: Of course, in monsoon season, beware flash floods: The canyon is narrow, with steep, but mostly climbable, sides. Also, watch for bees/yellowjackets, which tend to congregate near the pools.

Description: The parking area is about 50 yards west of the trailhead, which is a gap in the barb wire fence. About 100 yards down the very benign jeep trail is the first gate. The trail itself would be drivable for the first mile, maybe a little more, if there was a way in.

At 0.6 miles, on the west side of the trail are the remains of an old vehicle. Looks like maybe an early 50s light truck. As of June, 2013, all that's left is the cab; there was a lot more back in May, 2012.

At 0.75 miles, there is an intersection. Stay left.

At 1.1 miles, you will intersect Gordon Canyon Creek. If it is dry here, the falls are likely to either be dry, or barely trickling. Somewhere in this area, there are likely to be several free-range domesticated horses. Seems like most people encounter two browns and two whites. They are friendly. Bring some carrots.

At 1.4 miles, there will be another gate.

At 1.7 miles, there will be a low wood structure, that at first looks like a shelter, but is actually a hunting blind, with a fire ring.

After the blind, the jeep trail disappears, and you will begin either creek walking, or working your way along rock ledges, or across dead-fall strewn hill sides. Many of the rocks will be scattered with crawfish parts. Even in dry season, there may be some stagnant pools in the creek.

At 2.4 miles, you will reach the falls, which are maybe 20 feet high.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.


    Directions Preferred Months Apr May Jun Jul
    Cell Phone SignalNot in canyon Sunrise6:21am Sunset6:39pm
    Road / VehiclePaved - Car Okay
    Fees / Permit

    Tonto Pass is a forest wide permit for recreational sites and campgrounds. Typically not for trailheads.

    To hike
    From Payson go 24.3mi on AZ-260. Turn right onto Colcord Rd and go southeast for 1.3 miles. Parking where the telephone line crosses the road, about 50 yards west of the trailhead. There are cattle in the area, near Colcord Rd, so beware.
    Login for Mapped Driving Directions
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
    page created by joe bartels on Jun 27 2013 10:32 am
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