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 Agua Fria River via Badger, AZ
Description 71 Triplogs 1 Topic
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
Difficulty 2.5    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 350 feet
Elevation Gain 235 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 - 4 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 5.18
Author canyonD
Descriptions 1
Routes 0
Photos 42
Trips 2 map ( 9 miles )
Age 50
Location Chandler, AZ
Co-Author joe bartels
Descriptions 198
Routes 580
Photos 8,212
Trips 2,598 map (13,541 Miles)
Age 45
Location Phoenix, AZ
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
38  2014-04-20 Desert Cat
5  2014-04-13 burntlizard
33  2014-04-08 Bradshaws
15  2014-04-06 mazatzal
11  2014-02-22 josetoe5
20  2013-12-29 Bradshaws
30  2013-09-07 Bradshaws
13  2013-08-17
Badger Springs Trail
5  2013-05-05 WilliamnWendi
25  2013-04-07
Badger Springs Trail
22  2013-03-20 Bradshaws
22  2013-02-24 Uberdroog
Page 1,  2,  3
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Backpack - Possible - Not Popular
Seasons - Early Autumn to Late Spring
Official Route
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Badger Springs Trail
0.1  Badger Springs to Silver Creek Outhouse
2.0  Richinbar Pueblo and Mine Ruins
3.7  Sunset Point
3.8  Pine Mountain 4x4 Loop
4.2  Rattlesnake - Perry Tank Canyon Ruin Loop
[ View More! ]
     Reference Mark
     Trash Hauled Out
 Unidentified Culture
     Arizona Mountain Kingsnake
     Ash-Throated Flycatcher
     Canyon Tree Frog
     Desert Stink Beetle
     Empress Leilia Butterfly
     Garter Snake
     Gopher Snake
     Honey Bee
     Monarch butterfly
     Orb-Weaver Spider
     Painted Lady Butterfly
     Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly
     Plains Lubber Grasshopper
     Turkey Vulture
     Unidentified Fauna
     White Tailed Deer
     Arizona Caltrop
     Claret Cup Cactus
     Common Sunflower
     Desert Chicory
     Desert Mariposa
     Gooding's Verbena
     Sacred Datura
     Western Spiderwort

Big Canyon Rock Hopping
by canyonD & joe bartels

Hike: The hike to the Agua Fria River is an easy 0.8mi hike from the trailhead. Once there you will be rock hopping thru the riverbed. It is a large canyon with much to see that is very cool. I saw mountain lion tracks and evidence of either racoons or ringtails digging after the crayfish that live in the algae filled pools in the river bed. The stream bed is choked with huge boulders and it takes some effort to make progress up or down the canyon. It's easiest to navigate with little to no water flowing. The boulders form many interesting areas to climb and explore. Don't let the minimal elevation change fool you, boulder hopping takes more energy.

Your destination is arbitrary. Data for this page is to a high point 2mi in and back. From the higher perched granite on the right you have good views further down canyon towards Perry Tank Canyon. This perch is maybe five minutes past what appears to be a semi-perennial pool judging by cattails found in abundance.

CanyonD's Visit: I hiked Agua Fria in late June. It was very dry at that time, but there were still pools of water. The water was nasty looking and I dont think I would try to filter it unless I had no options. I am sure the pools of water are fresher now with the area getting some rain storms in the past several weeks. I exlored down Badger Springs road and Bloody Basin Rd.

Badger Springs has some cool 4x4 roads around it. The real reason I selected this hike was to test my new Dodge Durango 4x4 on some dirt trails. I was very pleased with the offroad abilities of my Durango and I only drove about 50% of the roads back here. Due to fire danger, most of AZ was closed to hiking. This area was about the only area I could find within 2 hours of Chandler. This is BLM managed land and informaiton about the area can be obtained below. They were very helpful when I called.

In the Area: Bloody Basin Road leads back to a real cool ranch in a valley about 5-8 miles back from I17. The road is best tackled in a 4x4, but a car could make most of the road back to the park boundary. You can actually drive this road all the way back to Cave Creek, but the drive is about 3 to 4 hours. Also there is a wash near cave creek that can be impassable if the water is flowing. There are many Indian Ruins back in this area and you can get details in guide books at REI. The Indian Ruins are located down infrequently traveled access roads that can very very rough and might required a lifted 4x4.

2011-10-07: Updated with new trailhead location. Data and description revised/reorganized to make sense.

- &

BLM Division Reports General National Monument Info The Agua Fria National Monument is located 40 miles north of Phoenix.

Brief Description The 71,100-acre Agua Fria National Monument contains one of the most significant systems of prehistoric sites in the American Southwest. At least 450 prehistoric sites and four major settlement areas are known to exist within the monument. This area contains two mesas - Perry and Black Mesa - and the Agua Fria River Canyon. In addition to its rich record of human history, the monument contains a diversity of vegetative communities, pristine riparian habitat, topographical features and a wide array of wildlife. Elevations range from 2,150 to 4,600 feet.

Access Take Interstate 17 to either Badger Springs or Bloody Basin Road.

Permits Required Activities that were permitted on these public lands before the designation, such as grazing and authorized rights-of-way are still allowed, except for new mining claims. No new permits will be authorized until a monument management plan is completed.

Recreational Opportunities Prehistoric archaeological sites, such as stone pueblos and rock art, are numerous but remote and inaccessible. Currently, no sites have been developed for public visitation. Visitors who encounter archaeological sites are encouraged to observe, enjoy and photograph them while leaving all artifacts as found for others to discover and appreciate. Artifacts are a non-renewable resource, so we must take care of what remains. Defacing archaeological sites is vandalism and is punishable by law. Additional activities include wildlife viewing, photography, primitive camping, hiking, hunting and rugged back-country vehicle travel (no off-road travel allowed).

Safety Visits to the area require special planning. Potential hazards exist, including rugged and unmarked roads, poisonous reptiles and insects, extreme heat and flash floods. Visitors should bring plenty of water and gasoline, and stay on main roads. Four-wheel drive is recommended.

Directions Preferred Months Mar Apr Oct Nov
Water / Source:River
Preferred Start7 AM Cell Phone SignalNo Sunrise6:20am Sunset6:47pm
Road / VehicleFR / Jeep Road -Car possible when dry
Fees / Permit

To hike
From the Valley, take Interstate 17 north for approximately 40 miles to the Badger Springs Exit 256. Drive southeast on the Badger Springs road past the restrooms to the gravel circle trailhead.
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.
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