A beauty with 4 waterfalls within 2 miles and the clearest water in the state. Did I mention that no-one knows where this hike is and the area is pristine. After finding out the general locale me and some technical canyoneer type headed out to see what we could find. The drive is on paved road until that last 2 miles which were fair to good for dirt roads considering the dirt type. After leaving the pavement follow the dirt road around a cow tank (which had 2 dead cows in it) at the water tank on the right hang an immediate left. Follow this road another 1/4 mile until it dead ends? You will find you self in the middle of a cholla cactus field thinking there is no canyons here (you can't see any riparian areas, not even a single tree or anything that would give you a clue other than it's on the map)
From the car park start heading due northeast, this is a boring slog through fields of cacti and cows. After approx 2 miles you should standing at the edge of the canyon. Now at this point you have two options: 1. continue hiking north until the canyon curves and there is a butte, at that point there is an old cable. You can use this as an anchor to rappel off. Now your probably thinking oh that's an easy way down the 1000ft cliff, but the hard part will be your ascending of the rope and trying to keep your hands from becoming a bloody mess. 2. at a rock cairn and several petroglyphs there is a non-tech route down into the canyon. (HINT: the rock cairn is right in front of the waterfall, so if standing at the cliff edge look straight down at the waterfall and you should be there. I wonder if the Indians planned their petroglyphs that way???) The route down is pretty straight forward and some hand over hand work is required class 3-4 scrambling. Once at the creek enjoy the first fall and swimmin' hole. Then start heading down stream to the real fun.
After 2 miles the next waterfall is encountered a nice slide heads you into a pool and the the waterfall is negotiated by jumpin off. It is approx 15 feet and there is a route around it on canyon right. After admiring this beauty continue down stream to the next two falls. The first is 30 ft and there is a bolt on canyon right looking upstream from the ledge. A contingency anchor was placed with 8mm rope and the first rap was on. This is a tough rap, first it's slimy, second about half way down you are pelted by a cross channel of the creek which attempts to knock you feet out from under you. (I fell both times and only 1 member of the group was able to make it down with out falling) Once down there is a nice pool to swim in. If concerned about you group ability to rap themselves there is a belay anchor at the bottom on the big boulder. This anchor is also good for setting a guide line for the next rap. The reason being the bolt for this waterfall is right at the fall and one mistake would send you helplessly to you death. So have you first member set up a guide line and then each member can clip in with there personal anchor system and swim over the the rap. Again we set up contingency anchors on the bolt on canyon right. This rap is 40 feet but the start is what is tricky, I posted my feet up against the right side and swung myself out and around once on the rap it is straight forward. The tech portion of this hike can be bypassed on canyon right but why??
Need: 50ft rope, 50ft pull cord, PAS, harness, beaner', wet or dry suit unless hot, hot, hot, permit from San Carlos Indian reservation
San Carlos Indian Reservation Recreation Permit required.
Price, info & locations at San Carlos - Permits
To canyon trip From Central Phoenix:
1. Head southeast on I-10 E 7.5 mi
2. Continue on US-60 E (signs for US-60) 80.4 mi
3. Continue on E Ash St/US-70 Continue to follow US-70 24.2 mi
4. Turn left at Indian Rte-8 11.8 mi
5. Turn left toward Warm Springs Rd 1.0 mi
6. Turn right at Warm Springs Rd 2.0 mi
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Warning: heat kills! Avoid 8am to 5pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated. Hikebot recommends using an umbrella to block the sun. Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.