Last hitch met a coworker in Louisiana who lives in Phoenix and works the same schedule. Mentioned he enjoyed hiking and would be up for some hiking during our time off. He mentioned he wanted to see cold springs ruins so we headed out to Cherry Creek FR203. The road has been worked on and is in much better shape than last time I was here particularly past Ellison Ranch. Devils Chasm although still steep going to pottery point was fixed as well.
Took him to the ruins, hiked to the balcony viewpoint and then hiked up Cold Springs Canyon. Plan was to hike to the end and then descend down Cold Springs to FR203.
Nothing ever goes as planned.
We got to the trailhead a little later than expected and consequently did not make it all the way to the end of Cold Springs Canyon before turning around. (see gps route) It was getting late and the plan then became to hike back and hit the trail to the car. In the dark even with gps we hiked past the trail and continued down the canyon. We took a chance and tried to continue to 203 this route with the hopes of not cliffing out and having to climb back up to the trail. We were in luck.
Other than finding a route around a 20+ foot waterfall that I'm sure was pretty in daylight, we successfully made it to the road and hiked up to the Truck.
I marked the spot for future explorations.
Unfortunately, the exploration below the trail was in the dark. There is a lot more water flowing in this part of the canyon and it was a challenge to work our way around this to make it to the road. I think next time I'll camp for a 6 am start to give plenty of time for exploration both above and below the trail as it was a difficult slow slog up the canyon rock hopping with slick fall leaves and working our way through lots of deadfall. The scenery was great and it was quite an adventure. Looking forward to finishing it in daylight at a future point. Any takers?