Wow, yet another amAZing canyon tucked away in the Mazatzals.
AKA as Park Creek Falls in the hiking world. I wanted to do a dry run down this canyon on a warm fall day to get a feel for the canyon before heading back next spring to catch it flowing from snow runoff.
The road is looks to be recently graded so my car made it in no problem. Like Preston says, the trail receives little maintenance and is overgrown with thorny bushes as you climb 2000ft in 2 miles but nothing that my half shredded canyoneering pants & shin guards can't handle.
Once a little past Pyramid Peak, I bushwhacked down to the dry creek and soon reached that first day fall. The upper creekbed had a few clear pools but nothing I couldn't thankfully avoid since I didn't bring the wetsuit in order to make hauling two 200ft ropes up the mountain a tad easier.
Geared up and dropped down that first 40ft rappel to the rocky creekbed. I left the rope in place to run down and check the anchors for the big rappel #2 & after finding some interesting yet solid anchors I rock hopped back up and pulled the rope. The main falls is actually more like sloping 225-250ft drop.
About 150ft down, there's a ledge on the left LDC with another anchor to rappel from but you need to angle that way on rappel in order to reach it. Midway down I threw the rope the rest of the way to get a feel for the length and there looked to be another 25-50ft of drop past the ropes end before reaching the hallway at the bottom. So I pulled the rope and setup from the ledge anchors and dropped another ~100ft into that super sweet hallway. There's another 20ft drop out of the hallway and another set of anchors in there also but I decided to snap some quick photos and continue on using the same anchors from above. There's a cold knee-high pool to wade and from across the way after a little bit of struggling I was able to get a good angle and make the rope pull. In hindsight, It might be best to just make the rope pull from the hallway and get an additional rappel, especially if the water is flowing descent. I gave this canyon an extra R due to this huge mulit-stage rappel and it's exhilerating enough when it's dry and can only imagine how sweet it is when it's flowing.
A pool around the corner I avoided and then you're faced with a 3rd falls with a few different options though they might be more limited when its flowing. I found an anchor on the left side that was shreeded and easily came loose when I test pulled it
plus it dropped down almost into a tree. So I went back to try another way and choose the middle option. I ended up build an anchor and dropping down 20ft thru a tight chute to get past that huge chockstone and found myself on top of the next set of anchors. Hmm, looks like an interesting one... I rappelled under a chockstone hanging there so that the rope pull would be easier and continued down that angled chute a good 100ft before reaching a ledge flat. Hmm, no anchors down here but it looks down climbable so I pulled the rope, scrambled down, and waded across another knee-high pool. It looked like that was the end of the technical section, as it was, but I kept the gear on in case I ran into something further down canyon. No more rappels, but I did do some light down climbing and loads & loads of rock hopping while enjoying more fall colors.
Eventually I reached a flat bench on the side of the creek that I could scramble up and made pretty good time weaving thru the brush back to the TH while enjoying the sweet view of the Tonto Basin.
Now that I know the canyon better I could prob shave an hour from todays time but I suspect that flowing water would add another hour or two on top of that.