We had planned to do this hike on Saturday but two youngsters decided they needed a nap from all of the Xmas activities so we did it on Sunday. It was a little cooler but a nice day for a 2 hour hike including playtime at the Falls. FYI - You now have to get a TONTO pass to park at the TH. I don't think my license plate would suffice
After going (around 12:20) south down the hill and east down the wash for a bit, you have the option to continue in the wash or go up the hill and to the east. We took the upper route that eventually leads east and back down into the wash. We got to the intersection with the creek and turned left. It is always interesting to see the lay out of the mostly dry creek bed as it is ever changing. This time the water flow had caused a bunch of the river rock toward the center of the creek bed therefore causing a forked trail for walking. As you round the bend and head west, there was a nice running creek coming from the Falls. Autumn colors were still on display as you get closer to the tree-lined portion of the creek.
Before getting over toward the falls, Mia looked up and spotted a bunch of honeycombs. The Falls were flowing though not a lot. They stopped for lunch below the Falls (not a big flow but enough to entertain us) while I continued to the top (1.38 miles at 1:05PM) to eat my Subway sandwich. Four horseback riders including the guide showed up, stayed for a moment and then headed back out. Three of us explored around a little and I decided to try the "S" button on my camera dial. I figured I would need to select a number or something but couldn't find anything so decided to shoot the pic of the Falls and by gosh, the water turned out nice and soft. I didn't realize it was that easy so needless to say, I took lots more photos
There were 4 other people we would see at the Falls. We started our hike back around 1:40 PM. A bit up the wash we encountered a group of 3 and 3 horseback riders. The 3 had seen a dead horse up in the deep part of the wash. Apparently, according to one of the horseback riders, the horse had reared up, the rider bailed and the horse fell and broke it's neck/back. In the area that we saw some of the dead horse
, horses are not supposed to go so I don't know if the horse fell from the ridge above and even then, that ridge is not normally for horseback riders either... so I don't know what the circumstances are. I got the impression it happened earlier this month.
When you're coming up this part of the trail (down wind), the smell is pretty nasty but once you go off trail and to the left/south (the dead horse is right in the middle of the narrow wash), the smell goes away almost instantly. It is a sad circumstance to be sure. I don't know if it's posted as to the areas you are allowed to ride or not ride but the area we were hiking in the wash is not supposed to be ridden thru; there is a detour to take near the remnants of the car chasse just a little ways up in the wash.
We took the hill closest to coming out of the wash rather than walking up to where we came down at, picked up a few empty beer cans and were back home by 3:15 or so. Here is a video of the hike that includes a little bit of the hike after we come down from the upper trail, walking down the creek bed, the Falls, walking out of the Falls area and the area just past the dead horse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjZdSm0gwV0