This hike taught me that hiking shouldn't always be goal-oriented! The promise of the falls lured us, but despite rain the night before and recent reports of things flowing well, the lower falls were a pleasant trickle, while the upper falls were little more than a few wet spots on the rock (though you could see how the water at full force tumbling down the sheer rock wall must be impressive).
Rather, the real payoff of this hike is the gorgeous canyon that closes around you as you scramble up its creekbed. Had I been more aware of this starting out, I might have taken my time and enjoyed my surroundings and the challenge of negotiating the boulder-choked creekbed, rather than pushing to make the upper falls before we lost the light.
On the day of our hike the creek was little more than a series of shallow pools and small trickles. I've no idea whether this is normal for this site and season, or whether the water was unusually low. Not that this kept us from having to get wet in a few places - usually no more than knee-deep, but Sid did decide to wade right through a waist-deep pool at one point; I opted to keep picking my way through the rocks.
One thing I would note: If, like me, you have minimal bouldering experience, this hike *will* present you with challenges! Based on descriptions I read beforehand I was not totally prepared for the amount of scrambling, balancing, gripping, hauling, and at-times bewildering route-finding it would take to cover less than a mile of canyon floor. Perhaps it is easier when the water's higher? (But I can only imagine the challenge when the rocks are slippery!) Anyway, fortunately things mostly stayed at the level of "fun if unexpected challenge" for us, though there were a few scary moments. Forewarned, however, I would have allowed a lot more time for this hike, and probably taken more provisions: It took us a good 4-5 hours to make it back to the parking lot, and we hiked the switchbacks up to the rim in full darkness (lovely in its own way, with the saguaros silhouetted against the night sky and the near-full moon rising over the canyon rim). It would also have been nice to have time in the heat of the day to enjoy the pools and sandy patches on the canyon bottom - even at this early date the water was quite pleasant. I hope to return sometime in late summer/early fall to catch the falls at their peak!
||Wildflowers Observation Isolated