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2011-04-10  

Hellsgate Paige Creek, AZ
2011-04-1035 by
 
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Hellsgate Paige Creek, AZ  
Hiking5.00 Miles          
    
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This hike is in the Rincon Foothills? that's how I would describe it. Possibly on private land too. Noted "hellsgate" on TOPO and wanted to go check it out. Parked at Buckhorn spring area, hiked up a shallow narrow canyon to the source and beyond, scrambled out to some nice views and looped back to the Toyota using the 4X4 road. Some beautiful beefy saguaros along here. Then down from the car park in a large wash full of huge sycamores. There is a nice trail on the bank, plenty of cow patties but cairns at a few places I'm assuming the cows and the rancher did not place.
The wash canyons up and twist several times through a dark rock layer. Water is off and on in the creek bed, stagnant, the previous day's rains hadn't affected here. One place pinched down to a swim or a high traverse with a butt slide down a chute on the other side to regain the canyon bottom. Some nice cottonwoods and ash leafing out. Obvious hiking route with foot prints in the sand. The canyon opens up again into a lovely area with sycamores and sand beaches. It turns and deepens and narrows as it enters the "Hellsgate" as labeled on the TOPO map. The walls are dark and some of the rock a pale granite. I stopped at a large pool with a beach and a downed tree to sit on. Most pools could be avoided at this water level.
Downstream looked like it opened up but could be intriguing too. I went back using the trail. Very nice area I had not explored before and not far from town, unlike most of my treks. The road in does require high clearance, but not 4x4.
_____________________
"We don't care about aesthetics" --forest service representative, re: Oak Fire, Galiuro
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RedRoxx44's

409 Photosets
  2011-05-01
  2011-04-16
  2011-04-10
  2011-04-02
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