Bought my permit for this a few weeks ago. Didn't really understand what all the fuss was about. I totally get it now! Wow, what a cool place! I saw all sorts of birds, some deer, some fish (pike) and some other wild life like squirrels, lizards and a snake. Just a beautiful canyon all the way through.
This one is in the original "100 Classic Hikes in Arizona" book by Scott S. Warren. It is not listed in the current version. He has it listed as an 11 mile one way hike. I didn't have a shuttle set up so I did and out and back. I also went down Aravaipa Canyon Road an extra mile on the Eastern end. I wanted to see what else was there and I am glad I did. There are two old abandoned homes. I believe one if not both are part of the Nature Conservatory but am not 100% sure on that.
I started at 8:30 this morning and went at it strong and hard as I wanted to practice up a good river hike. Next weekend Uphill Junkie and I are going to do Paria River Canyon as a day hike. This was a perfect training ground and went off without a hitch. Well except for the pile of sand in my shoes.
On the return I saw what looked like a cliff dwelling up on one of the rock walls. I went up the steeeeeep hill to investigate but no such luck. No sign of any prior human activity at all.
The whole day I saw 24 other people either hiking or camping in the Canyon. The total allowed by the permit system is 50 of which 30 may come in from the West entrance and 20 from the East.
I loved this hike and will return FOR SURE! On the way home I took 77 to Globe instead of 177 to Superior. Grabbed a bite of yummy Mexican food and gave the Buggy a Bath. GREAT DAY!