I descended Hog Canyon last spring http://hikearizona.com/triplog=18517
but missed the features (waterfall, petroglyphs etc.) mentioned for this hike. HAZ member gently informed me they appear in a side canyon. So on this trip I wanted to see this side canyon and maybe push on beyond.
A few words about the approach: I came in from the west end of Cloudview Rd. This ends at a "trailhead" (~1.5mi on Cloudview) with a moveable livestock fence. I knew from my trip last year and the tire tracks on the other side that you can drive further and so I did to the final trailhead which is right next to the creek bed. This is rough and rocky and my GPS said 1.3mi with 4.1 mph avg speed to that final trailhead (worth it?).
About an hour of rock hopping up the dry creek got me to the obvious fork in the canyon and the first waterfall is easily seen on the left...so that's the side canyon. Very nice to see the water moving and this is a nice oasis. I climbed up the waterfalls. Impressions: 1) getting past the top of the first one was scary! Not many handholds, wet foot placements, plus exposure. 2) I didn't see any petroglyphs!...I should have looked a little harder.
Anyway my real goal was to see if I could push up to the ridgeline. I followed the drainage up and it was no fun at all with a lot of catclaw. About half way up, stuck in the middle of some heavy scrub in the creek bottom, I was thinking that no one in their right mind would do this (I still think this). I looked down and there was a pair of sunglasses someone had dropped not long ago. I picked them up and laughed...I laughed again 10 min later when I noticed my sunglasses had come off in the jungle...conservation of lost sunglasses.
About 3/4 of the way up it looked better to leave the drainage and I did that to the left. I eventually emerged on to the ridgeline...2 hrs and 20mins from above the falls. I walked the ridgeline east a short distance and surveyed the area from one of the local highpoints. I decided to walk down the orthogonal ridge to the south (the ridge which separates Hog Canyon West from Hog Canyon East) and then drop into the East canyon. I don't know if there are better names...West is the one I walked up today and East was the one I went down last year and today.
This descent was unpleasant...particularly when channeled into the low (wettest) parts where the brush is the thickest. I was eventually cliffed above another waterfall (er waterdrip in this case) but contouring left got me to the main drainage. This one was a pleasure compared to the one in the west canyon...the water must run harder and the brush has been scrubbed out to a greater degree. I continued the rock hopping back to my car. The GPS said 8 miles but it felt like 20.