Must SEE Canyon
A beautiful alternative to Horton Creek crowds. See Canyon creeps up the east side of Promontory Butte. As with all Mogollon Rim hikes beware of the monsoon season. Storms actually break right off the rim above you. I have been drenched unexpectedly several times in this very area over the past several years. The See Canyon Trail runs from the Highline below the rim to FS 300 above the rim. This is the far east section of the 51 mile Highline which runs from 260 Trailhead to Pine Trailhead near the town of Pine. The Highline stretch from See Canyon east to Two-Sixty Trailhead is the best mountain biking I've experienced. I remember great rides and terrible flash storms. You can go from sweating to freezing in minutes.
Back to our task, day hiking! after all it's much easier on the knees. The trail crosses Christopher Creek right away then takes on a nice grassy lined path. Fishing is very common where you cross Christopher Creek. The fish whatever they are can be seen swimming about. I chased one up stream trying to get a picture but was unsuccessful. It's was pretty cool. Just when I thought I had one cornered by a cascade it jumped the cascade going up. Actually it scared the crap out of me and I nearly lost five grand in camera and computer equipment. On this May morning it was much cooler than expected. I set a fast pace to quickly generate some heat. Once again I was sweating and freezing at the same time. I have been in this area numerous times and this seems to always be the case. See Canyon being on the east of Promontory Butte gets less afternoon sun making for cool mornings.
Near the mile mark you come to the junction with See Canyon Spring. I suggest taking this spur trail on the return trip. (It's included in the trail mileage stated above) It's a half mile to See Spring. I enjoyed this section of trail. You could save one mile and a half hour by eliminating this section if your feeling tired on the return trip. Soon after the junction two seeps cross the trail. It's muddy here so be careful. The trail crosses the creek and starts to ascend more. Coming back to the creek you loose some elevation as the trail drops back down to cross the creek again. Going up the boulders get bigger and trail gets steeper. Christopher Creek is mostly dry in the upper reaches. Several springs lye in the first mile and a half. See Spring is usually a good flow.
The steepest section of trail is encountered about three quarters or a half mile before FS 300. Be careful not to slip off the edge. Numerous fallen trees must be negotiated. On this trip I encountered a huge tree I couldn't even crawl over. Pay close attention to the chevrons near the top. The trail is more open and less defined. Rusty colored sandstone rocks line the trail. This is common terrain along the edge of the rim. You could have a second car up here to shuttle back. That would make this just a three mile hike or four with the See Spring spur. Die-hards could hide a mountain bike. There is another trail to the east which is possible to descend on bike. (that's the Drew Trail! now on-line! 07/19/01)
Head back down. Take the See Spring spur trail if you have the energy. The spring surfaces twice. A smaller spring is closer and spurs off to the left. The main spring comes out of the rocks. I was swarmed with mosquitoes and I missed the picture.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.