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Camp Creek Falls, AZ

no permit
968 101 1
Guide 101 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.5 of 5 by 41
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,243 feet
Elevation Gain -600 feet
Accumulated Gain 527 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.64
Interest Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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30  2019-05-27
Bronco TH to Camp Creek Falls
7  2019-05-08 WoopTdo
37  2019-04-23
Blue Wash Walk and Camp Creek
12  2019-04-01 johnlp
3  2019-03-24 expphoto
17  2019-02-24 jamminaz
5  2019-02-10 kelly14
12  2019-02-09 topohiker
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 9
Author caddymob
author avatar Guides 2
Routes 2
Photos 92
Trips 3 map ( 18 miles )
Age 37 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Oct, Nov, Dec → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Reclaimed from the ATV crowd!
by caddymob

I've had a thing for waterfalls lately, so I figured I should go to one of my old haunts and take some good pictures. The destination is Camp Creek where a nice granite waterfall awaits. This is one of the largest (~10 feet high) I have found near phoenix. This area used to be open to motor vehicles so when I was in high school we used to drive up to the base of the falls and camp out. Since the Cave Creek Complex Fire in 2005 this area has been closed to motor vehicles - it was a popular spot for ATV'ers. As much as I loved being able to drive up to the falls, its a good thing the forest service closed it off - too many people, too much trash, and ATVs making their own trails everywhere.

The old access was from Bartlett Road north up the commonly know "12 mile wash" - if you go south its 12 miles to the Verde River. 12 mile wash is actually called Camp Creek.

To do the hike however, it's much easier and shorter to drop in from Blue Wash up by Tonto Hills in Carefree. There is a parking area at 33 52'36.49"N, 111 49'2.38"W, which has plenty of room for a dozen or more cars. This is a popular starting point for horsemen (and women!) so don't be surprised if you see trailers and horse poop on the trail. From the trail head you get a nice panorama of Four Peaks and the Superstitions. Follow the trail down into Blue Wash, its steep, but very manageable. Just as you enter the wash you'll see the trail continue to head south, but follow the wash as it bends east (right here: 33 52'31.97"N, 111 48'48.34"W. This is a pretty interesting little wash/canyon, lots of cool granite rock formations . There is also lots of trash, including what looks to be an old Cadillac that has been used for target practice throughout the years. Sigh.

Make your way just over a mile from where you started down the wash until you reach Camp Creek. You cant miss it, Blue Wash intersects perpendicularly, and the canyon opens up. If you're lucky, there will be water, a good sign that the falls will be great. If you don't see water in Camp Creek don't worry - it goes underground depending on volume and many times the falls are still running. The intersection of Blue Wash and Camp Creek is at 33 52'21.87"N, 111 48'6.15"W. Here you'll turn left (North east) up Camp Creek. About a quarter mile upstream, you'll find the falls. And for perspective, this picture - I'm 6"6'.

Back out the way you came. Upstream of the falls is really nothing special, and if you go to far you'll run into the Sears Kay Ranch. Not sure if they're friendly, but I always try to stay off private property 'round these parts... people have guns... The hike is less than an hour, easy, so depending on how much time you spend you should definitely go check out the Sears Kay Ruins just up the road from where you parked. Also a quick stop on the way home is the World's Largest Kachina right at the entrance to Tonto Hills.

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2007-12-26 caddymob
    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.

    Most recent of 26 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Camp Creek Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Sure am glad that I did this now, not sure how much longer it's going to be flowing. The first pic will be of the first sign of water and the near the last will be the same pic only an hour later. The hike is not bad at all, and a perfect day a little over cast and a slight breeze. Once I got there I had it all to myself :y: I took off my shoes and walked in and it was still cool but felt wonderful. I decided to hike up top and take some pics and then enjoyed the solitude and the cool water. I thought about staying longer but then thought about the traffic on the 101 and decided to call it a day. So glad I found this, and on a perfect day to boot.
    Camp Creek Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I was surprised at the water flow considering how dry it's been lately. I was expecting it to be absolutely dry. Met two friendly hikers at the falls, and could hear some target shooting way off in the distance coming from the Bartlett Dam Road area. Other than that I had the place to myself.

    Also added a little mileage by hiking east up the Maricopa Trail a little ways from Camp Creek. It looks newly built and graded here :app:
    Camp Creek Falls
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After seeing this completely dry in late October, it was redeeming to see big flows at the falls and in the wash! I'm not sure how far the surface flow extends right now, but I assume Camp Creek is flowing all the way to the Verde. See it while it lasts. :)
    Camp Creek Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Nice and cool early morning hike. I've been wanting to do this hike for a few years, but I wanted to wait until after a good rain. Days off and recent rain rarely seem to line up for me. I was not let down! The falls were flowing nicely. Camp creek was flowing fast and clear. At the junction between the two washes Camp Creek is about 15-20 feet wide and looked to be 2-3 feet deep up near the falls.

    No one there when I started. One other car when I left, but didn't see them on the trail.

    If you're looking for a waterfall get up there now!
    Camp Creek Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This was a very nice easy hike with a couple friends -- there was rain a couple days before so there was a little flow over falls but I'd like to see it again after an inch of local rainfall. Next time I'll hike a bit farther upstream of falls which looked pretty interesting for the quarter mile or so I explored.
    Camp Creek Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Have been waiting for it to cool down so we could hike with our two Flat Coated Retrievers Java and Kai. Surprised that on a Sunday morning at 7:30 there was only one other set of hikers on the trail. First time I've seen NO water at the falls. Did not climb up top to see what that looked like. Saw one good size diamondback that the dogs did not! Now I've got to decide it they need to be snake trained again. What I should have done is leashed them up and walked them near by but at a safe distance to see it they got a scent of the snake. While the distance is not very much the walking it the sand gives a good short workout.
    Camp Creek Falls
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Marianne invited me to look for butterflies and wildflowers at sunrise. I left my car at my church and we drove in her car. Couple other butterfly friends came too. My first time here - looks so unappealing from the parking area. No crowds at all as we started hike at 7:00am. Beautiful waterfalls. Lots of wildflowers. Some butterflies.

    The contrast between saguaro cactus and bamboo up and behind the waterfall - - strange bedfellows! Fun morning.
    Camp Creek Falls
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Went to this canyon with some stewards as well as CAZBA members looking for butterflies. A bit early in the season but saw lots of orange tips, spring azure, morning cloaks, may be spring white. Hardly any birds. Unfortunately most of them didn't want to be photographed :o . Cazba members stayed behind for a while as we left. They saw a snake dance and video'd it ](*,)
    Camp Creek Falls
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This is a worthwhile hike. The beginning is not very interesting but once you are in the wash the rock formations are interesting and photo worthy. The trick is to make a sharp left turn at the American flag that someone planted near what might be an old mine though I couldn't find the shaft. My first time on this trail we didn't make the turn and missed the falls. The falls were better than I expected. Nothing massive but the water cools the area down and it is a little oasis especially on a hot day.
    Camp Creek Falls
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After yesterdays steady rain I figured the falls would be flowing. 1-2" of rain fell in the Tonto foothills yesterday and last evening. I started around sunrise and was the only person in the parking area, after 3+ hours of hiking up and down Camp Creek and Blue Wash no one else showed up and I was still alone. The overcast and light rain made it perfect.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix take the loop 101 to Pima road. Take Pima north into carefree (approx 13 miles). At the 4-way stop at Cave Creek Road, take a right heading east. Follow this approx 6.5 miles past the Bartlet Lake turn off, past Tonto Hills. At 33 52'35.90"N, 111 49'2.67"W on the right you will see a large gravel turn out. Park here and take the trail south.
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