username
X
password
register help

Haigler Creek Hellsgate Wilderness, AZ

details
drive
no permit
forecast
route
stats
photos
triplogs
topics
location
247 17 0
Guide 17 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson E
Rated
5
5 of 5 by 5
 
22
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 9.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,201 feet
Elevation Gain -1,217 feet
Accumulated Gain 217 feet
Avg Time One Way 9-12 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.22
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
27  2018-09-02 BiFrost
6  2018-06-30 MountainMatt
3  2017-06-04 MountainMatt
7  2016-06-25 MountainMatt
29  2016-06-25 chumley
5  2016-06-25 JoelHazelton
4  2016-06-25 Jonnybackpack
5  2015-07-04 chumley
Page 1,  2,  3
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Early
Seasons   Summer to Autumn
Sun  7:17am - 5:14pm
openimportsetbegin
Route Scout App
15424followactivity
Official Route
 
1 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Haigler Creek via Fishermans Point
2.9 mi away
1.0 mi
350 ft
Christopher Mountain TNF 6960
4.6 mi away
1.0 mi
263 ft
Big Ridge Trail #177
4.9 mi away
8.5 mi
1,271 ft
Turkey Peak #7063
Turkey Peak #7063
5.4 mi away
1.0 mi
330 ft
Gordon Creek Falls
Gordon Creek Falls
5.9 mi away
4.5 mi
450 ft
Hunter Creek Falls
Hunter Creek Falls
6.0 mi away
5.3 mi
369 ft
Mescal Ridge Trail #186
Mescal Ridge Trail #186
6.9 mi away
2.2 mi
268 ft
Mail Trail - Christopher Mountain
Mail Trail - Christopher Mountain
7.0 mi away
1.0 mi
8 ft
Military Sinkhole Trail #179
Military Sinkhole Trail #179
7.3 mi away
2.8 mi
1,090 ft
Mogollon Rim Vista Loop
Mogollon Rim Vista Loop
7.3 mi away
12.6 mi
2,300 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
pink granite paradise
by toddak

Overview
A rugged, non-technical descent of the gorgeous sculpted granite, clear water and deep pools of Haigler Creek in the Hellsgate Wilderness, ending at the confluence with Tonto Creek.

Warning
Numerous narrows sections that would be dangerous in high water flow and/or monsoon flash flood conditions.


Hike
Haigler Creek runs right through the Alderwood recreation site, from there just head downstream. Don't bother trying to keep your feet dry, you will very soon be hiking, wading and swimming in the creek, and will be for the rest of the day. This creek is non-stop rock scrambling and boulder hopping, but only occasional vegetation that has to be fought through. You'll also be swimming constantly (drybag mandatory), including several swims of 50 yards or more.

Around the 3 mile point is your only significant obstacle, a 20-foot, two-tier waterfall / chute that could be downclimbed if the water flow is low or else bypassed on the right with some moderate scrambling. Around the 5 mile point the canyon opens up and there are wide benches on either side for easy walking, a nice break from the rock scrambling. The canyon closes up again shortly for more miles of scrambling and swimming before you finally reach the confluence with Tonto Creek.

If you're lucky enough to be on a multi-day trip down the Tonto, spend the night here and continue downstream the next morning. Otherwise, your exit is the Hellsgate #37 trail, 7+ tough miles up and out to the Hellsgate trail head, where you will have spotted a car or arranged for a pickup.

Water Sources
Haigler Creek (always filter / purify creek water due to heavy upstream human use and cattle ranching in the area). Water may be cloudy with silt after periods of heavy rain and runoff.

Camping
Good campsites aren't plentiful but they do exist. Good camping at the Haigler/Tonto confluence.

toddak
    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.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    From Payson drive east on Highway 260 for approximately 24 miles. Turn right at the sign for Colcord road (aka FR 291) and follow this road (which turns to dirt after about 2 miles) for 4 miles to FR200. Turn right on FR200 and drive for 9 miles (passing through Haigler Canyon recreation site) to FR202A. Turn right on FR202A and go 0.5 miles to the Alderwood recreation site.
    page created by toddak on Jun 22 2010 7:37 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker