If you're going to Young...
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Overview: This hike follows a closed jeep trail down to scenic Haigler Creek, a perennial creek in the forested hills between Young and the Mogollon Rim. One can hike to the creek and back for a short little adventure, or continue as far up Haigler Creek canyon as desired for a longer trip.
Hike: Once you have located Fishermans Point with its seemingly out of place guard rail (a parking barrier in reality) and interpretive sign, park your vehicle, and begin your hike. The trail to the creek follows a closed jeep trail which departs from behind the left (north) side of the guard rail. The descent along the old jeep trail is quite steep, and trekking poles come in handy. Tall ponderosa pines provide ample shade along the way. Part way down, the jeep trail makes a switchback, while a distinct trail continues off from the switchback point. It does not matter whether you take the trail or the jeep trail from this point, as both routes meet up just before the creek.
After a three hundred foot descent in a half of a mile, you will arrive at the rushing waters of Haigler Creek. The canyon bottom here is decorated with pines, alders, sycamores, and virginia creeper vines. The water is refreshing and downright chilly even in summer, and a few small pools are just big enough to soak in. From my experiences, this area sees frequent use by the weekend party crowd, so I wouldn't advise camping here, but it is certainly worth a day visit. A few atv riders have managed to sneak around the guard rail at the top and have made it down to Haigler Creek, despite the "closed to motor vehicles" sign at top.
From the end of the jeep trail at Haigler Creek, one can walk a short distance down canyon to a rocky area with some small cascades. Going up canyon, one enters an attractive canyon of tall pines and high mountain sides, once you have bypassed a rocky ridge at the upper end of the 5600 foot contour.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.
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