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San Francisco River View, AZ

Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
no permit
26 4 0
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,850 feet
Elevation Gain 20 feet
Accumulated Gain 60 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.1
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
6  2010-01-28 PrestonSands
5  2009-12-03 PrestonSands
2  2008-07-10 PrestonSands
13  2008-05-22 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,629
Trips 1,542 map ( 7,871 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Mar, Feb, Jan → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:02am - 6:21pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Frisco Fun
by PrestonSands

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This hike follows the roadbed of an aborted highway project from half a century ago, along the San Francisco River in eastern Arizona. Swimming possibilities, interesting geology, and far reaching views of the colorful San Francisco River canyon are the incentives for this short and easy hike.

At the end of the San Francisco River Road, a gate and some large boulders stop motor vehicles from continuing further. Park here, hike past the boulder blockade, and continue down the old highway grade. The hike immediately runs through a deep road cut, then emerges onto a shelf like grade, a couple of hundred feet above the San Francisco River. Outstanding views of the San Francisco River canyon begin at this point, and continue for the rest of the hike, with the grade staying high above the river. Large mesquite trees and cacti cover the wide grade of the old highway, funneling you onto a pathway at its center.

The grade makes a wide, sweeping curve to cross a colorful canyon of polished, purple rock, before turning north and crossing through a gate onto B.L.M. land at 0.6 miles. The nearly vertical terrain along the hike soon eases to a gentler, high desert hillside, where healthy prickly pear cacti frame views of lofty peaks towering above the San Francisco River.

The old highway grade and this hike both come to an end at 0.9 miles, where the highway crew ran out of money. A cow path leads a short distance further, before it too comes to an end on a steep hillside above the River. If you pick your route carefully from the end of the road or the cow path, you may be able to descend the steep hillside down to the San Francisco River, where there are excellent opportunities for swimming. Choose your route carefully, as there are hidden cliffs in some places.

The river bottom in this area has numerous sites for camping, among the cottonwood groves. A popular 4x4 road runs along the San Francisco River, which could provide an alternate return route. This 4x4 road connects with the San Francisco River Road at the beginning of this hike, next to the road block. Otherwise, return via the highway grade.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2008-05-27 PrestonSands
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Safford, head east on Highway 70/191. 10 miles from Safford, the highway splits, turn left onto Highway 191 and follow it for another 23.75 miles to a highway junction known as 3-Way (old drive-in movie theater and store). Turn left to remain on Highway 191. From the 3-Way junction, head north on highway 191 for approximately 9.4 miles to milepost 163.9, in the town of Clifton (this point is just after crossing the 2nd railroad track and before the Circle K store). At milepost 163.9, turn right onto Zorilla Street, then make an immediate left onto Frisco Avenue. Frisco Avenue crosses a bridge over the San Francisco River at 0.55 miles, and becomes the San Francisco River Road (unsigned). Follow the San Francisco River Road to its end, about 6.8 miles from highway 191, where a side road drops downhill to the left. Stay on the highway grade. The trailhead (boulder blockade) is about 300 feet past the side road. (see hike description).
    page created by PrestonSands on May 27 2008 8:26 pm
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