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Ash Creek Trail Bypass #307A, AZ

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Guide 15 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Safford
3.1 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 0.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,209 feet
Elevation Gain -130 feet
Accumulated Gain 230 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 1.67
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
17  2017-03-11
Ash Creek Trail #307
9  2016-11-10
Ash Creek Trail #307
6  2016-10-13
Ash Creek Trail #307
50  2014-08-16
Ash Creek Trail #307
32  2014-07-12
Ash Creek Trail #307
75  2014-03-29
Lower Grant Creek to Lower Ash Creek
14  2013-05-20
Cunningham Loop Trail
54  2012-08-18
Ash Creek Trail #307
Page 1,  2
Author nonot
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 236
Photos 1,969
Trips 476 map ( 4,511 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Preferred   Sep, May, Aug, Jul → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:02am - 6:27pm
Official Route
6 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Bypass the fun
by nonot

Likely In-Season!
Overview: Bypass trail that goes around the roughest parts of Ash Creek Trail #307. Located on Mt Graham.

History: The Ash Creek Trail #307 gets a little rough - it has some metal gratings holding back erosion, some overgrowth, and boulder hopping. Originally constructed as a horse bypass trail, the forest service now recommends #307A bypass trail of passage for hikers as well. They signed it as the only trail, though this is not true.

Hike: As you hike down along the Ash Creek Trail from the trailhead just off Swift Rd, you will first come to a junction at a boiler with the Webb Peak trail, and relatively shortly after this you will arrive at a trail junction where a carsonite trail sign directs you left, climbing away from the creek. Although unsigned this is the beginning of the Ash Creek Trail #307A Bypass trail. This trail is better for horses and those that cannot do rock scrambling, but is far less scenic than the trail that follows the creek.

The trail climbs partially up the hill where it will level off and proceed higher along the ridge above the creek. I imagine this will give a great vantage point in the fall for capturing the changing colors of the Aspen.

The trail crests the hill and proceeds down the other side, making a few short switchbacks as it rejoins the Ash Creek Trail #307.

From here, if you bypassed the Ash creek trail, I would recommend the hiker proceed right (back up the Ash Creek Trail #307) for about 300 ft until you arrive at the slickrock cascade area, which is quite beautiful at all times of the year. The going here is very easy with only a slight uphill section to hike.

Water Sources: Ash Creek flows throughout the year, hikers may choose to make a loop of this with the Ash Creek trail itself to vary their hike out.

Camping: The junction with the boiler is fairly flat and could likely handle a tent or two. Numerous pay sites on the top of the mountain.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2011-09-06 nonot

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 Triplog Reviews
    Ash Creek Trail Bypass #307A
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    The goal of this backpack was to escape anything related to 90 degree temperatures, to visit some waterfalls and find some snow. It was successful on all fronts. A tremendous over night trip into the premier sky island, Mount Graham.

    We started our backpack at the lower Ash Creek trailhead. This trail is a climb from the start and it can feel like a real slog at times, especially, when carrying an extra tent and old sleeping bag for the pups. In particular, the 1,000 feet gained between mile four and fivish, is brutal. There were a few newly fallen obstacles along the way and some higher than average creek crossing as well to add to the ardor. After enjoying the falls from the trailside lookout, Jackie stayed with the pups so I could get a "closer" look. After dropping down one viewpoint, I started to realize that although it was very steep and a little dicey looking, one could scramble all the way to the base of the falls, an area that has been on my wish list for awhile. I yelled back to Jackie and let her know I was going down further, she acknowledged and I began the wild descent, which actually went pretty well.

    However, about a 100, or so feet from the bottom I kicked up a pretty good rock slide, one that ended with a couple hundred plus pound boulders smashing to the bottom of the raging creek and echoing something thunderous and chilling. I immediately thought Jackie might get worried and yelled back, "I'm ok," even though I knew there was probably no way she could hear me. After that, the base of the falls came pretty easily and I marveled at the cool little area, After exploring and snapping a few pics of the cool little cascades below the falls, I began my crawl up. After reaching the top, I found out pretty quickly from a shook up Jackie that she had been assuming the worst since hearing the rock slide, In fact, she had even sent out a couple of distressed texts to people assuming the worst, after not seeing, or hearing from me in about 45 minutes. The poor girl was about 15 minutes away from collecting her gear, the pups and heading back to the TH to get proper help. I felt horrible for not communicating my intentions to reach the bottom and for not finding away to signal back that I was alright, after the rock slide; a tad humbling seeing how greatly thoughts of your demise might impact someone close to you. In the end though, all was well and nobody was hurt, so we continued on after collecting ourselves a little.

    We took the nearly devoid of snow Ash Creek bypass trail over the snowed in route over slick rock. We ended up calling it a day near the old mill site. We found a great site along the robust snow fed creek and set up camp quickly to potentially pursue some exploring up trail. However, that thought devolved into a nap and the usual camp chores. We enjoyed a chilly, but not overly cold night and while the temperatures definitely reached freezing, I do not think they dipped too far below that. The moon never really allowed darkness to take hold, but we still slept well, thanks in part to a tough little day and climb.

    We decided to head for Webb Peak Sunday morning, but got turned around by some real deep snow just after clearing 9,500 feet. We had got lucky for most of the hike up and were able to cruise with micro-spikes on some hard crusted 3-4 feet deep snow for large sections, however, as the temperature warmed the post holing began. However, it was still only a minor inconvenience until we got to just under a half a mile from the summit where the snow got really deep and soft, deep enough to lose a dog in deep! We'd had such a good time playing in the snow up until then, that it really did not bother us to turn around. We did the quick hike back to camp, broke camp and started the relentless descent. The trip down seemed to fly by in comparison to the hike up. I visited an old favorite set of falls on the way down and then finally made it to another one I had been meaning to get to. We finished to complaining about the heat and in shorts and t-shirts, slightly different than the wintry conditions we began our day with, Arizona at its finest.
    Ash Creek Trail Bypass #307A
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    Haven't been down to the falls in 2 years and my visiting friends have never seen the falls.
    This area is now a little "out of season", but that's OK, this trail is awesome anytime of the year!
    We headed down Ash Creek #307, quick side trip to the old mill site, then down to the falls overlook with a short off-trail route to a frontal view. I then, as my partners ate lunch, made a decision to once and for all climb down the canyon wall to the base of the falls. Was a bit of a risky path down, but it all worked out and I finally got to look up the falls from the bottom ..... bucket list check!
    We then took the Bypass trail back out completing the lasso loop. The autumn colors are just about all gone now and the creek/falls were flowing a little below average, but that was expected today for this date. Snow will be coming soon and the road in will be closing in 5 days. Ash Creek Trail IMO will always be the gem on top of this mountain and I was very happy to get to show it to my friends before they leave town (they loved it).
    Lots of deer sightings today, I believe we counted 12 along the way.
    Ash Creek Trail Bypass #307A
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    Excellent climb from the lower trailhead at 4700' to the top of Webb Peak at just over 10,000'. The first mile is out in open scrub, but the rest of the hike stays right along the beautiful creek and/or in shady forest. Nicely routed and very well-maintained trail. The last 4 miles of the drive to the trailhead are rough and rocky, with 3 creek crossings. Thanks to chumley and FOTG for the inspiration and some good area info.
    Ash Creek Trail Bypass #307A
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    Ooooooooooo Boy, Ash Creek Trail under a heavy monsoon storm :o :scared: :y:

    Arrived at Columbine from Riggs Lake to find the entire mountain top now covered in a huge storm cell and starting to produce. Addie, Lauren & myself huddled inside the bathroom for about a half hour waiting for the rain to let up a bit, but it only grew stronger. After a brief talk, we decided that we were all "down" for this! we put on our ponchos and headed down the soaked Ash Creek Trail : rambo :

    The rain fell good as we made our way down to the boiler/Webb Peak Y and the trail all the way down to the mill site was flooding, looked like a small river in places. The storm then let up a bit as we toured the mill site then making our way down to the Bypass trail. There was a little concern about hiking the Slick Rock section in the rain, but we were there and just had to do it! The lower section is no longer maintained and was quite an overgrown bushwack down to Slick Rock, but a hell of a lot of fun. Then the monsoon gods decided we had had enough and turned off the rain the entire time between Slick Rock down to Ash Creek Falls. We first viewed the falls from above before off-trailing down to the lower full view and my God ..... the falls were flowing heavy and looked spectacular !!!

    We rested a bit before the climb back up agreeing to take the much more easy Bypass Trail out. As soon as we hit the Bypass, low flying clouds came up from the canyon and we were hiking in the clouds the entire route. It was Awesome!
    Back at the split, the rain came down again and never let up the entire climb back up to Columbine.

    Monsoon rain, lightning, trail flooding, heavy creek & falls flow, the rain soaked rich colors of the flora, canyon & skies, and all of it with my 2 wonderful friends =

    And one of the most memorable hikes of my life!

    Twas also a bittersweet end to my 2 day trip with the girls :(
    This was our last trip together as the self named "Roper Lake State Park Ranger Hiking Club".
    These last 3 months have produced in one combination or another 39 trips spent outside of work to just hang out on a mountain, in a canyon or across the flatland.
    Cherished friends, wonderful experiences & a deep hope that someday we will do it all over again.
    Thank you so much Addie & Lauren (I'll still see ya at work ;) )
    Ash Creek Trail Bypass #307A
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    The Yeti rolled into town last night and after a text & call, I found myself 12 hours later heading up the Swift Trail with Preston & Nick for my first hikes up high on Graham for 2013 :y:

    We first hiked up and to the end of Cunningham Spur then off-trailed down along the creek until we dropped onto the Cunningham Loop Trail which we then completed counter-clockwise.
    Next we drove a couple of miles down to Columbine where we split with Preston & Nick heading up to loop Webb Peak/Blair-Ash Ridge/Ash Creek and myself going solo down the Ash Creek Trail for the out-n-back to the falls. All the trails looked great and there was good creek flow throughout.

    We then met back up at Columbine and drove back down the Swifty ending a great day of hiking on the upper Pinalenos!

    Thanks for the invite guys, good times on the big Island !!!
    Ash Creek Trail Bypass #307A
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    Goudy - Grant Creek - Ash Waterfall Loop
    My first time down in this area of Arizona. I sure wish I lived closer to the Pinaleno's.
    Out the door at 2am and in Thatcher, just outside of Saford at 5:30. I looked up at Mt. Graham in disbelief that it would take us another hour and a half to get to our TH up there....but it did.

    Temps were perfect most of the way around on this day.

    The trip down Grant Goudy Ridge #310, was much nicer than expected being under the cover of trees for a large portion. The Pinalino's have a different look than the other Sky Islands I've been to. I can't quite put my finger on why that is? The Views were exceptional!

    The Grant Goudy Ridge Trail dead ends on the south end, at Grant Creek #305. This is where we stated the climb back up the 4,000' we'd just lost. The track follows Grant Creek and then Post Creek until it turns to the East to make the final climb to the rim. Moonshine Creek is just a bit to the north, but is never in view. We had a 2.5 mile road walk back to the car to restock for our next segment. I confirmed afterwards that there is another set of falls (Grant Falls) that we missed.

    15+ miles down, it was time for the hike to Ash Creek Falls. Lush green all the way down, cool rock formations, remnants of the Mt. Graham Mill Site, and following Ash Creek all the way! The Falls were really cool and I wish we could have spent more time checking them out.

    Mother Nature would not let that happen. A couple of big drops of rain hit... Joe's off like a Roadrunner. A crackle of thunder and lightning in my line of site past Denny.... It's time for Denny and myself to pack up and Git. That's about the time that the sky opened up. The Angles started Bowling and the gods threw there lit spears in the skys above. It poured/rained all the way back to the car. I was so glad for the dry set of clothes waiting for me.

    A Video at Ash Creek Falls

    A Super big thanks to Denny for Driving!
    Ash Creek Trail Bypass #307A
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    Goudy - Grant Creek - Ash Waterfall Loop
    Grant Goudy Ridge Trail # 310
    Our loop started on #310 which would be the only new territory for myself. I figured this one gets overlooked as most driving the distance are probably looking for pine covered trails up top in the cool temps. It is a little overgrown but not much. It seems well used and well designed. The best part being the views. I was at the back of the pack all the way down taking photos.

    Grant Creek Trail #305
    5 years ago on a hike with Preston and Nick we saw a bear on a one-way shuttle down. Today with Denny and Bruce going up we didn't get so "lucky". Likely due to wildlife's natural instinct to ascend when encountered. Nevertheless an excellent trail segment in my opinion. You have life zones, canyon shade at the bottom when it's most needed and distant views in the upper end.

    Ash Creek Trail #307
    This one was lightly penciled in based on time and energy reserves. It is typically deemed one of the favorites. Preston and I enjoyed this in prime six years ago with warm light on a brisk Autumn morning. So for myself this was a let down in hazy afternoon shadows.

    Ash Creek Trail Bypass #307A
    Stepping off the Ash Creek Waterfall perch I experienced something I haven't felt for some time. Yep you guessed it, the single smacking splat of a heavy rain drop. Anyone that's been around knows the difference between a teasing rain drop and a warning rain drop. This one meant business.

    It did offer a small time frame to get the camera(only concern) packed away and head out but not much. My pack soaks through pretty quick so time was of the essence. I decided to forgo the creek route as I didn't want to be anywhere near slippery rock that humbled me back in 2006. Bypass was the ticket. I did what I could. After a mile and a half I decided it was best to hunker down under a tree. There must have been an angel nearby as the rain let up after a short break. Starring at my feet I got off track and found myself in unfamiliar territory. I guess it was the Bible Camp. In the end it all worked out.

    Denny Andretti guided the flying focus down the mountain and home safely!
    Ash Creek Trail Bypass #307A
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    Wonderful canyon, enjoyed the waterfalls. :y: Absolutely peaceful with the water rushing past in the slot, having little to do but focus on the task at hand, definitely not recommended as a solo trip though.

    Found some leftovers in the canyons - seems like a previous group had some trouble. I picked up some of their rope and some more gear on the hike out - just added more to the load to pack up and out :sweat: - if it's yours, send me a private message with a description. Otherwise it's going in the trash.

    I have absolutely no clue what the purpose of the 12-13 mm honker was doing at an easy downclimb, I left that one for future parties to noodle on.

    Was a little slow on the climb out due to having all the gear to tote myself. No matter, for it absolutely poured on the way out. I was soaked and cooled off, but with the climbing I didn't really get cold at all.

    The Ash Creek bypass isn't on the site yet, I tried to map both accurately (which added a bit of time and distance), will follow up soon.

    Permit $$

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Safford AZ, take highway 191 south to Swift Trail 366. Turn west onto the Swift Trail and climb up to the top of Mt Graham. Stay on the swift trail itself at all junctions. You will reach the visitor center and a short distance beyond, the trailhead on the right. Park outside the fee area unless you intend to camp there.
    page created by nonot on Sep 06 2011 8:41 pm
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