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Noon Creek Canyon Loop, AZ

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Guide 20 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Safford
3.5 of 5 by 2
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 1.75 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,223 feet
Elevation Gain 481 feet
Accumulated Gain 489 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.2
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
15  2017-05-30 SkyIslander18
13  2013-04-09 SkyIslander18
14  2011-12-06 SkyIslander18
Author SkyIslander18
author avatar Guides 3
Routes 0
Photos 4,732
Trips 1,678 map ( 8,667 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Small Town USA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Sun  6:04am - 6:23pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
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Culture Nearby

Easy non-technical scramble down the canyon along a perennial creek under normal water flow conditions.

Hike begins at the Noon Creek picnic grounds and heads up west on the Noon Creek trail for approx 0.75 miles until it reaches the Round the Mountain signed junction. Head left (south) on the RTM trail for a short distance down to the creek where you then drop into the canyon and take it down along the creek for approx 0.75 miles until it reaches the Swift Trail (Hwy 366). A short walk down the Swift Trail takes you back to the Noon Creek picnic grounds to complete a loop.

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2017-06-01 SkyIslander18
    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 15 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Noon Creek Canyon Loop
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    As expected lots of holiday people around Noon Creek, but ..... not many know about the swimming holes up the middle of the canyon :y:
    Parked at RTM CG and headed up the Swift Trail for the clockwise loop. Did Not get hit by a single vehicle on this short 1/4 mile walk up the road by the 25 or so passers :y:
    Took the Noon Creek trail up to the upper crossing then down the canyon to the swim holes. Spent 2 hours there swimming, sun worshiping and watching all the dragonflies and butterflies over the pool and the insane amount of tadpoles under ..... it was wonderful!
    Off-trailed back up to Noon Creek trail and finished the loop down into all the holiday mountain goers.
    Way too many people on the lower mountain today, but it all worked out and I now have a new fresh slight sunburn to prove it!

    Noon Creek Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Started from the old Noon Creek picnic grounds.
    Up the canyon :next: up to #302 :next: up to RTM T :next: down to the upper crossing :next: down the canyon to the slabs & swimming holes :next: up to #302 :next: back down to the picnic grounds.
    Great morning - Lots of new green, swimming in my favorite hole, some good flowers, many dragonflies & butterflies along the creek, hammock hang at the picnic grounds & very cool clouds all morning.
    Love every part of this Noon Creek area!
    Back home by Noon.
    Noon Creek Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Graham got more snow & rain overnight, so I headed up to Noon Creek for the water show while it's at peak. Started from the Round the Mountain TH and headed up counter for the loop. Right away I almost couldn't make the first lower crossing ..... can't remember ever seeing this much water rushing down Noon Creek!!!
    Arrived later at the upper crossing with another tough water cross ..... this one I had to get wet.
    In-between completing the loop I made some short side trips down the canyon, up the Round the Mountain trail, up Noon Creek Ridge and along the Swift Trail to bring me back to the start.
    Unbelievable amount of water coming off the mountain everywhere right now, upper 1/3 of Graham covered with a new blanket of snow and throughout I was hit with snow flurries & cold, cold temps ..... It was Awesomely beautiful!

    From a favorite perch in the canyon -
    [ youtube video ]
    Noon Creek Canyon Loop
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    After Goat Canyon and John's Dam with Chad, I drove up the Swift Trail to Round the Mountain, and gave the road block there the stink eye and a bit of grumbling. I need my mixed conifer fix! But it was not to be today...

    Chad had mentioned post fire changes at Adams Flat and Jacobson Creek, and, not having been there in quite a while, I chose to venture up there. The flume trail to Adams was getting overgrown in spots, but the big changes were along Jacobson Creek. A conveyor belt of boulders from the Wet Canyon flood had mowed down all the trees and debris in the creek bed, and generally opened up the once choked canyon. Saw a baby Arizona Black Rattlesnake among the rocks and walked across a giant fallen tree that had formed a natural bridge high above the creek. I walked through the Blair-Witchy trees at Adams Flat, and then made my way down to the waterfalls and Adams' box canyon. Chocolate mud water roared down the series of falls, which I got to see in their entirety from a ledge for the first time. Even found an old, rusty can of "Lucky Lager" beer from 1952 among the rocks. I headed back to my rental car afterward, and visited Angle Orchard for the first time in years, exchanging the $10 in my wallet for some obscenely delicious peaches.

    Next up was a walk on the Swift Trail. I followed it for a bit before making my way off trail into the bushes above Noon Creek. Followed the trail uphill for a bit, and then took the lower spur to Noon Creek itself, where I enjoyed a nice soak in refreshingly chilly, cascading water. I started making my way through the canyon, bypassing beautiful slick rock pools and small waterfalls along the way. This was the highlight of my random hike route, and one that I'd like to check out again. Eventually I had to cross the canyon and bushwhack through a locust thicket to climb back up to the Swift Trail and my car, wrapping up my hike at sunset.

    I finished off my Safford day trip with dinner at Casa Manana for a tasty burro combo, and then reluctantly made a moonlight drive back to Tucson. It was a totally random and largely unplanned day, typical for me, but great fun as usual.
    Noon Creek Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Early rise, early start.
    Went right up the canyon from the picnic grounds. About a quarter mile up I remembered that I only want to do this canyon going down :lol: It was rough & tough getting up that sucker today, the thick foliage is in and there was a lot more deadfall then my last time out ..... I left skin & blood.
    Just a light water flow on this day which was good, I was able to stick to the creek most of the way up.
    Beautiful waterfalls & swimming holes throughout with many columbine flowers along the creek!
    Made it up to the upper crossing where I had a very cold, but refreshing swim. I then took the southern portion of the Noon Creek Loop trail back down to the Swift Trail and on back to the picnic grounds completing the loop.
    Dragonflies, butterflies, lizards, canyon tree frogs, vultures & Mexican jays were the wildlife that joined me.
    Good fun workout at Noon Creek!
    Noon Creek Canyon Loop
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    Drove up to the picnic grounds to just relax this afternoon and an unplanned hike happened.
    First spent a couple hours at my favorite spot sunning, writing & relaxing.
    Went for a short walk down to the creek and ended up hiking up the canyon to the big falls, back down the canyon to the Swift Trail and then back up to the picnic grounds.
    Unexpected, but fun.
    Noon Creek Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I hit a little bit of everything in the Noon Creek area this afternoon.
    There is gonna be a flora explosion up there soon.
    Lots of flying bugs right now that made the hike a little uncomfortable at times.
    A couple of Mexican jays were about the only wildlife for this one.
    Will wait about a month and hit this one up again!

    Mostly purples with a few yellows.
    Noon Creek Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Entered the canyon from above RTM TH/Campground.
    Creek was flowing good, waterfalls looked great all the way up.
    Exited from the upper RTM crossing, took the South trail & Swift Trail back.
    Vegetation is coming in making it a little tough going up, not so many flowers yet.
    A few sprinkles along the way, good trip.
    Noon Creek Canyon Loop
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    With my usual Tuesday partner out today :cry: , I decided on a solo revisit to Noon Creek and pick up where I left off yesterday. I took #302A up, then headed down the canyon for the loop. Still lots of water running down the canyon and I was only able to get about half way down before crossings became too risky. Climbed back up to #320A and took it back down to the start.
    Very good creek flow running down, great waterfalls throughout & another few hours well spent at Noon Creek!
    Noon Creek Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Noon Creek Delight
    Today I drove up Graham with no real plan, just decided to wing it. Parked at the Round the Mountain trail-head and after going over my maps for a bit, I put together a loop using a small portion of most of the Noon Creek trails.
    The route: Truck - Noon Creek Loop - Noon Creek Ridge - Noon Creek Cutoff - Swift Trail - Wet Canyon - Swift Trail - Noon Creek Canyon - Truck.
    Overcast & calm day, all the trails looked great, not a lot of spring happening up on the mountain yet & it still looks like winter up in Wet Canyon. I think I may have done this loop before, really enjoyed it and will someday do it again!

    Sad ending to the day on the drive back down the mountain. I had just photographed 3 nice white-tail does after sunset along the road, a mile further and I was coming around the last corner onto the straightaway when another doe ran across the road and into the front of my truck then under. Pulled over, checked my truck then turned around knowing it was going to be bad. Another person drove up upon the scene and helped me put her down and get her off the road. After not hitting a deer in 20+ years of driving the Swift Trail, I have now hit 3 in two years and always feel terrible when it happens.

    Permit $$

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

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    From Safford, head south on U.S. highway 191. Turn west onto state highway 366 (Swift Trail). Follow highway 366 for approximately 7 miles and turn right into the Noon Creek picnic grounds. Park at the end of the road, trail starts from behind the picnic table heading west.
    page created by SkyIslander18 on Nov 24 2011 8:33 am
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