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Donnelly Slope, AZ

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Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Superior SW
4.2 of 5 by 6
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Distance Round Trip 0 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,765 feet
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
12  2017-12-31 chumley
32  2016-02-13
Gila River:Cochran to Tunnel to Dam
20  2013-10-19 writelots
22  2012-02-04 ssk44
33  2012-02-04 Grasshopper
63  2012-02-04 tibber
33  2012-02-04
Donnelly Slope - Around the Area
7  2012-01-28 ssk44
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov
Sun  6:10am - 6:27pm
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1 Alternative
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Author Full Detail Guide
Overview: Unique rock slope with intricate inner canyons sitting in the shadow of South Butte. The outer west edge has a long elevated cliff face overlooking the desert floor towards Florence. Donnelly Slope is a great walk-about destination for random exploring. Very Special!

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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
Donnelly Slope
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This looked like a fun area to explore and made for a perfect late-afternoon stroll. I'd like to check out more of this area in the future. I wouldn't start in the same place again as the wash we went up early was a bit prickly. I would either start where we exited on this trip, or from the road immediately below the cliffs on South Butte which would get you into some unique geology right away. And unique geology is the whole reason anybody would be here to begin with!
Donnelly Slope
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Donnelly Slope - Around the Area
Next we got to drive down to the Gila as we were, after all, in the Donnelly Wash that takes you right there. This would make up for our lost opportunity to drive to Horseshoe Bend when we were at Rockinstraw.
Shortly we would be at the river crossing. I was surprised at how high the river was. You could see where a vehicle had driven across to the other side. Eric drove to the little island in the middle [ photo ] which evidently works as a campground too. We walked around a bit before heading back up the wash.

And then Hank chimes in, "Let's go check out the road that goes to the Cave". From the west part of the slope we could see what appeared to be a large cave and a road that would get pretty close to it. So we turned to the south and headed up the road. Well it started out pretty decently but that didn't last long 'til it was serious 4WD to get over this very rocky area :o :sweat: .

Fortunately, the road wasn't too long but the road that turned to the cave was relatively short... which would have meant for a longer hike than we thot to check out the cave. There is a turn around provided so we headed back to the rocky road, thru a gate and then up to a saddle where we got some closer views of the Gila River in the distance. We walked out on the point of the saddle and then down the south flank where we spotted bunches of poppies. It's a tough drive for a couple guys just to get a few photos of some poppies. The boys had their eyes open wide looking for poppies all day [-( .

Next it was back up the wash to Cochran Road where we hung a left and headed to Cochran. It is a beautiful drive on a fairly decent road. We did get to see the Coke Ovens from afar. It was particularly fun to drive through the tunnel of trees :scared: . We stopped at one of the possible Gila crossings. This one was quite deep. The water seemed to be running high and fast. From there we made our way to the old Cochran town site. There is one section of the town site that is covered in teddy cholla. I got up on Eric's vehicle so I could capture the cholla and some of the White Canyon Wilderness.

It seems quite a long drive on Cochran Road back to the Kelvin Highway. It would have been even longer back in the day. Anyway, it was a great end to an already great day.

Video 1 - Driving the Donnelly Wash to the Gila River and back up the Wash to the first road going south at the bottom of South Butte to the Saddle to the southeast of the Butte: [ youtube video ]
Video 2 - From the saddle southeast of South Butte back to Donnelly Wash and then on Cochran Road to the intersection with Cochran town site where we got long-distance views of the Coke Ovens: [ youtube video ]
Video 3 - Cochran Road to past the town site along the river through the tunnel of trees including a stop at one of the potential crossings and then back to the Cochran town site: [ youtube video ]
Donnelly Slope
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Another adventure outing into some new territory took me close to the White Canyon Wilderness with Hank and Eric. I got to see the North and South Buttes of the Gila that I had seen in pics and on MyTopo when I was trying to identify landmarks. And we got to drive on Cochran Road and see the Gila and see the Coke Ovens from afar and see the old Cochran town site.

Of course the highlight was the hike of the Slope. This place was a virtual wonderland. Eric had mapped out a route via Google earth and though we made one wrong turn, everything else went as smooth as silk. The wrong turn though, was quite cool because of water in the little slot canyon. Eric said he didn't see this water last week and that's when he realized we had overshot the initial turn to go up the Slope.

The reason you have to go up the Slope from here is the slot canyon has a pool of water and a dry waterfall that you can't get by. We checked that out before going up the Slope. Getting up the Slope is kind of an adventure too. I would have no idea where to go up but Eric had pre-hiked this early part of the route last week. You're really not sure what is going to greet you as you proceed up this steep part of the initial climb up the Slope.

I heard Hank go "wow" or something to that effect so I hustled a little faster. When I gained this top of the valley, we could start to see toward the White Canyon Wilderness with the Tower (Peak 3306) standing out along with Battle Axe and the Rincon :DANCE: .

Eric pointed over to the next slope we would need to gain but before that we took a slight detour to the east where we got a good view of a dry waterfall that still had some water at its bottom. Next we headed south and then up to a higher part of the slope that had a couple small false summits. And like this type of gaining a little altitude, your views start opening up; the Slope was no exception even though we weren't very high. It was a bit breezy going up but other than that the temps couldn't have been any nicer.

Once we finally gained the high point of the Slope, we headed east again to the point on the southern part of the slope. This got a bit tricky at one point as you had to somehow get over a wide and tall gap. For Eric, it seems nothing as he has those really long legs, but for Hank and I, it took some maneuvering. By this time, Eric had already gone over on the other point across from us. He could still see us and offered up some suggestions as to how to get over the gap. Was it worth it :-k ? YEP :D . The views down into the canyon were very cool with the colorful cliff walls.

I filmed and photographed as Eric tried to gain :scared: the farthest tip of the other point. It got a bit tricky but he managed to get over this one area to the edge of the point. Now it was time to head back up the Slope. We would all eventually meet up and then hiked further west back to the high point where believe it or not, there was a benchmark. We thoroughly enjoyed walking on the very edge of the Slope and looking down and beyond it. We spotted some poppies and I even spotted a squirrel. Believe it or not, though I couldn't quite see the squirrel when it scooted under a rock, my zoom camera photo revealed I got a shot of him.

Next along our walk we spotted a rabbit which I got on film. We continued to walk toward South Butte until our walkway ended. We headed north to our exit route but not before stopping for lunch where we could take in the incredible views around us :y: . I've sure been loving my lunch spots lately. I can't wait until I get to enjoy lunch spots like these more than once a week.

We headed down the slope before heading back up and to the east. You are kind of in a valley of the Slope. To your left (north) is this totally cool rock formation that has a window at its east end. To your right is a slot canyon where we spotted this enormous dead juniper tree that had been growing right out of the side of the canyon. It looked like it had split a giant rock slab too.

As the day grew longer, the views into the White Canyon Wilderness became more clear and even more beautiful. You constantly find yourself looking that way and getting immersed :D in all of the little peaks and colorful mountains.

It was also interesting that this path seems to also be the main air route; though you couldn't hear the aircraft, there were nearly non-stop contrails. Fortunately those contrails didn't interfere with our photographic task. One time we watched as an airplane was flying right in the path of a contrail and another time, there were two contrails side by side, one in light and one in shadow. Very 8) . Oh and later in the day, the wind was capturing the contrails and making very cool designs.

Soon we were already back at the TH and left the playground :cry: . I do have to say that you do a lot of up and down jumping as you traverse around the Slope. Many times I would see the guys going one way that looked like more strain than was necessary so I would find an easier way ;) . The advantage in being at the tail is you can see where the other hikers are going and sometimes you can see a better way to get where they are.

But if you think our adventure is over for the day, oh contra ire [-X . See my Generic Trip Report and Photos.

Video 1 - The drive and first part of the hike including up a small section of a couple slot canyons:
Video 2 - Up the Donnelly Slope:
Video 3 - Continuing on the Donnelly Slope:
Video 4 - east end of southern part of Slope:
Video 5 - hike from east to western end of Slope:
Video 6 - hike back to the Trailhead on the Slope:
Donnelly Slope
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Another enjoyable day exploring a new area with Angela and Eric. Anytime a hiking area offers views into our scenic "White Canyon Wilderness", you can bet that it's going to be a winner! Thanks Eric for finding this neat location and doing our hike route planning and leading.

We combined our interesting and scenic hiking day with a drive further down Donnally Wash to its end at a popular Gila River view area, then continued with a fun "rock-n-roll" 4WD trip across the lower east facing flank of South Butte in pursuit of some spring wildflowers pics. We continued our exploring day with a drive to the end of Cochran Road to another Gila River and White Canyon Wilderness view area and to the once active and now historic (1905-1915) town-site area of Cochran, AZ..

Dinner at the Red Sage Restaurant.. igallery/image_page.php?id=4616 in Gold Canyon with good company offered a final reward to a fun day :)
Donnelly Slope
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This is an amazing destination. Truly special... This location can not be discovered all in one visit. The terrain reveals something new and interesting around every corner. This is not a hike to rush. There really isn't one single route. The landscape is a playground. Just take your time and explore. Enjoy!


Permit $$
AZ State Land Recreational Permits are available for an individual ($15.00), or a family limited to two adults and children under the age of 18 ($20.00).

Land Parcel Map

Map Drive
Strictly 4x4

To hike
Access is from Florence via Florence - Kelvin Highway, Cochran Road, and Donnelly Wash (Donnelly Wash turn: 33/03/01.75/N & 111/09/15.57/W).
page created by ssk44 on Jan 30 2012 2:36 pm
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