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Hess Canyon to Salt River - SRC Wilderness, AZ

no permit
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Guide 10 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Globe NE
5 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,143 feet
Elevation Gain -1,443 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,638 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6.5-7.5 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 16.79
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Historic & Seasonal Creek
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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25  2013-03-24 trekkin_gecko
47  2013-03-24 rwstorm
34  2013-03-24 Oregon_Hiker
41  2013-03-24 outdoor_lover
30  2013-03-24 Grasshopper
88  2013-03-22
Camp Grasshopper - S/R Cyn Wilderness (FR346)
43  2013-01-12 RedRoxx44
24  2012-11-20 Oregon_Hiker
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov
Sun  6:07am - 6:27pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

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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
    Hess Canyon to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This was our "Salt River Canyon" area camping/hiking week (3/20 to 3/25) last full day planned grand finale hike and it did pay-off in a grand way! :D :DANCE: :D

    It was especially rewarding for me on this second hike attempt (first unsuccessful try on 11/20/12) to actually reach our Salt River destination at canyon lower end and rewarding to be able to share this awesome "5" Kokopelli rated canyon hike with my HAZ friends who joined-in. Thank you all!
    Hess Canyon to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Hess Canyon, wow! I couldn't make the Camp Grasshopper Extravaganza, but when Hank stated that they would be doing this Hike, I knew I had to at least go up there for a day trip for this one... :DANCE: Hank recruited Kelly, not only for the company, but also for the technical help in case we needed it on a few of the obstacles, so I met Kelly at the house and we drove up early Sunday morning.

    Hadn't really expected to encounter any obstacles on the drive in, but there was this Bull, and apparently he wasn't gonna take any s*** from me, so we were delayed just a few minutes... :sweat: I got out of the Escape and tried to sweet talk him, but being a typical male full of hormones, it went in one ear and out the other... :sl: So then I stomped my foot at him, and he stomped his foot back...This is when I realized that the vehicle, hopefully weighing a couple of pounds more than he did, was my only choice. For the first time in my Hiking Life, I was really wishing for a trekkin' pole. It probably would have made a good nose thumper... :D He decided after seeing the vehicle coming at him, that he was outmatched and the game was over... :y:

    We made it to the "TH", where we were going to meet up with the rest of the crew, a tad bit early, and they ended up being a little late, so we got a chance to relax a bit from the drive before starting the Hike. The Crew of Hank, Larry, Randal and Randy all showed up and all but one was ready to Hike. After the usual greetings and me giving Randy a bunch a bull****, we all took off down the road.

    Going down this road, I kept thinking that it was really gonna suck coming out, and it did... :sweat: But the scenery and rising moon more than made up for it... :) Got down to the corral and the beginning of our trek into the Canyon, and the oohs and aahs escalated. What an incredible Canyon! The Geology was absolutely amazing! And as a bonus, we had some Fauna to keep us even more entertained! : app : The Long-eared Owl was definitely acting strange and all I could think was there was a nest nearby. She would take flight, but only for about 50 feet and continued to fly back and forth and land in the same areas. Most Owls would have skipped town with the kind of Camera/Human Invasion that she was looking at. Talk about Photo Ops! :y: All we had to do was convince Randal to quit trying to creep up like the Mouse that he's not, and she would stay put. It's ok Randal, as soon as I got home and downloaded the Photos, I forgave you!!! :DANCE:

    Continuing on down Canyon after the million Owl Photos, we spread out a little. I was so bummed to learn that I had missed out on the Bighorn Sheep Exhibition!!! ](*,) I was too busy videotaping two retirees playing on a slide... :sweat: Yes, I got video... :y: There were several obstacles, but we decided that if 20 year olds could do it, so could we... :D Only needed the Rope on one, which was actually overkill, but better safe than sorry, thanks for the help Kelly!!! : app :

    Randy and Randal had set a turn around time, since they were leaving to go home and had some driving ahead of them. As we Hiked along, we just had to be getting close to the River and I kept telling them that it was just around the next bend. But typical males with cold beer on their minds, it was in one ear and out the other... :lol: They turned around, and the rest of us went around the next bend to the River... :sl:

    We enjoyed lunch at the River, took our Photos and headed back. We made quick work of the obstacles going back, although the last one was probably the toughest. Very slick rock climbing with wet soles... :o But we made it without any technical help and soon we had spread out again on the uphill slog back to the vehicles...I kinda had the "pay to play" mentality and it was all good. I ended up catching up to Hank and Larry just before the top, but there was no catching the Gecko... :wlift:

    Topped out to not only find the Gecko, but a weatherman and a mousy mountain biker that still had cold beer on their minds! :sl: After shedding the packs and visiting for a few more minutes, it was time to hit the road. Hank managed to keep his Jeep on the road and Randy managed to keep most of the gates open after Randal went through... :lol:

    Randy and Hank stopped once out on Haystack Butte Road and let us go by. I never did catch up to Randal...He must be a graduate of the HAZ School of Driving... :o :sl: After a quick drive thru of Taco Bell in Globe, it was pedal to the medal for home. I had a bunch of very hungry animals to feed, so my day wasn't going to be done until at least an hour after I got back. Dropped Kelly off and made the Ranch by 9:30. Left the Ranch at 5:30 a.m., back at 9:30, hmmm, 16 hours gone and not done yet... :sweat:

    And yet, it was worth every hour, every mile, every footstep...All with awesome company throughout!!! Thanks guys, it was an awesome day!!! : app : : app : : app :

    And now, for the feature attractions... :D
    2 kids on a Slide...

    The Pros at Work...

    Slick Rock Action...
    Hess Canyon to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    as part of camp grasshopper, hank had lined up a series of exploratory hikes in this area
    with a mid-morning start time for hess canyon, pam and i were able to join in
    hank had good directions and a track to the trailhead, and pam provided her escape (thanks!)
    met hank, larry, randy and randal for the first time :)
    we took off shortly after 10:00 and descended a rocky old roadbed that meets up with hess canyon
    there is an old corral and a tin shed in this flat area and we all poked around a bit
    saw an owl, and several should have pictures of it
    started into the canyon proper
    hank has been talking this one up, and letty's photos comfirmed how beautiful it is
    some flowing water, and the path alternates a boulder hop with a sandy wash
    very interesting geology all along
    multi-colored and varied types of rock rising to a wide slot effect then falling away
    we all easily slid down the spot that stopped hank and larry on their first trip, as the water was replaced by sand
    shortly downstream from that was where the white ledges converge at the canyon bed and this spot is gorgeous
    we all spent plenty of time gawking and taking photos, and i will enjoy seeing the other photosets
    a bit further on was the difficult drop the letty described
    we were able to rig a hand line and got everyone down safely
    there was one more waterful drop, but letty had mentioned a work-around to one side
    thanks for the beta, letty - most helpful
    these obstacles only added to the fun in my book
    somewhere along here a couple of the guys saw some bighorn sheep high on the canyon walls
    should be some good zooms of those, too
    eventually the canyon opened up some and we started seeing footprints presumably from river access
    randal and randy reached their turnaround time
    i won't mention how close we were to river at that point
    who knew?
    the salt suddenly came into view
    it was a little muddy and running strong
    just cool knowing that we had successfully negotiated the canyon to our destination
    had lunch on some rocks, looked around a bit then headed back
    made it up all the little climbs on the return trip
    should add that there was one more waterfall toward the top that was a little challenging with wet shoes and water running
    the sun was lower coming back, so many spots were seen in a brand new light
    our arrival back at the corral signaled an end to the canyon part and the start of the long uphill on the road
    found randy and randal still at the trailhead, and it was nice chatting with them some more
    the beauty of this canyon exceeded the talk and photos
    nice group to do this one with and i appreciate being included
    great day, y'all :)
    Hess Canyon to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Camp Grasshopper Mar2013 - Salt River Canyon Wilderness

    4 day weekend booked months in advance
    Yotes hockey tailgating "bookends" Thursday & Monday evening
    Salt River Canyon Wilderness "mystery areas"
    Off-trail hiking, ruins, 4WD trekking, canyoneering
    Arizona "pin striping" my F-150
    Talking to "real" cowboys
    363 images on XT and 7D
    Sleeping in back cab of my F-150
    Black Jack Wash to Salt River (Jump-Off Canyon)
    Black Mountain 4515 Ruins
    Black Jack Mountains to Upper Hess Canyon
    Hess Canyon to Salt River
    Another "Camp Grasshopper"

    Having missed the past two "Camp Grasshoppers", I couldn't risk a strike three caught looking! So I booked a four day weekend at the beginning of the New Year, pushed off any potential conflicts (including my Yotes obligations) and assured Hank that I'd be there! Exploring the unknowns of the Salt River Canyon Wilderness only made it all the more sweet =>

    Friday 3/22 - After Thursday night tail-gating at the Canucks/Yotes game, packed up the F-150 and headed towards the corrals near Clay Springs in the White Ledges of the Salt River Canyon Wilderness. Following Hank's detailed instructions;

    Drive 80.7 miles east from Ahwatukee to Globe via Hwy60.

    Drive 16.3 miles north from Globe on Hwy60 to FR303 intersection (by Jones Water Campgrounds).

    Drive 2.6 miles northwest on FR303 to FR645 intersection.

    Drive 4.86 miles west and north on FR645 to FR346 intersection (pass thru 1 ranch gate).

    Drive 3.34 miles north on FR346 to corrals at Clay Spring (pass thru 2 ranch gates).

    I arrived at the corrals about 2:30-ish that afternoon to find 3 vehicles, lots of camping gear, but no hikers => . With a positive ID on the official "Grasshopper" Jeep, I scouted out something approximating level ground and set up my base camp. After a beverage and snack I decided to climb up the White Ledges and checkout the local views. From this high vantage I could make out some familiar sights - Aztec Peak, Four Peaks, Cherry Creek basin, the Sierra Anchas and something unfamiliar - the roaring rapids of the Salt River in Jump-Off Canyon and the remnants of Quartzite Falls just beyond => and ... #rapid1887 and ... izona.html . As the shadows began to stretch longer, I could hear voices back at the corral area and decided to trek back to camp. Arriving at camp I recognized some familiar faces - Hank (aka Grasshopper), Randy (aka RWStorm), and someone new - Larry (aka Oregon Hiker). As day light disappeared, my stomach sent out distinctive clues that it was BBQ time => . Steak with corn-on-the-cob and an appropriate Four Peaks Kilt Lifter to cleanse the pallet were on the menu. Camp Grasshopper called it a night at about 10:30pm and I crawled into the back of my Crew Cab serenaded by a couple of owls. 5.06 miles logged Friday on iPhone Trimble Outdoors Navigator app.

    Saturday 3/23 - Black Mountain Ruins and 4WD trek to Upper Hess Canyon testing Randy's Tacoma and driving skills! Heading back to our Clay Spring camp at the end of FR346 we encountered the "real cowboys". Marlboro Man informed us that we may have some cattle running through our camp having moved 7 cows into our section. After a short break back at the camp (sans cows), Randy guided me down Black Jack Wash to Salt River (Jump-Off Canyon). This was the hi-lite of the weekend! Had an opportunity to see 3 rafts and about 6 kayakers run the rapids above Quartzite Falls... 3.82 miles logged Saturday on iPhone Trimble Outdoors Navigator app.

    Sunday 2/24 - The Camp Grasshoppers broke camp 9-ish to meet up with Pam (aka Outdoor Lover) and Kelly (aka Trekkin Gecko) ready to explore Hess Canyon... Some cool wildlife encounters that day - long eared owls, head butting big horn sheep, a swarm of bees on the move and horned toads. Must say that the marble finish along Hess Canyon make this an unexpected gem. 11.64 miles logged Sunday on iPhone Trimble Outdoors Navigator app pretty much matched my FitBit.

    Excellent time at another Camp Grasshopper! Special thanks to Hank, Randy, Larry, Pam, and Kelly for the good company. I was surprised by the 3-day/2-night weekend mileage at 20.52 miles logged (5.06+3.82+11.64). Photos (363 images to sort through - yikes!) to be posted when I get the chance...
    Hess Canyon to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    A very rewarding and interesting day in a new area I had not yet visited.

    Exploratory morning day hiking down "Hess Canyon" with scenic afternoon driving on local FRs to scout-out other possible off trail hikes within this remote area of the Tonto NF- "Salt River Canyon Wilderness".

    While our Sierra Ancha Wilderness and Mogollon Rim are socked-in winter conditions, this SRC Wilderness area with mid to lower altitudes and much to offer, should be an excellent winter hiking alternative choice. Thanks to ASU Aviator and Little Knee for initially leading me astray via their posted pic.. which allowed me to further research (with Larry's help) this SRC Wilderness area :D

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From Globe,AZ: Just east of Globe, AZ, at the intersection of Hwy 60/Hwy 70, take Hwy 60 north for 16.3 miles to FR303-Haystack Butte Road, left turn NW onto FR303 and then download and follow the posted 11/20/12 GPS Driving Route with key WPs (From Hwy 60/FR303-Haystack Butte Rd, drive FR303 to the Recommended Park/TH Start on FR367 at Closed Ranching Gate #5 for High Clearance Vehicles; Please Note: With High Clearance or with 4WD vehicles it is not recommended to drive past this Ranching Gate #5 due to necessary need for "more heavily modified 4WDs required" and few safe turn-a rounds available);
    page created by Grasshopper on Nov 20 2012 11:44 pm
    3 pack - loud whistle
    safety first
    help comment issue

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