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Blackjack Wash to Salt River - SRC Wilderness, AZ

no permit
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Guide 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Globe NE
4.8 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,042 feet
Elevation Gain -513 feet
Accumulated Gain 536 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2-3hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 3.98
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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4  2013-10-17 ssk44
18  2013-03-23 rwstorm
4  2013-03-23 Grasshopper
24  2013-03-22 rwstorm
16  2013-03-22 Oregon_Hiker
88  2013-03-22
Camp Grasshopper - S/R Cyn Wilderness (FR346)
5  2013-03-22
Perennial Clay Spring Area
8  2013-03-22 Grasshopper
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   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan
Sun  6:11am - 6:20pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby

Author Full Detail Guide
Overview: Remote off trail hiking, with downloaded "Official GPS Route" with waypoints recommended to a "very" scenic ending location at the Salt River.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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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
    Blackjack Wash to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Seriously cool destination. I've never seen anything like this in the entire state. Truly unique. I can't even imagine the extreme geologic event that created this place. It must be seen in person to really appreciate. The long steep 4x4 grind out to the remote TH is worth the effort.

    Blackjack Wash to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This third scheduled day outing for 3/23 was a short hike attempt to try and validate Oregon Hiker and my recommendation for our previously posted "alternate" Parking/TH Start location for this "Blackjack Wash to Salt River - SRC Wilderness" hike (For this alternate hiking route please review posted 3/23/13 GPS Route/information notes.. and my picset with explanatory captions/tag notes).

    Due to mid-afternoon time constraints, we were not able to validate the complete hiking route section to intersect with Blackjack Wash, but we still feel confident that this is a viable 3.6 mile one way off-trail alternate route to reach the scenic "Four Bars" viewpoint area at the Salt River via Blackjack Wash. We still recommend this as an alternative route to our now posted "official" .7 mile one way route from the lower end of stock 4WD only FR346 at the Clay Spring area.

    A couple of advantages of this to be considered "alternate" hiking GPS Route:
    .. Parking/TH Start is reachable on FR346 (with dry access roads) by High Clearance Vehicles
    .. One can hike an out and back (3.6mls one way x2)= 7.2mls R/T or..
    .. *One can hike a loop (3.6mls + .7 miles + 1.9 miles on FR346)= 6.2mls R/T
    * = recommended less demanding/faster hiking option
    Blackjack Wash to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Since Jack & I last trimmed a .70ml one way off-trail route on 2/18/13 from FR346end TH Start to the majestic "Four Bars" viewpoint area at the Salt River intersection with Lower Blackjack Wash..

    ..this was my first opportunity to share the wealth of this awesome viewpoint location with both Oregon Hiker-Larry and RWStorm-Randy. Of all the various wash and canyon routes that reside in this section of our Salt River Canyon Wilderness, this short off-trail hike to the Salt River has to have the biggest destination payoff! :DANCE:
    Blackjack Wash 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...
    Blackjack Wash to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This remote eastern section of our Tonto National Forest north of Globe, AZ, bordering & within the Salt River Canyon Wilderness has a whole lot going on.

    Since Nov'12 and over the past four months to date, I've had an awesome time exploring some of this area with our HAZ- Oregon Hiker(Larry), BEEBEE(Brian), and mnlumberjack(Jack). With their help (which also includes our Redroxx44..Letty in the wings :) , it has been very rewarding for me to document some of our last four month day trip explorations now as new HAZ "off trail" hike and scenic drive descriptions for others qualified to hopefully consider and also enjoy. Thank you all !!

    These now include (with more to hopefully be issued at a later date):
    Salt River Canyon Wild - FR303 367 645 346..
    Hess Canyon to Salt River - SRC Wilderness..
    Blackjack Wash to Salt River - SRC Wild ..
    Haystack Butte - 5741 feet..
    Camp Grasshopper - S/R Cyn Wild (FR346)..

    For this "Blackjack Wash to Salt River" hike, Larry and I had originally viewed a possible hike route on various topos and Google Earth. We both came up with different preferred TH Starting locations for a planned route. On 12/17/12 Brian and I successfully hiked my exploratory route out and back. Afterwards however, I was not satisfied with this route and later defaulted to Larry's route for any future attempts. Then on 1/12/13, Letty and Brian camped at FR346 end-Clay Spring area (now HAZ published above as "Camp Grasshopper" :) ). They hiked a different canyon area on 1/13 but prior-to their PM departure, Letty noticed a possible shorter off-trail route starting across from their campsite area. Knowing that I was planning a revisit, Letty shared her thoughts with me and the rest is history.. she was right-on!

    Jack and I planned our scouting trip back out here this day 2/18/13 to accomplish a number of things, but one important task of which was to blaze (with loppers) a new off-trail route from FR346 end at Clay Spring to the majestic Salt River viewpoint area at Blackjack Wash lower end.. ..Mission accomplished & documented :DANCE:
    Blackjack Wash to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Please note: There are now two documented TH Starts (with my two 12/17 GPS Routes posted) for this hike description. Brian and my route down this day was an exploratory route from the "not recommended" TH Park/Start Location (see my two posted 12/17/12 GPS Routes information notes for the "recommended" TH Park/Start location hiking down from FR346 to access Blackjack Wash).

    This remote, off-trail, light canyoneering hike is all about the destination :DANCE: :
    ending at the Salt River at a most scenic location where four huge geological formations (coined the "4 bars") of the "White Ledges" reside and crossover the Salt River at this ending location.

    Our Oregon Hiker (Larry) and I first viewed this possible Salt River Canyon Wilderness hike on 11/20/12 when he and I first visited this area to hike Hess Canyon and then later this same day drive the scenic area roads for more intel. My thanks to Larry for all his Google Earth analysis which allowed for a "go" on this one. If only I had decided to begin this hike from Larry's recommended TH Start location on FR346 vs my decision to start this hike in from the upper end of Blackjack Wash. My route decision worked out OK, but was not the best beginning route in for this hike. Live and Learn! ;)

    I had high hopes for this new destination hike and I did a heavy selling job to Brian in anticipation of a big payoff. It did pay off nicely for us both and Brian, thank you for joining me and for all your help with route finding within the numerous boulder fields we needed to negotiate the ups and downs around waterfall drop areas. The last 1.4 miles to the Salt River is a real pleasure trip with a nice sandy wash to hike with a colorful and scenic slot canyon for most of this final way to the Salt River and "White Ledges" viewpoint area. Another fun and rewarding day in our amAZing!
    Blackjack Wash to Salt River - SRC Wilderness
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    So I originally had plans to do a backpack trip Monday and Tuesday and for a variety of reasons it was canceled. I was talking to Hank on Sunday night about a future hike and he mentioned wanting to do this one. When he described it to me I was very intrigued. We worked out a meet time and headed out to the SRC wilderness.

    After navigating 2 gates and the muddy forest roads and the last half mile of 4 wheel drive road we arrived at the trail head and started off. On the way to the river we were treated to awesome views neat geology and not another human. Only wildlife we saw were some jack rabbits and cows.

    After completing some climbs and stopping a few times for pictures we arrived at the river. After a 20 min break we headed back up the wash made our climbs looked for an alternate way up on the last climb and made it back to the jeep.

    It was a great hike and my first with the legendary Grasshopper.

    Thanks again for the great trip Hank I really enjoyed exploring this new area with you.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    From the Phoenix area: 60E to east Globe,AZ, then 60N to intersection of 60N/FR303(Haystack Butte Road), then FR303 to intersection of FR303/FR645, then FR645 to intersection of FR645/FR346, then FR346 to TH Park/Hike Start at waypoint coordinates 33.680106, -110.735582

    Note: With exception of FR346 (partial high clearance & partial 4WD)all other FRs noted are high clearance "ok" when dry; Posted GPS Routes include "key" driving WPs from the intersection of Hwy 60/FR303(Haystack Butte Road);
    page created by Grasshopper on Dec 18 2012 6:23 pm
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