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Noon Creek Trail #302A, AZ

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Guide 25 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Safford
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance One Way 0.68 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,711 feet
Elevation Gain 485 feet
Accumulated Gain 485 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 2.3
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
13  2018-08-17
Noon Creek Loop
30  2017-05-19
Round the Mountain Trail #302
10  2016-04-28
Noon Creek Loop
6  2014-03-29 SkyIslander18
15  2014-01-05
Round the Mountain Trail #302
13  2013-04-09
Noon Creek Canyon Loop
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   Apr, Mar, Nov, Oct
Sun  6:07am - 6:17pm
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0 Alternative
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The following is in reference to the picnic area. Should suffice to get you in the mood for a nooner hike.

The name "Noon Creek" comes from the fact that when pioneer settlers traveled this way on excursions into the Pinaleno Mountains, this was usually as far as they were able to get via horse and wagon by lunch time of the first day. Noon Creek thus became a traditional lunch stop along the historic travel route into the Pinalenos and it remains a popular picnic spot today. The surroundings here are typical of mountain oak woodlands with junipers and scrub oaks standing as the tallest trees, while satin barked manzanita, saw-leafed sotol and soaptree yucca form a picturesque understory.

Keep an eye out for some of the local residents. You may catch a glimpse of a spiny lizard or a raspy-voiced cactus wren, a bird well adapted to life in this dry, bristling environment. Even if you don't see the latter, you can usually hear their raspy call. Watch for roadrunners, too, as they dart among the underbrush always on the lookout for a slithery meal.

Bear Warning: To avoid putting a bear's life in danger and risking the loss of some of your own property as well, please dispose of all garbage in the bear-proof containers provided. Also remember to keep all food out of reach and out of sight of these curious, powerful animals. Watch for poison ivy and snakes along the streambed of nearby Noon Creek. Ladybug and Round the Mountain Trails are nearby.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    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 of 18 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Noon Creek Trail #302A
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    Sunrise start to beat the heat.
    Made it up to Marijilda Saddle by 6am and was already dripping with sweat :sweat:
    Was so happy to see that only the upper canyon & ridgeline were hit by last years Frye fire and not too bad, just patchy burn areas. The rest of the canyon down to Marijilda creek looked fine including the small population of pines along the trail that I feared would be gone. I continued down to just the first overlook of the Gila Valley below which was hidden in a thick smokey haze. Quick text to a friend who informed me that the winds had brought the smoke from 2 of the New Mexico fires into AZ overnight. Returned back in the hazy morning sunshine making it back down to my truck at 8am. Not a trail I like to do in June (my least favorite month), but am glad I got my status on Marijilda ..... and it was good!

    Noon Creek Trail #302A
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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 Trail #302A
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    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 Trail #302A
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    Late afternoon clockwise loop.
    Wonderful hike, made it to the upper crossing just as the sun fell behind Mt Graham.
    Second half down I had wonderful shadow lighting.
    Arrived down to the lower crossing at sunset.
    Spent another hour at RTM Campground with a campfire and meal.
    Watched the big moon rise and the lights of Safford below come on before returning back home.

    Noon Creek Trail #302A
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    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 Trail #302A
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Started up with the sun.
    Counter clock-wise loop.
    Lower creek crossing unaffected by the Frye Fire :y:
    Next 1/2 mile up very affected by the fire :(
    Then through the old Nuttail/Gibson burn of 2004 that is recovering well :)
    This poor north side of the loop has been through a lot in 13 years :pk:
    Upper creek crossing and rest of the south side trail looked great, lush & green :D
    All done by 7am!

    Noon Creek upper crossing
    [ youtube video ]
    Noon Creek Trail #302A
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    Solo overnight getaway - Noon Creek to Marijilda Creek segment of the Round the Mountain Trail.

    From the RTM lot I took Noon Creek up, right onto RTM up to Marijilida saddle then down to Marijilda Creek. Planned on setting up camp by the creek, but the area was very thick and closed in with foliage. Very beautiful, but not what I was looking for to camp. Decided to head back up and out to camp higher on the switchbacks at a great Gila valley overlook I noted earlier as a back-up. Unable to locate any flat ground, I set up my camp right on the trail at the overlook. I believe this was the first time I have ever done this, but this is a very low use trail and I didn't foresee any problems ... and there wasn't.
    Campfire, dinner, nighttime Gila valley lights , night/astro photography, reading & writing were my pleasures before a 10pm bedtime. Night temps at 6000ft were chilly through the night and had me up with the sun at 5am packing up and heading out. Made it back down to Noon Creek in short time ending this good trip!
    No big wildlife on the trail, but I did hear an owl most of the night down the canyon and spotted my first rattlesnake of the year crossing the Swift Trail on the drive down home.
    Noon Creek Trail #302A
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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 Trail #302A
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    Started from the Noon Creek Picnic Area.
    Counter-clockwise loop.
    Very up close interaction with a young deer on the way up!
    Not much snow left up high so I was surprised to see the good creek flow at the upper crossing.
    Found a couple canyon trees frogs along the creek.
    Had a very close, but brief encounter with a gray fox on the down portion. First time seeing one of them on this trail.
    Also saw 2 Mexican jays towards the end.
    Sunny skies to start, light rain falling at the end.
    Always enjoy my Noon Creek hikes!
    Noon Creek Trail #302A
    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.

    Permit $$
    no fees or permits reported

    if incorrect tell us about it

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

    Map Drive

    To hike
    From Safford drive south 8 miles on US 191 to AZ 366. Turn right (southwest) onto 366 and drive 7 miles to the Noon Creek Picnic Area.
    page created by joebartels on Dec 25 2012 7:53 pm
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