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) http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17417
Black Mountain 4515 Ruins http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17632
Black Jack Mountains to Upper Hess Canyon http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17633
Hess Canyon to Salt River http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17086
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 => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17600
- 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 => http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=325870
. 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 => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqtJ_5sIc9Y
and http://www.americanwhitewater.org/conte ... #rapid1887
and http://www.nytimes.com/1994/10/16/us/8- ... 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 => http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=325871
. 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.
- 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.
- 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...