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South Peoples Spring, AZ

Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2.65 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,917 feet
Elevation Gain -465 feet
Accumulated Gain 211 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.35
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
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Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
22  2014-03-01
Santa Maria - Lower Peoples Canyon Loop
45  2013-11-16
Peoples Canyon Loop
13  2013-01-26
Peoples Canyon Loop
author avatar Guides 84
Routes 694
Photos 17,218
Trips 1,684 map ( 12,723 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Apr, Oct, Nov, May → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn
Sun  5:54am - 7:21pm
Official Route
4 Alternative

Llewelyn's Litigation
by chumley

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Private Property Notice:
First things first. The land in the area of South Peoples Spring is private property. Access to this part of Peoples Canyon requires written permission from the landowner. Contact information for the landowner can be obtained from the BLM Kingman Field Office.

There are no developed trails in the Arrastra Mountain Wilderness. All travel is off-trail and requires careful route-finding and caution. This is a severe desert climate and this remote location can be dangerous at any time of year, but especially so in the warm summer months. Be prepared.

This is the shortest route to access the rugged South Peoples Spring area of Peoples Canyon. As of the time of this writing, there continues an ongoing legal dispute between the owner of the property at South Peoples Spring and the BLM regarding improved access and ranching needs. There is no reason to address details here, but it may be worth your time to research the facts if you plan to visit the area and will be contacting the landowner for permission to hike across the property. You will also likely encounter evidence of the dispute along your hike.

The hike begins at the closed metal gate of what was once an old road leading toward the spring. A sign on the gate reminds users of the private property ahead. After about a quarter-mile and a short climb, the route follows the old road across mostly flat terrain, with just a few light rolling hills with little elevation change. Though Arrastra was only designated a wilderness in 1990, this road is often lost in the landscape, either eroded or overgrown. For the most part, it is easy to follow, but attention must be paid, or getting a bit off track is possible. Luckily, this desert landscape is forgiving, with widely spaced flora, easily traversed without obstacles.

At about 1.8 miles you will reach a large above-ground water tank (empty, and no longer in use), before climbing a gentle slope to the high point of the hike. It is at this point, about 2.0 miles from the trailhead that you begin the 500-foot descent into Peoples Canyon. The old road down this hill has been severely eroded over time, and in some places, it is difficult to follow and you must just find your own route. About halfway down the hill, you will encounter a private property sign at a nice viewpoint, though my map indicates the property boundary actually occurs a bit farther up the hill (see official GPS route for details). Please respect private property and don't proceed beyond the sign without obtaining permission from the landowner.

The bottom half of the road continues to deteriorate until it ceases to exist. An old irrigation pipe follows a cut in the hillside making the final descent to the canyon bottom where you will encounter thick brush, shady trees, and a trickling creek with a few deep pools of clear, cold water. The most interesting features are a bit upstream, but you can continue downstream and fight the thick riparian growth for over half a mile before it dries up, and becomes easier to explore.

From here, you can return the way you came, head up canyon via the Peoples Canyon route, or head down canyon 3.5-4.0 miles to connect to the Santa Maria River.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2013-11-18 chumley

    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.

    Permit $$
    Information is listed below

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    From Wickenburg, travel about 44 miles north on US-93. At the junction of AZ-97, (milepost 155) make a U-Turn across the divided highway and travel south on US-93 for about 200 yards. Turn right onto an unsigned dirt road and proceed through a closed gate. This road requires high-clearance and mandatory 4x4 in several locations even during dry weather. Follow this road for 3.0 miles to the metal gate next to a cattle corral, and a few hundred yards before a windmill. Park here. The hike heads uphill behind the gate. (Note: from mile 0.7 to the trailhead the dirt road is on State Trust land and requires a permit for recreation. The trailhead parking and corral are also on State Trust land. Half a mile past the trailhead the road re-enters BLM land where no permit is required.)
    page created by chumley on Nov 18 2013 11:25 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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