Had an adventure Sunday feb 7th, exploring canyons and chasing waterfalls. I found a few spots on the map, couple of seasonal waterfalls and then some known perennial waterfalls, that I wanted to visit. Altogether around 750 feet of waterfalls.
fist stop 2 am at a frozen 250ft seasonal waterfall because who doesn't like hiking around icy sheer cliff faces in complete darkness?
It was Saturday night clear skies and almost the new moon.
I began hiking my hike soon Hearing the sound of a running creek I began to get very excited. Hopping along the rocks in the icy creek bed my anticipation built, and soon enough right in front of me the creek disappears into complete blackness. I carefully walk to the icy edge of the waterfall knowing one mis-step my life would be over. Shining my headlamp down I can see absolutely nothing because it only shines 120 feet not even half way to the bottom of the waterfall. Looking across I can see a faint cliff face that looked like it would be a good vantage point to view the fall.
I thought it would be an easy hike over, but it turns out hiking in the pitch black on the edge of cliffs is a bit of a challenge as it helps to be able to see where you are going. My destination ended up being a narrow rock spire that jetted out from the canyon sides. I had just enough room to sit on the edge and set up my tripod and take a few pictures. Not seeing much I could hear the sound of the falls, the wind howling, and large chunks of ice breaking off the falls and crashing into the waters below.
Definitely not the safest thing but it was quite the rush and a good start to the next 24 hours of adventure!
I love the night but nothing beats a bright warm sun! After my night photography adventures I drove to a scenic vista pull off on the side of the HW so I would have a great view for the sunrise. Getting to sleep around 4, I awoke in a daze around 5:30 to loud country music! Why person did you decided to pull up next to me and blast music for an hour? Couldn’t you have parked anywhere else? or at least like better music? I have no idea but I was too unconscious to do anything about it at the time. I got up around 7:30 to soak in the sunrise, then start my drive down a long dirt road to another seasonal waterfall. Stopping next to the river along the way to cook some breakfast and sing songs with my Father. Ended up having such a sweet time leaving me in tears feeling extremely loved, cared for, and accepted. Moments like these are what I live for. Peace that I can’t even understand! The eggs were delicious too.
Next stop another seasonal waterfall
Out of all the falls I visited that day this was my favorite. The falls cascade down 450ft of powerful and almost majestic looking cliff faces, I had so much fun climbing up this waterfall, I took a shower in the fall, bathed in its pools, laid out on the rocks soaking in the sun and took a nap listening to the relaxing sounds of the falls.
After my nap I hiked down and started off the the next waterfall I wanted to visit that day.
Next stop Lower Falls of Cibecue Creek, many of you might recognize this spot because it's a popular swimming hole in the summer months.
Even though it is winter time and the water was very cold, the flow was very strong due to snow melt so I really wanted to see the falls raging! I got to the trail-head later in the afternoon giving me just enough time to hike in and out in time to get to a vista to watch the sun set. That’s if I started then but I decided to rest first as I was feeling my last two adrenaline filled hikes on top of little sleep. I hit the trail a little after 5 with my watermelon in hand. The canyon views are very striking; I really love this part of AZ. I knew with the creek so high I would not be able to stay out of the water. On the first crossing the water didn’t feel too cold but with each crossing it seemed to get colder. I got to the falls just as the sun was setting; it was quite a powerful scene. The falls demand respect, its roar amplified by the narrow slot canyon walls that the water carved. The flow was so strong the fall was split into 3 separate falls, creating a 2 ft wave at the base and a good amount of foam on the water. Just me and the bats there to soak it all in.
The hike back proved to be a challenge in the dark, not being able to see the bottom of the creek and having numb feet from the cold. What’s a good adventure without challenge? I’d definitely do it again!
On my way out I had one more waterfall to visit. Apache Falls are very easy to get to, not too far off the HW, but is one of the few waterfalls in AZ that is in a river not a creek. It is an impressive fall because of the size and the amount of water flowing over them (especially after snowmelt).
Snowmelt swells the river to a roar as she winds through the towering majestic canyon walls, a sight only the stars can fully take in.