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Indian Spring Wash - Bartlett Dam, AZ

no permit
79 7 0
Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
4 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,729 feet
Elevation Gain -660 feet
Accumulated Gain 673 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 9.17
Interest Off Trail Hiking
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
4  2018-02-24 muskybankr
5  2016-05-01 Alston_Neal
11  2015-12-20 Alston_Neal
7  2014-12-14 Alston_Neal
22  2014-03-27 muskybankr
10  2014-01-26
Devils Hole
20  2013-04-14 Alston_Neal
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  6:14am - 6:25pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
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Author Full Detail Guide
This hike is only to the slot canyon 2.9 miles down the Indian Spring Wash and back 2.9 miles. AEG is approximate. The Verde River and Campground is approx 3+ miles more down the wash.

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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
    Indian Spring Wash - Bartlett Dam
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Revisited the Indian Springs wash down to the bootleg slot canyon and was pleased to find it bereft of the typical deadfall which completely block the trail. The bamboo thicket down by the springs remains impenetrably abundant but fortunately, unlike the saguaro, does not seem to grow out of rocks, so it can be circumvented if you have boots with a high traction quotient. The wash itself is lined with canyon walls consisting of what I will call volcanic breccia but that is because I am not a geologist. It’s probably something else but there are all kinds of different rocks strewn along the trail so it begs for a geological docent to conduct an interpretive hike before it gets too hot. The Chuparosa were starting to bloom. I include a few photos of rocks and flowers.
    Indian Spring Wash - Bartlett Dam
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I heard about this slot canyon hidden behind an impenetrable “bamboo” forest at the end of a three mile bushwhack down the Indian Spring Wash off the Bartlett Dam road through overgrown thickets of catclaw and hackberry, requiring crawls under and over innumerable downed trees and flood piles with the intermittent necessity of fighting off herds of flying javelinas unused to sharing their little paradise with humans, so, of course I had to see it. Two words of caution: 1) wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, 2) If you wear hearing aids, leave them at home or have them insured. I came back, minus one hearing aid, a bloody left ear, and with some imbedded cholla spines in my arms that found their way through my sleeves. The javelina were upset, to say the least, but when we kept coming through their grunts and growls, they were, thankfully, more afraid of us than vice-versa. Did you know they can run about 25 mph and jump pretty well too? Of course, they probably knew the territory. Still, it’s a bit unnerving to see 50-75 pound animals with tusks flying off a ledge not that far in front of you.

    Despite the brambles, this is not a difficult hike, although there is a fair amount of backing out of “dead ends” and finding a different way, one stays in the wash all the way to the canyon. It’s a nice downhill slope and all the branches are running away from you. Coming back out is a bit harder for the same reason. There are many large specimens of Fremont Cottonwood, willow and what may have been velvet ash, providing shade and shadows. Until I’m corrected, I’m calling the “bamboo,” Giant Reed (arundo donax), which the Government says, “is a bamboo-like grass with stems that grow over 20 feet tall” which pretty much fits what we saw. The February inch plus of rain in Cave Creek sent a cascade of rocks, trees and boulders downstream, which penetrated this “bamboo” forest, and actually made this hike quite a bit easier, according to a Spur Cross docent, who led us down the wash to the canyon.

    There are quite a few springs in the lower reaches of the wash, which is where we found the javelinas. The sun has a bit of a problem reaching the floor of the wash where it narrows and consequently, flowers were not abundant. Hikes of this nature do not reveal themselves to the importunings of $5 cameras so although I’ll include a photoset, this little jewel needs to be seen in person. We actually did some downstream exploring after seeing the slot canyon but got stopped by the brush and cliffs.
    The slot canyon itself winds a few hundred feet to the NE(the entrance can be missed) and involves some minor scrambling to get all the way back to where a 75 foot(approx) waterfall would splash down into your cave during a rain. See photoset. The cave itself is sufficiently sized to house a large family.

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    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phx, 101N (15 mi)to Pima Rd. north(12mi) to Cave Creek Rd, NE to Bartlett Dam Rd(4.2mi), East on Bartlett Dam Rd(9.5 mi or about 3 mi past Horseshoe Dam Rd to sign for Indian Spring Wash. Go past main wash and uphill several hundred feet to park on south roadside near easier Wash access via a tributary. You may see two white marker poles about 10 feet apart; that's the place.
    page created by muskybankr on Mar 29 2014 10:05 am
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