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Byous Butte Loop with Hewitt Ridge Canyon, AZ

Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
no permit
84 3 0
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 3.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,785 feet
Elevation Gain 1,163 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,500 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.2
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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9  2009-12-25 nonot
35  2009-12-25 Grasshopper
40  2009-01-01 Grasshopper
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 47
Routes 486
Photos 8,946
Trips 550 map ( 5,407 miles )
Age 76 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Nov, Jan → 9 AM
Seasons   Early Winter to Early Spring
Sun  6:08am - 6:31pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2021 Telegraph Fire266.7 mi**
🔥 2019 Woodbury Fire123.8k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles
**possible voids inflate figure

.. A 40 ft Water Fall Awaits You ..
by Grasshopper

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Overview: This rugged off trail, thick desert vegetation, true loop hike around Byous Butte with required boulder scrambling & bushwhacking on a side trip into a most remote, unnamed canyon in Hewitt's Ridge that few humans have ever seen offers the intermediate/advanced day hiker that enjoys a true destination pay-off, a real treat: a 40 foot waterfall with seasonal water flow and a large slick rock pool basin area with rugged near and distant canyon views to bring you back again!

History: This area around and behind towering Byous Butte at 3837ft and just outside the Superstition Wilderness boundary line has some of the most healthy stands of Saguaros in the whole Superstition Wilderness. There was also some very serious geology that took place here eons ago and as such, numerous interesting rock and mineral formations dominate the landscape in this whole area. For the rock hound, hiker like me, this is a real candy store!

Hike: This 3.7 mile hiking loop route (see & download my posted GPS Route dated 1/1/09) and ~5 hour required hike (which includes a stop for a lunch break and pictures) is almost completely off-trail except for the first 0.75mi route to what I call Byous Butte- Saddle#1(at GPS waypoints N33 22.161 W111 12.727). Over the past two year period I have marked this first 0.75mi route with rock cairns. Once over Saddle#1, you should follow my posted 1/1/09 GPS Route for the remainder of this hike. Unless you are doing a car shuttle hike (see below driving direction details for more info), the last 0.66mi of this loop hike is on FR172 back to your beginning TH Start location (also see below driving directions for TH Start information).

This remote off trail loop hike with a side trip into a most interesting unnamed canyon in hidden Hewitt's Ridge is visited very seldom by humans and could quite possibly retain some ancient Salado Indian Ruins. Some of my 1/1/09 posted pictures indicate this possibility, but this trip I did not have time to further explore to confirm or deny. Once up to Byous Butte Saddle#1, you will proceed on the saddle over to the Right(north) and then switchback your way into the main Byous Butte drainage below. When arriving in this lower drainage, you will continue following this rocky and sometimes overgrown drainage southwest downhill to where it intersects the Byous Butte drainage coming in from south to northwest, intersecting at approx GPS Waypoints N33 22.038 W111 12.924; You will make your way down into this intersection area(chose your path of least resistance) and then start the hike scramble continuing northwest up this same drainage having to sometimes push your way through dense downfall and overgrowth. DON'T GIVE UP.. take my word for it, your ending destination up canyon approximately 0.46mi to go(at GPS Waypoints N33 22.160 W111 12.977) is going to be worth all your effort.

The last 0.46mi of this spur canyon hike has some wonderful, rugged, and most remote canyon views that only a very few have ever witnessed, and as you continue further toward your ending destination to this "40 foot waterfall area", depending on the month of the year you do this trip, hopefully you will be rewarded like I was with water starting to flow down the canyon drainage indicating you are getting closer. When you arrive at this previously mentioned GPS ending waypoint and slick rock basin-waterfall area you will know it! Also, don't forget your camera for this one!

Your trip back to complete this true loop hike will be to backtrack the 0.46mi to the canyon drainage intersections and then just continue in the canyon south drainage an additional scenic and interesting 1.1mls to intersect FR172 at the Byous Springs area (at GPS Waypoints N33 21.439 W111 12.544). From here, you will either car shuttle or hike the remaining 0.66mi back up FR172 to your beginning TH Start location.

Also, just as a side note: IF you had rather not do a true loop hike, but rather an even shorter "in and out" hike to this remote Hewitt Ridge Canyon 40ft waterfall area, then you would start hiking north up the Byous Butte drainage from the Byous Springs area(TH) then just return back the way you went in.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2009-01-14 Grasshopper
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From the Phoenix area: Take US 60 east out of Apache Junction. A couple miles past Florence Junction at MP214.2 turn north onto Queen Valley Road and drive for 1.8 miles. Turn right onto FR357 (Hewitt Station Road) and drive for 3.0 miles to signed FR172. Turn left onto FR172 and drive for 6.0 miles to "easy to miss" high clearance primitive campsite entrance road(left turn) at GPS Waypoints N33 21.892 W111 12.277; Continue driving in this rutted campsite entrance road for approx 100 yards to the first turn-in campsite entrance area on your left side; Park in here and walk to top of wash entrance area at GPS Waypoints N33 21.930 W111 12.293 and you will see a ROCK CAIRN at this location which marks the TH START of this Loop Hike; NOTE: IF you are doing this complete loop hike and are planning two vehicles, you can park one vehicle here and the second shuttle vehicle 0.66mi South on FR172 at the Byous Springs/Creek Crossing at GPS Waypoints N33 21.439 W111 12.544 (a shuttle option will allow you to not have to hike the 0.66mi on FR172 back to the TH Start location);
    page created by Grasshopper on Jan 12 2009 7:27 pm
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