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Pine Creek Narrows - Isolation Canyon, AZ

no permit
43 4 0
Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Payson > Payson W
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Distance One Way 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,300 feet
Accumulated Gain 600 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 5
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
6  2019-06-24 MountainMatt
8  2017-07-22 MountainMatt
29  2015-02-14 chumley
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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, May, Mar
Sun  6:09am - 6:31pm
0 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby

Narrow canyon that accesses popular climbing area known as Isolation Canyon. Hike features flowing water during wet seasons. Dry seasons will still provide intermittent pools of water, but not regular flow. Several falls require down climbs with existing ropes or steep bypasses.

Distances are up to you (one-way):
Junction with canyon draining from east with several large falls: ~0.75mi
Main climbing area: ~1.25mi
Steep drainage exit to the northwest ~2.0mi
Oak Spring Canyon: ~2.5mi
Private Property boundary: ~3.0mi

After 3 miles in canyon at private property head west via old road toward Oak Spring jct with AZT and Oak Spring Trail. It's about 4 more miles back to the parking area.
Use trails above the Isolation climbing area provide shorter loop options.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    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.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Pine Creek Narrows - Isolation Canyon
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I spotted this canyon from up on the rim last summer and followed up with some map research. Saturday was a perfect day to check it out after kicking off Arizona Beer Week with breakfast in the Wilderness. :y: Needless to say, that put a solid delay on going anywhere, and I wasn't on trail until 2pm.

    My mapped plan was to descend through the narrows and then climb up Oak Spring Canyon to meet up with the AZT/Oak Spring trail back to the TH.

    I was really pleased with the water flow in the canyon, as I hadn't expected there to be much. In fact, I suspect that much of the year there are only standing pools of water in here rather than a nice flow. This canyon can definitely flash though. Luckily you can see if there's flow in Pine and the watershed is only a few miles across, so no distant thunderstorms can sneak up on you in summer.

    It was only after I spotted three climbers rappelling down the several-hundred foot cliffs on the side of the canyon and got back home to research it that I realized that "The Narrows" of Pine Creek (as they are called on maps) is known as Isolation Canyon in the climbing community. Suddenly, I knew all about the place ... I just hadn't realized that's where I was!

    I managed to keep my feet dry until near the end, when it was just easier to cross a pool on foot than attempt some kind of bypass. There are some really special spots in these narrows including some very good size waterfalls. Two places involved some climbing, and I was happy to find ropes in place to help me along.

    Because of my late start, I realized I wasn't going to have time to complete my loop as planned. So I bailed up a very steep slope and headed for the power lines that lead back to Pine. I don't recommend this route as it is very steep and thick with brush that eats hikers. I did startle a healthy looking bear on the ridge, and it lumbered down into a side canyon. So that was another highlight of the day!

    I made it back to my truck just as it got dark, and then crossed the street to meet up with Karl, Kathy, and Kyle at THAT brewery for a few minutes. :)

    For somewhere that is so ridiculously easy to get to, I was surprised to see only one previous post on HAZ through here. I'll definitely be back. I'd like to see it in summer green, and also see how the water flow changes in different seasons.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Just north of the Pine Trailhead and just south of THAT Brewery on AZ-87 in Pine, turn west onto Bradshaws Road. Turn left at the first fork and proceed 300 yards to parking area on the right. Alternately, you may park at the Pine TH and hike 1 mile to this point via the Oak Spring Trail #16.
    page created by chumley on Feb 16 2015 9:57 am
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