Garfias Wash - Hells Canyon Wilderness, AZ | HikeArizona
  This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Preferred" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Garfias Wash - Hells Canyon Wilderness, AZ

Guide 29 Triplogs Mine 0 1 Topic
3.7 of 5 
277 29 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Shuttle 9.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,401 feet
Elevation Gain -694 feet
Accumulated Gain 191 feet
Avg Time Hiking 5.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.34
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
 Backpack Possible - Not Popular
unreported if dogs are allowed
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23  2022-02-12
Hieroglyphic Mtns - 3651 and 3392
17  2022-02-12
The highpoint of Hell and 3392
9  2022-02-12
The highpoint of Hell and 3392
15  2020-03-28
Hell Canyon - Garfias Wash
14  2020-03-02
Hellgate Mountain
15  2020-01-20
Ducey Garfias
18  2020-01-20
Ducey Garfias
14  2020-01-04 ShatteredArm
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author avatar Guides 11
Routes 88
Photos 2,649
Trips 243 map ( 2,362 miles )
Age 90 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Associated Areas
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Phoenix Region
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Preferred Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:55am - 6:29pm
Official Route
10 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
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Fauna  Nearby
Flora  Nearby
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If you're going through Hell, keep on going.
by Al_HikesAZ

  Likely In-Season!
Garfias Wash flows from west to east through the middle of Hell's Canyon Wilderness into the northwest part of Lake Pleasant. This designated Wilderness is about 10,000 acres set in the rugged and scenic Hieroglyphic Mountains and managed by the BLM. The jewel of this hike is the section through the narrow Hell's Canyon. It's a beautiful riparian area with numerous interesting sections of rocks. This area is mostly volcanic rock from the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods with some granite and schist from the underlying Precambrian core. The BLM recently acquired a section of land from a private owner that basically completes this Wilderness. There is still a small section of private land that included part of Hell's Canyon. No signs were posted, but always be respectful of private property if posted.
Much of the Wilderness is surrounded by private property, so access is limited to a few spots. This hike is probably best down as a shuttle hike. Otherwise, you could simply hike the Hell's Canyon.

Park one shuttle just southwest of the bridge at the east end of Garfias Wash at Lake Pleasant. Just before the bridge is a road to the right leading to a Marina. You may need to head down to a kiosk at the Marina and pay a fee to Maricopa County to safely park a car at this trailhead. We weren't certain, so we bought the day pass to be safe. Continue up Castle Hot Springs Road. About 13 miles north of Arizona Highway 74, you will reach the historic Castle Hot Spring Resort, closed to the public. Continue up Crater Canyon, which is also private property. Bitter Creek crosses Castle Hot Springs Road about 7 miles beyond the Resort. Just past this point, head south on Cedar Basin Road. You will need 4WD for this stretch. About 2 miles south on Cedar Basin Road, you will reach Garfias Wash and the parking area.

Just start following the wash. At about 2.5 miles, you enter Hell's Canyon. It is narrow with steep walls and has lots of boulders. You can try to stay dry by scrambling around the walls, but footing can be loose on some of the walls, so be careful. The easiest way is to stick to the wash and figure that you will get your feet wet at some points. After about 2 miles, the canyon opens up, and you are back in a wider wash. Continue down the winding wash for about 4 miles. The wash widens as it approaches Lake Pleasant. Depending on the lake's water level, you may need to head to the south or head to the northeast to the road and then walk south down the road back to your cars.

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2009-02-24 Al_HikesAZ
    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

    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    Route to Garfias/Horse/Burro Trailheads

    Drive north from Phoenix on I-17 to Carefree Highway (exit 233). Go west on AZ Highway 74. Drive to the turnoff for Lake Pleasant at Castle Hot Springs Road(about 5.5 miles. Turn right and drive approximately 4 miles along Castle Hot Springs Road. Turn right to the Marina if a Maricopa County Regional Park Fee is required. Continue to the bridge over Garfias Wash as it enters Lake Pleasant. Park to the west just before the bridge to start the finishing end of the shuttle.
    page created by Al_HikesAZ on Feb 24 2009 7:55 pm

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