register help

Arnett Creek - Telegraph Canyon Loop, AZ

no permit
53 9 0
Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Superior SW
3.3 of 5 by 3
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 7.43 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,641 feet
Elevation Gain 400 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,063 feet
Avg Time One Way 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.97
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
27  2018-12-07
Arnett Creek
10  2017-01-29
Picketpost Circumference
1  2016-12-14 ssk44
7  2016-12-03
Picketpost Summit & Circumference
35  2015-11-20 kingsnake
Author kingsnake
author avatar Guides 83
Routes 182
Photos 7,946
Trips 637 map ( 5,893 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn
Sun  6:08am - 6:31pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
There's gold in them thar canyons!
by kingsnake

Overview: You have to pick four preferred months, so I picked November-February, but the colors will be the last week of November or the first week of December. You might get some flow for the winter monsoon in January or February. While you can do this hike any time of the year, in the late fall you will want to start no earlier than 0730, so that you have decent light for photographing the trees. Luckily, it appears the satellite passed over in late fall, so if you view the official route in sat view, you will see where the colors are concentrated.

Warning: There's a fair bit of garbage in the first half mile, which is certain to contain nails. Also, there's a number of popular firing ranges in the area, one of which I've marked on the route.

Water Sources: Upper Arnett Creek, which you start on, will probably be bone dry. The unnamed canyon in the middle has many, many pools; I have observed flow in it on a previous occasion. Telegraph Canyon will be mostly dry, but may have a pool or slight trickle. Lower Arnett Canyon, just after the Finger Rock, was quite muddy in the creek bottom, indicating heavy prior flow.

Hike: Find your way through the garbage to Arnett Creek, and start walking south.

0.50 mi.: Near the quarry, you will encounter the first colors, which you will pass through the arched middle of.

1.00 mi.: At the cattle grate, you will encounter the second set of colors, which you will pass to the side of. (This puts the trees to your left, and the sun to your front, whereas heading down the middle of the trees will put the sun in front of you, making for more difficult photos.) At the end of the colors, turn west into Wood Canyon, in which there may be a few colorful trees.

2.00 mi.: Exit the creek bottom, heading up slope, through the emerald rocks, along a foot path.

2.40 mi.: At the top of the saddle, where the foot path continues west towards Filaria Spring, turn north into the unnamed canyon. The canyon is a mile-long series of slick rock, light vegetation and pools. It may very well be flowing. Picking your way down canyon is not difficult.

3.50 mi.: The third set of colors, which I described last year as looking like well-aged Wisconsin cheddar (if you catch them at their peak). Afterwards, turn east on FR 4 for a few feet, turning north just past the knob, beginning your climb to the rim above lower Arnett Creek.

4.25 mi.: As you follow the rim, you will pass the first big cairn, on your way to the overlook at 4.50 miles. After the overlook, continue to follow the rim west along Telegraph Canyon, observing colors along the canyon's bottom.

5.00 mi.: Duck under the barbwire fence, then pass by the second big cairn at 5.25 miles.

5.50 mi.: Follow the access path into Telegraph Canyon. It is a mild descent of only 80 feet. At the bottom turn east along the established path. Although the brush can be quite dense, stop often, scanning left, right and backwards, to spot further colors.

6.25 mi.: The fifth set of colors will be near the Finger Rock, at the confluence of Telegraph Canyon and Arnett Creek. Find the right angle, and you will be able to frame the Finger Rock in golden leaves. Turn east along Arnett Creek. The creek bottom may be quite muddy, but there is a path to the side. Lighting may be challenging due to the colors being between you and the sun, plus the cliff being between you and the sun. Contrast could be severe. The highlight is the only red tree I spotted, at 7.00 miles, just before the quarry. After the red tree, follow the dirt roads back to the trailhead.

7.50 mi.: Fini.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2015-11-21 kingsnake

    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 Reviews
    Arnett Creek - Telegraph Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Picketpost Summit & Circumference
    This was my first time doing this summit. I enjoyed the little bits of scrambling you get to do, and the choose-your-own-adventure aspect of the route. It's as easy or hard as you want to make it.

    The summit itself is pretty cool too. On a clear day like we had, you can see a lot of the prominent peaks of Southern Arizona. At the top I discovered I had left my camera in my truck, which was a bummer, but I recovered. :)

    There were a few spots along the circumference trail I really wish I had my camera. The creeks along the circumference trail are some great spots. Sycamore and Cottonwood islands in a sea of Saguaro and low Sonoran cacti. Same concept and feel as Whisky Springs, Cottonwood Springs, ect... in the Supes.

    A great hike, with great company!
    Arnett Creek - Telegraph Canyon Loop
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I was in the Telegraph Canyon area last December 1st, looking for a route up the White Rock 3012 monolith, when I noticed a side canyon, just south of FR 4, that had some amazing yellow late fall color ( [ photoset ] ). I couldn't get out there the same weekend this year, so a few weeks ago I figured I would hike Picketpost Circumference ( [ photoset ] ) to get my fall color fix. I was too early. So, I put together a loop ( [ description ] ), to combine the two, and do it as close to peak as my schedule allowed. That would be this hike, here. :D

    Starting just before 0800, I had good light. It really made the heaps of garbage pop. It seemed the locals would not mind, so I used one heap for a latrine. :whistle:

    The colors started a half mile later. Some real nice yellow in that section of Arnett Creek. I saw one cattle that was scratching a rear hoof behind his ear, just like a dog or cat. I did not know cattle did that! :-k

    There was some spot color in Wood Canyon before I began the first climb of the day, along the emerald rocks, to the saddle between Wood Canyon, Filaria Spring and the Unnamed Canyon. I hoped to find fall color extending further south into the Unnamed Canyon, than I had previously noticed, but no such luck. (Other than some flowers.) Jillions of pools, though, the entire length of the Unnamed Canyon. I was expecting some falls, or scrambling, but travel was fairly easy. Certainly easier than negotiating the ankle breakers in most creek bottoms.

    I could have hiked the first and last third quicker, but I was taking my time, scanning 360, looking for good color. In the middle third, climbing from FR 4 up to the observation point I was feeling my lack of hiking (due to family issues) the last few weeks. I actually thought about bailing, but decided to press on. My knee tendons wrecked their vengence on me later that night. :stretch:

    From the OP, I spotted one lonely red tree in Arnett Canyon, the rest were yellow. I worked my way along the Telegraph Canyon rim, looking for other possible descents, but ended up settling for the established short cut, which ended up being only 80 barely noticeable feet. :roll:

    The color was definitely better on the canyon bottom than a few weeks ago, and I was able to get some very pretty pictures of yellow leaves framing the Finger Rock. :FG:

    It took me awhile to find the red tree, and I was worried I may have missed it, but find it I did. :DANCE:

    I wish I could have been out there this upcoming weekend: I recommend that you give this loop a shot after Thanksgiving. You won't regret it. :D


    Hike Video: ... Mwtg (If the video looks like pixellated crap, like it did when I previewed it on YouTube, blame them for choking the bandwidth ...)

    The two clusters on Arnett Creek south of FR 4 had some very nice yellow, and were probably peaking. There was some spot yellow in Wood Canyon. The unnamed canyon, just south of FR 4, was 7-10 days short of peak (i.e. check it out this upcoming weekend). Telegraph Canyon was looking yellow, especially near Finger Rock. Arnett Canyon, between Finger Rock and FR 4, was a bit short of peak, with some yellow and some orange, but only one red tree.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    The first road on the south side of U.S. 60, as you enter Superior from the west, is Mary Dr. Turn south. At 0.5 miles, at the fire department / high school intersection, turn south on Telegraph Canyon Rd. the road soon turns to dirt, but is car drivable, as long as you take care crossing the few washes. At two miles there will be a fork in the road; stay left on FR 230. (Right is FR 4.) Park at the pullout a couple hundred yards up on the right.
    page created by kingsnake on Nov 21 2015 7:36 pm
    2+ mi range whistle
    blow it like you mean it
    help comment issue

    end of page marker