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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Cibecue Creek, AZ

Guide 41 Triplogs  10 Topics
  4.5 of 5 
393 41 10
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,900 feet
Elevation Gain 220 feet
Accumulated Gain 240 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 - 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.3
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack TBD
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9  2017-04-09 friendofThunderg
25  2017-04-01 Uncharted
19  2016-11-11
Bonita and Cibecue Creeks
4  2016-10-29 urbanform
15  2016-05-01 chumley
9  2016-03-13 Digital_Sherpa
13  2016-03-03 gmaclachlan
8  2016-02-07
Salt River Canyon - US60 Crossing
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Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 242
Routes 836
Photos 12,083
Trips 4,885 map ( 24,932 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Jul, Sep → 10 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:32am - 7:24pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Flippin' Awesome!
by joebartels

Likely In-Season!
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Except for lack of challenge, few adventures compare to this one. You'll likely go home with a smile on your face. I must have been lucky. There wasn't another soul in the canyon. The weather was perfect, and so was the water.

There is no official trailhead. Just a ramada, a flipped over restroom, and a sign was telling you everything you can't do marks the start of this trail. I used "Canyoneering Arizona" to find this trail. The book says it's seven miles down the river road to Cibecue Creek. This is incorrect. It's only four. As there isn't any signage, it was a little confusing. So remember. When a creek crosses the road from a side canyon after four miles, that's the right area. Also, more importantly, the book mentions "swimming hole." According to the sign and special use permit, swimming is prohibited in all reservation waters.

Follow the creek upstream for 1.5 miles to the pounding waterfall. In the beginning, you can follow the left bank. It alternates back and forth too many times to count. The creek never got more than knee-high to the falls, with one exception. There is a wall-to-wall pool after midway. You can find a slip through the boulders on the left. Tons of river debris may make the narrow slot a challenge after big storms.

The further you go, the better it gets. Clear blue-green pools get wider, and the canyon narrows. Tiny cascades and large boulders add to the experience. Be careful in the creek. Stepping out of the creek proved to be more slippery than in the creek. I saw only one fish on the entire trip. It was about four to five inches long and zipped right by me.

It seemed like more than a mile of travel to the waterfall. Then again, the going is slow in and out of the creek. Every corner I kept thinking it must be coming soon. Then I realized it didn't matter as the scenery was fabulous.

The last turn to the falls is almost worth the trip alone. The canyon bends back and forth. Clearwater pools look perfect. The canyon cuts into the walls, and it gets narrow. You can hear the pounding of the falls ahead. Okay, so swimming is not allowed, as mentioned above. So I won't go into that. Oh yeah, exploring beyond the falls is not permitted without a guide. It doesn't matter. The mile you're allowed to explore is fantastic. Anyhow have fun and be safe.

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2000-08-17 joebartels
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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.

Permit $$
• Some areas are closed to access from Labor Day to April 1st, read about it in the link provided below.
• Permits, closures and regulations at White Mountain Apache Tribe < Cibecue, Black River, Salt River, etc.
Sunrise Park Resort

Map Drive
FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To Cibecue Trailhead
From Globe head north for about 40 miles on US60. Continue to where US60 goes down into the Salt River Canyon. Just after it crosses the river there is a dirt road on the left(west), take it. In a very short distance the road forks. Take the right over the cattle guards. Continue on this for about 4 miles to Cibecue Canyon. Be very careful in the first couple miles down. The edge of the road is a sheer cliff and is washed out in spots. Not to mention small boulders fall from above. It seemed rather dangerous, but what do I know. You know your there when a side canyon appears on your right. This is Cibecue and it flows right over the road. There's no need to cross the river but there is more room on the other side if it's real busy.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 130 mi - about 2 hours 39 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 143 mi - about 3 hours 7 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 192 mi - about 3 hours 27 mins
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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