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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.

Chitty Trail 37, AZ

no permit
0 4 1
Guide 4 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Alpine > Alpine S
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 5.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,000 feet
Elevation Gain 1,600 feet
Avg Time One Way 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.53
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
12  2016-06-17
Highline Trail #47 - Apache Sitgreaves
25  2015-05-24
Highline Trail #47 - Apache Sitgreaves
Author BelladonnaTook
author avatar Guides 12
Routes 9
Photos 1,291
Trips 58 map ( 568 miles )
Age 72 Male Gender
Location Lakeside, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Jun, Aug, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:01am - 6:23pm
2 Alternative
Uncorrupted by Civilization
by BelladonnaTook

Likely In-Season!
Discussing another infrequently visited canyon in the White Mountains, the wildlife biologist for Springerville Ranger District used the term "pristine". That seemed a strange choice of words until I checked my dictionary and realized it also fits Chitty Canyon perfectly: "Uncorrupted by Civilization".

Without a roadside trailhead of its own, Chitty is accessible only from other trails, and none of the routes is particularly convenient or easy. Bushwhacking down from FR 54 is the shortest and fastest way in, but, due to the steepness of the slope, is not recommended for leaving. The McBride Mesa - Highline combo also provides fairly quick access but via an exposed south slope that can be a real scorcher in summer.

A feeling of great age and decay pervades Chitty Canyon. The area was never logged and hasn't burned in living memory. The canyon is deep and narrow, limiting direct sun exposure to just a few hours per day, and destructive winds blow over instead of through. A good sized stream flows here year round. The trees have grown unhindered for a very long time and reached great size - Douglas fir 16 feet in circumference, white pine pushing 14 feet - and are dying of old age. This is truly a climax forest.

The Clifton Ranger District has 488 miles of trail and a budget that allows maintaining only 8 miles per year. Chitty is near the top of the priority list for grooming. It has received no attention for, at least, a dozen years and is gradually being reabsorbed into the earth. Tree blazes are healing over, dead trees (including many of the blaze trees) are falling across the trail, high grass and brush are reclaiming the route which bears very little foot traffic. Hiking through Chitty Canyon is definitely not a cakewalk, and the best strategy is to follow the path of least resistance rather than trying to locate and navigate the actual trail. A benefit of leaving the tangle of dead trees in place is it inhibits encroachment by livestock. Cattle do not come this way.

A lovely waterfall marks the south end of Chitty Canyon where the Highline Trail enters from the west. Chitty Trail itself continues another 3 miles south to its junction with Salt House Trail. The waterfall, the big trees, the sense of real wilderness combine in a unique environment - think Mirkwood and Fangorn - that's difficult to reach but well worth the effort.

Check out the Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2003-09-06 BelladonnaTook

    Apache - Sitgreaves FS Details
    Description: Although hard to access, this trail has some special attractions including a small waterfall and bright, Fall colors from maples in the canyon. Chitty Creek flows year-around and attracts birds and wildlife. The waterfall is just south of the west intersection with Highline Trail #47.

    This trail is unusual in that it does not have a trailhead accessible from a road and it just ends in Chitty Canyon instead of at a road or another trail. The southern end starts with a junction with the Salt House Trail # 18. Look for remains of Sawmill Cabin about 0.6 miles up the canyon.

    The northern part ends in Chitty Creek Canyon about 2 miles north of Highline Trail #47. The trail ends at a large spring which is the main source of Chitty Creek. Since the trail ends in the canyon, most people take Highline Trail over to the McBride Mesa Trail #26 and go to the top by that route.

    This trail leads up hill from Salthouse Creek where it begins at about 6,000 feet. The first part of the trail is a jeep road in Salthouse Creek. Carry plenty of water and treat any water you find before drinking

    Trail Log:
    0.0 Junction with Salthouse Trail #18
    0.4 Abandoned corral
    0.6 Old cabin site. Jeep trail ends here
    1.7 Junction with Spur trail heading west to McBride Mesa Trail #26
    2.9 Chitty Falls. Above this falls a patient fisherman can usually catch a few rainbow trout.
    3.0 Junction with Highline Trail #47 heading west
    3.4 Junction with Highline Trail #47 heading east
    5.2 End of trail. Chitty Creek begins here as a large spring that bubbles ice water into the canyon.

    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
    Chitty Trail 37
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After exploring Hagan Canyon trail, I headed north up 191 to the Strayhorse campground and the trailhead for my overnight backpack. My destination was the Chitty Falls area. I had been there before and while the falls are not spectacular, there is a very nice campsite near them and I had remembered thinking how nice of a spot it would be for an over-nighter last year. I was also interested in hiking the rest of Chitty Creek and Salthouse Trail #18, which I still need to get into HAZ. At Strayhorse I double checked my gear, cooked up a brat and had some cream of wheat for an early lunch and then hit the trail.

    As expected it was very warm and Blanco and I did not get much relief until about half way down the Salthouse Trail. The Highline Trail is rather exposed, especially with a couple of major burn areas in the first two miles, so we were happy to get off it and on to some new trail. Salthouse went pretty quick and it was not horrible, but not overly impressive either. In fact, it was even a slight drag because it was cluttered up with cattle. I guess I must have missed grazing season the last time I was there, because both Salt and Chitty were being pretty heavily grazed. Luckily there were not many cattle around the falls and my campsite, however, they still greatly diminished the two trails for me. I still managed to enjoy my superb site located just south of the falls and high on the creek bank.

    We only covered about 17 miles on Friday, but the heat had Mr. Blanco and I beat and we were both in bed before the sun completely fell. We got an early start on day two in order to beat the worst of the morning heat and leave time for an afternoon day hike somewhere in the higher elevations of the Blue Range. We reached the trailhead at about 0930 on Saturday.
    Chitty Trail 37
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    The goal of this hike was to reach Chitty Canyon; a canyon that has supposedly remained pristine with zero logging and no fires within recent memory. Chitty trail and canyon can only be reached from various trails, as there is no access from the road or designated trail head.

    High Line Trail #47 was a great choice for accessing Chitty Canyon. The trail was well maintained and had several great stretches along various creeks and through forest of gigantic ponderosa. The trail is not only a nice trail, but its ending is where the real beauty starts; Chitty Canyon.

    High Line is very up and down and it wears on you a little, but the trail is generally in great shape. We reached Chitty canyon and immediately saw the falls described in description, however, cascades would probably be a more appropriate term, very picturesque though and certainly worth the miles. I intended to make a loop out of Chitty Canyon Trail and the Salt House Trail. However, just as I was starting to bask in the beauty of Chitty canyon, I noticed something. My sunglasses were no longer on my head! Although it pained me, I decided to abort my loop and turn my hike into an out and back, with the off chance that I might run across my sunglasses in the trail.

    My decision paid off. Probably not even a full mile back on the steep descent were my sunglasses in the middle of the trail On the way down, I took a nasty fall and fell completely flat on my pack. I remember thinking how lucky I was the pack cushioned my fall, but my neck snapped pretty hard. In fact, my head snapped so hard that my sunglasses fell off. How lucky can you get?

    The rest of the trail was pretty uneventful. I explored some other trails that intersected #47 and made a short loop on the way back with Crab Apple Tree Trail. We did see another bear though. This one took us all by surprise, I had just stopped to grab something out of my bag when a huge crash in the drainage next to us revealed a bear making a bee line for the top of the small canyon. Blanco did much better this time. He made a pretty dedicated first move towards the bear, but stopped after a firm yell. The bear was also 400 feet ahead of him by this point, that may have contributed to him stopping as well.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Clifton go 23 miles north on Hwy 191, then west on FR 217 22 miles to Honeymoon CG. Follow East Eagle Trail #33 5.5 miles, fork left and proceed 1 mile on Salt House Trail #18 to Chitty Trail which branches left.

    From Clifton go 55 miles north or from Alpine go 33 miles south on Hwy 191 to Strayhorse CG. Follow Highline Trail #47 7 miles west to intersection with Chitty Trail.

    From Alpine drive south on Hwy 191 29 miles to FR 54, thence 4.4 miles west to an unnumbered doubletrack turning off left. To this point, in dry weather, passenger cars are adequate. Proceed south 1 mile to McBride Mesa trailhead - high clearance required. Follow McBride Mesa Trail #26 south off the Rim 2 miles to Highline Trail #47. Take Highline 1 mile east to Chitty Trail at Chitty Falls.

    From intersection with Hwy 191 as described above, take FR 54 2.6 miles west to a point where road is very near the Rim - approximate UTM 649298E and 371614N. Park and follow ridge .9 mile to intersection of 2 drainages at head of Chitty Canyon.
    $17 3L Hydration Bladder
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