steep trail to Workman creek
While many of the more popular areas such as the Superstitions and the Mogollon Rim see hoards of people escaping the valley's drama, the Hells Hole area of the Salome Wilderness offers solitude and silence. It starts as a nice stroll up an old jeep road through pine forest. After 100 ft. in you will come to a sign for the Hells Hole Trail-6 miles, Boyer trail-2 miles. Based on my calculations the Boyer trail is 2.5 miles from the T.H. and the Hells Hole trail is 5.
When the trail steadily climbs to the top of a shoulder it then begins moderately decending through forest including emory oak, manzanita and ponderosa with some juniper thrown in for fun. About 1 mile from the T.H. you come to Armer Ranch, please respect this private property. At the ranch, the trail turns right (north) following the drainage of Reynolds creek for a short distance before dropping into it. Its a nicely shaded area with pools of water and larger, riparian tree life. After crossing the seasonal creek, you will begin a steady and moderate climb past a Salome Wilderness sign to the top of an exposed scrubby hill. Here you will find more dry-climate plantlife, and in October I spotted several lizards and toads enjoying the rocky trail shaded with large manzanita.
Shortly after the top, you will see the left branching Boyer trail, keep right and continue north where the trail starts its rocky, steady descent towards a tributary of Workman creek. Just past this point, the trail starts to turn east through some overgrown areas where I had to fight some pretty gnarly thornbushes. While the going is somewhat easy, there is sun exposure and even at the elevation here (5700 ft)it would be hot in Summer. Continuing on, the trail starts its steep descent into Workman Creek, taking in several great views of the canyon walls. This point of the hike is well shaded, and is well appreciated due to the strenuous climb back up the switchbacks. After more than 1/2 mile of descent, the trail stops at Workman Creek and exploration downstream comes to 2 small campsites. You could go further down the stream to the tiered waterfalls, dry at this time, but none the less impressive as they carve the "bowls" and notches into the granite walls.
I discovered a way up and around the falls to a spot where the creek cuts its way through pink granite. The going would be slow after this point.. it is completely overgrown on one side and a sheer 40' drop-off on the other. You could also attemp a cross country bushwack the mile or so to Salome Creek or farther to the "JUG".
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.
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