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Agua Escondido, AZ

Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2 of 5 
no permit
9 8 0
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,867 feet
Elevation Gain -70 feet
Accumulated Gain 231 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.66
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
8  2011-12-16
Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt River
3  2011-12-16
Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt River
6  2011-12-16
Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt River
9  2004-09-23 joebartels
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 245
Routes 837
Photos 12,272
Trips 4,937 map ( 25,193 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Early Winter to Early Spring
Sun  6:10am - 6:30pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2020 Bush Fire193.5k

Killer Oasis
by joebartels

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Whether any of the following is true or not could take fifty pages of writing. Therefore here's the assumed history. Jacob Waltz shot and killed his nephew because he was going to record the mine publicly. They were on their way back to Phoenix via Fort McDowell and camped at Agua Escondido. The argument broke out the next morning. Waltz buried his nephew in soft dirt under a ledge.

Agua Escondido is Spanish for hidden water. Appropriately enough, this is a hike to Hidden Water Spring. The hike is simple. You can start anywhere around Cottonwood Camp and hike down the creek. Personally, I take FR401 to the point where it really turns into 4x4, as mentioned in the directions below. If you don't have a truck good in the sand, you will need to add 0.5-1.0 miles to the hike. Okay, head south down Cottonwood Creek. The creek is a wide sandy base that's extremely popular with ATVs. Hike about 2 miles to the confluence with Cane Spring Canyon. If you weren't looking for the confluence, you might miss it as it does slip in at an extreme angle.

Enter the tributary, and soon the pace slows down. The canyon gets dense with trees and prickly bushes. It's barely a quarter-mile into the spring. Return as you came. Interesting to note, this tributary to Cottonwood Creek spans way up towards the Four Peaks and has several tributaries of its own. It must flow high at times. I imagine it would be a real site from above with its twisty turns at the end.

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2004-09-23 joebartels
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To Cottonwood Camp Trailhead
    From Scottsdale follow Shea Blvd East to its terminus at SR87. Turn Left onto SR87. Follow SR87(this is the Beeline) to the Four Peaks Turnoff which is FR143. FR143 is well marked. Follow FR143 to FR 401. Hang a right onto FR401 and follow past Cottonwood Camp. Park anywhere, behind the corral is more concealed.

    Several of the hikes posted from this trailhead go south. You can continue 0.5 miles south to where FR401 ascends out of Cottonwood Creek up the side of a mountain. It's absolute 4WD beyond. You will know as it turns from sand to cobblestone sized rocks. Getting here is only doable in high clearance, dry conditions and it's slightly risky depending on current conditions.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 46.4 mi - about 1 hour 20 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 144 mi - about 2 hours 47 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 173 mi - about 3 hours 21 mins
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