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Hell's Hip Pocket Ridge, AZ

Guide 6 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  4.5 of 5 
no permit
1 Active
44 6 1
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,871 feet
Elevation Gain 188 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,460 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 - 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.7
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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28  2014-02-22
Skeleton Cave Loop
15  2011-10-05
Skeleton Cave via Cane TH
12  2011-09-20 CannondaleKid
13  2008-11-12 joebartels
19  2004-12-27 joebartels
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 242
Routes 836
Photos 12,083
Trips 4,883 map ( 24,926 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Oct → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Winter
Sun  5:33am - 7:30pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Bush Fire193.5k
🔥 2019 Woodbury Fire123.8k
🔥 1996 Lone Fire65.1k
🔥 1980 Painted Fire3.9 mi*
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

Warning the 2020 Bush Fire damaged most of the Four Peak Wilderness after almost recovering from the 1996 Lone Pine Fire.
Wicked stroll
by joebartels

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This hike is from Cane Spring Trailhead out to the semi circle ridge around Hell's Hip Pocket and return by the same route. You might prefer to make it a loop or backpack and explore the area in detail. The hike is mainly off-trail over fairly easy but uneven terrain. It's not recommended for dogs due to countless cacti encounters.

From the trailhead head out on the old jeep road that now serves as the Cane Spring Trail #82. You curve into one drainage/canyon and then skirt over into another drainage/canyon. The road dips through the creek abruptly. At 0.7 miles fork right onto a faint jeep road. Only continue for a tenth of a mile. Turn right and head off trail dipping through the creek bed and UP the mountain on your right. It's a short bushwhack through catclaw to the creek bed. Don't hesitate as it's over quick and you won't be dealing with bushwhacking anymore on this hike.

It's a 400 foot gain over the west end of hill 3777. Then you give it right back with a 400 foot drop to the ridge. It's a little steep coming down but nothing too rough. Once down on the ridge it's pretty easy hiking. Look to your right and you're starring down Blue Tank Canyon.

After maybe five minutes of relaxed ridgeline strolling there's a 200 foot gain. That's followed by about another 100 foot dip & gain to topo high point 3509. From here looking south and southeast is a fab view of Hell's Hip Pocket. Continue on the crescent curved ridge to topo high point 3260. Along the way you will find impressive views of the Salt River below.

Upon reaching 3260 it's just over a quarter mile to Hell's Bridge where the smooth ridge gives way to erroded terrain. This hike ends here for now. There's a first class view of Black Cross Butte across the river. Other great views include Horse Mesa, Peak 3042, Sheep Mountain & the SRP maintentance community near Horse Mesa Dam.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2004-12-27 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
    Strictly 4x4

    To Cane 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. Continue to where FR401 ascends out of Cottonwood Creek up the side of mountain. Here on it's strictly 4x4. It starts out low key for the first couple miles then turns... fun! It's 6 miles to Cane Spring Trailhead. The 4x4 section alone takes 1 to 1.5 hours.

    Keep in mind albeit near the valley this is about 5 hours round trip depending on variables.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 52.0 mi, 1 hour 37 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 150 mi, 3 hours 7 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 179 mi, 3 hours 38 mins In current traffic: 3 hours 38 mins I-17 S
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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