Agua Fria nat'l monument

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craig l
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Joined: Sep 20 2002 1:35 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Agua Fria nat'l monument

Post by craig l » Oct 18 2002 1:28 am

The wife and I are thinking of checking out the new monument. We were wondering if anyone has suggestions about cool spots there and/or water availability due to drought. We saw the article in Backpacker but I still wonder if the river goes bone dry.
thanks for any input,

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Post by Nighthiker » Oct 18 2002 8:00 am

The monument is mostly located on a mesa while the Aqua Fria skirts around the mesa except at the northern end. The is some hiking (no designated trails) along the Aqua Fria. A very interesting an excellent riparian area (wait till Teva hikes it, it may compliment Devisl Canyon) is Larry Creek Canyon.

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Post by dennisbench » Oct 18 2002 8:27 pm

I was up there about a month or so ago. There was still a good flow of water running through there when I was there. I drove in at the Bloody Basin Rd. I just sorta hiked around the mesa and to the river. I believe that if you get off at Badger Springs you can hike down to the river fairly easily. There was a thread with this topic that talked about it, check it out. It reminded me of my home back in Pennsylvania and the streams that run through the forests there. Only its surrounded by desert.

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Post by canyonD » Oct 20 2002 12:36 am

I hiked Agua Fria in late June. It was very dry at that time, but there were still pools of water. The water was nasty looking and I dont think I would try to filter it unless I had no options.

I am sure the pools of water are fresher now with the area getting some rain storms in the past several weeks. I exlored down Badger Springs road and Bloody Basin Rd.

Badger Springs has some cool 4x4 roads around it. The hike to the Agua Fria River is only about 1 mile front he trailhead. Once there you will be rock hopping thru the riverbed. It is a large canyon and much to see that is very cool. I saw mountain lion tracks and evidence of either raccons or ringtails digging after the crayfich that live in the algae filled pools in the river bed.

Bloody Basin Road leads back to a real cool ranch in a valley about 5-8 miles back from I17. The road is best tackled in a 4x4, but a car could make most of the road back to the park boundary. You can actually drive this road all the way back to Cave Creek, but the drive is about 3 to 4 hours. Also there is a wash near cave creek that can be impassable if the water is flowing. There are many Indian Ruins back in this area and you can get details in guide books at REI. The Indian Ruins are located down infrequently traveled access roads that can very very rough and might required a lifted 4x4.

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Agua Fria Hiking

Post by hikeaz » Nov 08 2002 5:51 pm

A nice hike (requires a shuttle) would be from the canyon east of the Sunset Point rest area and take out at Badger Springs.
Trailhead begins at the east side of I-17 right at the Sunset Point rest area.
From the canyon follow east on cow trails in the canyon bottom about 2 miles or so. Then as you meet the Agua Fria (very obvious) head northish for about 5 milesin the Agua Fria Cyn. . After these 5 miles, there will be a cairn in the river on top of a large rock telling you that you are at Badger Springs. Exit the Agua Fria to the left (NW) up this side drainage about a mile to where your shuttle vehicle will be if you exited I-17 @ Badger Springs and then followed the dirt road(s)Southeast to where a large boulder blocks the road.
If you are a fast hiker, it's about a 4 hour trip. Slower hikers will take up to 6.
In spring, when there is a lot of runoff, the Agua Fria runs pretty big, hampering quick progress up stream & at crossings.
If you are coming from Phoenix, check for water in the drainage where it runs under I-17. If there is running water there, there will be a lot of water throughout this hike.
The scenery once you are in the Agua Fria if Fantastic !

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