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Tonto Creek - The Box
11 Photosets

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9 by photographer avatarssk44
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Tonto Creek - The BoxPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 04 2010
ssk44
Canyoneering1.00 Miles
Canyoneering1.00 Miles   3 Hrs      0.33 mph
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
I - Short 1-2 hours
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Box - Upper

I didn't have any work today so I thought it would be sweet to head up to Tonto Creek for the day. "The Box" is basically everything from Pittsburg Tonto Mine to Gun Creek at the bottom. I've wanted to check out the upper canyon segment since my last visit. The best way to reach the upper end of this hike is by utilizing FR1553, which is just southeast of Jakes Corner. FR1553 is a primitive road that requires high-clearance two-wheel drive.

I pulled up the stream flow prior to heading out. In this narrow canyon I would say that 10-40 CFS is perfect with 70-80 being the upper limit. It was 70 CFS today. What I didn't consider was the CHOCOLATE MUDDY WATER! Lame! The flow on Tonto Creek has been steadily coming down from the heavy rain over the weekend and unfortunately the color hasn't cleared up yet. Crossing back and forth is tough enough with high flow. Add chocolate water and it ends up like reading braille. You can't see anything! It was dangerous to say the least. I crossed three times over a short distance and concluded that it was time to head back. The canyon kept getting progressively narrower. There's supposedly a nice 8-10 foot narrow pour-over down there somewhere that I really wanted to see. Maybe next time...

In order to salvage the morning, I headed back up to the mine for some exploration. This location was an early 1900's gold mining operation. I suspect that in it's day, it was fairly impressive. The area has remnants of multiple structures, broadly scattered heavy equipment, two primary shafts, and an old cable system to transport equipment and material across the canyon. I personally really enjoyed poking around the mine, however unless you really like this stuff, I highly recommend doing this hike from the posted trailhead at the bottom. It's more enjoyable overall and you can turn back whenever you want.


Eric (ssk44)
Flora
Flora
Beehive Cactus
Named place
Named place
Theodore Roosevelt Lake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
ISAIAH 6:2-3 / MATTHEW 11:28-30
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ssk44's
342 Photosets

  2010-08-23
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