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Aravaipa Canyon
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mini location map2012-12-01
67 by photographer avatardesertgirl
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Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 01 2012
Hiking8.88 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking8.88 Miles   8 Hrs      1.78 mph
200 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Delightful fall hike from the East side entrance to Hell's Hole Canyon to past the 2nd grotto / waterfalls (~ 1.3 miles or so). Fall was nice -- just past peak for being spectacular but it still was very fall as you ambled through the rusts & gold of the cottonwoods & sycamores punctualted by the vivide greens of the cattails & watercress that line the creek. Surprisingly easy walking ( I had heard it was easy but I never imagined it to be so easy!) Water was quite low.

I did not realize ( lack of sufficient research & contacting offical info sources gets you the official answer) you could drive all the way in to Turkey Creek! We had parked at the official TH, signed the trail register and started to road walk on a road that made me ask " Why am I not driving?" -- soon enough we had a group come careening down the road - Shameless "thumbing a ride" got us a tail gate surfing quick ride to Turkey Creek. We had made it down 1.2 miles down the road enjoying the fall opportunity ( most of leaves were down) that lines the creek bed -- should be quite nice in peak.

We had bummed a ride off the Sierra Club Photo Hike of the Rincon Chapter! Nice folks indeed to give us a ride & also tell us where they were off to -- Hell's Hole Canyon.Our plans were to just hike in along Aravaipa Creek till turn around time of 1:00 pm and then head with the possibility of a destination in a side canyon that is very interesting; both Angela & I decided to alter plans and head to Hell's Hole!. Mitch of Sierra Club was nice enough to promise a ride back to our vehicle at the real TH. So we decided to make a trip of it and wandered our way down the creek playing tag with the group along the way - the weather was just perfect , creek not too cold and sun just warm enough!

Soon we reached the confluence & turned up into Hell's hole Canyon. The entrance is flanked by some majestic sycamore that were decked out in red leaves. This creek was dry at the netrance & we sand slogged for about 1/3 mile and soon things began getting interesting. In short order we were bound in a very narrow canyon with towering straight walls ( Straightest I have ever seen!). Lavendres and Purples in a narrow canyon deviod of much sunshine. The soft volcanic tuff seems to have been cut down very rapidly by water to have very steep walls. You have to see it to believe...In spots where the sun reaches the bottom lush forest takes hold and fall color frames views. In general, the canyon floor is deviod of obstacles and is easy walking, that gets even easier as the spings emerge from teh walls and the sand gets wet. Rounding a bend to a particularlu open are we look up to see the Hell's Hole Arch ( Lat 32.9119444 Long -100.4575). What a cool treat. Further on we see another open area that harbors a waterfall when there is more moisture. Even now ( no winter rains yet) there is setady drip of water. Angela & I take an early lunch break and also allow the Sierra Group to go ahead. Part of lunch done, we amble on further to see another grotto that should have another waterfall. The group wants to catch another grotto/waterfall before they turn back.

Angela & I decide to turn back -- fall is more pretty in the main canyon. One of the Sierra Club hikers is haveing some kenee issues & Anita joins us for our journey back so she can have an easier time back to TH. We walk, gwak & chat our way back to the confluence of Hell's Hole Canyon and Aravaipa Creek. We laze at the junction for a bit - enoying the afternoon warmth!

What I did realize was that @ 3:15 pm or so usable light for backlit fall color is gone. We walk back trying some water / Creek compositions. Later we loose all usable light & our pace quickened. We pause to explore a side alcove close to the entrace of the canyon. This place has a seep all along the walls resuling in hugh solution alcove that looks out onto Aravaipa Creek. We make to TH and decide to road walk back to the official TH so we can keep warm....about 1/4 mile down the road , Angela hears voices -- we hurry back & see half the Sierra group has returned. We hang out awaiting the return of our drivers who take another 45 mins. Soon we are bumping along the road back to the main TH. We elected not to tailgate surf this time & it made for a more confortable ride...

Thankyous all around & we quickly head back to our cozy retreat -- Nature Conservancy Cabin ~ 7 miles away to a wonderful dinner of vino, lasagna, salad & garlic bread that Angela whipped up. We were warm & cozy and asleep before the rest of folks were 1/2 way home! This place can easily sleep 12 people ( 8 beds + some couches) We also stayed at the lodge the night before after running the gauntlet of the backcountry roads guarded by "Cowlinas"!!!

Angela's Scout misbehaved so milage & rest times are approximate. I calculate based on good ole' fashioned map reading.

Thanks Angela for going with me ....we should do this again next year!
Throwing a Wendy
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Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
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