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Lower Yankee Joe Canyon loop, AZ
mini location map2013-01-13
30 by photographer avatarRedRoxx44
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Lower Yankee Joe Canyon loop, AZ 
Lower Yankee Joe Canyon loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2013
RedRoxx44
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Hiking
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1st trip
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The morning after camping at the Clay Spring corral found everything iced up and it took us a while to get going in the cold, waiting for the sun to find us. We booked back up the quad trail then left it going up a gully to a saddle, we dropped over and went down to the dry tank. We sort of looked for the quad trail then just forgot about it and traversed just above a small ridgeline of the White Ledges to drop into Yankee Joe canyon just above where it goes through the White Ledges. Great views down into the canyon and some spectacular colored and wavy rock on that leg. We got into the bottom with no trouble and hiked about 10 minutes upcanyon in an open area with big trees and an old corral on a bench. Soon the dark basaltic rock with low walls closed in and we got to within 25 yards of where Brian was stopped, as he was, by a deep pool. The walls are low here so a go around is quite doable but we had more fish to fry downstream.
Where the canyon cuts through the White Ledges is very pretty, deep and a walk through. At one point the canyon cuts back on itself so severely it's much sharper than 90 degrees. I thought it would be boring after this but it certainly wasn't. It got shallower but it stepped down quite a bit, we would walk on sandy open corridor, then it would narrow and rock up, with some frozen pools, and every short drop had a fairly easy bypass. I was grumpy and not interested in getting to the river because I had a leak in my MSR dromedary bag, probably from freezing, and my backside was wet and cold. Brian encouraged me and I am glad, because it was very pretty there, with calm water and a nice beach. Much prettier than I had looked on it from above a few weeks earlier.
We retraced our steps a few turns then went straight up a ridgeline, very steep near the top passing through some rock bands. We ended up on the area of the White Ledges where we had been before. We strolled down to the car and I was amused when I took my boots off steam rose out of them. I bet it didn't get out of the 30's all day.
Great weekend with a great partner as usual. I would suggest Hank's next "Camp Grasshopper" be in the Clay Spring area.
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