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Haigler Creek Hellsgate Wilderness
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mini location map2013-06-29
2 by photographer avatarJoelHazelton
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Haigler Creek Hellsgate WildernessPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jun 29 2013
JoelHazelton
Canyoneering8.00 Miles 1,217 AEG
Canyoneering8.00 Miles2 Days         
1,217 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
C - Strong current; wading/swimming; waterfalls; possible wet/dry suit
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
chumley
Finally got to do Haigler! Though I'm left feeling slightly less than satisfied since we only logged about 4 creek miles. I've been wanting to hike this creek for a long time now.

There are multiple sections of beautiful granite narrows and waterfalls, but hell to pay to access those areas. We averaged 1/2mph with full overnight packs and no trekking poles. No trekking poles was a huge mistake. With daypacks and 2 trekking poles, 1mph would be very feasible (in my opinion), but don't expect to travel any more quickly than that. I fell probably 5 times and was more frustrated with each spill. It would start with a slight slip, then turn into this awkward slow-motion fall as my heavy pack pulled me backwards. It would then end with a string of cuss words (which became longer after each fall). Floaties for our packs seemed brilliant at first, but as the short sections of bushwhacking became more frequent, both our floaties eventually popped. I opted to keep my pack on and backstroke through the narrows.

Campsites were very few and far between. We had to do some backtracking to find a decent spot as I wanted to be close to a photo destination for the evening. With the lack of documentation for this creek, you don't know what to expect and when to expect it, so when we came across something photogenic and it was late afternoon, we figured it was time to start settling down.

We saw some nice big piles of bear dung, several fish, a few crawdads and a dead cat(?) of some sort floating and decomposing in the water. Even though we camped a couple miles downstream and I double filtered the water (Chumley's filter plus my steripen), visions of that thing haunted me whenever I felt thirsty.

Overall a great trip! I still ache from the 8 straight hours of rock hopping, swimming and bushwhacking.
_____________________
"Arizona is the land of contrast... You can go from Minnesota to California in a matter of minutes, then have Mexican food that night." -Jack Dykinga

http://www.joelhazelton.com
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JoelHazelton's
177 Photosets

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