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Upper Cherry Crk Camping Trip - Day 5&6, AZ
mini location map2014-04-18
10 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
photographer avatar
 
Upper Cherry Crk Camping Trip - Day 5&6, AZ 
Upper Cherry Crk Camping Trip - Day 5&6, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 18 2014
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking9.30 Miles 3,140 AEG
Hiking9.30 Miles
3,140 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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friendofThundergod
This covers two days of hiking 4/18 and 4/19. I had decided on Thursday, 4/17, that Friday would be a kick back day reading a book in Camp GH at the intersection of FR203 and FR2812. Maybe I would take a short 0.5 mile hike to check out the creek bottom near camp. FriendofThundergod was going to meet up with me that evening at around 5:00 pm and we planned a hike to a nearby cliff dwelling the next day.

Well, I can't seem to sit around camp for long so early Friday morning I decided to check out part of the route we planned to take to the cliff dwelling the next day. I was concerned with how doable it would be and whether or not I would be able to get back to my car at my required 4:00 pm departure time on Saturday. My planning track went up the bottom of a drainage then angled up the steep side of the drainage to continue up the ridge line to the base of a row of cliffs and from there over the cliff to a bench above. My bad experience with getting cliffed out on Wednesday had given me doubts about this track which had also been plotted on Google Earth. It ended up taking me 2 hours to find a way through the thick manzanita to the base of the cliff. I contemplated turning around because common sense says not to risk exposure climbing cliffs when you're alone. But there appeared to be a fairly easy route by stair stepping up a series of ledges only 3-4 ft high. I quickly reached the top of the cliff but the remaining part of the route along the bench to the cliff dwelling looked pretty rough with several opportunities for cliffing out. So I decided at that point to return to camp and come up with another hike for the next day.

FriendofThundergod arrived early that evening while I was eating dinner. His dogs, Blanco and Cup, instantly became my best friends splitting their time between my camp and Lee's camp. We came up with a plan for a hike the next day to look for cliff dwellings on some cliffs high on a ridge top on the east side of Cherry Creek about 4 miles from camp. We agreed on a 7:30 am start time and had a quiet evening - no party lights to attract pistol packing drunken strangers. The next morning we didn't make it out of camp until 7:51 am. Actually not bad for me who likes to dilly-dally around in the morning eating breakfast and drinking coffee.

We hiked up Cherry Creek Canyon past its confluence with PB Creek to the old mining road that switch backs up to the top of the ridge between Cherry Creek and China Spring Canyon. The old mining road is overgrown with cats claw in places but still provides a good path. We then proceeded up the ridgeline towards the cliffs. This was slower going requiring considerable route finding to go around and through rock outcroppings and cliffs. A rainstorm moved in and we were soon drenched. Occasional lightning with loud booming thunder added to the entertainment. Our destination was a large vertical slot cave on a ledge high on the tallest set of cliffs. It looked like an ideal place for a cliff dwelling but we were to be disappointed - nothing.

On the way back we split up after reaching Cherry Creek with me headed back to camp to pack up for my drive back home. Lee headed a half mile up canyon to take a look at the old homestead I had been to on Tuesday. I made good time (I thought so anyway) getting back to camp and had only been there what seemed like a few minutes when Lee's dogs showed up shortly followed by him. They had been up to the homestead and then back down Cherry Creek finding a uranium mine along the way. Obviously they can cover a lot of ground in a much shorter time than I can.
Named place
Named place
China Spring Cyn
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