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First Water TH to Canyon Lake
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mini location map2016-01-17
36 by photographer avatartibber
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First Water TH to Canyon LakePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2016
tibber
Hiking8.19 Miles 1,244 AEG
Hiking8.19 Miles   5 Hrs   19 Mns   2.03 mph
1,244 ft AEG   1 Hour   17 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
AZBeaver
AZLumberjack
AZWanderingBear
desertgirl
Oregon_Hiker
suzaz
Ambika wanted to hike and so did Susan so this is the hike they picked. A few of us are out of hiking shape so it seems just the right amount and you can't go wrong with ending up at the Marina restaurant as the ultimate goal :D . After much messaging, since this is a shuttle hike, those arrangements were made and I rounded up some folks from the north country to go with me and we all met at the 1st Water TH. We arrived at 8:40 from the North Valley and the others of the SE valley arrived around 9:15ish after shuttling from Canyon Lake.

We got started at 9:30 down the trail. I hadn't done a movie of this hike since Jan 2011 and that was with the old camera so I was busy movieing quite a bit of our trek. Once you head north the trail was definitely a little wet but dry after that. We stopped for a moment at Garden Valley which didn't look too muddy on the trail heading north. We continued east passing the stock tank that had a little water in it and hiked between the mesas on the rocky trail with Geronimo Head in front of us.

I had forgotten that Second Water Canyon really has two sections, the desert like section from the top and the spring-like section with the water toward the bottom tier. Always a joy for us desert rats to see reeds growing next to the trail. Our snack break would be at the Junction with the 103 trail as it would be near the water... not only that, it would be running water and below the Battleship.

Who knew we would get to rock hop across Boulder Creek; it had double channels too. And then a stop at the Indian Paint Mine to marvel at the color of the rock and the structure itself before heading over the crosscut to LaBarge where we also encountered a nice amount of water. Before we headed up THE hill, I got out my trekking poles just to give me a little extra umph to get up the hill a little faster. It's a bit steep in parts but short. The temperature was relatively cool which was nice. We reached the saddle where the others were waiting.

We had one member of our hiking party who was having trouble (been there, done that & it's no fun but you'll always remember) so we waited for them to arrive. Jack wandered off to the other side of the saddle where you can look over and see both canyons plus you could hear the water clear up here :DANCE: . Not a bad place to hang out for a few minutes.

Five folks couldn't wait any longer so they headed on out while I hung back with the remaining group. It's always a good excuse to allow me to take extra pictures and video. Plus it was a lovely day. I eventually headed out on my own as did Ambika. She met me at the top where you have the wonderful views of the Four Peaks and Canyon Lake. Like Jack, I too could hear something from the marina.... margarita! ;) so off we went. The others decided to come straight off the top of the hill which come to find out is the official HAZ trail for the 103. I've always done the long switchbacks the last 5 years. Now mind you, there are rocks across the trail that goes NW as opposed to west from the top so I'm not sure what the story is.

Anyway, nice day, nice hike, nice folks to hike with, not too many others on the trail. My hip flexors weren't painful sore, just a tad achy. Yeah!

Videos as of 1-21-2016 (not using Youtube's stabilizer as much - waiting to hear reviews from folks that don't mind a little more bouncing around)
First Water to Second Water's Garden Valley [ youtube video ]
Garden Valley to Second Water Canyon [ youtube video ]
Second Water Canyon to Boulder Creek [ youtube video ]
Boulder Creek to La Barge Creek (apparently didn't load up this morning) 1-25-16 good thing though as I had to re-edit [ youtube video ]
La Barge to Canyon Lake in production as of 1-21-2016, finished 1-25-16 [ youtube video ]
Canyon Lake [ youtube video ]

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boulder Creek at #103 / #236 Jct Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max La Barge at Boulder Creek Trail #103 Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max La Barge Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Second Water Canyon Light flow Light flow
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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