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Deer Creek 45 - South Fork 46 Loop, AZ
mini location map2016-02-13
16 by photographer avatarThe_Eagle
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Deer Creek 45 - South Fork 46 Loop, AZ 
Deer Creek 45 - South Fork 46 Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 13 2016
Hiking19.08 Miles 3,720 AEG
Hiking19.08 Miles   10 Hrs   59 Mns   1.86 mph
3,720 ft AEG      45 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
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First time on both Deer Creek and South Fork after driving by the TH for years.

I think out time was pretty good as Deer Creek had a great flow the entire length.

I was a little concerned about the condition of this trail, remembering reading about the navigation nightmares. I have to report that I was pleasantly surprised. Now, this is no super highway by any means and there were minor navigational issues, but we stayed true to the trail and were able to follow it for the most part. At least 95-98% of it.

Once you get out of the lowlands, this trail is a beaut. It's especially pretty at the 4000' contour on up. There are some old growth pine areas that are sweet. I would have liked to scout around the Gowan Camp area, but we were on a mission.

We crested at the Peeley TH and took a little break. I'd forgotten that even though we were going down the road, it was actually a climb to get to the South Fork Trail turnoff. It's gonna take a chain saw to clear the deadfall off of the 201 before they can open it up to the Peeley TH. There was at least a dozen trees across the road in the short span we were on it.

We got on the South Fork trail in shin deep snow. It lasted a lot longer than any of us expected.

Now the South Fork trail was another animal. If you like Downfall, Catclaw, no trail, and lots-o-rock hoppin', this is the trail for you. There were some very pretty areas, but the bang for the buck was not there for me. Maybe I'd just bled out a bit too much.

We were all happy to finally get to the boring part so we could motor back to the truck before dark.

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Named place
Named place
David D. Gowan Pigeon Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Maple Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Did not observe the spring, but there was flow into Deer Creek from its location

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pigeon Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Spring box was full, but frozen. There was flow in the area.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max South Fork Deer Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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