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Oak Spring Canyon - Tonto Basin
7 Photosets

2021-02-14  
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mini location map2016-12-27
15 by photographer avatarchumley
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Oak Spring Canyon - Tonto BasinPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Dec 27 2016
chumley
Canyoneering4.42 Miles 1,580 AEG
Canyoneering4.42 Miles   4 Hrs   48 Mns   1.06 mph
1,580 ft AEG      38 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Jon introduced me to this place four years ago, but it was almost totally dry. I figured with good rain and snowmelt on Mt. Ord there was a chance for some good flow today. I heard the creek running from the trailhead and knew I wouldn't be disappointed.

After reaching the main falls, I decided to try to climb up and get to the top. The scree slope is very manageable and didn't take too long. Up top, I headed back downstream toward the top of the falls, and encountered a series of other falls on the way. All of them were able to be bypassed on the left/north side of the creek, with some steep scree slopes and exposed class-4 climbing along the way.

I enjoyed the upper falls, and the creek up here was more open and picturesque than below. Snow dotted the mountainside above and rough pink granite and smooth grey granite combined to make a nice stretch of creek. I was unable to get to the very top of the 95-foot drop as there was one final fall just above it. This was in a narrow slot with smooth granite and no way down without a rope. There was a nice tree with vibrant yellow just above the top of the big fall.

I headed back the way I came, and did my best butt-scoot/ski on the scree slope. I rode a nice little rock slide/avalanche for about 20 yards along the way. Got cut up a little bit, but otherwise no big deal.

It got dark on me and I made slow progress down creek, alternating between hopping on creek rocks and searching for some kind of cattle path on the side of the creek. The flora here isn't too friendly and I am apparently taller than anything that travels along the creek, so I did a lot of ducking to follow the best paths. Got back to the truck a little over an hour after dark set in. This was just what the doctor ordered for today! :y:
Flora
Flora
Moss
Named place
Named place
Oak Spring Canyon
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Oak Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Didn't find spring source, but canyon was running nicely.
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33s over 45s
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chumley's
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