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2018-03-06  
2017-03-12  
2015-03-07  
Big Spring Canyon, AZ
mini location map2017-03-12
5 by photographer avatarMountainMatt
photographer avatar
 
Big Spring Canyon, AZ 
Big Spring Canyon, AZ
 
Canyoneering avatar Mar 12 2017
MountainMatt
Canyoneering4.01 Miles 1,298 AEG
Canyoneering4.01 Miles   7 Hrs   5 Mns   1.04 mph
1,298 ft AEG   3 Hrs   14 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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First time I was at "Paradise Forks" with @jonnybackpack he made a comment about how there are probably 3 more "Sycamore Falls" downstream somewhere.
Well that comment alone and my ever so eager curiosity led me to another night of extensive map research and sure enough a few miles downstream there is a definitive drop off and cliff band area.

I planned out my proposed route months ago but just now put it into affect since I was in my hometown town visiting family and escaping the unwanted desert heat.
Also because I figured this will probably be the last time Sycamore Canyon runs steady and strong the remainder of the year, monsoons don't push nearly as much water into this place as snowmelt does after years of examination.

I marked my hike to start at the Double O Tanks which I assumed was a random forest road but it ended up being the official "Sycamore Vista TH" which is part of the Sycamore Rim Loop Trail.
I stayed on trail for maybe a half mile or so and then picked one of the few breaks of the top layer of cliff and began my descent down into the unknown.
The canyon in this area is built like a three tiered cake, you have the tip top which is the rim trail protected by miles of cliffs underneath, then you have this walk-able mid layer which just below it there is an almost impassable cliff-band that literally had only one non technical break that leads to the base which is the canyon bottom with all of the goodies.

I love a good bushwhack but I won't lie to you this descent/ascent was misery, dense strands of cats-claw and scrub oak lined the near vertical cliff sides and the canyon bottom was jam packed with hellish amounts of blackberry thickets that got the best of me.
The waterfall was unfortunately not a rival to the two at "Paradise Forks" but the massive coliseum like cliff-sides and large swimming pool made up for it.
Not to mention the weather up north this weekend was perfection, I'm talking almost warm I laid down on a rock sun bathing for awhile and was in hog heaven with the sunny skies and a roaring waterfall.

As mentioned before the hike out sucked but kind of gave me a workout/ runners high since it was such an exercise!
I believe it was 600ft of gain in a little less than 1/2 mile which in the open wouldn't be too bad but since this was done while bushwhacking through dense vegetation it was truly a whole other beast.
[ youtube video ]

I was greeted up top with a soft pink sunset and a quiet moonlight ride home to cap of a great weekend of exploring in two completely different climate zones, oh how I love you Arizona!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Double Tanks 76-100% full 76-100% full
Only saw one tank and it is completely full with a stream running into it and comes with an army of frogs croaking away.
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http://www.mattwhelanphotography.com/
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