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Lower Gun Creek, AZ
mini location map2017-04-09
8 by photographer avatarMountainMatt
photographer avatar
Lower Gun Creek, AZ 
Lower Gun Creek, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2017
Hiking7.99 Miles 1,491 AEG
Hiking7.99 Miles   6 Hrs   27 Mns   1.60 mph
1,491 ft AEG   1 Hour   28 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
A exploratory hike inspired by my everlasting curiosity and promising satellite view imagery led me to check out just what exactly Lower Gun Creek is really like.

Started at Reed Gulch and found an easy ankle deep section to cross Tonto about 50ft upstream of the old cable car.
Gun Creek was dry at its confluence with Tonto but that's because at that particular area it's about as wide as every lane of traffic on the I-10!
As you can see on the topo it's a major drainage and from the hundreds of 200lb+ boulders and large debris I encountered heading upstream gave me a feel for just how much water rips through here during high runoff.

A solid mile into Gun Creek is an absolute gem! :y:
Deep clear pools, large green sycamores, contrasting canyon hillsides of giant Saguaros and plenty of cascades truly made this place a winner in my book!

I was already wet up to my crotch from wading in the water instead of maneuvering through the dense vegetation but I soon hit a little swimmer when I hit the narrows.
I did have my dry bag with me but with no floaty and my new longly awaited camera lens I was just not ready pull a swim off.

I then skirted up to an epic little cliffside high point and soaked in my surroundings before making the full steep climb out to the old FR and my original proposed starting point.

I scoped out my final destination of the day but after extensively reviewing the sat imagery I know know it was definitely taken during high flow conditions so I was not as ambitious as before to make my way down into the gorge.

I made my way back to Tonto Creek and headed upstream to check out the waterfall on Gold Creek which is a very scenic little grotto.
Sunday it was just a trickle but during storm runoff this place would be incredible!

Waded up Tonto Creek a bit further and then scrambled and bushwhacked up the steep cliffside walls to setup for a photo I kept thinking of the entire day.

Great day exploring some rugged country and I'd definitely throw Gun Creek as one of my new favorite watersheds along with of course Tonto and I'm looking forward to see what both of them have to offer these next couple of months.
Named place
Named place
Gold Creek Gun Creek Tonto Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Lots of Brittlebush and even a few lingering poppies.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Gold Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Sporadic pools with a small trickle at the waterfall.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Gun Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Hit steadily flowing water at approximately .5 miles upstream from its confluence with Tonto Creek.
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