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Hell's Hole Trail #284 - Salome Wilderness
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mini location map2008-01-19
15 by photographer avatarHoffmaster
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Hell's Hole Trail #284 - Salome WildernessGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2008
Hiking10.60 Miles 2,700 AEG
Hiking10.60 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   1.84 mph
2,700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
So this is the trip I ended up doing last weekend when I was begging people to go hiking with me. Fairweather8588, te-wa, nonot and myself endured the loooong car ride to the trailhead. We arrived at the Reynold's Trailhead at 10:15 AM. I haven't done much hiking in this area so I wasn't sure what to expect. The trail starts out as an old jeep road and quickly turns into an uphill slog. After gaining the first hill, the trail turns into singletrack and levels out for a while. We passed the ranch and then the trail plummets down to Reynold's Creek. This creek crossing provided minutes of entertainment. The creek was flowing pretty hard and the rocks were coated in ice, making rock-hopping all but impossible. After staring at the creek for few minutes (ooh! pretty water!) we found a spot with enough ice-free rocks to allow us to cross. After the creek crossing the trail climbs a fun little hill passing some presently frozen springs. There was plenty of ice making things interesting on this section of trail as well. Soon we were at the top of the hill and cruising along a relatively flat section full of sucking mud. Now it was time for the super-duper descent to Hell's Hole. These stats are purely guesstimates, but I'd say we dropped about 1500 feet in about 1.5-2 miles. The creek at the bottom was raging! Rocks were coated in thick ice! It was really a sight! A couple of us strayed downstream to a cool 50 foot, multi-tiered waterfall. After loading up my memory card with terrible photos it was time to head out.

The hike out of Hell's Hole was brutal. I made the mistake of keeping pace with te-wa, who is the size of a Hobbit but moves like a gazelle. I paid the price the next day. Anyway, we made record time back to the car, since there isn't much for scenery on this hike (either that, or we're jaded, or we're pick). We piled into my Escape and headed up FR487 to Workman Creek falls. About a mile up the road, snow and ice made forward progress very scary. I found a small patch of dirt and made a 24 point turn to turnaround. No Workman Creek this day.

What's the next best thing to Workman Creek? Why, it's the Rye Creek Restaurant, obviously! We slam into the crowded parking lot, with rumbling bellies. Throwing open the front door, we were stopped in our tracks. Inside the rough-and-tumble exterior, were a hundred blue-hairs two-stepping to golden country greats. Oh boy. The elderly host greeted us and asked if we had reservations. Huh!? We didn't (can you believe it?) but he sat us anyway, tucked into a booth in a corner. Unbeknownst to us, while we were chowing down burgers and pounding $1.50 PBR's, our wise, old host was quietly informing everyone in the place that we were "hikers from Phoenix." We had achieved celebrity status...just like that. Supposedly, a lady named Celeste was going to come over and talk to us. Oooh, Celeste; now that is an intriguing name. Well, Celeste never showed, but a couple of older gentlemen did. "Are you the hiker's from Phoenix?" We all sunk down in our booth, but acknowledged that, yes, in fact, we were those pesky hikers from the big city. The gentlemen informed us that they were members of a hiking club in town (a hiking club in Rye?) and proceeded to quiz us as to why we were in their neck of the woods. We told them about our hike and their eyes glazed over. They had never heard of the Salome Wilderness or the Sierra Ancha. Apparently those places were not the Barndhardt Trail, of which they expressed intimate knowledge. We inquired about Celeste; she had left us hanging for long enough, and no one likes a tease. Well, poor old Celeste caught a glimpse of us and realized that we were not the four hikers from Phoenix that she knows, so she didn't want to come to our table. I can't believe that there are four hikers in Phoenix besides us, can you? Who knew? After the worst chocolate cake on the planet (it made me cry) and the fun of explaining to the waitress how to split a check, we headed home.

I think the restaurant was more of an adventure than the hike. If it wasn't for the flowing water this hike would not be very good at all. But there was water, so it was all good. :) Thanks guys for making it an awesome day!
"I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals; I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants." A. Whitney Brown
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