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Ash Creek - Galiuro
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mini location map2017-10-31
18 by photographer avatarcactuscat
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Ash Creek - GaliuroTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 31 2017
cactuscat
Hiking6.00 Miles 987 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
987 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Since I live way closer than most, I decided to do a little public service and go scout the leaves around Ash Creek so I could report back. Figured it would make for a nice day - which it certainly did! - and if I too was early I could easily go back in a couple weeks - which, spoiler alert, I probably will be. What an amazing area! Felt like I was in some deep, remote corner of the Chiricahua's ... yet drive time from home at Roper Lake to the parking spot 7/10ths of a mile up FR660 was a mere hour and ten minutes! :D The road was in great shape the whole way. So, long story short, if I were making the long trek from the Phoenix area in hopes of the best leaf color, I would wait 1-3 weeks - the change is not happening early this year. Also the creek is bone dry. That said, I think just about anytime would be a good time to visit this awesome place.
Now for the long version ...
Which actually began yesterday. Monday was day one of four off, and I had made reservations to spend two nights in Silver City, NM. Intended to visit the Catwalk and Glenwood area, then night one in Silver City, then a full day at Gila Cliff Dwellings and surrounding hikes/hot springs before returning to Silver City that night and home on Wednesday. After a series of delays, mishaps, and thwarted plans - the Catwalk was closed, which I didn't find out until I finally got there ... and that was only one of at least four things that went wrong - I decided in Cliff, NM to bag the trip and go home. All in all it was still a really nice, REALLY scenic drive from Safford up to Glenwood via 191 and 78 and 180, the back down almost to Silver City - some freakishly gorgeous country there! I saw deer, turkeys, javelina, and many raptors, and had a lovely picnic at Leopold Vista. I shall return.
So that's how I came to head off on this trip on Tuesday rather spur of the moment. I realized halfway there that I had forgotten to load the hike on RouteScout ... oh well. I did the hike without a route, a map, or a care in the World.
The creek had not a drop of water that I saw ... yet I was so completely enchanted with the place that I didn't even miss it. The creekbed clearly has it's share of drama, so I eagerly anticipate returning when it's flowing - I'm sure it will be very entertaining. There are many gorgeous campsites along the way, just right for a Jeep with a rooftop tent.
I only encountered one person, A hunter with rifle in hand walking back down 660 when I was about a half mile in.
I startled a lone coatimundi from the creekbed and he ran up the tree right next to me - I almost could have petted him! It happened so fast that by the time I readied my camera he was already back down the tree and fleeing across the creek - a wiser course of action than his first, I thought.
I saw an abundance of deer, including several who seemed completely unconcerned by humans - so much so that I told them to be careful and wished them luck. If I had been shooting a rifle rather than a Nikon, I would be eating venison tonight.
Also saw a flockload of turkeys ... a group of at least two dozen, and some javies hanging with the cows on the drive out.
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