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Barks Lower Canyon Loop
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mini location map2003-03-07
15 by photographer avatararizonaheat
photographer avatar
 
Barks Lower Canyon LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2003
arizonaheat
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Got Friday off at the last minute and was going to join Cactuscat and dcornelius , for an outing. As it turned out they both ended up with other commitments, so I was on my own. I decided I would do something close and short, so off I went to the Peralta Trailhead, with Lower Barks Canyon as my destination. I had done this off trail hike before as a group hike and really enjoyed it. I had also spotted some things I wanted to explore further so thought today would be a good day.

I departed toward the Lower Barks drainage and was surprised to see water still running down it upon my arrival. I expected the pools to still be full of water, but wasn't expecting running water. This made for some interesting navigation.

I took a couple of side trips on my way up the canyon. One to an old mine I had spotted, high on the hillside. It was a tough bushwack to get to the old shaft. I followed the shaft into the mountainside about 300 ft before I started to disturb bats, with the light from my headlamp. I wasn't to comfortable in an area about four foot wide and five foot tall with bats swarming around my head so I turned around. I have no idea how much further back the shaft went.

My other side trip included a fairly hairy climb that I really shouldn't have done, but I got to a point to where I was committed and had no choice but to continue. The views at the top were worth the climb though.

I really enjoyed my trip up the Canyon with the sound of running water all around me. There were several locations where the running water would just disappear underground then reappear further on down the canyon. There were numerous large pools (swimming holes) complete with their own minature waterfalls. I spent a lot of time sitting by one of these pools, reflecting on hiking, the things I've seen and experienced and the friends I have made as a result of hiking. I also took the opportunity to enjoy the cool (cold) water.

The weather was great and I had a great time, but this was one of those hikes you really like to share with others because it is such a rare experience to see with running water. Hopefully it won't be another five years before it is like this again.
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