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South Fork plus Log Peak, AZ
mini location map2019-11-30
7 by photographer avatarShatteredArm
photographer avatar
South Fork plus Log Peak, AZ 
South Fork plus Log Peak, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 30 2019
Hiking11.49 Miles 1,507 AEG
Hiking11.49 Miles   4 Hrs   35 Mns   2.72 mph
1,507 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
It seemed like a good idea to visit the Cave Creek Canyon area this weekend, as I had a few days to do it. With all the rain and potentially low snow level on Thursday and Friday, I thought it would be a good idea to stay low and check out South Fork.

I failed to consider the fact that South Fork trail has numerous creek crossings (more than the six mentioned in the guide). The creek was flowing quite swiftly, almost flood level (Cave Creek near the Stewart CG where we stayed receded 2+ feet throughout the weekend).

The first four creek crossings can be avoided by staying on the west side of the creek. The fifth can be avoided by walking across a log spanning the creek. A somewhat major tributary flows in before you get to the next crossing, so we were able to walk through at the 6th crossing. Next the trail crosses a part of the creek where it spreads out, and then right back again. This can be avoided.

This got us to Maple Camp. Which isn't much of a camp. I'm really not sure what Maple Camp is supposed to be, honestly.

We kept heading up the trail. The 9th crossing wasn't too bad. By the time we got to the 10th crossing, however, the channel had gotten narrower and deeper. We found that using a large log spanning the creek as a backstop made this crossing fairly easy.

The next two crossings were avoided by staying on the north side of the creek. By the time we go to the next one, however, we decided it just wasn't worth it anymore, and headed back down to Burro Trail, where we figured we'd go check out the view from the first saddle.

Once we got there, we decided that we could get an even better view by bushwacking up the ridge to the north. It was a relatively easy traverse through mostly manzanita, to what turned out to be a spectacular view up canyon, down canyon to the South Fork/Cave Creek confluence, and the canyon to the east. This is labeled 6415 on most maps; on some it says "Log Peak". Either way, we were glad we took this little side excursion, as it turned out to be the highlight of the day.

On the way down, we saw a bunch of acorn woodpeckers attacking a squirrel high up in a tree. That was interesting.

Definitely want to come back and complete the South Fork trail (and maybe loop back on Burro) when the water is at a more reasonable level...
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