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Garfias Wash - Hells Canyon Wilderness
22 Photosets

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mini location map2020-01-04
14 by photographer avatarShatteredArm
photographer avatar
 
Garfias Wash - Hells Canyon WildernessPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 04 2020
ShatteredArm
Hiking10.53 Miles 1,448 AEG
Hiking10.53 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   2.60 mph
1,448 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Until recently, I never knew there was a wilderness area south of Castle Hot Springs. Decided to check it out. We set up a shuttle, and started at the Castle Hot Springs trailhead, marked by a small "Trail" post on the side of the road. On the opposite side of Castle Creek, there is a register, and the start of a built trail that leads down to Garfias Wash.

The trail heads up the hill, but there is a little side canyon that parallels the trail with some ruins, and farther up, a spring and a cistern. This was a fairly worthwhile diversion, and after a quarter mile or so, the actual trail crosses the drainage.

The trail rounds the mountain to a crest with views of Lake Pleasant and the eastern part of Garfias Wash, then drops down into the wash.

The creek had decent flow, and in the eastern section, was pretty easy going. Often it was easiest just to walk in the water.

When we neared the Hells Canyon area, it got a little slower, but outside of a few climbs up small waterfalls, it was not too bad. In Hells Canyon, there was more shade, and the water got noticeably colder. It's really a pretty nice stretch when it's flowing.

Farther west, after the canyon opens up, it gets a little less interesting, although there are still enough cottonwood trees here and there to remind you that it's still kinda pretty.

We parked at the north end of the Jeep road just to make sure both vehicles could do the shuttle. Not a bad little hike; my least favorite thing about it was the cows everywhere.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Cedar Basin Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Garfias Wash Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow; would be very reluctant to drink out of it due to the cattle in the area.
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