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Park Creek Falls
12 Photosets

mini location map2020-03-19
13 by photographer avatarLJW
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Park Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2020
Hiking11.47 Miles 3,440 AEG
Hiking11.47 Miles   7 Hrs   52 Mns   2.14 mph
3,440 ft AEG   2 Hrs   30 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I met a friend from Flagstaff at the Deer Creek Trailhead before heading down the 188. Clouds were awesome driving up the 87, and when I got to Deer Creek I hiked up about a half mile to take some pictures of the storm over Mazatzal Peak and the constant, fleeting rainbows while I waited for my friend to arrive.

We took his car to the Park Trail Th, and when we got onto fr409 the car immediately went sideways. Road's in great shape, but it was too muddy from the storms the night before. We parked on the opposite side of the 188 and walked down the road, adding about 3.5 miles.

Park Creek at the trailhead was an absolute river. Got half way across rock-hopping before taking our boots off. Park Trail is in superb shape.

Hiked up the little peak 4759 just north of the trail and watched the clouds roll over Mount Ord and the Tonto Basin. Sierra Anchas, the higher Mazatzal peaks, and the Mogollon Rim got a fresh layer of snow.

Left the trail at the drainage that leads down closest to the falls after getting up around 4800ft. Stayed east of the drainage where the mountainside was clear, but eventually worked our way down along the water.

Took a while to find a good spot to cross Park Creek above the falls. Water level was high and jumping freaked me out with white water crashing down the smooth granite toward the falls. Really the only danger was in getting wet and cold and ruining my camera. I found a spot where I could cross on submerged rocks in water a little less than knee deep. My friend and his dog simply jumped across and back.

Working down below the upper falls took time. Eventually we found a route that climbed up and then down to the lower falls. Good bushwhack, and the scrambling was more exciting on account of being slippery with wet lichen.

We worked our way onto the mountainside north of the lower falls after checking out the upper. We didn't go south of the lower falls, but I reckon the best views are from that north side.

Much faster going back having established a route. We were back on the trail within an hour. Climbed back onto 4759 one more time and soaked in the views. Great visibility, and the clear air seemed to bring out more color. Didn't see anybody except a camper at the trailhead.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
More to bloom soon

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