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Las Cienegas Narrows, AZ
mini location map2020-03-28
29 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Las Cienegas Narrows, AZ 
Las Cienegas Narrows, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2020
markthurman53
Hiking11.46 Miles 633 AEG
Hiking11.46 Miles   5 Hrs   10 Mns   2.30 mph
633 ft AEG      11 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Back to Las Cienegas Creek, this time with my daughter Lisa and heading down stream past the Narrows to a point I hiked to a few weeks ago. This is probably the most interesting part of the Las Cienegas Creek. The Narrows is a rock constriction in the stream formed by the rock beds being tilted up vertically. The water was flowing pretty good in a stream that changed its appearance from a clear gentle flow to marsh areas and in a couple places swamp. Only thing missing were alligators (I can Photoshop those in).

The Empire Ranch road and East Hilton Ranch Road will get you to within a quarter mile of The Narrows and there is a path that starts from the end of the road and takes you directly to the Narrows. The dirt roads are in fair condition and a high clearance vehicle will do unless it is muddy. It is good to have a co pilot to help open and close the 5 gates along this road. From the end of the road I headed straight into the creek and headed toward The Narrows. I only discovered the trail once I was at The Narrows and we returned that way. Like most of Cienega Creek there are no trails, you pick the easiest route as you go. Expect a little back tracking. There are areas where there is a two track that can be followed and usually is along side and up from the creek. We also took advantage of the cattle trails in this area, they have beaten a pretty good path in some areas, and if you are under 4 feet tall you won't even have to bend over in places. Looks like at one time was heavily used by illegals but most of the evidence I saw looked a couple years old. The creek can be a challenge in places to get across especially where it is more like a bog. Later in the year when the vegetation fills in it might be more of a challenge to walk along the creek. The lower 1.5 miles of this hike were outside the Las Cienegas National Conservation area and about 3/4 mile of that was dry.

Lots of wildlife from a Blue Heron, couple of Ducks, Antelope and a number of cows. Other than the cows and antelope none stuck around long enough to get photos. There were also fish in the stream for the heron. There was not a boring moment along the whole 12 mile hike. There is a lot of history along the Las Cienegas and on this hike the boilers for the Total Wreck mine were along side the creek, a nice little 5 minute excursion.
Fauna
Fauna
Pronghorn
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