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Cherry Creek Road FR 203
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mini location map2020-04-20
10 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Cherry Creek Road FR 203Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
4x4 Trip24.10 Miles 4,400 AEG
4x4 Trip24.10 Miles   2 Hrs      12.05 mph
4,400 ft AEG
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I headed up Cherry Creek Canyon for 4 nights of car camping with day hikes out of camp every day. The destination was one of my favorite campsites in Cherry Creek Canyon near the confluence of Pueblo Canyon Creek and Cherry Creek. It was a beautiful day and I was in no hurry so stopped frequently to take in the views, take photos and contemplate the history and archaeology of this area.

Both Coon Creek and Cherry Creek were flowing. There were a couple guys fishing at the first Cherry Creek Crossing with a fine mesh throw net - said they were fishing for minnows to use as bait for bass fishing.

I stopped to take photos of the remains of an old house with walls made with adobe bricks. The method of construction and materials were very similar to a couple burned out houses I had recently seen up Camp Creek off of the Seven Springs Road at Columbine Spring. [ photo ] I have not been able to find information on when those houses were built. This house on Cherry Creek Road was built by Glen R. (Slim) Ellison and his wife, Judy (Jewel), about 1940 with adobe bricks they made themselves. The walls have the same adobe brick construction with stucco over chicken wire protecting the adobe from the elements as the houses at Columbine Spring. Slim and Jewel lived on that property for 22 years starting around 1927-1930. So they lived there for a while before building the adobe house. Slim was the brother of Travis (Buster) Ellison who founded the Ellison Ranch further up the canyon off Cherry Creek Road. Slim was an old time cowboy not used to domesticated living. He and his wife could have lived there for some time in a tent or a small shack before building the house. I doubt that Slim ever wandered to the Camp Creek area or had anything to do with the building of those adobe houses.

Cherry Creek Road was in good condition all the way to the second Cherry Creek crossing at the Ellison Ranch. After that there are some very rocky rough spots requiring 4x4 and high clearance both before and after Devils Chasm. I drive a FJ Cruiser which is stock except for a very modest 1.7 inch lift on the front suspension and had no problems though I did walk one section of road before attempting it to determine the best path for avoiding clearance problems. The huge boulder that partially blocked the road the last time I was on this road in Feb 2018 has been moved to provide plenty of clearance for full size vehicles. A modest amount of water was flowing in the creeks at the Devils Chasm, Cold Spring Cny and Pueblo Cny crossings.

I did not drive further than about 0.2 miles past the Pueblo Canyon creek crossing so don't know about the FR203 road conditions beyond that point. I did walk the road for a short distance past that point on one of my hikes and saw a small rock slide across the road with a couple of boulders in the debris. [ photo ] It was more than I would want to attempt crossing with my FJ Cruiser because of clearance issues but ATVs with shorter wheel bases had been driving over it with no problem. I also observed several caravans of ATVs cruising up FR203 over the 4 days I was there and never saw any of them returning. So it would appear that they were able to drive all the way up FR203 to HW288.

It was a relaxing 4 night stay with day hikes to explore the area around my campsite getting back to camp by about 2-3pm before the temps reached an uncomfortable level for hiking. The remainder of the afternoons were spent relaxing in the shade at camp reading a book and planning the next day's hike. No cell phone service and never turned on the radio for the entire time I was there. What a relief to escape from the constant Covid-19 news updates. The only nuisance were tiny biting gnats and mosquitoes which would plague me anytime the breezes died down while sitting in camp in the afternoons. They sometimes forced me to retreat into my car while reading. Fortunately the car was parked in the shade and I have screens for the two roll down windows to keep the bugs out.
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