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Eagle Creek, AZ
mini location map2020-05-25
40 by photographer avatarchumley
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Eagle Creek, AZ 
Eagle Creek, AZ
Hiking avatar May 25 2020
Hiking5.21 Miles 1,467 AEG
Hiking5.21 Miles   2 Hrs   29 Mns   2.14 mph
1,467 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The morning sun crested the high canyon walls earlier than I had anticipated, but the dense canopy of cottonwoods shaded me as I made breakfast and packed up my things. I even lit the fire bowl to melt the cheese on my texas toast on the banks of the creek and take the morning chill out of the air.

A short distance away, I decided to make a loop out of what would otherwise be an out n back. I always prefer downstream travel in a creek, so I had to knock out two miles by climbing up a steep road under the baking early morning sun. It was good to get it over with early though as the temps could not have been out of the 60s yet. Super friendly ranch dogs were thrilled to see me and followed for a bit, but I didn't get an all day friend like Joe and Bruce did one time.

Finally heading downhill to the creek, I reached a closed gate marked private property, trespassers would be prosecuted. This was odd since the property is private on both sides of the gate. And I was there with permission of the land owner. So I continued on with some caution. Below me was a large dam with a stagnant pool behind it and no downstream flow. All was diverted into a tunnel that took the water away for other purposes. I began to wonder if this would be a miserable and dry hike.

After a few minutes on the dam, I headed downstream past some of the diversion infrastructure and back into the wild. There was not much water for the first quarter mile, and signs of cattle and overgrazing. It didn't take long however for the character of the creek to present itself, and the remaining miles were as pleasant as any I've hiked recently. Pool after pool of pristine water, towering canyon walls, lush green trees, footprints from all kinds of wildlife, birds soaring overhead, etc.

I encountered a fisherman who I had startled. He thought I was a bear, as he said it's not common for a person to randomly appear like I did :lol: . He was a regular here and told me of the fish and animals that live here. He said the beavers can be 4 feet head to tail. Again ... I went without seeing one this day. ](*,)

As I headed downstream toward where I had parked, I encountered a couple of AZGFD officers on patrol. Of all the agencies I've seen out and about, GFD are those I most often see in the least trafficked places. I'm glad they have it in their budget to patrol these places.

I informed them of an abandoned campfire I had found smoldering earlier on my hike that required over 20 gallons of (5-ft adjacent) creekwater, and still continued to boil profusely. With no further info, there was nothing they could do but share stories of other situations they've encountered. It's truly mind boggling.

I didn't let it ruin my day, and enjoyed some of the historic artifacts and sites that the canyon offered. There was evidence of prehistoric visitation in addition to pioneer life. Cliffs and caves, birds and bats. Captions on the photos help tell the story.
Water Smartweed
Cliff Swallow
33s over 45s
HAZ Member
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