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Haigler Creek Hellsgate Wilderness
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mini location map2020-06-06
16 by photographer avatarkelraen
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Haigler Creek Hellsgate WildernessPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jun 06 2020
kelraen
Canyoneering9.50 Miles 1,217 AEG
Canyoneering9.50 Miles
1,217 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
After a few other planned trips got scrapped due to covid, I convinced a buddy of mine to do this recreation of Joel Hazelton, Chumley, MountainMatt, and JohnnyBackpack's trip to the middle section of Haigler Creek via Big Ridge trail and Salt Canyon.

Getting to Salt Canyon was a bit of a trip for sure, being careful to skirt around all of the private property signs. At first when looking at google earth I though that big ridge trail was driveable if you went through Gordon Creek, but the pictures don't do it justice. That road is rocky and steep. I wouldn't take anything but a tricked-out Jeep or an ATV on that thing.

Salt Canyon was a bushwhacking jungle, including a serious ton of poison ivy that I must have gotten hit by on the way back without noticing because I was feeling it for two weeks after. The actual canyon itself wasn't bad, some minor boulder hopping with backpacks and some dryfall negotiating but nothing too bad.

Once we got down to Haigler Creek, which was nice and clear (much better than the last time I was there), we blew up our inflatables and floated our packs to the same campsite our predecessors stayed at, which was ideal! After dropping our backs and having some lunch, we made it all the way to Hellsgate, taking in some seriously beautiful but tiring landscapes. Can't get enough of that pink granite! It's not too far of a distance, but that really tired us out. The next morning we made our way out, and surprisingly neither of our packs got soaked using the rafts again.

Truly an amazing place and worth the effort, but it was definitely a hard-fought scenic route!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Gordon Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Salt Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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