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Chevelon Creek - Larson Ridge Route
15 Photosets

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mini location map2020-08-12
45 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Chevelon Creek - Larson Ridge RoutePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking4.00 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
1,100 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I needed a Creek Hike and I wanted to be cool. I got both. I underestimated this Hike and thought I could get Telephone done on the same day. But oh boy, howdy! The amount of effort needed for such a short hike left me thinking I'd just done something technical. :sweat: And I should've worn my Approach shoes for sure. Instead I wore my old beat up hiking shoes, thinking that I didn't care if I got them wet. I needed more tread for sure at least for the "down". I only fell once, on the ascent, but fell into the hill. I did spend some time using my hands, but only butt scooted a couple of times.

The drive in was cool. 3 Bucks in velvet raced my truck and I let them win. I parked .7 Miles from the end of the Road. There was a short stretch, that if I had done it, I could have gone much further, but I won't be comfortable with areas like that until I get the truck "leveled". That'll bring up the front end another 1 1/2".

The road walk was nice with birds and lots of blooms in some of the more open areas. Got to the end of the road and there was impressive views with impressive camp sites. It was all downhill from there. The Route appears to be different now, than what the official route is showing, and there are cairns taking you to the south, off the actual ridge. I followed them for awhile as there looked to be a trail, but then I lost both the cairns and the "trail". I was tired of traversing the slope anyway so I just hooked up with more game trails and went down to Long Tom Canyon. I figured that I might make this a small loop if I followed the original route back up.

It still took a long time, as I didn't want to end up like the "Oops" guy and my shoe choice made me slow down even more. But with the help of the locals, I made it down just wearing some charcoal from an older burn. The Creek Bed made for some fairly easy going and once there, I made it to Chevelon in about 20 minutes. The Rockhopping was nice for a change and I had a Canyoneering friend show me how to do it so I could be faster and more efficient. I was definitely ready for a break at Chevelon and spent it with a Butterfly for company.

By the time I sat down at Chevelon, dark clouds were starting to appear overhead, in what was a blue sky 30 minutes before. I walked the Fishermen's Trails both ways up and down Chevelon for a bit and enjoyed the creek for awhile. It became even more evident that there would be some rain and I had another Hike in mind to round out the day, so I headed up a cairned route that joined up with the original route. I'll describe the original route in two words. Forget it. Once I was on it, I tried to follow it, but the Oaks, Locust and Deadfall now along this Route made it impossible. I ended up switchbacking back to the east and lo and behold, there was another Cairn. I was able to follow the cairned route almost to the top and then around the south side of the ridge where I had left it before. There was a big difference in the route I took down and the route I was following up and around though. The difference was large rocks and scrambling on the north and east side of the route. The cairns took you to a scramble that looked more like a climb, so I found another place to get up. If I had to do this all over again, I would definitely go back the way I came. Very little rock scrambling needed and it was all much easier. If anyone decides to follow my route all the way down, just keep looking and following game trails. They'll switchback down somewhat, but they get you down with a minimum of obstacles. On a slope like that, the deer would rather go around most of the deadfall too.

Have I mentioned that I got rained on? I'm halfway up the ascent and it started sprinkling a bit and then there was thunder. I wasn't quite to the top of the first bump in the ridge and realized that it was time to drag out the gear. I left my regular rainsuit in the truck, but I always carry a poncho and an old pack cover for the camera case. I covered my pack with it's pack cover, covered the camera and donned the poncho which also helped cover both. And then it rained. And the Rocks got slick. :sweat: But the cairns took me somewhat off the top so I wasn't as worried about any lightning. As far as Rains go, it was a great rain. Never a torrential downpour like I would see later, but a nice, steady, heavy, falling rain. I wish I had gotten video, it was beautiful with big drops falling into the canyons. The weather would follow me the rest of the day until I got a ways down the hill.

Back at the truck, I threw the wet covers in the back and started driving out. I knew my 2nd "Hike" that I had planned wasn't going to happen so I decided to hit Black Canyon Lake for a shorter hike. Made it to the turnoff and the skies opened up in earnest. I pulled over and it poured, hailed and thundered for 45 minutes and then became a lighter rain and thunder. Black Canyon Lake wasn't going to happen either. The skies to the West looked almost blue with puffy clouds, so I headed west. Willow Springs looked promising so I went in there. The crowds were insane. Sinkhole Campground was full, on a Wednesday. I'll do a short triplog of Willow Springs. But it didn't last long either, as the weather caught me pretty fast.

Larson was amazing, but hard, especially after not doing anything last week. Knowing what I know and have seen, I'd do it again someday. But other routes into Chevelon have yet to be done, so it may be awhile before I do this one again. But it filled what I needed on this day, plus some. :sweat: Where's that Weightlifter Emoji when you need it??? :cry: A short hike that takes time and tries to seriously kick your ass. I'm feeling it a bit today.

Photos: A couple of days as there's a lot of Fauna to go through. FauNA NA NA NA
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Moderate due to places along the road were heavy, but down in the canyon, it's light. With that said, the variety down by the creek was pretty cool.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max East Fork Chevelon Canyon Light flow Light flow

dry Long Tom Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Point Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Ridge Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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