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Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness - GET #7
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mini location map2021-04-24
30 by photographer avatarJohn10s
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Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness - GET #7Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2021
Hiking14.37 Miles 1,201 AEG
Hiking14.37 Miles   6 Hrs   53 Mns   2.27 mph
1,201 ft AEG      34 Mns Break
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This was our third third trip to Aravaipa in the past six months--the first was in late October, exploring Horse Camp Canyon from the west trailhead [ triplog ] , and the second was two weeks later, when we hiked to Turkey Creek and Hell's Hole Canyon from the east trailhead [ triplog ] . I was excited to visit Aravaipa in the spring, though I was a little worried that I was setting my expectations too high after two fantastic previous visits, when we were lucky to see a lot of great wildlife. But this trip was certainly no letdown.

The drive to the trailhead along Klondike Road was fast and easy--it's well graded, and we were driving 55+ mph on the smooth straightaways. We didn't have the fall colors this time, of course, but there was plenty of green, the water level was about the same as before, the weather was perfect, and the water temperature was refreshingly cool. We didn't see many other people early on--there was a group of backpackers in the parking lot packing up, but we only saw a handful of hikers/campers the rest of the day, until we got back near the parking lot in the afternoon.

Our destination today was Booger Canyon, but since this was a day trip, it's a 3+ hour drive from Phoenix, and Booger is almost seven miles from the east trailhead, I knew we wouldn't have too much time to explore, but we wanted to check it out. Our first wildlife sighting was some wild turkeys early on, including a large one fanning its feathers. We also had multiple Great Blue Herons flying overhead, and one finally landed so we could get some good pictures.

I hadn't hiked west of Hell's Hole Canyon from the east side, and the geology and landscape change quickly after Hell's Hole--the canyon gets wider, the walls are a darker red/brown, and there are a lot more saguaros that extend far down the sides of the canyon. Around five miles in, we hit the jackpot on wildlife...probably because we were getting closer to the middle of the canyon where there's less foot traffic. In the span of one mile, we saw a deer, more Great Blue Herons, and had two separate coati sightings. We were lucky enough to see two large groups of coatis at the end of our last visit, and this time we saw two individuals at different points along the trail. The first one climbed head-first down a tree as we approached and then eventually moved up the side of the canyon. The two we saw today looked a little different than the ones we saw last time--they had bushier tails, were lighter brown, and didn't have the same prominent rings on their tails.

As expected, we didn't have much time to explore Booger, but we enjoyed what little we saw. The canyon is full of massive boulders, and despite the dry year, a lot of the pools were full, with some small trickles and waterfalls throughout. It felt like an obstacle course as we navigated the jumble of boulders. Others have mentioned in trip logs that they preferred exploring Hell's Hole to Booger...they're very different, but I found Booger just as intriguing, and it's worthy of a return visit to get further back toward the springs--we only got a small taste of Booger today, and when it comes to side canyons of Aravaipa, it's one of my top picks.

On the hike out, we saw a few more Great Blue Herons and wild turkeys...and a few more groups of people as we got closer to the trailhead. We also noticed a large natural window in the rock that we'd somehow missed on the way in. The hike managed to live up to the high expectations, and by the end of the day, we'd seen ~10 wild turkeys, six or seven Great Blue Herons, a deer, and the two coatis.
Yellow Columbine
Old Rusty Stuff
Named place
Named place
Booger Canyon

dry Booger Canyon Dry Dry
Full pools with some trickles in the waterfalls

dry Deer Creek Dry Dry
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Dry at the intersection with Aravaipa Creek
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