|Pinal Shute Springs Loop, AZ|
|Pinal Shute Springs Loop, AZ|| |
Pinal Shute Springs Loop, AZ
|Hiking||6.21 Miles|| 4 Hrs 34 Mns ||1.53 mph|
|1,375 ft AEG|| 30 Mns Break|
|I got a mid-morning text from Kat and with little on my plate for the day decided to tag along. There was zero time to plan or research, so I just downloaded some area maps and hopped in the car.|
Once we got started we managed to cross the river at about waist deep before pushing through the forest at the mouth and heading upstream in the mud. Upon looking at photos and reading triplogs once I returned, I realized this is far more overgrown than it was a decade ago. Apparently a good flood had occurred back then and nature has since regained control of the area.
It was a fight to get upstream. The deep pools were avoidable but the brush on the banks was thick. We ran into a few spots with some of the lowest growing poison ivy I've seen in Arizona. Fantastic!
After a couple of hours fighting the canyon upstream, I decided I wanted to swing over to Schute for the return. It seemed like a good plan at the time.
Kathleen opted to return the way we came with the guaranteed water for the dogs while I made my way overland to the parallel desert canyon. I knew nothing about this except what the topo map showed. As I headed north, the desert canyon narrowed and I began to wonder if it might cliff out before the river like Chalk does not far up from here.
A few scenic dryfalls were easily descended and I continued on to the relief from the hot sun at the cool water of the river. From here it should be an easy hike downstream back to meet up with Kathleen. But ... no.
Maybe I should do more research before I make such excursions in the future?
After fighting a couple of river crossings I reached a boxed in stretch that would require river travel. Kathleen is often a fan of a swim hike, so before I left the house, I threw a little inflatable pink donut pool float in my pack. Never did it cross my mind that I would need it to run the river! Unprepared with no dry bag or any other equipment one might want for an adventure such as this, I hopped in my little pool float and hoped it would survive long enough to limit the amount I would have to swim.
I survived! After floating around the next bend I heard the welcome barks of Chewy and Blazer who came running to greet me. We lounged on the beach for a relief beer before heading back down river to the car and the drive home.
Still some other stuff it would be fun to explore in the area. Next time I'll do a little more research first!