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Tonto Creek Bear Flat to Hellsgate
6 Photosets

mini location map2021-06-20
3 by photographer avatarrcorfman
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Tonto Creek Bear Flat to HellsgatePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking6.93 Miles 724 AEG
Hiking6.93 Miles   9 Hrs   15 Mns   0.87 mph
724 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my first foray into Tonto Creek. The plan was to find the first two stages of multi-cache geocache Mad Shartin. We started the down the creek about 8:45 but by 1:00 we were still 0.62 crow miles from the 2nd stage. With the pace we were going we figured we'd need at least 2 hours to get back where we were, probably 3. That would have us finishing in the dark so we had a beer and headed back instead.

This is a really beautiful route but you pay for the views with blood and sweat. I don't want to think about how many times I slipped and fell in the creek, dragged my shin across rocks, banged my knees, etc. I really had a great time! The water was a perfect temperature. We were never cold even though we spent most of the time sloshing through the creek.

For wildlife, we saw lots of crawdads and fish of course. The man I was with saw a bald eagle, and we saw an AZ Black rattler.

I was really beat up after this. Clamoring over the rocks, stumbling, and picking myself up throughout the day, was more work than my upper body has done for a long while. My shoulders and lower back were quite tired afterwards.
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