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Reynolds Rain Out, AZ
mini location map2021-08-01
21 by photographer avatarJohn10s
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Reynolds Rain Out, AZ 
Reynolds Rain Out, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 01 2021
Hiking4.42 Miles 1,225 AEG
Hiking4.42 Miles   3 Hrs   9 Mns   1.83 mph
1,225 ft AEG      44 Mns Break
1st trip
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The forecast in the upper Sierra Anchas was a little questionable going into the day, but late morning/afternoon rain chances were in the 15-30% range early in the morning, so we decided to go for it. Driving east on Highway 60, we saw the lingering effects of the flash flooding around Miami a few days before. With a wetter/more active monsoon season this year, there was more water flowing in Reynolds Creek along FR 410, a lot more green foliage, and more downed trees, though they'd all been cleared off the road. We saw a few campers parked along FR 410, and one vehicle with campers in the small parking area at the trailhead.

Before we even got on the trail, we had concerns that the weather might cut our day short, with dark clouds and thunderheads already starting to gather ~8AM. I've hiked from Reynolds Creek Trail five times now, and the first half mile was more overgrown than I'd ever seen it. Most of it was soft leaves and branches, but there were also stretches that were thick with wild raspberries with sharp thorns that were no fun to push through. The early creek crossings had water flowing, the first time I'd seen that here, and Reynolds Creek Falls was also flowing. The biggest part of the falls is tucked so far back in the narrow canyon that it's not visible from the trail, and with the weather looking like it was, we didn't take time to go over there for a closer look and just snapped a few pictures of the smaller, upper falls from a distance.

The trail beyond the falls was even more overgrown, to the point that it was almost invisible in places, but the benefit was a variety of wildflowers everywhere. We turned onto Center Mountain Trail, which was also extremely overgrown with wild raspberries, and picked up a lot of scratches as we trimmed branches out of the way as we hiked. It started sprinkling along that stretch, let up for a while, then started up again as we got up to the edge of the canyon with incredible views over Cherry Creek down below. The clouds were beautiful but provided more signs that our day was going to get cut short--more rain clouds and thunderheads building everywhere.

The rain got a little heavier, and we waited under some trees to see if it would pass and started packing stuff into dry bags, but we ultimately decided to call it a day and head back since it looked like it would continue well into the afternoon, and lightning was a concern, as was flooding if the rain kept up. Any doubts about out decision to start back disappeared quickly as the sky opened up and it started thundering. We got absolutely soaked on the way out, and it was surprisingly chilly hiking back in soggy clothes. The falls were flowing even heavier with the rain, but we were focused on getting out and didn't take time to stop.

The rain let up and the sun came back out over the last few tenths of a mile, and we finally paused near the final creek crossing to enjoy the water. Back at the parking lot, there were two other vehicles, and a third pulled in as we packed up. Early on the drive back out on FR 410, there was a large tree blocking the road, which must have fallen in the few minutes between the other vehicle arriving and us leaving. We were able to clear out some of the larger branches, but the main tree trunk was too heavy to move...luckily, we had just enough space to squeeze past it.

Since the hike got cut so short, we stopped at a few lookouts along 288 with views of Roosevelt Lake, Four Peaks, and Hog Canyon. It was still relatively early, and we considered exploring some of the ruins sites down Cherry Creek Road, but it was getting hot at the lower elevations, and the sites we wanted to see were going to take more time that we had today. Having exhausted other options, we stopped at Tonto National Monument, which was open until 5PM, but when we pulled in, a sign said that the cliff dwellings close at noon. Not sure why the monument stays open later than the cliff dwellings...that's like a grocery store staying open into the evening but cutting off food sales at noon :).

When we set out in the morning, the plan to spend most of our time doing some off-trail exploring, but the day didn't turn out as expected, and we had to head back just as we got to the most scenic areas. Even though it ended up being a short hike, it was certainly a memorable one. We technically started and ended in the sunshine, but the middle was a little unpleasant :).
Cumulonimbus Thunderhead
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Reynolds Creek Falls - Sierra Ancha Medium flow Medium flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout
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