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Fish Creek Cave, AZ
mini location map2008-10-22
19 by photographer avatarSuperstitionGuy
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Fish Creek Cave, AZ 
Fish Creek Cave, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 22 2008
Hiking12.00 Miles
Hiking12.00 Miles   11 Hrs      1.09 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Day hiked from the Tortilla Trailhead at Apache Trail past the old Tortilla ranch site down an old cowboy trail to the confluence of Fish Creek Canyon and Lost Dutchman Canyon. Then upstream Fish Creek about four tenths of a mile to a large cave on the south side of the canyon and returned. Started at 3:30 am as I like to miss the heat of the day and enjoy hiking at night. I passed by one skunk and one coyote while hiking in the dark and I scared them more than they scared me. I did not have to use a flashlight until I left the parking area where you pass through into the wilderness gate/trail to the JF and Hoolie Bacon trail. There was an Isuzu Trooper vehicle parked at that point, maybe another HAZ hiker?

As daylight approached I found myself hiking down from the hilltop where the old cowboy trail begins to descend into the depths of Fish Creek Canyon. This was difficult to follow as the trail is very overgrown and not often used. There are cairns but I had trouble finding the beginning of the trail and just bush whacked until I picked it up about two hundred yards from the hilltop.

Reached the bottom of this trail where it enters Fish Creek Canyon just as the sun was rising in the east, although still in the shade being in the bottom of the canyon. Very little water in Fish Creek at this point as there was no pools or flow. Upstream a ways there was a pool but it was at about a five percent level from its norm.

The cave is on the south side of the canyon with quite a bit of vegetation and trees in front of it. GPS location was N 33 30.026 and W 111 16.177 and you will have to exit the stream bed and scramble a few feet through the brush before you will see it. There is a campfire ring just to the east of it up against and slightly protected by the rock cliff. The cave itself is quite large and has been used by the natives for hundreds if not thousands of years. This is a true cave not an overhang and it has not been dug out by pot hunters but has been metal detected by a local expert. So if you go there please do not dig it up!

Altogether, another great day hike until I had to climb out of the canyon in full sunlight. Fortunately there was a good breeze that helped keep my body temperature near normal although it kept trying to blow my hat off. Saw no one until just before I reached the parking lot by Apache Trail, a day hiker/Dutchman Hunter looking for the gold. If only he knew that I had captured it in my camera! :)
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