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West Leonard Canyon
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2022-09-15  
mini location map2022-09-15
20 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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West Leonard CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking9.69 Miles 712 AEG
Hiking9.69 Miles
712 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had heard there was a “6 out of 10” deadfall obstacle in the canyon [ photo ] , but was unsure where. Concerned about another Crackerbox Canyon, I kept a close eye out for bail points.

That said, the first two miles of West Leonard Canyon were not bad at all, with minimal deadfall.

The first cave was big enough for three people and their gear. The other two caves were only big enough for one person each.

I started noticing dead, brown, maple leaves on the ground, with a small grove 1⅔ miles down West Leonard Canyon. But up high, the maples were nearly devoid of leaves. Of the few leaves remaining, a fraction had fall color. Weird, because peak fall color is around the first week of October. 🤔

The transition from mostly canyon crawling to meadow walking occured just past a small check dam created by wire mesh.

Two hours to reach the meadow was more a function of scanning for bail points and taking lots of pictures. (175 on the day!)

I often find elk bones while canyon crawling the Mogollon Rim. I did not find a rack, but I did find a nearly complete skeleton, scattered over less than a hundred feet. No meat on the bones, but it still must’ve been a fairly recent kill, as usually the bones are too widely scattered to visualize the complete animal.

I also found four mylar balloons. You know, the balloons people release by the jillions at birthday parties and during the memorial at the end of every episode of “The First 48”. The Mogollon Rim seems to be a cosmic magnet for the things. 🎈

As I began the final mile of canyon crawling, still water turned to trickles, puddles into pools. Some up to two feet deep, but mostly avoidable. Even the few wild tangles of deadfall were not an issue. I never did find the “6 out of 10” deadfall obstacle.

My hikes up North Mountain paid off: Following nearly the same route out of the Middle Leonard Canyon as I did last year, I made it to the top six minutes faster. After some mild cross country hiking, I picked up FR 300H. It was nearly 2:00 p.m. by the time I took my first real break, 20 minutes for lunch, on a log just shy of eight miles.

Even though today was a beautiful, partly cloudy day — no downpour like last year — there were still a number of large puddles along FR 300H. Since I was walking, I settled for ripping through the puddles driving back on Rim Rd. instead. Heck, I even do that cruising down 12th St. 😁

After refreshing at Woods Canyon Lake with ice cream and beer, we stopped at Culvers in Payson for a proper meal on the way home. No custard at the latter, because I was practicing “restraint”.

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/750944837
 Culture
 Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Cag Shot
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  West Leonard Canyon
 Meteorology
 Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Autumn - Color Foliage
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Coneflower, Virginia strawberry, foothill paintbrush, wandbloom penstemon, silky evening primrose, western yarrow, orange jelly, Canada violet, fleabane, alpine leafybract aster, ragleaf bahia, Richardson’s geranium, Apache lobelia, and several fungi I have no clue about.
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kingsnake's
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