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The Best Hikes of Salt River Corridor

252 Triplog Reviews in the Salt River Corridor
Most recent of 122 deeper Triplog Reviews
8.5 mi • 1,943 ft aeg
Unnamed canyon and Lower Fish Creek
I have had my eye on this canyon (unnamed?) to the west of fish creek hill which I have been wanting to check out. Becky and I set out with the tentative plan of dropping into this canyon up by Tortilla Flats TH and connecting with the Lower Fish Creek route. Having no such luck with finding any information online for this canyon, we didn't know if we were going to cliff out and have to back track or if we'd make it all the way to the bottom. :lol: This canyon turned into a lovely little canyon that narrowed as it reached Fish Creek. There are several large trickling waterfalls from the recent rains that sure would be a treat to see gushing - however, getting there with any more water flow than there was at the time would be quite the challenge. We made our way around and down the obstacles which included one that left Becky draped over a rock with her legs dangling - which provided many laughs :y:

Once we got to Fish Creek, we were greeted with fall colors! We opted to just get our feet wet after several shallow crossing attempts as it looked like the options were wet feet or heavy brush. A large alcove on the left as the canyon bends south offered up some stunning views that made the wet feet well worth it. The towering canyon walls with the sun starting to peak through left us feeling quite happy :D We were treated to a few more cool caves and rock formations as well as some stunning fall colors before we made it back to SR 88. On our trek back up 88 to the hill, we marveled at the black marks glistening with evidence of recent and very large seasonal waterfalls. All in all, a good day!
0 mi • 0 ft aeg
We went in from canyon lake and found a spot to anchor and tie up the boat. There is a buoy marked for the reef where we had seen another person tie up their kayak in a video on youtube. There is a large rock to the right of that buoy that has some yellow writing on it. We anchored between these 2 spots. After anchoring, all 5 of us started our nearly vertical hike/climb to the cave. We started out trying to go mostly straight up from that spot, aiming for the wall that leads to the cave. We were met with a dead end as none of us were prepared to do a serious climb. We backtracked and took an approach going to the east. We realized at this point that it would be a lot of zig zag hiking to reach the path along the highest cliff wall. We did happen to see a couple cairns on the way up. But, they did not seem to be on any type of "easy" path. We saw virtually no wildlife other than small lizards. Luckily the temperature never exceeded 86° considering the previous days temperature was 100°. All but one of us was able to reach the cave. He had to turn back to the boat just minutes from the cave. Once at the cave we thought we would be able to see more remnants of the event. We were slightly disappointed by the lack of evidence but still enthralled by our success. It took roughly 90 minutes for the first of us to reach the cave. The 2nd hiker reached it in about 105 minutes, the 3rd and 4th in 130 minutes. We had a lunch in the cave and explored the cave looking for any possible traces of the the event. We found a few bone fragments and some interesting rocks. We admired the walls timeline of previous explorers as well. All in all, it was a great experience. The reward of more remnants would have been the icing on the cake. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our time together and felt a great sense of accomplishment for our adventure. For future hikers, trail markers would be highly advised. Just please remove as you come down to keep the area natural. Everything looks pretty much the same so it is hard to find the way you came up.
6 mi • 1,823 ft aeg
Harder than anticipated! The difficulty rated 3.5 per guide, but this is easily a 4.0. The official GPS route can be used as a guideline but don't try to follow it too closely unless you feel like going over a cliff or two. I should have paid more attention to Yoder's triplog below regarding routes.

Sadly I didn't achieve the ultimate goal here and turned around with a mile to go. Strength/stamina have been in the toilet lately, apparently a side effect of the acne meds I've been taking (luckily just one more month on those). In the past I've done several 20+ mile day hikes in the Supes (one being nearly 27 miles). By comparison, I barely finished the 12 mile Battleship Mountain hike I did two weeks ago.

So, in my current weakened state, I figured this would be a challenging hike but not overly difficult. Not quite. Two miles in I was already feeling pretty fatigued and even considered turning around right there. However, not wanting to throw in the towel (50% ego, 40% 3-hour round trip drive, 10% voices in head - another apparent side effect of meds) I trudged onward. Sadly, as I mentioned, I ended up turning around anyway.

I wasted a lot of energy just trying to figure out where I was going, backtracking and climbing up little hills to pick out routes, etc. The terrain is challenging and I found it hard to maintain a good sense of where I was and where I needed to go (and when I knew where I needed to go it was often hard to know how to get there!). I'll return here once I get my mojo back and - with a little luck - hopefully I can recover my dignity. I think I left it near Chalcedony Cave.

Plenty of great views out here, even if you end up walking in circles and fail to bag the peak.

I saw two nice bunnies and a seemingly ambivalent squirrel. No other hikers out there.

A few scattered about. Nothing substantial enough to be worth photographing.
6.9 mi • 2,442 ft aeg
Big Plans that Changed... But it still ended up being a Big Hike albeit not Intentional... :sweat: The Original Plan was to hit BCB and then Salt River Canyon View from Peak 3042... BCB was pretty Sweet, first Time Up that one, although it's been on my List for Years.... A triple of Interesting Scrambles, two or which made me Pause for a minute or two, but with that Sticky Rock and Good Soles, I built Confidence...

After a pretty Delightful Use Trail petered out on the way to 3042, we kept thinking we were Off-Route. At one Point though, the Geology became an Overwhelming Distraction as we started running into Geodes and some Amazing Quartz in one Area.... When we finally got to above the Final Wash Crossing, before ascending 3042, we looked at our Watches and decided on Nope! Not Today.... :sweat: It was almost 11:30 by then and we just didn't think we could swing it in a reasonable amount of Time... It was a very Good Decision especially since we were thinking on making this a Loop... :lol:

I had suggested we make the Loop of this Hike. as the Description subtly suggested, and take the Wash down and back to the Vehicles. We decided to follow thru with that, but after looking at the Topo, we believed that the Wash we were looking at between us and Peak 3042 would Cliff Out. We were Correct. (We Verified that from the Bottom... :sweat: ) So we found a "Cut" in the Cliff Band on the Topo that looked "Doable" and went for it... We came very very close to Cliffing out on that one about halfway down after trying a couple of other Routes along that Section first. In fact, if I had been Solo, I would not have tried that Downclimb at all and as it was, I took my Pack off and lowered it first. But Andy did it, so I wasn't going to be the Reason we went all the way back up that Cut, and it looked to be more "Doable" the Rest of the way down after some more Route Finding.... It wasn't as bad as it looked, especially with no Pack and Camera Bag to deal with.... I just had to make sure not to kill Andy with Rockfall from above... :sweat: And the Bonus to that particular Route was the Guano Cave... I barely went in, took a couple of Photos and got out... Didn't see any Bats, they are probably gone for the Season, but there's a Part of that Cave, Up High, that goes back into utter Blackness. Hard to know, unless you sat there until Sunset....

We finally got down to the Bottom of Crucifix and took a well Deserved Break. We headed down Crucifix for just a bit to see if we were correct on the Topo Reading on Top. And then we headed back towards the Vehicles via the Bottom of Crucifix. It seemed like an Endless, Boulder Hopping, Scrambling, Route Finding Stretch with some Wonderful Catclaw thrown in the Mix on Occasion. But the Views were Splendid and the Amazing Rock Formations kept our Cameras from feeling Neglected. With a Final Turn of the Creekbed, we saw a Cairn up above the Creekbed but were unsure what it was meant for... With the Creek getting way worse at that Turn, we decided to go up the Hill and ultimately climbed up to a small Saddle. On the other Side of the Saddle was the Road and the next Ridge would be where our Vehicles were... Relief and Adrenaline kicked in, and our Pace picked up. But then, it's really not over until it's over, as there was Gunfire and Andy heard a Bullet whiz over his Head. :sweat: So we had to slow down and I started yelling, so whoever was Shooting would stop. It was coming from the other side of a Rise to our Right. I heard a Ricochet at one Point and it was pretty intimidating.... I think they finally heard me and the Shooting stopped until we were almost topped out on the next Ridge where we Parked... The Cars were a Relief by then for sure... I felt bad for Andy as he was going to a Mandatory Christmas Party as soon as he got home and cleaned up.... :sweat: I, on the other hand, had Partied the Night before, so I went Home and just crawled into the House for my Final Act of the Day.... :sweat: :zzz:

Thanks for the Invite Andy, it was a Pleasure to finally Meet You! It was a Good Day! Hard, but the Good Kind of Hard, where you know you did something by the End... Or sooner.... :sweat:
6.88 mi • 1,990 ft aeg
I have been thinking about heading to this area for a long time. I finally decided to head over to the Apache Trail and get this one off my list. I was joined by Pam Barnhart, a fellow hiker I have known only online prior to this hike.

The hike was originally planned to hit Black Cross Butte, then head over to Peak 3042 to get the views of the Salt River Canyon. We headed out right before 8am and made our way up to Black Cross Butte. The route was fairly easy to follow. The first section has a steep chute to tackle and then a small ridge to climb up. Getting to the top of the Butte was fairly easy. Great views of Four Peaks and the Salt River Canyon along the way.

We proceeded towards Peak 3042. The trail was easy to follow at first and was an actual trail. The trail started to diminish and it became the off-trail hike we both expected. We consulted the official gps track on Route Scout a few times for sure. When we got to the last saddle, before the dip down to the wash and final assault of the peak, we decided we did not have time or inclination to hit the second peak. It was at this point that we made a fateful decision.

Rather than follow our track back to the trailhead, we came up with the bright idea of taking a drainage down to the creek below. We both figured it would be a nice change of scenery and would make the trip back to the trailhead faster. We were WRONG on both counts….ha ha.

The drainage we took turned into a series of cliffs and we had to navigate, climb down and rock scramble to make our way down. We would cliff out, find another route, only to have that one cliff out as well. It took us the better part of 2 hours to make the 1/2 mile descent to the creek. A few scary exposed sections, lots of scree and steep slopes, and of course, loads of catclaw and other nastiness.

Once down the creek, we had a little lunch and explored a little down the canyon. We had thought about taking another route down as well, that would have ended up having a 100' waterfall cliff at the end….so, as bad as the route we picked, it would have been a “re-climb” back up from that one.

Pam thought the canyon we were in was Crucifix Canyon, and I believe that is where we were. The hike out was not the easy stroll we expected. The creek was dry as a bone, but it was very rough. Lots of boulder hopping and route finding. The scenery was spectacular. This is a hidden gem of a canyon. I will definitely head back in here again. There’s a double arch near the mouth of the canyon and I will head up to see in the future.

We ended up taking almost 9 hours to navigate the 7 miles of hiking. A crazy hike, but I am glad I was able to see this beautiful canyon. I will go back soon to tackle Peak 3042 as well. It was nice to meet you Pam, and I hope your knees are not too sore today from all that bushwhacking and rock climbing!

3.11 mi • 807 ft aeg
Blake and I and two friends thoroughly enjoyed hiking out to the tip of the peninsula of Coronado Mesa. We didn't really know what to expect except for incredible views and, I must add, ones that are different from nearby Black Cross Butte 3351. We kept thinking we were at the end of the mesa, but wait, it goes on! And on! We had fun scrambling up and over boulders and, in my opinion, there were really only one or two places that you had to be extra careful about falling. We were surprised to find sheep droppings (lots!) at the very end of the peninsula. Do sheep like the views too? One word of warning about the hike...Ticks are abundant.
2.4 mi • 509 ft aeg
Finished our Fish Creek area hikes with Coronado Mesa, nice area, got back to TH and headed down to the SRP Gate, was open, but no need to get in any trouble on such a nice day :) Was going to stop at Tortilla Flats for a cone, but :o :o no parking spots left, was a Snowbird Heaven Day :) kept going and will take a raincheck :)
7.5 mi • 2,359 ft aeg
El Recortado West
Mark covered the details quite nicely, so I will only add a few of my thoughts about the hike.

For starters, I took too many pictures, which tells me there is a lot of good stuff to see out there. Once on top of 2857, the views to the south and west were awesome (the views north and east were obscured by fog/clouds).

It seemed like one dark cloud or another hung over us the entire hike. When we reached the down climb that would start the next phase of the hike, I don't think either of us wanted to continue, not with the threat of rain hanging over our heads. It was a wise choice to shut it down.

But that also left us with time to play as we headed back. We stayed on track until we were down from 2857, then we did whatever felt good. We saw a couple of small arches, explored some caves and chatted about whatever came to mind. Good times!

Once again, a big thanks to Mark for lugging me out to a place that I probably wouldn't see without a lot of extra miles of hiking. Wonderful hike and a great time!
7.5 mi • 2,359 ft aeg
El Recortado 'West'
On the hike with Ray to the AZNG mascot just over 2 weeks ago El Recortado was hard to miss, which brought to mind I hadn't been out that way since doing the "El Rec West/East" double in June 2014.
So... what better time than now to drag Ray out there as well.

The plan was to drive out to Brownie Tank in the dark and hit the trail 30 minutes before sunrise. Ok, so we were 30 minutes behind schedule. Ray might claim some responsibility, but extra drive time was the bigger issue. The FS had closed off a few roads in The Rolls since I had been out there last so we were unable to take the shortest straightest route. Plus, it was dark.
(We'd only realize just how bad the road was when driving back out in the light of day.)

The forecast called for cloudy til mid-morning then partly cloudy so when we were greeted by such a heavy overcast, I didn't expect that to change so we just got on with it. It would threaten rain pretty much throughout the hike but we were lucky to avoid it.

However, for the record... I'll take 105 and 12% humidity over 55 and 80-95% humidity any day. It might as well have rained as I was soaked with sweat within 15-20 minutes of beginning the hike.

We stuck close to the route of my hike back in June 2014. (with the exception of the first mile)
- Started from Brownie Tank, follow the wash SE for .7 mile
- Turn east and go .2 mile over to a saddle then drop 120' into Cottonwood Creek
- Continue .25 mile south in the wash
- Turn and begin climbing southeast, gaining ~200' over the next .25 mile
- Traverse the slope east .25 mile
- Climb 200' up a drainage to the north
- Continue due east a half mile with little elevation gain, the main hazard being cholla
- Climbing east up the longest/steepest slope of the day, gaining 400 feet in .25 mi
- Passed the 2857 'summit' then began an 'around the edge of the mesa' counter-clockwise arc to the true summit of El Recortado 'East'. (While unmarked on the map, the elevation is 2900')
- From there we continued east a half-mile to the slope of decision... :-k
Almost three hours to reach here, likely another 2-3 hours to drop down 600 feet, climb up to 3068, back down and up to this point, plus another 3 to get back to Brownie Tank...

Hmmm... it's getting cooler, which I'm definitely feeling since I'm soaked through and through with sweat and the sky isn't looking any better, I think we'll call it a day and have extra time for some wandering on the return.
(Unlike my last trip out here, discretion would be the word of choice today.)

We decided to try a different route to drop back into Cottonwood Creek and split up...
I continued down a wash until reaching a ~75' pour-off ](*,)
Ray climbed a small knoll and found a smoother slope so I had no problem back-tracking to follow his route. Eventually we reached the wash and picked out a large boulder for our lunch spot.

After the food-break we followed Cottonwood Creek back to the point of the steep climb up the western wall. On the way up Ray noticed some large caves to the right so off we went to check them out. Of course we found the usual signs of human use (disuse), empty bottles and an empty can of peaches.

From there, instead of followed the wash back to Brownie Tank, we climbed the next hill and had a flat walk across the mesa back to the Jeep.

Although it was a soaker for the clothes, it was a fun hike with great company and great scenery, even if the photos can't do it justice... the Battleship photo in particular may have been awesome if not for the overcast.
And as I mentioned earlier, now in daylight we were able to see just how rough and muddy the road was. Good thing I went slow in the dark.
6.95 mi • 1,990 ft aeg
Joined a group of meetup hikers for a trip out to the Salt River Overlook today. Left my home in north Phoenix in the rain at 6am and drove through steady rain all the way down to the 60. The rain paused long enough for us to get out to the trail head and hike all the way to the overlook. Thunder, lightning, and blowing rain accented our return to the trailhead. Not only was the overlook fantastic, we were also presented with a spectacular cloud burst and a wonder double rainbow! Saw some deer on the way out around the first bench and running water here and there. Delicious lunch and ice cream at Tortilla Flats afterwards. However, I don't recommend the fudge. I do recommend using the GPS tracks from Joe for this hike and track for Pickax Canyon.

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