This is a great day hike close to the valley. Excellent for water loving dogs too!
The north trailhead of the Algonquin Trail starts from an overlook turnoff about .5 mile before you get to Crown King. My goal on this day was not to traverse the entire length of this trail, but instead to use it for access to Poland Creek canyon.
The descent to Poland Creek was very pleasant. The temperature was in the mid 80's at the trailhead and reached high 80's at the bottom. The trail was surrounded with wildflowers and blooming prickly pear cacti. This made a nice scence along with the excellent views across the Bradshaws. From this side of the trail I could see the other end of the trail descending from the Horsetheif basin area about 3 miles in the distance.
Afer about a 1.5 mile descent I reached the bottom. I opted to explore Poland Creek canyon instead of continuing on the Algonquin trail. In my opinion this is where the true treasure of this hike is revealed. Stepping off the trail and into the creek bed I started downstream (North). After .25 mile of boulder hopping I arraived at the first of many pools this hike has to offer. With the sun beating down on me, there was no hesitation and into the water I went. The perfect refreshing dip on a hot day.
It might be tempting to stop at this point, but the best is yet to come. Continuing downstream another .25 mile I encountered a pool that must be waded. It was about a chest deep wade, but again there were no complaints here.
The pools contiuned to get larger and deeper as I hiked furthur down steam. Finally I found the perfect chill spot for the day by a pool 8 feet deep and partially shaded by a large tree. Word has it that there is an even better pool another mile down stream, something to aim for next time. For now, this was my paradise...
I must warn that exploring Poland Creek Canyon can be dangerous. You should have some experience canyoneering (wading/swimming/scrambling/boulder hopping). It's important to have the right shoes and a first aid kit. If properly prepared, this hike serves an an excellent introductary canyoneering hike.
This is one of the best hikes I've been on that is close to Phoenix. Anyone who does this hike needs to take a moment afterwards and visit Crown King. A cheap brew at the old Saloon and some fudge from the general store an well deserved treats after a long day of hiking.
I hiked this early in the morning with my dog. It was nice and cool. I followed the trail past Poland Creek. Hiked up as far as the old cabin along side the trail. That is pretty cool. Because I was pressed for time, I turned around there and went back. In all, a nice hike, and the hike back up out of the canyon isn't that bad.
I was about to add this as a new hike under Poland Creek Canyon, then happened upon the correct name. Never knew it as Algonquin 225, just Trail 225. Anyway, I think was my first canyon hike since moving here. Nice and secluded, though bumped into one fella. When the trail hits bottom there is an minng cabin south and falls/pool north. A lot of exploring both ways. I think it is around 3 miles to the pools and back, plus the exploring miles. The 1000 ft elevation is all at once as you come out. No sweat, your car is up there! I found it quite relaxing at the falls.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.