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16 triplogs

Apr 02 2011
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Castle Creek, AZ 
Castle Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2011
Lizard
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Not to be confused with the Castle Creek trail near Prescott, this refers to the creek off Castle Hot Springs road in the Hell's Canyon wilderness. Visited today scouting for narrows and found some good stuff, though private property lines make access difficult. Pancho Doll's book "Day Trips with a Splash" has beta, albeit somewhat dated.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Sep 05 2005
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Pumphouse Wash (Lower)Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2005
Lizard
Hiking4.20 Miles 370 AEG
Hiking4.20 Miles
370 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked up Pumphouse Wash to the confluence with James Canyon. This is a very very pretty canyon, it really exceeded my expectations. I meant to hike up James a bit but turned around due to time considerations. Swam through the slot on my way out. I was here on the final day of Labor Day weekend and ran into only two other groups. Very nice hike, would be a good place to take someone for their first canyoneering trip.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Sep 04 2005
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Willow ValleyPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 04 2005
Lizard
Hiking6.50 Miles 760 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles
760 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked Willow Valley on Day 2 of a four-day canyoneering ramble around the state. This is an OUTSTANDING hike, the best of the trip. The upper section with its pools and grottoes is wonderful, as is the lush lower section with its wide corridors of grasses and steep slopes of conifers. What's not conveying in the pics and trip descriptions I looked at before going is the middle section. The canyon stays fairly narrow for a good long distance, and the scenery and wilderness along this section is world-class. Highly recommended.

The mandatory swims in the upper section were very cold at around 10-11 am, I think that early September is just about the end of the season for this canyon (without a wetsuit). By the time I reached the middle and lower sections the water temperature was very nice however.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Sep 04 2005
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Big Dipper - Castle Creek WildernessPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 04 2005
Lizard
Hiking3.20 Miles 1,008 AEG
Hiking3.20 Miles
1,008 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Backpacked down Poland Creek Canyon on the final night of a four day canyoneering trip around the state. The drive in was a bit nerve wracking - the road is in decent shape but it is a VERY long drive over dirt roads. In addition to that, getting into the canyon requires a steep drop down the trail. The trail is well-graded, but is EXTREMELY brushy.

The canyon itself is quite nice. The many pools, waterfalls and grottoes are quite scenic. It'd be a nice place to take a romantic partner for a midnight swim if it were more accessible.

I got chewed up by bazillions of mosquitoes overnight, and left with an overall poor impression of this hike. But given that I did it tacked on to the end of a long trip into other canyons, I think my perceptions were colored. Its probably a very nice hike if you remember to bring long pants, and have a car in good shape to handle the drive in.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Sep 03 2005
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Oak Springs from Hardscrabble RdPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2005
Lizard
Hiking4.00 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Camped at Pine trailhead on Friday night then hiked down through "the narrows" on Saturday. This is an interesting canyon. Its very brushy and in some place somewhat boring. However, there are some nice pools and two sections of very nice narrows along the way. There is one section where the canyon slots up and drops through a number of falls connected by pools that is VERY nice. There is one fall that looks like a mandatory rappel, however you can scramble up to a little outcrop to the right and then down the talus in order to bypass this obstacle.

I somehow overshot the point where the unnamed "narrows" canyon connected to Oak Spring Canyon, so I ended up going really far down Oak Spring Canyon and into Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. I then hitchhiked back to my truck.

Nice canyon. Worth doing if you are into canyoneering, but if you have more of a general interest this hike will probably frustrating and somewhat boring.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
May 16 2005
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Hot Springs CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 16 2005
Lizard
Hiking12.00 Miles 623 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
623 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked down Hot Springs Canyon yesterday for the second time. I think now that my trip last year was a bit of an anomoly. Tyler Williams says that "you never need to get more than your ankles wet during a traverse of Hot Springs Canyon." Last year several areas had waist deep wades, and one section even had a required swim. This year, The water was never more than shin-deep. However the distance between the high water mark and the waterline was about the same. I believe that last year, I must have hiked the canyon right after it had been scoured out by a flash flood. Many of the deep holes I hiked last year where filled with sand this year.

I hiked down to the "best slot" in the description, then beyond to see if there were more narrows to be found. I got about a mile below the narrows, but there were no more narrow sections to be found. The hike was still very enjoyable however. There were a lot of animals about. I saw 3 deer, and nearly stepped on an evil-looking black rattlesnake.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Jan 10 2005
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Bear Canyon from Catalina HighwayTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2005
Lizard
Hiking6.60 Miles 460 AEG
Hiking6.60 Miles
460 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
There's an easier alternative to reach Seven Cataracts than the description given by Joe. Starting from the Gordon Hirabashi Recreation Site (aka Prison Camp), take the Sycamore Reservoir trail an easy, gentle 1.8 miles to Sycamore Reservoir. Then, head north cross-country, following Bear Creek 1.5 miles to Seven Cataracts. This makes for a slightly longer trip (roughly 6.6 miles roundtrip), but is far easier than bushwhacking down the steep slope from the highway at Seven Cataracts lookout. Quite a bit of wading is necessary to follow this route.

Seven Cataracts was in full flow this Saturday following the last month's rains, and was quite impressive. Even better was the short narrows and misty waterfall along Bear Creek upstream from seven cataracts.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Mar 16 2004
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Powers GardenTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 16 2004
Lizard
Backpack18.00 Miles 2,300 AEG
Backpack18.00 Miles
2,300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have a small correction to the above posted trail description. When the Tortilla Trail drops into Sycamore Canyon, it very quickly crosses to the other side of the canyon and climbs out along a vague trail to the Topout Divide. There is a rancher's trail which takes off down Sycamore Canyon to eventually reach the large tank described above. If you see this tank, you are off the Tortilla trail. Because this area is so rarely used, the rancher's trail is easier to follow than the actual Tortilla trail. When I passed through here I attempted to rebuild the cairns to make the Tortilla trail easier to follow, but I would still take some time when you reach Sycamore Canyon to cast about for the actual trail. Otherwise you may find yourself following cattle trails too far down Sycamore Canyon, and becoming lost.

The Galiuros are an amazing place. I was blown away by my first visit here, and am considering making it an annual pilgrimage. Definitely a great destination for the experienced backpacker.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Oct 04 2003
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Agua Caliente CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2003
Lizard
Hiking3.00 Miles 1,326 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
1,326 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Headed up into this area to check out the pools in La Milagrosa Canyon. This canyon is much more precipitous and harder to negotiate due to huge boulders in the wash. Much scrambling is required. I made it to the first two pools and both were black and stagnant, most likely due to fallout from the Aspen fire. Shortly after passing through the area with huge walls which is popular with local climbers, this canyon widens out and becomes rather boring IMO. I ended up bushwhacking over La Milagrosa ridge and into Agua Caliente Canyon, then back out to my car.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Sep 29 2003
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Mount Kimball via Pima Canyon TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 29 2003
Lizard
Hiking14.20 Miles 4,355 AEG
Hiking14.20 Miles
4,355 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The first quarter-mile of the Pima Canyon trail has been torn up by developers. It looks like they are building some new homes and putting in a new road as well. A route has been flagged through the carnage, and access to the canyon for hikers remains open at this time.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Jun 12 2003
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Hollins BasinTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 12 2003
Lizard
Hiking3.00 Miles
Hiking3.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hollin's Basin is a ponderosa pine flat with excellent camping in a remote part of the Eastern Santa Catalinas. Most people who go there start from Bear Canyon Campground. However, Cowgill and Glendening's "Santa Catalina Mountains" guidebook indicates that is possible to hike to the basin via Molino Canyon and West Fork Molino Canyon. I tried this route today.

The first part up Molino Canyon is fairly pleasant. However, once the route turns up a side canyon, it begins to deteriorate. This side canyon is extremely brushy, and forward travel is frustrating. Also, C & G's route adds an unnecessary 600 foot climb over a pass to West Fork Molino Canyon. Between the brush, heat, and climbing, I got very tired and thought it prudent to abort the trip and head back to Molino Basin.

I dropped down into West Fork Molino Canyon, intending to follow it down to my car. A few hundred yards down this canyon I came to a spectacular 150 ft. dry waterfall. I scrambled down the top third of this waterfall, and discovered a hidden water hole on a ledge of the waterfall. I stopped to rest here, and found that this remote and inaccessible tinaja was a bustling center of life and activity.

As I rested on the water-slicked granite, dragonflies flitted in the bushes nearby. Periodically, birds soaring overhead would tuck their wings behind them and make spectacular dives down towards me, to scoop some water into their beaks. I decided to cool off by wading into the neck-deep water, and when I did I discovered dozens of small frogs were clinging to the sheer walls of the waterfall, and hiding themselves in cracks in the granite. Their camoflage was so perfect I didn't see them until I was right in front of them. I swam to the other side of the waterhole and tucked my digital camera into several ziploc bags. Holding this package in my teeth, I swam into the center of the waterhole and stood on an underwater rock (the walls of the tinaja were too steep and slick to afford any purchase). I managed to snap a dozen photos of the frogs, some of them quite close up.

Reluctantly, I eventually packed up my things and picked my way over to the side of the waterfall, to continue my journey downstream. Looking up from the bottom, the ledge where I rested is practically invisible. You can't see it from the top either. Because you can climb around the sides of the waterfall without too much trouble, it is doubtful that many people have even seen that water hole. It amazes me that less that half a mile from the road you can find such a wild place. I was happy to have visited for a short time.

I recommend that if you are going to Hollin's Basin, you skip the route up Molino Canyon, which is brushy and adds unnecessary ascending and descending. When I return to this area, I will most likely just go up West Fork Molino Canyon and back down the same way.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
May 22 2002
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Wet Beaver Canyon LoopCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar May 22 2002
Lizard
Hiking 3,000 AEG
Hiking
3,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I recently repeated this trip. I had a lot of fun, saw a lot of animals, and
made a discovery. During my last trip, I ran into a guy upstream of Bell
Crossing. He asked me if I had seen the cliff dwelling. I must have walked right
past it. Even though I was keeping my eyes peeled for it, I almost missed it on
this trip as well. I happened to find it through pure luck. I took a break atop
a sandstone ledge above the creek, and found a
grinding hole 
in the rock. I realized it must be close, so I looked up and there was the
cliff dwelling.
This thing is really easy to miss, so here are a few clues. It's on the north
wall of the canyon, overlooking a red sandstone ledge above a series of small
waterfalls. It's small and somewhat obscure, so you might not be able to see it
if you are standing in the creek. I didn't see it until I was on the ledge. If
you are coming downstream from Waldroup Canyon, then the cliff dwelling is just
past the third mandatory swim after the
logjam. If you
are coming upstream from Bell Crossing, then it is just past the swimming hole
beneath the big balanced rock. I don't know exactly how far the cliff dwelling
is from Bell Crossing. The canyon twists and turns so much that mileage become
totally irrelevant. However, the dwelling was about a 4 hour walk from the
crossing. A person could easily go for a three-day trip, camping at Bell
Crossing and using the middle day to walk up to the cliff dwelling. A really
determined/maniacal person could probably do it in one day if they started on
the Bell Trail before sunrise. 
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Apr 29 2002
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Pine Mountain Verde Rim LoopCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 29 2002
Lizard
Hiking 1,574 AEG
Hiking
1,574 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a great little area. I had quite the adventure here in 1999. First, coming up the canyon by Nelson Place, I came around a corner and startled a black bear. This is still the only black bear that I've seen in the wild, though I've had the pleasure of seeing a few breaking into dumpsters in other places. From Pine Mountain, my hiking partner and I intended to continue on through the Pine Mountain Wilderness, checking out Pine Flat and Beehouse Canyon. Unfortunately, we managed to get severely lost in the trails past Pine Mountain. They are nowhere near as well maintained as the trails around the peak. We got over a mile off the trail and ended up having a rather scary overnight camp with only a vague notion of where exactly we were. The next day we found the trails around Pine Mountain again and managed to get back to the trailhead, but it was pretty frightening there for awhile. If you are just looking for a nice dayhike, I would suggest sticking to the trails Joe outlines in his description. The other trails in this wilderness are unmaintained and will take some skill to follow.

I have a few other notes on this wilderness. According to my guidebook, Nelson Place has a small apple orchard, which would make this a great destination in the fall. During the summer this is a good area for ladybug hunting. And finally, if you are going to do the loop that Joe describes, take the extra 10 minutes to go up to the summit of Pine Mountain. The view are unbelievably scenic, looking out over the Verde River Valley and the Mazatzal Mountains. The top of the mountain is pleasant too- a grassy meadow ringed by Juniper trees. This is not one to miss.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Apr 28 2002
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Shaw Butte Trail #306Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 28 2002
Lizard
Hiking 761 AEG
Hiking
761 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is not a particularly spectacular or challenging hike, but its always been one of my favorites. I used to live about a two minute drive from Shaw Butte. That and the fact that the hike takes under an hour meant that for a time I was doing this hike upwards of 5 times a week. I hiked Shaw Butte at least 300 times in preparation for my thruhike. This hike does feature some elevation gain, so it is a decent alternative for those who are turned off by the crowds on Squaw Peak and Camelback. It usually has more than a few people, but the trail is so wide that you don't feel nearly as crowded as Squaw Peak. The best way to hike this trail, however, is to do it as a sunset hike. The trail has good exposure to the west, and the open air all around the butte make this a great spot to look out over the lights of the city.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Feb 10 2002
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Secret Canyon Trail #121Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 10 2002
Lizard
Hiking 400 AEG
Hiking
400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've hiked this trail 3 times. It was where I did my first solo overnight. This is actually a great trail to choose if you are taking beginners on their first backpacking trip, as the trail is easy and has rewarding views right from the beginning. However, do not bring beginners here during a rainstorm. Why? Take a look at my pictures.

I chose this hike as an easy overnighter to do with my father. Unfortunately we arrived in Sedona on the tail end of a rainstorm. There were several 'dry' washes that now required wading through fast ankle deep water. That was not too difficult, but there was one wash in particular, about a mile in, that was thigh deep and swift. We both made across ok and hiked on. The many waterfalls cascading down the red rock made for fantastic scenery. When we got to the point where the trail drops into Secret Canyon proper, the creek in the canyon was very fast, deep and intimidating, so we set up camp right there. It was a good trip, but not for beginners. Be careful and have fun.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."
Apr 17 2000
Lizard
avatar

 Guides 15
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 17

39 male
 Joined Feb 05 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Reavis Gap Trail #117Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2000
Lizard
Hiking 3,710 AEG
Hiking
3,710 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This trail is steep! Definitely worth the trip, though. I saw 2 desert bighorn sheep on my first hike here, just northeast of Reavis Gap. If you continue on past Reavis Gap, the trail drops down to meet Pine Creek about 1/5 mile further. There are really good campsites on either side of Pine Creek, and I've found water within the creek all three times I've hiked this trail. I doubt there would be water outside the cool season.
_____________________
"Of course we weren't lost. We were merely where we shouldn't have been, without knowing exactly where that was."

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.

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