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Brown's Cave via Apache Lake - 2 members in 4 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jan 19 2015
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 210
 Photos 3,693
 Triplogs 291

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Brown's Cave via Apache LakeGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2015
ddgrunning
Hiking5.50 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to do the Superstition Ridgeline hike today, but didn't get much traction with the family (other than my son). So, we decided to make it a pontoon adventure out to Apache Lake. Rented the pontoon for 1/2 day (5 hours) and cruised down to Alder Creek, where we did a little cliff jumping, and then attempted the hike up to Brown's Cave. Everyone eventually dropped out, other than my son and his friend (too much bushwhacking for the girls' liking). We made it to the waterfall but decided not to continue to the cave, since we didn't want to leave the rest of our crew waiting around too long back at the boat. Fun hike, but definitely wear pants! Cruised the pontoon down to the dam and back. Water was chilly, but okay for a few cliff jumps and dives off the top of the pontoon boat : rambo : On the bright side, we essentially had the lake to ourselves!!

FYI: the rope swing mentioned in the description is no longer there, but the huge sycamore is. So, it's now a "BYO rope" swing. :-)
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1 archive
Apr 12 2010
JoelHazelton
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 Guides 16
 Routes 10
 Photos 967
 Triplogs 406

34 male
 Joined Mar 22 2006
 Phoenix, AZ
Brown's Cave via Apache LakeGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 12 2010
JoelHazelton
Hiking1.60 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking1.60 Miles   1 Hour   15 Mns   1.28 mph
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This trip is highly recommended, and the perfect time to go is when it's starting to warm up and there's still plenty of water in the creek. There are several opportunities to splash around and stay wet. The paddle to and from the creek (4 miles each direction) is pretty reasonable, too. I'd imagine that timing it to where one of the paddles is either during dawn or dusk would make this trip extra memorable.

Brian nailed the description, but I wanted to throw in a few points of my own.

From the cove where you "park" your boat, there is a cairned route that leads all the way to the cave. We followed it on and off, but I preferred the creek almost the entire time. The route is very overgrown and, this time of year, the catsclaw is in full force along with the snakes. In fact, as we began our hike up the creek, I said to Brian, "dude, I don't see how we could NOT see a snake today." I had barely finished my sentence when he exclaimed "snake!!!!" It was a little guy- not a rattler- and darted into the bushes as soon as Brian saw it.

The "narrows" section comes pretty quickly after you begin sloshing up the creek. Here, pools begin to form and finding a bypass is necessary if you want to avoid thigh-deep water in spots. Heading upstream the creek just keeps getting better and better. I was constantly impressed with the scenery around every bend. This creek is just a trickle during the warmer parts of the year, so the riparian vegetation isn't too thick, allowing for constant views of huge sloping canyon walls dotted with saguaros. Throw a slick granite waterfall in the foreground and you've got prime desert scenery.

After about a half mile we came up on a man and his two children playing in the creek. I thought "hmm... that looks fun, but why this spot over the several great swimming holes we already passed?" That question was soon answered when we rounded that last turn to an awesome 20 foot waterfall spilling over a granite overhang, complete with a large alcove behind it. This would be a great place for a shower on a backpacking trip. We stood and talked to the man for a while, sharing kayaking and hiking adventures, then continued on our way.

A couple more impressive pools and cascading waterfalls are passed and then soon the vegetation thickens... It seems obvious the creek is perennial in this area and travel becomes a bit more difficult. It reminded me slightly of Coon Creek in the Salt River Canyon Wilderness. Up the cascade, under the fallen tree, over the slick boulder... Anything to avoid the thick riparian vegetation on the banks. After about .8 mile, soon after a narrow canyon enters from the right, you can see the west (left) canyon wall of Alder Creek quickly fall back. Start looking on the right bank for some barbed wire strung between a couple trees. This is pretty much your exit point. If you're lucky you can go a few more yards and spot a faint path heading out of the creek. Either way, head up and look for a giant overhang on the east wall of Alder Creek. Bushwhack that direction and you'll probably pick up a footpath that will get you the rest of the way there. In the cave you can sit and have lunch and ponder the various rusted trinkets laying around and especially that odd painted looking rock face directly above you. What the heck is that?

During our trip, after we hiked back to the kayaks I went for a refreshing swim in the cove. Then, on the paddle back to the truck I spotted a rope hanging from a large cottonwood in a cove on the south side of the lake. Being a sucker for rope swings, I had to try it out. Definitely one of the better rope swings I've tried.
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"Arizona is the land of contrast... You can go from Minnesota to California in a matter of minutes, then have Mexican food that night." -Jack Dykinga

http://www.joelhazelton.com
Apr 12 2010
VVebb
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 Guides 3
 Routes 4
 Photos 18
 Triplogs 23

36 male
 Joined May 16 2008
 Flagstaff, AZ
Brown's Cave via Apache LakeGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Kayak avatar Apr 12 2010
VVebb
Kayak5.50 Miles 500 AEG
Kayak5.50 Miles   3 Hrs      1.83 mph
500 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
JoelHazelton
See the main hike description for details of this trip, since I authored that description based on this outing.
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"The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom. Yet to camp out at all implies some measure of this delight."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, The Publishers' Weekly, Nov. 25, 1905
3 archives
Dec 07 2008
nonot
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 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 2,001
 Triplogs 477

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Brown's CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2008
nonot
Hiking15.00 Miles 2,650 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   1.58 mph
2,650 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
Grasshopper
joebartels
JoelHazelton
Randal_Schulhauser
skatchkins
This was a fun trip with Joe and Mike. I hadn't seen Joe since our death march through Sedona and had never met Mike before. I woke up at 2:58AM in order to meet Joe in time. We were quickly on our way and found Mike camped out along the road. We hopped in his truck and managed to bounce our way to the trailhead, you need a good 4x4 going in and a better one for getting back out!

We started in the dark with headlamps but the sun rose quickly enough. It was nice enough to stay behind clouds the whole day making for some great hiking weather. After realizing there was no trail to speak of, we scrambled our way through the brush in the general direction we needed to go. After going down a steep ridge we hopped into a wash and began following that. I was having a great time jumping down canyon when I realize I've left the other two behind and overshot my turnoff by a half mile! After a few utterances I run back upcanyon in time to catch the other two and bushwhack over a shortcut (not) to see them. From there the trail is mildly pleasant with some cool rock formations caused by the winds including many alcoves and a mini grand-tetons slickrock formation, like giant stalagmites rising from the open ground, very cool.

We checked out Adams camp on the way and arrived at Brown's non-cave (dynamited shut). We ate lunch and proceeded down canyon. We briefly stopped to ponder downclimbing a 20-25 foot waterfall and once we got to the bottom realized it was nothing that should have caused any apprehension. We made it to the lake as a boat high tailed it out of there, probably thinking we were wandering sasquatches or something.

We decided not to climb up, down, and up to do a Long Canyon loop. On the way out we actually found most parts of the trail and made much better time. At the designated meeting point we found the note left by Hank and Randal an hour earlier. Climbing the ridge Joe put it in overdrive and left us in the dust. We caught up to him at the trailhead and exchanged war stories a bit with Hank and Randal before we set off. Somehow we managed to make the whole road out in about an hour and 10 minutes to 87, including time picking up some trash. If I tried that in my car I would have been left with pieces of metal no bigger than a grapefruit!

Mike, it was great to hike with you, thanks for driving! Randal, great to finally shake hands with you in person, thanks for the gummy worms :D Joe and Hank, great seeing you guys again!

dry Cane Spring Dry Dry
No water was flowing 500 feet downstream in the creekbed, did not investigate the actual spring.
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average hiking speed 1.56 mph

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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