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Turkey Creek Cliff Dwelling - 12 members in 26 triplogs have rated this an average 3.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jun 11 2022
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 Triplogs 14

32 female
 Joined Oct 05 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2022
AshleyannmarieTriplogs 14
Hiking12.10 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking12.10 Miles2 Days         
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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Headed in from the East TH. Decided to stop by Turkey Creek Dwelling before heading into the canyon. On the drive in crossed the creek a bunch, it was actually really fun driving through the creek crossings. Road seemed nice to me, no concerns or issues.

Didn’t see anyone else during the entire trek in Aravaipa. Saw a group had camp set up near Deer Creek but never saw them.

It was hot AF. Water was even warm. Made it to Booger Canyon, explored up Deer Creek, explored a little up and around other canyons. Set up our hammocks back before Deer Creek.

Wind was insane in the late afternoon/evening. Never saw any snakes. Only a few deer, quite a few turkey, one coatimundi and a skunk that snuck up on me right before dark. Was worried about that one!

As always, so pretty. Although I don’t think I’ll ever plan a backpacking trip during a heat wave here again.
1 archive
Nov 30 2020
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65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness - GET #7Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 30 2020
GrangerGuyTriplogs 49
Backpack23.00 Miles 600 AEG
Backpack23.00 Miles2 Days   1 Hour      
600 ft AEG23 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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The Road:
The initial crossing of Aravaipa was dry, and then the wet crossings started. After the first two wet stream crossings, I had to wait for a couple of coatimundi crossing the road. There were lots of maple leaves falling on the road; kind of like a mini-snowstorm with the gusty winds. Maybe a little past the main color at this point. I had five uneventful creek crossings up to the main parking lot and outhouse.

I decided to go ahead in the car past the main parking lot. It was very beautiful but definitely 4WD, not just high clearance from the main parking to the trailhead. As you approach Turkey Creek, there are some large, crudely painted signs pointing to Turkey Creek, 200 yards. There are two more crossings from there which absolutely are 4WD, especially for the return trip. The small trailhead parking at the wilderness boundary is just beyond those signs. It is not clear if parking is allowed near the crudely painted signs.

The Trail to the Cliff Dwelling:
My plan for the first day was to park at the Turkey Creek, East Wilderness Trailhead, then hike to the Indian Ruins/Cliff Dwelling on Turkey Creek, then return to the car and head down the creek. At 10:00 am, I left the Turkey Creek Trailhead.

Turkey Creek was dry. Interesting, this road was not blocked off. It is not actually in the wilderness. The road 5108 is allowed to be driven. This had not been obvious to me. You can drive all the way to the ruins and beyond with a 4WD vehicle. Nevertheless, this was a nice warmup. The road was dry and flat. But it was cool in the morning, and I was just wearing a T-shirt.

The Turkey Creek Road is really a beautiful place. Fall colors still going on the first week of December. Lots of yellow and brown, but no red to speak of. If one wanted to get an early start on the Aravaipa Canyon, one could drive up to one of the campsites along Turkey Creek and camp overnight, before heading to the trail. There are about 6 nice campsites along the road between Aravaipa and the ruins.

Near the cliff dwellings, there is what looks like an old cowboy camp, including a corral. Road 5108 bears left at 1.5 miles from Aravaipa, and there is a sign for the cliff dwellings to the right. There is a trail register and an interpretive sign. Just at the base of the trail to the ruins, there is another good campsite.

Having visited the very intact cliff dwelling, I headed back to the Aravaipa.

The 3 mi round trip to the cliff dwelling was a good checkout for my footwear solution. For Aravaipa, I wore Merrill Bare Access trail running shoes, which are very light and very porous. Inside of that, I wore neoprene wet suit socks, and inside that, a thin pair of merino wool hiking liners. Over the outside, I wore lightweight trail running gaiters. This combination worked extraordinarily well. It kept my feet warm. Although a tiny bit of grit got inside the shoe, I did not feel it through the neoprene sock. The merino wool prevented any possibility of rubbing and therefore blisters. The only flaw in the system was that the shoes get very stiff and hard to put on when stored overnight in the 30s. About 30 miles total, including shakedowns, was a little hard on the neoprene socks, but they were old and worn anyway. :)

The Aravaipa Trail from the East:
I left the trailhead at 11:20 AM. Right away is the first walk in the stream; just a quick crossing near the trailhead. This place is positively awesome. There is a pretty good path on the right-hand side of the creek.

The second crossing of the creek came 0.3 mi from the trailhead. I had an idea that I would mark the crossings with waypoints. I kept it up most of the first 5 miles, but would not do it for the rest of the trip. Just after the second crossing, I picked up another way-trail on the left side of the creek.

I encountered the first deer about 0.6 miles down the trail. At about 0.8 mi, there is an interesting crack in the rocks, filled with debris. A small person could slip through without a pack and avoid a crossing. Everyone else has to go into the water to get around.

I spooked three javelina, 2 adults and a baby. The baby went one direction, the adults went the other. They were really annoyed at me. I did not turn my back on them until I was well clear of them.

You can see some pretty cool hoodoo like structures on the cliff tops at about 0.9 miles.

In early December, the color just continued to get better downstream. It went from more brown near the trailhead to more green and yellow a mile down. It was definitely not past the prime color yet.

I had a sense I should look for the "best" line of travel down the canyon, but I don't think there is any one "best" route. I think there are many good routes. If you just follow your gut, following this route is pretty easy.

I realized that my GPS track was going to be very noisy and would have to be cleaned up, due to being in the canyon. As it turned out, the noise added almost 7 miles to my apparent distance. This has been removed in my posted track.

The lighting in early December was just perfect for photography. Even at high noon, the sun is pretty low, and the light is beautiful. Taken with the fall colors, this was a great opportunity for photography.

At 1.8 mi, I encountered 3 more deer standing in the stream. It was time to look for a place to rest and have some lunch. A little break, sitting in the sun, felt pretty good. Usually I don't wait this long to eat, but I was having a lot of fun.

The thing to remember about Aravaipa is that it is about the journey, not the destination. It is like a trail to nowhere, but it is absolutely gorgeous every step.

There was no water in Parsons Canyon. It looks like it would be a cool explore, but it was not on the agenda. With the perennial water in Aravaipa, I don't see why one would worry about water from side-streams.

There is a great camping spot at 2.6 miles.

At 3 mi, just short of Deer Creek, I marked a spot where there are 2 beers parked next to the trail. I was going to pick them up, empty them, and carry them out on the way out, but I forgot to look. Though the canyon is quite clean and free of litter and debris, it puzzles and disappoints me someone would leave something like this.

There is great camping at the confluence with Deer Creek. The intersection with Deer Creek is not at all what I expected. I expected a slot canyon, but it is very wide and flat, at least for some distance. There is another good camp spot at 3.2 miles, on the right hand side going downstream.

One great thing about traveling this in December. No bugs! No bugs!

I ran into my first person a little past Deer Creek. He was obviously a photographer with a good camera and tripod. For a mile or so, I had noted I was catching up with someone, by the footprints exiting the stream.

Just short of 5 miles, I lost the path for a bit, and the stream was pretty deep. Nevertheless, it seemed walking in the stream was the best plan for about 100 yards.

I startled some coatimundis, actually we startled each other. They have an interesting high-pitched squeak. They were gone in a flash.

Very near the outlet of Booger Canyon, the trail crosses right to left. Near the outlet of Booger Canyon, on the other side of the creek, there is a really nice campsite. It is not overused. There was a white-tailed deer running across my path in the area. I walked a little beyond, and then decided to go back to the campsite I saw. Judging from the map, it looked like it would be prettier there than in the Horse Canyon area. This decision would cost me the ability to get to the west wilderness boundary the next day, though, since the plan for day 2 was to hike down to the west boundary, and back to this location.

Day 2, Aravaipa:
I started out about 8:20 AM. Before leaving, I cleaned up the campsite a little, picking up debris left by previous campers, then headed for the west boundary. I saw 3 deer right away.

As you leave the Booger Canyon area, the terrain begins to change from broad canyon, meadow and forest to narrower canyon. There are lots of different trails, very braided. You don't have to worry about getting lost, but sometimes the path you are on disappears and you have to hunt for another.

I passed Horse Canyon on the opposite side of the creek. Looks beautiful, though. There is a campsite here, across from Horse Canyon. Not as nice as the one I found at Booger Canyon. The campsites are very heavily used. The tent sites are down to the dirt. Glad I did not stay here the first night. This is obviously a popular place to stay for people coming in from the west. And yet, a little further down, another really sandy camp site.

A little further down, just past the bend in the creek going downstream, there is an awesome campsite on the north bank under an overhanging cliff. It is sandy, but would be rain protected. Only thing is, I would not want to be anywhere in this canyon if rain was forecast.

At 8.3 miles from the east end, the canyon begins to open up. The stream turns south and opens up to the 11 am late fall sun. For the first time on day 2, I got to feel some warmth from the sun.

At 8.6 miles, I stopped to take some pictures of a pretty little rapid. One of the very few on this sedate creek. In the lower part of the river, it seems easier to just walk in the water. The side trails are overgrown; the water is pretty easy.

All of a sudden, it felt like I was getting to the end of the wilderness. The canyon began widening out and the walls began to get shorter. There is a concrete wall here. At 12:00, I had to turn around to get back to my camp before it got too late. From a practical standpoint, I had left the wilderness, although not from a legal standpoint. Judging from the map later, I was about 600 trail yards from the boundary when I turned around.

On my return upstream, I came across an unnamed waterfall from the south side. It is dry, but there is all this white stuff, on the surface, making it look like there is water. I had to cross, so I did not get any closer to the dry waterfall. The rest of the hike back to my camp I did not make any further notes, as I was focused on getting back.

Day 3, Aravaipa:
8:08 am, I headed out. My feet were freezing as I left camp. My watch said it got to freezing, but there was no ice to be seen anywhere. Nevertheless, my shoes were so cold, they were stiff. I could not tie them, and barely could get them on. Once I made a few crossings, the shoes were soft, and I could tighten and tie them, and they were toasty the rest of the way.

As the sun got higher, I had to stop to change from my stocking cap to my booney hat and put on my sunglasses. Even though I was a little cold, the sun was my enemy. I could not see where I was going.

Just to keep warm, I was going pretty much non-stop for 2.5 hours. I decided to stop and take a break. I found a nice log in the sun and stopped to eat a little lunch and rest. As I finished, I looked at my map to see how far I had to go after my snack. Haha, turns out I was just about 0.2 mi from the car.
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
The best fall colors are in the eastern half of the canyon, and seemed to peak near Deer Creek.
Nov 14 2020
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37 male
 Joined Mar 01 2018
 Chandler, AZ
Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness - GET #7Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 14 2020
John10sTriplogs 142
Hiking14.96 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking14.96 Miles   6 Hrs   1 Min   2.76 mph
300 ft AEG      36 Mns Break
 
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TboneKathy
Two weeks ago, we hiked in Aravaipa starting from the west trailhead, and we enjoyed it so much that we immediately started looking for permits to the east trailhead, and we were lucky enough to find an opening this past weekend. The drive from Phoenix to the east trailhead is much longer, and we ended up having to drive past the turn off on Highway 70 to fill with gas in Pima to make sure we had a full tank to get into Aravaipa and back out. There isn't much in the way of larger towns past Globe, and the only gas station we passed in Bylas was closed and didn't have a pay at pump option, and we saw no gas stations along the highway in Fort Thomas.

The 40+ miles of dirt road leading to the trailhead is in very good shape, and it was so flat and straight we were able to drive 65+ mph along some stretches, which trimmed a nice chunk off the estimated arrival time the GPS originally projected. There were five shallow creek crossings over the last few miles to the trailhead, but nothing a vehicle with reasonably high clearance couldn't handle. We debated driving the extra 1.5 miles on the "4x4 recommended" road to the Turkey Creek parking lot but decided against it since we weren't sure about the condition of the road or creek crossings, but in hindsight, we could have made it without any issues based on the vehicles parked there, many of which were lower clearance than what we were driving.

That added 1.5 miles to our hike each way, but it was fast, easy hiking along the road. The fall colors were fantastic, and we saw six wild turkeys along the trail in the first mile on our way to the Turkey Creek cliff dwelling. I was surprised to see how "domesticated" the site was--the BLM had signs pointing to the location, rails along the short walk up to the cliff wall, and informational signs about the history of the dwelling and the inhabitants. The structure lived up to its reputation as one of the best-preserved Solado ruins in SE Arizona--it was in great shape aside from some holes in the roof, though one opening was a window that the natives had intentionally built into the roof. Like some of the other Solado ruins I've seen, finger marks were visible in the mortar of the walls--it's always interesting to see those 700 year-old handprints frozen in time and to imagine what life was like back then. This was the first Solado dwelling I'd seen built in this fashion, with a roof sloping into the canyon wall, and I was impressed by how well it blended in. Later, as we hiked out, we could barely see it from the road below even when we knew what we were looking for.

After leaving the dwelling, we hiked back along Turkey Creek and turned into Aravaipa. The geology on the east side of the canyon is different from the west, but no less beautiful. Between the fall colors, the beautiful water, and the canyon walls, it was a fantastic hike. This side seemed to have more informal trails along the banks of the creek, so we didn't spend as much time walking directly in the creek for extended stretches. We passed a quite a few groups heading in both directions as we hiked in, and we turned at Deer Creek/Hell Hole to explore the side canyon and search for Hell's Hole arch.

The geology of the canyon changed again in that area, with darker rock and more hoodoo-like formations up along the rim, and more saguaros up there. We followed the dry wash into Hell Hole, and the scenery was spectacular, with towering canyon walls and interesting rock formations. The walls were littered with stains from areas where water flows when it rains...that area would be incredible with water flowing, with multiple 100+ foot waterfalls. The canyon looked like it was going to dead-end ahead of us, but the walls narrowed and it curved to the north. Farther back, there was a trickle of water, and just as we started talking about turning around to make it back to the trailhead at a decent time, we saw Hell's Hole up on the canyon wall. The arch was a great feature, and we were happy we found it before we had to turn around.

If we had more time, we would have explored farther west in Aravaipa and checked out Booger Canyon, but that'll have to wait for another visit. Between the two visits, I still haven't seen the middle part of Aravaipa and or many of the side canyons. On the hike out, we had a few more wildlife encounters, including several deer and a great blue heron. We still hadn't seen any coatimundis, but we lucked out--at the end of our hike, within a mile of the east trailhead, we came cross five or six coatis near the trail, the first time either of us had seen one. It was the perfect ending to a great day of hiking, and on the drive out, we ended up seeing five or six more coatis along the road...when it rains, it pours :). The day worked out just about perfectly--on top of the great weather and fall colors, we got to check out the cliff dwelling and Hell's Hole and saw a lot of great wildlife in ~15 miles of hiking.
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Coatimundi
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deer Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Dry on the way into Hell Hole Canyon and just a trickle of water farther back in the canyon
2 archives
Dec 01 2018
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49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Turkey Creek Cliff DwellingGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 01 2018
chumleyTriplogs 1,703
Hiking0.10 Miles 74 AEG
Hiking0.10 Miles      15 Mns   0.40 mph
74 ft AEG
 
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John9L
Quick trip to the ruins. Spotted a band of coati on the way up Turkey Creek. They were a little skittish, but lingered close enough for us all to get out of the trucks and get some nice views of them trying to avoid us. Always a worthy side trip when you're on the east side, and a handful of great campsites along the road if you ever need to sleep outside the wilderness.
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Dec 08 2017
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 Guides 84
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49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
East Aravaipa, AZ 
East Aravaipa, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2017
chumleyTriplogs 1,703
Hiking15.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   3 Hrs   16 Mns   14.52 mph
1,000 ft AEG   2 Hrs   14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I had an opportunity to head to Aravaipa for a couple of days and having never been to the east end, jumped at the chance. I now know I prefer this side and will come back for sure. At 3 hrs, it's really not a bad drive to get there and the benefits outweigh a little extra time on the road.

Thursday night was the coldest of the season statewide, but we were prepared so it turned out to be no problem despite dropping into the 20s. Friday was an exceptional day exploring a couple of miles down Aravaipa and up the geologic wonder of Hell Hole Canyon. It was a real treat. I'd love to see this one with a little bit more water flowing in it.

After seeing a bighorn up on the cliffs earlier in the day, we spotted some deer as darkness fell. The next two hours proved to be very entertaining!

We wouldn't have noticed the next critter if not for its glowing eyes as we approached on the opposite bank, wondering what it was. Once we were perpendicular across the creek we shone our headlamps to get a better view. At this point it realized we would not just walk by without noticing it was there and it subsequently repositioned. When that happened both Jon and I caught a glimpse of its silhouette and both had the same reaction simultaneously: tarzan swing! That's a big cat! :scared: It seemed nervous at our presence as we shined our lights directly into its glowing green eyes 25 yards across the river. As is common on our hikes, Jon and I each complimented each other on how large and strong we were -- loudly and repeatedly -- :sweat: while once again heading upstream. Jon noted that our hurried 3mph pace in the dark had suddenly increased to about 4mph! :lol:

Shortly thereafter a new set of eyes was watching our passage, but these were yellow. Though they sat high above us along the creek, as we got closer we could see it was just a curious raccoon (my first ever az wild sighting!). As we neared the trailhead, a skunk waddled across our path and seemed to be in no hurry to let us by. At this point we were trying to figure out what animal we wouldn't see tonight! Of course we weren't done yet. Next we spotted a gray fox that thought it was hidden and didn't run until it was obvious we knew it was there. Not much later we spooked a herd of javelina, and enjoyed watching the babies fight the current while swimming across the creek their parents had simply walked across. :lol:

At this point we were happy we would be sleeping indoors for the night and headed back to TNC cabin to meet up with the others and share our stories over a warm fire and some wild fermentation in the coolship.

The next couple of days included more wildlife sightings including coatimundi, turkey, and bobcat. Apparently there are cool birds here too!

I'm a fan of wildernesses. Some are more wilderness-y than others. I've only been to Aravaipa three times, but I think it's one of Arizona's truly wild wildernesses and a wildlife gem. FWIW, we did not see a bear. ](*,) Maybe next time! :)
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
A little dull. Sycamores were solid rust. Some cottonwoods still had a lot of green, others had some nice yellows, and some were mostly bare. Walnuts were prime yellow. Ash hadn't started yet.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deer Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Mostly dry. Some pools and light flow up canyon near the spring, which was flowing nicely.

dry Parsons Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Turkey Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
98% dry. Just a couple of pools along the way
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Mar 28 2017
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73 male
 Joined Nov 21 2015
 Grand Junction,
Turkey Creek Cliff DwellingGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2017
Steph_and_BlakeTriplogs 184
Hiking2.80 Miles
Hiking2.80 Miles   2 Hrs      1.87 mph
      30 Mns Break
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1st trip
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After establishing our campsites at the Fourmile Campground about a 1/2 mile south of the booming (ha!) town of Kolondyke, we drove out to the east trailhead for Aravaipa Canyon. 4x4 is recommended, but you could probably get there in any pickup truck - or at least given the current road conditions. Beware that there are numerous creek crossings along the drive. We jumped out, threw on some old tennis shoes, and headed south on the clearly signed Turkey Creek in search of the cliff dwelling. It was a very pleasant, very easy hike which involved zero route-finding (you simply walk upstream), plenty of shade, crossing through Turkey Creek several times, and an opportunity to be a kid again and have fun on a rope swing. :D You can't miss the cliff dwelling as there's a large sign down by the creek. A short, semi-steep climb gets you to the cliff dwelling. It was not difficult to imagine why peoples of the Salada culture made a seasonal home here...plenty of water, not too hot, abundant wildlife. We would heartily recommend this hike after the 3.5 hour drive from Phoenix. I should add that the Fourmile Campground was very clean, offers flush toilets and running water, and is a bargain at $5 per night ($2.50 for Golden Age passholders). Just be sure to take your own toilet paper as it wasn't always stocked. Another camping option is on the banks of Turkey Creek. While we hiked Turkey Creek, you can actually drive it at least as far as the cliff dwelling. There were several primitive campsites along the way that looked very nice, especially if the temps are high.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Sep 20 2016
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52 male
 Joined Sep 29 2004
 Small Town USA
Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 20 2016
SkyIslander18Triplogs 2,168
Canyoneering11.00 Miles 200 AEG
Canyoneering11.00 Miles
200 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
III - Normally requires most of a day
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5am departure from Pima.
Very scenic drive into the East entrance during sunrise.
7am entrance into Aravaipa.
Downstream to Hell Hole Canyon and in up to the spring/hanging gardens.
Back upstream to Turkey Creek and a visit up to the cliff dwelling.
Overcast all day, water felt great, lots of greenery with hints of autumn to come.
Wildlife - 7 javelina (with young), 1 deer, 1 bobcat, 20 vultures, 2 hawks, 1 ring-neck snake, many creek fish, 1 heron, 10,000 caterpillars, 1000 butterflies, insects of all kinds & a very unpleasant amount of biting mosquitoes.
Solid 9 out of 10 trip (1 point deduction due to the mosquitoes).
:D
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Aravaipa Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Deer Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Turkey Creek Light flow Light flow
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May 08 2015
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60 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Turkey Creek Cliff DwellingGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 08 2015
kingsnakeTriplogs 768
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1st trip
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rwstorm
The drive from Pima, over the pass above Cottonwood Canyon, past the radar towers, down to Klondyke Rd is simply spectacular. I enjoyed the drive from Globe down to Thatcher, and later along Cascabel Road ( [ photoset ] ), but this was even better. My favorite, so far, in Arizona. Like Randy said, just bladed, so doing 35-45 is not a problem. (Except for slowing down on some curves, in case someone was coming the other way.) I assume the speed limit is 35? :-k

I checked the Fourmile Canyon Campground, but Randy wasn't there, so I continued further west into Aravaipa Canyon. I spotted my very first wild turkey not too far from the Salazar Family Church. :y: I was able to get a picture. As I drove away, despite the tires crunching gravel, I could hear multiple other turkeys gobbling.

I stopped at the church, which was unlocked. It was a real Catholic church, complete with altar, pews, stations of the Cross, etc. In a bit of disrepair inside, but still very interesting. Who would have said Mass in a family church? My wife is in Lourdes, with her sister who has cancer real bad, so I said a prayer for her. :pray: I signed the guestbook -- real name, Haz alias would not have been appropriate -- before leaving.

Randy showed up as I was parking at the Aravaipa latrine / info kiosk. I had worn my shorts, as my hiking pants were so muddy from the day before, so before we started out, I switched back into the filthy pants. :yuck: My SUV could have made it the 1.5 miles to the Aravaipa TH, at the mouth of Turkey Creek, but no further. Though not technical, heading up Turkey Creek is strictly high clearance.

Calling this a "cliff dwelling" is unfair to places like the Tonto Cliff Dwellings. Turkey Creek is more like a Salado condo. Seriously, You could not fit more than a family in there, and there's no real sign of any outlying structures.

But, it is a lush area, and would make for good camping. :)

Drive Video: https://youtu.be/p4 ... s4Ng
Salado Condo Video : https://youtu.be/7I ... hvgA
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Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Wild Turkey
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Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cag Shot
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Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] The Chimney
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May 07 2015
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74 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Turkey Creek Camping, AZ 
Turkey Creek Camping, AZ
 
Car Camping avatar May 07 2015
rwstormTriplogs 992
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Usually when I say I am going camping along Turkey Creek, I am referring to the one on the west side of the Chiricahua Mountains. But this time I went to a far more remote one. In fact, I had only been there one other time, way back in 1997. The last time I went as far as Klondyke was nearly 10 years ago, so guess I was overdue for a visit. Sort of on my mind after watching the "Powers War" movie recently.

Drove out Thursday afternoon with the intention of camping at the BLM campground by Klondyke. I knew Preston (kingsnake) was going to be in the area Friday, so I told him I would probably be there and I would be looking for him. I knew cell service was likely going to be lacking, so we didn't make any definite plans. If we found each other fine, if not, no problem. He had a more ambitious plan for the day. For me it was a trip to camp and re-familiarize myself with the area. Plus, I figured I could give him a lift up to the cliff dwelling or to the east end of Aravaipa for his hike, in case his vehicle might not be able to reach those spots.

Anyway, after checking out the BLM campground, I had enough daylight, so I headed toward Turkey Creek. It is so wonderful back in there under all those magnificent trees, that I changed my mind and decided to camp in the canyon instead (which I really wanted to do anyway :D ). It was a very peaceful night camping by the old corral near the cliff dwelling. :) In the morning I packed up the gear and drove back out looking for kingsnake. Found him at the perfect spot, by the parking area and bathroom just west of the Salazar place. This is where Stace, the Nature Conservancy land steward I met the previous day said we should park a vehicle. Preston loaded his hiking gear into the truck and I drove him up to the cliff dwelling. But before that we drove the short distance beyond to the the point where the Rug Road exits the canyon and the turn into Oak Grove begins, since I hadn't seen that before.

After some time at the cliff dwelling and visiting awhile, I dropped Preston off at the confluence of Turkey/Aravaipa Creeks so he could do his hike, and I headed back toward Klondyke. The timing for this trip was good in that the road from Bonita to Klondyke had just been bladed, making for a smooth ride along those many miles.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Turkey Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Dec 07 2014
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 Guides 43
 Routes 149
 Photos 22,416
 Triplogs 2,280

72 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Turkey Creek Wandering, AZ 
Turkey Creek Wandering, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2014
CannondaleKidTriplogs 2,280
Hiking2.00 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour      2.00 mph
100 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
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trixiec
Continued from the Turkey Creek - Eastern ridge triplog...

Turkey Creek was similar to Oak Grove Canyon, it just didn't have the real tight winding feel of Oak Grove. Probably due to more and faster water flow in Turkey Creek over thousands of years?? Whatever, it was enjoyable and easier with more hard-packed sand area and less of the huge boulder hopping of Oak Grove. Still, each has its own pros and cons.

And then we encountered an expansive grove of huge Sycamore trees displaying slightly after-peak colors but it was such a peaceful spot. It brought back those memories of fall days... wind blowing through the trees, the whispers of the falling leaves along with the odd rustling of the fallen leaves of an intermittent breeze. It was peaceful enough to take a break but after numerous photos we continued on, hoping to see more of the same. Nothing quite like it, but there was still plenty to see and experience.

The only thing to spoil it all was the need to hit the road for the 4-hour drive back home. So, alas, we turned back. After all, on the drive out Tracey wanted to see the Turkey Creek Cliff Dwellings (whoops, make that dwelling singular) which after all our visits to the numerous cliff dwellings in Utah this single unit was a bit of a let-down for Tracey.
:-({|=

On the drive out past the Turkey Creek/Aravaipa TH we noticed two vehicles (one a Subaru) with bright orange warning stickers on it for failing to display a permit. Since we'd seen Wendy standing by a Subaru on the way by on Saturday, I thought of waiting for Wendy's post and commenting on the nice new sticker she was sporting, but Tracey provided the reality check that Wendy's group was at the other TH.
No vehicles were there on the way out so Wendy, we hope your gang had a great time in Aravaipa!

I'm posting all 23 photos from this part of the hike with this triplog.
See my Turkey Creek - Eastern Ridge photoset/triplog for the rest of the photos and east ridge video.

One video:
A typical Fall day in a grove of Sycamores
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Turkey Creek
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CannondaleKid
3 archives
Nov 16 2014
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 Guides 4
 Routes 5
 Photos 3,371
 Triplogs 754

52 male
 Joined Aug 20 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Oak Grove CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Nov 16 2014
RickVincentTriplogs 754
Canyoneering7.25 Miles
Canyoneering7.25 Miles   6 Hrs      1.21 mph
 
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Flora
Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Poison Ivy
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Plenty of leaves on the ground, but still more fall ahead. Maples in Oak Grove Cyn are still green. Sycamore are mixed green and yellow.
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This is my gym. I have to travel down a bumpy road to get there. There are no treadmillls, no machines, and no personal trainers. I walk..I run..I breathe the fresh air. I can go any time I want, as much as I want and there is no membership fee.
Nov 13 2014
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 Guides 27
 Routes 61
 Photos 2,620
 Triplogs 700

66 male
 Joined Jan 23 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Turkey Creek Cliff DwellingGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 13 2014
AZWanderingBearTriplogs 700
Hiking5.00 Miles 250 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
250 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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AZBeaver
We camped in Turkey Creek for two nights to explore Aravaipa Canyon. Before heading back to uncivilization, we thought it would be nice to hike up Turkey Creek. The 4x4 road makes it an easy hike. The weather was perfect. Trees were turning, especially the plentiful sycamores and black willows along this canyon. The Salado cliff dwelling was of course a must see item for this trip anyway. Having been to Mesa Verde earlier this year, it was interesting to see how the Salado version of cliff dwellings varied from the Anasazi.

Took the road to where it climbs up and out of the canyon and turned back for camp. It's along drive back to north Phoenix, but a stop in Miami at Guayo's for some superb Mexican (try the green chili cheese crisp) made for a good way to celebrate a great trip.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] HAZ Food
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
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All you have is your fire...
And the place you need to reach
3 archives
Apr 21 2014
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 Guides 34
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,197
 Triplogs 592

36 male
 Joined Aug 16 2006
 Portland, OR
Turkey Creek Cliff DwellingGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 21 2014
keepmovingTriplogs 592
Hiking0.10 Miles 74 AEG
Hiking0.10 Miles
74 ft AEG
 
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Quick stop at the cliff dwelling after hitting Aravaipa Canyon.
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Mar 17 2014
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 Guides 3
 Photos 4,732
 Triplogs 2,168

52 male
 Joined Sep 29 2004
 Small Town USA
Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 17 2014
SkyIslander18Triplogs 2,168
Canyoneering11.70 Miles 200 AEG
Canyoneering11.70 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routes
Awoke early from our Turkey Creek campsite to a chilly 35 degrees.
Needed to warm up so I took an early morning stroll up the road and up to the cliff dwelling for sunrise. I believe this was the first time I have ever watched the sunrise from inside a cliff dwelling!
Returned back, woke the yeti, broke camp then drove to the end of Turkey Creek for our Aravaipa hike.

Being Preston's first time up the canyon, I would like for him to tell the story (he is a much, much better writer than I).

I'll just say, every trip I make through this canyon just blows me away!
This really is a special place, and a place I will visit many more times.
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cardinal
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Mar 16 2014
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 Guides 3
 Photos 4,732
 Triplogs 2,168

52 male
 Joined Sep 29 2004
 Small Town USA
Oak Grove CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 16 2014
SkyIslander18Triplogs 2,168
Canyoneering9.20 Miles 600 AEG
Canyoneering9.20 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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PrestonSands
I had not been out to the Aravaipa area in almost 3 years so I was very excited about this overnight trip! Preston picked me up in Safford and together we traveled out to the canyon with a few scenic & historic stops along the way before arriving at the mouth of Turkey Creek around noon. After a short drive up the creek, we picked a campsite for the night then threw on the packs for our afternoon hike.....

..... after walking the remainder of Turkey Creek road and rounding the bend at the corrals, we entered Oak Grove Canyon. The route up this canyon was a little rough & slow going at times, but well worth it! Better than expected March greenery along the creek, some dramatic high canyon walls & bends with a few spring flowers here & there. It was very nice!
After exiting the canyon, we hiked up the Rug Road a couple of miles for the overlooks.
Man ..... what a rough road only the first mile of this is, I had to 4x4 hike it!
We then walked back down Turkey Creek road to our campsite at dusk to begin the night activities.

After sunset, we made the very short hike up to the Turkey Creek Cliff Dwelling for a super fun full moon photography session with the dwelling & stars. Then it was back down to camp for a "colorful" fire, quesadillas & chips, pottery firing (there is just no end to the Yeti's talent) and good campfire conversation. My day ended with full moonlight shining through my tent and visions of Aravaipa Canyon in my head .....

Thanks Preston for spending my B-Day with me in this most awesome area, Twas a wonderful day!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Oak Grove Canyon Light flow Light flow
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Mar 16 2014
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 Guides 169
 Routes 148
 Photos 5,683
 Triplogs 1,785

45 male
 Joined Apr 12 2004
 Oro Valley, AZ
Oak Grove CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 16 2014
PrestonSandsTriplogs 1,785
Hiking8.30 Miles 1,065 AEG
Hiking8.30 Miles
1,065 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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SkyIslander18
Rolling into Safford on Sunday morning, I picked up Chad and we were soon off on the long drive to the eastern end of Aravaipa. Driving past the Aravaipa trailhead into Turkey Canyon offered a brief glimpse of the beauty that lay in store for us the next day. We parked near the Turkey Creek cliff dwelling and set off on foot on the road. The road hike ended soon and we were boulder hopping up Oak Grove Canyon below massive cliffs of buff colored conglomerate, well guarded by a continuous stand of cottonwoods and sycamores. Water and then a flowing stream gradually appeared as we moved slowly up the well shaded canyon, which included an unexpected bigtooth maple patch. Chad found some great photo ops, while I sloshed my way through the creek a bit farther to Jackson Spring and the two rock towers near point 3828'. We soon regrouped and made our way out of this sliver of paradise onto the dusty route of the Turkey Creek road once more. "Hey, let's check out the Rug Road", so we did, climbing out of the canyon up god-awful, undercarriage wrecking rock steps onto a pleasant, open ridge which offered a great view of the surrounding area. I managed to slip and fall on my ass, a victim of this savage, treacherous old road. Eventually we made it back to my truck, where we partook of the ice chest then made the short walk up to the cliff dwelling. Hiking back down, we set up camp nearby, next to an old corral in the creek bottom, and waited for darkness to arrive. Once it had, we returned to the cliff dwelling for some night photography experimentation. The evening was concluded with a colorful, roaring campfire, fire grilled quesadillas on fresh tortillas from the tortilleria in Willcox, birthday cake, and a pottery firing experiment. It had been a great day. The next day, Aravaipa awaited...
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"As soon as I can I’m sneaking back in them mountains..." -Johnny Paycheck
Nov 30 2013
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 Guides 103
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 511

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Turkey Creek Cliff DwellingGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 30 2013
nonotTriplogs 511
Hiking0.10 Miles 74 AEG
Hiking0.10 Miles      20 Mns   0.30 mph
74 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This is a very well preserved site, and convenient to checking out from the eastern TH.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
Nov 30 2012
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 Guides 12
 Routes 60
 Photos 1,225
 Triplogs 900

48 male
 Joined Apr 30 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness - GET #7Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 30 2012
azdesertfatherTriplogs 900
Hiking17.00 Miles 1,053 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles   8 Hrs   44 Mns   1.95 mph
1,053 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
The_Eagle
One great trip, that's all I can say! Well, almost...

Started the trip off great...we get just a couple of minutes from the trailhead down the dirt road to Aravaipa, and someone asks me if I had the permit. Doh! :doh: ](*,) :tt: How could I forget something like that! I called the Safford BLM to cover myself and left a note in the car and everything turned out OK, thankfully. But I had a few people on the trip who made sure I DID NOT forget what happened.

Second mistake: I didn't bring a spare pair of shoes. Very dumb. This is a hike where a backup set of shoes is ESSENTIAL, because within minutes of starting the hike you will have to cross Aravaipa Creek and your shoes will stay wet from that moment on. Thankfully I at least had dry socks to wear in the evening.

On day 1 of this 2-day trip we hiked from the west trailhead to Horse Camp, where Bruce and Joe peeled off for the rest of the trip. The other 4 of us on the trip went with me to the east trailhead, then down Turkey Creek to the ruins and back. The ruins were definitely worth the side trip to see, if you are interested in historical ruins.

We picked a camping spot late that afternoon just outside the wilderness boundary across Aravaipa Creek from the spot where Turkey Creek runs into Aravaipa Creek. After about a half hour of setting up camp, a guy comes along and says we can't camp there because it's private Nature Conservancy land! You gotta be kidding. There was signage there saying it was Nature Conservancy land but the sign only said "NO HUNTING". It didn't say "private property" or "no trespassing" or "no camping"...just "no hunting", so definite finger wag at the Conservancy for bad signage that caused us to waste a lot of precious time. We quickly break camp and a couple of the 5 of us who broke camp first took off ahead to find another camping spot, but the problem was they peeled off and the rest of us didn't see them, so we kept hiking a mile and a half trying to catch up to the two who were actually far behind us...and just before dark we decided we had to just set up camp on our own. It wasn't until midday the next day before we finally found the other 2, at Horse Camp near Bruce & Joe.

With this trip I officially completed my first segment of the GET :y: Looking forward to getting started on the GET once a few HAZ people finish completing the AZT!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Turkey Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Some of the water was just underneath the surface, the rest was in little pools above the surface.
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"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau
Jun 02 2012
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 Guides 34
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,197
 Triplogs 592

36 male
 Joined Aug 16 2006
 Portland, OR
Turkey Creek Cliff DwellingGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 02 2012
keepmovingTriplogs 592
Hiking0.10 Miles 74 AEG
Hiking0.10 Miles      13 Mns   0.46 mph
74 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did the Cliff Dwelling after finishing my Aravaipa backpack trip.
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Apr 05 2012
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 Routes 10
 Photos 466
 Triplogs 679

male
 Joined Mar 10 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Turkey Creek Cliff DwellingGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2012
ThoreauTriplogs 679
Hiking
Hiking
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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average hiking speed 1.96 mph
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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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