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Gordon Creek Falls - 9 members in 13 triplogs have rated this an average 3.2 ( 1 to 5 best )
13 triplogs
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13 Triplogs
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May 14 2019
TheNaviG8R
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 Guides 1
 Routes 36
 Photos 2,868
 Triplogs 449

49 male
 Joined Jul 26 2008
 Mesa, AZ
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 14 2019
TheNaviG8R
Hiking4.80 Miles 450 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles
450 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
May 03 2018
kelly14
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 Routes 87
 Photos 757
 Triplogs 100

25 male
 Joined Sep 27 2015
 Phoenix
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 03 2018
kelly14
Hiking6.56 Miles 709 AEG
Hiking6.56 Miles   3 Hrs   33 Mns   2.04 mph
709 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Really a pleasant hike. Weather was perfect. Chilly in the shade and when cloudy but cozy in the sun. Was really a beautiful area. With forest, water, canyons it was right up our alley. Was hoping to see horses like others have but unfortunately was only met by cows and presents they left behind lining the trail the whole way. Kind of a bummer.

Once we hit the canyon we didn’t see water but soon enough we started seeing some pools and some flowing water! It went underground here and there but still a a respectable amount of water. The main falls and the 1-2 small ones before were flowing but barely. Can’t wait to come back after a proper snowmelt or maybe monsoon season!

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Gordon Creek Falls Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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Feb 04 2018
MountainMatt
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 Guides 3
 Routes 192
 Photos 2,884
 Triplogs 452

27 male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 04 2018
MountainMatt
Hiking4.12 Miles 388 AEG
Hiking4.12 Miles   1 Hour   12 Mns   3.43 mph
388 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Needed to stretch my legs on my drive home and I figured this abnormally warm weather may have melted some snowpack giving a little life to this creek.
No water for the first 1.5 miles but once the canyon tightens a bit of flowing water was found but for the most part it was all frozen with a surprising amount of snow.
At that point I knew the falls wound not not be flowing but quickly proceeded to them anyway and made a speed workout out of the hike.
Maybe this spring I will catch this place in its prime but until then its still unfinished business.

Last winter there was so many seasonal waterfalls to chase it was making my head spin and this year is the exact opposite, keeping my fingers crossed for some of those good late March/April snowstorms.


dry Gordon Creek Falls Dry Dry
Frozen with 4 inches of snow above the falls.
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http://www.mattwhelanphotography.com/
1 archive
Aug 12 2017
MountainMatt
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 Guides 3
 Routes 192
 Photos 2,884
 Triplogs 452

27 male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2017
MountainMatt
Hiking4.12 Miles 464 AEG
Hiking4.12 Miles   2 Hrs   38 Mns   2.31 mph
464 ft AEG      51 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've always wanted to check this place out but was a little disappointed with the outcome.
Water was silty brown which I expected but the lack of flow was a bit disheartening.
Halfway through the walk it began to pour quite steadily and I almost turned back from that and the nearby lightning strikes but it soon fizzled out and my dog and I marched on.
Between all the excess debris, brown water and lack of flow I didn't even bother taking my camera out once arriving at the falls.
I just enjoyed the peaceful alone time after a hectic work week and proceeded to camp nearby my starting point of the hike.
It would be nice to see this place with clear consistent flow like the photo an old friend of mine showed me of thier visit in the spring so I'll give this place another shot under different conditions.
Named place
Named place
Gordon Creek Falls

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Gordon Creek Falls Medium flow Medium flow
Silty brown at moderate flow.
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http://www.mattwhelanphotography.com/
May 14 2016
joebartels
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 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,959
 Triplogs 4,322

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Hunter Creek - Bear Flat - Gordon Canyon Loop, AZ 
Hunter Creek - Bear Flat - Gordon Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 14 2016
joebartels
Hiking22.05 Miles 3,727 AEG
Hiking22.05 Miles   10 Hrs   25 Mns   2.34 mph
3,727 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Hunter Creek 8am
A pleasant area with nice tall pines and marshy meadows. The squishy areas will probably dry up soon. Follow the creek best you can. There is an intermittent use trail. We headed west and took what we got. We hopped several fences along the trickling creek. Didn't see much in terms of falls. Either a small cascade or I missed it. Nice break spot in the cascade/falls area. The highest forecasted high for our loop was 82 degrees. 75 at the start erased hope for a cool spring hike.

Christopher Mountain 9am
We ascended off trail straight up Christopher Mountain. It's steep and loose for a couple hundred feet, then gets reasonable quick. Shockingly not a whimper out of the eagle. Views open up to the rim a little ways up. We took forest roads to the west end of the mountain. I had an off trail track to descend a ridge to #178. We lucked out and found a nice unsigned trail! The upper third was wide, raked and dreamy. Then it's more what you'd expect from a less used trail. Still mighty fine.

Bear Flat Trail #178 Noon
Essentially a forest road through the pines. I enjoyed it. Just as it was getting toasty unexpected storms rolled in and saved the day. It sprinkled on occasion but never let loose. The east trailhead is unsigned. Unless you reside in the large metropolis of Pleasant Valley ( Young ) this is the middle of nowhere for most.

Gordon Canyon 3pm
A good two miles separated us from Gordon Falls. I anticipated this to be slow travel. A couple use trails, narrow canyon pine views and Gordon Falls made this the highlight of the day. Most will access Gordon Falls from the north. Which is a solid 3 out 5 in my book. It is nice, easy and good for those that enjoy a less meaty bone.

carried 4 quarts, 6oz leaked out of cheap hundred dollar pack, ran out with a half mile to go
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
lots of lupine in a couple areas, isolated paintbrush, tiny whites and yellows

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Gordon Creek Falls Light flow Light flow
not much flow, enough to enjoy!
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Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
May 14 2016
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 792
 Photos 9,222
 Triplogs 1,084

63 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Hunter Creek - Bear Flat - Gordon Canyon Loop, AZ 
Hunter Creek - Bear Flat - Gordon Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 14 2016
The_Eagle
Hiking21.92 Miles 3,727 AEG
Hiking21.92 Miles   10 Hrs   25 Mns   2.33 mph
3,727 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
As others that have mentioned, park off the west side of Colcord Road .3 mile off Rt260 in the small dirt area. Pass through the gate and pick a route west to get down to the creek area.

Hunter Creek Falls
This is a pleasant stroll, generally following the creek bed. There are areas where a tread may be visible, more than likely due to game. On our hike there were scattered pools of water and some minimal flow in spots. We had to cross 4 or so barb wire fences but there was nothing to indicate private property. The falls area while interesting was lacking... a waterfall.

Christopher Mountain
From the Falls area we went off trail and uphill for a short bit to catch FR146. This climbs steadily to Christopher Mountain and has some nice 360 views

Mail Trail
The first of two planned off trail segments ended up being a trail. This made the 1000' 1 mile drop much easier.

Bear Flats Trail
This trail roller coasters through stands of pine, juniper and oak. Quite nice

Gordon Creek Falls
This was the second section of planned off trail. Once again, we found trail the whole way. Some was well worn, some was marked with very old blazes in the trees. This was the gem of the day. The southern portion of this does not see much traffic, but if more knew about it, it would. It'd be a great place to spend the day hiking and swimming through the pools. We had to hike back to Gordon Creek Falls, which is nice, but the south portion of the canyon made the day.

Video :next: https://youtube.com ... tWaU
Named place
Named place
Gordon Creek Falls

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bear Flat Trail Tank 26-50% full 26-50% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Christopher Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
One of the larger Tanks you'll see

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Gordon Creek Falls Light flow Light flow
Large pool below the falls

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Sharp Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
May 24 2015
Tom G in AZ
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 Triplogs 1

42 male
 Joined May 26 2015
 Scottsdale, AZ
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 24 2015
Tom G in AZ
Hiking4.50 Miles 450 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   3 Hrs      1.50 mph
450 ft AEG5 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We really enjoyed this hike - about half of which is on a rough road, the other half following the creek. There are a couple smaller waterfalls before getting to the main one. There was plenty of water making the big falls well worth the hike.
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Mar 28 2015
plimtuna
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 Photos 8
 Triplogs 2

56 male
 Joined Apr 02 2015
 Phoenix
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2015
plimtuna
Hiking4.50 Miles 450 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   2 Hrs   55 Mns   1.86 mph
450 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took two international fiends. One of them from Uzbekistan had never even seen a forest before. They enjoyed it.

Nice warm day, I think it set a record for most of Arizona that day.

Saw only one other couple with a dog. Creek was running, but not so full we could not easily cross the creek several times in dry boots.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Nothing too noteworthy. Seemed warm and dry already, way past spring flowers. We had a very warm March this year (2015)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Gordon Canyon Creek Light flow Light flow
Water flowing in creek, though easy to cross at rocks without getting wet boots.
_____________________
Plimtuna
Hiking over 40 years, started as a Scout.
Always do it for fun, now need to do it for health!
1 archive
Jun 26 2013
kingsnake
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 Guides 83
 Routes 187
 Photos 8,043
 Triplogs 642

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 26 2013
kingsnake
Hiking4.95 Miles 595 AEG
Hiking4.95 Miles   1 Hour   58 Mns   2.52 mph
595 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After our picnic at Woods Canyon Vista, we drove down to the Gordon Creek trailhead, a few minutes away on Colcord Rd, as I wanted to put in a few more miles. Passed a fire engine and ambulance coming out as we approached the trailhead. Hoped that was not bad joo-joo.

A lot of the old wreck has disappeared in the two years since WilliamnWendi last photographed it. :| I popped my knee crawling inside looking for a VIN. :doh: I kept walking.

If there were a gate that let you in, the first mile of the jeep trail would be drivable in a street car. Very benign surface.

The same two white, and two brown, horses were there, and very mellow. I actually only saw three of them, at first, and as I turned to walk away, the other white one started walking up behind me, like he wanted to be petted. I wished I had some carrots. :sorrry: Make sure you bring some if you do the hike.

I was not holding out a lot of hope for water at the falls, as the first mile and a half, maybe more, was bone dry.

After the hunting blind, the jeep trail ended, and it was wash walking to the falls. I noticed scattered crawfish parts in many locations. The first time was near the hunting blind, so I assumed the hunters decided to eat fish instead of venison, but after I saw more, I figured it was a critter. There were no beaver dams, so maybe raccoon? Black bear? :-k

The last half mile or so to the falls, there was a lot of dead fall on the nearby slopes. The creek also had occasional puddles. No moving water though. In fact, the pool at the top of the falls appeared to be moving slightly backward. (Probably because of breeze.) Barely a trickle leaked over the falls. Such a small amount of water that slime had formed on the surface of the pond at the bottom of the falls. (That there was a pond at all was shocking; perhaps it is spring fed.)

On the way out, I stumbled on a rock and cursed, loudly, only to look up and see a couple approaching on the other side of the creek. :whistle: We chatted for a bit, me telling them not to expect much from the falls.

Not to long after I passed back by the horses, I met a family. The little boy asked me "what are those?" referring to my hiking sticks. I said, "Because I am old and tired." ;)
Named place
Named place
Gordon Canyon Gordon Canyon Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
May 05 2012
WilliamnWendi
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 Guides 2
 Routes 58
 Photos 1,253
 Triplogs 213

46 male
 Joined Dec 26 2009
 Phoenix, Az
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 05 2012
WilliamnWendi
Hiking5.60 Miles
Hiking5.60 Miles   4 Hrs      1.72 mph
      45 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wendi invited a friend of hers from work to join us on this hike. Easy going, and beautiful area. Gets a little tricky staying on track though, at least half of it is on dirt roads and nothing is signed, so bring along some good directions or GPS track because there are few left and right turns. I made a track from the descriptions that I read and followed that on the GPS. The final mileage to the falls and back is 4.8 miles.

Saw the same horses as some of the past visitors but not the Pinto. They let Wendi get close enough to touch but not to pet.

We found some falls that looked pretty but luckily Wendi figured out that these were not the falls we came to see. Interesting thing about this one is that it appeared to have a little travertine beginning to form. So we continued a few more bends until we got to the 20' falls (The height described to us anyways, I think it is shy of that). Had little trickle though the water wasn't clear enough for the ladies to consider a swim it looked deep enough for it. We ate lunch and enjoyed the sounds of the falls and enjoyed friendly conversation.

Other than that saw a couple bird's of prey, a vulture, some lizards and one horny toad. All and all a good day. Saw only one other group on ATV's who were leaving the area as we came in.
Flora
Flora
Claret Cup Cactus
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The Tree of Understanding, dazzling, straight, and simple, sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It. - Wislawa Szymborska, "Utopia"
Jun 26 2011
tucker2123
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 Triplogs 1

37 female
 Joined Jun 26 2011
 Phoenix, AZ
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 26 2011
tucker2123
Hiking3.00 Miles
Hiking3.00 Miles   3 Hrs      1.50 mph
   1 Hour    Break10 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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May 15 2011
Cultjam
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 Photos 51
 Triplogs 7

54 female
 Joined Oct 18 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 15 2011
Cultjam
Hiking3.00 Miles
Hiking3.00 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   1.09 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After one of my dogs busted a paw last September, I felt it was best not to push my luck and waited to hike until Spring. Then several weekend obligations kept pushing back the date until today when I couldn't take it anymore. Threw everything I could remember to bring in the old Jeep and opted to take an easy, afternoon hike to Gordon Creek Falls. If I forgot anything, this hike wasn't going to make me suffer for it. I also decided that Romper and Stomper, my leggy and sheltered Staffordshire-Boxer brothers, should go on the first hike.

The hike is 1.3 miles south on Colcord Road, which is 25 miles east of Payson. Mare Czinar, who writes trail recommendations for Phoenix magazine, has an excellent description and directions at arizonaHiking.blogspot.com along with dozens of other hikes.

Roughly top two thirds of the hike is on a nicely sloped but primitive jeep trail. Not far from the top, the forest floor is filled with lovely blooming lupine flowers. Since it was already late in the day, I didn't linger to take pictures and kept moving to make it to the falls. With no cars at the trailhead, I decided it was safe to let Romper and Stomper off-leash and they loped ahead, always keeping me in sight. For those of you who don't recognize the term Staffordshire, it's one of the "pit bull" breeds and at 85 and 100 pounds respectively, these dogs are obviously intimidating. I look for little known hikes like Gordon Creek to give them off-leash time where we won't run into people.

After the first gate, you take the trail to the left and then make a right at the next junction. You'll pass the rusty hulk of a truck cab before you reach the next junction and take a left. As the trail on the right winds through a picturesque slope of grass, the trail to the left goes up a small rise. Beyond that, I started seeing large piles of wood. Not sure what the purpose is but guessing a proscribed burn may be planned.

Just as we reached the first part of the creek, I heard a snort and looked past the dogs, now frozen, to see a small herd of horses. I had not planned on this. While the dogs are big and young, they had already encountered cows last year and fortunately glued themselves together in my shadow to stay safe from the bovine beasts. I pulled out my stun gun to make enough noise to scatter everyone if anyone got aggressive. Stomper waited for me to catch up, but Romper surprised me and went ahead to investigate. I was nervous that he might be kicked into next Tuesday but the horses hardly noticed his sniffing at their ankles as they grazed. As I walked up a palomino mare moved in to greet me. I was still concerned about the dogs so I didn't linger with her and kept walking. The horses were non-chalant as the dogs skitted between them in close pursuit of my heels.

We left the horses and went on to find the falls. The trail passes through one more gate, then ends. From there you follow the creek and stay on it until you reach them. At that point I started seeing brilliant red cactus flowers here and there on the hillsides.

We reached the falls by crossing the stream a few times. The trail is overgrown but there are many ways to get there. The creek is flowing about a gallon per second and pouring nicely over the falls. The dogs explored while I had lunch and read for a bit.

Once we headed back up, we encountered the horses again, but only two at first. I attempted to approach them but they weren't having it and moved off, breaking into a gallop up the hill. We then came upon all of the herd and the horses walked over the trail and through us as we reached them. That was a moment I won't forget. The palomino again walked to me and let me touch her. She followed me a few steps so I scratched around her neck and she stretched seeming to enjoy it. She looked sad when I walked away. I heard a horse neigh in the distance and a horse from the herd replied. Soon after, the other horse came down and joined the rest. As I walked on, I looked up the trail and saw a truck pulling a horse trailer near a house in the distance to the right. The trail is not as remote as it seems.

I took a few shots of the lupine before we reached the road again. it was late afternoon and the sun had begun passing down behind the trees tops. In under three hours, I'd seen plenty of wildflowers and picturesque natural pastures, encountered horses with dogs but without incident and had lunch at the falls again.

Not bad for my first hike of the year.
Flora
Flora
Claret Cup Cactus
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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Jun 21 2009
snakemarks
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 Photos 2,699
 Triplogs 240

female
 Joined Oct 31 2007
 Apache Junction,
Gordon Creek FallsPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2009
snakemarks
Hiking5.00 Miles
Hiking5.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
I'm at home in the wilderness... it's civilization I have problems with! ](*,)
1 archive
average hiking speed 1.92 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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