for free!
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
Upper Four Tanks Canyon - 1 member in 3 triplogs has rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
3 triplogs
login for filter options
Mar 31 2018

 Guides 24
 Routes 20
 Photos 455
 Triplogs 1,934

53 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
Upper Four Tanks CanyonPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 31 2018
mt98dewTriplogs 1,934
Canyoneering6.75 Miles 400 AEG
Canyoneering6.75 Miles   5 Hrs      1.35 mph
400 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
I - Short 1-2 hours
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   linked  
Partners none no partners
It's funny. I'm doing a hiking log on a a hike I had no intention of doing when I set out this morning. My goal was to hit Governor's Peak and then to find "Salvation", but in my haste to get out the door this morning I forgot my Garmin. I still thought I could find Salvation Peak with the GPS route I had in my head and how some of the pictures displayed Castle Hot Springs (based on Barrett's hike). But I discovered when I reached Govenor's Peak that the two most likely candidates for Salvation Peak made me decide that I did not want to "find Salvation Peak". There seemed to be quite a bit of rugged terrain between Governor's and the two potential peaks with the potential for a lot of loss elevation. I found myself having little desire to attempt that "descent and climb" without having a definitive peak to shoot for. So instead, I headed back down Governor's Peak to the first "ridgeline/shelf" and headed west to the gnarly rock outcropping that had beckoned or me on previous visits. It was a short scramble to the top. Cool! It was relatively easy, but it made me feel daring :) . From there,I continued west to a dry wash that is the upper section to the Four Tanks. From above it looked as if there was a trail heading away from the wash to the south. When I reached the wash, I discovered it was a trail...a game trail. Instead, I turned east/north following the wash in the direction that would reconnect me to Governor's Peak/Hermit Trail. The wash was pretty neat to follow with quite a few dips and falls with pools of water at many of the levels. (Thus explaining the game trail). All were easy to negotiate up until the last one....the 15-20 ft fall described in the other write ups. Neat looking at it from the top down. No water was flowing, but there was water at the bottom. I backtracked a little (maybe 30 feet) to find a good point to climb out of the canyon. Both sides looked doable, but I went with the west side (towards Governor's Peak) because there was less vegetation to deal with. From there it was an easy deal to reconnect to the Hermit Trail and return to the TH. Didn't see a soul while I was out there. But the wildlife did not disappoint. Saw a lone buck, a grouping of four deer near the top of Governor's, a healthy looking squirrel and a rattlesnake (I think). It was curled up for warmth, so I couldn't see the rattles. It was small but good looking. Didn't have my Garmin with me, so my mileage is an estimation based on my other trips to Governor's Peak and the small amount of ground that was covered in the making of this lasso.
Jan 20 2017

 Guides 3
 Routes 202
 Photos 3,505
 Triplogs 529

 Joined Jan 24 2016
Garfias-Hell-Gov Peak Loop, AZ 
Garfias-Hell-Gov Peak Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 20 2017
MountainMattTriplogs 529
Hiking11.97 Miles 2,262 AEG
Hiking11.97 Miles   7 Hrs   19 Mns   2.17 mph
2,262 ft AEG   1 Hour   48 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
1st trip
A fun and thrilling day out in the HC Wilderness!
I was doing my own re-creation of "El Jefe y El Águilas" 03/02/13 HC loop trek that I had to end a tad bit short due to lack of daylight but nonetheless it certainly was quite the little adventure...

The weather was absolutely beautiful while ascending Gov Peak with no rain and a picturesque surrounding of looming clouds, I rushed to the top with anticipation of getting my camera out as I saw the nearby Bradshaw Mountains covered in a fresh dusting of snow!
But of course with my luck as soon as a finished adding a new log to the summit jar and cracked open my brew I was soon enveloped in a thick layer of low hanging clouds which was followed with sparatic rainfall which actually turned into a mild sleet at some points.
[ youtube video ]
The Castle Hot Springs paradise and ranches were soon out of view and I was left with visibility of about 10-15 feet, it was at that time I made my way down Govs and was headed for the canyons.

About 1/4 Mike from Govs summit there is a beautiful flat saddle where I found a large herd of resting cattle and some of the best looking Teddy Bear Cholla that were all surrounded by vibrant green desert grass.
Even though it was still raining I couldn't help but take out my camera to snap a few quick photos of the unique storm scenery.

While walking making my way down the drainage that leads to HC Canyon and Garfias I found myself tracking fresh and definitive signs of a mountain kitty.
Not only was I finding new clear paw prints but I came across what I believe was my first kill cache, underneath a bush to the left of the wash was a recently killed javelina with its stomach eaten out, from everything I read about lion behavior that's a clear sign of thier kill.
Needless to say I head my head was on a swivel the next couple of miles and may have even quickened my step a little if you might imagine.

Upon reaching the Hell Canyon confluence I was greeted with a heavenly sight of a flowing cascades, fog and incredible cliffsides.
I wandered a bit up into HC Canyon but it was already 3:30 or so and steady rainfall prevented me going further.

Luckily Garfias Wash provided me with all the flowing water and slick rock cascades in which I had originally came for.
I was a kid in a candy store down-climbing 10-15 drops with flowing water and deep pools all around me.
After passing one of the more idyllic waterfalls it was at that point I had to take a picture regardless of the now pouring rainfall.
I found a cliff overhang to stay relatively dry while I set up my makeshift plans of using a bag cover and dry bag to cover my camera while I quickly ran out into the storm and set up for 10 minutes of tripod time in conditions I never should put my gear in.
Luckily I managed to keep my camera dry and captured a couple rare desert storm scenes in the process but it was at that point I realized I was well behind schedule and needed to boogie.

I rushed to make it to the Spring Valley Junction before nightfall and made as much ground as I could before it was time to bust out the headlamp.
The last hour was a soaking wet torrential downpour in which I was so very grateful for the ridiculously cairned trail that in any other situation I would find annoying.
In this case it was so helpful since the storm left my visibility to just a couple of feet and it was at that point I was just hoping my headlamp did not stop working due to being waterlogged as without simple technology I would have been screwed.
Granted I had my rainfly, backup headlamps and my phone but it's always a humbling experience being in the wilderness solo at night under harsh storm conditions.

Spring valley trail was a running creek the rest of the hike and upon getting back to my SUV and driving home I watched the desert flood with water as I could have used a scuba for my engine for some of the 2-3 foot deep washes I encountered the ride home.

Overall a memorable and awesome day exploring another new slice of Arizona Wilderness!
 Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Cag Shot

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Four Tanks Canyon Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Garfias Wash Medium flow Medium flow
Water was flowing at a healthy clip 2 1/2 miles in from the Spring Valley Junction.
  1 archive
Feb 16 2013

 Guides 25
 Routes 36
 Photos 2,877
 Triplogs 657

37 male
 Joined May 30 2008
 Peoria, AZ
Upper Four Tanks CanyonPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Feb 16 2013
hippiepunkpirateTriplogs 657
Canyoneering5.00 Miles 1,050 AEG
Canyoneering5.00 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   1.71 mph
1,050 ft AEG      20 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
I - Short 1-2 hours
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Set out early with Gil to explore the Hieroglyphics. Went up the "Hermit Trail" to the saddle where we rested and enjoyed the views from a rock outcrop just above the saddle. Gil was hungry so going up to Governors wasn't in the cards, but we could see where the upper reaches of Four Tanks Canyon was carved into the mountain across the basin from us, and I had remembered wanting to check it out last time I was in the area as well. It really piqued my interest today so we decided to go see what was there real quick before heading back. There were quite a few pretty big pools that seemed like they would hold water well into April, and lots of big boulders to climb on. So far, pretty neat. Then we can across a shear 15-20 foot cliff with water dripping down it...a nice little waterfall! It had a decent sized pool at the bottom too. I could only imagine what it would look like during a rainstorm. We wanted to see what the canyon looked like above, so we scrambled up a little semi-exposed ledge next to the waterfall's chasm. It was the most convenient way from the waterfall's base, but could've been avoided by going around farther. From above, we could see a little pool directly above the waterfall, feeding the trickle we saw from below. The canyon seemed to be wider upstream and we decided to head back, having seen what was likely the most impressive part. Instead of following the creek bed back down, we set out cross country in a beeline toward the trail, and were back on it within 5 minutes or so. Pretty neat little piece of canyon, and pretty easy to access. I would like to string it together with a bigger loop going down into Garfias Wash/Hells Canyon with a return on Spring Valley Trail. For clarification, this was 5% canyoneering (the .2 miles up Four Tanks Canyon) and the rest on-trail hiking.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Four Tanks Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
My website: Mountain Tripper
I also write for: Territory Supply
average hiking speed 1.74 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.


end of page marker