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Deer Creek Cabin - Galiuros - 2 members in 2 triplogs have rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 12 2015
friendofThunde
avatar

 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Powers GardenTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2015
friendofThundergod
Hiking36.68 Miles 7,322 AEG
Hiking36.68 Miles
7,322 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Its hard to imagine a three day backpack turning out this well after it was chosen as a somewhat last minute alternative to a cancelled LCR trip, but simply put it turned out to be nearly perfect. The landscape was rugged, the views were extraordinary, the company was great and the attractions in the area well worth it.

We made the long drive to the Galiuros Friday night. We agreed on knocking out the southern portion of our loop for our approach to Powers on Saturday with a stop at Kennedy Peak along the way.

The route to the cabin on Saturday was the best of times and the worst of times. The best of times consisted of: our fun group, the copious amounts of water spewing out of the mountain, a fun summit and some great scenery. The worst of times consisted of: the complete absence of a trail in spots, the thickest wildflowers any human has ever traveled through, concealed ankle breakers, not so concealed New Mexican Locust, grass as tall as one's eyes and trail obliterating washouts and landslides.

The trail conditions were much nicer day two and the hiking more rewarding. After the obligatory stop at the shootout site, we headed for some "fun" in the mine. The mine was very extensive inside and contained several remnants of its operational days. The more adventourous spent a considerable amount of time exploring the several passages and I completed a pretty dicey descent down an old ladder to explore a very deep vertical shaft. However, as my support team began to express their disaproval in the venture, I decided to call it quits. There was still probably a solid 30-40 more feet to drop, but I was starting to lose my faith in the old ladder, as the distance between rungs grew to a precarious 3 feet in spots and the bottom was still not clearly visible; that and I was not crazy about the wire holding some rungs on in replacement of nails.

After the mine and cabin, some headed for the garden, others headed for the ridgeline. John and I followed up on a a lead I had discovered while looking over some topo maps of the area. As it turned out, my lead turned out to be quite the rewarding little find. We came across presumably a prehistoric dwelling that had been recycled and certainly utilized in more contemporary times. The cave and its scenic surroundings were very interesting and the trail there was great with flowing water nearly the entire distance, modest cascades and the discovery of the classic wooden Galiuros Wilderness sign along the way. Inside the cave there was a man made cistern inside catching water from a seep and and a little loft area that was reachable by a ladder complete with some modern pictographs. After the cool little find, it was back to camp for the standard good times around the fire.

Day three offered some of the nicest views of the trip. A challenging little climb out, but some great creek side hiking due to the recent rains and some small waterfalls worth leaving the trail for a closer look. The trail was in better shape than our Saturday route in, however, it could certainly use a little TLC. Fast times out and fun times at the trailhead!

dry Brush Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Corral Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

dry Corral Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Deer Creek Cabin Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Holdout Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Full concrete box/trough, good water

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Mud Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Full trough

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Powers Garden Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
water at spring and creek was flowing

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Upper Sycamore Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
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10 archives
Oct 10 2015
chumley
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 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,238
 Triplogs 1,423

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Powers GardenTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 10 2015
chumley
Backpack20.95 Miles 5,253 AEG
Backpack20.95 Miles2 Days   4 Hrs   8 Mns   
5,253 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Outstandingly fun weekend trip into the heart of the Galiuros with a great group of people!

East Divide 287
Starts off reasonably well with some minor route-finding issues due to the healthy growth of summer grasses. Turns into a full-fledged machete-required jungle in the Oak Creek drainage before rising up through the burn area toward Kennedy Peak.

Kennedy Peak 287a
This trail cuts through a moonscape burn area and the trail is largely lost to erosion. Cairns exist, but staying along the old barbed wire fence will get you most of the way there. The resulting wildflower display is impressive. Great views in all directions: Santa Teresas, Pinalenos, Bassett Peak, Wrightson, Mica, Rincon, and the Catalinas.

Corral Canyon 291
This trail is almost completely gone. Recent rain over the burn area has washed out many of the traverses leaving a very difficult challenge to travel through. Add to that wildflowers that are waist deep and it's a fight to push ahead. Once in the bottom of the canyon, much of the trail has been obliterated by flash flooding. Especially in the upper part of the canyon. The last mile or so, most of the shelf and the trail remains, but the crossings are a challenge. This trail needs a full-fledged reconstruction.

Powers Garden 96
Post-wildfire floods have wiped out some of the shelf along this trail as well rendering travel a bit more of a challenge than I suspect it once was. But the route can be found if you look for it. The fire didn't reach this low, so the valley is still shaded and cool.

Tortilla 254
Not much flood damage on this trail, but still in pretty rough shape. Travel was much quicker than the East Divide/Corral combo on the way in, but plenty of growth to fight through.

On the way in, I commented out loud that if somebody had told me it would take 5 hours to hike in I wouldn't have believed them. I repeated the same and updated it again at 6 and 7 hours! :o So yeah, it was a real grind due to unexpectedly terrible trail conditions on the south side of the loop.

Nonetheless we arrived safely and met Claire, 9L and Kyle who had arrived the previous day. We set up camp and settled in for the night. Sunday we all did our own thing, and Sunday evening a group of trail workers from the ACC stopped by our campfire for a while. Kudos to these volunteers for the work they do. It is impressive and much appreciated!

Monday we all headed out together around 8am. We split up into different groups all taking a different pace. A few of us finished via the Deer Creek Cabin route which is a nice option that we were pleasantly surprised about and resulted in a mile of fast road walking rather than rocky trail. It was a welcome end to a long weekend on tough trails.

I feel like we were very lucky with the amount of water. It's a beautiful area, but I could see it being much more of a challenge without the creeks and drainages flowing with water.

But I'll be back to the Galiuros for sure! :)

* I meant to mention that I successfully used Route Scout for all navigation and track recording over the entire three day trip. I charged my phone with a backup battery (anker) on the second night as it would not otherwise last 3 full days while recording 7-8 hours each day. I'm very happy with how well it worked!
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Saw a few small bright red somethings that I can't remember what are, and some poison ivy changing colors. Otherwise nothing yet.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Amazing display still popping on the upper slopes exposed by fire.

dry Brush Canyon Dry Dry
dry where it drains into Rattlesnake. Had flashed and was filled with rock and gravel.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Corral Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry in most areas, but some pools or light flow in bedrock areas.

dry Corral Spring Dry Dry
Spring box is filled in. There was water in the creek, but it was from rain runoff.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Deer Creek Cabin Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Crystal clear water in the spring box

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Horse Canyon Light flow Light flow
A week after 1-2" rain, and 3 weeks after 3+" rain, this canyon was still flowing nicely.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mud Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Clear and full spring box.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Powers Garden Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Source of spring unknown. But Rattlesnake Creek was flowing nicely over the dam structure near where the spring is marked as well as downstream through Powers Garden.


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Upper Sycamore Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
Tank was full and water was flowing down both drainages that come together here.
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Profound observer
1 archive

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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