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Chitty Trail 37 - 1 member in 4 triplogs has rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jun 17 2016
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 278
 Photos 7,692
 Triplogs 715

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Highline Trail #47 - Apache SitgreavesAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 17 2016
friendofThundergod
Backpack17.11 Miles 3,785 AEG
Backpack17.11 Miles2 Days         
3,785 ft AEG
 
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After exploring Hagan Canyon trail, I headed north up 191 to the Strayhorse campground and the trailhead for my overnight backpack. My destination was the Chitty Falls area. I had been there before and while the falls are not spectacular, there is a very nice campsite near them and I had remembered thinking how nice of a spot it would be for an over-nighter last year. I was also interested in hiking the rest of Chitty Creek and Salthouse Trail #18, which I still need to get into HAZ. At Strayhorse I double checked my gear, cooked up a brat and had some cream of wheat for an early lunch and then hit the trail.

As expected it was very warm and Blanco and I did not get much relief until about half way down the Salthouse Trail. The Highline Trail is rather exposed, especially with a couple of major burn areas in the first two miles, so we were happy to get off it and on to some new trail. Salthouse went pretty quick and it was not horrible, but not overly impressive either. In fact, it was even a slight drag because it was cluttered up with cattle. I guess I must have missed grazing season the last time I was there, because both Salt and Chitty were being pretty heavily grazed. Luckily there were not many cattle around the falls and my campsite, however, they still greatly diminished the two trails for me. I still managed to enjoy my superb site located just south of the falls and high on the creek bank.

We only covered about 17 miles on Friday, but the heat had Mr. Blanco and I beat and we were both in bed before the sun completely fell. We got an early start on day two in order to beat the worst of the morning heat and leave time for an afternoon day hike somewhere in the higher elevations of the Blue Range. We reached the trailhead at about 0930 on Saturday.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Chitty Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Creek is flowing nicely the entire length of the canyon

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Chitty Creek Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Creek is flowing nicely the entire length of trail
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2 archives
May 24 2015
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 278
 Photos 7,692
 Triplogs 715

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Highline Trail #47 - Apache SitgreavesAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 24 2015
friendofThundergod
Hiking16.96 Miles 4,288 AEG
Hiking16.96 Miles
4,288 ft AEG
 
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The goal of this hike was to reach Chitty Canyon; a canyon that has supposedly remained pristine with zero logging and no fires within recent memory. Chitty trail and canyon can only be reached from various trails, as there is no access from the road or designated trail head.

High Line Trail #47 was a great choice for accessing Chitty Canyon. The trail was well maintained and had several great stretches along various creeks and through forest of gigantic ponderosa. The trail is not only a nice trail, but its ending is where the real beauty starts; Chitty Canyon.

High Line is very up and down and it wears on you a little, but the trail is generally in great shape. We reached Chitty canyon and immediately saw the falls described in description, however, cascades would probably be a more appropriate term, very picturesque though and certainly worth the miles. I intended to make a loop out of Chitty Canyon Trail and the Salt House Trail. However, just as I was starting to bask in the beauty of Chitty canyon, I noticed something. My sunglasses were no longer on my head! Although it pained me, I decided to abort my loop and turn my hike into an out and back, with the off chance that I might run across my sunglasses in the trail.

My decision paid off. Probably not even a full mile back on the steep descent were my sunglasses in the middle of the trail On the way down, I took a nasty fall and fell completely flat on my pack. I remember thinking how lucky I was the pack cushioned my fall, but my neck snapped pretty hard. In fact, my head snapped so hard that my sunglasses fell off. How lucky can you get?

The rest of the trail was pretty uneventful. I explored some other trails that intersected #47 and made a short loop on the way back with Crab Apple Tree Trail. We did see another bear though. This one took us all by surprise, I had just stopped to grab something out of my bag when a huge crash in the drainage next to us revealed a bear making a bee line for the top of the small canyon. Blanco did much better this time. He made a pretty dedicated first move towards the bear, but stopped after a firm yell. The bear was also 400 feet ahead of him by this point, that may have contributed to him stopping as well.
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4 archives
Jun 03 2011
Geoduck
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 Triplogs 1

female
 Joined Mar 10 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Chitty Falls-Creek backpack loop, AZ 
Chitty Falls-Creek backpack loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 03 2011
Geoduck
Backpack19.00 Miles 2,800 AEG
Backpack19.00 Miles23 Days         
2,800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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From Alpine drive south on US191 for 33 miles to the Strayhorse campground. Park on the east side of US191 in the parking lot. The trailhead is on the west side in the campground by the closed road.
Trail Description:
Updated Memorial Day, 2011
BFB's (Beautiful Forest Bovine) 400 head were put in this area April 2011 Four Drag Ranch
The trail begins at a closed road in the Strayhorse campground. Follow the road about .2 miles to the single track. From here, the Highline Trail #47 begins climbing and dropping in and out of drainages in a burned area. Approximately 1 mile in it gets a bit confusing- look for large cairn marking first trail jxn south- you go straight on to Crabtree Park. Just over the next ridge you will find the signed junction with the Crabtree Trail #22. Continue straight for the Highline Trail.
The Highline trail then begins a steep climb along drainage before switch backing up to high point of the hike (7800 feet). After a mile or so up high, the Highline trail switchbacks down before reaching Salt House and a side canyon to Salt House Creek (3.4 miles from the trailhead). At 3.6 miles you reach the signed junction with the Salthouse Trail #18. Continue straight on the Highline trail, which is also the Salthouse Trail for the next .4 miles. At 4.0 miles from the trailhead, turns right on the Highline trail while the Salthouse Trail continues straight ahead. There is a corral about a tenth of a mile further down trail if you want to check it out. Head RIGHT From the junction, the Highline trail climbs aggressively and switchbacks a couple of times. Ups and downs for several miles through several drainages until at 6.4 miles in it drops precipitously into Chitty Creek. At one point 2 trails appear; you want to head down into the creek where there is a sign.
Once you get to the bottom, Chitty Creek is beautiful. A perennial creek, it is the first real water in the entire hike. .3 mile after you reach the Chitty Creek, the Highline trail again heads off to the west. Stay on the Chitty Trail #37 following the creekbed. Within a few feet of the junction with the highline trail is Chitty falls-- a very nice 15 foot water fall-looks like the falls and pool area have filled in a bit since last report of 2003. No camping immediately near the falls, but there is a nice site 1/3 mi below. We left the coffeepot, mugs, fork and spoon out for you. ? At this point you have gone ~ 7 miles
Chitty canyon is narrow and densely populated with oak and walnut trees; follow the canyon and blazes. A nice day loop of ~4 miles is to go back to jxn, up bear creek, head south at jxn on ridgeline, and loop back to Chitty Canyon and back to camp. Advise going CCW on this short loop. Alternatively, head ~2.1 miles up Chitty to its headwaters.
Continuing in Chitty canyon, you will come to a small drainage coming in from the East at an old corral on East side of creak; continue down Chitty and you will see both old and new trail signs for jxn Salthouse. The creek has gone underground in areas and water may be unreliable here. Salthouse canyon is wider and more open than Chitty canyon. About a mile below the junction with the Chitty trail, you will encounter an old corral. Head east on south side of Eagle Creek and you will see the tank and signs. East Eagle Creek Trail #33. Back at the junction, about 50 feet in you will see Eagle Tank to your right. The trail follows the creek and in a few hundred yards reaches a fork. To the right is Hot Air Canyon- War Finance Trail. To the left is the East Eagle Creek trail. Hike ~1/4 mile and sign to your right- Cross the dry creek and continue on the East Eagle Creek Trail heading east. NO water in EEC
The canyon itself is wide and populated with pine, oak and walnut trees.
Twelve miles from the start of hike, you will reach the NOW SIGNED junction with the Crabtree Trail #22. The trail heads off to the left. At this point it is 5.5 miles to Hwy 191 and relatively flat, and 7.5 miles to Hwy 191 Strayhorse, with climbing. AN easier loop would be to set up a car shuttle and come out EEC vs. Crabtree. Crabtree Creek was dry on the bottom 3 miles. We saw NO water Walnut Tank, but there are intermittent springs in Crabtree and in dry 2011 they had water.
Crabtree canyon opens up near the top and is a beautiful meadow near Crabtree spring. At one point a new fence comes in and we got on the W side of it, and at one point had to slide under it to get onto the trail. The last .5 mile of the canyon is a bit steeper than the rest but still not too bad. The trail ends at the Highline Trail # 47. Turn right and it is 1.4 miles back to the trailhead at Strayhorse campground
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Oct 19 2010
JoelHazelton
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 Guides 16
 Routes 10
 Photos 967
 Triplogs 406

33 male
 Joined Mar 22 2006
 Phoenix, AZ
Chitty Trail 37Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2010
JoelHazelton
Hiking8.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   5 Hrs      1.60 mph
2,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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Jonnybackpack
This trip had been in the works for quite a bit of time now. Jon caught wind of these falls a couple years ago and has been trying to make it to them since. Finally we got out there this weekend, with an overnight backpack planned.

We accessed via fr54a- the McBride Mesa/Highline trail combo mentioned in the Chitty Trail writeup. We left Phoenix around 6PM Friday and got to the trailhead after midnight. Fortunately, the conversation was good and the drive felt like nothing. At the trailhead we set up sleeping pads and bags in the back of the truck and stayed up another couple hours playing guitar and hanging out in the cold. Friday night I slept wonderfully (a bit sleep deprived the week prior to this trip) and woke up Saturday morning refreshed. We had a leisurely time packing to leave and were on the trail by 11am.

The trail is in surprisingly good condition considering its extremely remote location. It is also laid out extremely well... a 500ft/mile grade that is consistent the entire time. Broad, lazy switchbacks make hiking easy. Much of the McBride Mesa portion is on a very exposed south slope. We were warm hiking down in mid-October and couldn't help but to think how hot it would be during the more popular months to hike this region.

The Highline Trail near Bear Canyon Springs is easily the highlight of the hike. Nice wide trail, trickling creek, deep forest setting. We were really looking forward to what lie ahead in Chitty Canyon. As we neared the mouth of Bear Canyon we could hear the roar of Chitty Falls... We started getting all excited and throwing cheesy high-fives, thinking we would round the corner to a towering waterfall in a magical, serene setting with red maple leaves fluttering in the breeze and various wildlife sipping from pools. As we approached Chitty Canyon and the falls, however, what we saw instead was something that resembles the old concrete dam in Tortilla Creek, just upstream Tortilla Flats. Bare rock, no vegetation, a couple pathetic channels of water cascading down it. It was maybe 12 feet tall, and where there was once a pool at the bottom was instead a big pile of flood debris.

We reluctantly set up camp at the closest flat area we could find and sat to eat lunch and relax. A beer (shh...) elevated our moods a bit and we tried talking about how we could capture the falls. Eventually we made our way back down to the base of the falls hoping to find a decent perspective. After confirming that the falls offered nothing photogenic, Jon started making half-joking noises about breaking camp and hiking out. I quickly agreed (not half-jokingly) and we quickly hatched a plan. Break camp before it started raining (heavy clouds were moving in), drink a bunch of water and filter a couple more liters, fly up the trail, drive to Alpine and catch the end of the Buckeyes game (Jon's from Ohio).

Fortunately the plan worked out perfectly. We could definitely feel the 2,000 feet of gain with our full packs, but were still able to average about 2.5mph on the hike out. We drove out, tried to unsuccessfully photograph sunset, then made it to the last bit of the Buckeyes game at the Alpine Grill. The evening ended drinking coffee-flavored water (weakest coffee ever), eating jalapeno cheeseburgers and watching Jon's team get beat. Good times. :D

Bottom line for this trail- If you're looking for a nice waterfall in that region, hike the north fork of KP Creek instead.
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"Arizona is the land of contrast... You can go from Minnesota to California in a matter of minutes, then have Mexican food that night." -Jack Dykinga

http://www.joelhazelton.com
average hiking speed 1.6 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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