Shall we gather at the river?


Yesterday, Friday, the hike was planned as a combination long distance hike (10+ miles), or you could shorten it by turning around when you ran out of scenery.   It turned out to be ideal for either hiking style.

The route starts at the “Battleaxe Road” ad hoc trailhead which we’ve also used for the Walnut Canyon hike a couple years ago.  From the parking spot you walk about a third of a mile to where a streambed crosses the jeep road.

Take a left into the stream bed and go as far as you like.  Eventually you’ll reach the Gila river (after about 5 miles).

The first 3 miles are “John Wayne” style cliff and canyon country!

Even before you follow the stream bed into the canyons the surroundings are photogenic cliffs right out of the movies!

Gila Canyons 003b

 

Gila Canyons 012b

 

Making the turn south into the stream bed, you are immediately in a series of twisting canyons which stretch for about 3 miles “downstream”.  The route loses very little elevation promising a nice non-strenuous walk back “upstream”, but this is NOT a prepared trail, so the going is slow in some areas as you work your way over the usual debris left by canyon floods over the centuries.

Gila Canyons 019b

 

 

Here are some of the scenes along the canyon segment of the hike.

Gila Canyons 047b

 

Gila Canyons 038b

 

Gila Canyons 155a

 

Gila Canyons 132a

 

Gila Canyons 168a

 

I kinda like the shot below.  In the canyon floors there were occasional pools of water.  The grey objects seen are rocks surrounding a pool, and the center of the photo is the water surface reflecting the walls of the canyon.

 

Gila Canyons 130b

 

After about three miles you’ve worked your way through the canyons, and are in a more open desert environment, not nearly as scenic, but easier walking.  Most of the group continued all the way down to the Gila river, but a few of us went only about a mile further before working our way back up through the canyons to our vehicles.

Gila Canyons 064b

 

In this area we saw a baby javelina tracking down his mom who was lurking in the brush nearby.  They were reunited, and streaked off into the scrub.

Gila Canyons 078b

 

Overall this is a great hike if you want a moderate length (6 mile) hike in gorgeous scenery, or if you want to stretch your legs over a longer distance with little elevation change on either.  Thanks, George.  Another winner.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Arizona hiking. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Shall we gather at the river?

  1. lil sis says:

    Cute little critter.

    Like

  2. Deb says:

    Nice photos! Great shot of the havelina, I didn’t get one.

    Like

Comments invited

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s