Many times, hikers have told me about the Arvaipa Canyon and so the internet told me it was, ONLY 45 freakin miles away! How bout that?!?! Well, all that is true but there is around 8 miles of dirt road to be covered so that slows thing down and then lots of cattle roaming around, including the guy on the right who turned his head and gave me the evil eye.
A note for those who find this report while looking for information...don't wait until the day of the hike to get your permit. I was very fortunate to find the lone ranger at the office because most of the time he is in the canyon. A permit is easily accessed on-line the days prior to your arrival. The maximum is 30 each day but on this day, with overnight lows an unusually cold 32, well, there were plenty of permits available and again, I was lucky the ranger was in the office.
So unusual. A spring at the other end of the canyon, 14 miles away feeds this creek, which runs every day, all day. The canyon is home to many plants and wildlife and is a popular destination for photographers. However, there is not a trail, other than the creek. Because the temp was in the 30's, I was not anxious to plunge into the water and climbed on the right bank to avoid the water but finally.....
....I had to plunge in. I left my good hiking shoes in the car, needing them tomorrow, so I hiked in a pair of running shoes. The water....COLD!!!!! But, after walking a few feet after I emerged on the bank, discovered the walking squeezed much of the water out and my feet would recover feeling.
I could walk on the banks sometimes and others, jump into the water. If I avoided the narrow and deep sections, the water rarely went above mid calf.
Evidence was everywhere that at times, water rushes through here in flash floods. Would be deadly to be in here during one of those events for sure.
So odd to be walking along under various trees but in the surrounding hills, plenty of evidence of the desert as you may be able to see the saguaro cactus beyond the trees.
Leaves were turning and falling to the ground yet....
....there were still cactus within this environment including this odd one. At mile 1.9, I heard an animal screech across the stream, saw some movement and walked higher on the bank and was surprised to see....
...what I have learned is an unusual view, not one or two but at least 15 Coatimundi, a cousin of our Midwest's raccoons. I stood still as they visited and then retreated from the water's edge, disappearing into the brush.
Many of the trees were huge but after 2+ miles and no change to the scenery, I.......
....turned around with frozen feet. Reaching my car, I grabbed a pair of dry socks and shoes and felt much better.
On the drive out, I passed a property that had several orange trees. Neat.