Dec 11, 2014 at 9:07 pm #1323596
My backpacking buddy from California is coming to visit me the end of January, wondering if anyone has any ideas for some trips. I live in Northeast Arizona (a few hours east of Flagstaff). We both love to be outdoors…looking for any ideas for backpacking trips, cool car camping spots or just awesome areas to explore. We are open to anything from 3-9 days. Id like to be able find a place we can bring the dogs. Would be open to maybe a 1-3 night backpacking trip and then maybe a few nights exploring a new area and car camping. We are open to heading north towards Utah, or over towards Sedona OR down south towards Tucson or even over into New Mexico. I was initially thinking of doing an overnight to Buckskin Gulch…..thoughts? Any other tips or suggestions are welcome.
Thanks in Advance!
DanDec 12, 2014 at 10:00 am #2156125JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
Late January is a good time to visit the Galiuro Wilderness or backpack the Sedona area.
Here's a 4-day trip I did to the Galiuro Wilderness:
We ended up staying in the cabin at Powers Garden and doing day-hikes from there. Powers Spring is nearby (about the only reliable source of water in the Galiuros). There's a working wood stove in the cabin. Temperatures there can easily drop into the teens at night and climb to the 60s or 70s during the day. You can go days in the Galiuros without seeing anyone. Kennedy Peak and Ash Creek make nice day-hikes from car-camping bases.
This is also a nice hike through Sycamore Canyon near Sedona:
There are options to extend the hike. Water can be hard to find though. Temperatures can also dip into the teens at night in January.
January is also a good time to visit the Superstitions, but again, it can get cold at night.
I don't know much about Northern Arizona or Southern Utah.Dec 18, 2014 at 9:27 pm #2157869Kevin DeVriesMember
Southern Utah is very possible even during the dead of winter. Bring your 10 or 20 degree bag, and thermal base layer and long johns.
I've long been looking for something in the St George area of Utah, which is lower and therefore warmer (2000 feet ish), however i've been eluded thus far. Give one of the lower Escalante River canyons a shot. I did Coyote Gulch in mid-February last year. It was great sleeping weather at night (20's) if you were properly prepared, and I could hike in shorts and short sleeves during the day. The scenic beauty of this canyon is unparalleled. You have quite a few different options, the longest being around 30 miles round-trip. Nothing crazy, but suitable for short winter days.Dec 21, 2014 at 8:23 pm #2158508
At this point we are looking at meeting in Flagstaff and starting our trip from there. We are thinking of heading from Flagstaff to Vermilion National Monument, then head up to Buckskin Gulch and do an overnight in there. From there we are thinking of continuing north towards the Dixie National Forest. After there we are going to head west towards the Red Cliff Conservation Area or East to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Finally we will loop back down towards home to Pinetop AZ….maybe hit up Canyon De Chelly or the Painted Desert.
We are looking to do some day hikes, 1-2 backpacking trips, mountain biking, easy canyoneering and car camping.
If anyone has any experience in any of these areas, any tips or suggestions on cool places to see, trails to hike, places to camp….or anything else would be awesome!!
P.S. Anyone know of hot springs in the area to hike to?Dec 25, 2014 at 6:29 pm #2159164Nick SmolinskeBPL Member
@smoLocale: Rogue Panda Designs
Hot springs – the Verde Hot Springs are pretty good, as are the Arizona Hot Springs (but they are farther away from your route, up near the Hoover Dam).
I've heard really good things about Big Canyon, and it's spring-fed, relatively warm water (60's IIRC), so a little nicer in winter.
Badger Canyon you'll drive right by near the Vermillion cliffs and it's nice. Todd Martin has a loop described in his AZ Technical Canyoneering book, which I enjoyed a lot. On his website he just has the canyon itself: http://www.toddshikingguide.com/Hikes/Arizona/GrandCanyon/Canyon7.htm
I went in February a couple years ago and found waist-deep water in the "possible calf deep pool", but it was fine. I don't think I even had neoprene socks on that trip.
Speaking of that area, there is nice (and warm for the area!) camping in the Marble Canyon area. Best to look at google maps and find the dirt roads that head close to the rim – you can camp almost at the edge of the canyon.
Bull valley gorge is a great non-technical canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante.Jan 1, 2015 at 8:06 pm #2160811
So…we had to change our plans pretty dramatically…..trip got cut short because of work conflicts…so we are now looking at heading into the Superstition Mountains in southern AZ. Anyone have some good tips? Good trails to check out? Caves? Petroglyphs? Cool camp spots??
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