April Arizona Canyon Trip
As a long-time lurker on Bogley, I have decided to officially join and post for the first time in the hopes of gaining some valuable insight for a trip myself and some friends are planning to Arizona in mid-April (4/18-4/25). None of us have have done any canyons in AZ before (but we have fairly extensive Utah experience) and we are hoping to check out a couple of different zones to see as much variety as possible in the limited time we will have out there.
Our proposed canyon list is:
4.18 Drive to AZ.
4.19 Jug of Salome.
4.19 Afternoon: Drive to Camp Verde area
4.20 Bear Canyon
4.22 Sundance Canyon
4.22 Afternoon: Drive to Illusions area
4.23 Illusions Canyon
4.24 Insomnia Canyon
4.25 Drive home
Anybody done any of these canyons in April? Thoughts about water levels? We are expecting flowing water in the Jug and cold water throughout the trip, but i would love any information or recommendations that you guys can provide.
Thanks in advance.
03-27-2012 02:18 PM
It has been a very dry winter here in AZ outside of a couple days of snow and rain last weekend.
Originally Posted by jacobwells
I just did the Jug last weekend and there was a decent flow, but nothing too crazy. The water was cold, but I was ok in a 3/2mm wetsuit. I heard the storm that came thru last week added quite a bit of flow, but still not dangerous.
Parker Creek Canyon is amazing and can be done in the same day as the Jug, but ignore the Cadillac exit from Todd's book for Parker Creek and exit out of the side drainage after the 80' waterfall rappel (5th rappel). It adds 2 more rappels and some spectactular spires and narrows. The water in Parker is quite a bit colder than the Jug, and the wind at the last rappel is brutally cold
I havent done any of the West Clear Creek canyons or Illusions and Insomnia in April and I am not sure when the forest service opens up the roads, but they are closed now. All those canyons will be extremely cold. Bear was pretty cold when I did it in September, I imagine it will be freezing in April! The canyons in the Matazals Mountains like Barnhardt and Big Kahuna might be a good substitution.
Thanks for the reply Mr Adam.
I am glad to hear that the Jug is not flowing too wild as of right now. We would love for it to be flowing to add a little excitement without being too crazy.
Also, thanks for the recommendation about Parker Creek Canyon. I am pretty sure we will add that to the list, especially since we will be driving from Colorado and want to stuff as much fun into what little time we have in AZ.
Lastly, as for how cold the canyons will be, I am planning on wearing a 7/5mm wetsuit for everything except the jug, especially since we have heard rumors of ice in Bear Canyon in April. Should be interesting .
Now our biggest hurdle seems to be if the roads will be open by then. One of the guys coming on the trip has be in contact with the forest service for the area, and supposedly the ranger stated that although they can't be positive the roads will be open, with how mild the winter has been, there is a "decent chance" they will be. Anybody been to West Clear Creek or the Illusions/Insomnia area in Spring? What time do these roads typically open for the year?