Tuesday, January 6, 2009

GORDON CREEK FALLS

GORDON CREEK FALLS Payson Just minutes from downtown Payson, in a fragrant ponderosa pine forest, Gordon Creek Falls spills over a 25-foot escarpment into a cool swimming hole. This pine-shaded outdoor spa puts on its best show during spring snow melt season and after heavy monsoon rains. SEE MY 2010 ENTRY FOR A VIDEO OF THE BOX CANYON WATERFALL. Best season: March-May Elevation: 6,200’ Driving distance from Phoenix: 125 miles northeast Getting there: From Phoenix, go north on SR 87 to the intersection with SR 260 in Payson. From there, go east (right) on SR 260 for roughly 25 miles to Colcord Road (Forest Road 291) near milepost 277. Turn right and go southeast for 1.3 miles and park in a turnout near a green gate just south of some power lines. To get to the falls, hike down FR291 a few yards to a road that’s blocked with a “road closed” sign. Shimmy under the fence (it's legal) and hike down the dirt road. Pass through a gate and go left at the crossroads. At the second fork, go right. Turn left at the third junction and continue to the creek. From here, go right and follow the creek to the falls. Total one-way hiking distance to the falls is 1.5 miles. Information: Tonto National Forest (928) 474-7900 or fs.fed.us/r3/tonto

10 comments:

L said...

Good directions. The creek is dry now. Will try again much earlier next summer.

Renee said...

Just went today, great hike! We were using other directions so we got lost a few times coming back, but its pretty easy to follow the main jeep trail and find the creek and follow it down. The hike was easy, and you can keep exploring past the falls along the creek if it isn't flowing too strong. The waterfall was still trickling down in July. We didn't see a single person.

Anonymous said...

Just there. Pools are a little muddy. If you go and you think you found the falls and they are small..you have not gone quite far enough. Go until the creek does about a 120 degree turn with a shear rock wall in front of you. The "Real" falls go down about 20 feet into a 40' X 40' pool.

Most people do not go far enough.

Very few people there.

Tom Elliott said...

This location should be a mandatory on everyone's hike list... just wrote a little story about one of my HS adventures here... hope you don't mind that i used a couple of your images to help back up my description of this place. I added a link to your site as a great reference.

L said...

Encountered horses today. They were branded and one was a very friendly palomino mare. These horses were very tolerant of my too curious dogs. Water flow at about a gallon per second.

L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coach Torri said...

Thanks for this, my husband and I went and camped near the falls overnight! Saw the horses, cows, and even a black rattlesnake (yikes). The water was brown from all the monsoon rains, but it was flowing great and turned into a raging river that night from the rain! It was beautiful! Only saw 2 different groups.

cschneider said...

Has anyone been to Gordon Creek Falls in the last week or so? Wondering how the water is...thinking of going up this weekend.

Thanks,

Tamo said...

Just got back after seeing this online. There is water in the creek & pools, but just a trickle over the falls. The pools are murky, so I thought against a swim.

One reviewer mentioned the "real" falls further down. Quick question: is there an *easy* way down? I went to the right (facing downstream) and it's awfully steep - especially with a pack, which I removed for a few to keep stable. Also went a little slower than usual reading the black rattlesnake comment, but didn't run into anything ....

I did see a herd of elk on the way back at dusk - very cool.

Mare said...

The easiest way to get below the falls is to hike along the creek up to the falls drop off. From there, head right and scramble the up stair-step-like cliff , head left and you'll see a (somewhat) easy access path to the creek and drop pools.