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Thursday, September 10, 2009


EAST VERDE-ELLISON CREEK LOOP Tonto National Forest, North of Payson  Located in the rugged gorges below the Mogollon Rim, these two waterways feed a band of green surrounded by Ponderosa pines, sycamores, willows and Gambel oaks. Although the  2009 Water Wheel Fire burned much of the surround woodlands, there's still plenty of shade and beauty in the waterways.  Couple that with easy, close-to-town access and it’s no wonder this mountain getaway attracts droves of weekend warriors.  The unofficial route clamours up among the sculpted walls of a waterfall-filled box canyon to the confluence of the East Verde River and Ellison Creek. From here wade over the cascades of Ellison Creek and follow the water to a magnificent 40-foot waterfall.  WATER WHEEL FIRE STATS: Start date: August 30, 2009 Containment date: Sept. 5, 2009 Size: 773 acres Cause: under investigation
LENGTH: 1.5 miles one-way
RATING: moderate, scrambling, creek crossing
ELEVATION: 4880' - 5000'
From Payson, travel 2 miles north on SR 87 to Houston Mesa Road (FR 199), turn right and continue to 7 miles to the First Crossing parking apron on the right.  Other access points on FR 199 from SR87 are:
First Crossing: 7 miles
Water Wheel: 7.5 miles
Second Crossing: 8 miles
Third Crossing: 8.5 miles


1 comment:

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