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Gold Gulch - Apache / Sitgreaves National Forest

Summary: A short down and back hike through a nice section of narrows in western AZ.
Directions: Drive Highway 191 north from the small town of Clifton. Turn left (west) onto Lower Eagle Creek Road. Drive 3.6 miles then turn left at a yellow gate onto a rougher dirt road. Follow this road to the bottom of the steep hill and park next to a corral.
Road Conditions: High Clearance Vehicle
Navigation: Easy
Length: 2.5 miles
Date Hiked: May 2008
Weather Conditions: Warm and sunny
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: From the car park you'll have to figure out a route through the corral, over the barbed wire fence and into the shallow drainage beyond. Once in the drainage, simply head down the sandy wash to arrive at a drop off which is easily bypassed on the right. Just beyond the drop off, the cliffs rise around you and the wash enters a very nice section of narrows that featured a small flowing spring when I was here. Continue down through the narrows, completing a few minor down climbs along the way until you arrive at a larger chokestone drop. Work you way left to pick up an old burro trail, which switchbacks down to the canyon floor below. From this point, a short walk upstream will bring you to a short section of narrows and a trickling waterfall (assuming it's flowing), downstream will bring you to Eagle Creek and some pools used as swimming holes by the locals. When ready, return the way you came.
Rating (1-5 stars):
This canyon is an alternate route for a section of the Grand Enchantment Trail - a footpath/route between Phoenix, Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Maps: Click here for a map of the hike:  
Books: None
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.
Gold Gulch The upper narrows.  
The lower narrows. Looking down towards Eagle Creek.