Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Agua Fria River Day Hike
when November 16, 2019
where Agua Fria National Monument
the hike     Just north of Sunset Point and Black Canyon City lies the Agua Fria National Monument, established about 15 years ago. Although the hike is essentially flat until the middle mile, after the first section in the soft, sandy Badger Springs wash, we meet up with the Agua Fria River, where the real fun begins. First, we check out the rock art on the walls above the wash, as well as an example of the Metates and Manos that were used for grinding seeds and other foods by the Native Americans. The junction of Badger Spring and the Agua Fria River canyons was the earthquake epicenter that rocked the Phoenix area in 2015, so we will see if any big rocks fell. If the river is running we may back track and take the canyon top route to Richinbar Mine. Else, we continue in the Agua Fria river bed for an adventurous, hopping good time – boulder hopping, that is!
    This will be a good chance to practice your balancing skills. Take your time if you are not very sure footed, but the uneven surfaces should not be too difficult as there are not too many loose rocks. The river bed alternates between sandy and rocky terrain, and we’ll pass by many small pools of water, some quite colorful. The rocks are polished smooth from the river and consist of mostly granite boulders and slick rock areas, with some occasional lava rocks. We then go off trail to the Richinbar Mine, which is 900 feet above us, following an old pipeline up to the mine and some more rock art. The 7 miles roundtrip hike in a very pretty area such a short distance from I-17 and the Phoenix metro area. We will return to the cars via the canyon top. There may be many wildflowers, depend on how the rains work out.
    After the hike we may try out the pie at Rock Springs.
    A camera and hiking poles are highly recommended, in addition to the usual hiking gear.
distance 8 miles
time 7-10 hours
EC +-1000' elevation change
elevations 3400' (Black Mesa) to 2906' (Agua Fria river bed)
type round trip
starting at
Badger Springs Trailhead 34° 13.883' N,  112° 05.979' W  [NAD27]
on trail 50% — Badger Springs wash trail, then follows Agua Fria river bed
rating "B"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Black Canyon City
meet 7:00 AM in the Fry’s parking lot on the SW corner of I-17 & Bell Road. Park behind Denny’s, near the entrance to the Deer Valley Park & Ride.
We will leave promptly at 7:15 AM.

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updated December 5, 2019 © Copyright 2019, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.