Since moving to Phoenix I have missed fresh water almost as much as I miss mountains. Really, the two go hand-in-hand but if I can get at least one of the two on the weekend then I can get through the school week in good spirits. One of my friends hiked this trail and posted a video on social media, which had a group of us nagging her for directions to get here. Thankfully she offered to go on the hike again to show us the way. I'm glad she did, because there were a few spots that would have had us disoriented.
Fresh, clear, water is a sight to behold in Arizona. This trail was ideal in many ways. First of all it's a short 2 mile hike to the canyon. The actual canyon is less than a mile, which includes lots of swimming, jumping, and sliding. Then the hike out is just over 2 miles. From a running standpoint there are other trails nearby which could make this is area a fun training day, which include Cactus Butte trail, Hell's hole trail, and the Boyer trail.
It should be noted there is a 35 foot jump into a narrow pool at the end of the canyon, which includes traversing a 20 ft sloped rock face toward a crevasse. This is not for the faint of heart and should be taken with caution. If the pool is dry you will obviously have to turn around, or rappel down.
This was such a great day in the canyon with friends! We ended the day with dinner at an old pizza shack in Punkin Center not far from down the road to the trail head. Don't forget to pack your materials in a dry bag if you have one since you are guaranteed to splash around.
Salome Jug Canyon: Salome Wilderness Area north of Lake Roosevelt
Directions: Take highway 87 (Beeline) to hwy 188 south. Go 8 miles south of Punkin Center and when you hit milepost 255 take a left onto 60 ("A Cross Road). Take this road about 10 miles to the unmarked trail head which will be a pullout on the left.
I left Florida feeling satisfied after getting my ocean fix and spending quality time with my mom. Thankfully spring break wasn't over yet and I was itching to get to the high country. Our friends who got us hooked on mountain biking had done their research and found that Gila National Forest offered some of the best single track for biking. We rented a cabin on the edge of the trails, packed up the Subaru, and headed for the hills!
We didn't waste any time during our 4-day adventure in New Mexico. The trails were diverse, ranging from smooth single track (above) to the rugged Continental Divide Trail (below). We spent one morning hiking the Jordan River to Lightfeather hot springs.. I was mesmerized by the cool blue water. After months in Phoenix without any source of fresh water we were all relishing in the landscape of Gila National Forest.
Most people come to Gila National Forest to see the Cliff Dwellings, which are a National Monument thanks to Teddy Roosevelt. We moseyed up there one of our mornings before hitting the trails, and although it was an hour and a half drive I think it was still worth it. There are plenty of other trails in proximity to incorporate into your day to make up for the winding road that leads to the dwellings. We stayed at the Pinos Altos cabins which were a great deal for four of us, offering plenty of space and comfort. I have also heard great things about the Bear Creek cabins as well.
One thing is for sure if you come through Silver City - you would be a fool to leave town without eating at Don Juan's drive through burritos. New Mexico has the science of burritos on lock down, and Don Juan might as well be the godfather. If I'm not back for the world class mountain biking I'll for sure return to Gila National Forest for a chile relleno burrito.
Last year the snowfall was so low in Flagstaff that the Nordic Center never opened once. Thankfully this year El Niño brought early season snow to the area and the Nordic Center opened on Thanksgiving day. Justin and I were busy uphill skiing on Humphrey's with our skins in the beginning of the season, but we finally made it out to the Nordic center for some wandering through lowland cross country tracks last weekend.
The Flagstaff Nordic Center has tracks for snowshoeing, fat biking, skate-skiing, and classic skiing. The challenge of Nordic skiing is no secret, and at 8,000ft in Flagstaff your lungs will be screaming for more oxygen. There are over 40km of trails offered for skiing, which is sure to keep you busy for a day on the tracks. If you're up for an overnight adventure, the Morning Glory Back Country Yurt is tucked at the furthest end of the trails with a picture perfect view of the San Fransisco Peaks. There are also many other yurts and cabins available for rent that are in closer proximity to the lodge if you don't want a long haul on your skis. The Nordic Center is a bustling little area by the lodge with a homey feel if you're from out of town. If you're heading up for a weekend, try to arrive in time for the Lodge's Friday night fire ritual with discounted skiing after 4pm - but don't forget your headlamp!
Flagstaff Nordic Center
16848 U.S. 180
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Lodge Phone: (928) 220-0550
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.