Lee Pearson and I are scheduling a hike in the upper Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness Area on Saturday May 17th. The hike distance will be 2.7 miles from Williams Ranch to Buckskin Canyon, with the return leg following the same route.
This is a uniquely beautiful riparian habitat and mid-May promises another great show of flowers along the river banks. The migratory birds will be nesting in the river willows and there are always abundant signs of four-footed critters on this stretch of the river.
We hiked this area on April 12th to check out river conditions and spring growth. The river was still flowing at a level that required frequent crossing and a few long passages in water. However, by mid-May, the river flow will have returned to a seasonal norm that promises easy hiking conditions (See Figure 1).
Figure 1, Upper Hassayampa in April
As shown above, stretches of the river are flowing from bank to bank as of mid-April. Notice also that the river willows are still in the process of leafing out. By mid-May these stretches will be deeply shaded and the banks will be covered with river grass and countless flowers. Figure 2 shows the typical stream flow in mid-May.
Figure 2, Typical River Flow in May
This is a relatively easy hike, with a gain of only 90 feet in elevation between Williams Ranch and Buckskin Canyon. If you would like to join us on May 17th, please understand that you will occasionally be trekking through water. Your hiking shoes should have stiff soles to keep your feet comfortable on the river rocks. Also, this is a wilderness area hike. No motor vehicles are permitted beyond the trailhead.
If interested in joining our hike, please drop me a note at the following email address:
firstname.lastname@example.org. I will get in touch with you individually to work out a schedule, meeting place, and other safety and logistical details.
There are no restrictions on the number of hikers since the trailhead parking area will accommodate a number of vehicles. You do not require 4WD, although high clearance is beneficial on the route to the river.
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