Jun 26, 2011

Salome Jug - Tonto Nationa Forest - Arizona

Since looking at this MTBR Thread posted up in May of 2010, I been wanting to the opportunity to do a little adventure into the Jug.
BrettN put out the notice that he wanted to lead a group (along with his brother ScottN), and just like that we had 11 people who wanted to wade/swim the pools, hit the granite slides, and rappel (or jump) the final cliff.

Brett and I split from his house at about 5:15 and we knew it was gonna be warm day. We then picked up Dave and drove into Fountain Hills to meet up with the rest of the group (Mr.& Mrs. Chollaball, ScottN, Justin, Isaac, Alex, Markus, and Jessy).

We then set out AZ-87 and then took a right on AZ-188 and then took a left on A-Cross Road. I'd say we got to the lot about 7:30, and we started the 2.5 mile across and down to the top of the Jug at 8:00.

The walk down was pretty easy, but the concern of being blasted by summer AZ sun on the way out was heavy on our minds.

The top of the Jug was had a small pool of water with a plenty of green algea, and the marks on the rocks told me the water level for the typical pools was way down. But hey their was water at the beginning. Woot. Actually as we headed do the jug the pools got deeper and deeper. Suhweet!

The pink granite at the top was utterly amazing; a really neato contrast of colors up there.

The granite slide barely had a trickle of water, but fun none the less. I can't wait to shoot these with more water flow. We hit it very late in the year, as I'm hearing the optimal time to do this trip is April or May, but a wet suit is pretty much mandatory, as the pools will be cold because they don't get much sun to warm them. The pools were perfect temperature today for just shorts and t-shirt.

As we made our way down, the cliff walls got higher and higher and in some spots they got really narrow.

This is not a hike, it is canyoneering. Beginning canyoneering, but dangerous and having the proper equipment is a necessity. We all had climbing harness just in case the second to the last pool was to shallow to do the 25 to 30 foot cliff jump. Jumping this cliff can be a little hairy and certainly isn't for everybody. Rappelling is the only other option down. If you go here, please do yourself the a favor and bring your rope an harness.

The whole 5.8 (or so) trip took exactly 4 hours, not bad considering the size of the group.

Here is the vid of the day:

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