Salome Jug, Tonto National Forest
Distance: 5.1 miles
Approximate hiking time: 5 hours
Special equipment: Dry bags, harnesses and rappelling gear, 80-foot rope, 20 feet of webbing, one rappel ring
Directions to trailhead:
Rappelling in Salome Jug.
This cool picture is compliments of the Arizona Wander Women club.
From the intersection of State Highways 87 and 188 about 60 mi. northeast of Phoenix, head southeast on SR 188 for 19.4 miles, through the hamlet of Punkin Center to milepost 255. Turn left, following the sign for A+ Cross Road. After about a mile, the dirt road crosses a stream where the water is usually only six inches deep (though it was dry went we went through in August). On the other side of the creek(bed), continue on the dirt road, following the sign for Salome Creek. At a fork where dirt roads go left, continue straight onto the asphalt. This paved road ends at a boat ramp and campground but, about 1.8 miles before that (2.3 miles from SR188), you turn left onto another dirt road signposted A+ Cross Road. (The small sign will be on your right, at the turn.). This turn is easily missed, so if you arrive at the boat ramp, backtrack 1.8 miles. The winding dirt road climbs along the southern slopes of Victoria Peak. Soon Dutchwoman Butte comes into view ahead to the east. As you come to the last ridge between you and the butte, you'll find the A+ Cross Trailhead, 10.1 miles from SR188. The parking area is on the left. Except in winter, the ford and the dirt road are passable in a 2WD vehicle, but a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle is recommended. (Although one of my hiking companions drove it in a rental car :o)
Trip report: August 10, 2003
It's all about commitment. Letting go, taking the first step. That's one of my biggest fears, but not so big that I don't eventually take the plunge. And plunge I did, as soon as I left security behind and scooted over into the granite chute, where I immediately slid a dozen feet into the algae-covered pool below. What I did was, I started squealing before
I made the committing move. That helped me stop thinking about what I was about to do and forced my anxiety out my mouth. Worked pretty well, although I learned the hard way to shut my mouth just before I hit the water. The green slime tasted kinda funky.
There were three such slides along the mile-long route through the ravine known as Salome Jug. Looked scary from above, but once I swooshed into the water holes at the bottom, I wished I could sprout suction cups on my palms and scramble back up for another go. But onward and downward we went, from pool to pool, as the canyon narrowed and the water-carved walls grew higher.
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