Cindy and I have hiked Aravaipa, 4 times previously. But because you have to have a high clearance vehicle and a fair amount of coordination with others, we had not done a through hike. We finally did it yesterday! The above photo is from one of my favorite spots, towards the end of the day. The East end of the canyon is probably even more beautiful than the West end, but it's hard to get to.
A group of three, with a high clearance vehicle, left Phoenix at 1 am and drove the 5 hours to the East end of the canyon. The other 7 of us were supposed to leave at 4:30am. Due to me forgetting the permits at home, it was more like 5 before we left Phoenix. When we finally were ready to hike it was 8am.
Part of the narrows. This used to be my favorite part of the canyon, but now that I have seen it all, I have a new favorite area.
We all loved what the light did to these cliffs. It took us 10 hours. We were nervous it was going to be dark by the time we got to the vehicle. It was 6:05 and we could still just barely see. We felt very lucky to not have to try and wade through the creek or try to find the way out to the road in the dark. Cindy Tanner kissed the vehicle when she saw it! It took us about an hour and a half to drive the 43 miles of dirt road to the pavement. We stopped a couple of times on the way home, bathrooms and food and gas, and I finally got home at 1am. A really long day, but beautiful. Now we are all ready for Halloween. We are so stiff that we look like zombies when we walk!
After we finished, I said I wouldn't do the whole thing again. But this morning, I think maybe. If I was a little more fit and ready, I would. I really would like to do a part way hike from the east end.