Badger Springs Mar 16

A hike through the granite-paved upper canyon of the Agua Fria River
P3240115   BADGER SPRINGS P3240116   This wilderness area contains the headwaters of the Agua Fria River, which flows down through the west side of Phoenix P3240117 P3240118
P3240119   The trail starts at 3000 ft, just above the saguaro and cholla of the desert lowlands. The first part of the trail is open and sandy. P3240120 P3240122   Old mine pipe P3240123   Badger Spring comes out in this area, giving the Agua Fria its first perennial water
P3240125   The geology here is granite and basalt, with none of the sandstone and limestone of the Sedona area P3240126 P3240127   Our first sight of the Agua Fria. Badger Springs water is supplemented by runoff from the Mayer/Cordes Junction area. P3240128   The first of our many crossings of the stream
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P3240140 P3240142   As we descend along the Agua Fria, we come into the narrow saguaro cactus zone P3240144 P3240145   Granite boulders become granite pavement...
P3240147 P3240149 P3240150   ...which quickly becomes pavement with large boulders. The slippery granoite takes time to negotiate. P3240153
P3240154   Mesquite also starts here, which adds its scratchiness to the hike P3240156 P3240157 P3240159   Cholla cactus comes into view
P3240165 P3240167   There is a lot of insect life along the river but oddly, few birds P3240170 P3240171
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P3240181 tonemapped P3240182 P3240183 P3240184
P3240187 P3240189 P3240190   A rest stop P3240191
P3240193 P3240196   Granite with xenolithic  inclusions P3240197 P3240199
P3240200   Pink fleabane P3240201   Railroad ties were used as flume supports by a gold/silver mining operation on the rim of this canyon P3240202 P3240208   The mine's water supply was drawn off here. The flume is now abandoned, but substantial sections of the pipework remain.
P3240209 P3240216   Accompanied by the mine pipe, we continue down the canyon P3240217   A mullein P3240219
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P3240228 P3240230 P3240232   White fleabane P3240235
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P3240244 P3240245 P3240246   A barrel cactus P3240247
P3240248 P3240249   At the end of the public trail, the river forms a large pool, then exits through a narrow slot to  the right. This is where we stop for lunch. P3240250 P3240251
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P3240260   We make a side climb up the left wall of the pond to a smaller canyon above P3240265   It contains a small stream of its own P3240266 P3240267
P3240268 P3240270 P3240271 P3240272   Cholla cactus
P3240273 P3240276   Globemallow P3240277   This is as far as we go in the side canyon P3240278 tonemapped
P3240279 tonemapped   Back down to the pond. The mining operation, with an accompanying ghost town, was on the opposite rim to the right. P3240281 P3240282 P3240284   A hedgehog in bloom, with a barrel cactus
P3240285   Starting back up the canyon P3240289   It's getting warm this time of day, so we welcome any chance to cool off P3240290 P3240292
P3240295 P3240296   Piers supporting the mine pipe P3240297 P3240301
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P3240307 P3240308 P3240311   We take a short side trip to see rock art... P3240313   ...up here
P3240314 IMG 4014   There are more panels in the area, butthis is the only one we had time to visit