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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Badger Springs, Agua Fria River

                                                                    Badger Creek.

Never attempt this trip during high flowing waters. 

Badger Springs Trail is simply a short hike that follows lower Badger Creek. I list this hike because, most users of this site travel Interstate 17 where this trail head is located. Simply exit at Badger Springs and travel 1 mile east on a good dirt road. You will pass signs that advise, you are on the Agua Fria National Monument. The road dead ends in a gravel parking lot. Sign in and follow the wash downstream for the short mile.

  • Miles... 2.7 miles round trip to pool on map in Agua Fria.
  • Time... 2 to 4 hours but we suggest longer for exploring.
  • Difficulty... easy. Difficult for some dogs downstream in Agua Fria.
  • Elevation drop... 568

                                                    BLM Trail head

 Usually the wash has water flowing within it. Look around and you will notice water tables are high in this area. The trail follows the wash so you may get your feet wet. There are many lizards within the banks. You may also see red tail hawks, javelina, deer and other birds.

Its hard to imagine, such a nice trail is so close to the freeway. The trail ends at the Agua Fria River and there is a large pool here with grass and trees.

Another gem here is rock art and I've indicated on a map its location.
At this point one can turn around or venture up or down stream.

                       Large pool where Badger Creek enters the Agua Fria River.

Down stream are more deep swimming pools. It requires scrambling boulders which are slippery.

       Petroglyphs. Looking down into the Agua Fria River at the area being hiked.

                                        The power of past flooding in the Agua Fria .   

                                                 Interesting rocks in the Agua Fria

                           Holding on to life. 

I first explored this portion of the Agua Fria about 30 years ago and never saw a soul, ever. Today it receives more hiking pressure, but not as much as you would think, for such a beautiful rugged canyon, that has easy access. The Monument recently dedicated Badger Creek an official trail, thus protecting it. 

 It still remains one of my favorites. 

Old flume downstream. 

 Down stream

  • The canyon closes in and requires wading and swimming of pools. 
  • An old piped flume still exists that went to a once standing pump house below the ghost town of Richenbar. 
  • More rock art.

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