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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Grapevine Creek Trail # 4

Grapevine Creek

One of my favorite hikes in the Bradshaws is up Grapevine Creek Canyon. It is seldom visited but offers much to the explorer. First of course, solitude. Second it flows year around because of the strong springs that pour from rocks. They are said to be the strongest in the Bradshaws. I have never seen them dry even during the long 10 year drought, that started in the 1990's. 

  • Miles... 5 miles round trip.
  • Time... 3 to 6 hours.
  • Difficulty... easy. 
  • Elevation drop... 768 rise.

A severe drought during the late 1800's prompted Joe Mayer, who started the town of Mayer, to construct a pipeline that ran from upper Grapevine Canyon,  many miles to Mayer. Remnants of this pipeline can still be seen along the creek today. 

Grapevine Double Waterfall.

Middle stretch

From Mayer travel 4 miles and turn left on Grapevine Road (mile post 274) . Follow this road for about 2 miles, to a rough parking spot on the left. See map. At one point you pass through private property so respect it. Near the parking lot is an old mine if you want to look. Be careful. 

Don't be discouraged or think your in the wrong place here. All you will need to do is follow this jeep road and things will change in about a mile. Water appears in the creek about 1/2 mile after you reach the official trail head. 
Use the map below for more information.
The hike is about 5 easy miles, if you start at the recommended parking area. One can drive closer but you will be guaranteed to scratch your vehicle because of the Chaparral forest. 

Grapevine Canyon attracts large populations of lady bugs. 

The other thing I like about this hike is the wildlife viewing opportunities. You will have a chance to see bear, turkeys, deer and plenty of skunks for some reason. Mule deer use Grapevine during early mornings and late evenings.

There are rugged old growth forests in Grapevine Canyon.

There are some interesting trees in Grapevine Canyon. The largest Arizona Walnut grows here, and has been nominated by American Forests, National Register of Big Trees.

Alders, aspen, pine, spruce, walnut, willow and oaks to name a few reside here.

Golden Columbine bloom in abundance during the summer. 

Grapevine Creek is a protected Forest Botanical Area.
No camping is aloud. 

Unique old willow tree along the trail.

Visit the link below for map at bottom of that page. 

Return the same way to your vehicle.

Please forgive errors in grammar or spelling as we type from our phones.