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Difficulty:1B III (v1a2 II)
Red Tape:Permit required
Shuttle:Required 25 min
19 May 2023
"Light flow with pools under waist depth. Encountered a live baby rattlesnake and deceased ringtail in canyon as well as a large garter snake and gila
Autumn to Spring
A wet hike down the canyon narrows of Copper Creek (which is spring-fed and typically flows year round).
Drive as far down South Prospect Canyon Road as your vehicle allows. Prospect Canyon Rd degrades rapidly into a jeep trail from it's start at Copper Creek Road. Walk down South Prospect Canyon Road where it ends at Copper Creek. Enter the sandy bottom of the creek bed and proceed downstream about 100 yards where the canyon walls begin to close in at Copper Springs.
Descend down the canyon bottom. The first section below Copper Springs is lush and rocky but just open enough to keep dry with some effort. There is a more open section following the initial narrows that may be dry. The canyon then closes in to be quite narrow (about 6 ft in places) with a seeping south wall full of ferns, some travertine formations, and a huge boulder chockstone 'tunnel'. It isn't possible to keep your feet dry through this section as the steep canyon walls go right down to the water. The canyon then alternates between sections that are more open and dry and more narrow and wet.
After exiting the narrows, a trail marked by a cairn will be found on canyon right. This will wind up to the rim and eventually lead to a jeep trail.
A State Trust Land Permit is required. You can get permits here: https://land.az.gov/recreational-permit-portal.
A part of the trip also crosses private land but access is permitted at this time. Signing in and out of the visit log at the entrance in required for access to the private land.