My FAVORITE Arizona Hikes! Part 1 Salome Canyon – The Jug

Bonny and I love to get out into nature, explore, see new things, and hike.  Always looking at the next hill, bend, split in the trail and wondering what’s just beyond.  Many times our hikes go far longer than we planned because we just are not content to see what we have seen and want to see what’s next.  I personally love hikes that challenge me and expose me to a bit of danger.  I love ones that get you dirty, muddy, or wet! Here are a couple of my favorites.

Part 1- Salome Canyon “The Jug”

Part 2- West Clear Creek

Salome Canyon;  The Jug

 Me down in the slot canyon at The Jug
Me down in the slot canyon at The Jug

“Salome Canyon, The Jug” is one of my favorites because of its amazing beauty and unique geology.  Its also a lot of fun because it is a hidden gem up against a mountain side that unless you know its there you would never suspect such an amazing place was there to be discovered.

Just getting our feet wet heading into the canyon at The Jug
Just getting our feet wet heading into the canyon at The Jug
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The exit from the Jug

Its a beautiful and relatively easy day hike.  The best time of year to go is mid spring to early summer. Be careful, mid summer can be mighty hot so if you decide to go take lots of water and use precautions.  Mid summer can also mean the beginning of monsoon season and you do not want to be in this canyon when a monsoon flood hits.  I recommend March through early June.  After that the water can get mossy and stale in the canyon.

At the edge of the water getting ready to head into the canyon at Salome Jug
At the edge of the water getting ready to head into the canyon at Salome Jug

Once you get to the top of the canyon its an easy walk in but within a few moments you will be swimming.  There is no way around it, you will have to swim and that’s the fun of this trip.  It has multiple little water fall drops and swimming channels.

The first pools seem the coldest as you begin to realize you will be swimming or wading most of the way
The first pools seem the coldest as you begin to realize you will be swimming or wading most of the way
Waterfalls are abundant throughout this slot canyon
Waterfalls are abundant throughout this slot canyon
You'll find yourself swimming through narrow channels. Water levels and conditions vary widely from season to season. You wouldn't want to be here during a flash flood!
You’ll find yourself swimming through narrow channels. Water levels and conditions vary widely from season to season. You wouldn’t want to be here during a flash flood!
There are several waterfalls of various sizes throughout the canyon
There are several waterfalls of various sizes throughout the canyon
Get ready for some natural slip and slide action as you slide over smooth rocks and down waterfalls
Get ready for some natural slip and slide action as you slide over smooth rocks and down waterfalls
If you're lucky the water conditions will be optimum for making the most of the natural waterslides
If you’re lucky the water conditions will be optimum for making the most of the natural waterslides

There is really only one challenging part.  You will get to a narrow point that drops down about 40ish feet to a deep pool below.  You will have to either repel or jump.  If you choose to repel, like we always enjoy doing, make sure you or someone you’re with is experienced and can rig safely.  Its not a tough or very high repel but its got rushing water you will have to lower through and you WILL loose your footing.  Go slowly.

Rapelling is one way to get down the steepest waterfall although some people just choose to take their chances and jump from the narrow ledge above
Rapelling is one way to get down the steepest waterfall although some people just choose to take their chances and jump from the narrow ledge above

If you choose to drop, which most people seem to do, you will have to scale higher up on a rock ledge until right above the pool and then jump down.  The pool is deep enough that when I have tried to swim down to touch the bottom I have failed but be careful as conditions can change in that area.

Enjoying the swim out of the Jug
Enjoying the swim out of the Jug

From there you just enjoy the swim out.  Once you get to where the canyon opens up after the biggest pool you’re done.  On the north side at the end of the canyon there is a trail that goes up the hill and back to the trail you came in on.  From there you can go do it again if you want or walk out with a head full of memories.

You'll be wet when you leave this canyon, enjoy it because the hike out can be brutally hot
You’ll be wet when you leave this canyon, enjoy it because the hike out can be brutally hot
Smooth rock walls line the Canyon at The Jug
Smooth rock walls line the Canyon at The Jug
Narrow passages filled with water mean swimming most of the way
Narrow passages filled with water mean swimming most of the way
The trail coming out of the exit from the canyon
The trail coming out of the exit from the canyon
The hike out is mostly uphill and the Arizona sun is relentless, but the trip through the canyon is well worth it
The hike out is mostly uphill and the Arizona sun is relentless, but the trip through the canyon is well worth it
As you exit the canyon and make your way back to the trailhead enjoy breathtaking views of the desert with Roosevelt Lake off in the distance
As you exit the canyon and make your way back to the trailhead enjoy breathtaking views of the desert with Roosevelt Lake off in the distance

What to take:

Dry Bag

Water shoes

Camelbak

Waterproof hiking backpack

Climbing rope at least 100 ft length

Harness

Belay device

Locking caribiner

Directions:  From the Metro Phoenix area go north on SR87 (Beeline Highway) to SR188 and turn right (east).  Go 20.7 miles on SR188 to A-Cross rd on the left (North).  A-Cross rd is only paved a few feet but the route is well graded and maintained the whole way to the trail head and can be reached in any car.  Take A-Cross rd north.  At 1.4 miles bear right staying on A-Cross rd.  Another 1.0 miles and you will take a left up a slight hill. This is still A-Cross rd.  Take this road 7.9 miles as it winds through the desert unit you reach the parking area and trail head on the left.

Salome map 1.PNG

salome-map

From the trail head its a easy mile or so zig zag down the hill to the start of the canyon.  When you reach the canyon go a bit further north and find an easy way down.  When you hit the water, that’s the start.  From there go downstream and enjoy the trip.

hike-down

Enjoy your trip and be safe.  Let us know what you think, we love to hear your feedback.  Also, if you have any favorites of your own, we would enjoy trying them out.

Up next, Part 2- West Clear Creek

Related posts:

Flashback Friday – Sliding Through Salome Jug

Hiking Horton Creek Trail

Hiking Little Granite Mountain Loop

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