Hidden wonder near Phoenix

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
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Hidden wonder near Phoenix
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Hidden wonder near Phoenix
Question: A couple of years ago in your Destinations section, you ran an article describing a hidden wonder just northeast of Phoenix. The article described a box canyon in the Tonto National Forest that was a great place to explore in the spring/early summer. I think the name of the canyon is Salome but would appreciate any help you could offer with regards to getting there. I remember the article had good directions about this little-known spot. Thanks for your help.

Lynn Krigbaum
Phoenix, Arizona
[email protected]

Cool pools await those who make it through the canyon
Adventure Adviser: The "almost inaccessible" Jug in Salome Canyon may not be such a secret anymore after Outside published directions to it in its June 1994 article. Though it may not be secret, few people have the desire to venture to this 2-mile-long slit in the Tonto National Forest because it takes athletic maneuvering equivalent to a gymnastics floor routine. You'll have to leap, swim, boulder, and rappell your way to your reward — cool pools of snowmelt.

According to the article by Michael Brown, you should visit the Jug in May, June, September, or October, when temperatures hover around the 90-degree mark. In July and August, you'll be human cookie dough as you battle 100-plus temperatures. Also, you may run into serious flash flooding during these months.

To get to the Jug from Phoenix, take U.S. 60 east 85 miles to Globe. From Globe, turn left on Arizona 88, and go 15 miles north to Arizona 288. Drive 11 miles to A-Cross Road, then take it west 12 miles. Here you'll find a parking area and a hiking trail sign without any words on it. Hike 2 miles east toward Dutchwoman Butte and look for the path to the edge of the canyon. Brown suggests hiring a guide from Wilderness Adventures (602-220-1414). I'd suggest you get your hands on a very comprehensive map of Tonto National Forest. Call the Tonto National Forest at 602-225-5200.

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