Adventure Travel


by John Hart 


These two canyons, near Globe Arizona, are a real surprise.  Water in the desert is an anomaly that is a true joy. 

Season is early spring, when good water-flow from the adjacent mountains is occurring and it's not too cold.







 It's a "Swimmer".  What? In Arizona? 










One way to keep your gear dry.






Swimming downstream.

















 Cooling Off
























The Salome Jug, and Crystal Canyon, both in the vicinity of Globe Arizona, are real interesting water canyons smack in the Sonoran desert.  Water flows through The Jug mostly due to winter run off from the mountains, and intermittently because of local thunderstorms in the summer monsoon season.  Crystal Canyon (or Warm Springs Canyon)  has more significant throughput and a couple of large narrow-throated waterfalls.  Rich Carlson of the American Canyoneering Association used to run canyoneering courses in the area, so we headed down for a couple classes and some time in these marvelous anomalies of the desert.


The Salome Jug is a short polished granite canyon with a lower narrows about a kilometer long.  The descent is relatively easy as water canyons go.  There are several swimming pools.  These are appreciated in the hot weather, but when we went in April is was still cool enough that we were happy to have wetsuits.   Between the various hanging pools there are a series of small waterfalls.  A couple are sliders, and the others (except for one or two) can be down-climbing around.   



Along with its great scenic attributes, The Jug is a good canyon to play in.  The flow rates are usually low and you can practice beached whale pothole escapes, various climbing moves on baby bottom smooth rock, or even set some ropes, as we did, for ascending out of deep potholes.  Fun to hook up a Croll or a pair of Triblocs while floating and go up a rope.  Well maybe not so fun.



The section of Crystal Canyon that we did was on the Apache reservation NE of Globe.  It had three nice waterfalls to negotiate.  Downclimbs, jumps, a short slide or two, and then you hit the throats of the two big drops.  ACA procedure has it that the first person down should be lowered to set the rope length.  Actually, I would do this only if there was no other way of seeing the setup of the rope length.  In this canyon you could walk the rim to see the rope.  But what the heck, Chris volunteered to be lowered so go for it.  

Into the froth.  Koen, a visiting guide from the Pyrenees, is very experienced in big water canyons and had fun in this one.  He was smiling when he hit the converging streams.

Anomalies of the Desert.  Indeed.  And great fun too.