I’m Mitch Stevens, founder and lead guide for Southwest Discoveries, a hiking and adventure company based in Tucson. Born and raised in New York City, I came to discover the great outdoors and fell in love with Arizona’s special places. This is part three of a three part series about hiking in Phoenix.
Salome Jug is a truly thrilling canyoneering journey, one of the best treks in the state and within 60 miles from Phoenix. Situated in the Sierra Ancha Mountains, rushing water has carved a spectacular gorge cut through pink granite. Salome Canyon is one of the most awesome canyoneering hikes in Arizona. Trekking the Jug is akin to partaking in one of nature’s grandest water parks. Turn up your speakers and enjoy this short video!
The waters of Salome gather in the Sierra Ancha mountains of central Arizona. Just before the creek merges with Roosevelt Lake, it cuts an impressive gorge; slicing through ancient granite like a knife. The trek itself is a combination of hiking, boulder hopping, wading, swimming and rappelling. Because of its technical nature, you need to be proficient in canyoneering and give the canyon the respect it deserves. Going with more experienced canyoneers or a guide is recommended; the consequences for the unprepared can be serious. However, for the experienced, there are few canyons which offer a greater effort to reward ratio. The scenery is stunning, the swimming refreshing and the experience sublime.
Canyoneering is the fastest growing alpine sport in the United States and for good reason. An experienced canyon enthusiast can access and encounter amazing and remote places seen by only a few. Salome Jug is such a place.
To safely descend this canyon, you’ll need a 100-foot rope, a harness, helmet, carabiners, quick links, and webbing. Wear boots with good traction and wetsuits come in handy in all but the hottest weather. Or, you can experience this amazing canyon accompanied by a qualified guide or tour company. The full descent of Salome Jug takes about five hours and is a sublime journey indeed. And, as we said, one of the best Phoenix area hikes you can experience.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this three part series on hiking in Phoenix! Contact Mitch at SouthwestDiscoveries.com for more information!