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Grant Creek Trail, Pinaleno Mountains

Summary: A hike to a tall, trickling waterfall that involves an elevation loss, and gain, of 2,700 feet.
Directions: From Phoenix take Highway 60 east to Globe, then follow Highway 70 east towards Safford. From Safford drive south on US 191 for 7.5 miles to AZ 366. Turn right (southwest) onto AZ 366 towards Mt. Graham and drive 26 miles to just before milepost 140 and turn left at the sign for Cunningham Camp. Drive to the back of the campground and park next to the outhouse and sign for the Grant Creek Trail #305.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car
Navigation: Easy
Length: ~10 miles
Date Hiked: June 2006
Weather Conditions: Sunny & warm
Required Skills:
Hike Description: From the trailhead, follow the Grant Creek Trail #305 a short distance down a hill, then up the other side to a signed trail junction. Turn left, remaining on the Grant Creek Trail, and follow the path as it winds its way at a fairly level grade along a ridge. The path then descends a short distance to reach an overlook of the large drainage of Grant Creek which will be off to the left. The trail then begins descending in earnest along a series of switchbacks as it drops 2000 feet down through a forest of fir > pine > pine/oak (note the changing ecological life zones as you descend) along a partly shaded path into the drainage of Post Creek. The path then bends left (south) to follow Post Creek for about 1 mile down to the confluence where Post and Grant Creeks merge. Though the confluence of the two creeks is a little difficult to spot due to the many trees in the area, it can be identified by a large campsite just to the left of the trail and a white PVC pipeline that runs down Grant Creek. At the campsite, leave the trail to the left and pick up another path (not marked on the map) which passes beneath the pipeline at a point where it is suspended by cables. Follow the trail as it heads up Grant Creek (paralleling the pipeline). After about 20 minutes of walking you'll reach Grant Falls - a 200 foot granite wall with a trickling falls and pool (that was frequented by many butterflies, particularly Two-tailed Swallowtails, when I was here). When ready, return the way you came.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author and his wife completed the hike in 8 hours at an unhurried pace.
Maps: Coronado National Forest - Safford and Santa Catalina Ranger Districts
Books: None used
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.
The Grant Creek Trail. Typical view on the descent.
Another view along the trail. Grant Falls.