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Fish Canyon (upper & lower) - Tonto National Forest

Summary: A hike up or down a rocky canyon in the Superstition's.
Directions: From Phoenix take US 60 east.  Exit at Apache Junction and drive northeast on State Highway 88.  Follow 88 to the end of the pavement (about 25 miles) then a few miles further until the road begins a steep decent into the canyon.  The road crosses Fish Canyon at the bottom of the hill then bends sharply to the left.  There is a small area on the right where you can park, or continue another 0.7 miles to the parking lot on the north side of the road.  From here you can head either up or down canyon - no trail exists.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car - well graded dirt roads
Navigation: Easy - follow the stream bed
Length: Lower Fish ~10 miles round trip, Upper Fish as far as you want to go
Date Hiked: Lower Fish January 2000, Upper Fish January 1999
Weather Conditions: Nice
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: Lower Fish: Head down canyon following the stream bed.  The trash will eventually fade away as you get away from the road.  After passing through a wide flat section the stream bed bends to the left and enters a deep canyon.  There is quite a bit of bush whacking required and some scrambling over rocks.  After about 4 miles you will see come power lines and a road on the left, another mile will bring you to the Salt River and your turn around point.
Upper Fish: The upper part of the canyon requires some boulder climbing and rock hopping.   The turn around point is arbitrary, head back when you get tired.
Rating (1-5 stars):
This canyon probably has quite a bit of water in it during some times of the year.  When the author performed these hikes  the canyon was mostly dry however.   Fish is quite deep in places, but remains fairly wide throughout.  The canyon has some pretty spots as well as some shallow caves (actually more like alcoves) to explore but overall is not tremendously exciting.  The author hiked from 88 upstream and back in about 7 1/2 hours, then at a later date hiked from 88 to the Salt River and back in approximately 8 hours.
Maps: Beartooth Maps - Superstition Wilderness Topographic Map
Books: 'Canyoneering Arizona', Tyler Williams
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.
View through one of the
narrower sections of
lower Fish Canyon.
The author in one of
several pseudo caves
in the canyon.