Upper Salome Creek (Grotto Pool) Canyon, AZ
Location: Arizona, Salome Wilderness
Rating: 3B - V
Longest Rappel: ≈ 60'
Upper Salome Creek features a beautiful section of narrows and along the way you will encounter the amazing Grotto Pool that is definitely one of the highlights of this tip. Our trip started by entering at Park Creek just down the faint dirt road that can be made out near the fence at Park Tank. Our group set a shuttle up along this faint road by driving 4.8 miles of forest road from the turn off along the 288. From our shuttle vehicle our trip on foot was approximately 10.5 miles vehicle to vehicle. This road will require a higher clearance vehicle and 4 wheel drive may be desired. Once hiking, progress was slow and strenuous throughout the day due to the combination of rock hopping, wading, swimming, and setting up rappels. This progress was eventually blocked by a large waterfall while making our way up Workman Creek. Backtracking slightly, myself and another group member were able to execute the exposed climb located on canyon right to the rim (if I had to guess this required a 5.7 climbing ability and comfort with exposure, I could see the rock that would crush my head should I slip). Remaining members can be belayed while climbing, or in our case we set a 3-1 hauling system on a tree above the rim and simply hauled the remaining group members to the top. With the sun setting, we found a semi-flat area that overlooked the waterfall and set up camp for the night. The next morning we made our way slowly up workman creek to the dusty camping area found on creek left. This is a great spot to take a rest and pump water for the hike out. The trail out was well defined all the way to the car and eventually drops you back into Workman creek where there is a nice shady rest spot near the creek and access to water if required. Pushing on, a short uphill hike eventually tops out and it is smooth sailing back to the vehicle.