When SpiderLegs and I did our hike out near Telegraph Canyon last March, we briefly considered climbing a small white mesa on our way out, and he noticed some crosses high up on another mesa on our return. Today, I set out to photograph the crosses up close, find a way up the white mesa, and generally explore Telegraph Canyon’s south rim.
On the way out, I noticed an unnamed canyon with some fall colors, so I put it on my list to hit on the way back.
The colors in Telegraph Canyon were really hard to photograph due to the sharp contrast between the walls lit by the rising sun and the still dark inner canyon, where the colors actually were.
I did not remember exactly where the crosses were, so started up a slope, but was stopped by a barbwire fence that was too tall to climb over (without being neutered), and too low to crawl under. So, I went back down to the gate, continuing slowly along FR4 until I actually laid eyes on the crosses. When I got up to the small ledge they were on, I discovered there was third, with a long bottom part. There several metal frames, and plastic bits, as if they used to be flower holders. To get shots of the names on the two smaller crosses, I had to lean out over the ledge then aim backwards, which sounds worse than it was, as falling might have led to some bleeding, but not imminent death.
Then it was back down towards what I’ve taken to calling White Rock. First I checked out some smaller formations on its east flank, where I discovered an arch that is not on the topo and is not visible from FR4. I named it Cross Arch. As far as I am aware, has not been previously noted on HikeArizona.com.
I walked around White Rock, which had slippery gravel slopes, but could find no good way up. At least no way I felt comfortable attempting. There’s several ways stronger climbers than I would be able to do.
I checked out the side canyon on the way back up FR4 … Amazing color. One grove looked like it was made of well-aged Wisconsin cheddar. Definitely worth your time if you are on other business in the area.
I took 25 pictures of the crosses, 22 of the colors in Telegraph Canyon / Arnett Canyon, 20 of the fall colors in the side canyon, and a mere 8 of the arch. Overall, I took 140 pictures. (I tend to take the same basic photo multiple times, in slightly different ways, in the hope of getting one keeper.)
GPS File: White_Rock_Telegraph_Canyon
Distance: 7.00 miles
AEG: 1,220 ft.
Time: 3h 28m