Hell's Gate Canyon


This run stretches 23 miles from Bear Flats campground to the town of Gisela.  I counted 6 distinct gorges, but there are numerous mini-gorges, so it depends on how you count them.  Endless horizon lines provide a plethora of class IV drops with around a dozen larger rapids in the class V range.  The run is typically done in 2-3 days.  We ran it in 2 days with about 9 hours on the water the first day and 6.5 hours the second.  We had a group of 3, kept a brisk pace, and had one member who'd done the run before.  Unless you have a very health flow, be prepared for lots of mank on this run, but the payoff is numerous quality drops and stunning desert canyons that very few people have ever accessed.

Suggested river levels for paddling this section of the Tonto Creek are between a bare minimum of 300cfs and a high of 2,000cfs. River conditions sourced from USGS 09499000, the Tonto Creek Abv Gun Creek Remember only watercraft are permitted at Hell's Gate Canyon.

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Area Hydrology

Gauge Streamflow Stage
Oak Creek Near Sedona
USGS 09504420
21 cfs 2.2 ft
Pinto Cr Blw Haunted Canyon Nr Miami
USGS 09498501
0 cfs 5.0 ft
Salt River Near Roosevelt
USGS 09498500
183 cfs 6.6 ft
Wet Beaver Creek Near Rimrock
USGS 09505200
9 cfs 2.8 ft
Dry Beaver Creek Near Rimrock
USGS 09505350
0 cfs 1.7 ft
Verde River Near Camp Verde
USGS 09506000
112 cfs 3.9 ft
East Verde River Near Childs
USGS 09507980
6 cfs 10.2 ft
South Fork Parker Creek Near Roosevelt
USGS 09498503
0 cfs 1.2 ft
Oak Creek Near Cornville
USGS 09504500
34 cfs 1.9 ft
Verde River Blw Bartlett Dam
USGS 09510000
108 cfs 0.8 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change
Heber
SNOTEL 519
1" 1"
Mormon Mtn Summit
SNOTEL 1125
1" -2"
Snowslide Canyon
SNOTEL 927
22" -2"
Mormon Mountain
SNOTEL 640
2" 0"
Fort Valley
SNOTEL 1121
1" 0"

Outdoor Recreation

Campground Campsites Reservations Toilets Showers Elevation
Mills Cove 10 2,176 ft
Houston Mesa 30 5,039 ft
Indian Point 54 2,188 ft
Flowing Springs 40 4,580 ft
Second Crossing 10 5,086 ft
First Crossing 7 4,865 ft
Orange Peel 20 2,121 ft
Cholla Bay 20 2,149 ft
Cholla 206 2,196 ft
Water Wheel 20 4,967 ft
Bachelors Cove 100 2,133 ft
Kehl Springs 8 7,457 ft
Bermuda Flat None 2,143 ft
Third Crossing 10 5,140 ft
Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Christopher Creek 183.0cfs 6.0 Mi V
Christopher Creek 183.0cfs 6.0 Mi V
Hell's Gate Canyon 8.82cfs 23.0 Mi V
Christopher Creek 183.0cfs 6.0 Mi V
Lower Salt 953.0cfs 14.0 Mi I