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
Verde River Near Camp Verde
USGS 09506000
184 cfs 4.4 ft
Pinto Cr Blw Haunted Canyon Nr Miami
USGS 09498501
0 cfs 5.1 ft
Sycamore Creek Near Fort Mcdowell
USGS 09510200
1 cfs 0.1 ft
South Fork Parker Creek Near Roosevelt
USGS 09498503
0 cfs 1.2 ft
Cherry Creek Near Globe
USGS 09497980
5 cfs 2.2 ft
West Clear Creek Near Camp Verde
USGS 09505800
21 cfs 0.5 ft
East Verde River Near Childs
USGS 09507980
7 cfs 10.3 ft
Queen Creek Below Whitlow Dam Nr Superior
USGS 09478500
2 cfs 1.0 ft
Verde R Blw Tangle Creek
USGS 09508500
195 cfs 7.1 ft
Verde River Blw Bartlett Dam
USGS 09510000
578 cfs 3.4 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change
Promontory
SNOTEL 705
1" 0"
Mormon Mountain
SNOTEL 640
3" 2"
Heber
SNOTEL 519
1" 0"
Fort Valley
SNOTEL 1121
3" 0"

Outdoor Recreation

Campground Campsites Reservations Toilets Showers Elevation
Houston Mesa 30 5,039 ft
Bachelors Cove 100 2,133 ft
Orange Peel 20 2,121 ft
Water Wheel 20 4,967 ft
Cholla 206 2,196 ft
Flowing Springs 40 4,580 ft
Kehl Springs 8 7,457 ft
Bermuda Flat None 2,143 ft
Indian Point 54 2,188 ft
Third Crossing 10 5,140 ft
Mills Cove 10 2,176 ft
Cholla Bay 20 2,149 ft
First Crossing 7 4,865 ft
Second Crossing 10 5,086 ft
Ski Area Snowpack Air Temperature 5 Day Forecast
River Run Streamflow Length Class
Christopher Creek 171.0cfs 6.0 Mi V
Lower Salt 13.6cfs 14.0 Mi I
Christopher Creek 171.0cfs 6.0 Mi V
Christopher Creek 171.0cfs 6.0 Mi V
Hell's Gate Canyon 13.4cfs 23.0 Mi V