The Preserve at Ash Creek Canyon, in central Arizona, is one of these rare, riparian private places. Located just an hour and half from Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun, this pristine landscape is surrounded by nearly 3 million acres of the Tonto National Forest and includes more than 400 acres.
Ash Creek begins quietly as a spring bubbling out of sun-splashed rocks high in the Timber Camp and Ash Carol Springs Mountains northeast of Phoenix. Slowly the water gathers force as it becomes one of Arizona’s few perennial streams. As it continues toward its final destination – the Salt River – Ash Creek passes through high desert of central Arizona, a geography marked by mesas and mountains. Along its path, it nurtures stands of sycamore and ash, pine and juniper, and as it nears the mining town of Globe in the heart of the Tonto Basin, carves out the mystical canyon that bears its name.
The destination of Ash Creek is the Salt River, which is one of the most important watersheds in
Arizona. The headwaters of the Salt River begin about 40 miles northeast of Globe in the White Mountains in Eastern Arizona at an elevation of 11,400 feet. Fed by seeps and springs and two dozen perennial streams, the major tributaries of the Salt are the Black and White Rivers.