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Sunday Hike – MMRP Flowers

On Sunday, I hiked Wagner, Granite, Bluff, and then back on Granite and Wagner. Nick told me that the flowers were thick along the Granite Trail near the wash. He was right.

Friday Hike – Boulder Canyon Trail

Marilyn, Ben, Mike, Sara, Kelly, Julie, Marta, and I hiked part of the Boulder Canyon Trail starting from the Canyon Lake Marina. We hiked together out to La Barge Creek; when I’ve hiked there in the past, the creek was either totally or mostly dry.  This time, however, the creek was perhaps 30 feet wide with ankle deep water through the shallowest path to the other side. (If you purposely chose a deeper path, you might have ended up in knee deep water.) In any case, Sara, Julie, Kelly, and Marta opted to go back at this point, while Ben, Marilyn, Mike, and I continued on.

I had hoped to hike up La Barge Canyon to see the pools at the point where it starts to get hard to continue onward, but the wetness discouraged us – none of us had brought appropriate footwear for these conditions. We continued on, also crossing Boulder Creek. We found Boulder Creek to be easier to cross without getting quite as wet.  We turned around at the intersection with Second Water Trail.

The photo below shows Battleship Mountain with Weaver’s Needle behind and to the right; some of us hiked to the top back in January. Battleship Mountain is a long skinny mountain, though it doesn’t look like it from this angle. From this vantage-point, we’re looking at the bow of the battleship. Our hike to the top involved climbing up the stern and then making our way foward towards the bow.

Looking back at Canyon Lake:

Another view of Battleship Mountain as we neared La Barge Creek:

After crossing La Barge Creek, we came across some ruins known as the Indian Paint Mine.

This is a section of Boulder Creek near Second Water Trail. The water was quite turbulent here. Downstream, where we crossed, the water was shallower and calmer, though we still had to do some boulder hopping to get across. Even so, at least one of my feet got wet (again) each time I crossed it.

Looking up La Barge Canyon.  We noticed a large bird overhead and I quickly snapped a couple of shots.  I was surprised that one of them turned out.

There are other rock formations along the way that aren’t Battleship Mountain…

Marilyn, hiking back up the long hill from La Barge Creek:

The flowers had opened up for our hike back:

Another view of Canyon Lake:

Had I taken a couple more steps, I would have stepped on this snake! I’m guessing it’s a type of gopher snake. It’s definitely not a rattler.

A view of Battleship Mountain and Weaver’s Needle from (near) Frog Peak:

Sunday Hike – Deer Creek

Marilyn, Marilyn, Ben, Mike, Nick, and I hiked part of Deer Creek Trail #45 on Sunday.  We hiked nearly ten miles; Marilyn H and I were forced to turn around just before the five mile point after being stymied by a section of creek which didn’t have enough exposed rocks to allow for easy fording.

Deer Creek had the most water that I’ve ever seen in it.  It’s been mostly dry when I’ve seen it in the past.

At about the three mile point, we saw Davey Gowan’s grave. According to the accounts that I’ve read, he had a cabin elsewhere in the area, but was buried where he was found beside Deer Creek.

Friday Hike – Miner’s Needle Loop

For our hike on Friday, March 8, Sara, Marilyn, Ben, Marilyn, Mike, Nick, and I hiked the Miner’s Needle Loop in the Superstition Wilderness. Starting from Peralta Trailhead, we hiked the Dutchman Trail #104 and returned on Bluff Springs #235.  I took a brief detour on Whiskey Spring #238 while the others ate lunch.

Weaver’s Needle seen from the Whiskey Springs Trail.

From this vantage point on the Whiskey Springs Trail, I was able to see both Miner’s Needle, below, and Weaver’s Needle, above.

Sara, Marilyn, Nick, Ben, Mike, and Marilyn:

Sunday Hike – Lower Barks Canyon Loop

Marilyn, Nick, and I hiked the Barks Canyon Lower Loop.  Starting from the Peralta Trailhead, the route is to take Bluff Springs #235, then turn south at the first intersection with Barks Canyon. The Dutchman Trail #104 is used to return to the trailhead. Total distance is only about 4 miles.  It took us about five hours to hike it though since we were in water much of the time while in Barks Canyon.

 

Friday Hike – Cave Trail, Weaver’s Crosscut, and Bluff Springs

Ben, Marilyn, and Mike joined me for 9.6 mile hike in the Superstition Wilderness. Starting from Peralta Trailhead, we hiked Bluff Springs #235, Cave Trail #233, Peralta #102, part of Weaver’s Needle Access, Weaver’s Needle Crosscut, Terrapin Trail #234, and Bluff Springs #235.

Our ascent of part of the Weaver’s Needle access was inadvertent. I wasn’t keeping an eye on the GPS track and we ended up hiking a fair way up the trail before realizing our mistake.  Even after returning to Weaver’s Needle Crosscut, we floundered around for a while before finding the path.  Weaver’s Needle Crosscut was still pretty steep – in fact some of it seemed more difficult that the part of the Weaver’s Needle access trail that we had done earlier.

We had hoped to hike Lower Barks Canyon for the finish, but it was wet and we were all pretty tired at that point.

A view of Peralta Canyon from the Bluff Springs Trail:

Ben and Marilyn take a break on the Cave Trail.

Ben and Mike on the Cave Trail:

Mike ascending the low ridge adjacent to the Devil’s Slide, to the right.  When I’ve hiked this in the past, in the opposite direction, we went down the slide, but it was wet on Friday; that low ridge looked safer.

Another view from the Cave Trail. (The Cave Trail is pretty awesome.)

A view of Weaver’s Needle as we’re descending the Peralta Trail NNW of Fremont Saddle.

We’re either on the Weaver’s Needle Access Trail or the Crosscut Trail at this point.

This was one of the easier sections of the Weaver’s Needle Crosscut Trail. The Crosscut Trail had less bushwhacking that I expected, but was somewhat more strenuous than I expected. It was still fun though!

A view of Weaver’s Needle from the Weaver’s Needle Crosscut Trail.  We are nearing the Terrapin Trail at this point.

A pair of hikers that we met on the Crosscut Trail told us about this large balanced rock.  The portion on top is at least as large as a bus. However, due to it’s closeness to the rock on the left, you might not even notice it as you hike the Terrapin Trail. I think it’s likely that we would have missed it had we not known about it ahead of time. There was perhaps a 15-20 foot section of trail where you could stand and see a distinct gap between the balanced rock on the right and the neighboring rock on the left.

I think we were on Bluff Springs at this point.

Another view of Weaver’s Needle:

Later afternoon on the Bluff Springs Trail:

Sunday Hike – Ballantine in the Snow

On Sunday, Michael, Aldo, Marilyn, Ben, Marilyn, and I hiked the Pine Creek Loop and a portion of the Ballantine Trail. Early on, the trails were mostly clear of the snow that accumulated on Thursday and Friday of the previous week. Higher up, however, snow covered the trail in places.  We hiked 7.7 miles with a total ascent of 1800 feet.

Kevin, Michael, Aldo, Marilyn, Marilyn, and Ben:

Snow!

After raining most of the day Thursday, we got snow on Thursday night into Friday morning. I took these photos from our yard.

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob, Mike, Nick, Marilyn, Nora, Sara, and Kelly joined me for a 10+ mile loop in the McDowells. We hiked: Marcus Landslide, Boulder, Pemberton, Coachwhip, Windmill, East End, and Tom’s Thumb trails.

Friday Fitness Hike

Ben, Marilyn, Mike, Bob, and Cathy joined me for a twelve and a half mile hike that took us all the way out to Marcus Landslide (starting from the Trailhead Staging Area).

Some of us saw javelina (and ravens) on our drive into the park. Later, during the hike, we saw jackrabbits, coyotes, deer, and more ravens.

Ravens at the trailhead:

Passing through Stoneman Wash…

The pond is looking both cleaner and fuller than normal!

Marilyn, Cathy, Ben, Mike, and Bob:

One of many rabbits that we saw…

Look for the coyote in the lower left portion of this photo…

Owl clover:

We saw some poppies in the park, but we saw more and more as we neared the Marcus Landslide Trail. This bunch of poppies was just off the Marcus Landslide Trail near it’s interesection with the Boulder Trail.

A view from the Marcus Landslide Trail:

This bunch of poppies was just off the Rock Knob Trail in the Preserve.

 

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