Linda, Denise, Bob, Bill, Bill, and I did an epic day hike in the Superstitions on Friday. We hiked 10.5 miles with over 3100 feet of total ascent over challenging terrain, some of which was off-trail.
Starting at the west end of Cloudview Ave, we hiked north on the Lost Goldmine Trail. We then crossed through a gate and entered the Hog Canyon drainage. We hiked up Hog Canyon until we reached a fork leading to a series of waterfalls with pools. We saw a number of petroglyphs in this area. We continued up the drainage feeding these waterfalls – this is the next canyon north of Hog Canyon. We encountered a lot of brush in this canyon, which encouraged us to get out of the canyon and onto the ridge to the south – which was between Hog Canyon and the canyon which feeds the waterfalls. We followed Hog Ridge east (and slightly north) until it turned into a plateau just below the Superstition Ridgeline. From there, we climbed even more to gain the ridgeline upon which we found the Superstition Ridgeline Trail. We took this trail southeast until we reached the head of hieroglyphic canyon. The Hieroglyphic Canyon Trail led us back to the east end of Cloudview Ave which, in turn led us back to our vehicles at the west end.
Our hike took nearly 13 hours – we used our headlamps for hiking out of the lower portion of Hieroglyphic Canyon.
An early morning view of the Flatiron from the Lost Goldmine Trail:
Yellow flowers in the Hog Canyon Drainage – these might be poppies, but we weren’t certain.
An early look at Hog Canyon:
We noticed a small hole (arch) in one of the formations forming the south wall of Hog Canyon:
We encountered running water, with occasional pools, in parts of the canyon.
Kevin, Bob, and Bill hiking up Hog Canyon. (Thanks to Linda for this photo!)
Bill, Bill, Denise, and Linda hike a slickrock section of the canyon:
Deer Vetch and fountain grass in Hog Canyon:
This was our first view of the waterfall area (which is normally the destination for the Hog Canyon hike):
Bill and Bob look at the waterfall:
Another view of the waterfall:
Looking back from the waterfall – the rest of the group are still making their way up to the waterfall:
Petroglyphs on the east wall in the waterfall grotto:
Another look at the waterfall and the pool below it:
I took this photo as I was scouting a route to get to the next level up – where there was another waterfall and more petroglyphs…
This is the view looking out from the second waterfall. Note the petroglyphs on several rocks in this photo:
A close-up of several of the glyphs near the pool:
Even more glyphs:
Linda took this photo of me chimping my shots by the second pool. There are petroglyphs behind me, above my right shoulder. There are more, which I didn’t notice while I was there to the right of the saguaro at the far left edge of the photo. (Thanks to Linda for sending me this photo.)
Making our way up to Hog Ridge…
Finally, we’re on Hog Ridge! But, although it’s a ridge, it’s not a flat ridge, and we’re not at the top yet. Following the ridge to the east was still really steep. Thankfully, the ridge didn’t have as much brush (as either the canyon or the sides of the ridge) and the footing was (mostly) very good.
This might be Blackfoot Daisy:
Bill makes his way towards an obstacle on the ridge. We didn’t have to climb that prominence – we went to the left and then climbed back up to the ridge after passing it.
This is where we descended slightly so that we could bypass that steep prominence blocking our way atop the ridge:
I sat down next to this agave during one of our breaks while climbing up the ridge:
A view of the canyon which feeds the waterfalls that we had passed (much) earlier in the day:
Bill makes his way up to the Ridgeline Trail. The ridge that we had spent several hours ascending earlier in the day can be seen to the right.
This was an early view of Weaver’s Needle after making it to the Ridgeline Trail. (It was something of a relief to be back on a trail again!)
Bill, Bob, Denise, and Linda on the Superstition Ridgeline Trail:
Making our way down the Ridgeline Trail:
Another view of Weaver’s Needle:
Linda, Denise, Bill, Bill, and Bob pose for a photo while descending Hieroglyphic Canyon:
Sunset in Hieroglyphic Canyon – we still have a long way to descend!
We’re much lower in hieroglyphic canyon now; I’m looking back at where we had been…