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Tag: Superstition Wilderness (page 1 of 3)

Friday Hike – Flatiron

Nora, Marilyn, Sara, and I hike to the top of the Flatiron and back on Friday.

Early morning photos looking up Siphon Draw towards the Flatiron were almost all back lit.  Sorting through my photos, I found that I liked the afternoon shots better. But this one was okay.  At this point, we’re nearly two miles in, close to the point where those who don’t go to the top will turn around.

At the top…

After looking over the edge of the Flatiron, we walked east for a short ways (probably less than a quarter mile) where we got this great view looking east. I took a few photos looking west from the top, but I didn’t find them to be especially compelling.

Prior to heading down, we stopped at a memorial commemorating the 2011 plane crash victims.

Continuing on, we got some great views of the Flatiron from the side. If you look closely, you can see someone near the edge.

Looking east again from the massive outcropping north of the Flatiron.

Looking ESE from this prominence.

Looking over the edge…

Nora, Sara, and Marilyn, making their way down.

Looking back up at the Flatiron. Several of the photos above were taken while making our way out to the point of the prominence left of the Flatiron.

We saw these flowers near the top of the slickrock area.

This is the slickrock area. Traction was pretty good, though care had to be taken because some of the rock has been smoothed by the water.

Slickrock area below; Flatiron above:

Globemallow:

We’re nearly done now – this is a good view of where we had been earlier in the day.

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:

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:

Battleship Mountain

On Monday, the 21st, Kay, Diane, Diane, Nanci, Anne, Karin, Ben, Marilyn, and I hiked out to Battleship Mountain and back. Kay, Diane, Karin, and I went to the summit. According to my GPS watch, we hiked 12.75 miles with a little over 2900 feet of total ascent.

Early in the day on the Second Water Trail:

Looking toward Battleship Mountain from Boulder Canyon.

Diane and Nanci:

Kay, Karin, Diane and I are now on our way to the summit.  There is a steep scramble required to get atop this ridge leading to the summit. The dark spot in the reddish-orange rock just left of center is another hiker making his way back (and down at that point) after visiting the summit.

A view of Canyon Lake from the top:

Near the summit – looking back along the ridge we hiked / scrambled to get to the top.

Another view of Weaver’s Needle as we started to make our way back…

Kay and Karin make their way up one of the more exposed sections of the hike. The woman at the very top wasn’t in our group.

Looking down into La Barge Canyon on the left…

We saw this tarantula need the end of the hike.

These are a few of Kay’s photos:

In this shot, we’re still on our way to the summit. I had just descended the exposed bridge and am trying to figure out where to go next. Diane and Karin are still making the descent.

We’re heading back in this shot; another good look at Weaver’s Needle…

In this shot, I’m spotting Diane as she descends what is probably the most difficult technical section of this adventure.

In this photo, Karin and I are making our way down some more steep stuff. I think this is near the point where I had pointed out the fellow descending in the fourth of my photos.

Kay got a good shot of the weather system that was moving in over the Superstitions as we finished our hike.

Karin took this photo of the four of us at the summit:

Sunday Hike – Praying Hands / Massacre Falls Loop

Nick, Mike, Bob, Marilyn, and I did a hike in the western Superstitions on Sunday. I hiked nearly 7.5 miles with about 1700 feet of total ascent.

La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop

Marilyn, Linda, Ben, Marilyn, and Mona joined me for a twelve mile hike of the La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop. I modified the hike somewhat from the route on hikearizona.com; I turned the loop into more of a lollipop by hiking back on the Boulder Canyon Trail instead of coming back via Boulder Creek.

The hike starts at the Canyon Lake Marina and follows the Boulder Canyon Trail to the intersection with La Barge Canyon. From there, we entered La Barge Canyon and hiked up-canyon until the way narrowed and became blocked with boulders. There are some nice pools of water here; some of us stopped and ate lunch at this spot. We then backtracked slightly and hiked up to the saddle at the “stern” of Battleship Mountain. From there, we descended the other side of the ridge until we entered Boulder Creek. From there, we hiked back on the Boulder Canyon Trail (mostly through Boulder Creek) and found Marilyn waiting for us at the Indian Paint Mine ruins. (Marilyn wanted to limit her hiking to eight miles for the day.) We finished our hike by returning the way we came – on the Boulder Canyon Trail.

The route is shorter and has less elevation gain if you follow the route posted on HAZ.  However, I’m guessing that it is harder because the way back is through Boulder Creek; there is no trail for the two miles or so back.  It looks to me like it’s boulder hopping all the way.  For me, I think this would be more strenuous than hiking back on the Boulder Canyon Trail.

This is La Barge Creek, just above the point where it empties into Canyon Lake. It has water in it due to the backflow from Canyon Lake. While we did see some pools of water in La Barge Creek, it was mostly dry on the day we hiked it.

Battleship Mountain on the left and Weaver’s Needle more towards the center. I have a lot of photos of Battleship Mountain in this set of photos.

Yep, this is still Battleship Mountain.

Heading up La Barge Creek now, with Battleship Mountain on the right.

The bow of Battleship Mountain is impressively steep.

I haven’t been able to figure out the name of this peak, but it’s impressive looking from this vantage point while walking up La Barge Canyon.

This shot helps to explain why Battleship Mountain has its name. When approaching it on the Boulder Canyon Trail from the marina, it looks like it might be a blocky cube shaped mountain. But that’s not the case at all.  It’s a long mountain which forms one of the walls (for quite a distance) of La Barge Canyon.  I hope to get a photo of it someday from Geronimo Head which is taller than Battleship Mountain – it’s just across the canyon from Battleship Mountain.

Continuing up La Barge Canyon. Later on, we hiked to the top of the saddle at the right.

Minnows.

This is where La Barge Canyon starts to narrow.  There are several pools in this area.

Looking back down La Barge Canyon from the trail leading up to the saddle. Battleship Mountain is on the left and Geronimo Head is on the right.

Ben, Marilyn, Linda, and Mona:

A view of Weaver’s Needle from the saddle just aft of the “stern” of Battleship Mountain.

As we hiked down to Boulder Creek, we saw a saguaro with many twisted arms.

This is part of the ruins at the Indian Paint Mine where Marilyn was waiting for us.

A memorial for someone or something who (apparently) died while hiking on Feb 21, 2014. (It seems unlikely that it’s 1914 or 1814.)

One of the many rock formations that we saw while hiking back on the Boulder Canyon Trail.

Looking down at Canyon Lake:

Some last looks at Battleship Mountain and Weaver’s Needle just prior to losing sight of them on our descent back to the Marina…

Kevin and Marilyn:

Fish Creek Canyon

Nick, Ben, Marilyn, and I hiked perhaps a mile up Fish Creek Canyon from the bridge.  We had planned to go further, but were turned back by bees.

A view from the bridge before starting out:

Nick and Ben take a look at the bridge from the bottom just before heading up canyon.

A tiny waterfall:

There were a number of pools that we had to work around.

An especially green pool:

The piled up logs and smaller pieces of wood is evidence that the canyon occasionally carries a substantial amount of water.

Lunch break:

Looking up-canyon (while still on lunch break):

 

Roger’s Canyon

Sandra, Mark, Randy, Marilyn, and I hiked Roger’s Canyon on Saturday. The canyon is pretty and, at about 4 miles in, there are some 600 year (or so) old cliff dwellings.

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