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Superstition Ridgeline, AZPrint Full | Basic
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Description 262 Triplogs 18 Topics
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 Superstitions NW
Statistics
Difficulty 5    Route Finding
Distance Hiking 11.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,290 feet
Elevation Gain 2,820 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,480 feet
Avg Time Hiking 8 - 11 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 26.43
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Course Shuttle Hike
joe bartels
Descriptions 198
Routes 543
Photos 7,960
Trips 2,355 map ( 12,265 miles )
Age 44
Location Phoenix, AZ
Photos
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
14  2014-04-19
 5057 via Siphon Draw w Ex
 JuanJaimeiii
18  2014-04-13 Darth Stiller
13  2014-04-06 bballard
5  2014-03-15
 Lost Goldmine-Hiero-5057-
 Buku Hoodoo
11  2014-03-09 Dennis Williams
11  2014-02-23
 Superstition Ridgeline
 Rick Vincent
28  2014-02-18 jameslcox44
6  2014-02-17 josetoe5
5  2014-02-08
 5057 via Siphon Draw
 JuanJaimeiii
1  2014-02-08
 Superstition 5057 via Sip
 Tortoise Hiker
26  2014-02-01
 Nightmare in the Supersti
 The Eagle
45  2014-01-23 FLYING_FLIVER
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0.0  Flatiron
0.0  Palmer Mine Loop
0.0  Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
0.0  Siphon Draw Trail #53
0.0  Superstition Mtns / Siphon Dome
0.0  Superstition Mtns / Tee Pee Rock
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Kakatak Tamai
by joe bartels

Mobile Version
Route: Up Siphon Draw passing the Flatiron, across the ridgeline, over to Superstition Peak 5057, down to West Boulder Saddle, down to the old Carney Springs Trailhead and finish on the Lost Goldmine Trail to Peralta Trailhead. A vehicle shuttle is necessary for a day hike. A 2-3 day backpack might be to loop down to Weaver's Needle or further.

Other Routes: You might consider a 12.5mi route from the free Crosscut Trailhead to Peralta Trailhead via Siphon Draw and Carney Springs / Lost Goldmine. Personally I'd consider a reverse Flatiron beginning with a Cave Trail ending to be the ultimate journey.

Consider: This is a hardy day hike. There are a couple escape routes to keep in mind. Hog Canyon has a couple options but leaves you in an area that is difficult to access without prior knowledge. Hieroglyphics Canyon is more worthy. Better thinking is to just be prepared to complete the hike. The escape routes would likely cause more trouble without prior experience.

Prepare: Unless you're a skilled route finder I suggest hiking both ends first to get familiar with the area. Hike the "Flatiron" end, then on another day, hike to West Boulder Saddle on the "Dacite Super Loop". I think you'll agree, both of these hikes fall into the strenuous category. Of course you'll only need to go up one of these trails and come down on the other. Plus you'll need to setup a car shuttle at one end. You can hike this trail in either direction. Either direction starts out shaded from the morning sun. I prefer to go from the Flatiron end to Peralta Trailhead. It seems like there's less head on sun, especially at the end of the hike. If you're not into the shuttle thing then split it up into two hikes.

I do not believe this hike is a route finding nightmare. My personal opinion is it's more of an endurance issue. When you go beyond your limits you start making mistakes on any trail. I really enjoyed being up on the northwestern ridge. I found several sections of trail coupled with rock cairns in indistinct areas. Not once, was I worried about getting lost. The views are stunning in all directions.

Let's Hike!

From Siphon Draw: Hike up to towards the Flatiron.(see Flatiron hike for more details) When you break from the canyon, on to the deck, leading over to the Flatiron itself, do not go towards the Flatiron. Instead, continue UP and over the saddle above you. Over the saddle it's likely you're looking into unseen territory. Basically any unseen territory in the Superstitions is always a pleaser. It only gets better. You will notice there is a trail going down and out the other side. This is it, the Ridgeline Trail, now how hard was that? At the saddle you could take a left and go up to the top of Superstition Mountain and bag the peak. The side excursion can be time consuming if you are not familiar with the route. Continuing on the trail is fairly overgrown for a short section. Which reminds me, throughout this hike pay close attention to the cacti lining the trail. This is not a maintained trail. I hiked it in teva sandals. Leather boots might be a better choice. Jeans aren't necessary as there's little bushwhacking and they're not much defense against needles.

Wedge Rock Saddle to the Ridge: The trail goes down to a group of pine trees. It appears the trail will go in-between two pines. In reality that's a camp site.( between trees 2 & 3 in the photo) The trail goes around the right. Looking back on the area is a good idea. You will notice there is actually five pines in all. Four mature and a fifth small pine as of 2001. Wedge Rock Saddle is seen further beyond the pines. So... if you return this way or hike the trail in the opposite direction you'll be going left of the trees. It's a good idea to check the trail and scenery behind you every ten minutes or so to keep orientated. If you are doing this in the reverse it is important to know your way back to the Flatiron, since you can't see it from the ridge.

The trail curves back north before actually jumping on the ridge. Between Monument Canyon and Hog Canyon fanning down below to your right is another canyon (I'm not sure of the name) coming up to this indent in the ridge. Here I crossed over a small stream, that comes down from Superstition Mountain. I was really surprised to find running water up here, especially over a week since the last rain. Before the stream was a very lush section of trail. Felt like I was near Parson's Spring more then on the brutal ridge of the Superstitions. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but it was quite the contrast. I encountered a couple seeps along the way too.

On the Ridge: This is the section most likely fear. On the contrary it's the most soothing worry free section of the hike. You can make good time across a majority of this terrain or you can easily let the hours melt away. The route is well worn or cairned across. A few sucker trails may tempt or swindle. However you really can't go over five minutes in the wrong direction. When you hear about people getting lost in the Superstitions it's not on this ridgeline, it's in Barks Canyon or the Red Tanks Trail. Enjoy the views and take your photos here or you'll end up with photos everybody has seen on either end.

Superstition Peak 5057 to West Boulder Saddle: This is the route finding section. As you are coming across the ridgeline approaching Peak 5057 cairns are your guide. Coming around the west side of topo mark 4790 is a maze of boulders. The cairns lead you up towards Peak 5057 then skirt the peak on the east. Here it looks all down hill. It is and it seems never ending at times. If you wish to bag Peak 5057 it's a short side excursion.

Route finding is fairly easy until you level out northeast behind the Three Sisters. The terrain turns to smooth rock slab and you cross a ravine. This is the actual origin of West Boulder Creek which eventually empties into Canyon Lake ten miles away. Finding the proper route out of the ravine is critical or you'll end up on an old alignment that's a total bushwhack.

Continue through the cairn maze. If you're on the proper route it's not a bushwhack and before reaching West Boulder Saddle you'll pass near a stumpy pipe with a brass cap. This is a general land corner section-marker. You'll know you're at West Boulder Saddle as you come around a huge bathroom sized boulder onto a saddle.

West Boulder Saddle to Peralta Trailhead: From here it's down West Boulder Trail to the old Carney Springs Trailhead. I suggest checking out the Dacite Super Loop prior to attempting this hike. First you head down to the false saddle. Next it's a cairn route and a practical slide down to the old Carney Springs Campground. This is followed by a mild brushy flat hike to the fence (old Carney Springs Trailhead). From the fence you turn east on the unmarked Lost Goldmine Trail and follow it to Peralta Trail. Be forewarned there is no signage to guide you in this section. Trails run rampant. At worst you'll end up on the road to Peralta Trailhead or at the Lost Goldmine Trailhead which simply means a slightly longer hike.

Wrap up: If you have the endurance you will really enjoy this trail. Be careful, stay calm in comprising situations and know when to turn around. You would be wise to know the surrounding area before attempting this hike. This should not be your introduction to the Superstitions or it could be your last. There is a cell signal from the whole trail. Keep in mind an air rescue is expensive. There's no shade up on the ridge. I got a nasty sun burn here in the winter. Sunscreen is necessary in February. I wouldn't recommend hiking this trail in weather over eighty degrees. Be sure to take plenty of water, 5-6 quarts in 70 degree weather.

-- Summary edited 2008-02-04 --

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    Directions Preferred Months Feb Mar Oct Nov
    Water / Source:none, pack plenty!
    Preferred Start5 AM Cell Phone SignalYes Sunrise5:31am Sunset7:33pm
    Road / VehicleInfo is below 'Directions to trail'
    Fees / Permit
    Information is listed below

    Forest
    Tonto Pass is a forest wide permit for recreational sites and campgrounds. Typically not for trailheads.

    Directions
    Print Version
    To Siphon Draw Trailhead
    From Mesa follow Highway 60 East to Idaho Road. Turn North onto Idaho Road which is SR88 and follow North 2.2 miles. SR88 bends right just past Scenic St. and Idaho continues North. Be sure to go right and stay on SR88. Follow SR88 4.9 miles to the Lost Dutchman State Park. Turn right into the park. Pay the fee then follow the signs to the trailhead.

    2010-12-07 FREE Alternative by AZLOT69 To access this new and presently unmarked trailhead take Hwy 88 (Apache Trail) to Nodak which is the turn for the Mining Camp Restaurant. Turn right then take your first left which is McKellips. McKellips is a dirt rd in good shape. Take it .8 mile to the end which is the trailhead. The last tenth of a mile needs high clearance. Park along the road. Take the trail one quarter mile to the Siphon Draw Trail. View Map

    2011-10-03 McKellips blocked, access via Mining Camp now

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 41.3 mi - about 52 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 134 mi - about 2 hours 9 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 186 mi - about 2 hours 56 mins
    Login for Mapped Driving Directions
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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