Joel and I decided to see what the big deal was with this White Mountain/Rough Cyn loop was. Well, actually, I'll just blame this whole debacle on Joel-- I was just along for the ride
. We made our way up White Mountain which actually isn't too bad of a bushwack. The ravine you follow for the first section is fairly easy to work up. Once you pop out of the ravine and start your climb over to the peak, the views start to really open up. White Mountain had snow on it which made things a little more difficult. I actually slipped while scaling some rocks and took a fall that I was shocked to be walking away from unhurt. Luckily I fell into a foot deep bed of snow. We made it to the summit with the best view of the Superstition Ridgeline I can imagine seeing. This is a summit worth your time!
We ate lunch, signed the register (which has 5 years between some visits), and headed down the other side for Rough Canyon. We made it down and entered under a canopy of large trees. This first section of the canyon might be one of the coolest areas of the Supes I've been in. We slowly made our way down the canyon. When I say slowly, I mean SLOWLY. I've never had miles take so long. This truly is the canyon that never ends. Every time I looked down at my GPS, it seemed like we had barely moved. By the time we got near the ruins, I just wanted a break so I found a nice cool rock to sit on while Joel bushwacked up and checked them out.
This is pretty much where the canyon stops being fun. More waterfalls start appearing that you either need to downclimb or find ways to avoid and everything is sharp and covered in thorns. It really never seems to end. As a clue of how slow going this is, we first reached the bottom of the canyon at about 2:45 and did the last 1/4 mile the canyon in the dark-- it's only 3.5 miles long! I found that climbing on rocks in the dark with only a headlamp is not my favorite thing.
We finally reached the Frog Tanks trail. I'd never been so happy to see a trail! It's a little hard to follow in the dark, but better than being in that godforsaken canyon any longer. It felt good to finally pick up the pace. We did our best to make it back to the trailhead in decent time.
hike start time: 7:10 am
hike end time: 12 midnight
White Mountain was awesome. The best thing about Rough Canyon is that I'll never have to hike it again! My camera apparently stopped working properly after we got into the canyon so the only pics I have are from the good part.