Picked another nice day to hike with my brother Doug and friend Howard. This time we hiked up to the Massacre Falls and although there is no water flowing it's still a pleasant hike and lots of good Superstition scenery.
With the old Massacre Grounds Trailhead blocked off, we parked along First Water Road, as so many people do, and bushwhacked to the beginning of the trail at the fence line. Then we followed the well worn trail up, and around the pointed peak 2636. We crossed the dry wash several times before coming to the steep slick-rock area that can be tricky when loose sand and stones try to send you back down from whence you came
The trail, and frequent cairns led up close to the base of the cliff then around and over the top. From this point you have some excellent views of the Goldfield Mountains, the Praying Hands formation and all of Garden Valley is laid out before you in the distance. Looking back at the mountain, the striped wall of the falls is just a short jaunt further.
As we approached the falls, it was obvious that there was no water flowing anywhere across its face. The shaded base of the falls is cool and quite, not even any other hikers, which I thought strange on such a nice day.
We picked a large flat rock along the trail where we sat down and had a brief snack and shed some of the warmer outerwear. It was then, off in the distance, we heard them coming. There was 13 in the group and the peace and quiet was now a thing of the past. So we cleaned up our mess, packed up and began the trek back to the truck.
When we got to the truck, there was a piece of paper stuck under the wiper (see photo) that clearly says the Forest Service does not want parking along the road
It strikes me as odd that the Forest Service closed the trailhead and it's parking area, but wouldn't provide some alternative parking in the immediate area. Instead, they insist on using the Crosscut Trailhead as the parking area of choice. As we drove past the Crosscut parking lot, it was almost full (so much for alternative parking).
The second highlight of the day happened as we stopped in at the Bluebird Mine Store
across from the Goldfield Ghost Town. We sometimes stop in to "shoot the bull" with Lewis(?) Ruiz, the owner of the store and have a cold brew while sitting on an old overstuffed couch (there's 3 of them)under a shade tent. It's always a pleasure to make this stop and share some interesting conversation.
Today there was two old horse riders cooling their heels, sharing a 6-pack while their horses waited at the hitching rail a couple of feet away. The topic of the conversation drifts from the weather to today's trail ride. You never know what to expect when you stop in after returning from a hike. It's one of my favorite places to rest up, down a cool one ($2 for a can)and share some local stories.