|Hiking||13.50 Miles|| 8 Hrs 15 Mns || ||1.64 mph|
|3,408 ft AEG|| || || |
Took advantage of a favorable weather forecast for mid-April (PHX high only 76°!) to head out for this trip. I walked a loop up from Carney Springs to the summit, along the ridge trail to the top of Heiroglyphics Canyon, down past the Heiroglyphics, and returned to the car on the Lost Goldmine Trail.
Highlights and Impressions: Parked at the pull-off for the closed Carney Springs road and walked 0.6 miles up to the trailhead. From there the trail up to the ridge is fairly primitive but well marked with cairns (and some paint!) to the ridgetop (1.9mi, 1500', 70min). From here to the peak is mainly a long sidehill traverse, staying north of and (mainly) below the ridgecrest.
Approaching the summit hoodoos a big cairn marks the spot where the main branch goes right (east of the hoodoos), but if you want the summit go left. It's a fairly short trip to a high saddle with a large cairn. This is a nice spot, surrounded by big rocks and probably a lot of people turn around here - but its just a short (and cairned) scramble to the top (4.4mi, 3hrs). It doesn't get a lot of visitors - just one other party signed the register between April 13 and Wally and Stiller's Mar 21 visit.
You have a few choices to continue the trip along the ridge. The most direct ones would involve scary hoodoos. You can probably do a bushwack contour north on the Heiro Cyn side; I just backtracked, staying on the trail. The trail along the ridge to the top of Heiro Cyn seems to be the steepest and loosest part of the ridge trail but its scenic and interesting. There is a false saddle along the way - stay on the ridge trail up a hill and down to the true saddle (5.2mi, 4hrs) where some cairns mark the trail down Heiro Canyon.
The trail down is marked but it seemed a little steeper and looser than I thought it would be...anyway, certainly more fun than backtracking to Carney Springs. The left turn for the Lost GoldMine Trail (8.4mi, 6hrs) is reached almost at the bottom (the parking lot is in sight). Lost Goldmine Trail wanders along some nice Sonoran desert...wouldn't be too pleasant in the heat. My GPS had it 5.3 mi. back to the car.
This is a nice hike (the loop aspects makes up for the anti-climactic return on the Lost Goldmine Trail). It's rocky and rough up high and it'll tear your feet up more than most trips, so I recommend "heavier than trail runner" shoes. Also its easier staying on the trail on a trip like this using HikeArizona GPS tracks: I used both Drewboy's for the peak and Joe's for Superstition Peak Loop via Hiero (essentially the same trip I log here).