|Hiking||5.00 Miles|| 4 Hrs || ||1.25 mph|
|462 ft AEG|| || || |
We started at the First Water trailhead about 10am and headed out on Second Water trail. It was hard to find the Hackberry Spring loop trail at the Black Mesa fork, I was using the description/topo in the deriguer Jack Carlson Hiking the Superstitions book. Still not really seeing a "trail" we followed fresh bootprints and horsetracks into a muddy (about 10" deep in spots) basin (1/2 mile wide?) which I beleive was Garden Valley. When the mud got really deep we lost the tracks and floundered around a bit to see which way to go. Fortunately another hiker came along and suggested that it was just a mud pit and people were probably finding the best route around, but that he figured the trail headed off in the diretion we were heading. Sure enough, just past the deep mud, the bootprints/horse tracks picked up again and the trail was well marked and used.
We followed this trail around Hackberry Springs (I think) and ended up in First Water creek which we followed back to the old corral, then up to the forest road and back to the trailhead. If there were forks in/around Hackberry and First Water creek we didn't see them.
As we came out of Garden Valley and the trail hangs west around a ridge we spotted what appeared to be a tall "crested" cactus.
While the trails were well (mostly) marked and we never really feared we were too far out of our route, this has definately solidified my desire to pick up a handheld GPS!
A wonderful day, very enjoyable outing! First Water creek was flowing nicely (didn't expect that).