Rather than start this hike from the now gated (with minimum parking) Carney Springs TH, we parked and began this very rewarding, rugged in and out hike from the more convenient and signed east end Lost Goldmine TH/Parking area which is only a short drive further up Peralta Road. Starting here add ~.50ml additional hiking each way, but I like this option better.
It was a beautiful, crisp 36F blue sky morning when gpsjoe, Shawn, and I started in at 8am. After the relentless climb up the Carney Springs TR we finally reached the 2nd high saddle- West Boulder Saddle around 9:45am with our first view of Superstition Peak 5057 in the distance. It was a good day for pics and made better by this trails excellent high views of distant Four Peaks draped in snow from the previous weeks storms, and also with high views of Weavers Needle as a bonus. We had a short lunch "on top of the world" at our destination- Superstition Peak 5057 then started our trip back a little after 1:pm.
On this Monday's hike we had not expected to see any other hikers coming up trail this late in the afternoon, but ~1 mile down from the Peak (~4 miles in from Lost Goldmine TR) at 1:45pm, we met a husband and wife planning to do the Supes Ridgeline Trail today heading to Flatiron then down Siphon Draw to Lost Dutchman State Park where their car was parked
We three chatted with them for a while knowing that they were asking for trouble being visitors from Kentucky and having never hiked this difficult AZ high desert trail before and only having hiked this far in at 1:45pm. This couple turned out to be very nice, active hikers from Kentucky, and fortunately good listeners too. We talked them out of spending an unexpected night on the Ridgeline Trail. They agreed to join us for the trip back with some fresh conversation regarding hiking in the surrounding Lexington, Kentucky areas (the Great Smokey Mtn NP and on the Appalachian Trail) and we three shared some good hiking options for them to further consider in our Superstition Wilderness. Shawn would drive them from our Lost Goldmine TH to pick up their vehicle at Lost Dutchman State Park. All was well up to this point..
Upon reaching West Boulder Saddle at ~3:20pm Shawn and the couple from Kentucky (the wife who was a Critical Care Doctor) were ~10 minutes ahead of gpsjoe and me. They were met at West Boulder Saddle by a lone hiker who indicated that one of this hiking partners had collapsed on the trail just east of West Boulder Saddle earlier in the afternoon and was not breathing. Some other members of this hiking group had earlier started down from West Boulder Saddle to call 911 for help. The doctor in our group did hike to the incident scene. GPSjoe and I arrived at West Boulder Saddle just as the SAR Helicopter was arriving.. Please see my attached picset- pics with pic captions/comments on page 3of3 which further explain the next ~70 minutes..
For many reasons, a Superstition Wilderness hiking day I won't soon forget..