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Superstition Ridgeline, AZ
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Route: Up Siphon Draw passing the Flatiron, across the ridgeline, over to Superstition Peak 5057, down to West Boulder Saddle, down to the old Carney Springs Trailhead and finish on the Lost Goldmine Trail to Peralta Trailhead. A vehicle shuttle is necessary for a day hike. A 2-3 day backpack might be to loop down to Weaver's Needle or further.


Other Routes: You might consider a 12.5mi route from the free Crosscut Trailhead to Peralta Trailhead via Siphon Draw and Carney Springs / Lost Goldmine. Personally I'd consider a reverse Flatiron beginning with a Cave Trail ending to be the ultimate journey.

Consider: This is a hardy day hike. There are a couple escape routes to keep in mind. Hog Canyon has a couple options but leaves you in an area that is difficult to access without prior knowledge. Hieroglyphics Canyon is more worthy. Better thinking is to just be prepared to complete the hike. The escape routes would likely cause more trouble without prior experience.

Prepare: Unless you're a skilled route finder I suggest hiking both ends first to get familiar with the area. Hike the "Flatiron" end, then on another day, hike to West Boulder Saddle on the "Dacite Super Loop". I think you'll agree, both of these hikes fall into the strenuous category. Of course you'll only need to go up one of these trails and come down on the other. Plus you'll need to setup a car shuttle at one end. You can hike this trail in either direction. Either direction starts out shaded from the morning sun. I prefer to go from the Flatiron end to Peralta Trailhead. It seems like there's less head on sun, especially at the end of the hike. If you're not into the shuttle thing then split it up into two hikes.

I do not believe this hike is a route finding nightmare. My personal opinion is it's more of an endurance issue. When you go beyond your limits you start making mistakes on any trail. I really enjoyed being up on the northwestern ridge. I found several sections of trail coupled with rock cairns in indistinct areas. Not once, was I worried about getting lost. The views are stunning in all directions.

Let's Hike!

From Siphon Draw: Hike up to towards the Flatiron.(see Flatiron hike for more details) When you break from the canyon, on to the deck, leading over to the Flatiron itself, do not go towards the Flatiron. Instead, continue UP and over the saddle above you. Over the saddle it's likely you're looking into unseen territory. Basically any unseen territory in the Superstitions is always a pleaser. It only gets better. You will notice there is a trail going down and out the other side. This is it, the Ridgeline Trail, now how hard was that? At the saddle you could take a left and go up to the top of Superstition Mountain and bag the peak. The side excursion can be time consuming if you are not familiar with the route. Continuing on the trail is fairly overgrown for a short section. Which reminds me, throughout this hike pay close attention to the cacti lining the trail. This is not a maintained trail. I hiked it in teva sandals. Leather boots might be a better choice. Jeans aren't necessary as there's little bushwhacking and they're not much defense against needles.

Wedge Rock Saddle to the Ridge: The trail goes down to a group of pine trees. It appears the trail will go in-between two pines. In reality that's a camp site.( between trees 2 & 3 in the photo) The trail goes around the right. Looking back on the area is a good idea. You will notice there is actually five pines in all. Four mature and a fifth small pine as of 2001. Wedge Rock Saddle is seen further beyond the pines. So... if you return this way or hike the trail in the opposite direction you'll be going left of the trees. It's a good idea to check the trail and scenery behind you every ten minutes or so to keep orientated. If you are doing this in the reverse it is important to know your way back to the Flatiron, since you can't see it from the ridge.

The trail curves back north before actually jumping on the ridge. Between Monument Canyon and Hog Canyon fanning down below to your right is another canyon (I'm not sure of the name) coming up to this indent in the ridge. Here I crossed over a small stream, that comes down from Superstition Mountain. I was really surprised to find running water up here, especially over a week since the last rain. Before the stream was a very lush section of trail. Felt like I was near Parson's Spring more then on the brutal ridge of the Superstitions. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but it was quite the contrast. I encountered a couple seeps along the way too.

On the Ridge: This is the section most likely fear. On the contrary it's the most soothing worry free section of the hike. You can make good time across a majority of this terrain or you can easily let the hours melt away. The route is well worn or cairned across. A few sucker trails may tempt or swindle. However you really can't go over five minutes in the wrong direction. When you hear about people getting lost in the Superstitions it's not on this ridgeline, it's in Barks Canyon or the Red Tanks Trail. Enjoy the views and take your photos here or you'll end up with photos everybody has seen on either end.

Superstition Peak 5057 to West Boulder Saddle: This is the route finding section. As you are coming across the ridgeline approaching Peak 5057 cairns are your guide. Coming around the west side of topo mark 4790 is a maze of boulders. The cairns lead you up towards Peak 5057 then skirt the peak on the east. Here it looks all down hill. It is and it seems never ending at times. If you wish to bag Peak 5057 it's a short side excursion.

Route finding is fairly easy until you level out northeast behind the Three Sisters. The terrain turns to smooth rock slab and you cross a ravine. This is the actual origin of West Boulder Creek which eventually empties into Canyon Lake ten miles away. Finding the proper route out of the ravine is critical or you'll end up on an old alignment that's a total bushwhack.

Continue through the cairn maze. If you're on the proper route it's not a bushwhack and before reaching West Boulder Saddle you'll pass near a stumpy pipe with a brass cap. This is a general land corner section-marker. You'll know you're at West Boulder Saddle as you come around a huge bathroom sized boulder onto a saddle.

West Boulder Saddle to Peralta Trailhead: From here it's down West Boulder Trail to the old Carney Springs Trailhead. I suggest checking out the Dacite Super Loop prior to attempting this hike. First you head down to the false saddle. Next it's a cairn route and a practical slide down to the old Carney Springs Campground. This is followed by a mild brushy flat hike to the fence (old Carney Springs Trailhead). From the fence you turn east on the unmarked Lost Goldmine Trail and follow it to Peralta Trail. Be forewarned there is no signage to guide you in this section. Trails run rampant. At worst you'll end up on the road to Peralta Trailhead or at the Lost Goldmine Trailhead which simply means a slightly longer hike.

Wrap up: If you have the endurance you will really enjoy this trail. Be careful, stay calm in comprising situations and know when to turn around. You would be wise to know the surrounding area before attempting this hike. This should not be your introduction to the Superstitions or it could be your last. There is a cell signal from the whole trail. Keep in mind an air rescue is expensive. There's no shade up on the ridge. I got a nasty sun burn here in the winter. Sunscreen is necessary in February. I wouldn't recommend hiking this trail in weather over eighty degrees. Be sure to take plenty of water, 5-6 quarts in 70 degree weather.

-- Summary edited 2008-02-04 --
Description 317 Triplogs  21 Topics
RatedFavorite  
Wish List 61
 Region
 
0
0
 Superstitions NW
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Shuttle 11.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,290 feet
Elevation Gain 2,820 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,480 feet
Avg Time Hiking 8 - 11 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 26.43
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Author joebartels
Descriptions 209
Routes 742
Photos 9,432
Trips 3,485 map ( 18,045 miles )
Age 47
Location Phoenix, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
13  2017-04-29
Superstition Peak 5057 from Lost Dutchman
syoung
14  2017-03-27
Connecting the Y - Wave Cave/W Boulder Sdl Lp
Vashti
22  2017-03-04 rayhuston
34  2017-03-03
Hog Canyon
KBKB
8  2017-02-25 Thoreau
8  2017-02-05
Ridgeline - 5057 - 5024
DallinW
4  2017-01-16 DallinW
6  2016-12-17 syoung
7  2016-12-03 syoung
11  2016-04-23
5057 from Lost Dutchman State Park
JuanJaimeiii
7  2016-03-18 syoung
11  2016-03-07
Superstition Ridgeline
AZDane
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 14
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Map - Beartooth Superstition Wilderness
Forest Tonto
Wilderness Superstition
Backpack   Yes & Connecting
Preferred   Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov → 5 AM
Seasons   Autumn
Sun  5:35am - 7:30pm
Route Scout
import queue
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Flatiron Hike - Superstitions
same trailhead
5.9 mi
2,900 ft
Palmer Mine Loop
same trailhead
3.2 mi
630 ft
Superstition Peak 5024 - Siphon Draw
same trailhead
5.8 mi
2,942 ft
Superstition Peak 5057 from Lost Dutchman
same trailhead
17.0 mi
5,807 ft
Siphon Draw Trail #53
0.0 mi away
3.9 mi
1,113 ft
Peak 4102 - Superstitions
0.0 mi away
7.0 mi
2,500 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Bighorn Sheep
Black-Throated Sparrow
Cliff Chipmunk
Coachwhip
Coues White-tailed Deer
Desert Cottontail
Eastern Collared Lizard
Gila Monster
Greater Roadrunner
Honey Bee
Horned Lizard
Ornate Tree Lizard
Praying Mantis
Red-tailed Hawk
Rock Wren
Scorpion
Tarantula
Unidentified Butterfly
Wasp
Western Bluebird
White Tailed Deer
Flora
Agave varietals
American black nightshade
Apache Hedgehog
Arizona Rosewood
Blackfoot Daisy
Brittlebush
Buckhorn Cholla
Century Plant
Chain Fruit Cholla
Chuparosa
Cliff Fendlerbush
Desert Bell
Desert Globemallow
Desert Mistletoe
Desert Phlox
Doubting Mariposa Lily
Dudleya
Eaton Penstemon
Engelmann Prickly Pear
Gooding's Verbena
Hedgehog Cactus
Indian Paintbrush
Mexican Gold Poppy
Mexican Vervain
Miniature Wool Star
New Mexico Thistle
Parry's Agave
Saguaro
Scarlet Flax
Spruce
Staghorn Cholla
Strawberry Hedgehog
Sugar Sumac
Teddy Bear Cholla
Twoneedle pinyon
Geology
HooDoo
Hoodoo Rock
Meteorology
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Frost
Inversion Layer
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Named place
Apache Junction - A.J.
Battleship Mountain
Black Mesa
Black Top Mesa
Four Peaks
Geronimo Head
Hieroglyphics Canyon
Hog Canyon
Monument Canyon
Picketpost Mountain
Robbers Roost - Superstitions
Siphon Draw
Siphon Draw Waterfall
Superstition Mountain 5057
Superstition Mountains - Ridgeline
Superstition Peak 5024
Superstition Wilderness - West
The Flatiron
The Gatekeeper
Three Sisters - Superstition Wilderness
Turks Head - Superstition Boundary
Wave Cave - Superstition Wilderness
Weavers Needle
West Boulder Canyon
West Boulder Saddle - 3683ft
White Canyon Wilderness
Culture
Aircraft
Airplane Wreckage
Benchmark
Dacite Tide
Geocache
Ghost?
HAZ - Hike HAZard
HAZ - Selfie
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johnr1
Mascot
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Old Glory
Projectile Point (unknown culture)
Reference Mark
Search and Rescue
Summit Register Log
Trash Hauled Out
Kakatak Tamai
by joebartels

Route: Up Siphon Draw passing the Flatiron, across the ridgeline, over to Superstition Peak 5057, down to West Boulder Saddle, down to the old Carney Springs Trailhead and finish on the Lost Goldmine Trail to Peralta Trailhead. A vehicle shuttle is necessary for a day hike. A 2-3 day backpack might be to loop down to Weaver's Needle or further.


Other Routes: You might consider a 12.5mi route from the free Crosscut Trailhead to Peralta Trailhead via Siphon Draw and Carney Springs / Lost Goldmine. Personally I'd consider a reverse Flatiron beginning with a Cave Trail ending to be the ultimate journey.

Consider: This is a hardy day hike. There are a couple escape routes to keep in mind. Hog Canyon has a couple options but leaves you in an area that is difficult to access without prior knowledge. Hieroglyphics Canyon is more worthy. Better thinking is to just be prepared to complete the hike. The escape routes would likely cause more trouble without prior experience.

Prepare: Unless you're a skilled route finder I suggest hiking both ends first to get familiar with the area. Hike the "Flatiron" end, then on another day, hike to West Boulder Saddle on the "Dacite Super Loop". I think you'll agree, both of these hikes fall into the strenuous category. Of course you'll only need to go up one of these trails and come down on the other. Plus you'll need to setup a car shuttle at one end. You can hike this trail in either direction. Either direction starts out shaded from the morning sun. I prefer to go from the Flatiron end to Peralta Trailhead. It seems like there's less head on sun, especially at the end of the hike. If you're not into the shuttle thing then split it up into two hikes.

I do not believe this hike is a route finding nightmare. My personal opinion is it's more of an endurance issue. When you go beyond your limits you start making mistakes on any trail. I really enjoyed being up on the northwestern ridge. I found several sections of trail coupled with rock cairns in indistinct areas. Not once, was I worried about getting lost. The views are stunning in all directions.

Let's Hike!

From Siphon Draw: Hike up to towards the Flatiron.(see Flatiron hike for more details) When you break from the canyon, on to the deck, leading over to the Flatiron itself, do not go towards the Flatiron. Instead, continue UP and over the saddle above you. Over the saddle it's likely you're looking into unseen territory. Basically any unseen territory in the Superstitions is always a pleaser. It only gets better. You will notice there is a trail going down and out the other side. This is it, the Ridgeline Trail, now how hard was that? At the saddle you could take a left and go up to the top of Superstition Mountain and bag the peak. The side excursion can be time consuming if you are not familiar with the route. Continuing on the trail is fairly overgrown for a short section. Which reminds me, throughout this hike pay close attention to the cacti lining the trail. This is not a maintained trail. I hiked it in teva sandals. Leather boots might be a better choice. Jeans aren't necessary as there's little bushwhacking and they're not much defense against needles.

Wedge Rock Saddle to the Ridge: The trail goes down to a group of pine trees. It appears the trail will go in-between two pines. In reality that's a camp site.( between trees 2 & 3 in the photo) The trail goes around the right. Looking back on the area is a good idea. You will notice there is actually five pines in all. Four mature and a fifth small pine as of 2001. Wedge Rock Saddle is seen further beyond the pines. So... if you return this way or hike the trail in the opposite direction you'll be going left of the trees. It's a good idea to check the trail and scenery behind you every ten minutes or so to keep orientated. If you are doing this in the reverse it is important to know your way back to the Flatiron, since you can't see it from the ridge.

The trail curves back north before actually jumping on the ridge. Between Monument Canyon and Hog Canyon fanning down below to your right is another canyon (I'm not sure of the name) coming up to this indent in the ridge. Here I crossed over a small stream, that comes down from Superstition Mountain. I was really surprised to find running water up here, especially over a week since the last rain. Before the stream was a very lush section of trail. Felt like I was near Parson's Spring more then on the brutal ridge of the Superstitions. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but it was quite the contrast. I encountered a couple seeps along the way too.

On the Ridge: This is the section most likely fear. On the contrary it's the most soothing worry free section of the hike. You can make good time across a majority of this terrain or you can easily let the hours melt away. The route is well worn or cairned across. A few sucker trails may tempt or swindle. However you really can't go over five minutes in the wrong direction. When you hear about people getting lost in the Superstitions it's not on this ridgeline, it's in Barks Canyon or the Red Tanks Trail. Enjoy the views and take your photos here or you'll end up with photos everybody has seen on either end.

Superstition Peak 5057 to West Boulder Saddle: This is the route finding section. As you are coming across the ridgeline approaching Peak 5057 cairns are your guide. Coming around the west side of topo mark 4790 is a maze of boulders. The cairns lead you up towards Peak 5057 then skirt the peak on the east. Here it looks all down hill. It is and it seems never ending at times. If you wish to bag Peak 5057 it's a short side excursion.

Route finding is fairly easy until you level out northeast behind the Three Sisters. The terrain turns to smooth rock slab and you cross a ravine. This is the actual origin of West Boulder Creek which eventually empties into Canyon Lake ten miles away. Finding the proper route out of the ravine is critical or you'll end up on an old alignment that's a total bushwhack.

Continue through the cairn maze. If you're on the proper route it's not a bushwhack and before reaching West Boulder Saddle you'll pass near a stumpy pipe with a brass cap. This is a general land corner section-marker. You'll know you're at West Boulder Saddle as you come around a huge bathroom sized boulder onto a saddle.

West Boulder Saddle to Peralta Trailhead: From here it's down West Boulder Trail to the old Carney Springs Trailhead. I suggest checking out the Dacite Super Loop prior to attempting this hike. First you head down to the false saddle. Next it's a cairn route and a practical slide down to the old Carney Springs Campground. This is followed by a mild brushy flat hike to the fence (old Carney Springs Trailhead). From the fence you turn east on the unmarked Lost Goldmine Trail and follow it to Peralta Trail. Be forewarned there is no signage to guide you in this section. Trails run rampant. At worst you'll end up on the road to Peralta Trailhead or at the Lost Goldmine Trailhead which simply means a slightly longer hike.

Wrap up: If you have the endurance you will really enjoy this trail. Be careful, stay calm in comprising situations and know when to turn around. You would be wise to know the surrounding area before attempting this hike. This should not be your introduction to the Superstitions or it could be your last. There is a cell signal from the whole trail. Keep in mind an air rescue is expensive. There's no shade up on the ridge. I got a nasty sun burn here in the winter. Sunscreen is necessary in February. I wouldn't recommend hiking this trail in weather over eighty degrees. Be sure to take plenty of water, 5-6 quarts in 70 degree weather.

-- Summary edited 2008-02-04 --
© 2001 - 2017 hikearizona.com

-
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    Information is listed below


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Info is below 'Directions to trail'

    To Siphon Draw Trailhead
    From Mesa follow Highway 60 East to Idaho Road. Turn North onto Idaho Road which is SR88 and follow North 2.2 miles. SR88 bends right just past Scenic St. and Idaho continues North. Be sure to go right and stay on SR88. Follow SR88 4.9 miles to the Lost Dutchman State Park. Turn right into the park. Pay the fee then follow the signs to the trailhead.

    Free Alternative:
    Utilize the Crosscut Trailhead 0.7 mi in on FR78. It is 2 miles on Jacobs Trail #58 to the junction with Siphon Draw #53. Which is 0.85 mi into #53.
    2.00 - 0.85 = 1.15 mi extra each way

    Mining Camp
    This former free access point is now private as of Dec 2016.


    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 41.3 mi - about 52 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 134 mi - about 2 hours 9 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 186 mi - about 2 hours 56 mins
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    stay out of the scorching sun
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
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