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Tule Loop, AZ

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Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Roosevelt Salt
3.5 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 11.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,000 feet
Elevation Gain 1,300 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,300 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 28.3
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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11  2017-01-07 Tortoise_Hiker
24  2016-01-16
Eastern Supes Tule to Campaign
17  2015-01-24 hikerdw
14  2014-11-22
Campaign Trail #256
37  2013-04-12 friendofThunderg
22  2007-12-22 gpsjoe
20  2007-01-21
Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
Author gpsjoe
author avatar Guides 16
Routes 123
Photos 2,810
Trips 140 map ( 1,516 miles )
Age 77 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:21pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
by gpsjoe

Tule is a scenic loop hike that takes you up to Pinyon Peak at 5,240 feet revealing some great views of Roosevelt and Apache Lakes, Four Peaks and all surrounding mountains. After the peak Sun_hiker and I hiked across the ridge on the 2 Bar Ridge trail to the Tule trail where we dropped down into Tule Canyon and hiked 3 miles in the Tule Canyon to get us back to our vehicle to end the 11.8 mile loop. This is a delightful mixture of a peak, a ridgeline and a canyon.

Along the loop at 0.9 miles of hiking on FR83 we reached the 2 Bar Ridge Trailhead & Parking Lot. There are no issues hiking on the road. The reason we parked 0.9 miles before the actual 2 Bar trailhead is to do the 500 feet of elevation in the morning rather than at the end of the hike.

At 1.7 miles we reached Pinyon Peak hiking 2 Bar and an off-trail piece. Our off trail route is one of many that could be selected. From the 2Bar TH parking lot we hiked uphill on the trail about 1/4th mile to the signs and open gate and started immediately off trail there. After visiting the peak with its beautiful views, we continued hiking across the mountain descending to an opening in the barbed wire fence and re-connecting with the 2 Bar Ridge trail. This seemed to be a route with the most gradual up and down even though it was steep. The gain was 750 feet in 0.8 miles. At 4.7 miles we reached the signed intersection of 2 Bar Ridge and Tule Trails hiking on the 2 Bar Ridge trail. This was my fourth time doing the loop and there have been some positive changes since the 3rd time. The 2 Bar Ridge trail is part of the Arizona Trail system. There are now many, many more cairns on it than ever probably as a result of volunteer work by the Arizona trail organization. Navigating the trail is now much easier as a result.

At 8.8 miles we reached Tule Canyon at a Coral there hiking on the Tule Trail. The first part of the Tule trail follows a scenic ridgeline. It then begins a steep descent through a rocky channel and goes on using a narrow shelf that is partially eroded. These are not difficult spots but they will slow you down a bit if, like me, you don't want to fall off the mountain.

At 11.8 miles we reached the car by hiking off-trail through Tule Canyon. Hiking in the canyon is surprisingly easy. About 80 percent of the trail is on the wide sandy bottom of the canyon. There is one waterfall (usually with some water flowing from Tule springs but not too much) where we had to hike up, around and down again to get by. Tall spidermen may be able to go directly up. The remaining few rock formations can be hiked using a direct approach. At about 1/3rd mile from the car you must know where to climb out of the drainage. There are no markers and you have to pick sand channels through the vegetation to get up the 200 feet or so of elevation to the rim and then to your car. Not at all difficult to find with a mapping GPS and the track loaded. Even way pointing your car will let you navigate to it from inside the canyon.

Notes: The hike is 11.8 miles and 3,300 feet of cumulative elevation when started from a point on the loop off of Forest Road 83. The hike also can be done from the Tule Trailhead and it then is a lasso hike of 14.4 miles and 3,600 feet of cumulative elevation. Having done it both ways, my preference is the 11.8 mile loop.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-12-24 gpsjoe
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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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Tule Loop
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Eastern Supes Tule to Campaign
Claire and I had Monday off for MLK Day and wanted to get out for a three day trip into the Superstitions. We wanted to see a new area and turned our attention to Tule and Campaign trailheads. We decided to start from Tule and make a loop by incorporating over six road miles between the two trailheads.

We drove to Tule Trailhead on Saturday morning and made good time. The dirt road is in great condition and is suitable to most vehicles. We started our hike and made steady progress up Tule trail. We passed a couple of hunters and continued on as the trail starts gaining elevation. The views north of the Sierra Ancha and Four Peaks were wonderful. We eventually connected onto Two Bar Ridge and followed the AZT south. This is a really nice stretch of trail. We dropped into a valley and made a steep climb up a north facing slope that had a good blanket of snow. Once up top we completed the last mile and selected a campsite in Pine Creek. I camped here last year with FOTG and absolutely love this site! It has a flowing creek and lots of tree cover and fire ring. We settled in for the night with a nice fire and the temps were chilly but pleasant overall.

Our Sunday started slowly. We both slept in and made a fire and enjoyed breakfast. It was approaching 11am when a day hiker walked up and talked to us. He started from Campaign TH and said he talked to our friends we were meeting. Our plan was to meet FOTG at the junction of Campaign & Fireline. We got ourselves moving as we headed for Reavis Ranch. The Reavis Gap trail was very wet and muddy. Our pace was slow. We eventually reached Reavis Ranch and found the area completely deserted. We expected some backpackers but there were none. We spent a few minutes filtering water and eating lunch and then headed for the Fireline trail.

The first mile of Fireline Trail was easy going. The trail was a little muddy but not an issue. We started encountering snow in the higher elevations. There was one set of foot prints coming the opposite direction and they broke a path through the snow that helped. We eventually hit the turnoff for Circlestone. Our original plan was to hike up there but it was late in the day and our feet were soaked from the snow. We decided to continue on to camp. The next half mile was slow going through more snow. It drifted to twelves inches high in some places. We finally hit the east end of Fireline where the trail drops down to Campaign. We were delighted to see no snow! We cruised down to camp and arrived there around 4pm.

We finally hit the camp at Fireline and Campaign and could see dog prints all over the place. We were bummed to see we missed Lee and the dogs. I was hoping he was backpacking with us but knew he might be day hiking. A few minutes later we noticed the “FOTG” spelled out with some sticks. That confirmed he was day hiking. At that point we started prepping camp. We gathered firewood and got the tent set up. We planned on using the existing fire ring but it had an inch of ice on top. It was a no go so we built a temporary fire ring just off to the side. We dismantled this the next morning. We settled in for another night and enjoyed our fire. The temps were much colder tonight making things a bit uncomfortable. The fire helped if you sat close but sleeping was a challenge.

We woke earlier on Monday and had a small fire and tore down camp. We started hiking around 9:30am and headed north on the Campaign Trail. I remember this section being fairly overgrown with a hard to navigate section in the middle. We made good time till that point and then got off trail and were swallowed by manzanita and other heavy shrubs. I knew we were close to the trail but we couldn’t find it. I decided to drop us into the creek and take our chances there. The going was very difficult and both of us were frustrated. After much effort in the creek we climbed out and found the trail. From there the rest of the Campaign trail was in excellent condition. We made fast time and took a short break at the junction with the Reavis Gap trail. From there it was on to the Campaign Trailhead and then we had over six mile of road back to the Tule Trailhead. These road miles flew by as we hiked at over three miles per hour. We were back to the jeep around 2:30pm. From there it was back to Phoenix.

This was a great loop and we covered a lot of ground. There was a ton of water and lots of snow at the higher elevations. Water will not be an issue for several months. We only saw two people within the wilderness. Great hike and I was glad to see some new areas.
Tule Loop
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Great loop hike, and other than the cold swirling wind along the Two Bar Ridge we encountered on this day, this is a great time of year to do this loop. We saw 4 white tail deer while hiking up on the Tule trail. The hike up Tule was very nice, good temps, everything good. Then we hit the ridge line and the 40-50 MPH wind gusts, and the temps seemed to drop 15-20 degrees. We planned to stop and enjoy the views at the Tule/Two Bar junction but the wind was so fierce we just took a very short break to strap down the hats, etc., and continued the hike. The wind finally slowed down once we reached the Two Bar Trail Head, which is where we had lunch. The road sections of the hike down back to the TH wasn't bad at all, and the warmer temps at the lower elevation was very welcomed.
Tule Loop
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ROUTE: NNE "Superstition Wilderness" Loop Hike..START/END- TULE TH at 2800';
Tule TR#122 for 5.3mls to its end at intersection with Two Bar Ridge TR#119 at 4800'; TR#119 for 3.8mls to its Northern TH end at FR83(4500'); FR83 for "X" mls to second closed gate; Right turn just past this second closed gate onto old Fence Line Road; Follow this old Fence Line Road almost to its end at an old Water Windmill (on Right side of road); Turn Right on entrance road to this old Water Windmill and continue to Windmill; Turn Left(West) at Windmill and continue around/through some old livestock corrals to another dirt road heading first SW; Continue SW on this dirt road, then continuing on same road that turns ESE; After a short distance on this road heading ESE you will see your vehicle and the TULE TH on your Right(South), approx .5ml in the distance; Turn off-road here(Right/South) and continue on an "off trail-light desert bushwhacking" trek for this approx .5mls back to the TULE TH;
NOTE: Ref my GPS route dated 2/16/08 for further details of this loop route (which is somewhat different than GPS Joe's posted GPS route and original hike description);

On this rain forecasted Saturday, but warmer than expected day, eight of us drove out to the TULE TH to hike these two northern Superstition Wilderness trails for the first time. Starting on the Tule TR#122 at 2800', the numerous views of Roosevelt Lake and Two Bar Ridge Mtn were very nice, and the trail was easy enough to follow and easy to fall too due to being mostly a loose gravel-type trail. I personally became somewhat bored hiking this trail after about 3mls of the total 5.3ms due to too much of the "same-O-same-O", low/scarce desert vegetation in the area and even the lack of somewhat heavier flora as we climbed to trails end at 4800'.

The Two Bar Ridge TR#119 for the 3.8mls heading North was much nicer in my opinion! At its intersection with the Tule Trail, we had a very nice view looking West to Apache Lake, Four Peaks, and into the central Superstitions to the South. The Two Bar Ridge Trail initially followed a nice ridge for a while as it headed North, then up and down, and then a serious uphill to skirt the top of Pinyon Mtn at ~5240'(the highpoint for the day). We all had a nice lunch break under a large Juniper Tree with a view just before the final downhill to the Northern TH end of this Two Bar Ridge Trail at FR83(4500').

Originally we had planned to just do an "in and out" hike on these two trails which would have been a hiking day of about 16mls, but due to threating weather, shorter daylight hours, and a somewhat lack of group interest on wanting to head back the same way, we decided to "loop it" and find our way back to the Tule TH by following FR83, the Superstition Beartooth map we had, two GPS units, 8 different opinions(if needed), and having a new SPOT unit for any needed emergency IF all else failed.

We ended up having a very enjoyable afternoon "exploratory" hike back to the Tule TH via this route which included less traveled FR83, a number of old ranch road segments as noted above, and a relatively easy .5ml "off-trail" section. We arrived our vehicles at 4:55pm, just as it was starting to sprinkle..perfect timing!

Permit $$

Map Drive
High Clearance possible when dry

To hike
Tule Trailhead: From SR 188 turn off onto 449 (also called J-B road) just past milepost 235 Follow 449 to the first fork and go right to the Tule Trailhead at the end of this road. Sedans can access the Tule Trailhead off of road 188.

2 Bar Ridge Trailhead: About 4 miles past the FR449 turnoff is the FR83 turnoff. After reaching a house there is a signed left turn indicating 4 miles to the Trailhead. I parked on the bottom of the hill next to a barbed wire fence about 0.9 mile before the official trailhead there. You can also start the hike from the trailhead itself. A high clearance vehicle is need on FR83 and 4WD is needed if the road is wet. 4WD is recommended on FR83.
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