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10 Best Things To Do In Red Lodge, Mt In The Winter
10 Best Things To Do In Red Lodge, ...
Second to None
This hike is a variation on the two alternate routes for Second Water Spring in Carlson's Hiker's Guide to the Superstitions. The hike has something for everyone: trails, cross country hiking, bouldering in a canyon, and finally rock hopping in a creek. I would strongly suggest not to do the hike without a map or at least a GPS.
The hike starts at the First Water Trailhead. After 0.33 miles there is a sign at the junction of Second Water and the Dutchman Trail. Follow the Second Water Trail #236. Shortly after the junction, you will cross First Water Creek.
Keep following the trail till you are at a second junction marker in Garden Valley. At this junction follow the Black Mesa Trail #241. The trail climbs steadily but isn't too hard.
Once you are at the top of the mesa go left (north-east) through the Chollas. This is the part where you are happy to wear long pants. There isn't a set trail or cairns here. Just try to aim for the entry of the canyon (N33.48827 W111.40120). To reach this you have to climb two small hills that are scattered with black rocks. Again this isn't too hard. Once you're on top of the second hill you can see the entry of the canyon.
The small canyon has plenty of pools (I did the hike in December) and is an excellent spot to have lunch. Just follow the canyon and eventually you'll arrive at the Boulder Canyon/Trail (N33.49109 W111.39995). Follow the Boulder Trail in the North-Western direction. The trail is cairned in most places. If you lose the cairns, don't despair, just follow the creek.
Eventually, you will arrive at the junction of the Boulder and the Second Water Trails (N33.49907 W111.40608). You can see the junction marker on the bank of the creek.
Follow the Second Water Trail. The trail will steadily climb till you arrive again at Garden Valley. Just continue to follow the trail back to the trailhead.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.