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Tortilla Super Loop, AZ

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Guide 13 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
3.7 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 17.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,110 feet
Elevation Gain 1,400 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,500 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 10.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 35.3
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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35  2014-12-12 bballard
12  2013-01-19
Hoolie Bacon - Peters Trail Loop
5  2011-03-20 wallyfrack
19  2011-03-20 Tortoise_Hiker
30  2008-02-14 gpsjoe
18  2007-05-05 wallyfrack
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   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:07am - 6:35pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
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Named place Nearby
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Great with water!!
by gpsjoe

This loop clocked at 17.82 miles on my GPS odometer. It is long and strenuous involving 5 trails which I did in February 2008 after some large rainfalls that left plenty of water in the creeks and streams in the Superstitions. I started the hike from the Peters Trailhead and went clockwise first over the road a short distance (0.18 miles) to the JF Trailhead and then making all right turns onto the JF Trail (0.77 miles), Hoolie Bacon (4.70 miles), Red Tanks (3.75 miles), Dutchman Trail (1.12 miles) and Peters Trail (7.30 miles).

You can either park at the trailhead off route 88 and add 6.5 miles to the hike or drive to the Peters or JF trailheads (3.25 miles) over a road that definitely requires a 4WD high clearance vehicle. I drove and parked at the Peters trailhead in my stock 2005 4Runner the night before the hike and started hiking at day break a few minutes before 7:00 AM. The 4Runner handled the road well going at a snail's pace over some of the larger rocks there. I did earn some Arizona pin stripes on washed out parts of that road. I would have no hesitation driving out there again.

Parts of this hike rate highly and parts not so high. I would rate the first mile over the road and JF trails a 1, the entire Hoolie Bacon trail a 2, the first 1.5 miles of the Red Tanks through the Upper LaBarge box is a 4 when there is large amounts of water and a 3 when it is dry, the remaining 2.25 miles of the Red Tanks and the 1.12 miles of the Ducthmans rates a 3 with lots of water and a 2 when dry. The Peters trail provides great down canyon views as it climbs off of the Dutchmans trail and descends back to the Peters trailhead and rates a 3 in my opinion.

There were many stream crossings along the way. My boots were capable of handling 2 to 3 inches of water which I did on a couple of crossings so my socks remained dry. A little more rain, unusual as it may be, and some of the crossings would be wet.

Because you pass very near Charlebois spring, the most reliable water source in the Superstitions, it would always be possible to backpack for a one nighter camping there while doing this loop. I finished at 5:45 PM and was back on route 88 just before dark. Another great hiking day!!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2008-02-15 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
Tortilla Super Loop
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Met up with Kyle for another trek on the Tortilla Super Loop. This is our third time making this loop and probably not the last. We parked right off the 88 hwy around 7:20am and started hiking the road. This part flies by and we hit the JF trail opting for a clockwise loop. The hike up Hoolie Bacon went well and we dropped down to Red Tanks Trail. We made good time as the miles poured by and took our lunch at La Barge Spring. Here we talked to a pair of guys making a loop from Peralta and were exiting the Whiskey Spring Trail. They were asking how much time they had back to the trailhead. I guessed 3-5 hours. We continued on and headed up the Peters Trail. This portion of the hike started to take it's toll on us. We were both getting tired and route finding kept our heads on a swivel. We took a break at a creek and filtered some water. From there we had one more small climb and then all downhill back to the Tortilla TH. Some trail maintenance has been completed through here and made for quick travel. Once back to the TH we flew down the road and were back to the vehicle around 5:40pm. This was a long day but I'm glad we did it. This is a great hike that doesn't get a lot of traffic. Thanks Kyle for suggesting this one and driving.
Tortilla Super Loop
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Tough loop, went clockwise, with a side out-and-back on WST #238 (because it was there and I hadn't been). Upper La Barge box is very scenic. Peter's Trail follows a nice route but most of it is in pretty bad shape. Plenty of water everywhere. Mountain biked between Hwy 88 and the trailhead.
Tortilla Super Loop
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Kyle and I headed out to Tortilla with plans to make the Hoolie Bacon - Peters Loop. We started driving up the road and I was not crazy about the obstacles. We had a quick look and decided to dump the jeep and wrack up a bunch of miles.

The walk up the road flew by. We found ourselves at the true trailhead within the hour. We connected on JF to Hoolie Bacon and followed the trail down towards Red Tanks. Once on the Red Tanks we proceeded west. I really enjoy this portion of trail. Along the way we crossed paths with Fricknaley & Azdesertfather. We continued on and had lunch at La Barge Spring. From there we continued north and ran into more HAZ members, Slowandsteady and BiFrost. We had a nice chat and then continued.

Once on Peters Trail we started making the climb up. Our progress slowed but we pushed on. Along Peters we passed four separate backpacking groups. Most of them were heading to Charlebois. After a while we returned to the parking area and then hiked back on the road and back to the jeep.

This was a long day but well worth. I'm really glad we checked out this area of the Supes and I didn't mind the extra mileage. I look forward to returning to this area again someday.
Tortilla Super Loop
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Denny wanted to complete some new trails and I wanted another run down FR213. The drive was fun as always. Peters trail is in ok shape. It was easy to follow and not as overgrown as I remembered it to be in the past. WE stopped to see the lawn chairs I found in 2007 were still around and yes they are. The fauna was out as we saw a red-tailed hawk two white-tailed deer and a diamondback to spice up the trail. The hazy sky kept the sun at bay and with the breeze going it stayed nice all day. We added a side trip up Peters Mesa and another to Charlebois Spring for adventure. We also found a note at the Hoolie Bacon/JF intersection and fowarded the message. Nice day on he trail. Thanks for coming out Denny.
Tortilla Super Loop
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This was a redux of an attempt to hike this loop last winter that ended up being a Peters Trail-Peters Canyon-Thumbing a ride from Tortila Flats back to the Tortilla TH. :lol:

I of course walked FR213 into the THs and did this loop clockwise this time to avoid the mistake last time of following Peters Canyon too long... Hoolie Bacon is in pretty good shape and only lost the trail a couple times. I brought a pair of hand pruners this time and cleaned both Hoolie and the Red Tanks trails up a bit, but didn't have enought time to do anything on the slightly overgrown Peters trail... This loop is thru one of the less scenic sections of the Supes, but it certainly has it moments going around Herman Mountain and down thru the upper La Barge Box, hiking along La Barge Creek towards Charlebois, hiking towards Peters Mesa and viewing upper Charlebois & Music Canyons, and Peters Canyon just south of Tortilla Mountain. I had two rattlers coil up on me only 3-4 feet away, which scared the crap out of me. :o I also saw two deer near Peters Canyon and a coyote on FR213 as I hiked out during dusk. Most of the trails are easy enough to follow, but that Peter trail needs the most amount of work trimming back the plant life and making more cairns.
Tortilla Super Loop
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I decided to take advantage of a cool day with a nice breeze and hike the superstitions one more time before the heat rolls in. The weather was perfect. Since I was in a car I parked at the end of FR213 and hiked the 3.1 miles in to the JF trailhead. The trail is lightly used but was easy enough to follow. A few times I got off trail but after backing up a few feet the route was easy to find. The Hoolie Bacon Trail starts about .8 miles from the JF TH and the intersection is marked with signs. The trail gradually gains elevation as it winds through the desert. I saw two white tailed deer but was unable to get photos as they pranced off and stopped it the distance to look back. I did a little side trip into the north end of Trap Canyon but turned back when the bouldering got tricky. I continued on to the Red Tanks trail and headed around Herman's mountain into Upper LaBarge Box. The saguaros are tall and the terrain is wild. I took another side trip up to Hermans Cave and then back down the Red Tanks trail to the Dutchman Trail. Once on the Dutcman trail I decied to check out LaBarge spring which was flowing and the trough was full. I noticed a friendly diamond back as I realized I was just previously standing right next to it but it never rattled or seemed upset in anyway. I took a few photos and left the spring. I pasted the intersection with Peters trail and went into Charlebois Canyon for a look around. I was running out of steam so I cut this trip short and headed back to Peters trail. Once on Peters Mesa the turn around seemed too familiar so I back tracked just to make sure I was on the right trail. The trails were in decent shape and the bush was fairly tame. I wore long pants and sleeves so my wounds were very light. The side trips and road hiking added about 8.2 miles to my route. I was glad to finally make it to FR213 and finish the last 3.1 miles back to the car.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Strictly 4x4

To Tortilla Trailhead
From the junction of Idaho Road & SR-88 follow SR-88 23.0 miles east to FR-213.

If you do not have 4x4 you will need to park here and hike 3.4 miles to the trailhead. Otherwise drive in. The first 0.25 mile section is the most difficult.

The trailhead is not well defined. If you are hiking out on Peter's Trail #105 steer right(west) at the end to the old windmill and water tower. If you are hiking out on JF Trail #106 or Hoolie Bacon Trail #111 continue straight/right to the fence. JF Trail #106 takes off immediately. Hoolie #111 is 0.8 miles off of #106.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 60.7 mi - about 1 hour 50 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 154 mi - about 3 hours
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 205 mi - about 4 hours
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