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Black Mesa Trail #241, AZ
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Description 119 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
RatedFavorite   Wish List 1 Region
Rated
3.2
3.2 of 5 by 26
 
0
0
 Superstitions NW
Statistics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding ?
Distance One Way 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,419 feet
Elevation Gain 356 feet
Accumulated Gain 448 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5
Kokopelli Seeds 4.49
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
18  2017-12-28
Black Mesa Dutchman Loop
markthurman53
21  2017-12-16
Aylor Arch - Black Top and Black Mesa
rayhuston
17  2017-12-16
Aylor Arch - Black Top and Black Mesa
The_Eagle
15  2017-12-16
Aylor Arch - Black Top and Black Mesa
joebartels
23  2017-11-24
Black Mesa Loop - Superstition Mtns
rayhuston
3  2017-06-25 gummo
11  2017-05-09
Black Mesa Loop - Superstition Mtns
lindaagm
16  2017-04-09
Battleship Mountain - Superstitions
syoung
5  2017-03-06
Black Mesa Loop - Superstition Mtns
mazatzal
5  2017-01-27
Black Mesa Loop - Superstition Mtns
mazatzal
26  2016-11-27
Garden Valley Black Mesa Loop
rayhuston
7  2016-10-22
Black Top Mesa
D_Slinky
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Forest Restrictions / Closures Forest Restrictions / Closures Forest Restrictions / Closures
Forest Tonto
Wilderness Superstition
Backpack   Possible - Not Popular
Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:19am - 7:27pm
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Route Scout App Import ID
1428
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Second Water Canyon
0.9 mi away
2.0 mi
-500 ft
Second Water Trail #236
0.9 mi away
3.2 mi
485 ft
Cholla Tank
0.9 mi away
1.4 mi
140 ft
Massacre Grounds Upper First Water Loop
1.0 mi away
6.7 mi
1,380 ft
Old West Boulder Canyon Ridge
1.0 mi away
10.5 mi
3,300 ft
Aylor's Arch
1.0 mi away
10.3 mi
1,790 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Black-Throated Sparrow
Cactus Wren
Cardinal
Eastern Collared Lizard
Empress Leilia Butterfly
Funnel-web Spider
Gila Monster
Greater earless lizard
Kingsnake
Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly
Queen Butterfly
Red Spotted Toad
Rock Squirrel
Sonoran Desert Toad
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Wildlife Handling and Feeding
Flora
Blackfoot Daisy
Brittlebush
Chain Fruit Cholla
Christmas Cholla
Desert Globemallow
Desert Marigold
Golden Flowered Agave
Long flower tube tongue
Marsh Skullcap
Owl Clover
Parry Dalea
Saguaro
Geology
Natural Arch
Quartz
Meteorology
Moon
Sunburst
Named place
Aylor's Arch
Battleship Mountain
Black Mesa
Black Top Mesa
Four Peaks
Garden Valley
Geronimo Head
Hackberry Mesa
Little Boulder Canyon
Little Four Peaks
Malapais Mountain
Palomino Mountain
Scorpion Pincher Rock
Sugarloaf Mountain
Superstition Peak 5024
The Flatiron
Weavers Needle
West Boulder - Dutchman Crossing
West Boulder Canyon
Yellow Peak
Culture
Aircraft
Balloon
HAZ - Selfie
johnr1
Old Rusty Stuff
Summit Register Log
Trash Hauled Out
Young at 3 million
by markthurman53

Overview
Access to the Black Mesa Trail from the north is usually from the First Water Trail Head via the Second Water Trail. The Black Mesa Trail from North to South starts along the Second Water Trail at a signed intersection on the south side of Garden Valley. From this intersection looking north is Hackberry Mesa on the far side of Garden Valley and Black Mesa to the south (Actually is southeast but I will be referring to this trail as a north - south trail). The Black Mesa Trail crosses Black Mesa diagonally along the southern portion of the mesa and ends after dropping into Boulder Canyon for a total of 3 miles.

Geology
Black Mesa stands out from other areas in the Superstitions in that it has a layer of black basaltic rock capping it, like chocolate frosting on a light colored cake. This 3 million year old basalt flow is fairly recent compared to the rest of the Superstition caldera complex which dates from 15 to 30 million years (They believe there were at least 3 separate calderas in this area between 15 and 30 million years ago). The darker more recent basalt is in contrast to the older, lighter colored dacites and volcanic tuffs.


Hike
The Black Mesa Trail from the Second Water Trail heads up an unnamed canyon with a gradual climb to a saddle which is the high point of this trail. On the first part of this trail are good views to the west of the Superstition Mountains and The cliffs near the Massacre Grounds. Once further up the trail views are limited because Black Top Mesa rises up on either side. The saddle at the high point is not very noticeable but the trail levels out for a short distance. The most prominent feature is a very small hill on the west side of the trail with a nice stand of saguaros. Weavers Needle makes its appearance when you approach the saddle.

Once at the high point, the trail immediately starts to head down another unnamed canyon to Boulder canyon. The next 1.7 miles drops 540 feet to Boulder Canyon, this section is steep and rocky but easy to follow. To the east, Yellow Peak is in view most of the way down. A short distance after crossing Boulder Canyon is the intersection with the Dutchman Trail. This large flat open area along Boulder Creek is Boulder Basin and the site of what once was the old Brush Corral.

When doing the Black Mesa – Dutchman Loop from the First Water Trailhead, it is recommended that you do this in a Clockwise direction (Second Water to Black Mesa then Dutchman), this direction avoids the steep rocky climb up to Black Mesa from the south. This loop hike can be combined with treks up to Black Top Mesa or Aylor’s Arch making for a nice 13 mile hike.

markthurman53

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To First Water 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 5.2 miles to the signed turnoff for First Water Trailhead, this is FR-78. Turn right on to FR-78 and follow 2.6 miles to the end.

    This trailhead feature restrooms without running water. The large parking area fills up in season. When full utilize the Horse Lot 0.5 miles back.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 43.1 mi - about 59 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 136 mi - about 2 hours 16 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 187 mi - about 3 hours 3 mins
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    stay out of the scorching sun
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
    help comment issue