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Red Tanks Super Loop - Peralta TH, AZ

Guide 20 Triplogs  1 Topic
  3.7 of 5 
no permit
231 20 1
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 20 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,400 feet
Elevation Gain 1,780 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,870 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 12-14 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 34.35
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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13  2022-01-15 Watauga
8  2020-12-05 jacobemerick
19  2019-02-15 bretinthewild
14  2019-01-19 sandyfortner
29  2019-01-01 LindaAnn
17  2018-02-23 DennisWilliams
7  2018-02-03 The_N
15  2017-03-04 LindaAnn
Page 1,  2
Author nonot
author avatar Guides 100
Routes 249
Photos 2,067
Trips 508 map ( 4,839 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Nov, Mar, Feb, Jan → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:36am - 7:28pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Sawtooth Fire24.7k
🔥 2019 Woodbury Fire123.8k
🔥 1975 Needle Fire4.9 mi*
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

Too much Supes to fit in one day
by nonot

From the Peralta TH on the Dutchman Trail #104
to Coffee Flat Trail #108
to Red Tanks Trail #107
to Dutchman Trail #104
to Bluff Spring Trail #235 back to the trailhead.

3 Day Plan
Plan on a three-day loop for an easy stroll. You'll probably want to camp at Dripping Springs and LaBarge Spring. Setting out on an early Friday afternoon (1-2 PM) shouldn't be a problem to reach either by nightfall. I'd prefer to camp at La Barge the second night if doing this as a 3-day loop because you cannot filter from Dripping Springs itself, and thus you can bring enough water for the first day in with you, but if there is water in the creek you could do this in either direction without any worries.

2 Day Plan
Plan on a two-day loop for a slightly more aggressive pace. You probably want to camp near Whiskey Springs or along the Red Tanks near the intersection with Whiskey Springs Trail. Head up (south) the Whiskey Springs Trail about 0.7 miles if you cannot find water along the Red Tanks to get to Whiskey Spring. You will probably have to get started sometime in the morning to make Whiskey Springs before dark. In this case, clockwise is recommended due to the Red Tanks Divide climb on the second day. Also, going clockwise, you should be able to filter from LaBarge Spring as you pass it and thus carry your water with you three miles to camp.

This hike is a combination of the Dripping Spring Super Loop and the Whiskey West-Red Tanks Loop but suited for backpackers.

Because of the setup, it allows you bail-out options along Whiskey Trail to Dutchman. If you run into difficulty or are behind schedule after the first night or for the three-day loop, simply backtrack out the way you came if something befell you during the night. For example, if you started too late on a 2-day loop and only reached La Barge Springs the first night instead of Whiskey, you can complete the easier 13.4 mi Whiskey West-Red Tanks Loop without having to backtrack or do a major change in your plans!

I like loops like this because if you don't know the ability of hikers in your group, cutting a 20-mile trip down to a 13-mile trip is feasible as opposed to having to grind it out with them into the night to reach your camp.

I wouldn't recommend this loop if you have pre-teen children, primarily due to the climb at the Red Tanks Divide. In addition, the amount of catclaw may not be agreeable to non-hardened desert hikers. However, for adult backpackers seeking some solitude and good backpack camping, it can't be beaten.

Beware if rain is predicted or if it has rained in the past few weeks, as both campsites are near creeks, and creek crossings may become difficult or impossible shortly after the rain. If it hasn't rained in a while, it would be best to try to get a water report on Whiskey Springs, as it isn't the most reliable.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-03-12 nonot
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Peralta Trailhead
    7.6 miles east of the junction Idaho Rd / US-60. Turn Left on to FS77 which is Peralta Road. Follow FS77 5.6 miles to a left and up turnoff. Continue 1.9 miles to Peralta Trailhead.

    The trailhead has restrooms minus running water. The parking lot is enormous. It does fill up in season on weekends. Since there are no lines, the rangers ask that you park straight between the posts in the main lot. Please do your part with this simple request and make room for the next guy. 0.5 miles before reaching the trailhead is an overflow lot, which is also suited for horse trailer parking.

    From PHX (Jct I-10 & AZ-51) 45.2 mi - about 1 hour 8 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 97.0 mi - about 2 hours 16 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 192 mi - about 3 hours 15 mins
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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