|Guide||♦||17 Triplogs||1 Topic|
Too much Supes to fit in one day
Overview: 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 La Barge Springs. 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 really 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. In which 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 .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 in order 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 La Barge Spring as you pass it and thus carry your water with you three miles to camp.
Hike: 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 beat.
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 awhile, it would be best to try to get a water report on Whiskey Springs, as it isn't the most reliable.
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