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Squaw Canyon and Black Mtn (3707), AZ

Guide 2 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  4 of 5 
no permit
1 Active
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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 3.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,321 feet
Elevation Gain 1,400 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,600 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.83
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Ruins, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2010-03-21
Marsh Valley Loop
Author nonot
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 236
Photos 2,001
Trips 479 map ( 4,543 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:16am - 7:38pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Warning the 2019 Woodbury Fire & 2020 Sawtooth Fire damaged a majority of the Superstition Wilderness.
No Trails Necessary
by nonot

Part of a day hike in the midst of a 2-3 day backpacking loop in the central Superstition Mtns.

The route is entirely off-trail, and you will encounter plenty of bushwhacking, loose scree, cacti, and all sorts of evil vegetation awaiting you. Due to the ruggedness of terrain, 1 mile/hr is about as good as you can expect unless you are super-Wally.

Beware that after completing the 3.5 miles in this description, there are many more to go to loop back around to your campsite. Expect the whole day to take at least 8 hrs.

The ruins that remain today are but fragments of their former selves. Pot hunters, willing to destroy historical artifacts to sell their ill-gotten booty to collectors and museums, have decimated the sites that were known. Some of them are so lazy as to have left their tools of destruction amongst the shattered remains of these places, in memory of their destruction and idiocy.

First: Find yourself a lovely campsite near Charlebois, the Dutchman Trail, or Cavalry Trail.

Actual Hike: From Cavalry Trail, find the spot the wash comes down from Squaw Canyon, follow it uphill as best you can. You can elect to stay in the wash or try to find another way. I was unsuccessful in my attempts to find a good way up, although I did find cairns in the creekbed/wash about halfway up. Following these led to impassable walls of thorn-ridden bushes.

About 75% of the way up, on the canyon's west side, is an alcove undercut into the massive wall. Traverse over, being careful of the loose scree that will be your nemesis coming back. Within the alcove, you will find several historical artifacts, though the site itself has been destroyed. Searching carefully, you will find the sledgehammer of the vandals who destroyed this fantastic place, rendering it to rubble.

Contour east and get around the main wall until you reach the break that forms Squaw Canyon. At this point, you may find cairns directing you up the high, west side of Squaw Canyon until you reach the flat ground up on Peters Mesa.

Take a break. You deserve it!

Head east, picking the best way through the cactus. If not on, you are near what some refer to as the "Old Military Rd", though I have my doubts about the historical significance of this place. Regardless, it is flat and easygoing. As you near Peters Trail, to your right is the highest peak of the triplet that makes up Black Mtn, once called Charlesbois Mtn.

Traverse the saddle to your south and head southeast up the obvious, easygoing slope. Avoid those hidden cacti as best you can, but you may have to break out the tweezers and pliers several times. Once up most of it, the top is an easy grade, and you can walk almost directly south to the peak. I found no summit logs or markers on either of the two small peaks and was unsure which was the true peak 3707.

The view from the peak is magnificent, and you can see most, if not all, Superstition landmarks to your west and south. Weavers Needle, Massacre Falls, Superstition Mtn, the Flatiron, Black Mesa, the Praying Hands, Miners Needle, even Apache Junction are all visible.

From the peak, head north and slightly east to pick up the Peters Trail, which you take back to your campsite.

Water Sources
Charlebois spring is considered reliable. LaBarge Creek often has water generally after late winter/early spring rainstorms and only rarely in the fall. It would be best to obtain a water report before heading out on an extended backpacking trip.

Ample sites at Charlebois, the Dutchman Trail, or along the Cavalry.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2010-03-21 nonot

    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 $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    There are several ways to get to either First Water trailhead, Peralta Trailhead, or Tortilla Trailhead. Give your trip some thought and decide which would be best for you!

    Once at the trailhead, you will have a long hike to reach the starting point of this hike.
    page created by nonot on Mar 21 2010 10:25 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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