This was just an exploratory outing with the primary portion of the trip recommended by Grasshopper (Hank) http://hikearizona.com/map.php?QX=1716
Hiking partners Tom and Howard (azwhitewing) and I drove to Superior, turned right (South) on 177 to Arnett Road. A little more than a mile farther, we came to a Jeep/ATV trail heading South, I think this is called Wood Canyon Trail. It was about 0900 now and the sun was beginning to warm things up, so we unloaded our ATV's and strapped our gear on them and headed down the trail.
It is a fairly rough trail requiring the frequent use of low gears, but nothing exceptional for the little 250cc, 2WD drive ATV's. We came across areas of the creek that we had to cross where there was a fair amount of flowing water for short stretches before it soon disappeared into the wash. The trees and brush along the creek was a lush green showing that they had plenty of water to rely on. It just seems so refreshing to come across the cool, clear flowing water in the midst of the desert surroundings.
We continued on the trail for about 4 miles, stopping frequently to inspect some unusual rock formations, wander up a stretch of flowing water or catch a glimpse of an alcove along the rocky cliffs. The farther we traveled along the trail, the views became increasingly more scenic. We stopped for a break around the location of the spring, where there was a steady trickle of water flowing across the trail (33deg, 12.704 by 111deg, 6.826). The rock formations had small alcoves and windows as well as Hoodoo like spires along the East side of the canyon. It was a very beautiful and scenic spot to take a break that offered several level camping sites, close to water.
We turned our ATV's around here and began our return. Along the way, we inspected one of the alcoves we had passed earlier. The soft sandy floor of the cave had some imprints resembling the trails left by snakes, (snakemarks?
) so we didn't investigate further. We came upon a long expanse of rock wall, that we hadn't noticed on the way in, that must have taken some rancher a long time to build.
As we arrived at the trailer, we had sufficient time to continue exploring, so we headed on down to the Telegraph Canyon Trail. We followed the complex trails past open pit Perlite mines and cattle guards until we ascended long stretches of rough substrate only to descend them a short distance later. A high clearance 4WD drive vehicle could travel this road, but extreme care should be exercised because of the drops and ruts. Finally we reached a place down in the canyon where we made our turn around and retraced our tracks back to the trailer.
This was an exciting day of exploring the back country South of Superior. I have to agree with Hank that the scenery can be spectacular in many of the remote canyons that contain creeks, unusual rock formations and sudden alcoves. The beauty of the area is diminished, however, by the amount of trash left lying around and it's hard to travel even a hundred yards without coming across beer cans or plastic bottles. Shooting ranges are a regular occurrence with shotgun shells and brass littering the ground and shot-up targets lying against the rock walls. Going deeper into the wilderness gets you away from the trash, but cans, bottles and bullet shells persist. It's just so unfortunate that some people can't enjoy the beauty of this country without leaving their signs behind.