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Trap Canyon - West Entrance Loop, AZ

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Guide 2 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions SW
Rated
4
4 of 5 by 1
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 16.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2 feet
Elevation Gain 990 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,450 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 28.75
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
30  2015-03-08
Trap Canyon Loop
The_Eagle
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Nov, Mar, Feb, Jan
Sun  7:21am - 5:19pm
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Official Route
 
1 Alternative
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Barks Canyon - Complete Route
Barks Canyon - Complete Route
same trailhead
6.0 mi
2,500 ft
Barks Lower Canyon Loop
Barks Lower Canyon Loop
same trailhead
4.0 mi
900 ft
Barks Upper Canyon Loop
Barks Upper Canyon Loop
same trailhead
1.1 mi
885 ft
Bluff Spring Loop & Weaver
Bluff Spring Loop & Weaver's View
same trailhead
10.8 mi
2,138 ft
Bluff Spring Mountain Loop
Bluff Spring Mountain Loop
same trailhead
14.8 mi
2,748 ft
Bluff Spring Mountain Summit
Bluff Spring Mountain Summit
same trailhead
8.5 mi
2,609 ft
Bluff Spring Mtn Loop via Dutchman
same trailhead
16.0 mi
2,000 ft
Bluff Springs Trail #235
Bluff Springs Trail #235
same trailhead
3.3 mi
1,015 ft
Charlebois from Peralta TH
Charlebois from Peralta TH
same trailhead
14.0 mi
2,700 ft
Charlebois Loop II
Charlebois Loop II
same trailhead
17.1 mi
2,855 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
by blskywtwtr

Overview: Follow Dutchman Trail #104 for 7.4 miles. Follow Red Tanks Trail #107 1.3 miles to Trap Canyon. 0.6mi out-n-back to check out the entrance. Continue 0.8 miles ESE on #107. Take Whiskey Springs Trail #238 2.1 miles back to #104. Return 4.3 miles to Peralta Trailhead.

Hike: A burning desire to reach Trap Canyon on a day hike and forgotten HAZ trail guide printouts led to this loop of the Dutchman and Whiskey Springs trails. I'd had a serious jones to check out the alcove at the mouth of Trap Canyon for a potential overnight destination, and thought I'd refresh my memory of the trails I'd taken so many years ago to get to the area.


After a freeway sprint from north Phoenix, I arrived at the Peralta Trailhead and headed out at 9:30 across Barkley Basin. The wide trail jinked in and out of the foothill canyons on its way to the base of Miner's Needle and the Coffee Flat trail junction, and was a good warm-up for the climb up to Miner's Summit. There was even an odd pool nestled in a bend in the trail.

The summit provided the first option of the day - right on the Whiskey Springs trail, or left continuing with trail #104. As the crow flies, Trap Canyon lay 1.2 miles to the NE, a distance that would slip back and forth tantalizingly over the next couple hours. Squinting at the tiny screen of the GPS and making a mental note to put a pair of old reading glasses in my day pack, I took off down the Dutchman trail, slowly dropping into the drainage and views of Bluff Spring Mountain and the tip of Weaver's Needle. Midway between the summit and the junction with Bluff Springs trail near Crystal Spring I passed the only other fellow traveler I encountered that day.

Turning back north I committed myself to the task of making it to Trap Canyon, now a tantalizing .7 of a mile NE. The trail worked its way past multiple well-used campsites as the toilet paper - Arizona's back-country state flower - could attest. No surprise, since level sites and proximity to the trail head and Crystal and Bluff Springs would make this a desirable camp. Now the distance was ticking its way down.

Within a tantalizing half mile of Trap Canyon it became obvious that the trail was going to turn northwest to parallel La Barge creek and the base of Bluff Spring Mountain. Even though it'd been dry for several weeks lush growth in many spots along the trail hinted at water just below the surface, an interesting break from the rougher nature of the trail here.

Finally I stumbled down to the Red Tanks trail junction at La Barge Creek. Three plus hours and 8 miles in I was still planning the day's route on the fly. My goal lay a mile up the creek, and I could potentially choose from among a couple of return routes. The trail up the creek to the mouth of the canyon passed quickly, as did a number of viable campsites. The short diversion up Trap Canyon to the amphitheater was almost an anticlimax.

Recharging with a protein bar I pondered the options. I could return by basically retracing my steps via the Bluff Springs Trail, or complete a loop using the Whiskey Springs trail just upstream. While I'd have to exit through Barkley Basin on the Dutchman Trail I'd come in on, that option seemed best since it spared me a knee-jarring downhill in the final stretch of the Bluff Spring Trail.

Winding up Whiskey Spring Canyon past several more camp possibilities brought me to the final, exhausting press to the highest point of the loop, and down the rock slab to the junction at Miner's Summit. I had to reach a little deeper to complete the last miles out, but did so thinking that the more level track back to Peralta Trailhead was a better investment than the alternative.

blskywtwtr
    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 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 huge. 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
    page created by blskywtwtr on Feb 07 2012 6:26 am
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