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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Ermahgerd Canyon, AZ

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126 7 0
Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions SW
Rated
4.5
4.5 of 5 by 4
 
2
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Canyoneering
Consensus
View 5
Grade3
WaterB
Risk
TimeIII
Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Loop 5.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,080 feet
Elevation Gain 2,376 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,600 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 18.7
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
18  2015-02-23 vanman
27  2014-12-08
Turks Backyard - The Canyon
vanman
44  2014-03-09 jrbowman
8  2014-02-17 azflyguy
29  2013-12-08 azmike
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn
Sun  7:19am - 5:19pm
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Route Scout App
19116followactivity
Official Route
 
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Superstition Peak 5057 via Hiero
0.0 mi away
3.9 mi
3,022 ft
Superstition Peak 5057 - Balanced Rock Loop
Superstition Peak 5057 - Balanced Rock Loop
0.0 mi away
7.0 mi
3,200 ft
Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
0.0 mi away
2.3 mi
1,952 ft
Hieroglyphics Trail #101
Hieroglyphics Trail #101
0.1 mi away
3.0 mi
650 ft
Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
0.1 mi away
6.1 mi
1,060 ft
Superstition Peak 5057 Loop via Hiero
Superstition Peak 5057 Loop via Hiero
0.1 mi away
11.4 mi
3,800 ft
Old Horse Trail
Old Horse Trail
0.9 mi away
4.0 mi
288 ft
Gila Monster
Gila Monster
1.0 mi away
2.1 mi
312 ft
Lost Goldmine - Cloudview Rd to Jacobs #58
Lost Goldmine - Cloudview Rd to Jacobs #58
1.1 mi away
3.3 mi
279 ft
Cougar Trail - Gold Canyon
1.2 mi away
2.8 mi
330 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
2nd Best Technical Canyon in the Supes
by azmike

Likely In-Season!
Overview
A class 3BIII technical canyon loop hike in the Superstition Wilderness just below Superstition Peak. The approach to Ermahgerd Canyon starts out at the HIeroglyphics trailhead in Gold Canyon, AZ on a well-maintianed trail for one mile until veering off-trail for a steep and rugged climb to just below the hoodoos of Superstition Peak. Ermahgerd Canyon is a major drainage directly south of Superstition Peak one-half mile. There are two entry rappels into Ermahgerd Canyon: 215 ft and 250 ft. Down canyon, there are 4 more rappels where you will encounter pools of water and a final rappel of 270 ft. before exiting the canyon and picking up the Lost Goldmine trail and a 1.75 mile hike back to the Hieroglyphics trailhead. This is arguably the second best technical canyon in the Superstition Wilderness with a strenuous climb on approach, but well worth it.


Warning
Ermahgerd Canyon is a technical canyon requiring rappelling and down climbing skills. Required gear includes climbing helmet, harness, carabiners, descender, ascender, ropes, webbing, rap rings, gloves, and canyoneering shoes with good traction. This canyon can be done with a 300 foot rope, two 200 ft ropes, 50 feet of webbing and 5 rap rings. Flash flooding is a possibility following the rains so canyoneers must monitor the weather and exercise caution before dropping into this canyon. There are two big rappels in this canyon requiring a 300 ft. rope so canyoneers should be comfortable rappelling longer distances. Although this canyon contains water, the pools could be easily crossed by wading through them. Only in colder weather would wetsuits be required.

The Approach
From the Hieroglyphics trailhead, start hiking on the Hieroglyphics trail for approximately 1.1 miles where you will leave the trail and start climbing up the steep grade at (33.40473 -111.42041). There are no cairns marking the point where you leave the trail. The off-trail hiking begins about 0.45 miles prior to the Hieroglyphics Spring further up the trail. Continue to climb in a northeasterly direction with a major drainage to your left. Do not enter the drainage, but hike around the top of it until you see a cliff wall to the north of the drainage (33.40804 -111.41498). Continue hiking in an easterly direction for one mile until you drop down to the entrance of Ermahgerd Canyon. You'll pass another major canyon prior to reaching Ermahgerd. Ermahgerd is exactly one-half mile due south of Superstition Peak. There is an east fork (N33.40497 -111.39984) and west fork (33.40510 -111.40183) for Ermahgerd Canyon separated by less than an eighth of a mile. Ermahgerd can be rappelled into from the east fork or the west fork.

Rap1 - East Fork
The east fork first rappel is a 215 ft. partial free hang from anchor at (33.40432 -111.39951). The pull cord should be slung over the large rock in front of the anchor to avoid a stuck rope situation.

Rap1 - West Fork
The west fork first rappel can be found at the end of a narrow drainage on the northwest side of the canyon (33.40510 -111.40183). You'll encounter some down climbs and bushwhacking as you make your way down the drainage. The first rappel is a 250 ft. rappel down a seasonal waterfall (33.40407 -111.40183) on a BFR several feet back from the drop. The rappel starts down a narrow chute before opening up. This is a pretty cool rappel especially when the water is flowing. You'll be on the wall the entire time with no free hang. The pull location is best accomplished as far RDC as you can get.

Rap2
The second rappel is a short distance from the first rappel and is an 85 ft. rappel anchored from a rock.

Rap3 (optional)
The third rappel is 15 ft. into a pool of water; however it can be down climbed on LDC.

Rap4
The fourth rappel is a 130 ft. double drop rappel from a pretty bomber knot choke. The first drop is into a waist-deep pool of water. The rappel picks up around the corner and to your right. The second drop is straight down a slick wall into another waist-deep pool of water.

Rap5
The final rappel is 270 ft. from a solid tree in the middle of the water course about 12 ft back from the edge of the drop. At this point, the canyon is pretty wide open and the drop is slightly angled with a number of shelfs to stop on, if needed.

The Exit
After completing the fifth and final rappel, gear down and start hiking down canyon. As the canyon opens up, head due south and you will encounter a cairn'd route for about 0.75 miles to the Lost Goldmine trail, which runs east-west. Go west on the this well-maintained trail for approximately 1.75 miles until you reach the Hieroglyphics trailhead and your vehicle.

azmike
    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
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Hieroglyphics Trailhead
    From the East Valley follow US 60 East to South Kings Ranch Road. Kings Ranch Road is 14.1 miles east of Power Road for reference. Turn North on Kings Ranch Rd and follow to 2.8 miles to Baseline. Turn East on Baseline and follow 0.2 miles to Mohican. Turn North onto Mohican and follow 0.4 miles to Valleyview Road. Turn West onto Valleyview and follow (naturally turns North, and turns into Whitetail Road) for 1.4 miles. At the intersection of Whitetail Rd. and Cloudview Road turn East and follow 0.4 miles to the end. The trailhead parking is here and the trail is easy to spot to the East.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 42.9 mi - about 54 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 95.3 mi - about 2 hours 3 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 187 mi - about 2 hours 58 mins
    page created by azmike on Dec 16 2013 12:00 am
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