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Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions, AZ

no permit
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Guide 13 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions SW
4 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 2.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,083 feet
Elevation Gain 1,880 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,952 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 8.76
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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13  2019-03-31 DarthStiller
43  2018-01-27 adilling
11  2016-03-08 vanman
8  2016-01-09 vanman
14  2016-01-08 vanman
10  2015-12-17 vanman
23  2015-03-06 Grasshopper
12  2015-03-06 AZLumberjack
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Nov, Mar, Jan
Sun  6:08am - 6:35pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
mean, mean desert pride
by HAZ_Hikebot

Author Full Detail Guide
The canyon east of Hieroglyphic Canyon within the Western Superstition Wilderness. This less visited canyon hike is scenic, rugged and mostly off-trail.

This unofficial hike is arbitrary. Don't rush it. Explore a little. For you are today's Tom Sawyer.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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


    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I couldn't resist the urge to go check this spot out after all the rain. Heading out the 60, the Flatiron and Ridgeline were totally obscured by clouds. On Kings Ranch Rd it was so dark and gloomy that I could barely recognize any part of the mountains. Got to the trailhead just after 8:00 and there were already four cars there!

    The hike in wasn't bad but as soon as I entered the canyon the clouds rolled in and a light rain started. The sound of running water kept me going! Got through the wash and up to the slick rock and Bingo! What a sight!! I hiked to above the large falls and it got darker and started to sleet a little. It was awesome! Came back down below the falls and followed the stream back to the wash. I could have stayed all day! But after my boys saw my videos they want to go tomorrow to see it for themselves!
    Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Hadn't been out here in a month and wanted to see if the chuparosa were popping and (attempt to) take some pix of hummingbirds. It was a beautifully quiet morning with only a handful of cars in the lot. The color in the canyon was good but not where it was last year around this time. There was only a little hummingbird action on the way in so I went up to the big pool and looked for a route up the west slope to the spire. Made it halfway up and could have kept going but decided to turn around. Back in the wash the action was picking up as it got warmer. Got a few lucky shots and headed back.
    Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Exploring Chuparosa Canyon

    Hank (Grasshopper) emailed me last week with a proposition to go hiking the canyon East of Hieroglyphic Canyon. A couple of years ago I hiked into the canyon directly North of Turks Head Mountain and, although interesting, it was a torturous, brush busting trip into a short canyon, so I had some reservations on doing this one. Hank assured me that it wouldn't be as bad and the views would be much better. So I agreed to accompany him for an exploratory hike..... and I'm glad I did :D

    We drove to the Hieroglyphic TH which was already filling up, and hiked up to the split in the trail where we cut off on the Lost Goldmine Trail heading East. A short distance down the trail we had to climb over a barbwire fence to get into the Wilderness Area as there's no gated access. The hiking was easy as we followed the wash and then climbed up the hillside alongside the wash, keeping an eye on the rock formations that were the entrance to the canyon.

    As we dropped down into the wash, we were soon immersed in fields of Chuparosa, (colloquial Spanish term for "hummingbird") plants that were loaded with beeeeeez :o The bees were everywhere but were so preoccupied with the flowers that they ignored us as we passed through the many patches of the bright red plants. The canyon was relatively easy hiking with occasional boulder fields to get through but almost no catclaw to contend with.

    The Western side of the canyon consists of steep slopes of smooth volcanic rock while the opposite side was mainly loose rock and lots of brush..... we chose the Eastern slope. The views are great all around us with lots of slickrock leading up to the base of steep cliffs, tall rock spires and far ahead of us, the top of the canyon.

    As we continued exploring the canyon, the sides got steeper, the rocks looser and the Cholla more aggressive so we finally reached a point where we decided to call a halt to our short exploratory hike. Unless your intent is to continue on to the top of the canyon and from there, drop down into Hieroglyphic Canyon, this should be looked at as an "out-and-back" hike. This was a short but interesting hike with lots of views and almost no chance of running into another hiker. Water runoff would be short in duration because the canyon is relatively short and not much dirt to retain the moisture... A good choice for a short hike.

    Lots of Chuparosa in full bloom with several Brittlebush mixed in for appeal. Only a few small patches of Mexican Poppies along the way.
    Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    A lesser known and less traveled "off trail" canyon hike in the Superstition Wilderness - West ?? :o

    On December 16, 2014, HAZ Van posted a pic set and trip log of his fairly strenuous 5 mile loop with 2k AEG into, up, and over the top of this canyon which included an exit down and out the Hieroglyphic Canyon Trail. From viewing his pic set, I knew I was not up to trying a similar loop, but what an interesting, rugged, and scenic canyon this is.. surely worth a shorter out and back :)

    It took me three months to make a decision to give this one a try, but with all Van's help regarding a preferred "off trail" route, I was feeling more confident.

    Jack was available to join me on this beautiful Spring day so all was a go. After .52mls in on the Lost Goldmine Trail from the Hieroglyphic Park/TH Start, you need to cross the Superstition Wilderness Boundary fence to begin the more rugged, route finding off trail section of this hike. Crossing this barbwire fence with my full 25lb day pack, I lost my balance and fell backwards on my pumpkin still straddling the fence :sk:

    Once within the inner canyon I had a plan for us to venture further Northeast and UP in elevation to view one of the more prominent cliff alcove areas, but we had to abort this plan due to my poor execution of not being in the right inner canyon location to begin with.. better luck next time!

    The Spring Chuparosa wildflower displays in this topo map unnamed canyon but now appropriately HAZ named "Chuparosa Canyon" were just awesome and made up for the more difficult bushwhacking sections we needed to get through to view the inner sections of this most interesting new Superstition Wilderness-West hiking area.

    Thanks Van for all your help and thank you Jack for joining me, for driving, and for sharing some of Pat's delicious homemade chocolate chip/oatmeal cookies..she should market these! :)
    Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Since Larry and I couldn't hike yesterday due to the weather I decided to go check it out today to see how much water was flowing. Only saw some trickles! The sun was shining as I left the trailhead but within an hour dark clouds moved in and it started to get windy and cold! I was looking for possible routes up through the back of the canyon but when it started to sprinkle I decided it was time to get down off the loose, slippery stuff. Of course it cleared up pretty quick after I was down!! Took some pics down around the falls, headed out and wandered over to Hieroglyphic Trail through the washes on the way out.
    Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Now that I figured out the quickest hiking route in I was able to use the extra time to push all the way to the giant cave in the back of the canyon. There is really only one short scramble with some exposure, but the climb in/out of Chuparosa is steep and loose.

    This is an incredible canyon with some very strange formations! The cave area is amazing and drops steeply into the drainage on the east side. Besides what is visible from below there are other small isolated pockets on both sides of the central cave. If you enjoy some off-trail exploration, this is the hike for you!!
    Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    A quick Christmas Eve hike with the kids to show them this cool spot and the hummingbirds. They were skeptical at first, but after 20 minutes of sitting they couldn't help but smile at how fun they are to watch! They thought we should've called it "Hummingbird Canyon"! From there we explored up to the falls and had a holiday snack of Ohio baby swiss and Trail bologna! If you've had it you know what a treat it is!!

    Even though the trailhead was packed, we never saw anyone else once we dropped down on Lost Goldmine. Another reason to love this hike!!
    Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    After hiking both sides of this canyon recently I wanted to go back and explore up the main drainage past the "falls". On the way in I found a nice rock in the middle of the wash to enjoy all the hummingbirds. They were all over the place! A couple times they zoomed within inches of me (especially when they were chasing each other). Too fun!!

    Up canyon I climbed up a narrow slick rock area that led to a wider, more vertical chute fed by water that comes off the cliffs. There were some small pools in the sculpted rock but no flow. Worked down from the there to the middle of the canyon and over to above the "falls". There were some larger pools here and some colorful rock formations!

    This is a really cool hike for as short as it is!!
    Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I wasn't sure if this was possible, but after looking at it from different angles recently I thought I should give it a try.

    Chuparosa Canyon is the first canyon east of Hieroglyphic Canyon. It has a big spire on the west side about halfway up. I aimed left of the spire and went up! There were a few rough spots, just bad enough to know I didn't want to go back down the same way!! Near the spire I saw a bighorn sheep up on a ledge!

    I had to bust through some thick brush in the high drainage. After that it was pretty smooth sailing! Once on top I looked for a way up 3845 but saw nothing obvious, so that will have to wait! Came down on the north side of the Balancing Rock. There is a faint route through there and I saw some cool spots! Linked to Hiero Trail and headed for the car!!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive

    To hike
    From the Phoenix area- 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. Also see under above "alternate" routes section, GPS Driving Route for download.
    page created by Grasshopper on Mar 07 2015 6:22 pm
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