Trail data given is only for Terrapin Trail #234 itself. The hike described here is the popular loop. Check out Weavers Needle Loop for complete loop distance & stats.
Terrapin trail is part of a 12.9 mile loop per the GPS unit that starts from Peralta Trailhead and circumnavigates Weaver's Needle. The entire trip is just under 6 hours which allows for plenty of stops to rubber neck and enjoy the views. As the series of trails are well maintained, route finding is not an issue except for in some short stretches.
The trip begins as you leave Peralta Trailhead on Dutchman's Trial for a hundred yards to the Bluff Springs Trail turn off. Take Bluff Springs Trail up over the ridge and follow it down Barks Canyon. A quick note regarding the topo maps. On the topo maps, they label the trail up Barks Canyon as Dutchman's trail but the trail markers call it Bluff Springs. Furthermore, while the actual trail markers call it Terrapin Trail, it is labeled Needle Trail and Needle Cutoff Trail on the topo map. It's all the same trail, just don't let the different names confuse you. After about an hour on Bluff Springs Trail you will come to the Terrapin Trail cut off. The intersection is well signed and Terrapin Trail heads west across the wash and up the canyon to Bluff Saddle. This trail is not well cairned, (it doesn't need to be in most spots), and it is easy to get off trail on this climb if you're not paying attention. As long as you keep heading up, you should be just fine. After Bluff Saddle you head north through a valley like area that is surrounded by miniature hoodoos on either side. After this point the trail begins to descend down into Needle Canyon and the vegetation and cat claw get much thicker. While the trail is by no means overgrown, the cat claw will scratch you up if you try "beat feet" through it. As one proceeds north/northwest up this canyon you will be afforded stunning views of Weavers Needle to the west. As you past Weavers Needle, the trail begins to climb up to Terrapin Pass.
Terrapin Pass is more of a saddle than a pass, but it grants you great views of the surrounding terrain. The view northwest is of Blacktop Mesa, Palomino Mountain and Black Mesa off in the distance. Of course, Weavers Needle is to the south. Looking down the trail directly to the north you can clearly see where the tail is heading down the canyon to the intersection with the Dutchman Trail. Even further north of this intersection you can make out the area, (on a clear day), where the Dutchman Trail intersects the Bull Pass Trail. Be careful going down the north slope of Terrapin Pass as the trail is dominated by loose rock and scree. To your right in the eastern wall of the canyon, you can make out where several mines were located. Eventually the trail levels out as it follows the creek bed due north. Along this wash you will notice the remains of a stone wall which formed some sort of a catch basin for run off. The intersection of Terrapin and Dutchman Trail is clearly signed and heading west on this will take you over a saddle at the base of Black Top Mesa and down to Boulder Canyon. From the top of this saddle you get a clear view of the Peralta Tail heading up the west side of Boulder Canyon and back to Freemont Saddle, the Peralta Trailhead, and home. The trail intersection of Dutchman and Peralta Trail is clearly signed and just west of the wash at the bottom of Boulder Canyon.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.