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Fish Creek via Lost Dutch, AZ

Guide 14 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.2 of 5 
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 1.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,131 feet
Elevation Gain 628 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.89
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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15  2020-12-12
Fish Creek Upper Bridge Loop
30  2015-11-14
Fish Creek Ridge - Fish Creek Canyon Loop
20  2014-03-22
Fish Creek Upper Bridge Loop
15  2013-04-20 hikerdw
1  2012-06-24
Fish Creek Canyon - Upper Bridge
45  2010-12-04
Fish Creek Canyon - Bridge to Roger's Canyon
5  2010-05-10 joebartels
10  2010-05-10 johnlp
Page 1,  2
Author AZLOT69
author avatar Guides 175
Routes 247
Photos 7,884
Trips 1,914 map ( 16,193 miles )
Age 70 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Apr → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Summer
Sun  5:37am - 7:25pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2019 Woodbury Fire123.8k

Warning the 2019 Woodbury Fire & 2020 Sawtooth Fire damaged a majority of the Superstition Wilderness.
This Is No Waltz In The Park
by AZLOT69

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Overview: This trail provides access to Fish Creek at approximately the half way point between Rogers Canyon and Highway 88 at the Fish Creek bridge. This route offers an escape route from Fish Creek as well as several options for combining other trails and making loops out of them for multi day adventures.

History: A hike description in the Superstitions would not be complete without relating its importance as related to the legend of the Lost Dutchman. The Tortilla trailhead is important as one location to access trails to cross the wilderness to the south side of the Superstitions. It was home to the Miller Mines. The drift located by Estee Conaster documented in her book The Sterling Legend and documented in the HAZ hike entitled, Lost Dutchman Mine accessed here. It was also home of Tortilla Ranch. The last outbuilding of the ranch was eliminated in the 1970s and you will pass by the concrete foundations on your way to the trailhead.

Hike: To access the trail you will start on the JF trail #106 at the fence line. In a few hundred feet you will pass a Superstition Wilderness sign. The next fence line is just about fifty feet. Turn left absent a trail and keep the fence on your right. This is an old access road for the Miller Mines but has been reclaimed by nature. Follow the natural flow of the land around obstacles for one half mile keeping the fence on your right. At the top of a knoll there is an opening where a gate once stood. It is marked by four nine foot railroad ties standing in the ground. Pass thru the gate and head down the ravine for about two hundred feet. Then make a sweeping turn to the east and watch for cairns. It is very important to locate the actual trail at this point and not attempt to bushwhack your way down to Fish Creek. A bushwhack would be brutal.

Once you have located the trail you will have to focus on staying with it. It is well cairned but tall grasses hide them. Generally just scan ahead for the next cairn without getting in too big a hurry. If you go more than one hundred feet without seeing a cairn you have lost the trail and I suggest backtrack to reestablish it. The trail is faint. If you lose it it's very hard to relocate. The trail continues to bear left and eventually follows the contour of the sheer cliffs ahead. The views of Fish Creek Canyon to the north and to the east are awesome and continue to get better. As the descent gets steeper you may hear the flow of water in the creek. Experience tells me that if the water is flowing at this point in the creek you better be prepared for some water recreation if you continue either direction in Fish Creek. Don't underestimate the time it will take you to continue from this point without being prepared to spend the night. Travel is slow and full of obstacles in either direction. For a comfortable day trip return the way you came. Use and knowledge of a GPS and the associated track will be an huge asset on this hike. Keep in mind if you lack a 4 x 4 and had to start at the highway 88 parking area this trip is 6.4 miles one way.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2009-04-13 AZLOT69

    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To Tortilla Trailhead
    From the junction of Idaho Road & SR-88, follow SR-88 23.0 miles east to FR-213.

    If you do not have 4x4, you will need to park here and hike 3.4 miles to the trailhead. Otherwise, drive in. The first 0.25-mile section is the most difficult.

    The trailhead is not well defined. If you are hiking out on Peter's Trail #105, steer right(west) at the end to the old windmill and water tower. If you are hiking out on JF Trail #106 or Hoolie Bacon Trail #111, continue straight/right to the fence. JF Trail #106 takes off immediately. Hoolie #111 is 0.8 miles off of #106.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 60.7 mi - about 1 hour 50 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 154 mi - about 3 hours
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 205 mi - about 4 hours
    page created by AZLOT69 on Apr 13 2009 4:55 pm
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