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Superstition Peak 5057 - Balanced Rock Loop, AZ

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182 11 1
Description 11 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions SW
Rated
3.6
3.6 of 5 by 5
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,082 feet
Elevation Gain 2,975 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 23
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Historic, Seasonal Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
15  2018-01-05 Daytripper
22  2017-02-12 KBKB
19  2017-01-25 rvcarter
10  2015-05-03
Superstition Peak 5057 via Hiero
trekkin_gecko
13  2015-05-03
Superstition Peak 5057 via Hiero
Tortoise_Hiker
5  2015-01-31
Superstition Peak 5057 via Hiero
Peter_Medal
16  2013-03-10
Superstition Peak 5057 via Hiero
BiFrost
39  2009-02-28
Superstition Ridgeline
rwstorm
36  2005-02-24
Superstition Ridgeline 2
rwstorm
20  2004-11-14
Superstition Ridgeline 1
rwstorm
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Mar, Feb, Jan → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:15am - 6:20pm
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Route Scout App
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Ermahgerd Canyon
0.0 mi away
5.7 mi
2,600 ft
Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
0.0 mi away
2.3 mi
1,952 ft
Superstition Peak 5057 via Hiero
0.0 mi away
3.9 mi
3,022 ft
Hieroglyphics Trail #101
0.1 mi away
3.0 mi
650 ft
Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
0.1 mi away
6.1 mi
1,060 ft
Superstition Peak 5057 Loop via Hiero
0.1 mi away
11.4 mi
3,800 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna View Nearby
Bighorn Sheep
Desert Tortoise
Tarantula
Flora View Nearby
Barrel Cactus
Blackfoot Daisy
Chuparosa
Dudleya
Mohave Prickly Pear
Saguaro
Teddy Bear Cholla
Unidentified Flora
Geology View Nearby
HooDoo
Meteorology View Nearby
Crepuscular rays
Sunset
Named place View Nearby
Chuparosa Canyon (Unofficial)
Hieroglyphic Canyon
Hieroglyphic Spring
Hieroglyphics Canyon
Superstition Mountain 5057
Superstition Mountains - Ridgeline
Superstition Wilderness - West
The Flatiron
Three Sisters - Superstition Wilderness
Turks Head - Superstition Boundary
Weavers Needle
Culture View Nearby
Benchmark
Geocache
Ghost?
Gila Petroglyph Style (Abstract)
johnr1
Reference Mark
Summit Register Log
Scrambler's Delight
by rvcarter & Mountain_Rat

Background
Reaching the Superstition Mountains highest point fits into several hikes already described on HAZ. This description covers a short seven-mile or so loop out of the Hieroglyphic Trailhead in Gold Canyon that utilizes parts of the Superstition Ridgeline Trail (normally reached via Siphon Draw or Carney Springs) and Hieroglyphics Trail # 101. Both of these trails are magnificent by themselves, but the variation described here combines some strenuous hiking with off-trail class three rock scrambling, incredible views, and navigational challenges not otherwise experienced.


Note
This is not Superstition Peak 5024, which is an unnamed peak situated 1000 feet or so to the northeast of Flatiron.

Hike
The hike is probably best done in counterclockwise manner, but could be done clockwise. The scrambling once one leaves the Hieroglyphic Trail to head up to the peak would for most people be most comfortable going up. Surprisingly, there is a faint trail all the way up to the peak, marked by cairns at most key points. However, a good map and a GPS would be very helpful. The take-off point from trail # 101 for us seemed to be the one most used, and it quickly lead to a faint path up the slope. Don’t miss the huge portal in a large rock formation off to the right. There are few cairns in this section, but the general plan is to make your way up to an outstanding balanced rock on the ridge above Hieroglyphic Springs. If you look around some, some routes to scramble up to the balanced rock will become evident.

There is a sharp turn to the right (east) past the balanced rock to head up the ridge. The boulders in this area provide some fun scrambling but obscure the true direction one needs to follow. As they say, “when in doubt, go up…”, but look for the faint trail which helps immensely along the entire way. You eventually reach a cliff area which must be skirted to the right. Once on top of the cliff, the actual peak will soon come into view. Some of the photographs posted by others show a chair like rock formation but we didn’t see it.

The views from the top of Superstition Peak are stunning in every direction. Easily recognizable landmarks include Weavers Needle, Four Peaks, Battleship Rock, an oblique view of Flatiron, Picketpost Mountain, and the suburbs of Phoenix. You’re also surrounded by some of the most unique rock pillars in the Supes. When ready, head easterly down to intersect the Ridgeline Trail, turn 180 degrees, and go west. There are some great rock formations along the way over to the top of Hieroglyphics Canyon, some involving additional scrambling opportunities. The point to turn down Hieroglyphic Canyon is marked with a large cairn. Resist the urge to head down too soon. From here to the springs, the trail is fairly easy to follow but very steep and fraught with loose rock. Once the lower drainage is reached, depending on the time of year, water may be flowing. We stayed on the trail due to the considerable flow, but least one of tracks linked to this description goes directly down the drainage.

Take some time to view the considerable (but substantially vandalized) rock art near the springs. The slick rock and petroglyphs near and below the spring are truly impressive. Follow the Hieroglyphic Trail back to the parking lot.

rvcarter & Mountain_Rat
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    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 rvcarter on Jan 31 2017 10:00 am
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