register help

Stoker Trail, AZ

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
no permit
12 2 0
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,096 feet
Elevation Gain 30 feet
Accumulated Gain 30 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 15 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 0.45
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Historic
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
14  2020-03-01
Cholla Tank
12  2018-02-10 johnmc22
10  2012-10-28
Second Water Canyon
Author johnmc22
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 4
Photos 139
Trips 6 map ( 72 miles )
Age 61 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:37am - 7:26pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2020 Superstition Fire9.6k

Warning the 2019 Woodbury Fire & 2020 Sawtooth Fire damaged a majority of the Superstition Wilderness.
Obscure connector trail made by a crazy gold digger
by johnmc22

remove free decal offer
This short connector trail will take you from the Second Water Trail to the Second Water Spring and the Obie Stoker mining campsite. This historic trail might be useful for backpackers needing to tank up at Second Water Spring as the only other way to get there is by scrambling 1/3 mile up Second Water Canyon (an arduous task with a full pack).

This trail was established more than 50 years ago as a route in and out of the Obie Stoker mining claim and camp. Mr. Stoker was an interesting gentleman who mined for gold in Second Water Canyon for almost 50 years from the 1930s until the 1980s. There's a short writeup on the Obie Stoker and his mining claims in the Superstition Wilderness Trails West hiking guide by Jack Carlson (see the "Second Water Spring" hike). The Stoker Trail is referenced in that writeup and noted on the map.

Obie Stoker is also referenced in the Tom Kollenborn Chronicles written by one of the leading experts on the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine legend.

This trail requires some route-finding and a GPS. The trickiest part is finding the cutoff from Second Water Trail as it is not cairned or obvious. GPS is highly recommended to find the cutoff but, once you find it, the trail is relatively well marked with cairns that have probably been there for 50 years or more. It is an easy 1/3 mile to the camp and spring.

Water Sources
At the end of this 1/3 mile connector trail, you will find the headwaters of Second Water Spring. As of early 2018, the spring source was a small, 3-foot diameter clear pool with a depth of 4" or so. Down canyon from the pool are about a dozen other pools of varying clarity, some rather deep. As is always the case with springs in the Supes, you should reconfirm the existence of all water sources before you rely on them. Even the most reliable springs can have dry periods.

What's in a name?
Note that there's some confusion about the location of Second Water Spring. Some people refer to the water source that crosses the Second Water Trail (1/4 mile west of the Boulder Canyon Trail) as Second Water Spring. Reviewing the old USGS topos reveals that spring as a separate water source from the true Second Water Spring, which is about 1/3 mile up canyon from that point. The USGS just labels the one that crosses the trail one as "Spring", so some folks refer to it as "Unnamed Spring." Within the HikeArizona Water Reports section, the spring that crosses Second Water Trail is labeled as Second Water Canyon while the true spring, 1/3 mile up the canyon, is labeled Second Water Spring.

The former Obie Stoker camp is just up the hill from the spring. It has a little bit of shade (OK, not much) and some flat areas for tents. Plus, there are some old rusty artifacts from the gold mining era. Reportedly, there were two mining tunnels up in the mountainside from there. See the Carlson book for details.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2018-02-13 johnmc22
    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
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To First Water Trailhead
    From Mesa follow Highway 60 East to Idaho Road. Turn North onto Idaho Road which is SR88 and follow North 2.2 miles. SR88 bends right just past Scenic St. and Idaho continues North. Be sure to go right and stay on SR88. Follow SR88 5.2 miles to the signed turnoff for First Water Trailhead, this is FR-78. Turn right on to FR-78 and follow 2.6 miles to the end.

    This trailhead feature restrooms without running water. The large parking area fills up in season. When full utilize the Horse Lot 0.5 miles back.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 43.1 mi - about 59 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 136 mi - about 2 hours 16 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 187 mi - about 3 hours 3 mins
    page created by johnmc22 on Feb 13 2018 8:08 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
    help comment issue

    end of page marker