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Superstition Wilderness - GET #1, AZ

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Guide 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
3.8 of 5 by 5
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 30.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,288 feet
Elevation Gain 2,555 feet
Accumulated Gain 5,091 feet
Avg Time One Way 1-3 days
Kokopelli Seeds 47.27
Interest Ruins, Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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24  2015-03-26
Superstition Getaway - Day 1
18  2015-01-18
Campaign TH to First Water TH
11  2012-12-25
Charlebois from Peralta TH
20  2010-03-02 sirena
Author blisterfree
author avatar Guides 24
Routes 37
Photos 5
Trips 0 map ( 0 miles )
Age 47 Male Gender
Location lithosphere
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Oct
Seasons   Autumn
Sun  6:10am - 6:30pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

GET Segment 1 overview

The Superstition Wilderness of Arizona's Tonto National Forest encompasses a unique, diverse, and dramatic landscape of canyons, mesas, and volcanic peaks, much of it occurring in the lower and upper Sonoran desert life zones with their equally unusual communities of plant and animal life. As such, this first segment of the GET is truly a feast for the senses; a fitting place to begin or end an extended journey on the Grand Enchantment Trail.

Our route follows an extensive and meandering network of foot trails, varying in condition from well-trod and easily followable, to vague and overgrown in places. In general, the trail sections nearest the major trailheads (First Water, Peralta, and Rogers Trough) receive the most use and are maintained accordingly (either officially so or by virtue of all the foot and hoof traffic). Farther in the backcountry, where comparatively few users go, trail conditions tend to be more rough, and unavoidably overgrown with catclaw and other bushes, at least in corridors here and there. Overall, the terrain in this segment is quite rocky and rough, with a fair amount of climbing and descending as the trails negotiate passes between the many steep-walled canyons for which the "Supes" are renowned. For long-distance hikers just starting out, rest assured: While the way may seem difficult, and indeed it is unavoidably so here, the rewards are yet evident all around, and the route does become somewhat easier once it joins the Arizona Trail near the eastern end of this segment and continuing into segment 2.

With the exception of two generally reliable water sources (Charlesbois Spring and La Barge Spring), water can be rather scarce in dry times, so be sure to carry enough of it despite the extra packweight. Impromptu campsites are encountered with some frequency along the way, and the going at either end of this segment can sometimes get a little crowded, but for the most part hikers can expect a wilderness experience with plenty of solitude among these mystical and legendary desert hills.

A detailed, mile-by-mile description of this segment is available in the official GET guidebook. See

This segment of the GET forms part of a longer trip between resupply locations, as described below:

GET Segments 1 & 2, Phoenix to Superior

The Grand Enchantment Trail begins 45 miles east of downtown Phoenix, AZ at the First Water Trailhead in the Superstition Mountains (Tonto National Forest). It follows foot trail east into this rugged volcanic desert range, winding through lush canyon bottoms and over viewful passes, past saguaro cacti, teddy bear cholla, jojoba, and other highly-adapted plants of the lower Sonoran desert. Weaver's Needle, a dramatic rock fang, is often in view, marking the location of the mythical Lost Dutchman's Gold while adding to the real-world grandeur of this landscape. East of sheer-walled Upper La Barge Box, the route climbs toward scenic Horse Ridge and Tortilla Pass, now in the upper Sonoran desert life zone, before descending to follow the rockbound drainage of Rogers Creek and passing near a 700 year old Salado cliff dwelling. Here the GET joins the Arizona Trail, not far from the gravesite and former ranch of Elisha Reavis, the "hermit of the Superstitions." Following the AZ Trail south, the route climbs chaparral-cloaked Montana Mountain with sweeping views, then drops steeply to follow the drainages of Reavis and Whitford canyons, finally leaving the Superstitions and reaching US Hwy 60 four miles west of the town of Superior nearby the renowned Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2013-08-08 blisterfree

    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
    Superstition Wilderness - GET #1
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Wonderful overnight trip with my buddy Lauren!
    A little bit of the GET & Dutchman to start, we then substituted the #104 with the Black Mesa Trail from the description for the counter clockwise lasso loop. So it went ... Second Water to Black Mesa :next: Black Mesa down to Boulder Canyon :next: Up Boulder Canyon to Battleship where we set up camp on a nice sandy bar just before sunset to end the days hiking and settle in to camp life. Day 2 started early with morning coffee and the sunrise show. After a slow & lazy camp break down and pack up, we headed up the remaining Boulder trail :next: Up and across Second Water and back to the start ending our overnight stay. Along the way we had several fun short side trips, met a couple of very friendly folks & was a little :o at the horse parade (bout 25) we stepped aside for to watch come down the Second Water Trail.
    Post trip meal was had back in Gilbert at Nando's before both of our long drives back home.
    Always good to get back in the Superstition Wilderness, even better to do it with a great friend I don't get to see near enough of .....
    Thank You Lauren :yr: Girl!
    Superstition Wilderness - GET #1
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This was an epic hike, and an epic push to the end. Started a half hour before daylight at First Water, finished almost an hour after dark at Rogers Trough.

    I hadn't done any long distance stuff since early summer, so this deal kicked me in the pants. I was frustrated with myself, huffing a bit going up the Box before hitting Hoolie Bacon; when I started on the incline on JF I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. I've come out at Rogers at other times at night, but never was it a prettier sight than this time. Beautiful weather today, and incredible views. Nice amount of water on the western half of this segment too, more than expected. Small amounts of ice and snow still in shaded parts of the higher elevations.

    Nice seeing ToughBoots and John9L on the Red Tanks.
    Superstition Wilderness - GET #1
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    wow...the grand enchantment trail starts of with a haymaker! first water to rogers trough, going through phenomenal country along the way. highlights included a glimpse at Aylors arch, jaw dropping views of the weavers needle, upper la barge box, 4 peaks views, the ruins at rogers, remote travel through faraway places, stem to stern views of the superstition ridgeline like i've never seen, long views back to the snowy catalinas, sunset light in rogers canyon, plenty of water and the best weather you could ask for.

    definitely a tough day but i felt good all the way through and it was a very rewarding trip. we ran in to kyle and john along the red tanks trail. good to see you guys :)

    the drive down from rogers was nothing but pure, uncensored HELL :o
    Superstition Wilderness - GET #1
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    JJ and I started hiking from the Rogers Trough TH while Nick and Dave began their trek from the First Water TH, avoiding the long shuttle between trailheads. The temperature was just above freezing when we started (with a wind) but soon dropped as we decended towards the ruins. It would be two hours before we warmed up. This is a great hike taking us through some areas we hadn't seen before. Great views from the upper part of the JF trail. Saw a lot of cat tracks through here too. We only saw five people on the trail all day including Nick and Dave. I guess we missed Kyle and John by about an hour on their hike. Long day, but very rewarding. Pizza and beer afterwards at Nello's was fantastic. :)

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Forest Route 78 at Dutchman Trail #104. First Water Trailhead is accessible by 2WD passenger vehicle. First Water Trailhead is located about 45 miles east of downtown Phoenix. From Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, exit onto Washington St eastbound. Pick up the 202 freeway east to US 60 east to exit 196 / Idaho Rd. Turn left, following Idaho Rd north through four traffic lights. Along the way, pass a Super 8 motel, a few convenience stores (for water, etc.), a Walgreens pharmacy (rubbing alcohol, Bic lighter, sunscreen, etc.), and several restaurants nearby. At the 5th light, turn right, northeast, onto Apache Trail / State Route 88. Pass Goldfield ghost town / tourist attraction, and then (at around 5 miles from Idaho Rd jct) a signed turnoff to Lost Dutchman State Park on right. Continue on Apache Trail less than a half mile farther, then turn right onto graded dirt FR 78 at sign for "First Water Trailhead." Your driver may opt not to continue farther, although the road is usually passable for 2WD vehicles except following flash floods. At ~2.3 miles on FR 78, find First Water equestrian parking on the left. Here a spur trail heads east, or continue on the road ~0.6 mile farther to First Water Trailhead hiker parking and the GET west terminus. Toilet facilities are here, as well as a hiker register and information kiosk, but no water is available. (First probable water along the trail is Charlesbois Spring about 9 miles away.)
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Aug 08 2013 12:52 pm
    $17 3L Hydration Bladder
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