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Dacite Super Loop, AZ

Guide 72 Triplogs  1 Topic
  3.9 of 5 
646 72 1
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Loop 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,317 feet
Elevation Gain 1,915 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,395 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 17.98
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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10  2021-03-26 Daytripper
4  2021-01-03 ScaredyCat
12  2020-12-28 Daytripper
22  2020-12-27
Shaka Cave - Robbers Roost - Barks Upper
22  2020-11-27 rayhuston
9  2020-10-05 adv_trev
1  2020-01-19 jacobemerick
13  2020-01-14 Daytripper
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 7
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 242
Routes 836
Photos 12,083
Trips 4,885 map ( 24,932 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov → Early
Seasons   Autumn
Sun  5:36am - 7:27pm
Official Route
10 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Sawtooth Fire24.7k
🔥 2019 Woodbury Fire123.8k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥

Warning the 2019 Woodbury Fire & 2020 Sawtooth Fire damaged a majority of the Superstition Wilderness.
HAZ Super Loop!
by joebartels

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pronounced day-sight

No trail in sections, scrambling and route finding skills necessary. Written from a wide-eyed semi greenhorn perspective.

Here it is, the Dacite Super Loop! My oh my, this is a killer loop. With the emphasis on killer! This hike is for experienced hikers only. Route finding is not only necessary but very difficult in sections. I can't imagine just hitting the trail hoping for a good day, the results could be horrifying. First, I recommend hiking several other Superstition trails in various seasons. Then you'll have a better feel for what you're tackling. I'm talking about trails in the west section like Peralta, Cave Trail, Dutchman, Bluff Springs, Flatiron, Terrapin, etc. The Cave Trail is a must, or you will have to take a variation on the Peralta.

You can start this hike from Carney, Lost Goldmine, or the Peralta Trailhead. I suggest the Lost Goldmine Trailhead. So... From the Lost Goldmine Trailhead, head west to Carney Springs Trailhead, which by-the-way isn't marked. You should notice some parking spaces followed by a pass-through in the fence. Pass through the fence and head on up the good but non-maintained trail. First, you are heading up to a saddle that overlooks West Boulder Canyon. Very soon into the trail, you will pass an old campground according to the topo map. All that's leftover is a water pipe and cement pieces scattered around. The trail used to go through the old campground. Now it's something like ten yards east. I'm not sure but suppose the campground was the end of the road before becoming a wilderness in 1940. The trail goes up to the mountains. It's fairly impossible to venture off the trail in this section due to heavy vegetation. The trail starts going up the canyon. You'll pass "T" rock as the trail starts going up. Keep an eye out for Cairns and white spray paint spots leading the way. It's a steep trek to West Boulder Saddle, your first destination. Be forewarned there is a false saddle, don't get excited too soon. From the first saddle, the trail dips a tad for a short distance. Then it forges straight up to West Boulder Saddle.

Upon reaching the saddle, check out the view! You are looking into West Boulder Canyon. A use-trail goes down through the canyon. You could follow it to Parker Pass and then onto the First Water Trailhead for a shuttle hike. Of even more interest, to the west is Superstition Peak and the ridgeline fanning out to the northwest. This takes you over to Superstition Mountain and on to the Flatiron. I'm told and have read the ridgeline is extremely difficult. You may have seen stories on the news over the years about lost hikers in the Superstitions. This is usually it. The Ridgeline Trail takes off to the left past the room size boulder on the saddle. On one of my several trips up here, I checked it out a little way. Within fifteen minutes of hiking, you can see much further north. I also spotted a general land section-marker, according to "Hiker's Guide to the Superstition Wilderness". If you're interested in the Ridgeline Trail, keep in mind it's extremely tough.

Okay, so you're at West Boulder Saddle. This is where it begins to get tough. Check out the rock spires, which are known as Hoodoos on top of Dacite Mesa. First, you need to get around the yellow streaked spire ledge on the north (left). A decent cairned trail takes you there with one dip through a small drainage, which is only brushy in the bottom of the drainage for maybe 5 to 10 feet. Continue following the cairns up to the north/left of the yellow streak. There's a couple of pinon pines just before rounding the corner. Once on the other side, GO SOUTH. Cairns should take you across the backside. What looks like a bigger drainage isn't much to cross if you follow the cairns far enough south. Cairns again take you up but peter out. The mind tells you to go north around the next set of spires. Don't do that, GO SOUTH =) I've lost count on the number of times I've done this hike. To date, I'm sad to admit I've gone too far north on countless occasions. Once I came out nearly PAST Weavers, but true!

Finally, on down to Fremont Saddle. As stated above, you need to be familiar with the Fremont Saddle area, or this trip isn't happening. Okay, this is your task. You need to get down to the popular Fremont Saddle. There is a cairned trail if you're lucky enough to find it. Otherwise, just do your best as I have on many occasions. Be careful though, you can cliff out and get into trouble. If you've ever been lost going down on the Flatiron trail, you'll know the feeling. Don't go down into something you can't get back up. An air rescue starts at about one grand and goes up to three from what I've heard.

From Fremont Saddle, go over to the Cave Trail, which is somewhat tricky to find. Check out the Cave Trail trip for more info on this. You could take the Peralta down. I guess that would make it "just" the Dacite Loop. Who can resist the feeling of completing the Dacite Super Loop? So check out the Cave Trail ahead of time and get that section familiarized. Okay, from the Peralta Trailhead parking area, you have a couple of options. The quickest way back to your car is by bicycle if you set up that option in advance. The recommended option is to download the Official Route and follow it. Otherwise, follow the SR77 to the Lost Goldmine Trailhead.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2001-01-06 joebartels
    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 $$
    AZ State Recreational Land Permits
    For hiking, driving & sightseeing purposes, you seek the recreational permit.
    Under "Recreational Land Use" in the link above.
    2020 - $15.00 individual
    2020 - $20.00 family limited to two adults and children under the age of 18
    Plus $1 processing fee
    The permitting process quick, you will be emailed your permit instantly.

    Land Parcel Map

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To Lost Goldmine Trailhead
    7.6 miles east of the junction Idaho Rd / US-60. Turn Left on to FS77 which is Peralta Road. Follow FS77 5.6 miles to a left and up turnoff. Continue 1.4 miles to the Goldmine Trailhead, turn in left. There's enough parking for a small army. Restrooms are 0.5 miles up the road at Peralta Trailhead.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 47.1 mi - about 1 hour 10 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 96.6 mi - about 2 hours 15 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 191 mi - about 3 hours 13 mins
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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