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Haunted Canyon #203, AZ

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Guide 194 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Queen V NE
3.8 of 5 by 47
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Distance One Way 8.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,160 feet
Elevation Gain 1,760 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,040 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 - 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.7
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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10  2019-05-27 wallyfrack
13  2019-04-14 jamminaz
12  2019-04-06 wallyfrack
9  2019-03-14 gmaclachlan
5  2019-02-03
Bull Basin Loop - Eastern Superstitions
6  2018-12-15 wallyfrack
8  2018-11-19 big_load
2  2018-11-17 JuanJaimeiii
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Author Fritzski
author avatar Guides 43
Routes 0
Photos 597
Trips 59 map ( 132 miles )
Age 66 Male Gender
Location Gilbert, AZ
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Preferred   Oct, Nov, Mar, Apr → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:21pm
Official Route
17 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
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Some sugar for your feet!
by Fritzski

Tony's Ranch is closed to visitors as directed by the United States Army Corp of Engineers.

Pure unadulterated pleasure. "I really can't say anything negative about it." This is what I'd classify as really great "date hike".

Haunted Canyon trail has both a lower and an upper trailhead connected by a dirt road. We went from the lower to the upper then rode our mountain bikes (pre positioned) back down the hill to finish.

The hike starts from a parking area just south of the metal bridge heading south on an old jeep trail along the creek. When you get to an old corral its time to turn west on the trail. As the trail follows the creek through Haunted Canyon, the serenity and beauty make you totally unaware of the steady gradual climb. There are a couple spots where you actually have to cross fallen log bridges to follow the trail. The trail is easy to follow with the exception of one spot. The canyon narrows at one point to two vertical rock walls. If there is water in the creek your choices are to either take of the shoes and wade or climb up to the right. This is tricky - don't climb up too high looking for an open route back down into the canyon - there isn't one. Just sheer cliff as far as you care to keep trying. Climb only about twelve feet then look closely for a spot where you can boulder back down next to some small pines.

Continue through the woods and you'll come to the intersection of Haunted Canyon trail as it turns north and a trail that continues straight for another half mile to Tony Cabin which is a wonderful spot for lunch. The cabin is very interesting as some campers store extra supplies here and there is a sign-in log inside. This is an extraordinarily beautiful little setting and please do your part to keep it that way.

To find Haunted Can. trail north, just return from the cabin but bear to your left. You will depart the creek on a rather strenuous climb which just adds a nice little conditioning aspect to the trip. As you pass the intersection with Paradise trail you will come to a surprising old cattle pond on the side of the hill. Not far after that you reach the top at close to 5000' and begin a descent to the upper trailhead.

This section seems a little bland after having become accustomed to the earlier beauty. I'm convinced that the "ultimate hike" would be Haunted Canyon to Paradise trail finishing at Miles trailhead. I did Paradise the week before and it was classic to say the least. Unless you happen to be a Lance Armstrong clone, the climb from Miles would most likely preclude the mountain bike aspect and you'd have to do a car shuttle. But on the other hand you could do it the other direction making it a mostly downhill hike if you wanted to ratchet up the pleasure meter even further for that significant other hiker.

One point I'd like to make. Apparently Magma Mining Co. wants to mine that area up to the Wilderness Area boundary. This would take basically all that portion of the trail up to the cabin and as described above that would include the entire "canyon" area and all the beauty. This would be a crime and please do your part to voice an opinion in this matter whenever possible.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2001-04-23 Fritzski

    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 of 42 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Haunted Canyon #203
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    An easy overnight with Mrs big_load and Cousin G. The cool weather made for easy hiking, but my buddies insisted on a campfire to warm up at night. Since the spring was flowing well, I caved in. (For some reason I left Route Scout on while I was filtering water).

    Pinto Creek was running above ground in places nearly all the way in.

    Found some bits of mahogany obsidian along the way. I looked for more evidence of homesteads in the broader valley along Pinto Creek. Upon further review, I think I've found everything that still exists. I expected there to be some structures on the far side of Pinto Creek on the big flat, perhaps up against the hills, but I have no info that shows anything there.
    Haunted Canyon #203
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    I started at about 7 am and pretty much had the trail to myself. It was cold early on and didn't warm up until I found the sun half way out. I explored a side canyon east of Tony Spring which was pretty cool. There was plenty of water east of the ranch in Haunted Canyon and Tony Spring was flowing at a trickle. A nice day out on the trail.
    Haunted Canyon #203
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    Another hike into Haunted Canyon to explore a new theory. We decided hike the loop and complete the trail. The cool evening temperatures have the flies swarming to the warm caves. A twenty foot crawl through a flies was not worth a look today. The weather was nice and we only saw a girl and her packed dog on the trail. The phrase of the day "Et tu Brute'?" Thanks for driving JJ. New adventures await.
    Haunted Canyon #203
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    After a bit of a dry spell it was nice to get back to Miles TH. 287 through the mine is in great shape. 287a seemed a little rougher than I remember but still 2wd passable. It looked like it was recently graded which dug up a lot of small rocks so I felt like Ace Ventura bouncing along down the road.

    Paradise Trail is a real treat, absolutely beautiful, and with water flowing most of the way elevates this trail to a 5+ IMO. Passed a couple trail crews along the upper sections of Haunted Canyon Trail but other than that we saw no others. Took a break and had a snack near Tony Cabin Spring. Bull Basin Trail, as reported by others, is in nice shape. Not as groomed as Paradise and Haunted Canyon but very easy to follow. Really enjoyed this hike on this day :D
    Haunted Canyon #203
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    We were looking for a moderate hike and Haunted Canyon was a great option. Kyle and Claire have never been there so the decision was made and we headed out and started hiking from the east trailhead around 9am.

    The hike in went really well. The first couple of miles follow an old road and then there is a small climb before dropping down to the creek. Once in the creek it’s very easy going. There was a lot of poison ivy and I went out of my way to avoid it. I still ended up with some after getting home and scrubbing with Tecnu. Poison ivy loves me! We continued on and passed a group of backpackers making the hike out. They commented about using the camp to the west of the main site. They said they had a wonderful night and enjoyed a fire. More on this later. We continued on…

    We arrived at the main camping site roughly 30 minutes later and there was a group packing up with several horses. We said hello and then headed over to the campsite to the west. I wanted to see it for future reference. We walked over there and could smell smoke. We were appalled to find a burning fire in the fire ring. The group of backpackers we saw made zero effort to extinguish their fire. It was sickening especially seeing a nice pool of water 30 feet away. Kyle and I spend the next ten minutes hauling water and completely put the fire out. The group was lazy or stupid. Either way I was hoping to see them on our hike out but no luck. I suppose that’s a good thing because I would have yelled at them!

    Anyways, after that we headed over to Tony’s Cabin and took our lunch there. It’s such a great location and I could spend a lot of time here. We took a variety of pics and then started the hike out. The return was a breeze. We made good time and I did my best to avoid the poison ivy. I failed at this! Once back to the trailhead, we packed up and headed back to Phoenix.

    I really enjoy the hike to Haunted Canyon. It’s a great area with some fascinating history. I ask everyone to please be careful with your campfire. Extinguish it thoroughly before hiking out. The damage done by a forest fire can be catastrophic especially to an area like Haunted Canyon.
    Haunted Canyon #203
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    April 1st seemed like a good day to do a quick search in Haunted Canyon. The lower road has been graded so it was better than it has been. The morning was brisk and the trail was washed out in a few spots but easy to follow and in good condition in general. I found a horse boot and 2 bags of feed along the trail. Some campers dropped it and were planning on retrieving on the way out. I searched a few spots and decided to hike out. I hiked to the top of Peak 5069 on the way out and noticed some solar panels and a tower out of view from the trail. On the drive out the mine had coated the upper road with that soccer mom repellent. It keeps the dust down and gives the Jeep some character. :lol: It was another nice cool day for hiking.
    Haunted Canyon #203
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    Rick's Son, Dustin is visiting from the U P Michigan, wanted to do some camping and hiking. We scouted out Miles TH last month and determined if we are to camp there it has to be during the week to have some solitude :) . Showed up mid morning on Monday and :o only one spot left to set up camp :pout: We made the best of the situation and it turned out, no problem, was all quite around us. :zzz: After we set up camp, gathered all the camp wood, we set out on West Pinto to Cuff Button and returned. Met a young lady heading up to Oak flats to set up camp, found out she was part of the Arizona Conservation Corps, and rest of the group was joining her on Tuesday. The plan was to scout out all the trails in the area, and process them for future trail maintenance this summer and have work done by next fall. :D Also all the other camp sites were occupied by Wilderness Volunteers planning on working this week on Trail Maintenance, Monday they finished Paradise Trail, Tuesday they were heading up Bull Basin Trail to the saddle. So looks and sounds like Miles TH will be busy hosting work crews this summer. According to their Web site, Champaign Trail is on the agenda this week. Tuesday Bull Basin Loop was our chosen hike. Wow hats off to all that has done this :) When they say steep, they mean steep !!! Got to Haunted Canyon finally :scared: took the side trip over to Tony's. While there we met 3 yes 3 state workers from the Fishery Dep't, checking if there were any fish my the stream next to the cabin, talk about time wasted management :( :? Great time can't wait to get back.
    Haunted Canyon #203
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    After careful deliberation Ray and Kelly decided to let me tag along on their adventure. Cool and wet. We'll all be jealous in a few months. Many creek crossings during the hike. Stayed dry for quite a few, but some weren't worth the effort. Once your feet are wet, it really doesn't matter much anymore.

    This is my third time to Toney Cabin. Each time by a different route. Still don't know my way around very well. The trails are in good shape even though they have been hit hard by recent rains. The lower part of Paradise trail is very nice. Lots of cypress and sycamore trees.

    Fun hike with awesome company! Thanks Ray and Kelly. :)
    Haunted Canyon #203
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    Kelly and I have been talking about doing something out this way and agreed on the Bull Basin Loop with a side trip to Tony Ranch. It was scheduled for Sunday, but rain got in the way. Monday looked better. John was looking for a hike so we invited him along too.

    Running water ruled the day. We initially thought that log crawling across a creek at the outset would keep our feet dry. :lol: A couple of dozen or more creek crossings later we didn't care about wet feet. Some of the creeks resembled rivers. Some sections of the trails resembled creeks. At the saddle near the start of the Paradise Trail, John noted that it was the first time all day we could not hear running water.

    The trails are in excellent shape. As noted in a couple of recent trip logs, they've been trimmed back nicely. A tiny bit of cat claw here and there, but easily avoidable. A little muddy here and there, more so at the saddle on Paradise trail, but a day or two of sunshine will make it all good.

    We took a nice break at the cabin on Tony Ranch. What little bit of sunshine we had at the outset gave way to overcast skies. Our wet feet could have used some sun. Instead, they started to get cold. Time to move. It was 37 degrees at the start and it didn't get anywhere close to the promised high in the low 60's.

    Wet, cloudy or cold, it didn't matter today; this was a fun hike. If you're on the fence about this one, or if you hiked it when it was bushy on Bull Basin trail, you should get out there. This is good hiking with the opportunity for much more. We all had fun.

    John and Kelly, it was great hiking with you!
    Haunted Canyon #203
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    ray and john had monday off, so we picked the best weather day of the holiday weekend to hike bull basin loop
    road was a little muddy, but ray had no issues on the drive in
    37 degrees around 7:30, starting out on west pinto trail
    came to our first crossing of rock creek and found a slick log to crawl over
    stayed dry on that one, but gave it up on the next 40 or so :lol:
    there was water flowing in every creek and drainage, and often on the trail
    the bigger crossings got pretty cold :o
    turned onto bull basin trail, which climbed to a saddle and then dropped down to haunted canyon trail
    took the side trip to the cabin as i had not seen it
    cool spot for a snack break
    headed back to the intersection with paradise trail, which also climbed to a saddle
    the initial descent was a little steep, rocky and wet, but soon moderated into a nice dirt path through the woods
    finished up and headed into superior for a late lunch at los hermanos
    fun hike on all new trails for me
    good company, too
    trails were in great shape - very little brush
    love seeing some new territory in the eastern superstitions
    thanks for driving, ray
    plenty more to do from miles trailhead, which is worthy of some wandering around to check out the old ranch stuff

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Superior head out east on US 60. Pass through the Queen Creek Tunnel and continue 10 miles to mile marker 239.4 Turn left onto this paved road that enters the Pinto Mine. Follow the paved road 2.8 miles and turn left onto FS 287. Go slow at the numerous intersections. Your goal is to figure out which are mine roads and which are public access. Public access signs are posted on most of the intersections. Some aren't exactly clear which way they are pointing. You will leave the private land of the Pinto Mine and crossover onto forest land. At about seven miles you turn left onto FR3037. Follow FR3037 about 0.15 miles to gate. Park at the locked gate.
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