Tracks of Gold
The Dutchman Trail connects the Peralta and First Water trailheads. The trail can be done in either direction, however this description will be from Peralta to Firstwater. This trail has many intersecting trails for possible side trips or variable routes. Since the trail is so long I will break it into smaller segments. If you are looking at a map of this trail be careful, the USGS map incorretly labels the Bluff Spring trail as the Dutchman Trail and the trail that should be the Dutchman's is labeled as Miners Trail. The Beartooth Superstition Wilderness map has the trails correctly labled. There is also a bit of confusion in the USGS maps regarding the trail's course around the Black Top Mesa Area, again, defer to the Beartooth Map.
Peralta TH to Miners Summit
The trail heads out east from the TH. It immediatley gains a little little elevation, but then evens out, before starting the ascent up to Miners Summit. The asscent starts at the intersection with Coffee Flat Trail (108). The trail gains about 1200 ft in a mile and a half. This is the highest point of elevation in the trip, so enjoy it.
Miners Summit to Marsh Valley
This part of the trail is all downhill or relatively level. Right on the summit is the intersection to the Whiskey Spring Trail (238). Shortly after the summit is the Bluff Spring Trail (235). This will take you back to Peralta in about 3 miles. Bluff Spring is know to sporadically have water, ask the local rangers. The next trail is the Red Tanks Trail (107) which will lead back to Whiskey Spring. This is also the approximate location of LaBarge Spring, which usually has filterable water. A mile or so up the trail you will find the intersection of Peters Trail (105) and also Charlebois Spring (also usually has water available). The remainder of this section is about 1.5 miles and ends at the intersection of the cavalry trail (239).
Marsh Valley to Aylors Caballo Camp: The trails through this area were a bit rougher than the rest of the trail and seemed a bit less traveled but the trails are usually easy to find. Right after Marsh Valley the trail takes a sharp curve to the south and loop around the bottom of Black Top Mesa. This section can be eliminated by taking the Bull Pass Trail (129). The Bull Pass trail saves about a mile and half of distance but has much more elevation change. Underneath Black Top Mesa there are two options for returning to Peralta Trailhead. The first is the Terrapin Trail (234) and the second is the Peralta trail itself (102). This section contains another uphill section, this one is less steep though it only climbs about 500 feet in a mile. After the intersection with the Peralta Trail the Dutchmant Trail heads north again and in a little less than a mile comes to Aylors Caballo Camp (this is not shown on the Beartooth map but is shown on the USGS map).
Aylors Caballo Camp to Parker Pass
Aylors Caballo Camp is the intersection of three trails with the Dutchman trail. This is where the Bull Pass trail again connects to the Dutchman Trail. Boulder Canyon Trail (103) and the Black Mesa Trail (241) also intersect here. After this is the last small climb up to Parker pass, the trail gains about 400 feet in a mile.
Parker Pass to Firstwater Trailhead
This was by far the easiest section of trail. The trail is well maintained, wide, and smooth. After Parker Pass its almost all downhill, with the exception of the last 100 yards before the parking lot. Right before you get to the Trailhead the trail is intersected by Second Water Trail (236). From here to the Trailhead is less than a half a mile.
Always remember that water is never a sure thing in the Superstitions and you should check with the Rangers about local conditions.
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.