Hoolie Bacon - Peters Trail Loop, AZ

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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Loop 7.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,136 feet
Elevation Gain 807 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,505 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 1/2
Kokopelli Seeds 14.93
Backpack Yes
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Author Tim
author avatar Guides 10
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 432 map ( 3,121 miles )
Age 60 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:32am - 7:31pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2019 Woodbury Fire123.8k
🔥 2011 Tortilla Fire10.5 mi*
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles
Nearby Area Water
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Interior View of Superstitions
by Tim

This hike is described in great detail in Carlson's "Hiker's Guide to the Superstition Wilderness" under trip #41.

This hike started off being an 8.2-mile loop but quickly expanded to 14.4 miles when we saw FSR 213. While the four of us, (Carolyn, Paul, and Jim), were in a 4x4 Tahoe, there was no way it was getting up that road without leaving some key automotive components behind. I don't think a Hummer could get up that road. You'd have to have one seriously jacked-up vehicle to clear the rocks at the start of this "road". Walking the road added 3.1 miles to each end of the hike and took an hour each way, but was quite pretty.

The FSR eventually dumps you onto an unsigned trail that leads up a hill to a gate. Approximately 1/2 mile past the gate you come to the signed intersection of the Hoolie Bacon & JF Trails. After you follow the Hoolie Bacon Trail south across a couple of creek crossings it begins a gradual climb up to the top of Horse Ridge. From this saddle, you are treated to excellent views of the surrounding Superstitions. Figuring most prominently is Miners Needle to the south.

Coming down from the saddle one heads across Horse Basin until intersecting a wash at the bottom. This is where the fun starts. From this junction, one backtracks sharply to your right towards a low point on the ridge. Now in Carlson's book, they recommend heading up the wash to the top of the ridge before heading west to the saddle as this route has less cat claw, but I'm not so sure. We ground it out up the wash which in spots was very overgrown. (NOTE: A great strategy for bushwhacking is to send a big Irishman, (that would be Jimmy), into the thickets first to widen the path.) Once we got as far as the "H" in "Horse Camp" on the topo, we had had enough of the creek and elected to head due west up the ridge. This proved to be much easier going. Once you reach the saddle you can look down into the flat plain between Horse Ridge and Tortilla Mountain where Peters Trail lies. After heading down this ridge and across yet another wash we stumbled across Peters Trail for the trip back to Tortilla Well. This is the prettiest part of the hike as the trail winds down a narrow canyon to Kane and Indian Spring. The views on the way down are spectacular and I recommend doing the loop in a clockwise fashion for this reason. After passing Indian Spring, (dry), you cross Tortilla Creek several times before exiting a narrow slot canyon just before the trailhead. The actual 8.2-mile loop from trailhead to trailhead took us 3 1/2 hours with just a brief break for lunch. Overall, the trip was 14.4 miles and 5 1/2 hours to and from the Apache Trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2003-12-22 Tim
    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
    Strictly 4x4

    To Tortilla Trailhead
    From the junction of Idaho Road & SR-88, follow SR-88 23.0 miles east to FR-213.

    If you do not have 4x4, you will need to park here and hike 3.4 miles to the trailhead. Otherwise, drive in. The first 0.25-mile section is the most difficult.

    The trailhead is not well defined. If you are hiking out on Peter's Trail #105, steer right(west) at the end to the old windmill and water tower. If you are hiking out on JF Trail #106 or Hoolie Bacon Trail #111, continue straight/right to the fence. JF Trail #106 takes off immediately. Hoolie #111 is 0.8 miles off of #106.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 60.7 mi - about 1 hour 50 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 154 mi - about 3 hours
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 205 mi - about 4 hours
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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