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Coffee Flat Trail #108, AZ

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1.7k 140 2
Guide 140 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions SW
3.5 of 5 by 37
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 7.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,580 feet
Elevation Gain 680 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,100 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.17
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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20  2019-05-17
Fraser - Randolph Loop
25  2019-02-23
Miners Needle Loop
17  2019-02-23
Miners Needle Loop
29  2019-01-01
Red Tanks Super Loop - Peralta TH
18  2018-11-12 rayhuston
27  2018-11-08
Red Tanks Coffee Flat Loop
11  2018-09-02
Dutchman Trail #104
9  2018-03-17 Tortoise_Hiker
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 12
Author OhOh7
author avatar Guides 15
Routes 2
Photos 1,591
Trips 81 map ( 435 miles )
Age 83 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
28 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
much up and down
by OhOh7

We did an out and back jaunt (page data is one-way for the official length of the trail) with astounding vegetation in the Superstitions even at the end of a summer season. This isn't the desert I always read about! The beauty out there is quiet and has the calm of rolling hills punctuated by sharp cliffs with strange spires. If you awoke here you would feel you were many miles into the wilderness.

The first part of the hike leaves Peralta on the Dutchman trail and climbs a small rise before dropping down into Barkley Basin. This part is fairly easy and winds along to the junction of the Dutchman and Coffee Flat. Here you veer right to cross Barkley Basin. Lots of ravines with ups and down and a trail more rocky and not as well defined as the Dutchman trail. Easy to follow however. You climb the south side of Barkley Basin and stop at the remains of an old wagon road that was used in the late 1800s from Mesa to Superior. We marveled at how rough that trip must have been. We continued on to climb over a pass to drop into Whitlow Canyon before climbing another pass to drop into Coffee Flat proper.

The vegetation seems to get greener and lusher as you go. In Whitlow Canyon go south about 100 feet to the old corral. Try to visualize that activity in this wilderness. A rocky climb and sharp descent take you to the south end of Coffee Flat at Reeds Water in he shadow of Buzzard's Roost. Return the same route ending with the long climb out of Barkley Basin back to the lot.

This is a nice hike. Had we started at daybreak we might have tried to get to Dripping Springs but that RT of 13.5 miles might be a bit much for one day for me. Finally, again, I mention the lush trees and desert bushes and ground cover--even grass that we found. We did not find water but did find two old windmills at Reeds Water and doubtless much of the year there is water in the area.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2004-10-24 OhOh7

    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 56 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Five years ago I did this hike for the first time, exactly one month later in the year. And going in a clockwise direction.

    I get ahead of myself... I started out just before 7 from the Peralta TH to do a 14 mile hike, 7 miles out Coffee Flat and back. When I got to where the Read Tanks joins the Coffee Flat I made the decision to change my itinerary. I'd take the Red Tanks back. I figured I'd done this before, it was a cooler day than the previous time, I had plenty of water and I was indestructible. Of course I ignored that I didn't have any food and I was 5 years older. Going CCW was really different, the up hills seemed longer and steeper. On the first trip the trail was covered in wildflowers. This time it was covered in cats claw and prickly pears. Going CCW I found that I tended to loose the trail easier than I remember happening the first time.

    Then by the time I got to the Whiskey Springs turn off I was already tired, and still had to up that hill.

    The first trip I rated this loop as a 5, if I were going to rate it today it'd probably only be a 3. Wow quite a difference.

    There were two really good things about the hike. The sights at the upper LaBarge box were better going this direction. Never saw the spire and cave from the other direction. The other great thing is I made it.
    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I could not decide where to go for birthday hike and stumbled upon this one the night before. I did the research and loaded the maps and I still was not prepared enough for this one. Only 15 minutes of headlamp needed on the Dutchman trail and then through Barkley Basin and to Coffee Flats. This is the easiest hike in all of the Superstitions. IMO The actual hiking is incredibly dull, but those views at sunrise are just some of the best I have ever seen. Also, the thousands of saguaro created quite a forest leading up to the king saguaro. Most arms I have ever seen. Made it to the old trough and windmill at Randolph Canyon in 2 hours and thought I was making great time. Randolph in the fall is beautiful! The colors on all of the trees increased as the canyon walls tightened. As I was making my way to Dripping springs, I saw several of the smallest seeps coming out of the rocks below. The actual spring was dripping.. barely. Only water I saw all day. The camp spot there seems like it would be a great one when the creek is flowing. There were some small caves above but I didnt feel like climbing around in there and I had a lot more hike ahead of me.. A lot more. The start of the Red Tanks section was very gradual and mis-leading! :x After gaining 500 feet in 2 1/2 miles, the trail goes steeper and gains another 500 feet in about 1 mile. Took a lunch break here at 5 hours in. I knew I still had the climb out of Whiskey to Miner's, but I assumed because I was at the highest point on the hike, the rest would be easy peasy. It was not easy peasy. Coming over the saddle into Red Tanks Divide, the views were spectacular and everything was so green and lush. Sometimes it doesnt even make sense that this is considered a desert.. then again, this is December. After not too long I got to really enjoy that lushness up close and personal, as the brush became so thick at times it was nearly impassable. Also, the 'brush' was actually bushes completely made of thorns. At times I felt like I was in the first 'Saw' movie with all the barbed wire. Wearing shorts was not a problem as mostly all of the terrible stuff was waist and above. It had no problem ripping through 2 layers of clothing and shredding half my body. I was shuddering at the thoughts of the show 'Naked and Afraid'. I haven't had my fingers scratched up like that since I bought my daughter a kitten 3 years ago. Trying to go around the trail and find a 'better' way was futile, so I sucked it up and just pushed though. Scared a white tail up the hill (from my shrills of pain probably). Much wildlife will be sustained in those mountains due to the amounts of my flesh torn off and left on those thorns. I finally made it through the worst of it as I got to Upper LaBarge Canyon? This canyon was very remarkable due to it was like 2 views in one the way you peered down through the canyon, and then off to far away landscapes between and beyond. The trail stays mostly on the northern side of the canyon, but once it drops down into the creek, there were some gigantic boulders to navigate and climb around that took some extra time for route finding. Saw the very large Herman's Cave, but didnt bother to even check it out because at that point I was exhausted. Took a well deserved break at the Red Tanks/ Whiskey Springs junction and recharged. The hike up to Miner's saddle was not that bad and I did have enough energy to pick up the pace quite a bit down the hill. Probably not a good idea, because just about the 20 mile mark, I could feel myself starting to really break down. Back at the Coffee Flat junction my legs went into auto pilot. I couldn't feel them moving but they kept going and so did I, and an hour later I was back at the Peralta TH.
    This was a fantastic hike that is only meant for an elite few, because it is an extremely tough one! Always good to push your limits but you have to know what those limits are and respect your own intuitions. I really pushed myself out there and maybe too much because that night and since then, I have had a pretty bad fever. I'm sure I will be all well for next Thursday's hike! Be safe out there, everyone!
    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Figured this might be the last good supes hiking weather of the season. Hopefully not but... Hit the trail just after 6am. A little cool in the breeze. Was a little disappointed that the dinosaur was quiet. Figured with the breezes there would be a lot of screeches in the area of Reed's water. It must have been too much breeze for him. Randolph Canyon was flowing nicely. Low enough that all crossings were still easy but hard enough to be able to hear water flowing much of the hike. Fraser Canyon creek even had a nice flow to it. I decided to turn around about a hundred yards before reaching Whetrock Canyon Trail, right between Musk Hog Canyon and Whetrock Canyon..

    I got a bit of a start stepping down less than a foot from a rattlesnake that was very angry about being disturbed. :o He was just behind a small bush right next to the trail. Didn't see him until the movement of him curling to a striking posture. By then luckily I had moved to the other foot and was quickly moving away. Also luckily my heart started beating again about then and I didn't fall on him. Saw one horned toad. Ran into a Forest Service guy, Joe, in Fraser Canyon.

    Wild flowers were not nearly as nice as they had been last week. But still several around.
    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Woodbury Coffee and Red Bacon with JF
    Most high clearance 2wd vehicles should be able to make the drive. Several water crossings. The only likely issue is for those timid with a gas pedal crossing Queen Creek.

    Woodbury Trail #114
    Hiked this to scratch if off a list.

    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    The cow patties get your attention when it's dry. It's a slice of heaven when the creeks are flowing. Really nice saguaros either way.

    Red Tanks #107
    Five years after our first hike on the eastern side we returned. It didn't ring a bell. A little rough. This trail has four distinct personalities: La Barge Creek, Upper La Barge Box, North of Red Tanks Divide, Red Tanks Canyon. I like 'em all. It's not a trail for flip flops and shorts, come prepared.

    Hoolie Bacon # 111
    The best part of this trail is Bacon in the name. Horse Ridge saddle is a fine lunch stop with great 360 views. 4143 is better, please keep that a secret.

    JF Trail #106
    I've jigsawed this in the past, mainly Tule to Peralta. I do not care for either end. The 2.3 mile middle segment from 4597 to Tortilla Pass is worthy. It has a Reavis spirit of intrigue that I find relaxes the mind.

    Bruce suggested JefF out-n-back. Meh... do I know you? He came back with this loop and it was game on! We had perfect temps with all the creeks in taper down flow. I didn't blink at 22+ miles. Boy howdy, 12 hours sucker punched my body.
    Hurts so good, great hike!

    carried 3.5 quarts, consumed 2.5

    a few sprigs of paintbrush was the main attraction, several dozen blue dicks scattered throughout our loop, two poppies... yeah not much

    lots of wiry lotus, which is like getting excited over dollar store cookies
    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Woodbury Coffee and Red Bacon with JF
    The drive in on 172/172A was uneventful. Queen Creek had a decent flow, but nothing a vehicle that would be driving these roads couldn't handle. Close to our TH, we saw a large Ford Transit panel van coming down 172A.

    Woodbury Trail #114
    There was one truck at the TH when we got there.
    This trail down to the Woodbury TH appears to be and old road.
    Probably a one and done

    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    This eastern stretch of the Coffee Flat Trail to Red Tanks was new for me. It was an easy stroll through Fraser Canyon. Very pleasant with the green and water everywhere. This would make a nice loop with other canyons in the area.

    Red Tanks #107
    I'd done this section before but did not remember much of it. It's quite scenic with the views of the surrounding areas and all the flowing water.

    Hoolie Bacon # 111
    Hoolie Bacon for me, is just a way to get to other places in the Supes. We had lunch at Horse Saddle and it did have some great views. The only hikers we saw all day, were at this saddle. One dayhiker, one backpacker and us just happened to all meet at the same time there. The hike down from Horse Saddle to the North is steep, rough and loose. Once down in the lower sections the trail is much nicer. You easily cross the flowing Tortilla Creek numerous times.

    JF Trail #106
    The northwestern portions of this trail is just OK. There are BIG views of the surrounding areas that help a bunch.
    The trail finally starts to get interesting in the mid section around unnamed Peak 4597. [ photo ] . It seemed to take forever to get to Tortilla Pass. Dropping down JF from Tortilla Pass, there is also some steep, loose washed out areas. Towards the bottom we hit sunset and donned our headlamps.

    The 1.2 mile 500'+ climb out on Woodbury to the truck, could not end quick enough.
    It was a full day in the Supes.
    You couldn't ask for better hiking weather.

    With this this loop I'm getting closer to hitting all the trails in the Supes (37 of 39 done).
    I Just have the 2 shortest left, with just 1.1 Total miles to go!
    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Headed out for a nice day in the Supes. Our group of four plus two dogs started hiking from the Woodbury TH around 10am and headed for Randolph Canyon. There was a nice flow of clear and cool water. From there we worked our way down canyon as we rock hopped and pushed through sporadic brush. It's easy going for the most part and very scenic. We took a short break by Randolph Spring and then took our lunch by Dripping Springs. We then started our return up Fraser Canyon. It's easy going again as there is less water and good trail for most part. We passed the JF Ranch and then followed the road back to our TH. We were done by mid afternoon. This was a really nice hike with a great group. We had perfect weather and it was great getting out. Thanks Kyle for driving.
    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Wanted something we hadn't done before and we needed to get out to Eastern Supes. Decided on Fraser - Randolph doing it CCW. Invited Steve for his 1st hike with us, showed up in shorts, :scared: To late now, headed over and down Randolph. Boy was it cat claw heaven, with so much water running we had to cross so many times it made the trip seem a lot longer, and more cats claw to fight. :o Needless to say Steve got initiated to AZ Pin stripping :( Got down to the Dripping Springs area and it was so nice, sat by the waterfalls and had a relaxing lunch before heading up Fraser. This went well and easy compared to Randolph and it's cats claw. Can't wait to return to this area :D
    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Coffee Flats to Red Tanks Loop
    Another fantastic trip into the Sups. Landed at Peralta TH about 830.. actually was on the Trail before 9am... a Was my 1st trip with my NEW Zpack Arc Blast 22oz backpack... loved it, so adjustable, not cheep but worth the price. I dropped about 1.5lbs from my Osprey Exos 48. My base weight was right about 14 lbs, and adding 4 lbs of food and 88oz water I left just over 27 lbs, my lightest trip yet. I knew I would find water, but kept it all in case I decided to go up to Whiskey Springs on the 1st day.

    I didnt really have a Plan. Was heading up Coffee Flats to Dripping Springs, then it was up in the air from there, but was planning to be out 2 nights, that I did know.

    Its funny, I had cell service for at least 3 miles into the hike till past the 104/108 intersection, ya just never know what to expect in the Sups. Pretty basic and nice hike for 1st 4.5 miles. Was nice and flat, great trail..... I come to a old corral and fence/gate went through. after bout .6 miles or so... figured I was close to Reeds Water.. checked Rout umm.. ya... never shoulda went through the gate... so after backtracking and loosing about 1-1/2 miles I was back on the trail. Finally saw the Windmill, well the 1st one, and proceeded to the creek. After another 1/2 mile search off the ACTUAL trail, again, I ended up back at the 2nd windmill, well to the east a bit. and made Camp.

    Lots of cows sayin hey, not in camp, but down the creek. Saw some little Piggy Tracks, well lots of them, but none came and said Hi.. thankfully

    Day 2...
    woke kinda late, made coffee, still not sure of my day. wasnt really thinking of tackling a long day so didnt leave camp till almost 10am, my 1st mistake ](*,)
    At dripping springs, very beautiful place, so much water and fantastic views..I was feeling very good so decided to head up Red Tanks and on to whiskey Springs, 2nd Mistake ](*,)
    The trip from Dripping springs at 2480' to the High Point on Red Tanks at 3673' 4.83 miles in really wasnt to bad of a hike. I was feeling good and stayed nice and Hydrated which I tend to NOT do as I should. Now about 1/2 way I realized what people say about the Red Tanks... STAY AWAY!!!! :scared: :scared: ](*,) From my ankles to my head was bleeding or scratched.. Cholla Jungles...Living and moving Thorn bushes and Mazes.. lost the trail like 10x at least.. was a great hike....NOT.. But I was very proud of myself, physically, how I did on the hike. Now for the worst part, the decent into La Barge Canyon. Was probably the worst Trail Footing Conditions i've seen yet in the sups. Shear Cliffs and just a brutal hike down the canyon. I landed at the Red Tanks 107 and Whiskey Springs 238 Intersection about 315pm. I had been looking for a campsite close to water but didnt really see anything so I knew a couple near Whisky Springs so headed that way. Well at the springs, it was dry. One of the concrete basins had water, but it was nasty. I had seen some nice puddles just down from the springs, so I turned around and about 100yds south stopped at a campsite and just over the edge was a nice purty puddle...YES!!! Campsite and Water.

    So my stats for Day 2 was probably the most extreme for me yet, I must be getting In shape. 8.87 miles in 5hr 47min (that part im not happy about) 1194' vertical feet and an AEG of 2131', never removed my pack all day but ate and hydrated well. Was a long day... by 4pm I had water and didnt even look for firewood. Made some burritos and started diner. Was in my tent by 6pm. Kinda blustery at night, and a few drizzles, but bone dry on the ground and my tent in the morning.

    Day 3...
    Figured today would be a breeze. Wasn't sure if it would rain or not. Made Coffee, broke down camp, and was on the trail at about 830. I put on my rain paints just in case, well they only lasted 1/2 mile and took em off. It was sooooooo warm out, almost 60 deg, so was heating up fast. Was a good call because the weather was perfect the entire hike out. At about 1 mile before the 238/104 intersection I had been seeing little Flags, then I met up with the crew of college kids doing trail repairs. Nice group of Kids, so the rest of my hike was pristine and perfect, new Cairns, cleaned trail, and nice new drainage channels.

    Last 1/4 mile it started to rain a bit, but by the time I hit my car it stopped.. Great trip, learned a lot, and even closer to a very very light backpacking setup

    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Central Supes Loop
    Me and Alex headed to the Superstitions to tackle some new areas we haven't visited before. I wanted hit as much new stuff as possible, and I think I did well clocking in at about 75% new trail vs 25% already visited.

    I liked Bluff Springs, western end of Peters Trail, JF Trail, and Rogers Canyon. Tortilla Pass to Rogers Trough was the highlight for both of us. Probably won't be visiting Peters Mesa, Woodbury, or Coffee Flats again anytime soon. Alex had similar opinions. We both felt this route was mostly drab and little flash, I probably wouldn't do this route again as it is plotted, I would take the parts I like and combine them with something else.

    We checked out the Peralta Map and Rogers Canyon Ruins. Both were well worth the small side trips. Probably the 2 easiest ruins to "find" in the Supes, but still exciting and has us craving more.

    The biggest surprise for both of us was how long these fall colors are holding on. Probably another week of good color.

    We were fighting against the limited amount daylight the entire trip. Comfortable 20+ mile days this time of year, for me personally, is probably a little too optimistic. 10 hours of daylight, 2 mph, hard to get up early because its cold. You do the math. 15-17 mile per-day would probably be more enjoyable.

    Water was not plentiful but the reliable sources are going strong after the rain. Bluff Springs to Kane Spring is pretty wet. Kane Spring to Clove Spring is dry. Pools near Clove Spring. Clove Spring to Reavis Ranch JCT is dry as a bone. Reavis Ranch JCT to Rogers Trough had the most water out of any drainage. Intermittent, varying sized pools along Coffee Flat Trail.

    Trail Conditions
    Peters Trail generally easy to follow, a couple of hiccups on top of the Mesa and near Tortilla Creek. A few spots of dodging prickly pear and agave on the Mesa, but mostly clean trail.

    JF Trail Great trail from Tortilla Creek TH to Hoolie Bacon JCT. Several hiccups along ridge between Clove Spring and Tortilla Pass. Wear long pants.

    Rogers Canyon Immaculate from Tortilla Pass to Angel Basin. A little brushy, and a couple hiccups between Roger Canyon Ruins and Reavis Ranch Trail JCT.

    Woodbury Trail A couple of hiccups, vague tread at times. Lots of cattle activity...

    Coffee Flat Several hiccups, usually just best to follow the wash. Lots of cattle activity...

    Nice colors at the lowest elevations, near La Barge and along Coffee Flat.
    Coffee Flat Trail #108
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Nice clockwise loop. Stayed on Dutchman #104 for the return, with a side out-and-back on Coffee Flat #108 to the junction with Red Tanks #107. Lots of different things blooming, and some late afternoon thunderstorms to keep things cool.

    Full, clear pools at the amazing Charlebois Spring. Isolated sections of pools and light flow in LaBarge Creek. Intermittent light flow in Randolph Canyon with good pools and trickles at the junction with Red Tanks.

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    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Peralta 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 1.9 miles to Peralta Trailhead.

    The trailhead has restrooms minus running water. The parking lot is huge. It does fill up in season on weekends. Since there are no lines the rangers ask that you park straight between the posts in the main lot. Please do your part with this simple request and make room for the next guy. 0.5 miles before reaching the trailhead is an overflow lot which is also suited for horse trailer parking.

    From PHX (Jct I-10 & AZ-51) 45.2 mi - about 1 hour 8 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 97.0 mi - about 2 hours 16 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 192 mi - about 3 hours 15 mins
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