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Two Bar Ridge Trail #119, AZ

no permit
810 49 1
Guide 49 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Roosevelt Salt
3.3 of 5 by 15
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance One Way 8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,500 feet
Elevation Gain 978 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,600 feet
Avg Time One Way 4-5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.66
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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8  2019-04-12
Reavis Canyon - AZT #18
14  2018-04-08 friendofThunderg
8  2018-03-10 wallyfrack
24  2018-02-07
Two Bar Ridge Scout
30  2017-03-11
Tule Canyon Trail #122
10  2017-03-10
Superstition Wilderness - AZT #19
34  2017-03-04
AZT Spring Break 2017
26  2017-02-03
Tule to First Water
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author Tim
author avatar Guides 10
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 356 map ( 2,719 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Early Summer
Sun  6:09am - 6:28pm
Official Route
16 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
The fun is getting there
by Tim

Likely In-Season!
Note: Page stats are for one-way length of #119.

The Two Bar Ridge Trail is a 8 mile one way trail in the very northeast corner of the Superstition Mountains near Roosevelt Lake. This trail is also a segment of the Arizona Tail, which travels from Utah to the Mexican border. The trailhead is at the end of Forest Service Road #83. From this trailhead, the hike heads south around Pinyon Mountain, past the Tule Trail intersection, past Two Bar Mountain until it reaches its final destination at the intersection with the Reavis Gap trail, which is roughly 7 miles away. This description only takes the Two Bar Ridge Trail as far as its intersection with the Tule Trail. (An out and back trip of just 3.4 miles each way or 6.8 miles.) Completing the entire trail would require a strenuous 15.2 mile out and back or an overnighter. Most likely, this trail could be used as yet another access to the Reavis Ranch area and a point-to-point hike.

After driving 2.5 hours from central Phoenix, Carolyn and I headed out on this seldom traveled trail. The section to the Tule Trailhead could best be described in 3 segments. The first is a gradual 500 climb up and around Pinyon Mountain. The second is the steeper 600 foot descent down to the creek bed at the bottom of Tule Canyon. The final segment is a gradual 500 foot climb back up to Two Bar Ridge and the intersection with the Tule Trail.

The first section is a nice gradual 500 foot up hill that winds around the east end of Pinyon Mountain. Initially, it appears that the trail is going to take you directly up to the saddle on north side of Pinyon Mountain but it quickly switches back to the east for the gentle traverse. Viewed from the north, Pinyon Mountain is nothing to speak of, as it has no distinct features. (Viewed from the south it takes on more "stand alone" characteristics, but it still nothing more than a "big hill".

The second section heads 600 feet down the south side of Pinyon Mountain to the beginning of Tule Canyon. The trail is relatively step, full of scree and covered with cacti. The footing isn't the best and the seldom traveled trail is easy to lose so keep your eyes open for cairns. This section bottoms out at the creek bed and there are several dry wash crossings. The trail always crosses perpendicular to the creek so don't give in to the natural desire to follow the creek bed as it will take you off course.

The third segment is another gradual 500 foot uphill back to the formal Two Bar Ridge. More scree adorns this trail until you top out just southeast of hilt #5004. From there it is a nice gentle stroll down to the Tule Trail intersection. From the trailhead to the Tule Trail intersection took Carolyn and I roughly 1 hour and 50 minutes, but we had stopped frequently. The return trip took the same amount of time. While the return trip had two downhill sections, the uphill portion required more "photo opportunities". (smile) Some day we'll take the tail all the way to its intersection with the Reavis Gap trail, although this portion looks to be much more challenging. The topo map indicates that the trail heading south from the Tule intersection has a major 1,000 foot descent and a 1,000 foot ascent, which will undoubtedly be on more scree, which will make for one "entertaining" afternoon I'm sure. Be what may, the return tip was uneventful and followed by the obligatory beers with the friendly folks at the Quail's Nest Bar which is located roughly 4 to 5 miles south of the FS Road #83 and Hwy 188 intersection on the east side of the road by a Texaco station I believe. An obligatory stop on the way home for any venture in this region.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2004-10-31 Tim

    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 19 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
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    I got back to my roots a little in the eastern Supes today. Some recent triplogs in the eastern Supes that piqued my interest recently and then while snooping around I spotted what looked like a pretty nice set of ruins on satellite view. So with that to check out and something else of interest in the area, I decided to head out there Sunday.

    The drive in was nice and nostalgic for me and the road seemed to be in pretty good shape. I was parked along the road and ready to hike by about 7:40 a.m. From the "trailhead" it was up and over Two Bar Mountain and then to the site I had spotted on satellite. The ruins were well ruins and some walls looked nice, most were collapsed, but the general layout of the Pueblo was very easily discernible. The collapse of some of the walls appears to have been accelerated by an obviously well used hunting camp, complete with some cached water and two torn open food caches in the boulders over looking the ruins. Nevertheless, I was still excited about the find. Although, oddly enough I actually found this ruin in 2012, well I should say, I spotted the outer wall. I spotted a nice intact section of its outer wall from the Two Bar Ridge Trail way back in 2012. However, I was in a rush and only checked out a few sections of what I thought was a cattle fence on the way to that section of wall and assumed it was part of a drift fence. Had I gone 50 feet further five years ago, I would have found this ruin then. I used basically the exact same route to return, so it was back and up over Two Bar again, with a "little" exploring along the way.

    Final Notes:

    It was great to be back in the eastern Supes today and looking for rock piles, one of my favorite past times. Glad there are still a few things to be found out there. I saw my first rattlesnake of the year, but it gave me plenty of warning and I gave it a wide berth. I think I found like five or six new sites today. The Salado really had those mountains, hills and ridgelines populated in that area. It was a little warm at times today, but there was some prolonged periods of unexpected cloud cover. As with what is usually the case when I go out there, I now have like five more new hike and explore ideas for out there.
    Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
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    Pine Creek was my destination for an overnight stay. Started from the Tule parking area at 7AM. The road is in excellent shape, all cars can make it. The first 5 miles are obviously all uphill. Previous descriptions include loose footing and sparse cairns along this route. Both still apply. Saw a group of maybe 3-5 hiking in behind me but never got too close. Made Two Bar intersection at 9:30. After a short break it was on towards Reavis Gap. Two Bar follows a fence line for the next mile or so before dropping about 800 feet down into what is probably a dry canyon other times of the year. About halfway down I came upon three hikers. The N, Dallin, and Alex were heading uphill on their way towards a pickup at Roosevelt lake the next day. Only people I passed on the trip. Good to meet Dallin and Alex, The N and I plotted a mission for warmer weather to Victorine Crossing. After a quick chat, Dallin pointed out my impending climb up the other side of this canyon so it was onto filter some water and then climb. Somebody left a clif bar by the creek? Once out of the canyon it was a pleasant stroll to Walnut Spring and then a right turn on Reavis Gap trail. Just 15 minutes more and I was hearing the rushing water at Pine Creek. Similar to Hells Hole, there are two obvious campsites here, one is sort of a double. I camped there and it was very nice. Lots of wood left over for the next camper.
    The overnight temps were mild and there was no wind to speak of. I packed up and headed out. Filtered some more water by the abandoned clif bar and made the push on up and out. The long downhill of Tule to finish was enjoyable during the heat of the day. Bummer traffic on the way back from the Renaissance festival.
    Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
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    Started from the Reavis North TH with Dallin and Alex just before sunset. We hiked in to Reavis Ranch entirely by moonlight, no headlamps, which was a treat. Set up camp and enjoyed a chilly night at the Ranch. Jumped on the AZT in the morning. Reavis Gap is a nice trail. Love seeing pines in the Supes. Pine Creek was flowing well. We stopped here for a snack. Shortly after jumping on Two Bar Ridge, we ran into @ALMAL heading down for a solo night under the stars. Two Bar Ridge Trail offers great views and a couple of nice climbs. It warmed up during this sun exposed stretch. It was nice to be heading down into some shade upon reaching Cottonwood Trail. Started off kind of blah. An extensive network of cairns guides you through a dry creek bed and cattle country. Eventually things got green and shaded. I always enjoy Saguaros next to cottonwoods. Much more scenic than I anticipated. Wildflowers really came to life along here, as well. The road walk was even nice. Entire hillsides lit up with poppies. We cruised on down to Vineyard TH where my weekend ended and the fellas will continue on from. Great trip.

    A little of everything. Poppies steal the show.
    Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
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    Two Bar Mountain Loop
    We had to take advantage of the cooler temps while we could and hit up some Supes.

    I'd never hiked the Tule Canyon Trail before so we started this adventure there. The road to the Tule TH is quite acceptable for just about any car. Just keep an eye out for Bovines.

    We took Tule until it drops into Tule Canyon. Here, there's Corrals, water troughs and a well road (FS1740) that appears to be used by local ranchers. Maybe the nearby Cross P Ranch.

    We did a clockwise loop that starts to go off trail/road just past Two Bar Canyon and FS449A. It appears we could have gone farther South on the road and chose another route up, but this worked for us. The countryside wasn't too thick with sharp stuff, but I was glad for my long pants.

    There are some shorted steep sections, but the steepest section was the part where we traversed around Peak 5114. We got cliffed out at this spot and had to drop down about 100' to go up. If you do this CCW route around 5114, after dropping down, hug tight to the cliff to avoid the thickest vegetation. After getting past 5114, it appears you could actually go around CW also.

    We had lunch on the far North portion of the peak. Great! views of the Four Peaks, Roosevelt, Sierra Ancha's etc..
    Plus there was a nice 300' straight drop down...
    This was WELL worth the effort climbing up to this spot.

    Two Bar Mountain Video :next: ... NihY

    The plan next, was to go southish across the top of Two Bar Mountain and drop down on Two Bar Ridge Trail. All looked "doable" from the TOPO and Satellite views. Traversing across was not hard, but the rock hopping was taking longer than we would have daylight for.

    Joe spotted Two Bar Ridge from the TOPO view on Route Scout and pointed us down the hill. This ended up being a great choice. We hit the Two Bar Ridge Trail and enjoyed the views going North. We hit the other end of the Tule Canyon Trail and made our way back towards the same corral we'd passed through earlier in the day.

    This ended up being a most enjoyable route to another new area in the Eastern Supes.
    Can we please get one more nice weekend of weather before the 110's hit?
    Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
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    Two Bar Mountain Loop
    Bruce threw together this great loop that barely nudges the wilderness. Your chances of having a wilderness experience are better than your average wilderness.

    Tule #122 starts off in a cow grazed chain fruit cholla forest. This little buffer zone keeps out most.

    1.3 miles you come to a corral at the end of FR1740 which we took about a mile. We passed trees that looked like willows with mesquite trunks. They are Desert Willows. Despite the common name they are not part of the willow family. Researching that I found out cottonwoods & aspens are part of the willow family.

    We drifted towards FR449A which is the road to Campaign TH. Using a previously posted track we followed the SE ridge of Two Bar Mountain all the way up for 4 miles. It's pretty easy as far as off trail goes, especially considering the 2k+ gain.

    The final mile is challenging. The scenery draws you in. The rock is pretty cool. The metro-biotic synonym relationship weighing anticipation to dream sequence was strong. We lunched atop a 300 ft sheer drop on the north side of Two Bar Mtn.

    Continuing across the north side of the mountain is just phenomenal. We took Two Bar Ridge down and trails to complete the loop. The crest stroll of Two Bar #119 is just as scenic as I remembered with the AZT gang.

    weak Twining Snapdragon on the NE top side of Two Bar Mountain, a good healthy field of the thistle too but that crap grows anywhere
    Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
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    AZT Trail: Picketpost to Pine
    I was kind of looking to see where I was at for another big trek this summer and Karl was looking to experiment with a lighter weight higher mileage backpack, so I proposed Picketpost Mountain, or the beginning of section 18 of the Arizona Trail to Pine and the end of section 26 of the Arizona Trail. Karl was down for four days and had a somewhat flexible plan for ending his trip when he needed to. Meanwhile, I was about 50-50 if I could do the entire hike and was content with just seeing how far Karl and I could get and then playing the rest of my trip by ear, or I should say by body.

    Day 1: 29.92 miles 6268 aeg

    We made it to our planned first night's campsite on day one, Walnut Spring. Section 18 really exceeded my expectations. This is about the best time of year to be walking though that desert right now and Whitford proved to be a real treat with the flowing water and abundance of green. The climb was grueling and relentless but it offered some very solid views of the area and was really made manageable by liberal use of switchbacks. Karl was so confident with our performance at that point in the day that he insisted we bag Montana Mountain while we were up there. I agreed, but only because I was born in Montana and I said it had to count it as our break. Reavis Ranch looked like Daytona Beech and I had not apprehensions about making the short trip past it to my cozy little campsite at Walnut Spring. Got to Walnut just at headlamp time. Blew through camp chores, made a fire, ate and got to bed as soon as we could.

    Day 2: 25.67 miles 6392 aeg

    We came up a little short on our proposed campsite on this day, but the hiking was great so no worries. No stranger to the Eastern Supes, but Sunday still offered me all new areas after Two Bar Ridge. Cottonwood Canyon was great! No shortage of water in there and some cool little sites in this random little riparian jungle in the far corners of the northwestern Supes. A little bit of road and then it was the traverse from hell along the 188 waiting for that damn bridge to come into sight. From the bridge it was up the stairway to heaven. Where fittingly we had a trail angel waiting for us with tons of snacks and H20. After our sugar, hops, and caffeine binge at Mills Ridge we decided to just push for Buckhorn Creek. However, on that side of Four Peaks, pushing for a few extra miles usually entails a nice chunk of aeg as well, so we earned it. I did find a set of Indian ruins though along the way, so that was cool. We were both excited to learn that after carrying all that fresh water from Mills Ridge, there was water flowing in Buckhorn Creek. Oh well no filtering to do, quicker camp set-up, quick fire and in bed even earlier than previous night.

    Day 3: 31.24 miles 5239 aeg

    Day three was all new ground for me. Four Peaks makes you work, but alas the beauty of nature is enhanced by the ardor of the journey. I really enjoyed this section, an instant new favorite! I hiked through perhaps one of my nicest sunrises in a long time and marked several rock pile sites along the trail for future exploring. This section just kept getting better for me as we neared Four Peaks and started contouring towards Pigeon Spring. The lingering and previous snow had some of the creeks flowing nicely along this stretch and the trail got very nice as we approached its end. The road felt a little like Mad Max with the amount of Jeeps, trucks and atvs out. However, I must say not one negative experience with any driver and I do not think I have been offered as much water in such a short amount of time as I was along that 11 mile stretch of road. One guy asked, "is there anything else I could give you?" I said I could use some sunscreen and he offered up the whole bottle. The hike down into Sycamore was also very nice, again a great time to be in the lowlands, a little water, some flowers and green. However, it was hard to appreciate at times with the fatigue and anxiety over coordinating a last minute drop off of some additional things I felt I needed, if I was going to have any chance of reaching Pine. The drop and pick went smooth, a small adventure, but relatively smooth. We did not get an ideal spot to camp, but spirits were high after our resupply.

    Day 4: 24.7 miles 6297 aeg

    This was the day Karl and I would be saying our goodbyes. Karl decided on a Peely exit and I would push on to Bear Spring from there. More new trail for me to start the day and again I was not disappointed. The canyons on the way up to Saddle Ridge were picturesque, there was a lot of water and signs of some pretty extensive trail work in spots. I will admit things got a little dicey after we left the quaint McFarland Spring area, but we endured. The trails definitely need some work in there. I found myself kind of embracing the ruggedness and challenge the area presented. However, I could see that area becoming another hiker's hell if they were not expecting it. Karl and I parted at Peely. Losing Karl sucked, as he and I had a good thing going the first few days. Karl was keeping our pace in the areas where I tend to day dream and I was doing what I could do to keep us at a respectable place for some of the more stout climbs. But no time to dwell, I was solo now and needed to reach Bear Spring, just another 2000 feet of aeg and a shade under ten miles. There is no sense harping on the point, but the Divide Trail is getting nasty along there and I did make it to Bear Spring before head lamp conditions, but I was obliterated from that last little push from Peely. I replaced Karl with another Carl at Bear Spring. I am going to assume he spells his with a C. Anyways, I ran into Carl, better known as Spiced Rum on HAZ. He was on the final night of a backpack to gather some information for future work in the area. We chatted it up for awhile and I am not ashamed to admit I took some extra snacks from him. He was leaving a day early and I could not believe the amount of food I was going through on these long days, so I had no problem taking the charity. Superb stuff too, some great dried fruit, trail-mix and a Rice Crispy treat. Good guy all around and a source of wealth on some other major trails that I am interested in. And what a nice little spot to camp near Bear Spring, that saddle is great, I see why toughboots is fond of the place.

    Day 5: 26.9 miles 4051 aeg

    This was my make or break day. I had my city creek trailhead bailout option if needed, or I was pushing for the East Verde via the dreaded Red Hills and making my final push for Pine from there. The divide trail has its ups and downs, both in terrain and condition, but overall it was pretty smooth going. There is a section of Divide Trail that is now immaculate from about the intersection with Brody Seep to the intersection with Barnhardt. Kudos to that trail crew. I stopped for way too long to soak my legs and filter water and then realized I was looking at about ten more miles to include the worst part of the Red Hills and it was nearly three. My rational side said, "set up camp here, hike out LF or Saddle Ridge tomorrow," however, my other side said, "quit making excuses and finish the original plan." I am not sure what it was, but I was really dreading the last half of the Red Hills. Out of paranoia of being too exhausted to complete the entire section and having to dry camp somewhere I carried way too much water. This weighed me down and annoyed me even more as several of the creeks and main valleys I crossed had running water in them. As it turned out, while my worries were warranted, I did just fine and to be honest felt the area did not seem as bad as it had before and I must give props to the horse(s) whose tracks I followed through the entire Red Hills section, a doable stretch, just may require more time and detail. Camped at the Verde where I was serenaded to sleep by cows, frogs, chickens, maybe peacocks, cats and perhaps even a species of monkey. A very lively river at night.

    Day 6: 23.08 miles 4329 aeg

    This was the one I was waiting for, the "easy" day. A nice early start, I don't think there is a better place to be in the world than a half hour before light in the mountains somewhere, just pure serenity. There were ankle breakers abound on this day of Whiterock and Hard Scrabble. A nice steady pace was all I tried to keep and I followed a liberal break plan, as I crawled into Pine. The final two sections were not my favorite, but they were also the last two sections of a 160 mile trek so they would have had to have been perfect to really capture my imagination. Nevertheless, I got through both of them and endured the lava rock tread and bland road. I did find the last few miles to be more redeeming with the scenic Oak Spring and Bradshaw tank area. It was a reunion at the trailhead with Jackie and the pups, Del Taco and then home.

    Final Notes

    I need to work on a better nutrition plan for these big ones. I simply did not bring enough caloric energy for the type of days I was doing and the amount of energy I was putting out. I need to go healthier and more efficient, just a good lesson to learn.

    Karl played a huge role in getting me through those first four days, very glad to have him through there, he was missed later.

    A good song to have stuck in your head while hiking is Passion Pit, "Take a Walk."

    I can definitely go lighter on these ones too, I packed light, but by no means did I make any attempts to go ultra-light. In the future, that may be needed to knock out some of these more ambitious multi day treks.

    The hardest days by far were Day four with its nearly 7000 feet gained and day five with its 27 legit miles through the Mazzies without as much as a foot of road relief until the very end.

    About normal to not so great, to really good in spots. Most action in the first few sections though.
    Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
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    AZT: Superior to Roosevelt
    This was a trip I have been waiting a long time for. A traversal from the valley, through the Superstitions, and out the other side.

    The group consisted of me, my usual hiking partner (Bradley), 2 other cousins (Blake and Braden), and a friend (Buster).

    We left Thursday night around 7pm and hiked in about 5.5 miles to get away from the 60 and to get a head start on the big climb up Montana Mountain the next day before the heat really kicked in. We set up camp near Whitford Canyon, where there was a light flow of water down the drainage.

    We decided before going to bed that tomorrow the goal would be to make it to Reavis Ranch.

    March 3rd

    After a warm night, we woke up around 6:30, ate a quick breakfast, broke camp, and were off on the trail around 7:15 AM.

    Back on the AZT!

    We made good time through the canyon, enjoying the moderately dense wild flowers along the trail. Before starting the climb up Montana, we took a short break and filtered some water from near the Reavis Canyon TH.

    The easy going trail didn't last for long. As I approached Montana Mountain, the climb didn't look too intimidating, but once I got a few miles in it started to feel a little endless. I haven't had a climb kick my butt like that in a long time. For the last mile of the climb I was stopping every 1/10th of a mile to catch my breath.

    I topped out and sat under some shade where Bradley and Buster had been waiting. After resting for a few minutes, I got some serious cramps in my legs and I locked up for about 5-10 minutes. I don't think I've ever cramped up that bad before. After I wasn't in agony and could move again, I popped an electrolyte pill and ate some lunch.

    Eventually Braden topped out, and joined us in the shade for lunch. He said him and Blake had seen a rattler near the bottom of the climb. Buster was out of water, so he took off to Rogers Trough to see if he could find some water in the drainage by the TH.

    After a good while, we began to worry about Blake. By now it was getting really hot. Bradley decided to head back down to look for Blake, while me and Braden sat around in the shade, taking turns cramping up. Eventually, Bradley and Blake topped out.

    After Blake took a short break, we all put on our packs and headed for Rogers Trough. The views along the forest road to the TH were pretty cool. Large sweeping views of the Western Supes and Queen Valley below.

    Once we reached Rogers Trough TH, we filled up on water at the pools right next to the TH. We saw in the register that Buster had already headed for Reavis Ranch. Blake wanted to take a longer break here, so Braden stayed behind with him. I took another electrolyte pill for the upcoming climb up Reavis Pass, and then me and Bradley took off down Reavis Trail.

    Lots of pools exist along the trail as you descend into Rogers Canyon.

    I felt great on the climb up Reavis Pass except for the last couple hundred feet where I began to lock up again. After topping out we enjoyed the smooth sailing into the ranch. Me and Bradley hit Reavis Ranch just at sundown, around 6:30. Braden and Blake came in not too long after.

    It was pretty cool starting out in saguaros at the beginning of the day, then ending in ponderosa pines. I think this was the largest amount of AEG I've ever done in one day with a fully loaded backpack. It ended up being ~4,300ft of AEG for the day. Everyone was a little beat up in one way or another but still in good spirits. With only ~22 miles left, we had set ourselves up for a couple of easier days to finish up the trip. We enjoyed a fire, ate some dinner, and rested up for the next day.

    March 4th

    We slept in on the 2nd day, deciding the night before that we would only go ~14 miles to Cottonwood Spring. By the time we were packed up and off on the trail, it was around 10:00 AM.

    I was excited to see the far eastern side of the Superstitions. It was a virgin location for me.

    I started the day with my IT band giving me issues, but after slowing down a little and popping some Tylenol at Pine Creek, the pain didn't progress and I felt pretty strong for the rest of the day. Me and Bradley were making the all the climbs without stopping. When we topped out, we would wait for everybody else to catch up, which helped give me the downtime I need to keep my IT band situation from getting worse.

    The views on the ridge walk along Two Bar were AWESOME. It ended up being my favorite part of the trip. Beautiful views of Four Peaks, Apache Lake, Roosevelt Lake, and the the STEEP drops on the backsides of the Supes.

    We reached Cottonwood Spring and found a crammed spot to lay our tarps out and set up camp. Just before going to bed, we discovered a family of rats (about 3 of them) in the dense leaves and dead branches nearby.

    March 6th

    The final day we woke up around 7:30 AM and were off on the trail by 8:30 AM. I felt pretty drained of energy from all the climbing we had done over the past 2 days, and that feeling persisted til just about the very end of the day. Thankfully the day was an easy one, with only ~7.5 miles and maybe 1000 ft of climbing left.

    The trail continued to follow the rocky Cottonwood Creek before eventually merging onto a rocky forest service road. Just before hitting the Vineyard TH, the trail makes you climb up and around three topographical "fingers."

    After everybody reached the TH, we headed to Globe/Miami for some victory Mexican Food.

    This was definitely some of the hardest AZT miles I've put in far, but also some of the most scenic.

    Light to moderate at the lower elevations, isolated to none at the higher elevations.
    Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
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    Eastern Supes Tule to Campaign
    Claire and I had Monday off for MLK Day and wanted to get out for a three day trip into the Superstitions. We wanted to see a new area and turned our attention to Tule and Campaign trailheads. We decided to start from Tule and make a loop by incorporating over six road miles between the two trailheads.

    We drove to Tule Trailhead on Saturday morning and made good time. The dirt road is in great condition and is suitable to most vehicles. We started our hike and made steady progress up Tule trail. We passed a couple of hunters and continued on as the trail starts gaining elevation. The views north of the Sierra Ancha and Four Peaks were wonderful. We eventually connected onto Two Bar Ridge and followed the AZT south. This is a really nice stretch of trail. We dropped into a valley and made a steep climb up a north facing slope that had a good blanket of snow. Once up top we completed the last mile and selected a campsite in Pine Creek. I camped here last year with FOTG and absolutely love this site! It has a flowing creek and lots of tree cover and fire ring. We settled in for the night with a nice fire and the temps were chilly but pleasant overall.

    Our Sunday started slowly. We both slept in and made a fire and enjoyed breakfast. It was approaching 11am when a day hiker walked up and talked to us. He started from Campaign TH and said he talked to our friends we were meeting. Our plan was to meet FOTG at the junction of Campaign & Fireline. We got ourselves moving as we headed for Reavis Ranch. The Reavis Gap trail was very wet and muddy. Our pace was slow. We eventually reached Reavis Ranch and found the area completely deserted. We expected some backpackers but there were none. We spent a few minutes filtering water and eating lunch and then headed for the Fireline trail.

    The first mile of Fireline Trail was easy going. The trail was a little muddy but not an issue. We started encountering snow in the higher elevations. There was one set of foot prints coming the opposite direction and they broke a path through the snow that helped. We eventually hit the turnoff for Circlestone. Our original plan was to hike up there but it was late in the day and our feet were soaked from the snow. We decided to continue on to camp. The next half mile was slow going through more snow. It drifted to twelves inches high in some places. We finally hit the east end of Fireline where the trail drops down to Campaign. We were delighted to see no snow! We cruised down to camp and arrived there around 4pm.

    We finally hit the camp at Fireline and Campaign and could see dog prints all over the place. We were bummed to see we missed Lee and the dogs. I was hoping he was backpacking with us but knew he might be day hiking. A few minutes later we noticed the “FOTG” spelled out with some sticks. That confirmed he was day hiking. At that point we started prepping camp. We gathered firewood and got the tent set up. We planned on using the existing fire ring but it had an inch of ice on top. It was a no go so we built a temporary fire ring just off to the side. We dismantled this the next morning. We settled in for another night and enjoyed our fire. The temps were much colder tonight making things a bit uncomfortable. The fire helped if you sat close but sleeping was a challenge.

    We woke earlier on Monday and had a small fire and tore down camp. We started hiking around 9:30am and headed north on the Campaign Trail. I remember this section being fairly overgrown with a hard to navigate section in the middle. We made good time till that point and then got off trail and were swallowed by manzanita and other heavy shrubs. I knew we were close to the trail but we couldn’t find it. I decided to drop us into the creek and take our chances there. The going was very difficult and both of us were frustrated. After much effort in the creek we climbed out and found the trail. From there the rest of the Campaign trail was in excellent condition. We made fast time and took a short break at the junction with the Reavis Gap trail. From there it was on to the Campaign Trailhead and then we had over six mile of road back to the Tule Trailhead. These road miles flew by as we hiked at over three miles per hour. We were back to the jeep around 2:30pm. From there it was back to Phoenix.

    This was a great loop and we covered a lot of ground. There was a ton of water and lots of snow at the higher elevations. Water will not be an issue for several months. We only saw two people within the wilderness. Great hike and I was glad to see some new areas.
    Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
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    Another nice over night trip into the Eastern Supes. BiFrost and slowandsteady were looking for some shuttle help to knock out a section of the AZT, and it does not take much to convince me to head out to the Supes, so I tagged along with them for part of their trip. We had spent the week trying to come up with creative ways to get my car back to Phoenix so I could complete the thru-hike with them and avoid the two plus hour Sunday evening drive back to Rogers TH. There ended up being too many moving parts to coordinate that, so I settled for an out and back.

    We completed a pretty leisurely 13 mile hike on Saturday with some nice breaks, pauses to take in the scenery and a few quick detours to see the sights. I gamble on a refilling water at Walnut Spring and almost sorely regretted it. There seems to be water everywhere in the Eastern Supes except its northwestern section, which is known to be notoriously dry. Ended up with a pretty nice little camp site were then annoyed by about a 45 minute pretty light shower.

    I broke camp pretty early and left Karl and Kathy just before 6:30. Hiked out hard to avoid hitting the Renaissance rush made it back to car just before 12:30. Traffic was a little heavy on the 109S, had to pass a couple of larger mule trains on my way out ;)

    Small World Anecdote: Ran into the guy who gave me an ace knee wrap on Mt. Graham last year. Good fortune for me that day to run into him, I think we were the only two on the mountain that day. He was doing Superior to Lake Roosevelt and remembered me because of dogs. I said thanks again for the knee wrap, filled him in on water conditions and chatted for a couple minutes.
    Two Bar Ridge Trail #119
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    Reavis via Miles TH
    Met up with Lee for a fun overnighter in the Supes! We left Phoenix around 6am and made our way to the Miles Trailhead. The plan was to make a 28+ mile lasso loop utilizing several trails including the Campaign, Reavis Gap & Fireline Trails. This hike would tie in a large chunk of trails I haven’t been on previously.

    We started hiking a little before 8am and made our way west. After two miles we turned north on the Campaign Trail and made the climb to the divide. From there we dropped down to Campaign Creek and fought our way through relatively heavy overgrowth. It wasn’t too bad and we kept a fairly good pace. We passed the Fireline Trail and continued north. We hit the trail work roughly two miles north of Fireline. From there we made quick progress to the Reavis Gap Trail. This trail is in good condition and we made the climb to the Two Bar Ridge Trail where we detoured over to have a look at Walnut Spring. It’s a mid-size trough with reliable water. Our original plan was to camp in this area but we decided to push it one more mile to Pine Creek which had two excellent camp sites and the creek was flowing cool and clear.

    We settled in at Pine Creek as we got camp set up and gathered firewood. We did our camp chores and then enjoyed a fire. I didn’t realize Manzanita burns so well. We left a surplus of wood for the next campers. We both turned in a little after 9pm. The next morning I could hear FOTG breaking down camp and he wanted to get moving. I was a little slow in the morning as I broke down camp and packed up. We hit the trail a little before 7:30am.

    On day two we continued west on the Reavis Gap trail and dropped down to Reavis Ranch. We could hear people on the north side of the ranch but we never saw them. We headed south and took a short break before heading back east on the Fireline Trail. We made steady progress and eventually hit the Campaign Trail. From there we retraced our steps and were back to the vehicle around 1:30pm.

    We covered a lot of ground on this hike and I was pleasantly surprised with the eastern Supes. The trails can be overgrown but are good overall. The views are stunning as well and we only saw six people on this entire hike. I definitely want to get back out there before summer hits. Thanks FOTG for coming up with our route and driving!

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    Take US 60, (ie: The Superstition Freeway), east out of the valley all the way past Superior to Miami. At the intersection of US 60 and 188, take a left and head north to Roosevelt Lake. Take Highway #188 23.9 miles to FS Road #83 which is clearly signed on the west side of 188. From this point follow FS #83 its 5.9 miles to the trail head. This short dirt road will take roughly 30 minutes to travel. Initially, traveling 2.3 miles down this nicely graded dirt road will take you to the Black Brush Headquarters. Take the signed left turn for the next 3.6 miles on a four wheel drive required road. My Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 had no problems. This is where the fun begins. This "road" will follow a wash in the beginning before beginning its climb to the trailhead. Rocks and ruts are numerous on this road but no serious maneuvers are required. (ie: I never had to use reverse or "jog" around obstructions.) The total elevation gain on this 5.9 mile road is 2,100 feet so there are some steeps involved. The wash bed is sandy with rocks that are easily traversed. There is a confusing junction with another FS Road, (A 4-digit road I can't recall), but it leads to a dead end after a 1/4 mile so just stay to your right. You will pass a junction for trail #120, but ignore it and stay to the left. It is after this junction that the road becomes a much more steep and rock filled climb necessitating four wheel drive. You'll probably collect a few "pin stripes" from the enclosing scrub brush. A "gutsy" two-wheel drive truck might be able to make it but I'd hate to be drinking coffee in that cab.
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