The fun is getting there
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.
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.