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Tortilla-Fish Mesa, AZ

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Guide 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
Rated
3.4
3.4 of 5 by 5
 
3
Statistics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 5.75 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,871 feet
Elevation Gain 914 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,490 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4-5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 13.2
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
13  2018-01-26 jameslcox44
8  2015-11-14
Tortilla-Fish Mesa - Fish Creek Canyon Loop
joebartels
30  2015-11-14
Fish Creek Ridge - Fish Creek Canyon Loop
The_Eagle
11  2015-11-13 hikerdw
5  2012-09-11 Jonnybackpack
8  2011-03-04 Jonnybackpack
4  2010-02-26 T Harris
5  2010-01-25
Slide Canyon - Fish Creek Loop
nonot
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  7:21am - 5:18pm
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Official Route
 
3 Alternative
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Slide Canyon - Fish Creek Loop
Slide Canyon - Fish Creek Loop
0.6 mi away
5.2 mi
1,100 ft
Zigzag Canyon
0.6 mi away
1.3 mi
100 ft
Minnow Canyon
Minnow Canyon
0.6 mi away
2.4 mi
350 ft
Tortilla TH to Tortilla Well
Tortilla TH to Tortilla Well
0.6 mi away
7.0 mi
Fish Creek Canyon - Upper Bridge
Fish Creek Canyon - Upper Bridge
0.7 mi away
6.3 mi
950 ft
Fish Creek Hill
Fish Creek Hill
1.1 mi away
2.2 mi
100 ft
Fish Creek Vista
Fish Creek Vista
1.1 mi away
1.5 mi
396 ft
Sierra Canyon - Tonto NF
Sierra Canyon - Tonto NF
1.3 mi away
5.0 mi
1,000 ft
Tango Canyon
Tango Canyon
1.4 mi away
6.8 mi
1,150 ft
Sierra Canyon - North Fork
Sierra Canyon - North Fork
1.4 mi away
5.4 mi
1,000 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Off trail in the wine sipping sense
by joebartels

Overview: This easy to moderate off-trail hike spans a mesa that separates Tortilla Creek from Fish Creek. It's presented here as a loop hike starting 0.8 miles into FR 213. The hike crosses the mesa, drops down near Tortilla Trailhead, then follows FR 213 back.


Hike: Head out straight east until you drop down and hit a dense foliage ravine. Scroll to your right until you find the least path of resistance across the ravine. Or bush-push your way across as I did. Once across you simply head southeast to Peak 3785 across the mesa. It takes some minor effort getting up on the mesa. Then it's a gentle rise across. The going is simple but pay attention or you'll be wrestling cacti along the way.

Better views favor the Fish Creek edge. Optimum photo ops are likely in the late day fading sun. I roamed the area in mid-day light on an overcast day with off-n-on lite sprinkles. One of the better views of Black Cross Butte is from this western vantage point. The main focal draw is down Fish Creek with distant views of the Four Peaks and Bronco Butte. This isn't an eye popping experience like Coronado Mesa. On the other hand it's a better hike with lots of roaming possibilities. The area doesn't show many obvious signs of previous travel. All the use trails I crossed are certainly wildlife created as they dodge under ocotillo and such.

Peak 3785 is the high point on this mesa / wide-ridge. It's not marked on the USGS topographical map but there is a brass cap and a large cairn. You should be able to make out the water tower at Tortilla Trailhead down to your west-southwest. Find a good route down then take the road back. I headed pretty much west and down and encountered typical catclaw for the Tortilla area. You might have better odds continuing south to Hoolie before swinging west.

joebartels
    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 $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    From Apache Junction head out on SR88. For reference the First Water Trailhead turnoff is just after mile marker 201. You need continue out past Canyon Lake and past Tortilla Flats to the end of the pavement. Continue on the dirt road about 0.8 miles to mile marker 221. There's a good size sign with an arrow for Tortilla Trailhead. This is FS213, take it 0.8 mile and park. You should be situated on a ridge that extends to Peak 3141.
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