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Turks Head - Peak 2822, AZ

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Guide 26 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions SW
3.4 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 4.56 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,200 feet
Elevation Gain 516 feet
Accumulated Gain 964 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.77
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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7  2018-11-29
Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
22  2017-07-04
Lost Goldmine Trail #60
15  2017-01-14
Turk - 5057 - Three Sisters Loop
10  2016-01-23 vanman
13  2016-01-20
Lost Goldmine to Mushroom Rock
50  2015-04-28
Peak 2822 via Lost Goldmine Trail
9  2014-12-05 vanman
24  2013-02-21
Mushroom Rock
Page 1,  2,  3
Author AZLOT69
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 247
Photos 7,293
Trips 1,818 map ( 15,596 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:08am - 6:33pm
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2 Alternative
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Stamina Builder
by AZLOT69

This is a great hike to build stamina for future treks in the Superstions and other local peaks. about half the difficulty of Picketpost and a quarter the difficulty of Carney Springs or the Flatiron. The trail can be accessed from the Hieroglyphics Trailhead or the Lost Goldmine Trailhead at Peralta Road just south of the Peralta Trailhead on the West side of Peralta Road. Roundtrip distance is about 1 mile less from the hieroglyphic trailhead. The peak known locally as turks head is located along the Lost Goldmine Trail about 2 1/2 miles east of the Hieroglyphic trail. The lost Goldmine Trail offers some wonderful rolling views of the Superstition foothills and beauty of the unspoiled sonoran desert. Elevations fluctuate as you proceed east giving you ample warm up. Just prior to the towering turks head which is on your left you will arrive at an old jeep road. Proceed to the north on this old jeep road 1/4 mile. At this point proceed up a drainage wash to the east and up the mountain known as Turks Head. There is a trail in spots but this is mainly a bushwhack with no right or wrong way to get to the top. As you ascend to the east and slightly to the north you will observe a large balanced rock. At this point upward and toward the southeast you will start to pick up cairns. Follow the cairns or blaze your own trail over at least three false tops to the very peak for some outstanding views of the valley below to the south and east and the future challenges behind you to the north, Carney Springs , The Superstition Ridgeline, on over to the Flat Iron.

GPS coordinates at the base of Turks Head: N3323.494 W111 24.191
GPS coordinates at the Turks Head peak: N3323.434 W111 23.788

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2006-11-19 AZLOT69

    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 Triplog Reviews
    Turks Head - Peak 2822
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Fun little scramble. I started and ended at the Hierogyphics TH. The route up is pretty easy to follow with only one area in the middle where you need to look for the next marker. Quick snack on the top and then headed back down.

    The posted route is the return leg of the out and back.
    Turks Head - Peak 2822
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Drove out Peralta Road to the last wash before Carney TH, turned off and followed the Jeep/ATV trail north before turning west. As we passed by a tank we saw an obviously dead longhorn bull laying next to the water tank. It had already bloated and popped some time ago but the smell was terrible. Tracey said she hoped we wouldn't have to pass by it again, to which I responded, we won't.
    We continued west until just past the 'Technical' bike trail. Fro there we followed an old road partway toward Turks Head until we realized the terrain cross-country was smoother than the road then cut off on a bee line to the base of Turks Head.

    Followed the cairns all the way up to the summit, which was more of a challenge due to numerous conflicting cairned routes than the effort, which was significant enough for a good workout. We took a PB&J break just below the summit and headed back down.

    Back at the base we caught the Goldmine Trail and headed east. along the way we met a guy hiking with his son & daughter (14 & 16 yrs old??) who asked if they were on the Hieroglyphics Trail.
    Sorry, you're on the Goldmine Trail. When we asked if they had begun at Cloudview Trailhead he said the parking lot was gated and locked so they parked along Kings Ranch Road.
    What?! Nothing made sense to us... first, as far as we knew unless one had just been installed, there is no gate at the parking lot. Next, where was there a gate along Kings Ranch providing access to the AZ State Trust Land, which is what the Goldmine Trail passes through.

    Whatever, they turned around and to go back the way they came so we figured they could figure it out. Typical, none of the three knew where they started or where they were going, and only the son had a small pack, which might have had room for 3 16 oz water bottles, but it looked pretty flat so who knows if they had any water. Not our problem...
    We followed the Goldmine Trail east to the Transition bike trail, which we took back south to the Jeep road and back west to where we parked.

    The drive back to Peralta Road was a bit fun... when Tracey saw the steep and deeply eroded track up the hill, she said "we aren't going up there are we?"
    I said "since you didn't want to pass by the reeking dead cow again this is the only other option."

    I dropped the Jeep into low range, engaged the lockers and proceeded up the hill with not so much as one slip of the tires... easy as pie when you don't try full wheel-spin mode that it appeared many folks had tried. From there is was an easy but slow drive back to Peralta Road.

    Surprisingly the conditions were perfect... enough cloud cover to keep the temp under 85° and breezy enough to keep the ~40% humidity from being an issue. Since this was just an "enjoy the day" hike we didn't bother with photos or videos.

    Oh yeah, just to be sure, we drove out Kings Ranch Road to Cloudview TH and as we suspected, no locked gate... in fact no gate at all. On the drive back out we tried to figured out what gate the folks had seen along Kings Ranch Road and found nothing. So much for folks without a clue...
    Turks Head - Peak 2822
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Peak 2822 via Lost Goldmine Trail
    Another one of those mornings... not only had I neglected to plan anything the night before, but I woke up with absolutely no idea where I was going to hike. Oh well, I'll go through the motions of preparing for at least a half-day hike and hopefully something will come to mind by time everything is packed and in the Jeep.
    Thankfully I had an idea soon enough to load the Lost Goldmine Trail into Route Manager and draw a tentative route from the trail to the summit of Peak 2822, my eighth of sixteen 300' prominence peaks in the Goldfield Quadrangle. And I would accomplish hiking the Lost Goldmine Trail (which I'd never done) and bagging the peak along the way.
    I left the trailhead at 8 am. Not wanting to work up too much of a sweat early on with temps already mid-80's with 55% humidity I set out on a leisurely pace. It sure must have been leisurely, as it took a full hour before the three mountain bikers who were at the trailhead finally caught up to me. But then I suppose they didn't leave for a while after me. The slowest of the three appeared to have no idea what the 27 gears on his bike were for... laboring up even minor slopes. As an avid mountain biker myself, it was all I could do to hold my tongue and let him continue grunting and huffing on in apparent agony.
    The trail was in great shape, with some newer-looking re-routes to make it easier for bikes, at least that's my thinking behind it... along with the four new signs (new wood, fresh paint and shiny bolts) I would encounter at mountain bike trail junctions with the Goldmine trail. I'll have to get back out there with my bike.

    As I approached Peak 2822, which the Lost Goldmine Trail must do a half-moon arc to avoid it, I scanned the slope for an appropriate ascent route. On Route Manager using Satellite view it appeared the western approach would have too many large boulders to deal so I held off until I had a chance to check it out more. And since on Satellite view the eastern approach showed a reasonably well-beaten track to the base of what may possibly be a chute like Brown's Peak, I held off more... until I saw it first-hand and there was no way I was climbing anywhere from the east.
    Still on the trail, by time I'm 60% around Peak 2822 with no appealing ascent route I've got to decide, am I going to continue counter-clockwise around Peak 2822 until I find a good-looking route and scale it now, or continue east on the Lost Goldmine Trail and catch it on the return leg?
    Hmmm... it's 86° now and is quickly on the way to 90's so I should I bag it now and see more of the trail later?
    Then I thought of how bare the trail is with little or no shade, I figured I'd go as far as Carney Trail before turning back, scaling 2822 on the return trip.
    I chose the latter and it worked out well... by time I began the climb the humidity was in the teens. And since the climb offered more shade I wasn't being heated by the sun, just from the effort.
    And what an effort it was... I chose to ascend a nice wide drainage on the northern slope, which began very easy, albeit with plenty of fox-tails (which my 6" Red-Head Trekker III's simply scoff at) but quickly turned into a quagmire of thick brush among large boulders. Once I hit a game trail (bighorn sheep by the droppings) I tried to stay with it as much as possible, but not being as sleek nor as agile as a bighorn I was working much harder than a bighorn would have.
    : rambo :
    About halfway up I hit a more obvious game trail and was able to move quickly for a few hundred feet, only to end up dropping into a smooth-rock bowl at the base of a 50-foot cliff.
    It was either backtrack the full distance and try another route, or bull through some very thick jojoba (thankfully they aren't thorny) and another shrub/small tree with long thin leaves (with a slightly stick feel to them) and very old looking but very tough stringy bark.

    I chose the latter... only to drop into an unseen hole between boulders. :o
    It took some work to climb out, namely having to climb literally through the stringy-bark plant... gaining a few more wounds along the way.
    Once free of the ogre's trap I wasn't going to let anything stop me now... ok, except for a sheer cliff or smooth rock too steep to climb. Thankfully by now most of what was left was smooth rock of a still-climbable angle, so all I had to was be very careful where I stepped, making sure to avoid the dried black lichen (no traction there!), loose scree or wost of all, large wide flat plates of rock that flake off only when you put weight on them.
    But wonder of wonders, there's the summit! Ok, so I can't climb it directly, let's take a look around... yes!
    There's a route around the back and up to the top of a nice flat boulder, providing me some comfort... until the wind gusts picked up significantly, which of course had to be just when I stood up to shoot the panorama photos and video. so I sat while taking the photos and was hunched over during the video. Needless to say I didn't waste much time up there.
    On the descent I would find a well-cairned route almost exactly where I had originally drawn a route using FS Topo. Yes... before I didn't like what I saw in Satellite view deleted the route. Whatever, it was a very easy route, no exposure, no issues other than watching for the loose terrain here and there. But then if I had taken that route to begin with, I wouldn't have had the fun of bulling through thick brush.
    Besides, if it was easy, I wouldn't have much to write about now, would I?
    Yep, I threw that in for the benefit of my fans and non-fans of my hiking novels.

    One video:
    Peak 2822 summit panorama
    Turks Head - Peak 2822
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Mike and I set out on Lost Goldmine from Hiero TH to poke around in the canyons east of Hiero Canyon. Once we got to Turks Head we decided we should check it out. Pretty cool place with some fun scrambles!! From there we bypassed the bushwhack to the mouth of Ermahgerd Canyon and headed for the one Mike dubbed Rockadoodle Canyon (after his insane solo ascent!). It is the first one east of Hiero. From the jeep road by Turks we headed for the saddle behind 2777. We climbed up from the saddle before dropping down into and crossing the wash. It was super thick!! We bulldozed and brush-surfed across while getting buzz-bombed by hummingbirds! Awesome!! On the west side we found a nice route north of 2630 that led back to Lost Goldmine. A return visit is in order for sure!!
    Turks Head - Peak 2822
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Ambika wanted to do a hike in the Supes that wouldn't take all day so this is the one I came up with. In 2009 I had done part of it from Cloudview but had not come in from the other side. I found us a couple guys to tag along. Jack had done the trail a couple times already this month but he was game to try it again. John said he needed some up-climbing to warrant his participation so he suggested Turks Head. We met at the Cloudview TH and then took Tonto to the Lost Goldmine TH.

    It was a bit windy and would be off and on throughout the first part of our hike. We would have a crisp day with vivid blue skies and broken clouds as well as cloud cover for this hike. But lucky for you all ;) most of the hike was VERY photographic. This hike is interesting the entire way as you hike below the foot of the Superstitions. Jack pointed out the many-armed saguaro and John pointed out where the Dacite mine was. Eventually we walked through a saguaro, teddy cholla and chain cholla forest. Now how great is that :y: ... and that was only in the first couple miles.

    Before long Turks Head appeared closer and closer and I'm thinking, really, we're going to go up that?! But it appears you go around to the other side where the climb, while steep in some places is not nearly as intimidating, WHEW!

    We are walking on the jeep road off of the Gold Mine Trail and come to the wash which we walk into while reading the hike desc which says: At this point proceed up a drainage wash to the east and up the mountain known as Turks Head. I think the problem was the combination of the words :wrt: , "drainage wash". Well we took the wash and then the drainage, just not the first drainage to the east which we found on the way down.

    I did like the way we went up from more of the NW side toward the balancing rock which we dubbed "Joe Camel with a hat" Once we came out of the drainage, it was pretty much straight up :sweat: to Joe Camel. Once we got there, after looking around, we found the cairns and pretty much tried to follow them on the way up. We discovered that many had been knocked over so we re-built a few. It would be better to have more so that people who do come up stay pretty much on the same path rather than traipsing all over the beautiful mountain.

    There were a couple steep sections and some tight cholla sections but after a few false tops, as stated in the hike description, we were at the top. John is always the first to check it all out and was already back from his brief walk across the top of the rocks by the time I got my pack off to do the same. I've learned when doing these types of walks to really not look too far down and I seem to be fine. Anyway, it was cool :y: to sit at the south side overlooking the valley below and the Supes behind. The sun was dashing in and out of the clouds so the views were even more exceptional.

    Finally we had our lunch. I was starved (forgot my morning hike banana :( ). We were able to sit in the lounge (means you have a back to your seat) and enjoy the views while stuffing down the various things Ambika & I had in our packs. It was a wonderful variety of snacks to go with the turkey sandwich Ambika and I shared. Plus we finished it off with some huckleberry taffy :DANCE: .

    It would have been nice, as always to hang up there longer but alas it was time to go back down. But first, we wanted to climb up in the window we had seen on our way up. It was a straight up climb and once to it, there really wasn't anywhere else to go :scared: unless you could fly :sl: . We took some photos and then made our way back down the mountain.

    Jack and Ambika took the lead and found the cairns to the SW side of Joe Camel. But suddenly, I got chollaed. OUCH!!! I had never been chollaed. NOW I understand. The cholla is stuck very tightly into the skin on the top of my ankle. I want to cry. I looked grimacingly :? at John thinking surely he can do something. I finally found the printed hike descriptions that were folded up in my camera bag to use to pull the cholla out. I had a feeling I would have to scream as the needles came out of my skin but I don't think I did. Finally, after a couple tries : rambo : I got the pumpkin thing out.

    After catching my breath I start heading toward Ambika and Joe when I realize John is MIA. I should have known where he would be.... trying to climb :o Joe Camel. You'll have to see the photo set to see if he was successful. Needless to say, this route down from here was much easier than our off route up.

    Before you know it, we were back in the wash realizing that the hike description means to take the very first drainage to your right once you enter the wash (we had walked further up the wash before heading up another drainage) and head E toward the balancing rock (Joe Camel). On our hike back we were treated to a sun spotlight show as the sun danced around the Superstitions. It was such fun to watch and try to photograph.

    We had a quick beer at the TH before bidding our adieus and then headed off to retrieve Tonto. Driving back on Peralta Road, we could see a spectacular sunset in the making. I was in the lead and trying to find a place to pull over where we could get a good view of it. Finally after a couple miles I found a spot and we rushed out of our vehicles to take some photos.

    We finished our day at the always tasty Los Gringos where I tried a new dish. Their pablano rice is just wonderful and this nite the restaurant was celebrating so I had the opportunity to get a free shot of some prime tequila. Now the question was, how do you drink the shot as I couldn't remember the order (It was probably the late 80s since I drank a shot). Anyway, it is salt, tequila and lime.

    Video 1 on the Lost Goldmine Trail heading west:
    Video 2 continuing on the Lost Goldmine Trail around Turks Head, the approach and climb up Turks Head:
    Video 3 our time on Turks Head along with some incredible views, our climb down the mountain and our hike back to the TH:

    Permit $$
    AZ State Land Recreational Permits are available for an individual ($15.00), or a family limited to two adults and children under the age of 18 ($20.00).

    Land Parcel Map

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Lost Goldmine 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 1.4 miles to the Goldmine Trailhead, turn in left. There's enough parking for a small army. Restrooms are 0.5 miles up the road at Peralta Trailhead.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 47.1 mi - about 1 hour 10 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 96.6 mi - about 2 hours 15 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 191 mi - about 3 hours 13 mins
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