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Paradise Trail # 271, AZ

Guide 44 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  3.6 of 5 
no permit
1 Active
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 2.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,000 feet
Elevation Gain 1,509 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,509 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.73
Interest Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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13  2020-01-26
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5  2019-12-31
West Pinto Trail #212 - Superstitions
21  2019-12-09
Bull Basin Paradise Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author AZLOT69
author avatar Guides 175
Routes 247
Photos 7,884
Trips 1,914 map ( 16,193 miles )
Age 70 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Jan → 9 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:14am - 7:36pm
Official Route
12 Alternative

Warning the 2019 Woodbury Fire & 2020 Sawtooth Fire damaged a majority of the Superstition Wilderness.
Gamble With Paradise
by AZLOT69

FR 287A is a single lane dirt track in fair condition. We stashed our mountain bikes at the trailhead for Trail 203 (the upper terminus of the Haunted Canyon Loop) then continued on approximately 1.8 miles to the trailhead for Paradise Trail 271. The trailhead has parking for several cars (we saw no cars or hikers the whole day) but is poorly marked. The trailhead signage is located 100 ft up a bare earth hill and is not visible from the road. Without GPS we may not have located the trail as quickly.

We loaded up and almost immediately entered a wonderful, refreshing environment with rich black soil, tree leaves covering the ground like a mid-fall day in New England, and with the smell of peat as if we had been transported to a different part of the United States. The trail was very easy to follow being broad and generally flat as it switched back and forth across the stream. The hike was one of the quietest hikes I've ever been on; no human sounds, no gravel/rocks under our feet, no distant sounds of aircraft or autos. It was almost quiet enough to hear your heart beating. We found plenty of flowing water in sections of the streambed. The first 1 1/4 miles are an easy stroll with a gain of 400 ft elevation. As we reached the upper end of Trail 271 we broke more and more above the tree line, the vegetation changes more to higher altitude desert growth and the soil yielded to the typical Arizona gravel. The rate of gaining elevation increased to a more typical climb. We found snow from a storm a week earlier and had some mischief with it. We wonder how long the "snow-cairns" will last.

We reached a crossing trail at a high spot with a view of the mine tailings in the distance. Our GPS and our dead reckoning indicated this to be the cross-trail to 203. Heading east we quickly lost the trail. In hindsight we are not sure there is a true connecting trial. GPS confirmed we were on or crossing this "trail" but it clearly was bushwhacking our way to the east. It was somewhat rough going. There were plenty on "cow pies" marking out avenues to take. We left cairns at what we felt were key spots to help somewhat for future hikers. At a barb wire fence we could see trail 203 off about 100 feet in the distance.

The downhill trail seemed to be the steepest terrain of the day but no big deal. As we descended the gravel gave way to improving moist soil and again we entered a world of quiet. Less water was in this stream bed. The last mile of the trail is almost level and is a easy, smooth, and again the smell of northern woods.

Our mountain bikes were pulled from the stash and be coasted downhill the final 1.8 miles to our truck. This is a truly a unique hike taking you into a lush environment not easily found in the southwest. The quiet is awesome! There is plenty of time spent above the tree line to view these mountains and rock features in a more remote section of the Superstitions.

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2007-02-06 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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Gold Canyon, AZ, take Hwy 60E 37 miles, just after crossing Pinto Creek (mine tailings in view on left) take left onto Pinto Valley Rd (also entrance to BHP Copper Industries). This becomes FR287; follow Brown/White Public Access Road signs. At 2.8 miles left at black/white public access sign just before company entrance. At 1.2 miles right on FR 287 at sign for Haunted Canyon. Roads are deteriorating; cars may be ok but high clearance four wheel would be better. At 2.6 miles right at fork away from "Peak Well 26 - 29" After cross creek bridge, .1 mile take left on FR287A. On this single lane road ascend for 3.8 miles to trailhead trail 203 to stash mountain bikes. Then on 1.8 miles to trail 271 trailhead.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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