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Trap Canyon, AZ

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243 22 6
Guide 22 Triplogs  6 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions SW
Rated
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3.8 of 5 by 9
 
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Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Canyoneering
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Grade2
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Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 20 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,400 feet
Elevation Gain 1,164 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,800 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 Days
Kokopelli Seeds 39
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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18  2016-12-24
Whiskey West-Red Tanks Loop
friendofThunderg
5  2015-04-12 wallyfrack
30  2015-03-08
Trap Canyon Loop
The_Eagle
5  2015-01-24 wallyfrack
35  2014-02-15 RowdyandMe
37  2013-11-16
Charlebois Loop II
outdoor_lover
16  2013-11-16
Charlebois Loop II
big_load
21  2011-12-26
Charlebois Loop II
johnlp
Page 1,  2
Author nonot
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 236
Photos 1,969
Trips 476 map ( 4,511 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Feb, Mar → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:10am - 6:29pm
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2 Alternative
 
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Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
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Trapped in the Superstitions
by nonot

Warning: hazardous, if not outright dangerous climbing, scrambling obstacles to be encountered, read that disclaimer at the bottom of the page. Do this at your own risk.


On a Saturday morning in March, our group of 6 adventurers set off for an area that has seldom been visited in the Superstitions. We planned to complete the first half of the Whiskey Springs-Red Tanks loop before arriving at our primary destination, Trap Canyon , where we would spend the night, and complete the loop the following morning.

Not much was known about this canyon. A few HAZ members were able to add bits and pieces of information, including a description of the impassable trap for which Trap Canyon gets it's name. I dug up two stories about this canyon online. One was a story in which rancher Jim Bark (of Lost Dutchman tales) claimed to see a UFO (or at least strange lights for which he could find no better explanation) in the canyon. Another was a story from the 1980s of someone operating a carbon-arcing (?) spotlight out of this canyon that would have had to be generator powered.

Making good time, we ascended Miner's Summit, slid down Whisky Springs Trail, and marched down LaBarge creek on Red Tanks trail, arriving at the canyon before noon. There, we were surprised to come upon two cowboys exiting the canyon. One of them gave us a tip that there's more to find in Trap Canyon than one would expect to see (or see be described in a trip report ;)

The large band shell that can be seen from the distance was our first target. Unfortunately, getting into Trap Canyon is rather difficult as the area is seldom traveled. Following the creek, we were able to locate what we believed was "Trap Spring", which upon our inspection, was a rather poor spring that had the color of syrup. Once past this, we face a choice between a high route to the east and a low route to the west. Neither is particularly pleasant and we quickly become familiar with cat claw on several occasions. Past this comes a smooth rock area that is tightly confined by the walls of the canyon. If you haven't been counting your steps, you'd be surprised to find that the band shell is actually over your head at this point ! A short distance later you can climb up to a ledge and backtrack into the alcove on the west side . We set up camp in the band shell and found filterable, but poor tasting, water a few minutes further up the canyon.

4 of the 6 of us decided to attempt to navigate though the canyon and discover the mystery of the trap for which the canyon is named. The other 2 possessed more common sense and stayed behind. Within 5 minutes of setting out, we come to a wall-to-wall pool with vertical walls boxing in the pool on both sides. A scramble up the canyon on either the north or the south side is possible, but not recommended. Be warned, this type of scrambling sets the tone for most of your trip.

Continuing on, it is best to get out of the brush and into the rocky streambed that will be your trail for the rest of the trip. Initially, the going is not too difficult, and there are pools and smooth rock sections alternating with your typical Supes canyon rock hopping. You will soon come to a junction. A dry creek bed to the north apparently comes from Sheep Mountain Spring, which looked to be a rather formidable ascent. We proceeded east (right) on the more level ground, continuing our trip up Trap Canyon.

There are several shallow caves along the next section . Carved out by wind and water , they are interesting, including one that looks as if it contains a structure assembled from rectangular blocks. I climbed up and was surprised to discover the blocks are natural and a steeply sloping floor appears to render that cave unfit for habitation.

Eventually as you continue along, you will come to an area that opens up as the canyon walls become less vertical. However, your way appears to be blocked on all sides as you approach. Undeterred, we proceeded along the creek as far as we could. It is then we noticed that a rather formidable barrier obstructs you from continuing. This is the area Trap Canyon takes a sharp turn from southeasterly to north on your topo map. For the casual adventurer I would recommend you turn around here, however we had still not located the trap and decided to continue our search.

The only way to bypass this wall-to-wall obstacle is to cling to a rather precarious set of handholds on the eastern side. Be cautious, a slip here could be life-threatening in a place this remote. Past this pool the difficult really ratchets up a couple of notches (yeah, believe it or not you're only done with the EASY part at this point). The boulders get larger, the canyon tighter, the creek is steeper, and the thorns get thicker. We hopped, climbed, and crawled our way up boulders, through cracks, and up walls. Just when you want to throw in the towel you will encounter a nearly impenetrable barrier. About 4-5 house-sized boulders have collected in a steep section of the canyon. They have lodged together in such a way to completely span the canyon wall to wall.

On the southeast side there is a 10-foot wall one of our members rated as 5 point something. Not being familiar with climb ratings, I'll describe is a pretty much vertical with extremely poor handholds. Another member attempted to summit the boulders on the northwest side and shimmy over onto an adjoining boulder. Neither is particularly good route, so choose to the best of your abilities, or know your limits and turn around now.

When we got to the top, we recognize this as the actual trap! (Note 1) The steep sides of the canyon restrict your options. From above the only route down looks to be to jump through a dim, dark hole to a faintly visible flat spot about 50+ feet down. The boulders appear impassible from above on this side of the canyon. Deciding to test the trap, we threw one of the members of our group into the hole and hoped for the best. (Note 2)

Past the trap, we continue our steep scrambling up to a point where the canyon forks to the north and east. The north route was a steep climb that heads up Music Mountain. The east is steep and a bushwhack in order to get through. As far as we could tell, the Hoolie Bacon trail lay on the other side of the steep climb to the east. However, realizing that it was getting late, we agreed to turn around now rather than face a trek in the dark back to camp.

We booked it back down the canyon to beat the setting sun. On the way down I discovered why exploring seldom-visited canyons is dangerous. Climbing down one of the steep sections, I stepped on a rock that broke loose and rolled forward, and I did a rather ungraceful impression of a wounded duck as I slammed backwards into the ground. Luckily, I didn't break my arm, but one of my trekking poles was now sporting a cool 30-degree bend on the bottom section.

We quickly reached the pool at the recommended turnaround point. As I was skirting along on the handholds, I set my hand on a cactus and instinctively jumped backwards. Unfortunately, this is not a particularly good idea when you are on the steep ledge of a cliff. However, I utilized my cat-like reflexes to grab new handholds about 4-6 feet into the fall and then another member, upon seeing that the canyon had not actually claimed a sacrifice yet, decided to donate his water bottle filled with purple power-aid. (Note 3) Unfortunately, it fell in an inaccessible location, so if you visit and it moves to a position you can grab it, please pack it out. An hour and 15 minutes after turning around, our group strolled confidently into camp, proud we had conquered Trap Canyon (Note 4).

The next morning, we finished off our loop on an unseasonably warm day and arrived at Peralta trailhead with sore muscles, but in good spirits. It was a pleasure to hike with this welcoming group of HAZ members that until this weekend I had only read about on this website.

Notes:

  1. Not all members in the group were convinced this was the trap.

  2. The trap actually contains an exit to the south that one can get into by crawling under one of the house-sized boulders which has lodged several feet above the ground between other boulders.

  3. Catlike reflexes, or clawing at the rocks in sheer terror can be used interchangeably in this sentence. The other member was forced to drop his water bottle in order to prevent the same fate from occurring to him.

  4. Strolled confidently, or limped home with the realization that 4 fit, experienced hikers were now beaten, exhausted men due to this unforgiving canyon are synonyms in this sentence.



Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your canyon trip to support this local community.

2007-03-05 nonot
    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 13 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Trap Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Trap Canyon Loop
    Almost 5 years since me, Joe and another Dave hit the trap. That time we were looking for signs of Jesse Capin. At that time I told myself I needed to get back to run the length of this magical canyon. I had planned on this being one tough nut to crack, but in all actuality, it wasn't bad at all. Common sense would say long pants and long sleeves, my long sleeves and pants stayed in my pack. I prefer being cooler, to a few scrapes here and there.

    We took our time all day, none of us with much sleep to speak of. Flowers were most prevalent on Whiskey Spring #238 and the Red Tanks Trails #107. Quite the variety, but no huge patches.

    It was almost 9 miles exactly to get to our shortcut turnoff to get into Trap Canyon and another 2.5 miles to get through Trap Canyon. This first part, right off of Hoolie Bacon #111, is probably the thickest to get through in the entire canyon. We stopped at the first alcove on the right (North) to check out the large quantity of Grinding Holes. Next the bouldering begins in anticipation of getting to the largest of the "Traps" in the entire canyon.

    We spent a considerable amount of time in this Trap, checking it all out.

    Trap Video = :next: youtu.be/8muG4WMBsyQ

    At the mouth of the trap by the creek bed, we had a bit of lunch before continuing down canyon. All sorts of Sweet geology to ogle over.

    There were at least 3 more much smaller traps that we checked out on the way. Nothing anywhere near as impressive as the first one.

    At the time we did this hike, we were able to get down the entire length of the canyon without getting wet. There was one section I chose to get wet (3'deep) in lieu of climbing up and around like Joe and Dave. Joe went high left, Dave went high right, and I went down the middle.

    Two other memorable areas.

    First we skirted some water, went around a corner, and Dave stumbled on this = :next: [ photo ] .

    Second, there is an area with three larger alcoves. The most impressive, was a huge second story unit.
    One of the smaller Alcoves = :next: https://youtube.com ... 40qk

    I'm glad I finally got to do this thru hike. Well worth the effort.
    Trap Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Turned out better than anticipated, most of the canyon was intriguing throughout. We spent a couple hours in the upper canyon grid searching the entire trap area. The trap hasn't moved or changed a bit. Nor could it be expected to fill in over the years or such. This canyon does not have a large catch. The blue camp roll we spotted five years ago has barely moved.

    Moving down canyon I expected the good stuff to be over. It's slow going. Nothing to strenuous. Less bushwhacking than anticipated yet about as much as I care to encounter. The geology and uniqueness is well worth the effort. Canyons don't dazzle me like they did fifteen years ago. While I wouldn't rush out for a return trip it's a solid choice.

    Minor scrambling. Don't expect any saints to usher in ladders.

    Wildflowers
    great variety, check out Bruce's photos
    Trap Canyon
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Trap Canyon
    Well I hit the trail early and ran into some trouble early just to find out I had more problems. But the weather was great and I think I got some of my better pictures. So it was worth it. I fell on Whiskey Springs and got cut up pretty well as twisting my knee, but that was just the beginning. As I headed up Hoolie Bacon I stop for my insulin shot. Once I got to Trap Canyon Trailhead I decide to stop and eat some lunch of course that is when I relized my lunch was still in my fridge at home bummer. Well I had taken my shot on time but now I don't have my lunch. I am using a new type of gps on my phone and it had me all over the place. I never found the trailhead to enter Trap Canyon. So without my lunch I decide to head back. I had to stop a few times just to focus on what I was doing. After I got my bearings I continued on my way.
    After connecting with the Bluff Springs Trail I felt a lot better knowing I was getting close to my car.
    I will have to go back again and finish what I started. Still I hit 20 miles today.
    I was a little bummed out today to see the Peralta Road had been graded just for a marathon nothing more nothing less.
    Trap Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The Master Plan
    Alex wanted to do the Charlebois Loop II and check out Trap Canyon for Ruins before continuing on to Charlebois in the Quest for the Master Map....Turns out Mike, Kate and Frankie and possibly Lee were going to be in the area as well and everyone was hoping to meet up at LaBarge Spring. Dave decided to join in the Fun after work on Saturday....

    Day 1
    The Weather wasn't looking good for Saturday Morning kickoff and as I drove in on Peralta, it really was looking like we might get wet, at least briefly...The Entire Ridgeline was missing, hidden in a large, ominous Cloud....Alex just beat me there and shortly thereafter, two large White Dogs showed up, which could only mean that Lee was there as well...Lee's plan was to Hike in on Bluff Spring Trail, while we had opted to go via Dutchman and Whiskey...

    And we were off....The Clouds threatened, but amazingly enough, never unloaded...But the Lighting provided, with the Clouds and the Sunrise breaking through occasionally was pretty darn good...I probably took half of my total Pictures on the first 4 Miles of the Trip...It was nice and cool and we made good time, taking a small break at the Coffee Flat Junction before the uphill began...We got most of the Uphill out of the way and then had to stop for a Photo Op that even Alex couldn't resist.... :D Saw our first Tarantula of the Trip on the way along the Dutchman as well...Next stop was Whiskey Spring...Alex and I debated about where the actual Spring was, as I hadn't found it when I did this area in April...Upon reaching the Flat Portion of the Trail along the Creek, I spotted a small Trail leading down to the Creek and took it with the intent of taking a Break there...Turns out, the Trough for the Spring was 20 feet away... 8)

    After the Break we continued on, deciding to Camp the Night at LaBarge with everyone else and backtracking to Trap Canyon the next day on fresher legs...I wasn't doing too badly considering I hadn't done a Backpack since Grand Gulch...My Pack was 10 lbs lighter than I had ever packed, which certainly helped...Was feeling an Arthritic Left Knee, but knew that going in, so I had started an Ibuprofen Regimen to keep the pain to just "annoying".... :sweat: We reached LaBarge in pretty good time after running into a Caravan of Horse and Mule Riders, but no one else was there yet...Lee, his Friend, Cupcake and Blanco showed up soon after that, followed shortly by Frankie, who had never hooked up with Mike and Kate...Lee took off for a bit to go exploring and in a bit, Mike and Kate showed up...Camps were set up and then Dinner, Socializing, and a Campfire commenced...And then Dave made it in, super flying from Peralta to LaBarge in 1.75 hours... :o A low flying Sheriff's Chopper tried to pull us over from Mid Air which seemed a bit odd, and we all had a good laugh about that...Lee and Company showed back up and finished most of the Evening with us. Everyone made plans for the next day, with Alex, Dave and I doubling back to Trap Canyon for most of the Day.... It was a good Day!

    Day 2
    Got up, said Farewell to Mike, Kate, Frankie, Lee and Co., and got started for Trap...We started a little late, but made the Entrance to Trap in good time and commenced with the Boulder Hopping up the Creek and into the Canyon...Several Cool Alcoves in there and for awhile we continued on up, but it was slow going with a little Bushwacking and almost constant Boulder Hopping and Bouldering. My legs were feeling a little Fatigue from the Day before and I didn't want to keep pushing, so eventually I stopped and just dinked around while Alex and Dave went further up...I leisurely went up a little further behind them, dinked around for awhile more and then casually started back out, taking little breaks here and there to just enjoy....I was almost back out of the Canyon proper when Dave and Alex caught back up to me...They didn't make it all the way to the back, it was just going to take too long, so they had turned around...I know Alex was a little disappointed, but he knew that it just couldn't be done on this Day....It was pretty much determined that the best, most efficient way to do this Canyon would be to try to Camp in it as far as possible and finish it from there...We Boulder Hopped back out and Hiked back to LaBarge...We took a Break and parted ways with Dave who was going to continue on out and head home...Alex and I were going to Hike over to Charlebois, look for the Master Map and Camp there for the Night....

    Alex and I made good time over to Charlebois, stopping to look for the Map, using the directions that Lee had given...He couldn't have described the Location any more perfectly than he did...It was right where he said it would be and we found it! After spending a little time there, we retrieved our Packs and continued on to the Spring...Found a Campsite, got set up and headed for the Spring, running into the two guys from Colorado that were Backpacking the same areas...Charlebois is pretty cool, it was my first time there...Lots of Water and the Sycamores were all Peaking with their Autumn Colors....On a nasty side note: A huge Thanks to someone for succeeding in thoroughly turning my Stomach with their "present" at one of the Pools...Someone took a Dump and left a Wrapped Tampon within a Foot of the Water! What the Hell is the Matter with People!!! :o :yuck: : rambo : ](*,) I made sure I took Water from "upstream"...Simply as disgusting as it gets...I hope....

    Sometime during this Day, I started to get a little Pain on the outside of my Right Knee...It was a little annoying, but since I didn't remember doing anything to actually "hurt" it, I chalked it up to good old Arthritis, continued my Ibuprofen Regimen, and chose to ignore it...It was on and off again the rest of the Day, but never was bad...My Legs tend to bother me a lot at Night and sometimes it takes quite awhile for them to ease up so I can get comfortable enough to fall asleep...This Night was no different...But it was another good Day!

    Day 3
    We both got up a little late, broke Camp and headed out...We had determined the Night before that we would go out via Dutchman and Terrapin, so we headed that way...Legs felt good and we made good time all of the Way up to Terrapin Pass...I actually surprised myself a little on the Uphill... :D The Views were spectacular from the Pass...Ran into the Colorado Guys up there and I took a few pictures of them, taking a short Break...

    About halfway up to the Pass, the Right Knee started flaring up again, but it was just annoying at that point...That was about to change...As we descended down from the Pass, the annoyance became worse and worse and my Pace slowed considerably...There were more ups and downs before we would reach the Terrapin/Bluff Springs Intersection and the Downhill became more and more difficult and painful...The Knee was starting to refuse to Bend and all of the Strength was going fast...My Pace on the Downhill sections slowed almost to a Crawl with Pain becoming more and more intense...We reached the Final Downhill and could see the Intersection, but I had to stop for a bit as it was becoming too much....Alex actually elected to finish carrying my Pack down the Hill and a little further, and then returning for his... ;)

    After the Break, it was a little better and I continued down the Hill to the Intersection and then up the next little Hill. Just that little bit was enough to put the Knee back into full protest...soooo...Alex generously gave up his Hiking Poles and I proceeded to practically use them as Crutches for the rest of the Downhill to the bottom of Barks Canyon...It was very slow going and Alex and I started discussing Options...It was determined that if I had to, I would spend another Night at the Top of Cardiac Hill before trying to descend it...That was the Stretch that I knew would be the biggest Nightmare for me...And I certainly wasn't going to attempt it in the Dark...But before we even got to the bottom of Barks, at one point, I gave up, the Pain was so bad...I dug out the Cell Phone...No Signal, so the only options for me was to sit down and completely give up or try to continue....I continued on at a frustratingly painful Snail's Pace, and we finally made the bottom and the Peralta Rock, where I took a big Break...

    I stretched and elevated for awhile and then it seemed that the Pain disappeared, just like that...Just totally weird and I didn't know what to think about what was happening...We started up Barks towards the last Uphill and there was no Pain at all and I could move just fine...Started the Uphill and I was still moving well...Halfway up and I started feeling it again...Got to the Top and it was in full Swing again with no flexibility or strength...But, it was early enough, so I went for Broke with the help of Alex's Poles...If it hadn't been for his Poles, I would have had to descend Cardiac Hill on my A**...But somehow, I slowly but surely got down, stopping at times when things really became almost unbearable.... When I got to the Escape, it was all I could do to keep from breaking down completely, I was so relieved...I haven't had that kind of feeling of Incapacitation in almost 20 Years....That last 3 Miles took us almost 5 Hours I'll bet and I was not a Happy Camper about any of it...I think I gained a few more Gray Hairs... :sk:

    Alex....What can I say??? You're not only a good Friend, but an extremely Patient, Understanding, Saint! I couldn't have done it without you and I owe you a Lifetime of something! What a Trooper and a Friend! You were also a Rock!!! And you Rocked!!! I just can't say enough...I will never forget, my Friend.... : app : : app : : app : :kf: :budrose:

    And so...it was over...I can honestly say that with the exception of those last 3 Miles, it was a Great Trip! Can't wait for the next one...I think.... :sweat:

    Foliage
    Near Springs
    Trap Canyon
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    LaBarge Spring/Trap Canyon
    I got out of work a little early on Saturday and went straight to Peralta TH. Took Bluff Spring Trail to LaBarge Spring and met up with Pam, Alex, TeWa, Frank, Kate, Lee, Kim, Blanco and Cupcake. Had a nice campfire which a few of us stayed up with until about midnight. Nice to meet some new HAZzers! A sheriff's helicopter did a low fly-by at some point and sounded the sirens. Not sure what that was about. On Sunday, Pam, Alex and I took a short hike to Trap Canyon to explore. Nice quick weekend and nice weather! I would like to get some more "bag nights" in like this!
    Trap Canyon
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I wanted to explore Trap Canyon some more so I dragged my wife along and we did an over-night. We camped at the intersection of Whiskey Springs and La Barge Canyons. I wish I hadn't forgotten the tent fly as it was a little breezy and chilly at night. We saw a low of 41F.

    We ran into Wally and CO. at the top of Upper La Barge Box. Small world!

    I found two more "rooms" in the Trap (or alleged Trap) that I didn't see last time. I could be wrong but I don't think the layout of this place has changed much in a few hundred years. There were some old logs wedged in between the boulders that looked about as old as the floor beams at Cold Spring Canyon. I wish I got a picture of them but my camera was in my pack and I had to leave it behind to squeeze into the rooms. There was a bit more water in the canyon this weekend compared to last. We had to do a hairy up and over climb to get around a pool that wasn't a problem last week. Over-all not bad though. We took about 3 hours to get through Trap Canyon.
    Trap Canyon
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This was a really fun hike! Not much water in Trap so I didn't have any trouble getting through. Only saw 2 people on the trails all day! Thanks to TeWa for suggesting this to someone else in a forum thread. I probably never would have done this hike otherwise.

    (it seams like the AEG should be a little more or maybe I'm just tired)





    (1.75 liters)
    Trap Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Joe and Dave have already laid down a good description of the Hike, so I just wanted to add a couple of observations/thoughts.

    I'm still picking cactus needles out from all over. There are some that I'll need help with because I can't see them.

    It must have been a great hike because my legs are all cut up from the pumpkin Catclaw.

    I learned that my alarm clock does have a setting for 3am. (usually that's when I'm going to bed). I think I was still in REM when I parked my truck to wait for Joe to drive me the rest of the way down to meet Dave.

    Hey... sunrise is pretty cool!

    Joe needs a blade for his Trekking pole. He'd be much more efficient in taking out Catclaw and Thistle. ps. stay back when he get's into his attack mode!

    Dave is a beast... trying to wake me up on the trail at 5:45, walking at a 4.5mph clip does not work.

    It was all worth it. The Supes are beautiful in the morning light. Trap Canyon is a magical place to explore. The Cave/Outcrop just before it was cool too. I'd like to spend more time in this area.

    I'm curious as to the items we found in the wash prior to entering the canyon. Bed Pad, Vertebrae, red thing-a-ma-jiggy (N33 26.847 W111 17.792). Maybe someone with more expertise that the 3 of us can ID the Bones. If we had more time, it would have made sense to walk farther upstream (wash) from where we found the items. If he went missing in the November timeframe, there was plenty of heavy rain to wash those items down the wash to where we found them.

    Thanks Dave and Joe for a great day out in the prickly Superstitions!

    AEG from TOPO! 2844
    AEG from USGS sync 5595
    Trap Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The rare low temps allowed us to hike deep into the Superstitions in late May so we took full advantage :)

    With a tight schedule between Dave's family event in the evening then throw in the fact that Bruce nor Dave start a day before the sun does this one turned out amazingly perfect with some nudging and compromising!

    Dave took off like a world class sprinter with a hearty 4.5mph pace. He paced down a tad yet we ended up clearing 4mi in 1hr 15-20mns. Either unluckily or luckily the catclaw slowed us down to mortal speed thereon. Down Whiskey it wasn't too bad but in shorts you pay the piper in blood. Red Tanks added another joy, a bumper crop of dead brittlebush. Between the thistle dodging, foxtail stings, brittlebush dust gag clouds and general mid Supes lack of trail maintenance (cacti dodging and basic brush) you almost forgot the catclaw (not really). Pants would have resolved the issues. I just couldn't bring myself to slip 'em on and blow through my six liters of water.

    Heading into Trap Canyon from the East proved to be more enjoyable than anything I've read. Albeit a slower pace the place is incredibly beautiful. We didn't have any real navigation issues, perhaps due to the lack of water. The last thing I wanted to do was leave this delightful environment but our task seemed complete. We searched side to side and well past the boulders to where I could clearly see the sharp left bend in the canyon.

    The middle proved the easiest route of travel, which I figure is not an option when water is present. The hand holds all seemed very safe. We did find areas of questionable risk but were unnecessary without pools of water. We found two areas to the left/south that "might" be considered a trap. Not sure. Little triangular holes with drops to alcoves below, yet none would trap anything as you could exit both. You would likely die from the fall or get seriously injured but I'm not sure about calling it a trap. Perhaps we didn't go far enough and it's around the bend? Regardless it's a very cool place, pictures don't do the area justice.

    A few poppies and owl clover was amazingly present on the Red Tanks Trail in the high section of the upper box. Mega amounts of flattop buckwheat filled the hillsides through much of the hike. Brittlebush looks to have stolen the show a month ago. Yet on the high section of the box it was still in season too.

    Thanks Dave for a great hike and I'm glad Bruce took a chance on dawn :)
    After no sleep before a GC hike two days ago then two hrs before this one, topped off with twenty five days in a row of hiking I think I finally experienced complete exhaustion. After a three hour nap it seems to be all good now. Now my appetite is pinned on starving. Since getting home I've raided the kitchen four times... off to round five
    Trap Canyon
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Decided to go out last minute, as I have been working way too much lately...and when I saw the high was 81 on a late May day in the Supes, I couldn't resist. Thanks to Bruce & Joe for joining me. Following a tip from Superstition Guy we went out to the east end of Trap Canyon, looking for Jesse. This area is only a few miles from Tortilla TH and has been a draw to Dutch hunters. We didn't find Jesse, although we did find a few articles that I will leave it up to the other guys to explain in more detail.

    Most of the water is dried up now, just a few small stagnated pools to be found. Didn't go down to the actual spring at Whiskey, but my guess is it is either a faint trickle or most probably bone dry. The creek bed is totally dry.

    As for vegetation, the grasses are pretty much dead now. The foxtail is a total pain, as it's dry and dead and sticks to your socks and shoes like cholla. The worst is, you guessed it, the catclaw. On Whiskey Springs and especially on Red Tanks through the Upper LaBarge Box it was grown over the trail in numerous places. Even a little bit on one stretch of the Hoolie Bacon leading up to the east end of Trap Canyon. There was also plenty of that holly-like bush and also lots of agave and cactus of all sorts right on the trail. No animals of note out today, other than a couple of jackrabbits and plenty of lizards. Did see a couple of snake trails through the sand, but no snakes to be seen today.

    Trap Canyon (the eastern end, anyway, which is the only part we saw) was very interesting. Definitely worth a visit if you don't mind a little off trail! Be careful out there though, some of this area is fairly dangerous and if you get hurt out there, it is pretty isolated. Not one to do alone, I would just say.

    After heading back uphill on Whiskey Springs, when I came around to the Dutchman I was emotionally ready to be done. I took off, leaving Joe and Bruce to fend for themselves. I did make up for it though by having the car nice and cold for when they arrived back at Peralta.

    Took me 9 1/2 hours total, knocking off a 1/2 hour stop for lunch and chat in Trap Canyon.

    Thanks guys for a nice final jaunt into the Supes before the heat wave keeps us out for the next several months!

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Peralta 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 1.9 miles to Peralta Trailhead.

    The trailhead has restrooms minus running water. The parking lot is huge. It does fill up in season on weekends. Since there are no lines the rangers ask that you park straight between the posts in the main lot. Please do your part with this simple request and make room for the next guy. 0.5 miles before reaching the trailhead is an overflow lot which is also suited for horse trailer parking.

    From PHX (Jct I-10 & AZ-51) 45.2 mi - about 1 hour 8 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 97.0 mi - about 2 hours 16 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 192 mi - about 3 hours 15 mins
    1 TB Flash Drive... $40
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