January in the Superstition Wildnerness

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PTLateHiker
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January in the Superstition Wildnerness

Post by PTLateHiker »

The dark and wind in the Pacific Northwest is driving me crazy. I'd like to get a taste of the Superstition Wilderness with a three day, two night backpacking trip sometime in January. I've become interested in the Superstitions because of an article in the Washington Trails Association magazine.

Can anyone recommend a 25 or so mile loop on established trails that I can look at. I was thinking of starting at the First Water or Peralta trailheads for rental car access.

I'm a reasonably experienced and extremely conservative solo hiker. Don't mind heights or climbing.

Thanks in advance.
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te_wa
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Post by te_wa »

maybe we can get some folks together for a 25 mile or so trans-wilderness hike. Say from First water to Rogers Trough?
Im game.
squirrel!
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SuperstitionGuy
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Post by SuperstitionGuy »

Start at the Rogers Trough trailhead, take the trail to Reavis but just before the Fireline trail bush wack up the ridgeline to Circle Stone. Spend the night there and continue on to the Reavis valley the next morning by taking the route down to the Fireline trail. Pass through the Reavis valley with a few side trips to explore it and then continue on to the Frog Tanks trail.

Camp the second night near the confluence of Rogers Canyon and Fish Creek Canyon. There is an excellent campsite on the north side of this point. Continue on to Angel Basin the next morning and check out both cliff dwellings (the one everyone sees and the hidden one upstream on the north side). Continue up Rogers Canyon to your vechicle and then go to Bob's Big Apple restuarant and enjoy the western atomsphere and excellent food.

And if your carrying a side arm wear it with you into the restuarant, after all the waitress's at the Big Apple carry them.
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
- Garth McCann from the movie Second Hand Lions

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PTLateHiker
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Post by PTLateHiker »

In response to SuperstitionGuy's reply:

Many thanks for this route. It sounds like a fantastic hike. But I think I'm going to be limited to trailheads accessable to rental cars for this first trip.

I've ordered maps for the area which have not yet arrived so I'm working of the forest service online map. The Rogers Trough trailheads sounds out of reach for the econobox I'm liable to be driving.

I'm committed, however. I'll be arriving in Phoenix late morning on the 11th and leaving late morning on the 14th. Depending on the TH I use I'm hoping to have 3-4 hours of daylight on the trail before I camp for the first night.

With that kind of schedule I'm resigned to being limited to the more popular and populous trails. Not familiar with the area it sounds like I'd be a while getting to Rogers Trough from the Phoenix AP even If I had the right vehicle.

Where's Bob's Big Apple?
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Al_HikesAZ
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Post by Al_HikesAZ »

PTLateHiker wrote:I've ordered maps for the area which have not yet arrived so I'm working of the forest service online map.
While you are waiting, check out the Superstition Search & Rescue Maps
http://www.superstition-sar.org/maps.htm

Click on the webpage to get pdf files. They have trails colored in that won't show on the USGS maps. These are their working maps. I haven't figured out how to print them regular size at a reasonable price. The best I can do is 11by17.

Also, if you get a chance. Check out Hiker's Guide to the Superstition Wilderness by Carlson & Stewart. http://hikearizona.com/books.php?REV=1&ID=5 This will give you local insight and local flavor.
Where's Bob's Big Apple?
Probably Bill Johnson's Big Apple. A landmark since 1956. The original restaurant is near the Airport -- 3757 East Van Buren Street, Phoenix, AZ 85508 (602) 275-2107, but there is one in Mesa closer to the Supes.
http://www.billjohnsons.com/
Van Buren was the main east-west route through Phoenix before the Interstate was built so this was at the Heart of Phoenix and just west of the Stockyards. And Bill was a character. Bring your Lipitor if you're going to eat here. :D

Since I'm off on an old eateries tangent - Anyone else here at HAZ remember the original John's Green Gables? They had Knights in armor on White Horses who would greet you and show you to your parking spot. And they gave this little Knight on Horse military figure to kids. Probably made of lead which is why I'm the way I am now. :lol: OOPs - Sorry, this is HikeArizona.com not PhoenixHistory.com #-o
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. Andy Rooney
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PTLateHiker
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Post by PTLateHiker »

In response to al1inaz's reply:

Oh boy, maps! Thank you. Thank you.

The SAR maps look great - and the hiking trail map on the same site gives me a good idea of the area topography.

And thanks as well for the address for the Big Apple - Sunday morning breakfast!

Carleson and Stewart came today as well so I can read up and have more intelligent questions soon.

Thanks again.
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jaybird
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Post by jaybird »

Option 1: Reavis ranch and Angle Springs - The drive to the Reavis Ranch North TH is graded dirt road and is passable by car. Fish creek hill looks worse than it is. From this TH a great loop is Reavis Ranch North (Reavis Valley is wonderful) to Rogers Canyon (check out the Salado Indian Cliff dwellings) to Frog Tank and back out on Reavis Ranch North. These are well established trails and water shouldn't be an issue.

Option 2: Black Mesa and Boulder canyon. From the First Water TH take the Dutchmans Trail to Second Water Trail and back to the Dutchmans Trail. Do this loop in either direction and explore Battleship Mtn., La Barge Canyon, Cavalry canyon and Weavers Needle.
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te_wa
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Post by te_wa »

water will be an issue at Angel Basin- there is a small pool near confluence of Fish cr. canyon on Frog tanks, but its filled with leaves. Plow saddle spring is flowing- Reavis creek has large clear pools. Dont know about Rogers canyon, so pack water into Angel Basin if indeed you choose this route. This info came directly from a couple of Mesa Rangers that I met with yesterday. Im looking into a cross country (sort of) from Woodbury to Fish creek bridge. IMO, the loop suggested above is best done in a counter clockwise fashion.

Of course, there are other options with a rental that are lower elevations and temps in the western Supes have been above freezing. This was noted on my recent overnight trip at Charlebois spring.
squirrel!
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SuperstitionGuy
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Post by SuperstitionGuy »

I still recommend the loop via Circle Stone, Reavis, Frog Tanks, Angel Basin and return. However you should rent a vehicle that is not front wheel drive for the trip up to and back from the Rogers Trough trailhead.

Also - and this is important - plan a second trip in the western part of the Superstitions if the weather is going to bring you cold temperatures and rain. Rain in the lower elevations means snow on the route that I recommended from the Rogers Trough trailhead. And the road from the trailhead can be very nasty when it's wet.
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
- Garth McCann from the movie Second Hand Lions

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PTLateHiker
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Weather?

Post by PTLateHiker »

Thanks for all these suggestions. I've got my book and the SAR maps and I'm starting to sort out my options.

I'm going to upgrade my rental so that I can have more trailhead options as well but I'm still concerned about getting some time on the trail after I arrive at noon on Thursday before I have to camp.

What's likely to be the temperature difference between east and west? I've been watching the weather for Phoenix and the forecast is improved from the rain that was predicted a few days ago to merely colder. If it's mid-fifties day and about freezing at night in Phoenix what is it likely to be at the higher elevations?

I love the high country but it will all be new to me so the west end would be no hardship.

Thanks.
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hikeaz
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Re: Weather?

Post by hikeaz »

In response to PTLateHiker's reply:

Using this weather mapping product, you may enter the coordinates into the page for a pinpoint forecast. (which, in some/most cases, may be a concoction of all the close-by weather stations) Or you may use the myriad station data that is available by clicking through to a location that you may choose.
http://ifps.wrh.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/dwf?siteID=PSR

Western Sups > http://ifps.wrh.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/dwf?ou ... lick.y=158

At Circlestone (which, @ 5409' , is about as high as one can get in the Sups - Cimeron is above 5500', and there may be others, but you get the point)> http://ifps.wrh.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/dwf?ou ... siteID=PSR
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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SuperstitionGuy
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Post by SuperstitionGuy »

If you do not have a full three days do not attempt to use the Rogers Trough trailhead and do the loop that I recommended as the drive time itself from the airport will be at least two hours or more. And thats when you know the way. It would be ok to just backpack down to the Indian ruins near Angel Basin but you would probably arrive just before or slightly after dark.

Keep us posted on your chosen route and maybe a haz member could join you and guide you along your way.
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
- Garth McCann from the movie Second Hand Lions

Another victim of Pixel Trivia.

Current avatar courtesy of Snakemarks
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PTLateHiker
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Post by PTLateHiker »

I've been reading the Hiker's Guide and going over the maps. The number of options are incredible. At this point I'm favoring something close to Trip 31 in the Guide which seems roughly similar to jaybird's Option 2.

I really only have two full days of hiking and the unambitious distance should leave me some time to explore, take some pictures, and get lost [and found]. Maybe climb a mesa.

I gather there will be reliable water at Second Spring and Charlebois.

The First Water trailhead's not far from the airport, car friendly, and Proximity to the Lost Dutchman State park gives me some options.

I realize this is likely to be a crowded section of the wilderness but if the people I meet are as nice as you folks have been I'll welcome the company.

Waddyathink?
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te_wa
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Post by te_wa »

I think anything that goes into Boulder Canyon is fan-freakin'-tastic. If you have the chance, go see lower LaBarge Box. Its the ultimate out of this world canyon in the Supes.
squirrel!
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nonot
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Post by nonot »

In response to PTLateHiker's reply:

First Water Trailhead is pretty easy to find, about a mile after the lost dutchman state park and no problem in any car. I wouldn't say the best hikes start from there in my opinion but there are some good ones. The "Black Mesa" (first water - second water - black mesa - dutchman loop) is a popular easy loop from there and will give you a good introduction to the area, however that is only one option. There are many hikes you can do from there, I'm sure you'll find one that suits your interests.

If you're going to be camping, keep in mind that even though it is a desert it does still get quite cold at night, it's been hovering just north of the freezing mark lately at night.
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K0HB
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Post by K0HB »

SuperstitionGuy wrote:
...... and then go to Bob's Big Apple restuarant and enjoy the western atomsphere and excellent food.
All the advice was excellent, except the part about Big Apple! Their breakfasts are OK, but noon lunch sucks, and I think the waitress carries a peice to force you to eat the overcooked food.

Much better choice is Arizona Joes in Apache Junction. Better food, live entertainment, and budget priced chow.
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te_wa
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Post by te_wa »

anyone up for the Marsh Valley loop this weekend? Ryan and I are going out that way. : rambo :
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