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Trail Running the Superstitions

Posted: Jan 31 2016 7:24 am
by herdbull
I will be visiting my folks in Apache Junction a few weeks and i was looking for some ideas on a couple trail runs in the area. I am somewhat familiar with running parts of the Peralta Trail, First Water into Weavers and I've been up to Flat Iron a couple times. So I'd like to stay in that area. Plus it's close to their park in Apache Junction.

I'm looking for something in the neighborhood of 10-15+ miles and it doesn't have to be a loop. So thanks to this website here'
s what I found and was wondering if I could get some input on conditions or other alternatives or issues I may run into.

1st choice is Peralta to First Water or reverse.

2nd choice Peralta to Canyon Lake or reverse.

3rd choice the Superstition Ridgeline from the west. This one looks like fun and I don't mind the uphill part.

A little background....I've trekked, hiked and climbed most of Colorado 14'ers in a few short years along with trips to the Andes, the Himalayas and Mexico. Route finding shouldn't be an issue and I know my way around the back country pretty good. Just looking for something to kill a few hours, see the back country and get some training in while on vacation.

Re: Trail Running the Superstitions

Posted: Jan 31 2016 8:15 am
by joebartels
Hi, welcome to HAZ!

Most wouldn't run those but it sounds like you are capable. The ridgeline would be the most difficult. Steep on each end, constant route finding and a bunch of naggy cactus to dodge. If you do either of the Peralta options I'd take the Dutchman #104 vs going over Fremont Saddle on Peralta #102. The 104 route is longer but less crowded, easier grades and some nice flat sections.

Trail map for reference

If you can get a shuttle ride Tule to Peralta is bomb diggity. I'm not a trail runner so it took 17 hrs. We did run a few miles at the end on the #104 I mentioned above as it just begs it. Route finding on this would be most critical. At 36-38 miles in the remote backcountry you can get into serious trouble.

"Peralta to Canyon Lake" or "Tule to Peralta" will take you through a little catclaw country. I'm not a fan of pants but they save skin.

There isn't much catsclaw on your 1(direct over Fremont) or 3 option. The cactus on the ridgeline are dodge obstacles. Pincushion, barrel, hedgehog, agave, ocotillo, etc.

Re: Trail Running the Superstitions

Posted: Jan 31 2016 8:57 am
by Jim_H
I agree with the above, but I actually did see someone doing this very thing on the ridge yesterday. I imagine you just slow down to a fast hike for a lot of it.

Re: Trail Running the Superstitions

Posted: Jan 31 2016 10:39 am
by big_load
Peralta to First Water wouldn't be too bad. I think Peralta to Canyon Lake has a few very rocky stretches on the lower (northern) end, but I may not be remembering that right.

Re: Trail Running the Superstitions

Posted: Jan 31 2016 11:29 am
by ultrazona
Saw the same guy Jim_H saw yesterday. He didn't appear to be having much fun. Hardly any of the Ridgeline is runnable but it would be fun to set an FKT for it. Recently ran the Bluff Spring Mountain Loop and would highly recommend.

Re: Trail Running the Superstitions

Posted: Feb 05 2016 3:47 pm
by herdbull
Thanks guys. Looks like I have a few options and it appears warmer temps and nicer weather has arrived. Hopefully it holds out for another week-week and a half.

Runable and running are 2 different creatures. By no means am I looking to go clip off 6 min miles. But anything is runable. Last summer in a momentary lack of all reasoning and rationale thinking I attempted to run Mt. Antero in Colorado. Got weathered off but I will return.

Don't think my pasty white Wisconsin skin is going to far so well from both the sun and all the prickly things :) I don't run in pants so it should be errr... interesting.

Re: Trail Running the Superstitions

Posted: Feb 27 2016 5:00 pm
by herdbull
Here's a little update. Thanks everyone for the extra info and thoughts. Every time I go out there to visit them I love the Superstitions more and more. When the time comes I think I've found my winter retirement location.

Thanks again everyone!