Superstitions Water

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SJFL
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Superstitions Water

Post by SJFL »

Hi. I hope everyone is doing relatively ok amidst everything.

I have a question about water in the Superstitions.

I gather the Supes just opened back up. It's hard to believe that between the last two summers of fires, the place is completely burnt. It's sad to know this. But I want to go in and check it out for myself.

I saw there was a posting that indicated that there are three reliable springs in the Supes: Charlebois of the Dutchman trail, La Barge Spring (around Dutchman and Red Tanks intersection), and Reavis Creek at Fireline. [ 3 Reliable Water Sources - Superstitions ]

But I also know we had a bad monsoon this past year. Does anyone know if there is reliable water in there now? And if so, what the sources are?

Thank you for your time.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by BuzzingMantis »

Had to cross over water at least twice when hiking to Reavis Ranch from Rogers Trough trail head. The water was clear and cool on Oct 14th. One of these attached pictures was at the Fire Line Trail crossing and the other a few hundred feet before.
IMG_2263.jpg
IMG_0139.jpg
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by SJFL »

@BuzzingMantis
We must have passed each other. I was in on that day too. The water went up the trail towards Roger Trough for at least a half mile (away from the Ranch). And along the trail (back towards Rogers Trough) I saw some coming in from a side canyon which was at least a mile away from the Ranch.

FYI: water in Campaign Creek too.
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Supes Three Day Water

Post by SJFL »

Hi Everyone.

I've been on and off out of the loop for 18 months due to an injury. I'm looking for some thoughts on my first backpack in that time.

I was thinking about leaving Peralta and heading out Dutchamns->Coffee Flat->Red Tanks->Whiskey Spring and then close the loop.

Couple things:

1. it looks like there are a couple springs near Coffee/Red Tanks junction--Dripping Springs (aka Fraser) and a generic "Red Tanks" location. Does anyone know whether there is water in either area? Also, are there reasonable'ish spots to bed down?

2. Then I was going to head up to Red Tanks/Hoolie Bacon junction and try to set up stakes. Is there water there? And a decent place to put a tent? (Looks good on the map.)

3. On my Green Trails Map there's an unofficial route that heads east/northeast of Labarge Spring #2. Any thoughts about this route? Is it a pretty straightforward walk up a melon-sized boulder strewn canyon (and maybe along some ridges too?), or does it require gear/gymnastics?

As per usual, thank you in advance.
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nonot
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by nonot »

1) The only recent water report from Coffee/Red Tanks was the Dripping springs is dripping. It just drips and would take a very long time to fill up a water bottle there. There used to be many campsites there, but I have not visited it since the fire. Red Tanks is large rock basins in the canyon, they are made of red rock and hold water after it rains for a while, but tend to get scummy or completely dry up after a long time without rain.
2) Near Brad's water canyon is a good campsite, but I haven't been there since the fire.
3) I suspect you are referring to the unofficial trail to Brad's Water, a spring in Brad's canyon. There are no recent reports about this spring.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by xsproutx »

Agree with NoNot. Often times near Dripping Springs is a very large pool (literally, feet deep, feet wide) but haven't been there yet this year so wouldn't count on it without reports. There are a couple very good camp locations right near the spring location and even better ones at the Coffee Flat/Red Tank junction. I was last in the area in April, so it's all still good. There is often running water at you make the left into Randolph Canyon (where the water source is marked as "Randolph Canyon") and it's an easy hike in the creek bed from there to Dripping Springs so you can load up there for the night if it's there or go fishing for water in the well "Reeds Water". Check the creek first since it's so close and easier to collect.
Brad's Water is near the Hoolie/Red Tank junction and is what you unofficial trail is referring to. There are at least two camp sites near the trail where it leaves to go to Brad's Water and another a bit West. Brad's Water has water and is relatively easy to reach. Look at a couple pictures on here before you go to make it easier to find but it is also usually cairned as well.
Red Tanks/Whiskey will likely be quite the bushwhack but sometimes you get out there and someone has done a bit of maintenance, so you never know.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by SJFL »

@xsproutx
@nonot

Thank you both for your detailed responses.

@xsrpoutx, are you thinking there might be running water as I head east into Randolph? Are there any spring reports for that area? Also, I couldn't find Reeds Water on any of my maps. I saw a video/pictures of a windmill, but couldn't figure out where it is. And is it a reliable'ish source?

From the topo, it looks relatively straightforward to find Brads Water. Of course, everything looks so easy on the topo...

Thank you again.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by joebartels »

@SJFL
xsproutx and others have nice details about the well @ [ Reeds Water ]

Here's how to find other water sources in the superstitions
[ youtube video ]
- joe
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by xsproutx »

@SJFL
Correct, there's often water coming out of the ground for about 100 feet maybe 1/8th of a mile from when you turn hiker left into Randolph when coming in from Reeds Water, but it's not 100% reliable and I don't see any recent reports.

If it were me, I'd check that out because it's just a few minutes walk from the windmills you're talking about, which is "reeds water". There are two windmills there, one still has a cover over it's well and the other doesn't; that's the one that you would collect from and will have water. Note: you'll either need to stem down the well (probably not advised) or bring something to drop in to collect the water; it's about 15 feet down. I have a smart water bottle with the top used off that I use to scoop from low water sources and have punched a couple of holes in it that I use for something like that: I tie my line to it, put a rock in it to weigh it down, and drop it in to pull the water up. Bit of a pain but kind of fun at the same time. You can't miss the windmills when you're out there; trail goes right past them.

Brad's water is pretty easy to get to, especially if you have GPS with you but not hard even if you don't.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by SJFL »

@xsproutx
Again. Super helpful. I read your post about the windmills that JoeBartels pointed out to me. I think there are whole back channels of hikeaz that I am totally unaware of/don't know how to research. "Reeds Water" doesn't return anything in the search bar.

But thanks for repeating what you wrote in that great post. And thanks for helping out with this. It sounds like I will be hydrated one way or the other. It may take a little rooting around, though.

I will post an update to this thread if/when I return.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by xsproutx »

@SJFL
Enjoy and definitely post what you find as far as water and trail conditions. I've been planning on going out sometime in the next month or two to cut back red tanks but it'd be really nice to hear that someone beat me to it :D

For the water, hit the "Plan" up top, "Map", and then navigate on the map to the area you're looking at, hit the "water" and "find" buttons on the upper left. You can do it for the wholes supes area or a smaller area and there is a list view on the lower left that you can use if you know the name of the water source you're looking for specifically
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by nonot »

@SJFL

@xsproutx 's last reply is worth noting. The trails you intend to hike tend to be on the minimal side of receiving trail maintenance, so expect to encounter catclaw. Carrying a handheld garden clippers and some leather gloves may prove to be worthwhile if you are not prepared to plow through sections where it is the worst. A hiking pole or two to shove aside the larger canes is strongly recommended.

With luck you will find water in the canyons themselves, but having specific knowledge of where the springs are, should you need to resort to them, is always a smart idea!

Shout out to that JoeBartels guy for making a video on finding springs on HAZ!
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by SJFL »

@xsproutx
great. Thanks for spelling that out. @joebartels was also kind enough to give me a rundown on that feature.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by SJFL »

@nonot
Thank you. I was working off-trail on the east side out of Miles Ranch last winter/spring. Hamburger meat. That's what my arms and legs looked like. Shredded to pieces. That stuff is miserable. I'm steeling myself.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by 00blackout »

@SJFL
I was out in that area about a month or so ago. The upper windmill has water, like was previously stated you will need some type of bucket to get it. You can get water from Dripping Spring but it may take you an entire day, lol. Randolph Spring (in Randolph Canyon) has water a majority of the time, however, I have not been out there recently to confirm and it is a bit up stream from the Red Tanks junction. Brad's Water is also pretty reliable and is a pretty short hike from the trail.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by SJFL »

@00blackout
Thank you.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by SJFL »

For those of you who have been following: @xsproutx @nonot @00blackout @joebartels

Got back from the trip.

Water at Reeds Water in the windmill.

There was "plenty" of water (tiny pools in the rocks in the canyon) down Coffee Flat as I approached Red Tanks. Dripping springs, as advertised, is just wet on the wall. But about 100 feet downstream, there was a little pool that was filterable.

Then as I went up Red Tanks, for the first quarter mile at least, there were sporadic little pools. Some of them were NOT scummy, dead insect, etc.

I was getting ready to write everyone about the magical disappearance of the catclaw. But as soon as I popped out of the canyon bottom, Red Tanks was a disaster all the way to and through parts of Whiskey Spring. If only blood could kill that plant... Anyhow, as others have stated, the trail is very hard to follow; sporadic, at best. In fact, for the time being, I would rescind Red Tanks' status as a trail. That thing is a route, at best. I would simply refer to it as a place in the wilderness that one can try to move through. And, it's no doubt wild, beautiful, etc.

Brads water had plenty of water. Though it wasn't my favorite experience crawling into that hole and sitting in there while I filtered; but it's water in the desert, and I'm thankful for it. Getting to it wasn't as easy as I had hoped. I took a serious detour up a drainage and left several blood samples along the way.

Heading west on Red Tanks through LaBarge was fine/awe-inspiring... up until the point where the trail drops into the bottom and tries to go up along the south side of the canyon. If it's possible to just follow the drainage on the bottom, go that way. It's seriously overgrown on the south side and there are some hidden dropouts that could have been really bad.

The rest was fine heading out.

If I can figure out how to post a triplog for the sections, I will. Same for posting water reports.

Thanks again to everyone for their beta. Happy to answer any questions if you have any.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by nonot »

@SJFL
Sounds like you did the Super Loop, if so, go to this page and post a triplog!
[ Red Tanks Super Loop - Peralta TH ]
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by SJFL »

@nonot
Close. But rather than go all the way across Red Tanks to Dutchmans, I went south on Whiskey Spring.
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by nonot »

http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
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Re: Superstitions Water

Post by SJFL »

@nonot
strike two... (smile)
That's Dutchmans, Whiskey, Red Tanks, Dutch, Bluff.

I went east on Dutch, Coffee Flat, Red Tank, Whiskey, Dutch.
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