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Hidden Valley Loop - Superstitions
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mini location map2010-12-26
13 by photographer avatarTough_Boots
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Hidden Valley Loop - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 26 2010
Tough_Boots
Hiking16.14 Miles 3,412 AEG
Hiking16.14 Miles
3,412 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Wow. Now that I'm finally home with a beer, I can write about this fiasco. 8am start / 9:30pm back at the TH. Before I get into the gritty details, let me say that Hidden Valley is absolutely beautiful. There's a good bit of water right now-- probably the perfect amount and I can't imagine it being easily maneuverable in the spring when full flowing.

We head off from the Peralta TH and easily found the Ely-Anderson trail. We took that up until it disappears/ends. Until then, its extremely easy to follow even though unmaintained. We saw a few deer on that trail which was a nice surprise. We made our way to Hidden Valley. At first its nothing to write home about but after the first mile it just becomes breathtaking. The catclaw isn't too bad. Our only trouble was some unstable rocks causing quite a few falls (with no injury). There are also a few places where you have to duck out of the creek bed and find safer ways to follow.

All was well until we hit the end. Call it a learning curve (or plain stupidity :) )since I'm just beginning to really learn how to effectively read topo maps and work off trail but for whatever reason, I had it in my head that we could follow the creek bed all the way out to the Dutchman. This is totally not the case and we found ourselves at one of the most beautiful views in the Supes but at the top of a major drop. We weren't getting out that way. There we were at around 2:30 and totally screwed. Our options were to either backtrack or find another way down. We knew at that point we would get back in the dark but were both partial to whatever option would at least get us to an actual trail before dark hit. I looked at my map and gps and located a couple ravines that might get us down so we needed a better look to see if they were real options. We gained higher ground to do some looking and decided to take one down to the Dutchman.

This was not fun. We headed down. Some areas were easy to maneuver and some were thick with catclaw and other brush. We did some crawling and lots of scrambling. At a couple spots we had move higher on the ridge to avoid dangerous drops-- thankyou Rachel for not letting me attempt that nasty one! :) ) Luckily, our plan worked and we hit the Dutchman just before dark and had a long stretch back to the TH with our trustee headlamps.

We are scratched, stuck, battered, and bruised. This is definitely the most intense hike I've been on. Rachel was a total champ and does not hate me for getting her into this one-- totally awesome! Today was one for the books and definitely a learning experience.
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
_____________________
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan
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Tough_Boots'
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