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Bull Basin Loop - Eastern Superstitions
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mini location map2011-08-09
25 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Bull Basin Loop - Eastern SuperstitionsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 09 2011
Hiking9.90 Miles 2,635 AEG
Hiking9.90 Miles   7 Hrs   1 Min   1.79 mph
2,635 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
1st trip
On this day I was more into checking out 4x4 roads than hiking but once I got to Miles TH a 10 mile loop didn't seem like it would be a big deal and based on the description "beautiful loop hike that takes you through some of the least traveled trails in the far eastern Superstition Wilderness" I figured, why not? Now I know better...

The "least traveled" (and most over-grown) part sure made the beauty harder to enjoy. Yes, I'm sure it would have been much nicer had there been water flowing anywhere on the hike, but there was none.

While I noticed (reading other triplogs after the fact) supposedly there had been some trail clearing by the Forest Service in 2005(?) that may very well be the last time anything was done, because the only place I have encountered more thick brush than here was fighting through the dense Manzanita while searching for GPS Joe. This was definitely a trail where having a GPS track preloaded was very worthwhile, as there were numerous times when the trail completed died and my efforts to pick it up were hampered by what may have been game trails, which would also die out. But relying too much on the GPS track was not a good thing either because several times it lead me astray, or at least off what appeared to be the easiest route. So I continued to exercise my trail-finding skills over and over again.

A number of times I thought of just calling it a day and returning the way I came but each time I completed traversing a tough section I figured it must get better ahead, and I thought I didn't want to fight back through that mess again. Only to find, yes, it could and would get worse. Once I connected with the Haunted Canyon trail, although the climb was steep it was welcome because at least I could follow the trail. And then the Paradise trail seemed to be just that for a while, until it too became a mess with overgrown sections to the point I figured it was more like hell than paradise.

But as much as it was challenging it did provide a few choice nuggets. When I found a shady spot to sit down and gaze at the surrounding hills I noticed some deer across the way so I found a rock to help balance my camera for a video before attempting to film them. It took full optical and full digital zoom to get close but it turned out reasonably considering. The first were a female and a male with a small set of antlers, then a few minutes later while I was scanning the hillside for more along comes a buck with some pretty impressive antlers. But that was the extent of any action shots for the day.

One positive was the temperature, It was around 92 when I started, climbing to 94 during the early portion of the hike but as I gained altitude it came down to the mid-80's. As I returned it was getting later in the day so it was only 90 by time I returned to the TH.

Due to the excessive thick (and sharp!) brush I was very glad I was wearing long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. I was wearing half-gloves but wished I wore heavier ones with wrist cuffs. A few times when a branch sprung back in my face I wished for a facemask, but at least my glasses provided eye protection. ](*,) Although I was wearing Tevas my feet fared pretty well with a few thin red lines showing up a day later.

I'm sure it would be more enjoyable with running water and much less cat's-claw and the like, but I'd only want to return with a group and do some heavy-duty trail maintenance. As it was, the only cutting I did was with my hand trimmers to extricate myself whenever I was hemmed in so bad I literally couldn't move. A few times if I hadn't had them in my hand before getting stuck it would have been a battle to bring them to bear. And it's a good thing everything outside my CamelBak was well secured or I'm sure I would have lost a few items.

In the end, it's a hike I told Tracey I hiked and documented it so she wouldn't have to endure it. With so many other hikes to do I don't feel the need to return for a while anyway.

I'll be posting the best photos shortly, the full set of 100+ photos are here:
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