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Superstition Wilderness - Scenic 4WD Loop
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Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
4x4 Trip Dec 23 2011
4x4 Trip48.60 Miles 6,030 AEG
4x4 Trip48.60 Miles   7 Hrs   15 Mns   11.44 mph
6,030 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break
 no routes
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I've never really been on a 4x4 trip but I can tell you, it's a whole lot of fun when YOU don't have to do the driving. I managed to get the day off once again so Hank's record remains intact. My only charge for this excursion was a Christmas-look for myself and to bring my camera. Well I can do that without batting an eye. :D

We met Eric along the 60 and loaded up our minimal gear. The vehicle was nice and clean and warm. Before you knew it we were on 172 heading toward
(1) Roblas Butte which is not too far before Elephant Arch. And though we were shaded by the Butte, Hank was able to snap a pretty good picture using a slightly increased exposure. And then it was on to the
(2) Elephant Arch. To our right was the creek with some fall color and to our left was the Arch with the winter sun shining on it :D .

At (3) Byous Butte we didn't quite get the sun shining on the Butte as the sun was hiding behind a light but big cloud. Before reaching Hackberry TH,
(4) Eric showed us a "creek/drainage to waterfall hike" he had done so we added that to the list. Apparently this hike goes to the east? and north? and gets close to FR172 so you'll have to stay tuned for that hike description :wrt: . Next up was
(5) Hackberry TH , also the TH you can use to go to Millsite Canyon which was already on my list as it looks pretty scenic.

Coming in at
(6) was the Woodbury TH where we had done our CatClaw Revenge back in March 2009 Then the fun part of the 4x4 trip really got in gear as we made our way to the
(7) Rogers Trough TH. There's that one really tight corner that Eric made even tighter by hugging it over some deep sand. I didn't think there was any way he would get it on the first try but he did : app : and it was so cool :DANCE: (I was riding on that side). There were a few cars at the lot and some limited snow on the ground. I re-acquainted myself with the look of Iron Mountain.

We then re-traced our route a bit back to FR650 for the second part of our journey. This part of the road definitely got rougher. There were lots of camping sites along the first part of FR650 as we made our way toward Montana Mountain. Our next TH
(8) Reavis Canyon Trail #509 North End was our coldest and windiest of the stops. In fact, Hank's camera and tripod took a header :stretch: into the dirt as the wind blew it over. Fortunately, no damage was done and we moved the camera equipment near the Xterra to use as a windbreak. Needless to say, we were quite happy to be getting back into the truck.

On this northeastern section and near the high point of Montana Mountain, Eric did encounter some icy road conditions but not too bad. The views toward the snow-topped Sierra Ancha were just amazing :y: Eric was able to point out Black Mesa where they had been the week before and Rockinstraw Mountain where they will be going this week. Also as we made our way down, you could see the results :( of the severe burn from this summer's fire as there were hardly any remnant trees coming up from the ground on the mountainside to the north of us. It definitely looked like scorched earth.

It was a bit of a tricky drive as we made our way toward stop
# (9) Spencer Spring Trail #275. Eric and I thot we saw a viewpoint to hike toward the north but alas, there were limited views. So it was back in the truck and onto stop
(10) Rock Creek Trail #195 though you couldn't see much from here as this side of the hill had been burnt pretty good.

And now after curving around the side of the mountain before coming out on the south side where you could see the valley below, it was a matter of switchbacking and switchbacking and switchbacking down to the floor. You could see the various switchbacks from above which was pretty cool; but what we also spotted was some sort of structure too and when we came to the fork in the road, we headed northeast?. It was really a rough road but only for 1/2 mile or so. Needless to say we were delighted at what we saw :DANCE: and thus stop
(11) Wood Camp Cabin was added to this Loop

Who knew we would find the perfect snack spot (it would have been our lunch spot but we were making such good time, it became our snack spot before an early dinner). But first, we would have to look around where we found all sorts of stuff like a well and a corral and a trough. Eric noticed some tailings so we investigated that. I walked up the highside of the creek bed and eureka, I found the adit : app : . I got on the ground so that I could look in to check it out. It smelled like phosphorous :-k .

Back on the road again, the boys contemplated that maybe you wouldn't necessarily need a 4-wheel for this part of the road but they would soon discover that 4WD would be needed even for this portion. Next we got to cross into and through a creek (to get to the other side of course ;) ) where we decided to stop to let some ATVers through. We got out to take some movies and photos. After enjoying the scenery, we loaded up and headed toward our last stop
(12) Reavis Canyon Trail #509 - South End. This is a very pretty area :) so we walked around the creek for just a bit before finishing our journey home.

Rather than take the highway home we took the Hewitt Station road back to where we met up with FR172. We finished our day with the Fish Fry at Red Sage Restaurant. :thanx: guys for taking me along. It was great to re-visit some old countryside as well as seeing new countryside. Between this and my Verde Canyon Train (Claus Express) ride I got to see a lot of AZ in a couple days.

PS I almost forgot. We will have lots of video footage as Eric had his camcorder on tibbermode and I was doing my usual mixture of photos and videos.

Video 1: The first part of the Loop includes trail heads for Roblas Butte, Elephant Arch, a creek/drainage future hike description, Hackberry/Millsite, and Woodbury finishing off at Rogers Trough.
Video 2: Rogers Trough Trailhead back to FR650 along Montana Mountain and down to FR172 with a side trip to Woods Camp Cabin. This part of the drive included trailhead stops at Reavis Canyon Trail 509 North, Spencer Spring Trail, and Rock Creek Trail.
Video 3: At and around Wood Camp Cabin including the adit. From here we drove to the last TH on the Hewitt Canyon Loop at Reavis Canyon Trail South.
Stone Dwelling
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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