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Garden Valley Loop
111 Photosets

2012-06-17  
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2012-01-10  
2012-01-03  
2011-12-28  
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mini location map2012-01-10
12 by photographer avatarAZLumberjack
photographer avatar
 
Garden Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2012
AZLumberjack
Hiking4.80 Miles 337 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.13 mph
337 ft AEG   2 Hrs   15 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was just one week ago that I hiked to Garden Valley, so why am I returning already? It's because my brother, Doug and a friend, Howard, enjoyed the photos so much that they wanted to see the area for themselves. So I set up the return hike which put us on the trails around 8:30am

We did the clockwise tour by descending to the old Barkley Ranch site where the horse corral still exists along the banks of the First Water Creek. We bypassed the trip to Hackberry Springs, but we're keeping it in mind for a future hike. Instead we headed across the basin, following well worn horse trails to the ascent to Garden Valley.

Once in the valley area, Doug and Howard were as impressed as I was just one week prior, and we began touring the cliff areas along the Western rim of the valley. I had looked at these large rock formations previously and wanted to give them a closer look, I was not disappointed. The base of one cliff had a small alcove tucked under an overhang that must have been used for cooking and making pottery. The large flat stone area around the alcove had several grinding holes (metates) where the ancient dwellers ground seeds and beans into a flower for their bread (lots of roughage in that diet) :yuck:

Several pieces of broken pottery shards could be found in the vicinity as proof of previous occupants (note to first timers, these are historical artifacts and must not be removed) :gun: Exploring the area further showed more alcoves, including one that had diggings along the back, but it was pretty shallow (no gold mine here). A third alcove was harder to access and was tall, but not very deep. A hole along one side looked interesting but was a bit too high to see inside so I stuck my camera up as high as I could reach and snapped a shot of the inside. Then I gathered a rock that I propped up against the wall and stepped up to peer inside. OMG, When my brain finally clicked in, I realized that I was looking at a large honey comb network :o I jumped off the rock, retrieved my camera and got the heck out of there, fast (for an old fart). No bees in the vicinity, so I made a clean getaway :)

A break in the cliffs reveled some breathtaking views of the Barkley Ranch site below us and was backed up by the Goldfield Mountains. First Water Creek wasn't visible but you could follow its path through the cliffs and on through to the Hackberry Springs area. Making a 180, I was treated to some more extraordinary views of Garden Valley with Hackberry Mesa and Black Mesa enclosing the North and East sides and the Superstition Ridgeline off in the distance to the South. Such a perfect place :FG:

We reluctantly left the Garden Valley area and continued our clockwise trek back to the First Water Trailhead. Along the way, we met a couple of hikers and overall we encountered less than ten total, certainly not a busy day for this trail system. Once back at the truck we cooled our heels by enjoying a cool refreshing beverage and some peanuts then packed up our belongs and headed back home. Another enjoyable day in the Superstitions :y:
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
HAZ Member
AZLumberjack's
378 Photosets

  2012-03-16
  2012-03-10
  2012-03-06
  2012-03-03
  2012-03-01
  2012-02-23
  2012-02-22
  2012-02-15
  2012-02-09
  2012-02-03
  2012-01-31
  2012-01-26
  2012-01-25
  2012-01-20
  2012-01-15
  2012-01-13
  2012-01-10
  2012-01-07
  2012-01-03
  2011-12-27
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