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Hackberry Spring from Horse Lot
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mini location map2012-02-09
21 by photographer avatarAZLumberjack
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Hackberry Spring from Horse LotPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 09 2012
AZLumberjack
Hiking5.10 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   2.04 mph
200 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Several times now, I have hiked past the old Barkley Ranch site along the First Water Creek and looked at the beautiful cliffs that the creek passes through on its way to Canyon Lake. Every time I look at it, I tell myself that I want to go down there and see more of the canyon. It didn't take much to convince my hiking partners, Brother Doug and friend Howard, to make this one our weekly Superstition hike.

We parked in the large horse trailer parking lot just before the First Water Trailhead and were on the trail by 9:00. We started out on the path leading to a narrow canyon that was easy to follow and travel. After a short hike we came out on First Water Creek in the midst of a canyon with steep walls on both sides. There were several pools of water along the otherwise dry creekbed, some of the pools were filled with clear water and there was a small flow draining from the downstream end. Other pools contained brackish water with green goop growing on the surface.

Walking was still pretty easy as we headed down the creekbed, occasionally working our way around some large boulders. The steep, high walls were blocking out the morning sun so it was nice and cool down here. Soon we arrived at an area covered with lush green grass with Palo Verde and Mesquite trees growing in abundance. There are several rock fireplace rings scattered among the trees, although firewood is in short supply, I guess you would have to pack in your own campfire wood now.

We looked for the famous Hackberry Spring with it's clear, cold water flowing from a steel pipe, but we were unable to locate it. Close to one of the firepits was a length of pipe, did someone remove the pipe from the spring? Irregardless, this is an extremely beautiful oasis nestled below the towering cliffs that contain the creek.

We continued following the creek for another 3/4 mile but the walking became more difficult as the creekbed was all loose rock and there was no room along the sides of the creek for trails. We took our lunch break at a bend in the creek where we were in the warm sun while sitting on some large rocks.

Following lunch, we returned along the same route until we reached the small canyon leading to the parking lot. Here, we continued to follow the creek on up to the old Barkley Ranchsite. Again we passed through a narrow canyon this time with gradually sloping sides. The canyon ended at the old horse corral where it was a short uphill hike back to the parking lot.

This is a very hiker friendly route suitable for the whole family. It's almost impossible to get lost and there are some beautiful sights to be seen along the way. There are several trails to link to to make loops into other areas like Garden Valley. Going to have to make this one a more frequent hike.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hackberry Spring Dripping Dripping
There are several pools along the creekbed, some with a small flow of water that quickly disappears.
_____________________
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
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