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Marsh Valley Loop
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mini location map2012-02-26
9 by photographer avatartrekkin_gecko
photographer avatar
 
Marsh Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2012
trekkin_gecko
Hiking16.14 Miles 2,816 AEG
Hiking16.14 Miles   6 Hrs      2.85 mph
2,816 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
this was another loop i've been wanting to do
hadn't been on cavalry or bull pass trails before
felt like i got a late start at 7:55 this morning
must be hanging around johnlp too much (mr. o'dark thirty)
headed out on second water, through garden valley, then down to boulder canyon
saw the turnoff to battleship - tempting, as was la barge canyon
heard but didn't see some backpackers in boulder canyon
cavalry was interesting, first climbing a bit, then a nice stroll through marsh valley
everything was quite green and water was flowing in la barge - a little algae on top at times
trail was well cairned with huge piles of rock
wandered off on a couple of creek crossings, but either backtracked or went high to find the trail quickly enough
took dutchman for just a few minutes, then chose to go up bull pass, thanks to some input from the forum
nice climb up to the saddle
had grasshopper's track with all the trail intersections marked as waypoints, wanting to make sure i didn't miss the turnoff to black top mesa
it was right at the saddle, and marked with two cairns
this ascent doesn't even qualify as off trail, as the path is clear, well-worn and cairned
black top mesa was the highlight of the hike for me
tremendous views of malapais, music mountain, weaver's needle, the ridgeline and more
my pictures won't do it justice
i usually don't take much of a break, but spent 20 minutes just enjoying being up there and having a snack
headed down the rest of bull pass, then dutchman's again
saw the back side of palomino and aylor's arch
passed the intersections of boulder canyon and black mesa, then parker pass and back down
saw very few people out today and thought that was odd
once i got by two groups at the start of second water, i didn't see anyone else until the creek crossing on bull pass, where three gals were backpacking
a group of four hikers at bull pass saddle, who looked at me funny when i headed up to BTM
then no one else until almost to parker pass
it was a perfect day, too
very few flowers, some brittlebush and indian paintbrush
slowly learning the lay of the land, some of the landmarks, and how everything fits together
posting my total time, and deducting the 20 minute break
not deducting the 16 minutes i spent taking pictures, route finding, using the ladies room, petting a dog, telling people how far to parker's pass, and just gawking
in light of the current forum discussion on pack contents, here's what i brought:
100 oz. water, an apple and some cashew clusters (costco - yum)
camera, gps, headlamp, small bivy sack, first aid kit
extra batteries, leatherman, whistle, lighter, map
hat and long sleeve t-shirt, all in a camelbak rimrunner
some of the above is for a longer solo hike on remote or less-traveled trails; i don't always bring everything
completely hooked on the supes, and can't wait for the next trip
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