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Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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mini location map2005-12-26
26 by photographer avatarOhOh7
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Treasure Loop to Praying HandsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 26 2005
Hiking4.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   6 Hrs      0.67 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Although there are many writeups for Treasure Loop at the Lost Dutchman State Park, I followed a suggestion and would call this Treasure Loop Plus! We met at Jacob's Crosscut trailhead on First Water Road (to save money of course) and the lot there looked like Bank One Ballpark (I know, I know-now called Chase). Horse trailers and many cars. Lots of people out the day after Christmas. After a mile on Jacob's Crosscut that is very easy you meet the junction with Treasure Loop that goes Southeast as Jacob's crosscut continues South. The Treasure Loop trail goes southeast and loops around Green Boulder ( it is not green but someone named it that) and then returns down to Jacob's Crosscut. At the farthest point SE on the Treasure Loop trail is where we departed on an unmarked trail that goes Northeast through the hoodoos and over a saddle at the Praying hands.

I have been on the treasure Loop trail quite a few times and never even gave a second glance to that NE trail. What a great experience! You climb quite steeply for about a quarter of a mile and then reach the saddle between two giant rock spires. The view toward the North and East is spectacular with the Massacre Grounds route before you and a glimpse of the Massacre Grounds cliff. If you don't know the story you can look it up but basically a number of Mexican nationals were bringing gold back from Colorado. They thought it best to avoid the Phoenix area valley and felt they could get through the Superstitions. Indians in the area found out the route and waited silently until the Mexicans and their wagons were just about at the site-then attacked and killed all of them for their horses and wagons and supplies. However, they did not take the gold as it was worthless to them. Years after that people found some of that gold in bags and loose and of course said they found gold in the Superstitions-even to say they had found Jacob Waltz's gold.

Back to the hike. It is about a quarter mile to the first saddle between the two spires. The views from there are great. Actually the farther one goes the more clear the trail is. Even though not named there is actually a trail. It continues on for about another quarter mile and turns abruptly toward the cliffs where it ends. One could get to the Massacre Grounds this way but it would involve much bushwhacking. We turned back to see cliffs and spires that you simply do not see when you just take the Treasure Loop.

Going back to join the Treasure Loop trail you can follow a trail higher up on the foothills, then drop down to the Treasure Loop near the bench. From there we wanted to find a trail that would lead us over to Palmer Mine and then on to Siphon Draw. We could not find the North end of that trail and finally we went off trail to go toward the mine area. Sure enough soon we did find a trail that led to the mine. However, we turned toward the Siphon Draw trail and somehow missed the mine. We will go back from the Siphon Draw next time where the trail is well defined.

The next goal was to come down the Siphon Draw trail to Jacob's Crosscut and then back North to the car. Of course we were talking and laughing until finally we saw we were getting close to the Park Boundary Fence. We quickly turned East to find the Jacob's Crosscut trail which we finally did, then proceeded back to the parking lot and the cars.

If you have done most of the Dutchman trails I highly recommend you do this variation of going the spur trail above Treasure Loop and then hugging the cliffs over to Palmer Mine. The total distance was just over 6 miles and we did it in 4 hours. On Jacob's Crosscut one can make up time as it is quite easy walking with good surface and a few ups and downs. When we returned to the lot there were actually more cars there then when we left and cars parked all along First water Road. We did meet many hikers and families on various parts of the trails mentioned.. Somehow I contacted the flu even though I had a shot. Hospitals say they are flooded with flu cases so I will just stay in bed!
Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.

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