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Black Mesa Loop - Superstition Mtns
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mini location map2012-07-28
11 by photographer avatarchumley
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Black Mesa Loop - Superstition MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 28 2012
chumley
Hiking9.08 Miles 1,315 AEG
Hiking9.08 Miles   4 Hrs   7 Mns   2.45 mph
1,315 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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Afternoon rain showers were looking to make our night hike cooler and more fun. Until we realized that getting to the Peralta TH wasn't that easy when the washes are flowing!

I ventured out in my flip flops to check the depth and current, and thought it could be done. But with the number of vehicles, and not all high-clearance or 4wd, we decided not to risk it and instead turned around. Not to be deterred from our night-hike mission, we drove over to First Water, where we were happy to find no running washes and headed out on the 9-mile Black Mesa Loop.

By the time we got going, the rain had nearly stopped. I even took off my rain jacket and hat and decided to live with the few drops that were still falling. I was glad I did because it was terribly humid (though only in the mid 70s) and the rain stopped almost immediately once we started hiking.

The loop which would otherwise have been pretty boring for those of us who have done it before, was more interesting in the dark. Some puddles got us by surprise, and there were some areas of annoying mud, but otherwise it was just a nice post-rain, nighttime hike in the Supes. We hiked counter-clockwise, and there was no water in the First Water drainage, but there was a very nice flow in what looks like West Boulder Canyon on the topo maps (3.75mi on my GPS track). The satellite view clearly shows the drainage that was flowing.

When we turned back onto the Black Mesa trail and crossed the same wash again, it was dry. Only .75 trail miles, and probably less than 1/2 a mile in the wash and the water went from a very nice flow to completely dry!

Anyway, after a break at the junction we headed up the Black Mesa trail. While I was leading the group, I encountered our first (and only) snake of the night, and verbally notified the group. Haley might say I screamed, but that would be a gross misinterpretation of actual events. He didn't rattle, and slowly left the trail as we watched, took photos, and scared him with our headlamps.

Lots of frogs on the trail tonight, but other than the snake, a few bats, and a fresh big cat footprint, nothing too exciting to report.

Trudged through the mud back to the trailhead, enjoyed a celebratory beer and headed home.

Nice to see the familiar faces and to meet the new ones!
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