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Black Top Mesa
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mini location map2013-01-10
15 by photographer avatarAZLumberjack
photographer avatar
 
Black Top MesaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2013
AZLumberjack
Hiking14.40 Miles 1,558 AEG
Hiking14.40 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   2.34 mph
1,558 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
I volunteered to go along with some of the Forest Service members on a mission to clean-up an abandoned camp site along the Dutchman's Trail (104) somewhere on the East side of Black Top Mesa. Lou put out the request and Dean, Jim, Mike and I agreed to hike in, clean up the mess and transport the junk out of the Wilderness.

Our day's work(?) began at the First Water TH under darkening skies and we hoped that the predictions for rain "later" in the day would hold true. The temps were almost perfect for the hike down the Dutchman's Trail, but the skies held back the sun and there was a constant light breeze.

We made good time and arrived at the Bull Pass (129) turnoff in just over an hour, then we made the turn continuing along the Dutchman's Trail heading into East Boulder Canyon. Just as we were entering the canyon with Black Top Mesa on our left and Palomino Mtn. on our right, we were treated to our own private air show. Six vintage old WWII aircraft thundered above our heads coming from the direction of Weavers Needle. A couple of them were trailing smoke as if in a dog fight. What an awesome sight that was to see and me, traveling light, only brought along my cheap, cheap camera.

The water in the canyon was flowing lightly, but enough to hear the sounds of the water as it passed over the rocks and tumbled into the pools below. Aylor's Arch watched our now slowing progress from high up on Palomino Mtn. Soon we were in the switchbacks as we ascended Black Top Mesa Pass where we met two hiking groups making a loop from Peralta TH.

After passing the signpost for the Terrapin Trail (234) it was a short distance further to the campsite. We cleaned up the mess, stuffed the garbage (sleeping bags included) into some large bags and stuffed them into Jim's large backpack, then had our lunch break.

No time for an after lunch siesta, we continued on down Needle Canyon where the water in the creek was flowing, clear and cool. Soon we arrived at the signpost for the Bull Pass (129) trail following along the flowing stream. Then the trail left the stream and headed almost straight up (seemingly forever) along the North side of Black Top Mesa. Then at the saddle, the trail drops almost straight down, what a draining mile and a half for four old duffers and one younger guy who was carrying the stuffed backpack.

Soon we were in that beautiful valley again and now it was just a matter of retracing our footprints back to First Water TH. Somewhere along the way, we had just a few drops of rain hitting us, but it was enough to force us to pick up the pace (yeah sure) just in case it got worse. But the rains held off and we were soon back at the trailhead and gratefully unloading our gear.

What a heck of a day with such endless Superstition Mountain scenery and four great guys to hike with. Thanks Lou for putting this together and after a day's rest, I'm good to go again :y:
Named place
Named place
Malapais Mountain

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Little Boulder Canyon Creek Light flow Light flow
A great sight to see and hear. The flow was light but continuous.
_____________________
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
357 Photosets

  2013-04-01
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