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Weaver's Needle Loop from Peralta TH
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mini location map2013-03-03
14 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
photographer avatar
 
Weaver's Needle Loop from Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 03 2013
DarthStiller
Hiking12.20 Miles 3,122 AEG
Hiking12.20 Miles   8 Hrs      1.53 mph
3,122 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The original plan for this day was to try to go to Skull Cave via Canyon Lake. That required the use of my neighbor's boat, and a week prior he cancelled due to another obligation. I was ok with that as I'm not really all that into bushwhacks, and this one seemed pretty extreme. This hike I had originally planned two weeks prior, but thanks to Dschur for letting me know that the Lost Dutchman Marathon was that weekend and the Peralta TH would be closed until after 9am. So I finally got around to doing this hike last weekend. My co-worker Gordie decided to join me on this one. He's been getting more into hiking since I took him along on the Keet Seel hike. He's even bought a brand new pair of Vasques from REI and hadn't had a chance to break them in yet.

I have already done this hike once, but it was over 9 years ago. Since then I haven't had a chance to log it on HAZ or in my DeLorme program, where I plot the GPS routes of all my hikes.

We started early at 6:30am, just in time to not need a headlamp. The sun started to peek into the canyon once we got over a little halfway up to Fremont Saddle. The early light hitting the hills brings some of the best pictures of the day if you're in the right spot. This spot wasn't the greatest.

The views of Weaver's Needle looked pretty good this early. That view from Weaver's Needle is obviously one of the more iconic scenes in all of AZ. The more I see it, the more this has become apparent to me.

On our way down from Fremont Saddle into East Boulder Canyon, I tried to pick out the spots from the Carlson/Stewart book about the Jones and Piper mining camps. The Pinyon (Jones) camp was the easiest to spot, as well as the other Jones camp a little further down the trail. We saw some overnighters camping in the second spot. I picked out some of the side trails that would fade off rather quickly so we really didn't do much exploring. Most of these spots just seem to be used for overnight camping anymore it seems.

The Piper camp is one that I can never really find. That area up there is above the trail so it's hard to really pick out any flat spots. I did find some side trails on the right (E) side of the trail as noted in the Carlson/Stewart book that fades quickly but supposedly leads from the south to a defunct mining camp amongst some heavy brush.

At the northern end of the loop, just past the junction for the LDT, I did find another trail leading into some trees where another camping spot is. As we ascended on the LDT, a clearing amongst an unusually green and grassy area was apparent. Going further along the wash would lead back to the hidden mining camp from the north.

We took our lunch just after 11am, at which point the clouds had started to roll in and would stay with us for the rest of the day. We weren't complaining as the original forecast for the day was 81 degrees. This kept us cooler than we had already been planning for.
On the way back along the Terrapin Trail we began to run into more hikers (and backpackers). I think stopping to talk to each group began to slow us down more than we were realizing. I found the little grotto/wall along the wash not far from the start of the Terrapin Trail, as well as some caves across the canyon and just off the trail. The USGS mapping shows some mines and prospects across the canyon here. At the northern junction I thought I saw what looked like old mining tailings standing out on the hillside, but their location didn't really match up with the maps.

The descent down Cardiac Hill was a bit of a slog, not helped by the increased traffic. Barkley Basin was very green, but without the sunshine on it, the pics came out kind of drab.

Time to head back north after this and finally finish off a section of the Highline I haven't done yet.
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