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2013-02-16  
Claypool Tunnel - Superior, AZ
mini location map2013-02-16
38 by photographer avatartibber
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Claypool Tunnel - Superior, AZ 
Claypool Tunnel - Superior, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2013
tibber
Hiking4.92 Miles
Hiking4.92 Miles
 
1st trip
Partners partners
johnr1
sirena
John thought it might be fun and interesting to participate in the LOST (Legends of Superior Trails) EcoTourism Festival so he PMed me. I wasn't sure if I could make the time as, yes I'm still working on my mom's place, but my brothers decided they needed a day off so I got to go :DANCE: . THX JOHN!

We arrived at the Magma Club and got out to a roaring and very cold wind and I'm thinking, this is not good hiking conditions. We registered, talked with Sirena and she decided she would join us for the Tunnel hike; more specifically Claypool Tunnel (built in 1922, a major engineering feat in its time). Interestingly, this is the second time I've been on a hike event with Sirena on her birthday :) .

Well as we tried to hold on to our hair and our clothes, we walked back to Ray Road and then hung a left at old Hwy 60 where we met up with the rest of the group and headed up the very windy trail. It was blowing so hard that my boot laces came untied :lol: . We observed the old mine and loading dock not far up the trail. According to our guide, this mine was closed in 1945.

We rounded a corner toward a smaller road bridge and finally hit some sunlight. That felt so good. And just a bit further you can see the Queen Creek Bridge above you. You can frame the mountains along the 60 just below it. The creek also had some water running in it. Superior's rather large Water Tank comes into view and you walk around that before heading up the first switchback. The trail climbs fairly quickly and if you look over to the left you can see an even older road.

Eventually you come to some boulders along this old Hwy 60 and just a short distance is the tunnel. If you ever wonder where the "wind tunnel" came from; well this could certainly fulfill that name. SHEESH! major, major wind here. The tunnel is quite cool in two ways. It is very high and from what I've read, they may have made it that high to get the mining equipment thru or it was for structural reasons. We walked a bit past the tunnel before heading back. We did encounter several folks on horseback below the highway bridge above us.

It's a great destination hike and once the wind died down, much more tolerable. John and I observed the old highway sign showing the curve into Superior. You can barely make out the arrow on the sign. Next it was on to a BBQ lunch by Los Hermanos at the Magma Club. The cake was YUMMY!

Here is a video of our hike: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
johnr1
Named place
Named place
Picketpost Mountain
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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