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Tortilla via Peralta TH, AZ
mini location map2012-12-26
42 by photographer avatarfriendofThundergod
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Tortilla via Peralta TH, AZ 
Tortilla via Peralta TH, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 26 2012
friendofThundergod
Backpack33.50 Miles 13,587 AEG
Backpack33.50 Miles4 Days         
13,587 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
This is another hike from last year, however, I think its alright to post now, because it is right around the same time of year, and with the extended holidays coming up, some may be looking for some nice three and four day treks. This hike certainly offered some challenging changes in elevations, cold temperatures, and solitude. Most seasoned backpackers would find this to be a moderate hike in terms of difficulty, route finding (all trail), and total miles.

We started at Peralta TH the day after Christmas. Our chosen route was the Dutchman's Trail to Coffee Flats, to Red Tanks, Hoolie Bacon, then Peter's Trail back to the Dutchman's Trail and finishing up on Bluff Springs Trail. If you are into simply drawing new lines on your map and knocking out some remote areas of the Supers this hike may be for you.

Day one was our highest mile day of entire hike. We did not stop much, mainly because of the cool temperatures, we had some Christmas Tamales at a nice deep pool of water along Red Tanks, did a quick side trip to explore what proved to be an old Indian dwelling that utilized a deceptively deep cave. Although, the cave was not hard to locate only a short distance into Red Tanks Trail, it seemed not many people had been, because there was literally plate size pot sherds littering the ground. Our day one goal was to stay at Brad's Water which is in a side canyon/wash before you reach Hoolie Bacon, however, once we got there, we chose to just push forward, as we knew water was not going to be an issue. For future reference Brad's Water always has water, I will put my name and honor to that, if you are ever in a pinch during hot months, there will be water. However, it is not easy to find, I don't know if it was man-made, but it is essentially a small cave or rock grotto that has filled with water, about waste deep and pretty far back. We chose to camp our first night near the opening/beginning of Trap Canyon, just off Hoolie Bacon. We ran into the only people we saw on entire hike around five or so in the afternoon, they were doing a similar loop in reverse, except they were going through La Barge Box, definitely a more direct loop than ours. It got extremely cold the first night, our water froze and we started our second morning with what would be a trend for the first two days, thawing out our tents, recovering our gear, and huddling around the fire. For an additional side trip, if camped near the origins of Trap Canyon, a short walk down the canyon will take you to a ground level cave dwelling, with remnants of former walls and several grinding holes.

Our day two was relatively short in miles, but very scenic, and cold. Hoolie Bacon and Red Tanks both seem to really meander along and drag out at points. The day was made interesting by a pretty good little snow storm in the early afternoon and a fun descent down Horse Ridge. There are opportunities for side-trips as well in this area, for example, one can check out the Lost Dutchman Mine Jr. which is located near intersection of Hoolie Bacon and JF Trail. However, we have never been overly impressed by this cave/maybe old mine so we just pushed on towards Indian Springs. There was no need to find an actual spring, however, we did find the old troughs and some piping. Indian Springs proved to be another really cold night, but lets be real we built a very large fire. We camped in a pretty well-established spot, in fact, someone's entire camp seemed to have been just abandoned in place there, but it was in a sad state.

Day three we continued down Peter's Trail, took a GPS reading at Kane Spring and made our way towards Peter's Mesa, which begins with a pretty good climb. We ran into the same group from day before near Peter's Mesa, chatted a little and continued mission. We went off-trail around Peter's Mesa and dropped down into one of our favorite canyons to take a short-cut to camp at one of our favorite spots. The third night must have literally been 15 degrees warmer and we woke up to very warm temps on day four. It was kind of weird, after spending the first two nights in rather unfamiliar areas we kind of felt like we were already home, even though we were still in the Supers. Our hike out was pretty uneventful, just taking your standard well-traveled western Supes trails to Peralta TH. In fact, I finished in short sleeves and shorts, which was a far cry from my opening morning picture.
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