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Reavis via W Pinto Upper Pine Creek Loop, AZ
mini location map2013-11-01
63 by photographer avatarfriendofThundergod
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Reavis via W Pinto Upper Pine Creek Loop, AZ 
Reavis via W Pinto Upper Pine Creek Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 01 2013
friendofThundergod
Hiking33.55 Miles 9,274 AEG
Hiking33.55 Miles   21 Hrs   21 Mns   1.57 mph
9,274 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I will start by saying that there are certainly better routes for reaching Reavis Ranch. However, West Pinto Trail and the southern portion of Campaign Trail remained a barrier to my personal quest to cover all marked trails in the Superstition Wilderness area. When the opportunity to meet some fellow HAZ members at Reavis came up, I decided the three day weekend would be a perfect opportunity to knock out those sections of trail and then enjoy the festivities at Reavis.

Day one started rather early I made Roger's Trough around 7 and was on trail by about 7:15. W. Pinto starts with a pretty good climb, nothing to crazy, but enough to get your blood pumping, just about a 600 foot climb. From there on out W. Pinto makes a relentless down hill plunge towards the Miles TH area and the confluence of five Superstition Trails: Spencer Spring, Campaign Trail, Cuff Button, Bull Basin, and Paradise Trail. The only hikers I saw on day one, were filtering some water from a catch-basin dug the night before near the Iron Mountain Spring Seep. They were doing the same loop as me, however, they were only expecting to get to the intersection of Fire Line trail and Campaign Trail. I reached the intersection of Campaign Trail and W. Pinto a distance of just under seven miles in just over three hours. The hike down W. Pinto from Roger's Trough goes pretty quick to say the least, likewise, the trail is no-longer the miserable bushwhack that hikers in the past experienced. W. Pinto Trail seems to have been the beneficiary of some extensive trail clearing/maintenance projects in recent years. The intersection with Campaign trail is signed well and there is a large stick corral on the north side of the W. Pinto drainage for further frame of reference. I hung my gear at Campaign Trail and began to make my 1.7 mile trek to grab some water I had cached the weekend before, however, I was pleasantly surprised by a significant source of water approximately a half mile down the trail. I topped off my water and the dogs water, and was happy I only had to go one mile out of my way, rather than nearly four. I left a note at trail sign for the group behind me to let them know where water was, as that was their primary concern when I met them. Once on Campaign Trail you will almost immediately go into your rather daunting climb north to Pinto Divide. Having just topped off about 200oz of water coupled with a three day pack made this climb somewhat of a challenge. However, the views were great and there were a couple of prehistoric sites along the way. Some notable features you will see are Saw Tooth Ridge, Mound Mountain, Iron Mountain and most of the W. Pinto drainage. The southern portion of Campaign Trail was easy to follow and relatively well maintained, hard to go wrong on this trail, as it almost parallels a fence on your right hand side for most of the climb. You will pass through a gate near Pinto Divide, however, this is not quite the end of your climb, as it will represent a bit of a false summit and actually drop you back down into a drainage before making the final ascent of Pinto Divide. The climb will end up being just under 2000 feet and will account for over half of your miles between W. Pinto and Fire Line Trail. You will also notice that after passing through the gate the trail will get progressively worse until you reach Fire Line Trail. The portion of trail from Pinto Divide to Fire Line represented the worse stretch of trail on day one. However, it is downhill and the intersection of Fire Line comes up quick, once you start to see some larger pines, you are nearing Fire Line and an excellent spot to camp. However, any feelings of accomplishment quickly faded as I looked at my next climb, the steep and winding eastern portion of Fire Line Trail. This climb actually went pretty smooth for me, mainly because I knew I was almost there and had a little extra adrenaline going. Nevertheless, keep in mind it is still nearly a 1000 foot climb. After climbing out of the Campaign Creek drainage past the Circle Stone turn-off, it was a pretty easy stroll into Reavis. I completed my day one hike in just about ten hours on the dot, not exactly a speed record, but not horrible for a day just under 18 miles with tons of elevation gained and a full pack. I set up camp, and then made my way to the Gimpy Hippie Fest, hung out a little, met some cool people and relaxed.

My day two itinerary involved borrowing a hike description from the Hiker's Guide to the Eastern Superstitions. I would enter the headwaters of Pine Creek near Fire Line Trail and then locate an old trail, only showed on some very old maps. However, first I checked the water conditions at Whiskey Springs, there was a good amount of water here and a great camp site. For future reference this spring is relatively reliable and the area offers a break from the crowds at Reavis, as well as a better/closer starting point for daily excursions to Circle Stone. I was able to locate a pretty good trail immediately after entering the Pine Creek drainage and was able to follow it down to a corral site, that seemed a little out of place for the Superstitions due to the open flat area and towering pines surrounding it. Nothing really remains of the corral, only a large pile of old fence post and some strands of barbed wire. After the corral I was still able to follow a pretty well cairned route north, however, I made a very poor choice and cut over to the eastern side of Pine Creek to make a route of my own. This is where the hike got really difficult and if viewing my route, I would say stay on western side of Pine Creek and attempt to find the abandoned trail heading north. I ended up getting cliffed a few times in the steep terrain and eventually found a suitable wash for taking directly back down to Pine Creek. By sheer luck I immediately linked up with the northern sections of the trail that I was on early, cairns and all, with a pretty heavy tred to follow. I did come across some water to refill dogs supply and an old hunting or ranching camp, with a very large lean-to shelter. I continued north until Reavis Gap Trail and then made my way back to the Reavis Valley. I met some pretty cool hunters near Boulder Pass, they were on their way to Walnut Spring from Plow Saddle, early in the morning they reported seeing three bear on the trail, which isn't much of a surprise for this area. My Saturday night was almost a carbon copy of night before, organized camp a little and then made my way to the HAZ festivities, for another night of tasty "snacks" and good times.

I didn't hit the trail until after nine the next morning but made great time following Chumley's pretty brisk pace, we made Roger Trough in two hours and thirty-five minutes. We waited for a few other HAZ guys, had a refreshing drink and called it a weekend.

Final Note: The West Pinto route to Reavis would undoubtedly be more suited for a two day schedule with perhaps breaking near Miles TH or camping under the pines at Fire Line Trail. There are several opportunities to explore along this route, and completing it in one day, almost eliminates any chance for this.
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