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Central Supes Loop, AZ
mini location map2013-12-25
48 by photographer avatarfriendofThundergod
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Central Supes Loop, AZ 
Central Supes Loop, AZ
Backpack avatar Dec 25 2013
Backpack54.60 Miles
Backpack54.60 Miles5 Days         
Just a five day 55 mile jaunt through the middle of the Superstition Wilderness. I met Wally with a friend on Christmas day at Roger's Trough, 7:30. Wally showed me a few sets of lesser traveled cliff-dwellings in area and we both finally located the trough at Angel Basin, which for all the time we had spent out there neither of us had been until that day. Towards the end of the day I had one of my nicest finds in Supes, a very nice set of cliff-dwellings. Christmas turned out to be a day of great finds, and a little over 13 miles of exploring. Despite hurricane force winds we hung around the fire, chatted and ate food for the rest of the night. Wally left in the morning and Lucy, myself and the dogs started the annoying climb to Tortilla Divide and the JF Ranch Trail.

Day two consisted of Roger's Canyon to JF Ranch Trail, to Coffee Flats Trail, to Reed's Water where we camped. I did do some additional exploring on day two. I cam across another cliff-dwelling, in the past this would have been the find of the year for me, however, after what we came across the day before, it was more reserved, but still appreciated. I spend so much time in the more remote areas, I had forgotten about places like Reed's Water. We got water from the well, had a nice dinner and enjoyed a very nice camp site in a picturesque area. However, the windmill can get quite noisy and startle you at time when it creaks and starts.

Day three was our short day and recovery day, we met my good friend Jim around the Charlebois area and went to one of our favorite spots. The dogs rested we rested and ate some food while considering our options for returning to Roger's Trough.

Day four consisted of the Dutchman to Red Tanks, Red Tanks to Hoolie Bacon, and then the JF Ranch Trail to Clover Spring for camp. On Hoolie Bacon I saw two hikers with llamas the was different. Saw some day hikers when we got closer to the intersection with JF Trail, other than that Hoolie Bacon was well..Hoolie Bacon. JF trail was in typical form as well, century plants across the trail, and prickly pear and agave winning the battle for trail supremacy. The above couple with the fact that we seemed to have been climbing all day on day four, first the Upper La Barge Box and then the climb from Horse Camp Basin to Horse Ridge and right back up the JF..sigh..I banked a lot on my one memory of JF from a year ago and thought we would have a place to camp, water and maybe some wood near Clover Spring. The gamble worked, as camping options along the JF Trail are very limited.

Day five we hiked to Tortilla Divide, the last stretch to the divide is becoming quite the little bushwhack in spots as you make your climb from JF Trail. We then took JF Ranch Trail to the Woodbury Ranch site, and instead of making our way to established TH, I took care of my last 1.2 miles left of marked Supes trails and hiked the portion that ends at FR 172. From there the hike was kind of hard at times, the wind was blowing really hard and I now had dogs on lead, plus the fatigue of having already hiked in from Clover Spring and now we were climbing up to Roger's Trough, but we made it and were in car heading down FR 172 by 12:30.

My AEG is all jacked up, but final miles for trip were 54.6. This "trek" was particularly unique because of the sharp contrasts in the environments we hiked through, from the often snow covered area around Iron Mountain, to the riparian, and jungle like areas along Coffee Flats in Randolph Canyon, then the low desert areas, back to the canopy areas along La Barge then back up to the wind-swept ridge-lines of JF Ranch Trail, finishing up at the sparsely vegetated Woodbury Ranch area. One night I was putting on lotion so my neck would not peal from a little sun burn and the next morning the dog's water was frozen.
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