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Hackberry Spring Loop
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mini location map2013-12-14
27 by photographer avatartibber
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Hackberry Spring LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 14 2013
tibber
Hiking5.88 Miles 814 AEG
Hiking5.88 Miles   3 Hrs   35 Mns   1.98 mph
814 ft AEG      37 Mns Break
 
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desertgirl
Jenaya and Ambika had to be back to TH by 12:30 so we did this short loop. I visited with Ranger Lou for a bit until they showed up and then we, along with Scout II (new Oregon 450) and Annie (MayMyHike), headed down the trail. It was a cool morning.

I decided to do the Loop opposite the way I had done it in March so we headed north after crossing over First Water Creek. It takes a bit to finally to get to the walkable part of the creek area but once there it's lots of fun :y: . There was plenty of water to keep us entertained throughout. In fact, there was much more water than I thot there would be for this time of year though not as much as last March when I hiked this.

We eventually got to the ranch and walked around there a bit. Tried to decipher the inscription on the cement slab in the SW area. We got part of it. And then it was back to the creek. It was a somewhat breezy morning too. Like most folks, I enjoy going thru the slot area. There was a bit of water so you had to walk the steeper bedrock on one side to get by.

The area just before you start heading toward the spring area didn't have nearly the water as last March so walking thru here was a lot easier. Once we got into the shade it got downright cold so we didn't stay long at the spring area. We continued on our way up the hill, past the view of Four Peaks and as we headed further up the hill we would encounter a group of hikers, one was carrying a wee little one in a carrier.

It's funny, when I first started hiking out here this long gradual hill seemed much more difficult. I had only hiked this route this way one other time back in Jan 2009; hadn't really started my serious hiking until Feb 15, 2009. Awh the memories :) . Anyway, we finally got to the expansove Garden Valley. I always like this wide open area filled with Cholla trees on each side. And of course, when I came thru here last March, it was one big :pk: mud puddle. But not today.

I took Jenaya up on the ruin and we found a couple shards to show her before heading on Second Water Trail. At the bottom of the trail after you come down (or start up) from Garden Valley there is a little canyon drainage that comes from the east. Kelly had taken me part way up there on our 1st to Canyon Lake hike but I wanted to go all the way to the top. So we did, stopping briefly to look at the pool 1/2 way up (it looks deep and I think is mostly in shade). There were a couple other hikers above us to the right who had apparently done the same thing. You then wrap around to the right and back to the trail.

We were back to the parking lot around noon I think. I was surprised how few cars were there. The road is not in the best of shape but Tonto and I don't mind so much as we eventually passed a couple vehicles that were in tortoise mode.

Another awesome day in the Superstitions, so much fun :DANCE: !

Part 1 after hiking north of Second Water: First Water Creek to ranch ops http://youtu.be/NnKTADMGiQc
Part 2 from Ranch to Hackberry Springs http://youtu.be/iXQ9S1TfGRc

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max First Water Creek at Second Water Trail #236 Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
lots of water in First Water as you follow it north. Flowing water and some nice sized pools.
_____________________
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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tibber's
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