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Weaver's Needle Loop from Peralta TH
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mini location map2014-05-17
35 by photographer avatarddgrunning
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Weaver's Needle Loop from Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 17 2014
ddgrunning
Hiking12.88 Miles 3,940 AEG
Hiking12.88 Miles   6 Hrs   51 Mns   2.31 mph
3,940 ft AEG   1 Hour   16 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Training hike #3 for Whitney. Wanted to get some distance in and some elevation gain, but needed to stay close to home.

We knew it would be hot, so we got up early and were on the trail by 6 a.m. We took the loop in the counterclockwise direction (as suggested in the trail description), starting off on the Bluff Springs Trail. NOTE: the "official route" link goes in the opposite (clockwise) direction. I didn't notice that at first, so I was a bit confused by the elevation profile.

The weather was actually quite pleasant for the first 5-6 miles. Much of it was in the shade, and in particular the portions of the trail that followed along low drainage areas and creek beds were very comfortable.

I took a couple of photos of the "tricky" turn at the flat slab of rock on the Bluff Springs trail, as mentioned in the hike description, where a left turn would send you down Bark's canyon: http://hikearizona.com/photo=416883 .

Saw a cardinal right at the junction of the Bluff Springs and Terrapin trails.

As others have noted, the Terrapin trail is pretty overgrown in places (particularly, around the area when you are about "even" with Weaver's Needle). Nothing too serious, but you have to plow your way through some scratchy bushes here and there. Only sustained a few minor scratches...

Flies and gnats were our constant companions on the loop. A bit annoying, but tolerable.

The turnoff to the Weaver's Needle Crosscut trail (http://hikearizona.com/decoder=144) was cairned and easy to spot if you were looking for it (I took a note for another trip).

By the time we reached the Dutchman's trail junction, shade was becoming much harder to come by. Temps were rising and we were getting a little tired. The initial section of the north end of the Peralta trail can be a bit discouraging, as you end up taking a switchback or two that actually head north (away from) your destination.

Our pace slowed as the temps rose during our traverse along the west side of the Needle. The views were great and kept our spirits up.

I was surprised at how gradual the ascent was generally on the way up to Fremont Saddle. Just before the saddle, we got sidetracked on one of the use paths and ended up unintentionally exploring the hoodoos west of the saddle. It was just a small detour and was a neat area anyway.

To this point, we had only passed one other hiker on the entire trail, and Fremont Saddle was deserted when we arrived, so the solitude factor was good. As expected, we passed a few more folks on our way back down Peralta Canyon, but still not too many people out braving the 100+ temps at that time of day.

We were happy to make it back to the trailhead, as I had finished off the last of my water with about 1.5 miles to go . . .

A good hike in the Supes, but surely one that is more enjoyable in the winter ;)
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