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Second Water-Black Mesa-Boulder Canyon Loop, AZ
mini location map2015-01-17
16 by photographer avatarOdinWiski
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Second Water-Black Mesa-Boulder Canyon Loop, AZ 
Second Water-Black Mesa-Boulder Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2015
OdinWiski
Hiking10.00 Miles
Hiking10.00 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.54 mph
 no routes
1st trip
I had been having a nasty cold and low fever for over a week and was debating whether to do this hike when Saturday came. I convinced myself that I would do the hike in hope to kick my cold and sweat my fever out. But I had a late start and ran out of day light as you can see in the video. It was a pretty typical Supes hike.

I had to park at the overflow lot because the First Water TH parking lot was full. I walked the dirt road back to the First Water TH and started my hike there. Soon after the short descent when I got to the junction with Dutchman, the several groups that were a little bit behind me all turned onto Dutchman. So I had Second Water all to myself pretty much. Ran into a couple who were doing the same loop with overnight packs on - they were training for an upcoming overnighter (I forgot where) but were prepared to spend the night on this hike if needed. I'm sure they ended up doing that. Glad they were prepared :)

After Garden Valley, at the junction of Second Water and Black Mesa, I took Black Mesa for the counterclockwise loop. When I got to the top of Black Mesa, I took a little break admiring all the big cholla and the "Big Thumb" Weaver's Needle in the distance. Going down Black Mesa toward Boulder Canyon, I ran into some hikers going the other direction.

Once at the next junction, I had the option to take Dutchman back or Boulder Canyon. I stuck to my plan and took Boulder Canyon. Other trip reports mentioned route finding in this leg and it was true. You kind of have to keep your eyes out for the cairns when the trail crosses the river bed over and over. Some sections of the trail on the banks were kind of overgrown and some bushwhacking was required. But like going through any canyons, if you lose the trail, just aim for the opening of the canyon and boulder hop for a while and you'll likely find the trail again when it crosses the river bed. It was definitely slow going in the canyon compared to the other legs of the loop.

Boulder Canyon eventually hit Second Water. The junction sign was not easily visible because it was on the other side of the river bed up a little knoll. I took Second Water and climbed back up. It got dark before I got to the junction with Black Mesa. Since I always bring a headlamp and a flashlight with me even on day hikes, it wasn't a big deal, especially when there were no technical sections involved. I hiked with my headlamp through Garden Valley back up to First Water. It was nice to enjoy the dead quiet and the stars :)

When I got home, for the first time in over a week being sick, I felt the chills and later at night was able to sweat profusely. The fever broke the next morning and I felt almost completely normal the entire Sunday and Monday morning, until I started driving to work on Monday morning. The cold came back again with the low fever - it must be work! :-p It would take a bit over another week for me to completely get well. You can hear my congestion in the video of the Robbers Roost I did the following Saturday :)
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