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Superstition Ridgeline
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mini location map2015-03-12
50 by photographer avatarddgrunning
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Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 12 2015
ddgrunning
Hiking11.90 Miles 4,947 AEG
Hiking11.90 Miles   9 Hrs   52 Mns   1.74 mph
4,947 ft AEG   3 Hrs   1 Min Break
 
1st trip
Well, I thought I'd make my 100th trip log a ridgeline adventure. I've been planning to do the Superstition Ridgeline for years, but couldn't ever seem to get the stars to align during the time of year that makes sense (i.e., before it gets too hot!). We've done Flatiron several times and Peak 5057 once, but never the whole enchilada.

I was nearly foiled again, but determined not to be denied this time!

My kids were out on spring break this week, and I decided to take Thursday off to make the attempt. Since this is a shuttle hike, we needed both of our cars, but on Wednesday night as I was coming home from work, my battery light came on. I stopped by O'Reilly's on the way home ... altnernator = dead. :x . Rather than throwing in the towel, I called up my Mom, who was leaving on a trip out of the country and borrowed her car!

So, with the car issue resolved, my wife and I, and three of our kids (15, 12, 11) set out at 6 a.m. to drop a car at the Carney Springs TH, then returned to the Mining Camp Restaurant for a west-to-east ridgeline attempt. We got underway just after 7:30 a.m.

The hike up to Flatiron was surprisingly busy for a weekday, even if it was spring break. That said, it wasn't the conga-line that it can become on a pleasant weekend. The climb was as cool and challenging as ever. Once we topped out on the saddle at the base of 5024 and began our westward trek, the solitude kicked in, and we did not see another soul until about 1/2 mile from our destination on the far side, where we passed a couple of other hikers making a quick, late afternoon ascent to the Boulder Canyon saddle, and a forest service ranger, doing a bit of trail maintenance.

The day was overcast, which made the temps very pleasant. The ups and downs of a ridgeline hike were great, and the views were beautiful.

Route-finding was fairly straightforward for the most part, though we did end up on a bit of a sucker path just west of high point 4669 (the sucker path led around the outer/northeast side of the point, rather than up and over the inner/southwest side). This sucker path is only a temptation for hikers going west to east. I'm sure you would eventually reconnect with the trail after rounding the prominence, but I didn't ever see any obvious evidence of a re-connection point.

Cairns run a bit rampant from this section over to 5057, especially as you make the ascent up to the point where you skirt around 5057. This makes it a bit difficult to figure out which path is the "best" to take. In the end, they all seemed to get back to the right place. There was a bit more scrambling (and elevation gain) in this section than our crew had mentally prepared for; yet, everyone was in good spirits as we reached 5057 and knew that it was by-and-large all downhill from here.

That said, going downhill on this hike is no picnic. While less aerobically challenging, there are many sections that are steep and require careful descending to avoid a fall (though no real exposure).

Everyone was happy to get to the "famous" "Carney T.H. 1.8 mi." sign, though the descent from there is practically a downhill slide!

We arrived at our car around 5:30 and celebrated our victory. But our adventure was not quite done... As we headed back down the Peralta Road, we blew out a tire, which gave me an opportunity to demonstrate my tire changing skills (first time, we've had to change a tire on our suburban in almost 10 years).

On the bright side, the sun hit the horizon as we finished our tire-changing job, and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

Headed back to the Mining Camp and picked up our second car and then headed for some grub at Arby's. Pulled in the driveway just after 8:00 pm. Everybody hit the showers, and I gave out free foot massages as we un-wound by watching Mr. Peabody and Sherman on Netflix.

Another great family adventure in the books!

P.S. Not sure why, but my gps track did not capture the elevation data (?) :-k Per Garmin Connect, our aeg was 4947, so I plugged that in manually.
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