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Barks Upper Canyon Loop, AZ
mini location map2015-10-10
42 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Barks Upper Canyon Loop, AZ 
Barks Upper Canyon Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2015
rayhuston
Hiking6.74 Miles 1,899 AEG
Hiking6.74 Miles   4 Hrs   31 Mns   1.86 mph
1,899 ft AEG      54 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This is one of my favorite hikes. It's been a few years since I first hiked this loop, so I thought I would give it a go as my first hike in the Supes since spring. I had hoped to add Barks lower canyon to this hike, but my wife said she wanted to go out for lunch, so I decided to keep it to just the upper portion.

I left home a few minutes before 6am and headed east on Hwy 60. A swath of orange clouds curved invitingly towards the Superstition Mountains, like a colorful road in the sky. I turned the radio on to 95.5 just in time for the start of Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride. The visual of the early morning clouds and the beat of magic carpet ride lifted my spirits; this was going to be a good day!

I left the Peralta TH at about 6:45. A little over a mile into the hike, I decided to follow a use trail SE up a small hill to see what was up there. I thought there might be some nice views. There were. I snapped a few pictures from the hill, then continued along the Bluff Springs trail. As much as I've been on this trail, it never seems to get old. When I reached the Barks turnoff, I was tempted to continue on for a ways, but I decided to stick with the plan.

The Barks Upper Canyon trail as noted in Fritzski's description is now a well defined route. Cairns mark the route throughout the hike. I had no trouble following it. The trail is also in excellent shape. I wore shorts and a T and made it through this section without a scratch. Fritzski called it Alice in Hoodoo Land, an apt description. The rock formations are amazing, the canyons are amazing and the views are amazing. The first time through I couldn't stop taking pictures. This time wasn't much different.

After ascending from the Canyon, I took the trail north to the Weaver's Needle overlook and had a short break to admire the views and have a snack. While there, a couple of gals hiked up. We chatted briefly, I took their pictures with Weaver's in the background and then decided to move on. The cave trail was my return route. Right on queue, they asked if I knew where the cave trail was. One of the gals (Cara) met Wally on his Charlebois loop last weekend. Wally recommended checking out HAZ, which she did and which is where she got the idea for this hike. I told them I was headed that way and offered to show them the way.

I later regretted that decision. Cara's friend Becky twisted an ankle just below Devil's Slide and later banged a knee on a rock near the Fortress. The two injuries made for a painful last mile plus for Becky. I felt badly about taking them along. Hopefully the sprain and bruise are minor and she'll be back on the trail in no time. We parted ways at the trailhead. They were both smiling and thankful for the guided tour of the cave trail.

Aside from the injuries to Becky, this was indeed a good day. Barks Upper Canyon was well worth the trip and Cara and Becky were good company. It was a tad warm on the trip down Cardiac Hill, but very nice otherwise.
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