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Barks Upper Canyon Loop
27 Photosets

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mini location map2015-11-07
23 by photographer avataradilling
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Barks Upper Canyon LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 07 2015
adilling
Hiking6.36 Miles 1,836 AEG
Hiking6.36 Miles   4 Hrs   42 Mns   1.51 mph
1,836 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After climbing up and down Peralta Trail for 15+ years, I decided I needed a fresh new route to get up to the Weavers Needle area. After searching for hikes in HAZ, I came across Upper Barks Canyon. I think I have a new route to get up to the Lone Pine Overlook!

Started out from Peralta Trail in the dark (as usual). I knew looking at the weather the parking lot would be packed by 7-8am. Even though we arrived before 6am, there were still 5 or 6 cars already there. My son and I headed out up Bluff Springs trail. We saw the "turn off" for the Cave Trail after we got up the first hill. Bluff Springs is a nice clear path, but once we made the turn off to Barks Canyon, the "nice clear path" kinda disappeared.

This was my first time in Barks Canyon and I was blown away by the scenery. So many hoodoos and formations. Balancing rocks, spires, cliffs....it's awesome. The trail was steep in some areas, but not as bad I as expected. The first view of Weavers Needle was amazing, the canyon was still in the shadows, but the needle was glowing bright in the morning sun.

After reading triplogs from other hikers, I did not know what to expect. I had the gps loaded, but we tried to rely on our eyes to see the path and the cairns. For the most part, that worked. I believe this path has been more frequently traveled than before. There were only a few spots where we had trouble figuring out which direction to head out.

A few twists and turns and lots of scrambling got us up to the ridge and we walked up to the Lone Pine. This is perhaps my favorite place in the Superstitions. We stayed for a while, signed in and then started heading back down via the Cave Trail.

This was my first time on the Cave Trail as well. This path was easy to follow for the most part. The path is worn and their are many markers showing the way. The trip down is different experience than Peralta Trail, that is for sure. More slick rock and scrambling and more up and down than the straight shot down Peralta offers.

We saw no hikers in Barks Canyon or at Lone Pine. We could hear many voices from Fremont Saddle and saw the crowds moving up and down like ants along the Peralta Trail from the ridge on Cave Trail. We did run across a few groups of hikers going up the Cave Trail after we passed the "cairn factory". Otherwise, it was a very pleasant change from the crowded trail below.

This area is extremely scenic and I look forward to trying other paths along the Bluff Springs Trail. I am kicking myself for not trying this sooner (like 10 years ago sooner).
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
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