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Barks Upper Canyon Loop
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mini location map2015-12-27
7 by photographer avatarDennisWilliams
photographer avatar
 
Barks Upper Canyon LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 27 2015
DennisWilliams
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,700 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs      2.05 mph
1,700 ft AEG      20 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another great day in the Superstitions. Distance and AEG are my estimates from the Weaver's Needle 7.5' topo.

My route is somewhat different from that described by Fritzski. I took the Bluff Springs trail up to the point where the trail curves northeast around the knoll above the Peralta rock, and then north where the trail follows Barks just another few hundred yards further. At this point I left the trail and ascended Barks Canyon all the way to it's extreme upper limit. I followed the bottom all the way. The canyon is a continuous string of pools and slick rock areas punctuated by dense brush and cats claw. Boulders. Beautiful rock faces. Pinnacles and hoodoos. Weaver's peeking up over the ridge. From there I popped over the low saddle to the west and dropped down into East Boulder Canyon, picking up the Peralta Trail right where the trail almost touches the creek bottom, maybe a short trail-mile north of Fremont Saddle. Then back to the trail-head.

I recommend allowing plenty of time for this short hike. I left the trail-head at 1230 and found myself pressed to move quickly through the upper canyon due to the uncertainty of the time required for the bushwhack and the slow going due to brush. Short December day and I did not want to get stuck up there after dark in an off-trail situation. It would be very easy to get turned around up in there. Long sleeves and pants are a must, and even so I acquired a hiker's stigmata that proved to be a single neat puncture wound when I got home. Must have run into the point of an agave though I have no recollection of it. Be ready for some scrambling if you go.

Lots of people on the Bluff Springs and Peralta but nobody up in Barks and only three or four possible cairns to indicate any sign of humanity. Nice to get some solitude in a spectacular setting so close to a popular trail-head.
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