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Bluff Spring Mountain Summit
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mini location map2016-01-12
12 by photographer avatarThe_Dude
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Bluff Spring Mountain SummitPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2016
Hiking8.56 Miles 2,599 AEG
Hiking8.56 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   2.36 mph
2,599 ft AEG      27 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Ah, first dodgy moment of 2016 hiking. I finished up my work day in Tucson and headed home the back way by the Pioneer Parkway to get me to the Supes. I had planned on doing the Flatiron, but this one has been on the wish list for a while and won out. Peralta road is definitely worse for wear than when I was out here last month, the rain has put some good ruts and washout spots. Still nothing crazy, I managed to get the trusty Quest van back there but I actually had to use my brakes quite a few times... I pulled in to the Peralta lot a bit after 3 to the greeting of about 30 cars. Carney was full too, everybody must be out with the weather so nice. I had downloaded the official track on Route Scout (still working great on my Motorola Droid) and off I went. The wash right by the trailhead was running as full as I have seen it out here, certainly no surprise after last week. I think it is safe to say if there are any water availability questions in the western Superstitions, the answer is yes. All of the drainages were flowing along the way, and there were numerous wet creek crossings the whole way. By the time I got to the intersection with the Terrapin trail I was starting to have my doubts about the 5.5 miles roundtrip reported by the official track, it was at this point I realized the discrepancy. The official track has the lasso and the loop, but not the return I actually had an extra 3 miles to hike that I had not accounted for. We should probably make sure that the official track gets updated, this could lead to some real mayhem for some hikers if they are unprepared for contingencies. Not to be deterred, I continued on the Bluff Springs trail to the takeoff point for bushwhacking. The trip up was not too bad at all, I only had a few minor blood donations thanks to a Mammilaria and a Catclaw. The rock wall section was fun, a couple of good climb/ scrambles but no real exposure. Once up on the shelf I headed to the northern high spot, and then I headed west for the summit. I signed in to the register, not too many folks climbing this one for sure. I think I counted a total of 9 entries from last year, but I was the second already from this year. Very brief stop up top since I was now under the gun for time. About 200 feet down from the peak the sun went behind the ridge and that was the last I saw of it. I was trying like hell to make it down the western downclimb while light was still good since I had never been down this way before, but things went pretty well. I picked a drainage and worked my way down, surprised to see a good bit of ice on the northern slope where some of the water had frozen. I made it down to the Terrapin trail and tried to make tracks back to the van. I held out until about 6:30 before I got the headlamp out, by this point it was just about pitch black with only a sliver of the moon out. Few things say fun quite like night time wet creek crossings, but I managed to find my way back while only getting my boots a little damp. The Terrapin trail has running water on a very good portion of it, only a few inches here and there but enough to make things sloppy. Made it back to the TH about 7:15 to see my van and only one other car still here. Long drive home but well worth it, another fun adventure in the Supes.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Barks Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Peralta Creek at #102 Crossing Heavy flow Heavy flow
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