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Marsh Valley Loop
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mini location map2016-02-16
48 by photographer avatarStavman
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Marsh Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 16 2016
Backpack16.25 Miles 2,330 AEG
Backpack16.25 Miles3 Days         
2,330 ft AEG28 LBS Pack
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well my 1st trip Log... Hope ya Like it

Day 1
Started at First Water TH at 6:45am on Tuesday... and headed out counter clockwise. Thanks to ALMAL I knew there was plenty of water so dint bring a lot...
Trail was so nice compared to the Charlebois Loop I did in Jan... that was a ruff trail… sooooo wasn’t ready for Cardiac Hill….lol
Did Find Lots of water will Update the water reports today.. .7miles in and 1.11 miles in ta start with...Took my 1st break at 2.63 miles in. This was after I did a nice re-trace of my steps for .2mile to find my missing glove, which, was never missing... Kids I tell ya.
Was a nice easy hike till I got about 4.5mi in.. This was my 1st mistake, well 2nd after thinking I dropped my glove. I decided to take the Bull Pass trail over the Black Mesa trail.. oh geese… that was a mistake. Was a shale ridden straight up, straight down… Bet the Black Mesa woulda been easier, well live and learn I guess.
When I got to The Intersection of Bull pass and Dutchman trails… I couldn’t believe the water there.. but.. couldn’t find a campsite with shade.. so I decided to continue Up the Calvary Trial to where I thought More Campsites would be. At about 8mi in I found a Great spot. Lots of water, a small Pond I called Lake Marsh, great campsite with some decent shade.. so This is where I stayed.
I was a bit spent… was about 11am and was getting hot, over 70deg already. So I went to my lake and got me some water. Ended up drinking about 3L over the next hour, ate some trail food/lunch and chilled out for a bit.
I started listening to my Audio Book, Sword of Shannara. Was a Great Time killer and made the time pass a bit faster. After some nice wading in the lake, cleaning up, and staying Cool , I started my Gourmet diner at about 4pm. Todays menu was Jambalaya with Crab, Beef, and Veggies, including Serrano peppers. I had a Horse devour of Sesame Breadsticks while I waited for my Order to be completed . Man was it soooo Good… Trail food dosent need to be garbage if ya just spend a few hours dehydrating some great food to add to meals.
Sun was down now, so after diner, I cleaned up, set up my tent.. and by 6pm was layin down listening to my Book.
The day was a descriptive reason why people die in the Desert. Was as Hot as 85deg… and as was below 35deg at night…. Yup.. that’s the Arizona Desert for ya
So far 3 things I learned
1. Bring Camp shoes… help those feet feel nice
2. Bring a ground cloth. Was sucking moister outa the sand so used my emergency poncho on Night 2, helped a lot. Never got really Cold.. My bag worked great.. but ya shoulda seen the moisture inder my bag, under the ground cloth after Night #2..
3. Bring my Rain fly when its gunna be 35deg at night. Should keep more heat in the tent so maybe can sleep with my head outside my sleeping bag…lol. Im 6’2” so am scrunched when my head is insde my bag.. NOTE to self… Look for a larger bag
Day 2
Woke up at 630am. Slept pretty good… woke about every 2hours but rested pretty well. Started some water for Coffee…. Mmmmm… Coffee… started a small fire, man was it cold, 35deg at 7am
Wasn’t ready for Breakfast.. so packed up, doused the fire, said goodbye to Lake Marsh… and was on my way at 745am
Was a nice easy Hike…. Around the Boulder Canyon Trail Intersection, oh ya the last decent was kinda brutal, wouldn’t be fun going Up that. So at the intersection I met a nice young Couple who had Gotten Engaged the Night before.. so I was the 1st to know.. ooo wasn’t supposed ta say that… shhh don’t tell anyone…lol.. was Lots of water right there and found a couple Really nice campsites. So chatted a bit and was on my way. Trail crosses the creek a lot for about 1/2mi but easy ta navigate
Landed at the Boulder Canyon/Second water intersection at about 10am. The night before I debated about just heading out.. but it was already almost 70deg… and decided ta just chill out here for the day and night. Found a real Nice Campsite and some decent Shade. Lots of fire rings but most are wide open to the sun.
So grabbed a good spot and headed down to the water ta cool off, wade a bit, and get water. Lots of Big puddles, a light flow but some good movement for some decent clean puddles.
After a nice cool down, and a nice cold drink, I decided Brunch was in Order. On the Menu was my Scrambled eggs and Polenta with Ham, Black Beans, and Spicy chilli… for some Great Burritos. Man they got my order to perfection. With the Torts it made such a great meal… Dang Im a good cook.. so I sent my appreciation to the Chef again.
Ok this is where my OCD and lack of patience sets in.. Couldn’t Nap, just something I cant do, hit the creek about every 1/2hr ta chill and cool off, listened to my Book…. Rinse and repeat for 5hrs…LOl
So I kinda miss judged the suns path.. about 330pm I realized I wont loose it till after 5pm. No Biggy, relocated my little camp about 15’ North where some shade was growing.. and at 5pm started my Diner. The Chef had prepared another epic meal, Taco Mac and Cheese with Beef, Black Beans, Shrooms, veggies and some real nice KICK of spice…and the Sesame Bread sticks as my appetizer.
After my great meal.. the sun had gone behind the Hills finaly and I started to prep for Beddy by time.
Slept really well even with the SPOTLIGHT that was the moon.. some weird sounds, like a Frog, man they where talking for hours.. wonder what it was… did a search sounds maybe like a Desert Toad.. dint really sound like a Coati… so not really sure
Back into the tent about 615pm… and Finished my Book at about 730pm.. and passed out

Day 3
Another short hike today. Up at 630am.. no Coffee… packed up, cleaned up.. and on the trail at 7:15.
Was a busy Trail, I ran into 2 groups of about 10, and a few smaller groups, probably 35 people total, Parking lot was packed. This stretch was a lot easier than I figured. I wanna thank ALMAL again cuz he suggested a counter clockwise Trip, and I fully agree. With the Black Mesa Trail and the Full Boulder Canyon Trail you could have some shorter trips or just change up this one.
Landed at the TH about 945am ish.. stopped on the trail and chatted with many asking about my 3day trip.

Really did like this Loop. Oh ya, I swear I had a follower the entire trip. Saw a awesome Red Cardinal every day in the AM as I hiked.. we would talk for a few, then both go about our bisiness. He was the most exciting thing I saw… but the tweety birds and humming birds sure seemed to like me, and I loved the company

Thanks for reading all… Gunna try and upload Pics and a Rout as well

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