|AZT: Superior to Roosevelt, AZ|
|AZT: Superior to Roosevelt, AZ|| |
AZT: Superior to Roosevelt, AZ
|Backpack||47.41 Miles||3 Days |
|9,115 ft AEG|
|This was a trip I have been waiting a long time for. A traversal from the valley, through the Superstitions, and out the other side.
The group consisted of me, my usual hiking partner (Bradley), 2 other cousins (Blake and Braden), and a friend (Buster).
We left Thursday night around 7pm and hiked in about 5.5 miles to get away from the 60 and to get a head start on the big climb up Montana Mountain the next day before the heat really kicked in. We set up camp near Whitford Canyon, where there was a light flow of water down the drainage.
We decided before going to bed that tomorrow the goal would be to make it to Reavis Ranch.
After a warm night, we woke up around 6:30, ate a quick breakfast, broke camp, and were off on the trail around 7:15 AM.
Back on the AZT!
We made good time through the canyon, enjoying the moderately dense wild flowers along the trail. Before starting the climb up Montana, we took a short break and filtered some water from near the Reavis Canyon TH.
The easy going trail didn't last for long. As I approached Montana Mountain, the climb didn't look too intimidating, but once I got a few miles in it started to feel a little endless. I haven't had a climb kick my butt like that in a long time. For the last mile of the climb I was stopping every 1/10th of a mile to catch my breath.
I topped out and sat under some shade where Bradley and Buster had been waiting. After resting for a few minutes, I got some serious cramps in my legs and I locked up for about 5-10 minutes. I don't think I've ever cramped up that bad before. After I wasn't in agony and could move again, I popped an electrolyte pill and ate some lunch.
Eventually Braden topped out, and joined us in the shade for lunch. He said him and Blake had seen a rattler near the bottom of the climb. Buster was out of water, so he took off to Rogers Trough to see if he could find some water in the drainage by the TH.
After a good while, we began to worry about Blake. By now it was getting really hot. Bradley decided to head back down to look for Blake, while me and Braden sat around in the shade, taking turns cramping up. Eventually, Bradley and Blake topped out.
After Blake took a short break, we all put on our packs and headed for Rogers Trough. The views along the forest road to the TH were pretty cool. Large sweeping views of the Western Supes and Queen Valley below.
Once we reached Rogers Trough TH, we filled up on water at the pools right next to the TH. We saw in the register that Buster had already headed for Reavis Ranch. Blake wanted to take a longer break here, so Braden stayed behind with him. I took another electrolyte pill for the upcoming climb up Reavis Pass, and then me and Bradley took off down Reavis Trail.
Lots of pools exist along the trail as you descend into Rogers Canyon.
I felt great on the climb up Reavis Pass except for the last couple hundred feet where I began to lock up again. After topping out we enjoyed the smooth sailing into the ranch. Me and Bradley hit Reavis Ranch just at sundown, around 6:30. Braden and Blake came in not too long after.
It was pretty cool starting out in saguaros at the beginning of the day, then ending in ponderosa pines. I think this was the largest amount of AEG I've ever done in one day with a fully loaded backpack. It ended up being ~4,300ft of AEG for the day. Everyone was a little beat up in one way or another but still in good spirits. With only ~22 miles left, we had set ourselves up for a couple of easier days to finish up the trip. We enjoyed a fire, ate some dinner, and rested up for the next day.
We slept in on the 2nd day, deciding the night before that we would only go ~14 miles to Cottonwood Spring. By the time we were packed up and off on the trail, it was around 10:00 AM.
I was excited to see the far eastern side of the Superstitions. It was a virgin location for me.
I started the day with my IT band giving me issues, but after slowing down a little and popping some Tylenol at Pine Creek, the pain didn't progress and I felt pretty strong for the rest of the day. Me and Bradley were making the all the climbs without stopping. When we topped out, we would wait for everybody else to catch up, which helped give me the downtime I need to keep my IT band situation from getting worse.
The views on the ridge walk along Two Bar were AWESOME. It ended up being my favorite part of the trip. Beautiful views of Four Peaks, Apache Lake, Roosevelt Lake, and the the STEEP drops on the backsides of the Supes.
We reached Cottonwood Spring and found a crammed spot to lay our tarps out and set up camp. Just before going to bed, we discovered a family of rats (about 3 of them) in the dense leaves and dead branches nearby.
The final day we woke up around 7:30 AM and were off on the trail by 8:30 AM. I felt pretty drained of energy from all the climbing we had done over the past 2 days, and that feeling persisted til just about the very end of the day. Thankfully the day was an easy one, with only ~7.5 miles and maybe 1000 ft of climbing left.
The trail continued to follow the rocky Cottonwood Creek before eventually merging onto a rocky forest service road. Just before hitting the Vineyard TH, the trail makes you climb up and around three topographical "fingers."
After everybody reached the TH, we headed to Globe/Miami for some victory Mexican Food.
This was definitely some of the hardest AZT miles I've put in far, but also some of the most scenic.
||Wildflowers Observation Light
Light to moderate at the lower elevations, isolated to none at the higher elevations.
||Quart per minute
||Quart per minute
|a little "oily" on top, but not particularly bad tasting|