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Superstition Ridgeline
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mini location map2002-09-27
17 by photographer avatararizonaheat
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Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 27 2002
Hiking9.50 Miles 2,820 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles
2,820 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners

There are already some great descriptions of this trip so I will skip that. I will say the road going into Carney Springs took a heavy hit during the monsoons, pickups can make it in fine but I sure wouldn't try driving any passenger car of mine in there. My Ford Ranger did fine.

I took my GPS with me and took around 30 waypoints to plug into my TOPO software just to see how they overlay with existing route maps. According to Carlson's book, Hiker's Guide to the Superstition Wilderness, there is 3980 feet of elevation gain. According to my GPS I did 3491 feet and I did go as high as I could on Superstition Mountain, which is the highest point in the Superstitions, 5057 feet.

Don't go on this hike thinking you are going to make good time because your not. The trail offers up very little opportunity to open it up to full stride. There is a plethora of various plants with stickers and sharp edges encroaching on the trail and it takes time and caution when you are bare legged. Loose rocks and other obstacles are also plentiful.

My personal opinion is that the assent to the Ridgeline from Carney Springs is less strenuous than going up Siphon Draw to Flatiron. Others have a different opinion. The views going up this side are unbelievable, in my opinion unbeatable, giving a fantastic overview of the area and surrounding area. It was really fun watching Weavers Needle barely appear then as you gain elevation reveal more and more of itself, until there it is in all its glory.

I stayed on the Ridge itself as much as possible, although the trail does not do this. This took lots of time and I got into a few situations I could have done without , especially since I was alone. Spent time poking around the guts of Superstition Mountain, didn't find Senner's gold stash this go around though.

Debated back and forth with myself as to if I should go the whole distance or not, but since I didn't have a car shuttle at Lost Dutchman I decided against it. Plotted the last waypoint I took, on my Topo software and as near as I can calculate it looks as if I was about to the half way point on the Ridgeline.

On the return trip I followed the well traveled trail instead of creating my own and knocked 2 hours off my time. Note: By well traveled I don't mean it is an obvious trail at all times. There is definitely route finding involved and you will more than likely find yourself getting miss placed more than once. You do have to pay close attention to where you are going. It would be hard to actually get lost, but one could easily find themselves in a bush whacking situation which would shred you to pieces.

One other observation. I use trekking poles when I hike and I found them to be a real asset on this hike not only to help climb and save the knees on the descent , but to move all the brush and debris that was encroaching on the trail. They are also great for warning snakes you are coming.

Drank 6.5 liters of water

I will post a few pics.

Arizonaheat :sweat:
HAZ Member
24 Photosets

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90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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