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Paradise/Government Hill/Bull Basin, AZ
mini location map2016-11-02
38 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Paradise/Government Hill/Bull Basin, AZ 
Paradise/Government Hill/Bull Basin, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 02 2016
Hiking8.70 Miles 2,605 AEG
Hiking8.70 Miles   5 Hrs   40 Mns   1.61 mph
2,605 ft AEG      15 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Over five years ago when I hiked the Bull Basin Loop the Bull Basin part was so overgrown (and I mean TERRIBLE!) I never once felt Tracey would have any interest in it so I never brought it up.

But after reading FoTG's March triplog with a mention the trail was in good shape and Wally's Government Hill triplog, things were falling into place.

And so with Government Hill being on my list for some time and Tracey reminding me she had never hiked on this side of the Superstition Wilderness we figured it was time.

At Miles TH within an hour of sunrise it felt downright COLD... we could see our breath. Which meant we had a cool hike in Paradise up the Paradise Trail.

Funny... because when I told Tracey we were in paradise she didn't realize we actually were on the Paradise Trail. (She figured it out 3 hours later when I made a comment about the Paradise Trail)

Near the top end of the Paradise Trail we turned off at the cairn and headed up to the Government Hill ridge. With so many different trails or just as likely game trails we had to backtrack a number of times before reaching the ridge. But once on the ridge it was pretty obvious which route to take and in no time at all we were at the summit.

I took the usual photos and video, signed the summit log and we moved on. It was a bit steep heading down to the Bull Basin Trail but it was just a matter of scanning 25-30' ahead and choosing the best route. Eventually we were following well-beaten game trails and it was easy enough.

With all the deer tracks we'd seen by now we were wondering when they would appear. And that's just what happened... two deer appeared, and led us in just the right direction following the best path we'd seen all day (other than the actual Paradise Trail, which I might add was in great shape).

Just above the saddle marking the high-point of the Bull Basin Trail we stopped for lunch. Next we began the descent on Bull Basin Trail. I have to say, now THIS is a real trail!. Absolutely NOTHING like 5 years ago, when there were many times I would go 50-100 feet without knowing if I was on the trail or not.

So... compared to my experience 5 years ago, it was like paradise, which (as I mentioned above) is the point where Tracey realized we had not only felt like in paradise, we actually were ON the Paradise trail.

The only time we encountered other footprints all day was when we reached the West Pinto trail... and they were prints leading in the direction away from Miles TH. Back at Miles we saw their vehicle and checked for a HAZ decal but found none.

One last thought, not only was the Bull Basin Trail 100% better than 5 years ago, we raised no dust on the drive through the Pinto Mine complex... the road was oiled so thoroughly it was like pavement. (And of course the route through the mine has changed quite a bit as well... progress I guess.)

Although we didn't travel the southern part of Bull Basin Trail down to Haunted Canyon, I believe it would be prudent to add an update to Fritzski's 2001 Bull Basin Loop hike description... it's no longer hell.

Government Hill summit panorama
White Tailed Deer
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Government Hill
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