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Garden Valley Black Mesa Loop, AZ
mini location map2016-11-27
26 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Garden Valley Black Mesa Loop, AZ 
Garden Valley Black Mesa Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 27 2016
rayhuston
Hiking13.75 Miles 1,962 AEG
Hiking13.75 Miles   6 Hrs   1 Min   2.43 mph
1,962 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 
1st trip
With various holiday commitments, I wasn't planning to hike this weekend but I got a break when my wife and her girlfriends started talking about estate sales while we were out for breakfast on Sunday. I finished off my chilaquiles and eggs breakfast at the Gecko Grill in Gilbert and raced home to get my gear while the ladies set off to go estate-sailing.

With nothing in mind, I decided on something from First Water. I just wanted to get rid of some of the added stuffing from turkey day, so I needed some miles. Hackberry Spring came to mind, then the Garden Valley loop. I can add Black Mesa and that creek that runs from Yellow Peak to Boulder Canyon, then return on the 2nd Water trail. Maybe throw in Battleship for dessert.

With a hike in mind now, I parked at First Water and set off. I didn't get started until 11am so I was surprised to find plenty of parking. Maybe others had commitments, too. I set off under a cool sun with partly cloudy skies. A cool breeze had me thinking about another layer, but it wasn't needed once I got started.

I saw a few people along the route to Hackberry Spring, which was running about a quart/minute. I saw a few more at Garden Valley, but that was it until I was about a mile from the end. The creeks are bone dry, the saguaros look a bit thin and parched. I hope today's rain helped some.

When I reached boulder canyon, I still felt good, so I headed south towards Battleship and climbed up to the stern. Strong winds, the promise of rain later and dwindling daylight made me pause. I didn't have time to finish, not during daylight anyway, and I might get wet, so I turned around and headed back. I finished most of what I wanted to do and I burned some calories. That was good enough.

Nice hike on a cool and quiet day in the Superstitions.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hackberry Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
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