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Hidden Valley Loop - Superstitions
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mini location map2017-01-28
20 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
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Hidden Valley Loop - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 28 2017
jacobemerick
Hiking15.60 Miles 4,760 AEG
Hiking15.60 Miles   12 Hrs      1.56 mph
4,760 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Spoiler: this is probably the best day hike in the Supes I've been on. Period.

Started early (5AM) from Peralta. A dozen cars already in parking lot, must be a lot of campers out there this weekend. Cold breeze all morning long. Dodged ice, especially on Ely-Anderson. Ely-Anderson was a bit tough to navigate in the dark, but predawn light helped about halfway up. Barely made it to the summit before sunrise and shivered through some photos and quick peak log signing. Then it was down to the main attraction: Hidden Valley.

Dropped down the west canyon instead of heading out on 4041 in an effort to get out of that darn cold wind sooner. Found Al Reser's camp easy enough, couldn't find the chair though. Checked out the view from eastern side, thought briefly about following the eastern ridgeline for a bit and it looked a bit too hairy to tackle solo. Seems doable, just hairy. Backtracked instead and then went up to western side. Carlson/Stewart talked about walking below 3999, following the ridge northward, and this turned out to be totally easy. Plus I found an old horse path (with a horse shoe to prove that it was a horse path) to boot. Also found a few mining claims on this side, and maybe other mining stuffs. Maybe. On the north side of 3999 was an AMAZING viewpoint of down into Hidden Valley, plus Malapais/Four Peaks/Tortilla Peak/Music Mountain/etc. Hung out there for a long time drooling over the view. Then back to the descent to the NW edge of Bluff Springs, which ended up getting tougher near the end.

Original plan was to drop down either north exit or the northeast exit. Neither of these looked fun, so I dropped down west of the waterfall instead. It was stupid scary on the first time, especially with wet/icy rock face, and I don't think I'll do it again alone. Good angle of the falls, tho. Legs were shaky so it seemed like a good time to stop for lunch at the base of some of the falls. Salami and crackers taste so much better when you're getting misted by fresh water. Then it was time for a completely terrible bushwhack down the creek to Little Bull Pass and a straightforward, if exhausting, climb up Terrapin.

Only bumped into two hikers and a trail crew all day. Surprising, especially with the 6+ pages that were filled out at the trailhead sign-in. Got chatty with the hikers (one knew a lot about Magill) and burned a bit more daylight than expected.

Even though I barely hiked Hidden Valley proper, only following the creeks to Al Reser's camp, this area was utterly enchanting. Once you drop below 4041 it feels like a totally different world. Could definitely waste a good weekend/week just playing around on the surrounding peaks and hiking up and down along the creek. A return trip is already high on the list.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Barks Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Bluff Spring Mountain Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Bluff Spring Mountain Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
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