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Marsh Valley Loop, AZ
mini location map2018-01-12
19 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Marsh Valley Loop, AZ 
Marsh Valley Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2018
Hiking16.50 Miles 2,130 AEG
Hiking16.50 Miles   8 Hrs   18 Mns   2.61 mph
2,130 ft AEG   1 Hour   59 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
On my second day I decided to do a modified Marsh Valley Loop hike. Instead of going around Black Top Mesa I would go across Bull Pass. Once over Bull Pass and on the Dutchman Trail I would do a short Jaunt to the Peralta Trail Junction and then head back along the Dutchman Trail to complete the loop. I choose this for a couple reasons, I had not completed the Bull Pass Trail and I would do the Dutchman Trail north of Black Top Mesa on another hike but needed to do the Dutchman to Peralta on this hike. There is method to my madness (or so I'm told).
Another Beautiful day for hiking in Arizona. Started this hike out at 0730 at the First Water Trail head and went clock wise on the Second Water, Boulder, Cavalry, Bull Pass and Dutchman Trail. Fairly easy walking with an easy start on the Second Water. The trail was damp but not muddy from the rain a few days prior. The second water had some maintenance done on it as you enter Boulder Canyon. Meet one of the trail crew early on in this hike, he was headed back into town for more food supplies. He was one of about a dozen working currently on the Cavalry Trail. They were camped near the Second Water Boulder Trail junction. These were the only people I ran into until I got to the Dutchman Trail. Boulder Canyon was fairly easy walking other than the thousands of opportunities to twist an ankle on one of the many crossings of boulder creek. The trail is easy to follow and marked with cairns at the creek crossings. Not a lot of good views of Battleship Mountain, mainly because you are right under it. The Cavalry trail is marked and heads out of Boulder Canyon and eventually ends up in La Barge canyon. The trail crew was working on the trail at the crest of this trail. Once in La Barge Canyon the views of the massive walls of La Barge are every where. The trail is easy to follow and walk with the exception of a few rocky creek crossings. The Cavalry and Bull Pass Trails offer the only real uphill hiking and a workout on this loop but they are short in duration, maybe a 500 foot climb each. From Bull Pass it is a fairly nice but long walk down the Dutchman Trail to the Trail Head.
I liked this hike it has a bit of length, a few sections of uphill that will get your heart rate up and views galore. There was no running water along any of the trails but plenty of pooled water from the prior rains. Other than the maintenance crew only ran into one hiker and that was near the Peralta Dutchman Trail junction. Near the Trail head I saw a few hikers doing various shorter hikes.
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