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La Barge - Battleship Saddle Loop
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mini location map2018-02-11
13 by photographer avatarKBKB
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La Barge - Battleship Saddle LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2018
KBKB
Hiking12.28 Miles 2,838 AEG
Hiking12.28 Miles   7 Hrs   49 Mns   1.68 mph
2,838 ft AEG      30 Mns Break28 LBS Pack
 no routes
Partners none no partners
On Sunday, I did a solo hike of much of the La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop.

Starting from the Canyon Lake Marina, I went out on the Boulder Canyon Trail, and then turned south into La Barge Creek. I followed the creek to where the canyon walls narrow and significant scrambling would become necessary. (This is the place where Fritzki recommend that most turn around in his description of the La Barge Lower - Box Loop.

I then went and (much to my surprise) easily found the gap in vegetation for the start up to Battleship Saddle. It was a short ways past a fire ring and was marked with at least two cairns. I thought that the section up to the saddle would involve loose terrain and bushwhacking, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a well defined trail with frequent cairns. This section was far easier than I expected.

Upon reaching the saddle, I decided to do the (rest of the) approach to Battleship Mountain. When I got to the class 3 section, I chatted with another group who was going to the top. I resisted the temptation to do the summit, saving it for another day.

I then descended into Boulder Creek. Again, the trail was in good shape, better than I expected. There was a slightly steep section near the creek, but the rock is solid with good holds. When I had last hiked this section of Boulder Creek - which might have been in 2011 - route finding was more of a challenge. This time I found it much easier to navigate, but this might be due to lack of recent significant precipitation.

So far, aside from my side trip to look at the opening moves for an ascent of Battleship Mountain, I did the La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop almost exactly. I deviated from the route for this hike by instead returning on the Boulder Canyon Trail - the La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop instead routes the hiker down (north in) Boulder Creek. My alternate route was longer with more elevation gain, but I figured that it'd be quicker and easier on my ankles than negotiating the myriad boulders in the creek.

On my way back, I met Matt and Daniel, who had also been hiking in La Barge Creek. We hiked back to the Marina together.

The morning started out cool and windy. It was so windy that I thought I might lose my Tilley LTM2 "King of Brims" hat. Despite attaching both the chin and back-of-head strap, I held onto my hat anyway during some especially gusty sections. As the day went on, it warmed up and the wind died down significantly.

I brought along 6 liters of water and drank a little over 3 liters. There was occasional water in La Barge Creek, so filtering water would have been an option.
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