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Malapais Mountain - Superstitions
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mini location map2018-12-12
19 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
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Malapais Mountain - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 12 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking10.90 Miles 3,660 AEG
Hiking10.90 Miles   9 Hrs   43 Mns   1.66 mph
3,660 ft AEG   3 Hrs   10 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Having hiked to Geronimo Head a couple of months ago, Tracie and I decided to venture out to the bad country of Malapais Mountain -- and bad country is a good way to describe the top of Malapais!

We did an out-and-back hike starting from Tortilla Flat. For the first mile up to fragile arch saddle we followed a well-cairned trail that someone has created. This portion of the hike is fairly steep in places, so you'll get your heart rate up right off the bat. At the saddle we stopped to look at Fragile Arch. Then we continued over to the 2750 Saddle -- on this stretch we went on a use trail that was fairly easy to follow. From there we dove down into Geronimo's Ravine, and instead of going up to Geronimo Head or Peak 3509, we went to a saddle just north of Peak 3509. From there we mostly followed the "official" route up to Malapais. This route took what seems to be a good way up that is along a ravine that avoids the cliff bands on the west side of Malapais.

I thought that the ascent up was fine, but there was lots of dense desert vegetation on top of Malapais. Once I think that I was able to walk about 40 feet without encountering any vegetation, but for the most part every 5-10 feet we were encountering virtually every cactus known to man(with the exception of saguaros, which weren't on Malapais), cholla, catsclaw, jojoba, agave, and thorn/sticker bushes of every kind. This made the going a bit slower than it should have been.

I enjoyed the views on top of Malapais, especially the view of Battleship Mountain.

If you enjoy off-trail hiking and bushwhacking, Malapais is a good choice. I'd definitely recommend some good long pants for this one!


_____________________
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
HAZ Member
DixieFlyer's
291 Photosets

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