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Red Tanks Super Loop - Peralta TH
12 Photosets

2019-02-15  
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mini location map2019-01-01
29 by photographer avatarLindaAnn
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Red Tanks Super Loop - Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2019
LindaAnn
Hiking21.29 Miles 3,153 AEG
Hiking21.29 Miles   10 Hrs      2.19 mph
3,153 ft AEG      18 Mns Break
 
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Lots of snow, And when there wasn't snow, there was mud. I thought of bailing out early a couple of times, but I'm glad I stuck with the full loop.

I started from Peralta just after 7:30am. It had been raining while I was driving through Apache Junction & Gold Canyon, but nothing since then. Dark and gloomy at the trailhead, lots of low clouds, and just a few cars there. I headed up a very slick Bluff Springs trail, and within about 5-6 minutes of starting, it started to snow. And kept snowing. Two guys who started just ahead of me turned around at 1.5 miles. At about 2.5 miles, the snow started to stick, and small breaks in the clouds gave peeks of the winter wonderland on all the mountaintops. Bluff Springs trail is a little brushier in places than I remembered, maybe instead of the never-ending trail maintenance on Peralta they could branch out to some of the other trails.

At Dutchman, I considered heading back out and making a short loop, but I really didn't want my day to end that early, so I kept going. The tall grass on Dutchman soaked my pants legs within minutes, but the snowfall had ended for the day for me. I wore waterproof shoes, but they are so old, they were letting in water where the toes bend. Dutchman is almost always a bore for me, so I was glad that part went quickly. My pants dried within about 20 minutes as I kept walking. I saw one backpacker on his way out, he looked cold.

At the junction with Red Tanks, the sun was peeking out, so I found a flat rock and took off my shoes to let them & my socks dry out a little, and had a snack while I waited. After about 10 minutes, the socks were dry, so I kept hiking. The catclaw is growing back in on Red Tanks again. At the junction with Whiskey Springs trail, I once again considered making a shorter loop, but the sun was out and I could see snow beckoning up ahead, so once again, I continued with my original plan. I ran into another hiker at the top of Upper LaBarge--he was making the same loop as me, but in the opposite direction. He asked what the trail was like ahead for him, I said it was fine, that there was a little snow on Bluff Springs but that it was probably already melting off. He said that the snow was crazy further up on Red Tanks and that at times he couldn't see more than a foot or two in front of him. For a second, I considered turning around, but them some credibility was lost when he said there were wolf tracks everywhere.

Shortly after the Hoolie Bacon junction, I was on a snow covered trail. It was about an inch deep, and getting deeper as I climbed. The trail wasn't visible in a lot of places, and cairns were difficult to make out as everything was covered in snow. Luckily the hiker I had passed had done a good job of staying on trail and I was able to follow his footprints in conjunction with spotting cairns--this saved me a ton of time. Lots of animal prints in the snow, but I didn't see anything except for one rabbit. At the Divide, the snow was about 4" deep, and my socks were soaked again. The beautiful snow covered desert made up for any discomfort. I stopped to take pictures every few feet at times. The snow was melting quickly, and once over the Divide, it disappeared on the trail within about 0.5 miles. The trail is in crap condition though, poor footing and brushy.

Once at Coffee Flats, it felt like autumn again, as the trees were still hanging on to their golden leaves. It was a relief to be back on an easy trail again, and the walk along Coffee Flats seemed to go by quickly. Back at Dutchman, it was another boring few miles back to the trailhead. Temps were dropping quickly, and I was annoyed at the nonstop bicycle track in the mud of the trail. Finished up just a few minutes minutes after sunset to a parking lot full of yelling people. I'm sure Peralta trail was a mob scene all day. Great day in the Supes, and especially a treat to be out there in all that snow.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bark at Dutchman Crossing Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Barks Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Pools of water, light trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dripping Spring Dripping Dripping

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Fraser Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Red Tanks Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Trap Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Upper LaBarge Box Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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