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Marsh Valley Loop
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mini location map2019-03-03
25 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Marsh Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 03 2019
rayhuston
Hiking16.40 Miles 1,840 AEG
Hiking16.40 Miles   7 Hrs   13 Mns   2.44 mph
1,840 ft AEG      29 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
I expected to see a lot of water on this route today and I was not disappointed. I don't know how many times my feet were soaked during a creek crossing, but it seemed like a couple of dozen. Not a dry creek anywhere. While I have hiked all of these trails before, this is the first time I've hiked this loop.

I hiked this route in a clockwise direction mainly because I didn't want to finish on Second Water. I set out on a nice easy pace, hoping to enjoy the day without setting a time limit. At the first creek crossing, I was rewarded with a nice flow in First Water creek. I knew then that this was going to a good day.

Within the first mile I ran into a couple of guys, Nathaniel and Gage, that I first met while on the way to 5057 a couple of months ago. They were on their way to Battleship Mountain today, so we hiked together until their turnoff to the saddle. Nice guys. We exchanged contact info this time around and plan to hike together soon.

When we reached Boulder Canyon, we all stood in awe at the amount of water in the creek. Nathaniel and I plowed into the water; I knew I was going to get wet soon, so why not now. Gage looked for (and found) a way to rock hop across. He got lucky again the second crossing but that was it. The creek widened, the water got deeper, time to get wet!

We said our goodbyes at their turnoff. I proceeded to the Cavalry trail. While I hiked a portion of this trail once before, starting from La Barge Box before picking up Cavalry in La Barge Canyon, it was not a good day and my recollection is fuzzy. With total clarity today, I found this trail most enjoyable, especially when I dropped down into Marsh Valley with Malapais Mountain looming large to the east.

I stopped for lunch when I reached water again at La Barge canyon. Took my shoes off to let my feet dry in the sunshine while I ate and admired the surroundings.

After lunch, it was on to Dutchman and time to close the loop. The rocky grotto just before the Terrapin was full of water and gushing. Beautiful. At the high point before dropping down the Peralta trail, I ran into a couple of horsemen with six horses, out for a workout. The horses had a nice lather around their flanks. They were definitely getting a workout.

The surprise of the day, for me anyway, was water at Dutchman/Boulder crossing. I've never seen it there. With seven creek crossings remaining on Dutchman as it crisscrosses First Water creek, I took that last opportunity to frolic in the water. Might as well; you never know when you'll see that much water in the creek.

Today was a sensational day in the wilderness.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boulder Creek - Superstition WA Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boulder Creek at #103 / #236 Jct Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max East Boulder - Weavers Viewpoint Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max First Water Creek - Upper Turnoff Light flow Light flow


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max West Boulder - Dutchman Crossing Light flow Light flow
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