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Chuparosa Canyon - Superstitions
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mini location map2019-03-31
13 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
photographer avatar
 
Chuparosa Canyon - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 31 2019
DarthStiller
Hiking4.30 Miles 1,376 AEG
Hiking4.30 Miles   4 Hrs   36 Mns   0.93 mph
1,376 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
When I last hiked the Hieroglyphic Trail with the family on New Years Eve, I noticed the trail that heads up into Chuparosa Canyon. Now that the daylight comes earlier, I decided to give it a try since it's so close to home.

A cairn marks the spot along the Lost Goldmine Trail where you start the trail into Chuparosa Canyon. It was a little hard to spot the cairn since the grass and vegetation are so overgrown and tall now from the rains. You have to crawl under the barbed wire fence, but it's a little higher in this spot since a lot of people seem to have done it by now. The trail was a little harder to follow since all the grass is high, but not too bad. I was more worried about snakes sitting on the ground underneath. It was the first time in several years I wished I had brought my snake gaiters.

The trails fades away in spots and then becomes easier to follow. Then it goes away completely as the terrain gets very steep and loose. I was following Andy's track from when he did this hike. I was about to give up but then found a way around some heavy brush. A couple spots I had already done some near vertical climbs and used my hands. My hiking poles were getting to be a hindrance between the steep terrain and heavy brush holding them back. I ran into another heavy brush area and decided that was it. On my way down, I noticed a way around it. But it was close to the edge with some exposure. Even the bare rock wasn't steady footing since little sheets of rock would sometimes flake off under my feet. I looked beyond the area that was clear but with exposure, and I was trying to see if anything past that looked easier. It didn't. It looked steeper, looser, and more choked with vegetation. If I got past the exposed section on the way up and decided to give in then, I would have to go back through the exposed section again on the way down. I had enough. If I did make it to the top, the way down to Hieroglyphics Spring on Andy's route looked like it might also take some time.

On my way down, in one spot I took a different route since the way up I took a very steep, nearly vertical climb. Going down that would be really dicey. Unfortunately, my only other option was to go out to the edge near the exposure again, except there wasn't as much room this time and the footing was rocky and choked with vegetation. I was able to hug the wall to my left, but in one spot there was a saguaro. I had to carefully walk around that and then hug the wall again.

Once the really rough section was cleared, I stopped to take some pictures since I was still up high and the lighting was getting better. When I finished and looked down to take my next step down, a rattlesnake was curled up next to a rock. It gave a very gentle two shake rattle. I stopped again, took more pictures, and carefully made my way around it.

This was probably not a good time of year to try this one with the vegetation growing, and especially this year after the rains. The vegetation made it harder to see where you were putting your feet at times. That made for slow going, but also some discomfort knowing the snakes are out. This might have been a little easier without the overgrowth, but not much.

Got back down without incident. The parking lot was full when I got back, and so were the trails.
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