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Haunted Canyon / Bull Basin, AZ
mini location map2019-02-02
11 by photographer avatarShatteredArm
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Haunted Canyon / Bull Basin, AZ 
Haunted Canyon / Bull Basin, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Feb 02 2019
Run/Jog19.09 Miles 3,079 AEG
Run/Jog19.09 Miles   5 Hrs   40 Mns   3.38 mph
3,079 ft AEG      1 Min Break
1st trip
I've always loved the eastern part of the Superstition wilderness. For a long time, the area just west of the Pinto Valley Mine was this big unexplored area with a decent amount of I decided I should check it out. The idea here was to do a loop from Mile Ranch TH, with a couple options to cut it short depending on how it went.

It seems a bit silly to drive down a dirt road just to turn around and run back up it... But including the road was the only way to make it a loop. As far as roads go, it wasn't too bad. Didn't see any cars. There is one really long switchback; decided to try and cut this out by going up a draw. Probably save half a mile and lost 5-10 minutes. Worth it. Lots of trees up at the road's summit; different than most of AZ's forest, but it could've been cypress. The different in biomes between the north-facing and south-facing slopes in this area was profound and notable.

By the time we got back down to the vicinity of Haunted Canyon TH, the gigantic eyesore of a mine loomed overhead. A constant reminder of the permanent damage we do to our ecosystem so some global corporations can make money. But I digress. Haunted Canyon really is beautiful, once you get away from the mines. Possibly the most pleasant riparian environment in the whole wilderness, and the creek had water too.

Five miles or so from the TH, we hit the wide, scenic valley wherein Tony Ranch is situated. It's like a more overgrown version of Reavis Ranch, but the cabin is still intact.

After a little break at the cabin, we headed back down the valley and resumed heading up Haunted Canyon trail. Ran into a family of three who didn't even know the cabin existed. A half mile or so past the turnoff to the ranch, the vegetation turns to high desert scrub. After the Bull Basin junction, the trail gets overgrown, and steeper and steeper as you climb. This part of the loop was not super exciting, but the views were nice enough, and it's kinda necessary.

The descent after the saddle was a little chunky. After leaving the bottom of the drainage and contouring to the north, we hit a nice fun set of switchbacks back down into the forest. The rest of the loop down to Miles Ranch was gorgeous.

Spent a few minutes exploring the structures at Miles Ranch while we were there. This is an area I would definitely return to (and might be the only part of the eastern Superstitions that didn't get charred).
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