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Superstition Ridgeline
153 Photosets

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mini location map2019-12-07
5 by photographer avatarbezzantine
photographer avatar
 
Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking11.50 Miles 4,480 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles
4,480 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After years of eyeing this route, I decided to night hike it to the Flatiron Saddle last night, then down to Lost Dutchman in the morning. I'd done Heiro-Sup Peak-Carney before, as well as Flatiron, but never the stretch between Heiro and Flatiron. Well, here was my chance!

My wife dropped me off near Carney about 7pm. I passed 3 hikers coming out the final stretch to Carney as I went in. There was enough moonlight (waxing gibbous) I didn't need any artificial light the first half of the route. I love hiking this way when I can get away with it. This changed when I hit LaBarge Mountain, and the combination of shadows, remote solitude, and vertical chutes made me turn on a lamp. The night was near-windless, and comfortable for hiking in just pants and a tee. I wore gloves up Carney, but stowed them once the trail leveled off.

I heavily relied on the GPX track from this page on a max-level-detail Gaia map, and it was astonishingly accurate. If I felt like the trail was faint, I could pull it out. If it said I was 30' off, it was basically right every time. Big thanks to whoever submitted that! Also, the trail is ferociously cairned almost the entire route. Early on, I thought it was a bit much, but as the night darkened and I had to pick my way around the pinnacles mid-hike, spotting a cairn made me smile and feel a little less lonely. The other thing that was unexpectedly cool was coming over a ridge somewhere near the middle and seeing a broad sweep of city lights in the distance. I hike to get away from cities, but in the night, the sight was a lot more loveable.

There was water all over the place. At points, I could hear a running stream - a strange sound up in that desert. There were owls calling, crickets, and a lot of time to think. After realizing that a lone guy wandering in the dark could be interesting to a mountain lion, I was a little startled to see a pair of big yellow eyes reflecting back at me from behind a bush. I threw a rock, and was relieved when it bounded away, sounding positively like a sheep or deer (and I felt a little bad for chasing it out of its bed).

I reached the Flatiron Saddle about 2:30am. Stopping for pictures and nav prolonged it by an hour or so. By then , the sky had cleared, and city light on the pinnacles was incredible. I was surprised to see several hikers moving around with lights on the Flatiron until about 3am, when the moon set. I crashed for four hours in a bivy sack, till the sound of a hiker playing music went by me (maybe someone doing the same route the other direction). Sunrise was almost as beautiful as moonset had been. More pics, breakfast, then a descent to Hwy 88 that felt like going against rush hour as a lot of happy Saturday hikers came up the trail. I love the general friendliness of AZ hikers! I love that I almost never see a single piece of garbage out in this state!

This is a fairly strenuous trip, but the views up through the middle were absolutely worth the admission price.
 Meteorology
 Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Sunrise
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HAZ Member
bezzantine's
6 Photosets

  2020-02-07
  2019-12-07
  2018-09-15
  2018-09-15
  2018-08-11
  2018-05-30
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