Wave Cave trailhead was like Kaibab trailhead an hour before sunrise. Kinna cool IMHO, kinna funny. Peralta trailhead was maybe a lonesome dozen cars. Cardiac Hill is virtually effortless in mid to upper thirty degree temps fending off sweat and filling the lungs with crisp air.
Creeks were easy to ford with light flow. At the Terrapin junction we made a decision to go CW instead of CCW as we've done many times. Albeit no less traveled, the experience felt refreshingly new. Only minor nuisance catclaw(entire hike), overhangs declawed from use. Wore shorts because that's how we roll in paradise. Not a scratch.
Transitioning from Needle Canyon to LaBarge Canyon the hike grasped my attention. Perfect temps, light, landscape and Autumn on the farewell pendulum swing of the season.
Marsh Valley to LaBarge Spring was the prime bite. We explored Charlebois, lunched on the outcrop at Peter's junction then checked on LaBarge Spring.
A quarter mile of the easternmost bend of Bluff Spring Canyon was the only burn area on the entire loop. Singed chaparral. Cheatgrass is blanketing the area. Bust out the purple spray paint, it's invasive!