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Peralta Cave Loop with a bit of Bark, AZ
mini location map2020-03-06
50 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Peralta Cave Loop with a bit of Bark, AZ 
Peralta Cave Loop with a bit of Bark, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 06 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking8.00 Miles 2,400 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
2,400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Only the 2nd Time I've been on the Cave Trail. The first time was in 2011 and @tibber took me on it. It was my first Hike ever in the Superstitions. Back then, I just blindly followed tibber and friends and took in the sights. It was time for me to go back. I wondered how the Route Finding would be now, since it's become a lot more popular. I was going to find out today.

Got started right after Sunrise and actually made pretty good time up Peralta to the Saddle. Trail was quiet this morning. Only saw one other person all the way up. Hung out at the Saddle Area for a bit then as other people started to show, I headed for the Lone Pine. Last time I was there, there was a Bench. :lol: Had the Lone Pine Spot to myself for a tiny bit and then others started to show up. So I obliged taking some Photos for them and then I was headed for Cave. Checked RS for the Junction, since there's several "Trails" that seem to come off the Lone Pine Trail. Hit the Junction and started cruising. The first 1/4 of that Trail is now a Super Highway compared to before and it was easy to follow all the way to Geronimo Cave. Only a few Cairns at the Cairn Museum, Bob must have been up there recently. :lol: Ran into 3 other Parties, but lost them all before I even hit the Cave. Quick Break at the Cave and then hit the Trail again. Cairns started showing up. I followed them for a bit, but luckily I remembered what the Devil's Slide looks like and when the Cairns kept going by it, I ignored them and went down the Slide. No wonder people keep getting lost up there. :sweat: Found the Devil's Bathtub right after and then down Bald Man's Head. Trail stayed pretty easy to follow until the last bit. I started following a few Cairns, but it wasn't jiving with what I remembered, but I couldn't seem to get back on track. After Backtracking a couple of times, I followed one set of Cairns, even though I knew it wasn't quite right. But after turning a corner, I could see the real Trail and bushwacked about 150 feet over to it and then down to Bluff Springs Trail from there. The Official Trail was pretty defined where I got back on it.

I still had a couple of hours until Sunset, so when I got to the Bluff Springs Trail, I hung a left and hiked down to Lower Barks for a late lunch. The running water was nice, so I lounged by the creek for awhile. Then back up Bluff Springs and down Cardiac Hill, reaching the Escape just after Sunset. I was somewhat amazed at the lack of people I saw today. Was really light, compared to most Fridays. Looked to be lots on Peralta when I was on Cave, but from Geronimo Cave until I left lower Barks, I didn't see a soul. Started running into Backpackers on my way back up Bluff Springs. Felt like a bit more than an 8 mile day, but I felt good and was glad to reacquaint myself with the Cave Trail. Another Good Day in the Supes!

Peralta Road Conditions - I swear they grade that road on Fridays. Always rockier and rougher going in and smooth with no rocks on the way out. Same way today. However, there is still water at a couple of the wash crossings and they did minimum work there, so the crossings are still a bit rough.

Trail Conditions - Still Water at some Crossings on Peralta and some Water still running down Peralta Trail, but you can keep dry. A bit of mud in places on Cave and Bluff Springs, but nothing that requires bypassing.

Wildflower Report - If you want to Overdose on Brittle Bush Blooms, head up Cardiac Hill. You'll get your fix right away. And actually, for Variety and Amount of Wildflowers, of the 3 Trails, Bluff Springs Trail wins, hands down, at least to lower Barks. A few nice places for Lupines along the way as well. The Globe Mallow is also getting a good start along there in places. The only Paintbrush I saw was on Bluff Springs, as well as a few tiny Owl Clover trying to get started. Both Peralta and Bluff Springs had quite of bit of Blue Dicks and Wild Heliotrope. Cave Trail had some too, but not as much. Cave had one tiny area of Poppies and that was it. Very few Poppies out there at all.

Photos - Maybe early next week, haven't even downloaded them yet.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Bluff Springs Trail from Peralta TH to Lower Barks was pretty nice. Quite a bit of Brittlebush, Blue Dicks and Wild Heliotrope. Also a few nice patches of Lupine and some nice Globe Mallow. A few Paintbrush, Owl Clover and about 5 other Flowers I don't know. Peralta had moderate, but mostly Brittlebush, Blue Dicks and Wild Heliotrope. Cave was light with some Brittlebush and a few Poppies.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Barks Canyon Light flow Light flow
Lower Barks near Bluff Springs Trail Crossing

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Peralta Canyon Light flow Light flow
Medium Flow in Lower Peralta, Lighter Flow in upper Peralta. Dry in areas in mid Peralta.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Peralta Creek at #102 Crossing Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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