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Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-07-11
20 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
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Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ 
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2020
Hiking30.11 Miles 4,425 AEG
Hiking30.11 Miles   11 Hrs   25 Mns   3.20 mph
4,425 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Felt a bit bummed after last weekend's failed backpack attempt w/ kids, trying to split the typical Mt Baldy Loop into 3 days, so decided to head back and do it as a solo day hike. Was inspired by @lindaann, @joebartels, and @tortoise_hiker's route. Camped along FR 409 in order to get an early start, parked car at West Fork TH at 4am and had a pleasant moonlit hike through downtown Greer to start the day.

East Fork #95
Was faced by a few different forks right at the river crossing, rolled a die and headed up the correct one. Was nice to get this little climb knocked out in the predawn. Passed a few interesting signed spurs (Amberon Point, Scenic Loop), stuck to the main trail, hoping to get healthy distance before sunrise. Spooked a large herd of elk at the top, right at the fenceline. Made it to the Marble Spring area for a fantastic sunrise. Pleasant stroll through chilly meadows and small stands of pines, saw more elk and deer along the way. Trail is in great shape and easy to follow, only got confused once near Colter where the singletrack forks for a quarter mile before rejoining. Picked up a water cache at FR 409 before cutting over to Gabaldon Camp.

East Baldy #95
Utilized the camp trail before joining the 'main' route. Didn't do a lot of research on this trail, leaning into the unknown, was surprised at how much pine forest it went through (compared to West Baldy's meadows). Passed one campsite and a few slower backpackers, overall pretty quiet on the trail. The hoodoo overlook was cool, the exposed flanks were cool, the crash site was cool... This is a solid, enjoyable trail, less than a dozen deadfall to deal with, I was just getting tired at this point. Paused for a few more breaks than necessary to enjoy the area. Reached the saddle and did a quick dance towards the summit, just to be scared away by quickly-growing storm in the west.

West Baldy #94
Nice to walk downhill. The burn area was sad to walk through, though it did give good views of the West Fork meadow below. Quickly made it to the meadows and the trail began to get congested, lots of in-and-back hikers down here to skip around. Filtered up before the Crossover Trail (should have left a second water cache). Last mile dragged, didn't expect that little elevation and forest before trailhead.

West Fork #94
Swung over to culvert on the start of this (thanks @lindaann), then slowly strolled across the open meadow. Was definitely feeling the miles at this point and stopped for a lengthy rest. This trail felt much rougher than the other ones - more rocky sections, more annoying deadfall, and a few eroded spots - though I'll admit I was also feeling grumpy and sore, so... grain of salt. Views across West Fork were nice and I picked out different landmarks from the morning's hike. Also, that little drop before passing 9375', plus the spring box on the round, were enjoyable. Got a little sprinkle for the last mile, enough to soak me through right before getting back to the Jeep.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Colter Reservoir 26-50% full 26-50% full
Didn't look that full, but there was still a healthy flow below.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Marble Spring Dripping Dripping
Didn't see actual spring, but there were puddles visible downhill from trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Mount Baldy Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Decent flow, but it'd be challenging to collect.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Potatoe Hollow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Overflowing, ground was saturated. Pipe makes for easy access if one didn't want to scoop from the trough.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Trail Spring Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max West Fork Little Colorado River Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow, definitely need to use the footbridge to cross.
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