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Garden Valley Loop
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mini location map2020-10-13
11 by photographer avatarAZLumberjack
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Garden Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking3.97 Miles 896 AEG
Hiking3.97 Miles   2 Hrs   12 Mns   1.80 mph
896 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Drove out to a burnt-out First Water Trailhead before sunrise and headed for Garden Valley. I put on my Weed Gators as they help keep my shoes and sox clean from all the soot covered brush. The trailhead area is almost completely burnt, except for the outhouses and the signs and as you head down the trail, it's completely burnt on both sides. Once across the second dry wash (ain't they all) on Second Water Trail, heading up the hill to the Garden, the trail is untouched by the fire and it's a relief to see it. Then, as soon as you reach the top of the hill, entering the Garden, once again, everything's burnt.

The brush in Garden Valley is spaced such the fire never gained enough strength to burn everything completely so a lot of the brush is still standing but almost leafless. I left the trail and headed straight for the saddle where you have a good overlook view of the First Water Basin with the old tin corral and windmill on the far side of First Water Creek. From this vantage point you can see where the Slurry Tankers had dumped some of the red fire retardant to protect the old corral area. The Garden Valley Arch is still intact so thanks to the fire crews for protecting it.

From the saddle overlook, I headed down the steep drop into the basin and across the basin to the corral and windmill. There's a lot of the red fire retardant all over the rocks and brush, but it's dried and doesn't stick to clothing. Glad they were able to save the corral area from the fire, then it's up the old rutted road and back to the trailhead.

The weed gators are a lifesaver for my boots and sox and will be a part of my hiking gear whenever I head into the burn areas. At this time, it's not a good idea to bring a dog along as it would soon be soot covered. There are some horse riders out but they too are sure to need a good bathing when they get back home. Need some rain.... BAD.
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On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
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AZLumberjack's
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