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Superstition Peak 5057 - Balanced Rock Loop
27 Photosets

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mini location map2020-12-03
24 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Superstition Peak 5057 - Balanced Rock LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 03 2020
rayhuston
Hiking6.53 Miles 3,139 AEG
Hiking6.53 Miles   7 Hrs   24 Mns   1.08 mph
3,139 ft AEG   1 Hour   22 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I intended for this to be a loop based on the guide I'm posting this hike to, but I bypassed the balancing rock on the way up. My punishment for the error was to return the way I came in order to get photos of the very cool rock. Best to go up this route than down in my opinion.

I left the Hieroglyphic TH just after 9am. At the 1.25 mile mark, I left the Hieroglyphic trail and headed up the steep slope to the right, staying centered on the slope until I picked up the "faint path" described in the guide. I remained on it until about 1.75 miles, when I turned right and scrambled up a rocky section. When I reached the top, I immediately knew something was amiss. Where I turned right and up, I should have gone left and down. Oops. When I picked up the trail again, rather than backtracking to the rock, I decided to keep going and return the way I came, except for the part I where I screwed up.

The route above the rock is well cairned all the way to the peak. Only one painted arrow on the way up. ](*,) . I stopped at the lounge chair rock for a much needed 15 minute break, enjoying a snack and some fluids before laying down on the chair for a few. And only a few. A cold wind was blowing so I decided to move on before I started shivering. One vertical climb along the route, maybe 10 feet, but it wasn't bad. It looked daunting when I looked down on the way back, but it was actually easier getting down then it was going up.

There is a small burn on the approach to the peak. It burned hot, but didn't seem to go far, although I didn't check to see how far. I scrambled up to the peak and had lunch. Great views all around on a gorgeous sunny day. After lunch I decided to look for the arrow pointing to the benchmark. I've seen all three disks on prior hikes, but not the arrow. I found one, but I wasn't sure if it was the arrow referred to by @FLYING_FLIVER or one painted by someone else. See photos.

I returned the way I came, stopping by the balancing rock on the way down to get some photos. Picking up the faint trail on the way back was harder with the sun in my face. I relied on GPS to make my way back down. I didn't want to make any more mistakes. I was gassed and wanted to finish the hike.

I was slower than molasses on a cold day, but this puppy is steep and strenuous. Better slow and cautious than hurt or dead. I saw a couple of young guys at the balancing rock. They were doing the loop I intended to do. It was about 2:30 when I passed them. That would have been way too late for me, but they had the advantage of young legs. I'm sure they did fine.

I'm not sure if I will do this one again. I've done all of the sections of this loop on different hikes, but not the section above the rock until today. Still, it was a great hike on a gorgeous day.
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311 Photosets

  2021-05-22
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