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Shaka Cave - Robbers Roost - Barks Upper, AZ
mini location map2020-12-27
22 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Shaka Cave - Robbers Roost - Barks Upper, AZ 
Shaka Cave - Robbers Roost - Barks Upper, AZ
Hiking8.75 Miles 2,549 AEG
Hiking8.75 Miles   5 Hrs   48 Mns   1.64 mph
2,549 ft AEG      27 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
There is no place I'd rather be than hiking in the Superstition Wilderness.

My wife wanted to get out for a hike this morning, so that was on the docket. She changed her mind when she woke up with some back pain. Now mid morning, I cobbled together a few of my favorite things and added Shaka Cave, inspired by the recent guide posted by @ScottHika.

I started at the Lost Goldmine TH and scoped out the concrete basin followed by the Shaka Cave. Then up the steep trail to West Boulder Saddle. I followed the route from the saddle down into the drainage, then east up the drainage towards the Roost. I passed an older gentleman on the way up the hill, trying to catch up with his family. His son and granddaughters were having lunch at the Chimney while Grandpa struggled up the hill. Oh well.

I made my way around the corner and then down the hill to the roost. There were two occupants when I arrived, just finishing their lunch. I snapped a couple of pictures and left when they did. For whatever reason, I always get disoriented when I leave that place so I followed them out.

I made my way to the top of the hill, heading towards Fremont Saddle. I had lunch there with a very nice view of Weavers Needle. Grandpa appeared again while I was having lunch. His family left him again in search of the Roost. He walked back and forth a few times, seemingly uncertain whether to continue on to Fremont Saddle or wait. I waited until I heard his family coming up the hill, then headed down to the saddle.

From the saddle, I headed towards the Pinyon Pine, but it was like walking in a mall at Christmas, too many people to dodge. As soon as I reached the Barks Canyon junction, I headed down. I had seen a few photos of the area, most of which were in areas not burned. I was hopeful for awhile. It was short-lived, though. Most of the Barks Upper route was badly burned. One of my favorite icons in the area (I called it the Burning Bush) was gone. I was bummed.

I stayed bummed for the rest of the Barks Upper route. When I reached the Bluff Springs trail, I had intended to go left to visit my favorite saguaro, but instead headed up the hill to finish the loop. I was running out of gas anyway. Time for this hike to end.

The hike up Bluff Springs and down Cardiac Hill was uneventful. I walked the road back to the Lost Goldmine trail where I found the two men that I ran into at the Roost. We chatted briefly about our hikes. When I headed back to the truck to leave, the sky was clouding over to the west, making for an interesting sky. Rain is coming!

Not counting the usual mobs near the Wave Cave, Fremont Saddle and Weavers Overlook, I passed nine people on this loop. Just the way I like it. The weather was warmer than expected at the start, but it got breezy once I reached WB saddle and stayed that way the rest of the hike. Very enjoyable time today. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but a great hike.
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