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Charlebois from Peralta TH
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mini location map2021-05-30
21 by photographer avatarJohn10s
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Charlebois from Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 30 2021
Hiking15.40 Miles 2,242 AEG
Hiking15.40 Miles   8 Hrs   31 Mns   2.11 mph
2,242 ft AEG   1 Hour   13 Mns Break
1st trip
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
This was my first time hiking with one of my friends and regular pre-pandemic hiking partners in almost 16 months, so it was a nice chance to catch up and squeeze in another Superstition hike before the heat gets too ridiculous. As it was, we were looking at low triple digit highs in Phoenix, so we had to get an early start and pack plenty of water. We considered a few options in the Superstitions, but I wanted to see something new and suggested Charlebois Spring. Given the heat, we opted for the shorter route from Peralta Trailhead.

There were only a handful of cars at Peralta, and I assume most of those belonged to people going on a morning hike to Fremont Saddle. As we got started and I turned on Route Scout, I realized I'd forgotten to download the route I'd created the night before...oops. The directions to Charlebois were easy enough to follow without a route, but I'd marked waypoints for a few off-trail areas I wanted to explore, including some possible cliff dwellings and the location of the Master Map. I had a general sense where the map rock was located, but without the exact location, we were going to have to wing it a little and hope my memory was correct...

We started on Bluff Springs Trail and headed up Cardiac Hill, and there was no one else on the trail. I'd forgotten how beautiful it is in Barks Canyon, although there was fire damage on and off along much of the route all day. The saguaro blooms were beautiful--not quite as many as there were in the Superstitions last weekend, but still plenty of flowers. Without the waypoints marked, we didn't do any off-trail exploring on the way in and headed straight for the spring. There was a lot of trees and shade near Oak Spring despite the dry creek bed, and we didn't see any water until very close to Charlebois.

We hiked just past the unofficial trail into Charlebois and cut back into the creek bed and got our socks and boots covered with sharp thorns/grass just before reaching the spring and taking a break in the shade. It's a beautiful area with a nice setup for camping, and the spring was very pleasant--clear water with tadpoles swimming in it, plenty of shade greenery, and red dragonflys all felt like an oasis, and we took a break for lunch and pulled spines out of boots and socks before we headed back into the sun.

On the hike out, we did some exploring in the area where I thought the Master Map was located, but we kept coming up empty. I told my friend that when I compared our route to the coordinates later, we were probably within 100 feet of it, and it turned out I was right--we were practically on top of the map and must have just missed it. But without knowing for sure if we were in the right spot and needing to conserve water, we didn't spend as much time searching as we would have on a cooler day, nor did we take the time or energy to climb up the sides of the canyon to check out other potential points of interest. Instead, we got back on the trail and started the long, hot hike back to Peralta.

We were very thirsty on the way out but had enough water between the two of us, and we didn't see anyone on the trail all day. Coming back down Bluff Springs toward Peralta, there was only one other vehicle in the lot, and the Wave Cave parking lot was completely empty on the drive out. Despite missing out on a few of the specific destinations I'd hoped to see, it was a fun day catching up with an old friend and seeing Charlobois for the first time. When things cool off again in a few months, we plan to return to Charlebois from another route and find the Master Map and a few of those other points, and next time I won't forget to download the route :).
HAZ - Hike HAZard

dry Barks Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Charlebois Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
One pool before the spring, but mostly dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Charlebois Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Clear water in the pool and a slow but steady trickle of water over the sides

dry Crystal Spring Dry Dry

dry Music Canyon Dry Dry


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