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mini location map2022-01-15
39 by photographer avataradilling
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Black Top MesaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking13.79 Miles 2,857 AEG
Hiking13.79 Miles   8 Hrs   57 Mns   1.83 mph
2,857 ft AEG   1 Hour   25 Mns Break
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High Season in the Supes! I wanted to get in some miles and elevation, so I decided to hit Black Top Mesa, with a stop at Palomino first.

I slept through my alarm, but luckily my cat heard it and “reported a hungry” about 530am. So, I got up and set off to the First Water TH, after feeding my “alarm cat” first, of course.

My goal was to be a Parker Pass about 30 minutes prior to sunset. I missed that by an hour, but was still treated to a beautiful sunrise as I started off on the Dutchman Trail. There were a couple other groups heading out and 9-10 vehicles in the lot when I started.

The trail looks to be in better shape that it was the last time I was on there. The fire damage is still very evident at the beginning of the trail past the Second Water Trail junction.

There was still a little flow along First Water Creek and the signs of much higher water levels recently were still there.

I made it to Parker Pass and started heading down. The clouds had come in and it made for a darker day. The wind was gusty is some spots and calm in others. Both little branches of Boulder Creek were still running. Gotta love water in the Supes.

When I saw the red cliffs of Little Boulder, I made a off trail beeline to the creek. Water was flowing on this little creek as well. The trail up Palomino is very well defined now. Cairns a-plenty, too many, maybe. The steepness was still there too. I was huffing and puffing making my way up.

Once on top, I explored most of the little ridges that abound the top of this cool little butte. I did not make it out to the arch, as I always obey the law of gravity and enjoy remaining among the living still. After a good exploration and many photos, I started down. The recent rains made the typical scree chutes a little less slippery. Still steep, but no hard landings on my backside after slipping this time around.

I made my way over to Bull Pass and started up for stop#2 – Black Top Mesa. I met James and Jordyn Walworth going up. Great to meet you @walworthjordyn and James!

The winds were gusty on the windward side of the Mesa, but ok on the leeward side. I stopped at the usual spot – “The End”, the sun and other glyphs. I stopped and had a little lunch and soaked in the scenery. I really love the views up on top of this one. One of the best in the Superstitions for sure.

I made my way down and started back via the same way I came in. After seeing only 2 other humans my entire hike, started seeing groups of backpackers. 6-7 groups total. And, as I got closer to the TH, I started seeing day hikers as well.

A long day for me, but I succeeded in getting my miles and elevation. And, of course, I was able to catch some incredible views for sure. I took way too many pictures, but that's better than not enough.
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"Hiking is just walking where it’s okay to pee." –Demetri Martin

instagram: @andydilling
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291 Photosets

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