username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
5 triplogs
Feb 29 2020
bezzantine
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 3
 Photos 33
 Triplogs 5

47 male
 Joined Apr 17 2013
 Mesa, AZ
Black Mesa Loop - Superstition MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 29 2020
bezzantine
Hiking9.10 Miles 1,109 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles
1,109 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Just over 9 miles of well-signed heavily used trails through classic desert hills, all easy to find and stay on.

I wanted a ten mile loop to trail run. This wasn't quite that long, but I had to park at the horse trailers. From there, it's probably about 10 after all. The elevation profile and trail quality are mostly excellent for running. Nothing terribly steep, exposed, or otherwise treacherous. I went to Black Mesa first, getting the steeper, slightly taller Black Mesa climb and descent over with first. While it's a lasso loop, the "stem" bit is very short, so it's fresh terrain almost all the way.

There were at least half a dozen water crossings, with an impressive amount of water gurgling along in the bigger streams (late February 2020, about 10 days after a solid rainstorm). Plenty of well-placed big rocks to hop across, so no problem staying dry. I took a filter straw and never used it. In and around summer, I wouldn't count on any dependable water, so take plenty.

Route finding is about as good as it gets. The only potentially confusing spot is the transition from Black Mesa trail to Dutchman Trail, where a lot of tracks lead up a streambed and seem to go in the right direction. Turn around and look in the opposite, downstream direction here, where some big cairns beckon you back to the real trail (the Black Mesa to Dutchman junction is just a bit further on, and is big and clear).

Terrain is classic Sonoran saguaro desert all the way, with a few dips into riparian stream beds. No bushwhacking.

Fantastic views of Weaver's Needle and other assorted Superstitions cliffs. Many good open viewpoints.

Many good places to camp scattered along the route.
_____________________
Feb 07 2020
bezzantine
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 3
 Photos 33
 Triplogs 5

47 male
 Joined Apr 17 2013
 Mesa, AZ
Weaver's Needle Loop from Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2020
bezzantine
Hiking12.20 Miles 3,122 AEG
Hiking12.20 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   2.22 mph
3,122 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Near full moon. Very clear trail all the way, much of it runnable. Usable water at multiple points along the east leg of the route (the return half in my clockwise trip). Views were amazing all the way. Slept in Needle Canyon area, and dawn out there was gorgeous.
_____________________
Dec 07 2019
bezzantine
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 3
 Photos 33
 Triplogs 5

47 male
 Joined Apr 17 2013
 Mesa, AZ
Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2019
bezzantine
Hiking11.50 Miles 4,480 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles
4,480 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After years of eyeing this route, I decided to night hike it to the Flatiron Saddle last night, then down to Lost Dutchman in the morning. I'd done Heiro-Sup Peak-Carney before, as well as Flatiron, but never the stretch between Heiro and Flatiron. Well, here was my chance!

My wife dropped me off near Carney about 7pm. I passed 3 hikers coming out the final stretch to Carney as I went in. There was enough moonlight (waxing gibbous) I didn't need any artificial light the first half of the route. I love hiking this way when I can get away with it. This changed when I hit LaBarge Mountain, and the combination of shadows, remote solitude, and vertical chutes made me turn on a lamp. The night was near-windless, and comfortable for hiking in just pants and a tee. I wore gloves up Carney, but stowed them once the trail leveled off.

I heavily relied on the GPX track from this page on a max-level-detail Gaia map, and it was astonishingly accurate. If I felt like the trail was faint, I could pull it out. If it said I was 30' off, it was basically right every time. Big thanks to whoever submitted that! Also, the trail is ferociously cairned almost the entire route. Early on, I thought it was a bit much, but as the night darkened and I had to pick my way around the pinnacles mid-hike, spotting a cairn made me smile and feel a little less lonely. The other thing that was unexpectedly cool was coming over a ridge somewhere near the middle and seeing a broad sweep of city lights in the distance. I hike to get away from cities, but in the night, the sight was a lot more loveable.

There was water all over the place. At points, I could hear a running stream - a strange sound up in that desert. There were owls calling, crickets, and a lot of time to think. After realizing that a lone guy wandering in the dark could be interesting to a mountain lion, I was a little startled to see a pair of big yellow eyes reflecting back at me from behind a bush. I threw a rock, and was relieved when it bounded away, sounding positively like a sheep or deer (and I felt a little bad for chasing it out of its bed).

I reached the Flatiron Saddle about 2:30am. Stopping for pictures and nav prolonged it by an hour or so. By then , the sky had cleared, and city light on the pinnacles was incredible. I was surprised to see several hikers moving around with lights on the Flatiron until about 3am, when the moon set. I crashed for four hours in a bivy sack, till the sound of a hiker playing music went by me (maybe someone doing the same route the other direction). Sunrise was almost as beautiful as moonset had been. More pics, breakfast, then a descent to Hwy 88 that felt like going against rush hour as a lot of happy Saturday hikers came up the trail. I love the general friendliness of AZ hikers! I love that I almost never see a single piece of garbage out in this state!

This is a fairly strenuous trip, but the views up through the middle were absolutely worth the admission price.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise
_____________________
Aug 11 2018
bezzantine
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 3
 Photos 33
 Triplogs 5

47 male
 Joined Apr 17 2013
 Mesa, AZ
Broadway CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2018
bezzantine
Hiking3.60 Miles 960 AEG
Hiking3.60 Miles
960 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was excited to explore this as a new quick, local East Valley hike. In short, that's just what it is. My wife and I hit the trail about 6pm with plenty of water and a relatively cool August day. Easy-pace hiking, plus about 15min of exploring/photography/water drinking time, the whole thing took almost exactly 2 hours. Lots of "baby head" rocks along most of the trail make it one to keep your eyes on, and not one I'd recommend for trail running. I agree trek poles are a good idea here, and definitely a light if you're going to be on it in the dark. Mostly a very gradual incline, steepening enough at the end to maybe require hands for a moment or two, but not enough to make us break out gloves. Trail appears lightly used, but keep heading toward the cave on what appears to be trail, and you're unlikely to get lost.

View from the cave mouth is spectacular, but the cave smells of bat and maybe also human waste too much to make an inviting campsite. Unfortunate graffiti on walls. Interesting short mine extends east within the cave just deep enough to need a bit of light to explore. We saw no bees - maybe because of the late hour. Acoustics up on the cliff are interesting too. We could hear the conversation-level voices of hikers nearly a mile away headed toward the cave, and fairly low-volume music coming from a home nearly 2 miles out.
_____________________
May 30 2018
bezzantine
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 3
 Photos 33
 Triplogs 5

47 male
 Joined Apr 17 2013
 Mesa, AZ
The BarracksSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Hiking avatar May 30 2018
bezzantine
Hiking16.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles
2,000 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
BARRACKS SNEAK VIA POVERTY ROAD (2 days)

To bypass what seemed the least-interesting stretch of this hike, we started at Poverty Rd just a few miles from the Zion east gate. This route can be hiked from just off Hwy 9, but high-clearance 4x4 trucks going down Poverty Rd cut the hike by another couple miles or so. An ATV/UTV/rock crawler can get you even closer - to within less than 2 miles from the floor of Parunaweap canyon on this route. Any way you do it, the first part is a straightforward, nearly all downhill road march.

First day, we started about 7am, and were at the river by 10. From there, it's extremely pleasant hiking along the river bed, in and out of water countless times. It had been a dry year, and water was ankle to knee deep in most places. It was also reasonably clear, and we filtered/purified water straight from the river in most cases.

There were plenty of viable camp sites. We started by backtracking and exploring Mineral Gulch (totally worth it, and a preview of the good narrows further down Parunaweap). We had time for this, catching some petroglyphs along the way, and exploring French Canyon (Pretty, worthwhile, but we didn't follow it more than a half mile before the poison ivy density got pretty forbidding) before making camp just past Poverty Wash, all well before dark. We saw one other person.

Second day, we explored Poverty Wash (I'd call this the best of the side canyons, with a fantastic little grotto at the end), then went for the Barracks narrows. Some in our party helped each other over the falls at the well-known obstacle. Most took the bypass upstream and LDC of the obstacle. The bypass means a brief bit of on-all-fours up and downclimbing, including a cavey bit, but is class 3 at worst, and requires no lamp. While there are swimmable-depth spots here and there, water rarely was more than knee deep, and never above the belt unless you wanted it to be.

Beyond that, the scenic quality of the narrows goes from amazing to ridiculous as you wind out the last mile or so. Flash flood danger is highest in this stretch, where escape routes are rare until you hit the Powell plaque.

The Powell plaque is at a wide river bend; a great spot to relax, dump the gravel out of your shoes, maybe put on dry socks. Load up on water in the river or the clearer, but slow-flowing spring LDC, just across from the plaque. We had our fun, and now it was time to pay. We hiked out in mostly full sun on June 1st, with temps in prob the low 90s. It's a 500' up, half-mile class 3 scramble before *relatively* leveling off for another 4ish miles that more or less gradually take you up another 1000'. Do not underestimate this part of the hike. The initial scramble has some disturbing over-the-shoulder views for those not comfortable with heights,though exposure is minimal IF you stay on trail. Take plenty of water, because you won't see anything but a few slimy potholes until you're back at Hwy 9's Checkerboard Mesa pullout. This is typical Colorado Plateau geology, which is beautiful, but can be frustrating to cross. Be prepared for significant sand slogs, enough naked sandstone to repeatedly make you wonder where the trail went if you don't have your land nav game together, and a basically relentless climb that gets worst at the saddle west of Checkerboard Mesa before opening onto a final downhill mile. First people we saw this day were day hikers on the last mile only.

Brief points in addition to usual hiking gear/prep:
1. I strongly recommend GPS and a downloaded trail to follow, or good map and compass if you have the skills. I'm a HUGE fan of smartphone apps like Gaia and ScenicMap that have off-grid map download and gpx trail functions. The first part of the trip (Poverty Rd and along the river) are easy to follow, but GPS will help you find the petroglyphs and side canyons. Most importantly, it will keep you from getting dangerously lost and dehydrated on the last 4-5 miles between Parunaweap and Hwy 9. Cell signal (Verizon, at least) was almost nonexistent until near Hwy 9).
2. Sealskinz type socks or even cheap 2-3mm neoprene socks make creek hiking much more fun. These make a great combination with quick-drying trail running shoes for both the wet and dry parts of the hike. Trek poles are also great for moving quickly and confidently along the riverbed.
3. Re: camping - Between Mineral Gulch and Poverty Wash, there were many places with enough trees for hammocks, plenty of firewood around, and abundant tent space.
4. I recommend at least 2L/person departing from the river and starting the outhike, and maybe double that in serious midsummer heat.
5. If you've read this far... This is an AMAZING hike! Go get it while you can!
_____________________
average hiking speed 2.22 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

help comment issue

end of page marker