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5 triplogs
Dec 31 2021
Mave1878
avatar

 Routes 39
 Photos 59
 Triplogs 5

47 male
 Joined Apr 12 2017
 Gilbert, AZ
Rock Peak - Malpais Loop, AZ 
Rock Peak - Malpais Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 31 2021
Mave1878
Hiking8.42 Miles 585 AEG
Hiking8.42 Miles   2 Hrs   48 Mns   3.37 mph
585 ft AEG      18 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Lesser known/used trailhead, magnificent crested, varying terrain from sandy wash to well defined trail, some rocky mixed in… and the Malpais loop has an oasis type feel a couple days to a week after a decent rain. Due to low AEG, this is a great little roller stroller in a less populated portion of the San Tans.
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Apr 13 2019
Mave1878
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 Routes 39
 Photos 59
 Triplogs 5

47 male
 Joined Apr 12 2017
 Gilbert, AZ
Malpais Trail - San Tan MRPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 13 2019
Mave1878
Hiking7.94 Miles 583 AEG
Hiking7.94 Miles   2 Hrs   29 Mns   3.31 mph
583 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
First observation 100 yards from Rock Peak TH (fee area - $7) was the deep sandy washed that would be a majority of the Rock Peak > San Tan > Malpais lasso loop - hiking is gonna be a little extra work today.
Made decent time through the wash noticing Rock Peak seemed totally doable and intriguing. Just past ST/RPW near a bench is a cool crested saguaro worth a quick break to admire. Next stop was the 2nd junction w/Malpais trail so I could loop back to closer RPW on ST. Seemed like 80% of Malpais was straight wash, especially on the second half closet to Malpais Hills which loom over the trail the entire hike along with great views of Rock Peak and Goldmine Mountain to the N.
Overall, Trail was super easy to follow with minimal AEG. I will say though... if you don’t like sandy washes, I wouldn’t recommend this hike.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Ocotillos, buckhorn cholla and Hedgehog cacti were blooming, but wildflowers were quickly dying off.
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Mar 23 2019
Mave1878
avatar

 Routes 39
 Photos 59
 Triplogs 5

47 male
 Joined Apr 12 2017
 Gilbert, AZ
Buzzards Roost from Peralta, AZ 
Buzzards Roost from Peralta, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2019
Mave1878
Hiking15.77 Miles 2,901 AEG
Hiking15.77 Miles   9 Hrs   45 Mns   1.84 mph
2,901 ft AEG   1 Hour   12 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I’ve been eying this one for years, especially a year after a half-hearted attempt as a (insane) side trip along Red Tanks super loop. Shawn and I got an unavoidable late start (9:45am when we arrived) and had to park at the lower lot for Peralta TH – no biggie. Following JuanJaimeiii’s route, choosing Peralta due to vehicle, we set out on Lost Dutchman 104 to Coffee Flat 108 just passed Reed’s Water (6-6.08 miles in) before finding a reasonable ‘opening’ to make the approach, gain and ride a ridge toward the gulley/ravine to the summit. I ended up skirting the creek bed and cutting toward the base of the mountain much earlier than JJ’s route which stays a little higher on the ridge and cuts up much later. By the time we’d had to do more bushwhacking and warm up scrambling than necessary it was apparent referencing the route how much we could’ve avoided, though I’m not gonna lie, you will bushwhack and weave still. Short version: When you cut over from CF 108, ride that ridge to where the creek stops on the topo before turning (R) to approach the gully/ravine to the summit or things get a little more ‘fun’ – you want to avoid being up against the cliffed out mountain side only to end up descending then over to get to the better turning point.
The gully/ravine was super choked with various shrubs/trees. I took the L side approach, Shawn took the R and I think Shawn’s was the better choice. Once we got through that part, it was time to scramble a few short class 3ish sections with loose soil and scree in areas, but doable. When you get to the alcoves area, you need to veer L across a large bouldered area and then turn R/up, where you will shortly encounter the infamous ‘cabled section’. As ssk44 says, “The cable section is a 25 foot +/- crowned rolling bolder climb with very small holds for your hands and feet.” That cable is only a pencil thick and while the bare cable looked fine, the covering was cracked, looking suspect. We just scrambled up to the R into a quick/narrow ‘chute’ finally greeted with a flat bench below the dome like summit you’ve seen along the way (amazing 360 views already). The summit of the Roost is self-explanatory. We hung out on top strategizing our down route of the other side toward the 4X4 road in Whitlow Canyon while enjoying tasty craft trail suds and lunch. The views… wow. :y: Randolph, Fraser, and Whitlow Canyons, Superstition Mountain, Miners/Weaver’s Needle, Cathedral Rock, Coffee Flat and too many other mountains to name in the distance… and that’s just 120 degrees or so NW-ENE. The Hewitt Canyon views are spectacular, San Tans, Tucson... You get the idea – One of the best views in the Superstitions (okay, a mile outside of).
We returned down the same way, though considered trying at least on other. After rounding the summit base, we sort of winged it, tapping into a game trail once or twice, but I’d follow anyone else’s route, but the one we took. I slipped no less than 4 times on loose scree or loosed dirt or both, one of them required a 20 min. break to remove the teddy-bear cholla arm from my left hip area. However… our route cut time off getting to the 4X4 road in Whitlow Canyon, which is an awesome area. The creek was flowing strong and tasted awesome. Saw a cool, working trough along the way and the best profile view of Buzzards Roost, I’ve seen. We quickly reached 108 without any major obstacles (b/c there’s a trail almost the entire way) and took it back to Peralta TH, enjoying twilight views of Miners Needle, Cathedral Rock and Superstition Mountain (late start required a head lamp for a couple miles at the end).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Wildflowers were still around, but noticeably dying down.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deerhorn Spring Dripping Dripping
Few pools, but drying out quickly.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Milk Ranch Creek Medium flow Medium flow
There was tons of cool, crisp water that tasted awesome (yes, I filter). Almost put Heavy flow.

dry Reeds Water Dry Dry
Hasn't had water in years
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Dec 08 2018
Mave1878
avatar

 Routes 39
 Photos 59
 Triplogs 5

47 male
 Joined Apr 12 2017
 Gilbert, AZ
Weaver's Loop w/Aylor's Arch, AZ 
Weaver's Loop w/Aylor's Arch, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2018
Mave1878
Hiking17.05 Miles 3,676 AEG
Hiking17.05 Miles   8 Hrs   33 Mns   2.41 mph
3,676 ft AEG   1 Hour   29 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
John9L
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Weaver’s Loop w/Aylor’s Arch

The First Water approach is much easier vs. Weaver’s Loop, but I felt like doing the loop for more ‘interesting’ mileage. I used Fritzski’s route as reference along with advice from adilling.
Aylor's Arch is located along the ‘main’ or E spine atop Palomino Mountain (W of BTM). Arch reportedly named after Charles & Peg Aylor - fortune hunters, established camp ("Caballo Camp") N of Palomino in the 1940's.

To get to Palomino first hike from First Water to the (Little Boulder Creek) wash near the LD104/Boulder103 junction, just beyond LD104/BM241 junction, turn R and boulder hop or hug the wash for a bit until you pass through a V-shaped ‘gateway’ (~0.45 miles) described by Fritzski as “a narrow opening in the craggy ridge ahead”. OR... hike from from Peralta 102/LD 104 to the LD104/Boulder103 junction and turn L into the wash (~8 miles in).
Note: There is a crested saguaro heading to Palomino from Peralta 102/LD 104 junction near the base of BTM.

Just after passing through the ‘gateway’, you come across an old exploratory mine shaft on L. Shortly after passing through the ‘gateway’ and after the mine shaft you’ll clearly see the ravine to take up the Palomino summit. Look for a set of cairns on the L of the wash marking a recently well worn use trail.

The the climb up the ravine has a few brushy (bushwhacking) spots and a steep grade often w/scree (loose rock, difficult footing), but took less time than I expected. You’re basically navigating around enormous boulders that ‘choke’ the ravine much of the time (noticed on my way back down). The arch will come into view fairly quick (motivation) and be visible motivation when view isn’t obscured by an obstacle.

Once at the top of the ravine, you’ll arrive at a flat area surrounded by vertical fins/spines that generally run N/S. To the R (S) are a fun group of spines to explore w/phenomenal views and some flat areas. To the L (N/NW) are two main spines. Sticking with Fritzski’s notes we’ll call them Middle (closest to you) and E (largest or spine with the arch).

For the arch, trend N, curving NW along the Middle spine for a place to descend to a flat area where you’re facing the beginning of the E spine. Trend L (NW, b/t Middle and E) for a great shot of the arch (from below) and solid lunch and summit brew spot. To get on top of (I wouldn’t - it’s maybe 2ft wide over the arch w/extreme exposure) or super close to the arch start walking across the E spine (think Battleship) up, then down until you see the top of Aylor’s. If at the photo/lunch spot, backtrack to near your descent of the Middle spine to locate E spine approach.

When done exploring, head back to ascend Middle spine at the same spot as descent and curve S to the top of the ravine. The scree is worse going down than up, so take sure steps and retrace your ascent back to the wash and then LD104/Boulder103 junction.

-Mave1878
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5 archives
Apr 22 2017
Mave1878
avatar

 Routes 39
 Photos 59
 Triplogs 5

47 male
 Joined Apr 12 2017
 Gilbert, AZ
Black Top Mesa via First Water TH, AZ 
Black Top Mesa via First Water TH, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 22 2017
Mave1878
Backpack11.74 Miles 3,098 AEG
Backpack11.74 Miles   4 Hrs   50 Mns   2.71 mph
3,098 ft AEG      30 Mns Break35 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I would say you should bring extra socks even if you wear pants (my strong recommendation). The trail was super easy to follow from First Water TH, taking the Lost Dutchman trail (#104) through Parker Pass and seeing Scorpion Pincer rock. There is minimal route finding required to this point. And then you hit a convergence of Lost Dutchman trail (#104) and Black Mesa trail (#241). It should be somewhat obvious, but bear Right. Very soon another convergence of Lost Dutchman trail (#104) and Boulder Canyon trail (#103) to which you continue on Lost Dutchman trail (#104) until reaching the last convergence with Bull Pass trail (#129) and bear Left on Bull Pass. As you go around the left side of Black Top Mesa be on the lookout for a 'use trail' to your right that will break Bull Pass (#129) and head up the "final assault", occasionally pausing to make sure you're still on the use trail. What you're looking for at the top is a grouping of black lava rock boulders. There is a grassy, cacti filled mesa that looked possible for a tent or two, but I was short on daylight and didn't poke around much.
You HAVE to get a 360 degree video or pano pic from the top. One of my most cherished to this day!
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average hiking speed 2.32 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.

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