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64 triplogs

Dec 23 2008
kanode
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Quail Spring to Eagle SpringGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 23 2008
kanode
Hiking4.00 Miles 733 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   1.60 mph
733 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked within 150 feet of the map location of Quail Spring. The vegetation was thick and not worth the effort. The route is an old road most of the way, it turns into a two-track with tall grass, then a path, and then it's bushwhacking. Water was flowing from recent rains so we wouldn't have been able to tell if the spring was flowing. Considering all the vegetation there must still be a spring.

There was a large and creative cairn towards the end of the path but it didn't appear to be marking the path. We looked around the area for a few minutes for petroglyphs or something else interesting but didn't find anything. There were cliffs nearby but they were rough and not conducive to petrogylphs. 33 22 18.61 -111 14 54.68

It's not clear exactly where FR-1900 ends. It would be pretty easy to get into a spot where you can't drive on, there's not room to turn around, and backing up would be very difficult. There were quad tracks more than halfway up the canyon toward Quail Spring--past the Great Wall.
_____________________
Irv
Dec 19 2008
kanode
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Red Hills Needle CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 19 2008
kanode
Hiking13.40 Miles 1,422 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   1.58 mph
1,422 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finding info on this area is difficult because of inconsistent naming. There are other routes through the Red Hills and a Red Hills trail in the Mazatzals. There's another Needle Canyon nearby at Weaver's Needle. The trail on the south end of Black Top Mesa used to be called Needle Cutoff Trail. Now it's just a section of the Dutchman Trail.

I probably should have named this hike: Red Hills Needle Canyon - Superstitions
Al Morrow's mine may have been in the other Needle Canyon

Whatever this hike is called, it's a great hike when there's water flowing and it's not too cold to get wet!
_____________________
Irv
Dec 10 2008
kanode
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Tortilla Creek - Lower LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 10 2008
kanode
Hiking5.20 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles   8 Hrs   45 Mns   0.59 mph
700 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This trip used the saddle overlooking Tortilla Creek (see my 11/18/08 trip report) and then west on Tortilla creek to the point where we turned around on the 11/11/08 hike from Tortilla Flat. That blockage isn't hard to get around (I added photos of the bypass to that trip report).

There are several places on the descent where it's possible to cliff-out but the cliffs are scattered and there are probably half a dozen ways down. If there's a best way, it wasn't obvious. We took a path down from the top that tended to head west. On another trip, I'd probably try the eastern side. All the options are steep, loose, and full of prickly things.

After descending from the saddle, at first we weren't sure we would be able to proceed. It's a jungle down there. Large and small trees, giant reed, flood debris, and miscellaneous other vegetation. I can't say there's surface water all year but the area doesn't get desert dry.

We found that the low bench on the north side of the creek allowed passage. The "jungle" lasts for about a quarter mile headed west. The route to the east seemed even more clogged with vegetation but we didn't make much of an effort to explore in that direction.

A car-shuttle hike (to avoid hiking the roads) from Tortilla Flat to the road at the ex-bridge would take me 8-9 hours with the water conditions we ran into. (That includes taking 200 or so photos.)
_____________________
Irv
Dec 03 2008
kanode
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Tortilla Creek - Lower LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 03 2008
kanode
Hiking5.30 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking5.30 Miles   6 Hrs      0.88 mph
700 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike represents the segment of Lower Tortilla Creek from FR 213 down to just east of Mescal Spring and then west to near the point where another large branch of Tortilla Creek comes in from the south. We didn't reach this Y because of a 12 foot drop.

Warning: Don't go in this area if there's a threat of rain. The canyon is narrow during most of the hike and the boulders show signs of extensive water erosion above head height.

This is the most interesting section of Tortilla Creek that I've seen. It's possibly the best creek hike that I've ever been on with a great reward to effort ratio. It helped that it rained a week before the hike so there was water running and it was warm enough that occasionally wading through 12" of water wasn't an issue. (Although there was an ice skin over puddles on FR 213.)

The bushwhack from FR 213 down to the creek is steep, loose, and requires long sleeves and pants. However, it's not significantly longer, steeper, or looser than the hike from the Tortilla Flat area into that segment of Tortilla creek. The section of Tortilla creek near Mescal Pit Spring is interesting the whole time! (Unlike the section near Tortilla Flat, there aren't any long boring sections of medium size rocks that are just hard on the feet and knees.)

It's one boulder-garden after another separated by short sections of rocks and occasionally solid rock. It's probably not possible to hike this section without getting your feet and calves wet. You'll have more fun, make better time, with less effort, if you plan on hiking the easiest route rather than trying to keep your feet dry.

Most of the boulder gardens offered a choice between an easy route and playing in the boulders. There were three spots that didn't have an easy route.

The first is on the SW corner of the butte east of Mescal Pit Spring--it was easy on the trip out but hard to find on the trip back. On the way out, climb up some medium boulders to the left, slide down a boulder with a pointed upper edge, and then duck under a tree. (On the way back it's hard to find the right tree to duck under and the obvious route is blocked by a century plant. The boulder with the pointed top is just to the left above the century plant.)

The second difficult spot involves crawling across a log over a narrow 10' drop and then an easy climb down. (There's a very brushy bypass 10' farther to the right.)

The third difficult spot is about 150' farther on. It's where we turned around. There's a straight down 20 to 30' drop on the left. On the right, you can get partway down but the final drop is down a 12' boulder that we weren't sure we could get back up.


Carlson in his description of the "Lower Tortilla Creek loop" hike suggests one alternate is starting from Tortilla Flat and hiking Tortilla Creek through to Tortilla Ranch. This hike proves that's NOT possible by HIKERS. A through hike, if possible, would require at a minimum bouldering skills or even a rope.
Fauna
Fauna
Praying Mantis
Geology
Geology
Chalcedony
_____________________
Irv
Nov 28 2008
kanode
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Monument Canyon - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2008
kanode
Hiking6.10 Miles 918 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   7 Hrs      0.87 mph
918 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We went up canyon to the east about 0.1 mile farther than AZLOT69 GPS track. Our trip was cool and cloudy. When we left the Broadway TH, Flatiorn was visible but we rarely saw it the rest of the trip due to low clouds.

Lots of gunfire on this trip. A couple of quail hunters who were also carrying a rifle and pistol in the morning and were either seeing a lot of birds or using hunting as an excuse for target practice. In the afternoon, someone unseen firing below the cave.
_____________________
Irv
Nov 24 2008
kanode
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Tortilla Creek - Lower LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 24 2008
kanode
Hiking6.60 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking6.60 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.47 mph
700 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
An exploratory hike from Peters trailhead north along Tortila Creek to find the fastest and easiest route from FR 213 down to the creekbed. We verified 4 routes.
- Using the Peter's trailhead
It's way south if your plan is to explore north and west.

- From the main site of the old ranch
It's a little farther north and is very easy. Just head SW from the large concrete slab toward two sets of concrete steps and house-slab. You're in the creekbed within a few minutes and no blood. There is tall grass.

- An old horse route down the north side of the largest butte along this section of the creek.
The slope is gentle and you'll see intermittent signs of an old horse trail down to the bottomland. Unfortunately the bottom land is very brushy. It's best to wait before you turn towards the creek. The brush gets thinner farther on but it's probably impossible to avoid scratches.

- Approaching Mescal Pit Spring
There's a small saddle on the north side of the creek about 0.4 miles SE of Mescal Pit Spring. Unfortunately, there's a thicket of trees maybe 50' deep lining the creekbed that you have to get through first. The lower section of the hillside is somewhat steep and loose--it's not much of a problem when headed up but could be difficult when headed down or after a rain. Our route isn't definitive--we probably could have stayed somewhat lower on the hill.
Fauna
Fauna
Red-tailed Hawk
_____________________
Irv
Nov 18 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Tortilla Creek - Lower LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 18 2008
kanode
Hiking3.00 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   5 Hrs      0.60 mph
800 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This trip represents part of the exit route for Carlson's lower Tortilla Creek Loop hike #36. It starts at the saddle (Carlson's 14-C) overlooking Tortilla Creek and ends at the ex-bridge for the original Apache Trail (14-W) . The ex-bridge was replaced by a large fill at Mesquite Flat that shortens the Apache trail by about 2.3 mile.

The original Apache Trail route to the ex-bridge is shown on the Beartooth Map of the Superstitions and is driveable by high clearance vehicles. The worst section is the first 100 feet as you leave the paved road although there is a short rutted section farther in.

The point of this hike was to determine the time required to hike down from the saddle overlooking Tortilla Creek to the ex-bridge--we found it to be 2 hours. Carlson says that hiking up from Tortilla creek to the saddle, bushwhacking down to the creek, walking the old road, and walking back along the paved road to where you parked at a pull-off east of Tortilla flat is one to two hours shorter than hiking back along Tortilla Creek.

- I'd guess 45 minutes to climb from Tortilla Creek to the Saddle
- 2 hours from the Saddle to the ex-bridge
- 45 minutes (2.2 miles) from the ex-bridge back to the pull-off east of Tortilla Creek
So about 3.5 hours.

The exit route has a lot of rock hopping but nothing approaching the bouldering in Tortilla creek. The slope is steep, loose, and brushy.
There were a lot of paths (I assume game trails) that went across the slope but non that had much change in altitude.
_____________________
Irv
Nov 11 2008
kanode
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Tortilla Creek - Lower LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2008
kanode
Hiking4.00 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   0.66 mph
700 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked up Tortilla Creek from SR 88 just east of Tortilla Flat. Turned around at N 33.51892 W 111.36107 when we ran into a blockage. There's a bypass along the north wall of the canyon but not worth the effort considering we were just 30 minutes from our turn around time.
[Added photo of the bypass which I used on a later trip.]

Apparently it had rained recently since some of boulders had water in their catch basins.

On the leg headed south, there were occasional pools of stagnant water but they didn't impact our progress. Near the turn east at Hell Hole Spring, the vegetation was lush (almost jungle-like) with water across most of the canyon floor. There were a few cattails and a large infestation of Giant Reed.

This was a good hike. A mixture of rock hopping, bouldering, and jungle.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Irv
Nov 06 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Canyon Lake Massif - Peak 2276Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 06 2008
kanode
Hiking1.90 Miles 480 AEG
Hiking1.90 Miles   1 Hour   40 Mns   1.14 mph
480 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Good trip with the cooler weather (mid 60's). Upon reaching the top, it was somewhat uncomfortable due to very high humidity. High enough to fog eyeglasses. Apparently moisture coming off the lake.
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Irv
Nov 06 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Coronado MesaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 06 2008
kanode
Hiking3.10 Miles 870 AEG
Hiking3.10 Miles   2 Hrs   35 Mns   1.20 mph
870 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
In general we followed Joe's route but immediately on reaching the mesa we headed east to the drop-off. ( I've taken friends and family to that point for the dramatic views and then turned around for a hike of less than a mile.)

I didn't do the last 0.2 miles of Joe's route where it hooks east. Going up wouldn't have been bad but the climb down would have been hell on my knees.
_____________________
Irv
Oct 25 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 25 2008
kanode
Hiking18.50 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking18.50 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   2.18 mph
200 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike was from the East end to near Horse Camp Canyon with a 7 mile RT into Deer Canyon on the way out.

We car camped along Turkey Creek on Friday night so we could get an early start on Saturday morning. There was one good spot 0.3 miles south of Aravaipa, and another 0.7 miles south (as far as we went). The 0.7 miles into Turkey Creek had spots that required high clearance but 4WD was not required on that section.

The road to the Aravaipa-Turkey Creek junction was well-graded. Cars with low clearance may have had problems driving that far due to water at the various crossings. I didn't get out to check but I'd guess the deepest spots were 6-9 inches deep. Numerous pickups and truck-based SUVs had made it without problem.

We started hiking at the junction of Turkey and Aravaipa creeks at 6:30 am. (There's room for several vehicles to park.) The plan was to hike to Paisano Canyon (that's as far east as I had been) and then explore Deer Canyon. The Aravaipa hike was so pleasant that we didn't turn around until we were only about 0.75 miles from Horse Camp Canyon. This 5.7 miles took 3 hours. There was lots of slippery moss on the rocks so we spent more time hiking out of the water than planned.

We returned to Deer Creek and then hiked up it 3.5 miles in less than an hour and half. That included time spent talking to another HikeArizonan (TM1ssKDMac ) that we ran into at the small but noisy waterfall. We turned around at a large boulder partially blocking the canyon. The hike to that point was well worthwhile with numerous grottos and seeps. I wish we had allowed more time for Deer Creek so we could have gone in farther.

Surprisingly given our early start, we only saw one heron, and 3 toads although there were lots of tracks both in Aravaipa and Deer Canyons.
_____________________
Irv
Sep 23 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Cuff Button Trail #276Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 23 2008
kanode
Hiking7.80 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking7.80 Miles   7 Hrs      1.11 mph
1,500 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This route is shown as a trail on some topo maps (Garmin and NG-Topo!). It is not a trail or a path! Much of it is a bloody brutal pathless route through head-high catclaw and heavy brush. I frequently had to hold the GPS in hand to try to follow the route.

- The section west from the Miles Ranch TH on the West Pinto Trail #212 was mostly pleasant but somewhat overgrown due to light traffic during the summer.
- The section north from Oak Flat on the unsigned Cuff Button trail is a mostly well defined path after the first 100 feet or so. The start of the trail closely follows the creekbed on the west bank. The trail is currently overgrown in spots and there is face high catclaw. This will improve during the cooler months since it gets some horse traffic.
- Once you pass Jerky Spring headed north, you'll get into heavy brush and catclaw thickets. Head down to the creekbed as soon as possible--there's less catclaw down there.
- Leave the creek at the old corral and stock tank and head uphill and east. We followed a path that matched the topo maps for a hundred feet or so but soon switched to a strategy of finding the easiest route through the brush while trying to head in the general direction of the route on the topo maps. Several times we followed game trails that took us several hundred feet off route.
- After heading cross country you'll be back in a creekbed headed east
- From prior trips, I knew the route starting south back to the Miles TH as shown on the topo maps is not the current path of use. The path south is currently overgrown and hard to follow due to the lack of horse traffic during the summer. I was constantly loosing the path and having to find it again using GPS tracks from earlier trips.

Unless you love the challenge of fighting your way through catclaw, the best way to see this country is on a horse while wearing leather chaps.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Irv
Sep 15 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Tony's BackyardGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 15 2008
kanode
Hiking6.50 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.44 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike has been on my list a long time. Now that the Phoenix temps have dropped to the century mark, this hike became feasible. We started hiking at 8:15 am and the temp was 82 degrees with wind gusts around 30 mph. A jacket would have been welcome if we had spent time sitting around at the trailhead. It was only 92 degrees at 1:30 pm.

- We parked at: N 33.37518 W 111.09497
- We used the trail headed down at: N 33.37510 W 111.09485 (Joe's GPS route)
- There's an old road down to the creekbed several hundred feet farther along FR 342 at: N 33.37450 W 111.09394 I didn't go down the old road. The path used on Joe's GPS track is a an easy route down the hill so there's not a pressing reason to use the alternate route.

Route finding was easy for us because there were recent horse tracks which made it a lot easier to find the creek-bypasses. I'd like to do this hike again and stay in the creek bed the entire trip. The bypasses are easy on the feet but tend to be boring.

The drive in on FR 342 is 4WD and is difficult in the early morning because you are headed uphill with the sun is in your eyes on a narrow winding shelf road.

There is some catclaw on the first part of the hike but it's only knee high and not a problem as long as you're not wearing shorts. The creek was dry in the first and last thirds of the hike. The middle third was damp and had some small pools. More water would have made the hike more interesting. The least interesting part of the hike is the third approaching Tony Ranch. If you've been to Tony Ranch before, you're not missing anything by turning around early.

I see that Joe thought the last section into the ranch was the best--it depends on the time of the year and the presence of water. I can see where water and fall-color would make the last section beautiful.

The Superstition Land Trust bought the 78 acre ranch in August of 2008.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Irv
Sep 01 2008
kanode
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
First Water Lower Creek ShuttlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 01 2008
kanode
Canyoneering5.75 Miles 300 AEG
Canyoneering5.75 Miles   4 Hrs      1.44 mph
300 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We started from the north end at mile marker 208 at 7:15 am and a comfortable 81 degrees. We spent 95% of the creekbed portion of the hike in the water. Most of the water was close to air temperature.

There were a lot of waist deep sections in the northern half with one section that required swimming. This section was between 5 and 20 feet long depending on how much we used hand holds on the rock face to keep our heads out of the water.

I lost the bottom for 5 feet on another section but my partner then took a bypass around it.

The highlight of the trip was when we came around a corner and saw a tree next to the creek that was full of coatamundis. My UV filter had fogged on the inside and by the time I got it off, they had climbed several hundred feet away. We counted 11 but there could have been a few more.
Fauna
Fauna
Coatimundi
_____________________
Irv
Jul 19 2008
kanode
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jul 19 2008
kanode
Canyoneering10.00 Miles 200 AEG
Canyoneering10.00 Miles   4 Hrs   24 Mns   2.27 mph
200 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Left the West end trailhead at 7:45 am, went in 5 miles (about halfway between Javalina and Virgus Canyons) and turned around with the goal of getting out around noon before the temperature got above 100°.

It was in the mid 80's when we started and was up to 102 as we left the stream a few minutes after noon.

Even in July, most of the 30 west-end permits are being used on weekends. The drive from Tempe takes about 2:15.
Fauna
Fauna
Bighorn Sheep
_____________________
Irv
Feb 21 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Old West Boulder Canyon RidgePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 21 2008
kanode
Hiking10.50 Miles 3,300 AEG
Hiking10.50 Miles   10 Hrs   30 Mns   1.00 mph
3,300 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It took Chuck and I 10.5 hours but it should be closer to a 9 hour trip if you follow the route that we used coming down the ridge.

We built some cairns near the peaks marking easy routes up and down their edges. Route finding was straightforward--just keep headed uphill. The only nuisance is that you can't see very far ahead to pick the best route.
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Irv
Feb 16 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Rock Creek Trail #195 - SuperstitionsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2008
kanode
Hiking5.50 Miles 1,555 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles   4 Hrs      1.38 mph
1,555 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked up Rock Creek to the falls. The first two miles were pleasant and the trail was well defined. (Someone has built cairns since my last trip.) Then I ran into the catclaw. The last 0.7 miles to the falls took their toll in blood--dripping from both ears and my nose. The deepest creek crossings were knee deep.

BTW: The Forest Service has plowed up the old Miles trailhead and moved the signs slightly north to Kennedy Ranch. The new trailhead is just west of the corral. However, they didn't fill in the mud hole at the corral so low clearance vehicles may have to park at the corral.
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Irv
Feb 09 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Cave Trail #233Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 09 2008
kanode
Hiking5.60 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles   5 Hrs      1.12 mph
1,400 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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We went up the Cave trail, and around the east side of the Fortress. There's two spots with climbs of about 6 feet that require both hands and feet to pull yourself up. My Garmin 60cs GPS had major problems getting a signal on this portion but Dan's Garmin GPS logged the full track. There were a lot of wet spots and even a tiny patch of ice.

Took a break for lunch on a high spot slightly north and east of Fremont saddle. Headed back down the Cave trail along the west side of the Fortress. We could have easily done this lasso-loop in 4 hours.

The trail both up and down was fairly easy to follow. We occasionally had to stop and look around for the next cairn.

We ran into a group at the Tub that had been told the Cave trail was a shortcut down from Fremont saddle--and that's all they knew about the trail. (No map, no GPS, no hike description from HikeAZ.) One of our group, Chuck, showed them how to slide down the rock below the tub. Ran into a group from Superstition Search and Rescue that said the cave trail was one of their most frequent source of calls.
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Irv
Feb 02 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
 Routes 57
 Photos 1,107
 Triplogs 64

71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Superstition Peak 5057 Loop via HieroPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 02 2008
kanode
Hiking12.40 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking12.40 Miles   8 Hrs   45 Mns   1.42 mph
3,500 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We followed frequent cairns the entire way to the ridgeline. In addition, there was a well defined path the whole way except for the sections over rock. The well-defined route matches that of gpsjoe which differs from Joe Bartels only near the top. If you're not a mountain goat, take the path near the top that tends west (the one that matches the gpsjoe track). It's well defined and easy--it even has mini-switchbacks. The drawback is that you hit the ridgeline farther west and lower.

We didn't see or didn't notice the "10 foot wall" perhaps it's in this upper section.

I'd rate this currently as a 4 to 4.5 with route finding as a 2 due to all the cairns. It's similar in difficulty to the route up from Carney Spring or the route to Flatiron. It looked to be harder coming down than going up.

There was only one steep section about 3/4 of the way up--but it's less than a quarter mile. It had scree on top of solid rock but you can spend most of your time on solid rock by carefully picking your route. There were two sets of cairns through the scree. One set went pretty much straight up the hill (matching the gps tracks). Another set of cairns skirted the slope to the left nearer to the creek bed but these cairns soon ended. This lower route over bare rock bears more investigating. (It seems to match the route proposed in "60 Hikes within 60 miles of Phoenix": "If you find yourself on a steep slope covered in scree and loose rock, you've gone to far to the right.")

The views climbing up Hieroglyphic Canyon were a lot more interesting than I expected. (There was water flowing and even ice in shaded areas of the higher elevations.)

One reason this hike was so easy is that we left the trailhead at sunrise and made it to the ridgeline before the temperature hit 50 degrees and before the sun hit us.

This is the second time that I've left the Hiero trailhead about dawn and have run into a bridal party headed down. What wedding day rituals are taking place at dawn near the hieroglyphics?
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Irv
Jan 19 2008
kanode
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 Guides 7
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71 male
 Joined Jan 07 2004
 Tempe, AZ
Coyote Buttes via Cottonwood CoveNorthwest, UT
Northwest, UT
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2008
kanode
Hiking2.40 Miles 340 AEG
Hiking2.40 Miles   2 Hrs      1.20 mph
340 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Coyote Buttes South: Cottonwood Teepees

A $5 permit is required per person. The BLM only issues one parking permit per group. So if you're taking two vehicles, apply for permits as two groups.

The drive in is 4WD and high clearance (because of sand ruts and the possibility of powdery sand). On this trip the sand was frozen so it was an easier than normal drive. I understand that a car-based 4WD SUV can have problems with loose dry sand in the summer. The road may be impassable due to snow or rain.

This area is as interesting as Coyote Buttes North and The Wave. It's a toss-up as to whether "The Wave" or "The Cottonwood Teepee Fins" are the more impressive. We could have easily spent several more hours in this area but we were also visiting White Pockets. (The White Pockets trip is listed under the listing of Arizona hikes.)

We drove past the Paw Hole trailhead on the way to Cottonwood Teepees. Hiking there appears to require another $5 permit per person since the permits specify a trailhead.
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Irv
average hiking speed 1.26 mph
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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.

90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
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