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Peter's Canyon - Upper Loop - 6 members in 9 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
9 triplogs
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9 Triplogs
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May 29 2021
ScottHika
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 Guides 2
 Routes 11
 Photos 374
 Triplogs 19

male
 Joined Sep 19 2020
 Phoenix
Peter's Canyon - Upper LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar May 29 2021
ScottHika
Canyoneering23.98 Miles 4,320 AEG
Canyoneering23.98 Miles   11 Hrs   26 Mns   2.10 mph
4,320 ft AEG16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I chose Peter’s Canyon Loop hoping to stay and hike in town a while longer before it gets too hot. With temps creeping into the high 90s and little chance of water, this was not an easy day hike. Hiking during the dry season is a blessing and a curse. There’s little/no salvageable water to capitalize on, so I had to carry. Also the canyon is much more scenic with water flowing. The upside is that it’s a bit easier to pass through when dry.

I started 6:30 am at Tortilla Flat and did a counter clockwise loop through the canyon, along Peter’s 105, FR213 and back on the 88 about 11.5 hours later. I was conserving but misjudged and ran out of water at Tortilla, so caught a lift the last few miles back to Tortilla Flat. I could have made it but decided not to press my luck.

Part of the reason I picked this hike is that I heard rumors that the infamous red-paint-tagger had been through Peter’s Canyon. Good news, there were no red painted cairns within the actual canyon. While back on the 105 I was motivated to remove another 100+ bright red eyesores from that section. This was the segment from Peter’s Canyon back to where I turned off for Music Mountain recently. I suspect that the trail from Peter’s Canyon up to the Mesa is probably still filled with ugly red rocks. To be honest it was pretty exhausting correcting the vandalism on an already long day hike and really slowed me down. Other than that it was a great look at Peter’s in the month of May and a trip that I’ll probably always remember. Check the photoset for more details.
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1 archive
Feb 19 2012
Dave1
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 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

45 male
 Joined Jan 25 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Peter's Canyon - Upper LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 19 2012
Dave1
Hiking12.71 Miles 3,776 AEG
Hiking12.71 Miles   8 Hrs   51 Mns   1.97 mph
3,776 ft AEG   2 Hrs   23 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
johnlp
This was a really tough day even though the mileage was short! It was all off-trail once we left Peter's Canyon (which could be considered off-trail as well).

We started off at 7:15am from Tortilla Flat. Made our way along the trail that follows above Tortilla Creek and then eventually drops into the creek. After some rock hoping and light brush navigating, we made it through Tortilla and to the intersection with Peter's. Peter's Canyon starts off with some large, house-sized boulders but are easily climbed. Travel was slow through Peter's since it is all rock hoping or boulder climbing with a few short slick rock sections thrown in. We spent a lot time stopping and spying the various caves and alcoves found up above us. There is so much to see in this canyon, I could spend many days here! Fortunately we didn't have much problem bypassing any of the pools or waterfalls since there isn't much water at all in Peter's right now. I was happy to see that a large pool that had stopped me in February 2011 was completely dry today. I had planned on taking a small boat to cross this pool. Glad I didn't bring it.

Once we got to Pistol Canyon we could see that it was completely choked with vegetation. We decided to give it a try anyway but only made it up a few hundred yards. Its not really sharp stuff but just very thick. Figuring it would take more time to fight through the veg, we turned around and resumed with Peter's. We followed Peter's around a long bend and eventually left the canyon to take a slope up to Peter's Mesa. The slope was covered in cat's claw, cactus and other various sharp, mean, evil, plants. This was pretty much how the rest of the day would be.

From the mesa (its wasn't really Peter's Mesa, but close enough) we picked up Wally's track that leads up to Malapais Mountain. Looking at the proposed route, we were skeptical at first but this turned out to be a pretty good way up to the peak. We crossed over the heads of Squaw and Deering Canyon, passing by an old camp. I originally wanted to take a detour down Deering Canyon to the choke stone but decided to save that for another day. The views from Malapais were excellent even though it was a bit hazy today. I had never seen Battleship from above before, interesting to be able to look down on it! We could not find a peak register on top of Malapais, maybe there isn't one.

From Malapais, we followed Joe's track all the way back to Tortilla Flat, skipping Geronimo Head. The first mile or so, across the other two peaks north of Malapais, was the most brutal part of the day. Every foot step has to be carefully placed as every bit of vegetation it out to assault you! The trip down from Malapai was quite unpleasant, I don't see my self ever doing it again. I'm glad I did it though, just never again.

The long steep sloping section down to Tortilla Flat was made a bit more enjoyable as we had the sounds of a live band from the restaurant playing Elvis and rockabilly tunes to help motivate us. Pretty cool!

Thanks for joining me, John!
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Feb 19 2012
johnlp
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 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,933
 Triplogs 3,985

64 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Peter's Canyon - Upper LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 19 2012
johnlp
Hiking12.71 Miles 3,776 AEG
Hiking12.71 Miles   8 Hrs   51 Mns   1.97 mph
3,776 ft AEG   2 Hrs   23 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
Dave1
This is one beautiful and demanding hike. Peters Canyon is a wonderful place lined with cliffs full of caves. The Dutchman mine may be in there somewhere, you never know. We gave Pistol Canyon a try, but the brush was so thick we gave up and returned to keep ascending Peters Canyon. We climbed out of Peters Canyon before the cowboy dam to meet up with Wally's track up Malapais. The views from Malapais are outstanding. We couldn't find a summit register. Odd. From here its all down hill and easier, right? Not. The descent from Malapais back to Tortilla Flat felt more difficult than all the uphill. Lots of agave, hedgehog, prickly pear, catsclaw, and ocotillo to dodge. Slopes are steep and loose. Some covered in slick green grass. The views make up for it though. Awesome hike with Dave1. Hope I didn't slow you down too much. Thanks for setting this one up! :)
Flora
Flora
Gooding's Verbena
Culture
Culture
Balloon
Named place
Named place
Battleship Mountain
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
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Jan 31 2010
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

42 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Malapais Mountain - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 31 2010
Vaporman
Hiking14.00 Miles 4,200 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   12 Hrs   20 Mns   1.14 mph
4,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I actually did a Malapais Mt-Pistol Canyon-Peters Canyon Loop that's trip #37 from the Superstition Guide. Ever since I first descended this creek two winters ago I've been itching to come back, but this time as a loop hike instead of a shuttle. As you can probably guess from the topos and terrain this is quite an adventurous burly hike. Thanks to Joe's GPS track, I was able to stay mostly on course and made decent time on the cross country bushwhack thru a new area of the Supes I've yet to explore up to Malapais Mt to enjoy the amazing views up there. The descent off of the eastern slope was about as slow going as the steep climb up that canyon on the northside. :sweat: I ran across that old camp mentioned in Carlson's Book down near that unnamed wash with loads of white quartzite everywhere. I continued up and over a saddle into the western fork of Pistol Canyon which start out fairly open but then got brushy with some down climbs just before reaching Pistol Canyon. Pistol didn't have much of any climbing but was quite the bushwhack to navigate thru. So much for making good time... :roll: When I got to Peters Canyon it was flowing fairly good like is to be assumed after the recent storms, so I change into water shoes & neoprene socks and filter a couple liters of water. Though after filtering the water I totally forgot to clip my dry shoes to my pack and did nearly a mile of rock hopping down the creek before I realized my mistake. ](*,) I was on pace to finish near sunset, but I wasted 1.5 hours going back to the Pistol-Peters confluence to retrieve my $100 shoes... The upper narrows were pretty sweet and I got up to my waist in water but I wasn't in the mood to swim in that cold water and did some class 3/4 climbing to bypass the many pools/falls. It was about Peters Cave that I had to start hiking with the headlamp but thankfully its a mini spotlight so night hiking down the flowing creek wasn't too crazy. :whistle: The creek is flowing pretty good thru the narrows, so in total there's about a dozen large pools and/or waterfalls to bypass, swim with a wetsuit, or wait until it warms up. Thanks to the GPS, I was able to make my own bypass route out of Tortilla Canyon back to Tortilla Flat and I eventually stumbled upon the actual trail in the dark and got back to my car about 2 hours after dark... :sweat:

I think this loop is about 12 miles though Carlson lists it as 14, but I added 2 extra miles for the sidetrip to get my shoes... Even though that's my second time thru lower Peters with it flowing both times, I've yet to have enough time/daylight/energy to stop and enjoy it. So I still need plan a trip just to lower Peters so I can fully enjoy this hidden gem in the desert. :D
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
Jan 18 2009
nonot
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 Guides 98
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 495

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Peter's Canyon - Upper LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jan 18 2009
nonot
Canyoneering17.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Canyoneering17.00 Miles2 Days         
1,500 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
VI - Two or more days
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Took Peters Trail from the Apache Trail to Peters canyon and spent the most of 2 days making our way. There was about the same amount, or maybe a little bit more water from when I created this trip description. We exited at Tortilla Flats, so now I can finally claim to have done the whole thing as I was missing a mile in the middle. Surprisingly, below the canyon I referred to as "Bushwhack Canyon" and some members inform me that this may be called "Pistol Canyon" (though not all maps agree), the entire 500 gallon per minute creek disappears underground for about three quarters of a mile.

Someone has done some serious trail maintenance for the first 2 miles of Peters trail all the way until you begin climbing up the steep grade as you near Kane Spring (Thank you!). Kurt broke out the snips at that point and I pitched in where I could clearing some brush from the trail, so it's in better shape then I've ever seen it before. Get out there and enjoy it while you can!

You couldn't ask for better weather anywhere, anytime as this last weekend.

Not everything went as planned as our group ended up camping in two different places, but by the time I woke up the next morning we were again a complete group. Great hike, great company, thankfully even though it didn't go by the book everyone emerged safe and happy.

Note: The campsite I turned around at in my gps log of lower Peter's Canyon (starting from the bottom) is actually part of a bypass route that avoids a mandatory swim. Other than this there was one section I had to get waist deep in.

Although Vaporman did this in a day, I would advise most people to take 2.

I just realized this is my 100th trip I've logged, this was a great trip for it!
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Dec 14 2008
te_wa
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 Guides 3
 Photos 1,156
 Triplogs 336

50 male
 Joined Aug 22 2003
 Mesa
Peter's Canyon - Upper LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Dec 14 2008
te_wa
Canyoneering9.00 Miles 150 AEG
Canyoneering9.00 Miles   7 Hrs      1.29 mph
150 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
rushthezeppelin
took a few others into the dreaded Peters canyon for an off trail adventure. this time, we were pushing daylight so opted to climb out of the creek a ways before Pistol Canyon. It was the easiest off trail approach to Peter's Mesa according to the map and after an hour of catsclaw boxing and route finding, we made it to the Mesa and descended to Charlebois for the night. We were "rocked" to sleep for a few hours with stiff winds and blowing rain. Awoke to a chilling 38 degrees and came out on Peter's trail proper under cloudy skies and cold breezes. Although I did not get to finish the loop, the views from the Mesa allowed me to spy some new routes, so I'll be back (the te-wanator)

I was amazed to see Charlebois trough is completely dry - so much for the forest service and their pet minnows... :(
Fauna
Fauna
Praying Mantis

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Charlebois Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
creek still flowing lightly, the trough is completely dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Kane Spring Dripping Dripping
Typical in-ground puddle
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squirrel!
Dec 24 2007
nonot
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 Guides 98
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 495

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Peter's Canyon - Upper LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 24 2007
nonot
Hiking3.10 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking3.10 Miles   5 Hrs      0.62 mph
700 ft AEG
 
This was a spectacular side trip with all the water. If nothing else, the cowboy dam near the beginning should be a highlight for the Peters Trail.

The scenery is really awesome as you proceed downstream and its easy until you have to whack your way 0.4 miles up a 0.8 mile canyon. It's steep too on the way back to the top of the mesa, look at the GPS route.

Give yourself plenty of time, It took us about 5 hours for this detour, probably because I stopped and took alot of pictures.

Vaporman indicates continuing downstream to Tortilla Flats is possible, he did it the same day we did this loop without telling us until later!

I look forward to returning. Cottonwood Canyon and some of the other unnamed canyons in this area are begging to be explored. I also intend to do the whole trip to the flats as well.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon Sunset
_____________________
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
Dec 24 2007
nonot
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 Guides 98
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 495

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Peter's MesaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Dec 24 2007
nonot
Backpack24.00 Miles 5,300 AEG
Backpack24.00 Miles1 Day   9 Hrs      
5,300 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Took Peters Trail to Charlebois. Deer were everywhere. The recent rains have made the creeks really spectacular and they are still flowing three weeks later.

Took a side trip, apparently following Vaporman for awhile, except we were doing it on purpose (see forthcoming new hike description). Back up Peters Mesa we began the descent to the south and finished the last mile to Charlebois in the moonlight.

Overnight at Charlebois was cold, temps were below freezing by 10PM and I was covered in frost and ice in the morning. It was probably about 10 degrees colder than I was properly equipped for. Thanks weathermen!

The next day we headed out Dutchman taking the Red Tanks through Upper LaBarge Box and back north on Hoolie Bacon. Spotted tracks of a cougar stalking a deer on Hoolie, very cool! More deer tracks were spotted later on as well, but no deer and no cougars were seen the second day...too bad.

Briefly lost the trail at the Tortilla Creek Confluence, same place I lost it last time, guess I didn't learn. The Hoolie and JF are in better shape for the most part. There is some catclaw between Horse Ridge and Trap Canyon, but it seemed better than last time I took it.

Finished 5.5 hours later before it got too cold or dark. Great loop!
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
Dec 22 2007
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

42 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Peter's Canyon - Upper LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Dec 22 2007
Vaporman
Canyoneering8.00 Miles
Canyoneering8.00 Miles   6 Hrs      1.33 mph
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did this canyon on accident, but had the time of my life exploring this remote canyon; other than the fact that I didn't know exactly where I was half the time and hoping I wouldn't have to spend the night. I was attempting to do a Tortilla Super Loop but got 'diverted' down Peters Canyon instead. I ended up staying in the creek all the way to the highway and hitched a ride from Tortilla Flat back to my car at Tortilla TH. :)
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
1 archive
average hiking speed 1.49 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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