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Willow Springs from First Water TH - 9 members in 27 triplogs have rated this an average 3.8 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Nov 21 2020
hikerdw
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,889
 Triplogs 504

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2020
hikerdw
Hiking12.15 Miles 1,673 AEG
Hiking12.15 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   2.41 mph
1,673 ft AEG      43 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Decided to take a trip out West Boulder Canyon to view up close the damage done by the recent fire. This was our 5th trip so we are both pretty familiar with the area.

The use trail that leaves the Dutchman Trail at Parker Pass is in pretty nice shape overall. The first section up and down to O'Grady Canyon saw no fire damage and is easy to follow. The section across O'Grady Canyon that climbs up and over Tim's Pass was torched. The trail itself is easy to follow and easy to side step any charred branches.

The fire damage in West Boulder Canyon is mostly on the west side. Where it did burn it looks like it burned very hot. Unfortunately the Old Wire Corral site that Adolf Ruth most likely used during his short stay in the wilderness was destroyed, leaving only the wire itself remaining. It will be pretty tough to stomach if you were one of the lucky ones to see it pre-fire. The nice campsite along the bank was also destroyed.

Willow Spring had a light flow and the reeds are starting to grow back.

The Barkley Stone Corral is still in tact and saw no fire damage at all, still a vegetation nightmare to try to get in so I took a picture from a high point looking down.

Got a little warm on the trek out but not to bad.
Named place
Named place
Willow Spring

dry O'Grady Canyon Dry Dry


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Willow Spring Dripping Dripping
A tickle of run-off.
_____________________
Expect to self rescue
1 archive
Dec 08 2018
wallyfrack
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 Routes 91
 Photos 5,265
 Triplogs 1,410

61 male
 Joined Mar 11 2003
 AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2018
wallyfrack
Hiking10.30 Miles 1,246 AEG
Hiking10.30 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   1.69 mph
1,246 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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A trip through O'Grady Canyon and up into Old West Boulder Canyon. The section of O'Grady Canyon from Tim's Saddle to Old Wets Boulder Canyon was easy going. The lower section of Old West Boulder Canyon is good but gets rougher and starts to choke the farther up you travel. There are some nice views up and down the canyon and a good look at Tortilla Peak and the top of Black Mountain. A nice place to avoid the crowd.
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2 archives
Apr 14 2018
bretinthewild
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 Photos 392
 Triplogs 25

34 male
 Joined Apr 01 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Black Mesa Loop - Superstition MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 14 2018
bretinthewild
Hiking11.00 Miles 1,125 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   5 Hrs      2.20 mph
1,125 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Took off for a Saturday solo hike to enjoy the last of this cooler weather.

Decided to do the Black Mesa Loop clockwise. I'd hiked out to Second Water Spring in January as part of a longer loop. This time, wanted to cut down on Black Mesa to see what it was like.

Couple nice views of Four Peaks near the junction of Black Mesa and Second Water. Hike takes you up and over, eventually to a giant flat area that is probably used for group camping. Weaver's Needle is prominent on the trail the rest of the way.

Made it down the white rock and decided to scramble up on the last rock ledge section before the trail dropped all the way down to the bottom of the valley.

Found an old rusty horse ring near the top. Great views of the needle and everything else.

About 100 yards before Dutchman Trail, the dry creek bed looks like a trail to the right, and a couple hikers ahead of me went that way. I saw the cairns to the left to finish off Black Mesa. Saw those folks a bit later on, bushwhacking back to the real trail.

At one point I took a break, pulled out my map and decided I'd take a side trip to check out Tim's Saddle. Found the turn-off to the saddle pretty easily and headed up and over. The trail is small but pretty good tread and well marked. Great view from the saddle. Wanted to keep going but will need to save the trek all the way out to Willow Spring for another day.
Culture
Culture
Old Rusty Stuff
Dec 26 2017
Mike_Fels
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 Routes 17
 Photos 485
 Triplogs 487

73 male
 Joined Jan 07 2010
 Chandler, AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 26 2017
Mike_Fels
Hiking13.08 Miles 1,958 AEG
Hiking13.08 Miles   5 Hrs   43 Mns   2.41 mph
1,958 ft AEG      18 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
I needed 12.5 miles to get to my goal for 2017. I had seen this trail on HAZ but in 43 years of hiking the Dutchman I had never noticed the trail branching off. Sure enough there it was. It's really kind of a neat little trail. Quite overgrown in many areas, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Fritzski was totally correct beautiful views from several places on the trail and again at Tim's Saddle. But all that changed when you get to the bottom of the hill from Tim's Saddle. That is when the trail ends and you hit West Boulder "Creek" Other than 5 or 6 little puddles it was totally dry. And those puddles would have made a frog claustrophobic. I originally tried to find some sort of trail, but I think the only thing that lives there is cat claw, prickly pear and cholla. In 45 miutes the best I did was to get to the house sized boulder mentioned by Fritzski. At this point I decided to just turn around and live to do battle another day.

I then figured I'd use Black Mesa Loop to get the rest of the 12.5 miles I needed.

The sun was bright and very warm. Every once in a while a breeze would sneak through. Not many people on the trails most were probably there on Christmas day.
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Nov 19 2017
rayhuston
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 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,971
 Triplogs 692

64 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 19 2017
rayhuston
Hiking11.94 Miles 1,842 AEG
Hiking11.94 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   1.76 mph
1,842 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
If you want to hike out to Willow Spring, use the posted trail. Do not follow the route I took on the first half of my hike today. I did this hike for the workout (bouldering rocks!) plus a chance to see some new stuff.

The first part of the hike followed the FW Upper Creek Loop. When the creek trail bends back towards Dutchman, I continued south following a route I picked up from the SAR website. The route was what I expected for the most part, until I ran into a jungle, then it got nasty for a bit. I must have missed a turn, cause I can't imagine anyone wanting to go through that. After reviewing my route a week later and comparing it to the SAR route, I did miss a turn; I should have stayed above the fray and skirted around to the NE, where the brush ends, before bending back to the SE.

Merged onto WB canyon at the end of the SAR route, then bumpy smooth sailing to the spring. Good water at the spring, but nothing (or nothing good) anywhere else.

Snapped some pics at Willow Spring, then headed over to the stone corral to see if I could find some good shots there. I found the south anchorage and I could see the anchorage on the other side. I am assuming that the thick brush that's there now must have been there when Adolf Ruth cleared that out and built the wall. It's truly amazing what people were willing to do out here in this wilderness.

I followed the official Willow Spring route back to FW trailhead. Ignore the large cairn to your left as you head back. The cairn invites you to leave the creek into the bush to the west. It's part of the official route, but it's so overgrown in there that you'll quickly regret leaving the creek. I did.

I exited WB creek along a cairned route below Tim's Saddle and followed the path up and over Tim's and another saddle farther along. I hooked up with Dutchman again at Parker Pass. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed Dutchman after all of that boulder hopping.

Fun hike, but only if you like off trail and boulder hopping. Lot's of both today. The weather was perfect. I didn't see anyone (and didn't expect to) until the last couple of miles on the Dutchman trail. Then I saw a few families enjoying the outdoors on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.
Flora
Flora
Chuparosa



dry O'Grady Canyon Dry Dry

dry O'Grady Creek Dry Dry



water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Willow Spring Dripping Dripping
Pools in the reeds, trickling out and down the slick rock as you approach.
_____________________
5 archives
Aug 20 2016
jacobemerick
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 Guides 33
 Routes 77
 Photos 1,218
 Triplogs 167

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 20 2016
jacobemerick
Hiking13.57 Miles 2,566 AEG
Hiking13.57 Miles   7 Hrs   35 Mns   2.17 mph
2,566 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Been dealing with a chest cold this week, few better ways of clearing the lungs out than a fun Supes loop :lol:

Started around five from First Water TH, was the first parked car there. Weird - think its the first time I've seen it empty. Weather was great this morning with temps around 73, cloud cover after the sunrise kept it below 90 until ten-ish. Trail up and over Parker Pass is in great shape (if a bit boring after hiking it n times). Bumped into first rattler on the way down the pass, scared the be-jeebus out of me. 104 between Palomino and Black Top is a bit overgrown. Peralta was good except for one section, the part around the 6 mile mark on my route that had a bunch of cairns and forking trails that was confusing to get through. The spot I chose to go off-trail to cut up and over the ridge turned out to be pretty easy to climb and made for a hard descent (like any good off-trail descent in the Supes, I guess). Water at the spring looked questionable, could be filtered in a pinch, but there is some very clean and large pools downstream. Lots and lots of tadpoles and tiny frogs. Old trail up and over Tim's Saddle was in good shape, only lost it few times when things got overgrown and it wasn't hard to re-find. The only two hikers seen today was on the way back, along 104.

Drank - 6 liters (filtered 2 from Willow)

Note to self - should probably start bringing a pair of clips for these "unofficial trail" wanders.
Named place
Named place
Parker Pass Weavers Needle


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max O'Grady Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Few stale pools below the trail crossing.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Willow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Spring area was pretty green and ugly looking, but there are cleaner pools downstream on-and-off for the next mile.
_____________________
Aug 06 2016
mt98dew
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 Guides 24
 Routes 19
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 1,829

52 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 06 2016
mt98dew
Hiking13.04 Miles 835 AEG
Hiking13.04 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   2.01 mph
835 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It's funny how different hikes can bring out different feelings. Last week I drove up to Prescott and jogged Willow Trail. After completing the run I felt charged, almost euphoric. Imagine a puppy dog with his tail wagging looking for his next treat. Today, after finishing Willow Springs via FW (mileage similar to last week's run) the sentiment was thank goodness :sweat: ...I made it. Now, where's the nearest QT, because I need to refuel.

When doing hikes that I'm not overly familiar with I'll try to plan appropriately. For this hike, I downloaded the route onto my Garmin, printed out Fritski's trail description even made sure I had my clippers in my car in case I needed to do any trimming of bushes. I got about 2 miles from the house and realized I didn't have everything I needed. I wanted to be prepared so I went back. Got to the FW Trailhead around 5:30. A little later than I wanted but not too bad. I beat the rush, as I was the first car there. Signed the trail register and noticed that Fritz had been out there on 8/2. I guess I got preoccupied wondering if that Fritz was my inspiration for the hike. I was .3 miles into my hike when I realized that my clippers never made it into my backpack...they were still sitting on the front seat of my car. ](*,) Decision time. Continue on or go back. I've bushwhacked before without clippers; they're more of a luxury. So, "onward the Light Brigrade". I was about .9 miles down the trail (on the Dutchman by then) when I realized that I had left Fritzski's trail description at the trail register ](*,) ](*,) . Sometimes I really amaze myself. And this is me trying to be prepared :( . Decision time. Continue on or go back. I had my Garmin with the downloaded route and a backpack with water, so "was there a man dismayed, not though the soldier knew".

Despite my incompetence when it comes to preparation for hikes once I get out there I tend to do all right. I had the track manger open most of the time early on because I wasn't sure where Parker's Pass was and the consequential turn off from the Dutchman, so my distances are rough approximations. From the FW Trailhead I'd say I was about 2.9 miles in when I came to Parker's Pass and the turn off. Initially, I didn't see the side trail and I did some legitimate bushwacking as I tried to "connect to that blue line on my Garmin." However, once I found the side trail, it really wasn't too bad. I followed it easily enough to O'Grady's Canyon. I did lose it briefly in the creek bed prior to climbing the slope to Tim's Saddle, but once I got back on I was able to get to West Boulder Canyon (WBC) without incident. This side trail was overgrown badly in several places, but I didn't feel that the Cat'c Claw or prickly pear was that bad. It was more Jojoba and other non-prickly vegetation. The spider webs were annoying though. Rough estimate: I would say it was about 1 mile from the Dutchman to WBC.

Once I got to WBC, the "trail" opened up quite a bit. There really wasn't a trail from this point on (I didn't see very many cairns to be honest...but there was a good-sized one where the trail from Tim's Saddle connects to the WBC), but the canyon was fairly expansive enough that I was able to navigate the terrain fairly "easily" without getting my feet wet or having to climb canyon walls. Yep, I said get my feet wet. :) I followed WBC for almost 2.75 miles (this is based off my rough estimates of getting to WBC) and for 2 miles of it there was flowing water. Most of the time the water wasn't that deep so I was able to rock hop along the side of the stream. As I was doing this part of the hike it would have been nice to have had Fritzski's trail description and pictures. As I was hiking I kept trying to identify Fritzski's "notables". I didn't have a problem with the house sized boulder. That one I got. (Very cool area, by the way). But I couldn't for the life of me, pick out Willow Springs. I came across three places where cattails or even marsh reeds were growing. The spot where the marsh reeds were, looked the most like the picture, but I don't think there was a willow tree there. After the hike, but before doing this triplog, I read a previous write up and hikerdw from 2013 said the cattails/marsh reeds had been washed away by a monsoon storm. So it may be that the tree stands alone and I went right by it without even realizing it. Speaking of going right by... I went right by the Rudolph's rock corral. I was following the little blue line on my Garmin and it took me about .5 miles past the peninsula and the corral. The reason I know this, is because on the return trip I was very lucky to catch a glimpse of the corral. Talk about overgrown! I could just barely make out what I think was the described corral in Fritzski's trail description. It was just on the south side near the tip of the peninsula. I never saw the wire corral, though I did come across a bench with a "sticked" cairn that makes me think that might have been the place. On the way out, I retraced my steps. I was curious to see where I had lost the user trail at O'Gradys Creek and at the Dutchman juncture.

This was a rough hike. Not so much because of the distance, but because of the nature of the trails. The Durchman and even the connector trails weren't that bad. But I think rocky nature of the WBC really took its toll. There was a lot of up and down and stretching and contorting that you don't typically do on most hikes. Plus, I must admit that I did end up walking a couple of miles in wet shoes. As unintentional as it was, the water did feel very nice and my shoes and socks did dry out fairly quickly. The other factor that made this a rough hike were the temps and humidity and very little wind. The air was stiffiling. :sweat: . Due to my departure time, I had nice temps and shade for the first 5 miles but after that it was sun exposed the whole time. Wildlife included a horny toad, deer, a couple of snakes (one of which slithered away in inch deep water flowing down the WBC) a dozen lizards, a handful of frogs and hundreds of tadpoles. I didn't see any hikers while I was out and when I got back to the TH I was still the only car there. On the Dutchman, I did find a very nice hat (it was not a Steelers hat though), so if anyone knows of someone who lost a hat on the Dutchman please let me know. It is in nice shape, probably left on the trail for less than day.
_____________________
Dec 06 2014
hikerdw
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,889
 Triplogs 504

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 06 2014
hikerdw
Hiking11.50 Miles 1,672 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles   6 Hrs   18 Mns   2.30 mph
1,672 ft AEG   1 Hour   18 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Our annual hike to Willow Spring. This trip we hiked out to the spring via O'Grady Canyon and Old West Boulder Canyon to change things up. Old West Boulder Canyon was very overgrown with head high vegetation which made for slow hiking. While taking a break at the saddle just above OWBC a deer walked by us very peacefully. I doubt it even saw us.

Willow Spring is full and overflowing. On the trip back we climbed up the bench to take a peak at the remains of the wire corral most likely used by Adolf Ruth during his short stay in the area back in 1931.
Named place
Named place
O'Grady Canyon Willow Spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max O'Grady Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Several pools in the canyon between the Dutchman Trail and Old West Boulder Canyon.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max O'Grady Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Multiple pools.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Old West Boulder Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Large pools in the lower part of the canyon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Willow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
The spring is full and overflowing.
_____________________
Expect to self rescue
1 archive
Feb 08 2014
The_Eagle
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 Guides 9
 Routes 808
 Photos 10,498
 Triplogs 1,712

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Aylor Arch - Little Boulder Cyn - Boulder Cyn, AZ 
Aylor Arch - Little Boulder Cyn - Boulder Cyn, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 08 2014
The_Eagle
Hiking15.98 Miles 4,200 AEG
Hiking15.98 Miles   10 Hrs   55 Mns   1.61 mph
4,200 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
Time to hit some new areas in the Supes.

Palomino Mountain / Aylor's Arch
From the 1st Water TH it's 4.3 miles to the lightly used, unmarked turn off from the Dutchman, down Little Boulder Creek to the 4.75 mark just past the Red Rock Spires. Take a turn to the East (Left) and Aylor's Arch comes into view, at the 5.2 mile mark, following the cairned route, you are on top of Palomino Mountain.

There were far better views than I expected up here. We took our time and explored the top of the mountain and the Arch. I'll be back up here again...

https://www.youtube.com/embed/y6YJNyGEDT8

Someone put a Mailbox, with a sign in register up 2 years ago (1/31/12). It's mounted to a steel post and very secure.

Next it was time to go back down the way we came, and head SW up Little Boulder Canyon, and eventually hitting the NW edge of the Ridgeline that we were to travel on to the SE. This Ridgeline is unnamed (Boulder Ridge?), but rises to as high as 4003 feet between East Boulder Canyon and Boulder Canyon to the west. From the base of Palomino, to the high point on the ridge, we rose 1650'. We saw a few deer on the scramble up.

Travel on the ridge is slow, boulder hopping, mild climbing and foliage dodging. You get a whole new perspective of the Supes from up here. 1.5 miles scrambling along the ridgeline and it was time to drop down to the west and Willow Spring.

Water was actually flowing slightly at the spring. It could be seen off and on for at least a mile downstream from the spring.

We took West Boulder Canyon all the way to the Dutchman and back to the car.

We passed and then later talked with an older gentleman and his wife who had a Hike Arizona Trip Description as a guide in their possession.

The weather couldn't have been much nicer in the Supes.

Good times HAZman....
Culture
Culture
Aircraft
Named place
Named place
Willow Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light





water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Willow Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Plenty of filterable water.
Water from the spring could be found as far as a mile down stream.
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
Feb 08 2014
joebartels
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 Guides 252
 Routes 839
 Photos 12,548
 Triplogs 5,065

52 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Aylor Arch - Little Boulder Cyn - Boulder Cyn, AZ 
Aylor Arch - Little Boulder Cyn - Boulder Cyn, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 08 2014
joebartels
Hiking15.30 Miles 3,590 AEG
Hiking15.30 Miles   11 Hrs   2 Mns   1.58 mph
3,590 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
The_Eagle
Few things in life are as great as inspiration. Daisy chain two Fritzski adventures on a pleasant day for memories of a lifetime.

Part I - Aylor's Arch
This was my first visit. I expected it to deliver and it was better than anticipated. The micro environment in the ravine is lush compared to the immediate surrounding desert terrain. Palomino is one thin and tall facade of a mountain. There is plenty to explore on the multiple ridges up top. Luckily Bruce came prepared so we could have a little fun!

Par II - Little Boulder Canyon
This looked like the perfect avenue to tackle Peralta-Boulder Ridge, our next destination. Nary a tale has tickled my eardrums on the "upper" poriton of Little Boulder. True be it ( in full fess mode )... I was looking to raise an eyebrow on the Liberty Dutch Hunter.

No such luck on Wally Relics. On the bright side we made some excellent spur of the moment decisions ( aka rare ). After passing a bush the size of a maple abandon Little Boulder to your right heading up canyon. Here we picked up a nice ascent to the NW end of the Peralta-Boulder Ridge. Bring some kleenex. The further up you go you will be crying at the beautiful scenery.

Part III - Peralta-Boulder Ridge
The Eagle, the Turtle & I knocked out the SE 1/3rd March of last year. Bruce & I knocked off the NW 1/3rd today. Some may find it tedious, simply enjoyable in my opinion. The entire ridge over to Fremont Saddle is under 3 miles. Better eat your jj3/Dave1 Wheaties if you plan on doing a loop as a day hike.

Intermission - Lunch on 4003
Noteworthy to mention. With knowledge of the surrounding terrain... Four Double Oh Three ROCKS the house for lunch views!

Part IV - Willow Grand Finale
Bruce picked out a good line down to the gooseneck in West Boulder Creek seemingly directly below. While my mind was geared up for bushwhacking, that never happened. In fact, the descent was pleasant. West Boulder Creek charmed us back to the 104. Afternoon ridge-shade advantage eased the journey. Willow Spring seems like a dependable source. It's been a good six? weeks since worthy rain. Wonder how much evaporates daily... 200-500 gallons?

Synopsis
Excellent hike!
Culture
Culture
Route - finding Labels
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Willow Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Perhaps under a quart a minute. Huge clear shallow pools. Tiny cascades in areas. Appears to go under ground then resurface between pools.
_____________________
- joe
Jan 04 2014
Anekantavada
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 Routes 3
 Photos 211
 Triplogs 32

38 male
 Joined Mar 07 2013
 Chandler, AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 04 2014
Anekantavada
Hiking10.88 Miles 835 AEG
Hiking10.88 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   1.74 mph
835 ft AEG28 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Went looking for Willow Spring without any direction, so ended up walking down O Grady creek until it met West Boulder, then turned and walked up West Boulder. It was slow going on the giant rocks, but its a a pretty canyon. When I got to the spring I wasn't sure what actually was spring, as many rocks around the large pool were trickling water. Turns out the pool with the reeds IS the spring, cool! :y: Plenty of water in many spots on the way in as well as lots flowing over the rocks from the pool formed at the spring. on the way back crossed Tim's saddle (completely off trail, couldn't find one) because I figured it had a name due to being a route of travel. I did find the trail on the Saddle and took it down to O Grady Creek, but I followed the creek thru the canyon because (once again) lost the trail. What a cool canyon! Little pools and waterfalls. Next trip I think I would try to climb the saddle near Wilow Spring and catch the view of the Needle from there. What a fun, if meandering and trailess, hike!!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
I saw two little Flowers in the slot canyon, somehow survived the runoff and bloom in January? Anyway it was cool :)

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max O'Grady Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
There is a narrow section right where the Coordinates are, it had several really nice pools with a trickle flowing down. Also down just before the confluence theres a rocky area the water came back to the surface flowing then returning under the sand & small rocks.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max O'Grady Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Trickling water coming to the surface in rocky areas

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Old West Boulder Canyon Light flow Light flow
In sections a good amount of flow, where it was on the surface. Many frogs :)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Willow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Plenty of water around and flowing out across the rock very well
_____________________
Oct 12 2013
hikerdw
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,889
 Triplogs 504

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2013
hikerdw
Hiking11.80 Miles 2,049 AEG
Hiking11.80 Miles   5 Hrs   24 Mns   2.52 mph
2,049 ft AEG      43 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
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Wanted to check out the state of Willow Spring after a long hot summer so today was that day. Some observations from our last trip out there.

1. The spur trail off the Dutchman Trail was slightly more overgrown and eroded in some spots.
2. The effects of the heavy monsoon rains could be seen in West Boulder Canyon, high water lines and rock shiftings.
3. As a result of the heavy water flow, the reeds (cattails) that were growing out of Willow Spring were all cleared out.

Glad to report the spring itself was full and spilling out of the rock bed after the hot summer :y:

On the return instead of taking the spur trail we continued the boulder hopping down the WBC to meet up with the Dutchman Trail and then sailed back to the trail head.

Great mid-October hike in the Superstition Wilderness :D
Culture
Culture
Corral
Named place
Named place
Willow Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Willow Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
The spring was full and flowing over the creek bed.
_____________________
Expect to self rescue
Feb 19 2013
AZLumberjack
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 Guides 4
 Routes 17
 Photos 4,082
 Triplogs 489

81 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Apache Junction,
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 19 2013
AZLumberjack
Hiking11.25 Miles 835 AEG
Hiking11.25 Miles   8 Hrs   10 Mns   1.69 mph
835 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Ya gotta believe it.....everything Fritzski wrote about this hike is gospel, the good, the bad and the excitement along the way.

The Forest Service was tipped off to a stash of supplies that were found in the vicinity of Willow Springs so we put a team together to locate the stash and remove it from the Wilderness. The team consisted of 6 Forest Service employees, some of us were volunteers, to make the hike into West Boulder Canyon and try to find this stash without specific coordinates to go by.

We left First Water TH shortly after 0800 and made good time down the Dutchman's Trail to Parker Pass where we left the main trail. From this point on, there are no more trail markers, only the existing seldom used trails (yes, there are still seldom used trails out here). We followed the trail to Tim's Saddle where we had a breathtaking view of the West Boulder Canyon below us in the yet early morning.

There were high, broken, wispy clouds tearing across the sky, signaling an omen of an approaching weather front. But today the sun was bright and the temps in the low 70's as we made our way down the rocky hills to Boulder Creek. Now the luxury of hiking trails is past and we are now confronted with bushwhacking, boulder hopping and climbing around obstacles that nature has placed at some of the worst locations. But it's a beautiful journey into the history rich canyon that seems to be bypassed by the speed hikers of today.

The trail(?) appears and disappears as we wound our way through the ever present Catclaw and hungry Prickley Pear cactus, and when the trails ran out, it was down to the creek bed.We found the remains of an old Barbed Wire Corral that barely exists today. The wooden posts are aged and will soon be consumed by the desert, but the wire will remain for several more decades. A short distance away is an awesome campsite along the creek with benches made from the local rocks and even a flag pole.

From this point on, the canyon narrowed and it was strictly rock hopping and rock climbing until we were confronted with the Giant Boulder that Fritzski mentioned in his hike description. We decided that this was a good place to have lunch and enjoy the serenity of the moment and the incredible scenery that was all around us :) I was the only one of the group that wore a short sleeve shirt so for the second day in a row, my forearms were bloodied by the unending Catclaw and I had to wash off before I could enjoy my lunch :(

Following the break, it was off and around the Giant Boulder and after more rock hopping, we arrived at Willow Spring. This is a magical spot along the creek with a large expanse of flat rock and the clear water slowly spilling across its surface. We would like to have spent more time here, but the hour was getting late and we still had the return trip facing us, so we slipped into our packs again and wearily (now) began retracing our breadcrumb trail.

The wind was whipping up now, the clouds had vanished and the sun seemed a lot warmer than the 72 degrees that had been predicted, but we pushed on until we finally arrived back at the trail head. Yes, we did find a large plastic drum of supplies hidden back there along the way and plans are being made for its removal.

We have an amazing wilderness at our front door and it's the duty of all of us to maintain the quality of this resource so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy it as much as we have. Sometimes I think I'm :bdh: while :SB: but that's my :M2C:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max First Water Creek - Upper Turnoff Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Water's still flowing at the trail crossings but not enough to get your feet wet.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max First Water Creek at Second Water Trail #236 Light flow Light flow
The creek is flowing in most places so the pools are full and the sounds of water can be heard.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Old West Boulder Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
A steady trickle of water was coming out of the mouth of the canyon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Willow Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
A good steady flow of water flowed across the expanse of flat rock.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
Jan 20 2013
nonot
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 Guides 98
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 497

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 20 2013
nonot
Backpack12.50 Miles 1,000 AEG
Backpack12.50 Miles2 Days   7 Hrs   15 Mns   
1,000 ft AEG      50 Mns Break38 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Fritzki nailed it when describing this as long and grueling. I mean, it takes about 3-3.5 hours each way, the trail that leaves the Dutchman isn't even on recent maps, and there's no trail through portions of W Boulder Canyon itself, and not many people come here. And it's only got a nice creek with some neat slickrock and an old corral. The willow tree next to the spring isn't even there anymore, sheesh! Who would possibly visit this place, it's miserable! ;)

On a historical note, the trip description suggests that Ruth built the corral. I was always under the impression that Adolph was a bit of an academic in that he was neither an outdoorsman nor accustomed to hard labor. I thought I read that he showed up for this trip in a business suit, of all things. Barkley's team, I thought, recognized his general incompetence for the outdoors and packed him into this existing camp (suggesting the corral and workings had already been constructed by the cowboys) in order to keep him in an isolated spot where he could not possibly foul things up or get himself killed. But in the end he still managed, and the coroner actually pronounced the holes in his skull as natural causes, though many today agree they could have been bullet holes from a small caliber.
Named place
Named place
West Boulder Canyon Willow Spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max First Water Creek - Upper Turnoff Pools to trickle Pools to trickle


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Old West Boulder Canyon Light flow Light flow
Light flow in the canyon, it is intermittent and goes underground for up to half-mile stretches.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Willow Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
The creek was flowing above and below the spring, it is hard to tell how much the spring is actually adding to the flow.
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
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Mar 10 2012
hikerdw
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,889
 Triplogs 504

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 10 2012
hikerdw
Hiking10.80 Miles 835 AEG
Hiking10.80 Miles   5 Hrs   28 Mns   2.45 mph
835 ft AEG   1 Hour   3 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With only the morning to fit in a hike we decided to hit West Boulder Canyon one more time this hiking season. Most of the time was spent checking out the benches along the way which allowed us to locate the old wire corral and find the old trail which is now badly overgrown. Since there was no running water we made good time while hiking in the creek bed on the return. Great morning hike.
_____________________
Expect to self rescue
Dec 21 2011
hikerdw
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,889
 Triplogs 504

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2011
hikerdw
Hiking11.25 Miles 835 AEG
Hiking11.25 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   2.25 mph
835 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a favorite of mine, and with running water, well it just made this hike all the better. We were trying to locate the old Ruth corral which I believe is located before the Tex Barkley stone corral as listed in the hike description but unfortunately we came up empty. We did see a lot of old camp sites but I can't say for sure that any of them were Ruth's. All the benches we searched were really overgrown which made the searching all that more difficult. I guess we will just have to make another trip or two to continue the search :D
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Expect to self rescue
May 05 2011
tshores18118
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 Triplogs 2

36 male
 Joined May 03 2011
 queen creek, az
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar May 05 2011
tshores18118
Backpack11.25 Miles 835 AEG
Backpack11.25 Miles   9 Hrs      1.61 mph
835 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break55 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Went in with the intention of staying the night, was way too hot and I didn't trust the little bit of water I found. On the way out had a really close encounter with a diamondback. Definitely the wrong season for this hike.
_____________________
Dec 27 2010
hikerdw
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,889
 Triplogs 504

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 27 2010
hikerdw
Hiking11.25 Miles 835 AEG
Hiking11.25 Miles   6 Hrs   44 Mns   1.67 mph
835 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked to Willow Spring in West Boulder Canyon from First Water TH, and then to Ruth's stone corral. On the way back we hiked up one the the feeds into the canyon. I really like this hike, with or without running water :y:
Culture
Culture
Pioneer Industry
_____________________
Expect to self rescue
Dec 03 2009
jostream
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 Routes 1
 Photos 296
 Triplogs 40

47 male
 Joined Jan 06 2007
 Mesa, AZ
W Boulder Cyn to Willow SpringsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 03 2009
jostream
Hiking7.40 Miles 1,370 AEG
Hiking7.40 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   1.22 mph
1,370 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This hike was torture on my arms and legs, but it was very enjoyable. I took a sick day from work and I've got two giveaways of my little white lie. 1. My car is covered in dust, and 2, my arms look like I've been wrestling with a cat. But all in all, this was totally worth it.

For a birthday present, I was given Carlson's Hiker's Guide to the Superstition Wilderness. I read it cover to cover and it got me feeling like I needed to view the history of the Supes, not just use the mountains for enjoyment. It was a similar feeling to when I was able to read about the Battle of Gettysburg, and then get a chance the next day to tour the battlefield.

Adolph Ruth was mentioned several times through the book and he ended up being shot and killed back in the Supes. I figured it would be a good idea to check out his old camp. The route from West Boulder Canyon looked more interesting than the route from First Water. The First Water route is rated a 4 here and the West Boulder Canyon route a 5.

I got to Carney Springs about 7:30 and headed up the trail. It didn't take long for me to shed my coat and fully drench my T-Shirt with sweat. I got to W. Boulder Saddle and scoped out a place to head down. My intentions were to hike along the Ridgeline trail a while then descend down the second side canyon into the main, but I didn't. I saw the first cairn off to the side and down I went. Heading down was actually kind of fun. There are spots of severe bushwhacking, but over all it wasn't too bad. You get used to being clawed at and having stuff fall in between your backpack and your neck. It is all part of the enjoyment.

After a mile or so, you have to head to the high ground. There were parts that were overly cairned, spray painted, and ribbon marked for my taste. I really didn't see the point. There is only 1 canyon and there is no way to get through the stuff down there, so that leaves only 1 option. Head high and go around it. Getting lost would be impossible so using that many markers was overkill to say the least.

After heading around, you descend back into the canyon. This is where it gets fun. There are spots of smooth granite floors, spots with large boulders, spots where you have to scoot low under some trees, and spots that would present very cool water falls. For my trip, there was no water along the entire path. It was very fast going once I got down there.

I reached the Willow Springs around 11 which put my travel time from the car at roughly 3 and a half hours. I ate my leftover pizza and polished off a bottle of gatorade. I filtered water out of the spring to refill my bladder and headed off to find the corral.

The things to look for are the trees. They are too neat and too out of place. I didn't even realize I walked through the gate of the corral until I was already in it. I can imagine with a little attention, this would have been a decent place to hang out. There is plenty of shade, an ever running spring, and seclusion.

I headed back and made good time. I kept getting drawn into the canyon where I should have stayed high, but oh well. It made for some interesting tracks and track backs.

I got back to the car just before 3, which put my hike time back right around 3 hours.

I'm planning on a Battleship hike in January, but I hope to get another history lesson before then. Maybe something around Bluff Spring....
Culture
Culture
Pioneer Industry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Willow Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
There was flowing water with plenty in available pools.
_____________________
Mar 28 2009
woarnoart
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 Guides 1
 Routes 4
 Photos 87
 Triplogs 31

53 male
 Joined Nov 04 2006
 Phoenix, AZ
Willow Springs from First Water THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2009
woarnoart
Hiking11.25 Miles 835 AEG
Hiking11.25 Miles   7 Hrs      1.61 mph
835 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
What a hike. Once you leave Dutchman trail and get away from the yapping resort poodles the hike is just great. I never saw so many animals in the superstitions. All the pools along the creek were filled with dozens of frogs. Highpoint of the trip was when I saw my first gila monster.
_____________________
average hiking speed 1.94 mph
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