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Millsite Canyon Trail #237 - 3 members in 8 triplogs have rated this an average 4.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
8 triplogs
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Oct 20 2022
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 Guides 263
 Routes 842
 Photos 13,333
 Triplogs 5,322

52 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Hewitt Ridge Circumference, AZ 
Hewitt Ridge Circumference, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 20 2022
joebartelsTriplogs 5,322
Hiking15.36 Miles 1,949 AEG
Hiking15.36 Miles   7 Hrs   11 Mns   2.15 mph
1,949 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I parked just off FS 172 a little north of Peacock Canyon. High-clearance vehicles can use an unofficial road in for 0.3 miles.

Peacock Canyon up to Millsite Canyon intrigued me more than anticipated. Rugged little canyon. The further you get in, the better it gets. A lot to admire.

Millsite Canyon
Returned to Quail Springs after 20 years and 5 months. The vicinity still seems like the perfect slice of Arizona.

Shade from Hewitt Ridge and a trickling creek. The trail is a road. Vegetation is intense in some areas. Vertical geology and healthy Saguaros galore had my full attention at times. Seemingly impossible, I got off track twice.

Hidden Valley SoMo & BSM are shallowly hidden. Lower to mid-Millsite is the exaggerated 3D version of a valley. Nobody below the parallel ridges is sneaking a peak into Millsite.

The nagging foot ligament was screaming from a senseless jump but I wanted to complete Millsite Canyon.

Having hiked the upper portion more than once I knew it was no picnic. There is a quick mile or two near the top, but it ends washed out to oblivion.

Three SxSs crawled by me, they were returning from the overlook above Whetrock Canyon. I knew that they would soon be descending FS192B. My hobbling pace missed the show, sections are swiss cheese with ball bearings up the yin-yang on steep grades if memory serves. No longer on topo maps now.

Changed the oven mitt pants to shorts, and started with a walking lunch on the 7.75 miles down FS172 back to square one.

Fauna
Several large bevies of quail, javelina scat, tarantula, and a desert tortoise. A plethora of songbirds in the early morning. One sounded like a bellowing steer. A solid mile of wasps hovering and wrestling but they didn't cause me trouble.

FS172
Early in the day on the drive-in, up out of Queen Creek, I squeezed by a couple of road maintenance trucks and front loaders. They were loading up on flatbed trailers as I was leaving, never saw a hint of work performed on FS172, perhaps they just pushed aside a boulder.

Synopsis
Millsite end-to-end has been on an imaginary to-do list since the 90s.
 Fauna
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Desert Tortoise
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation None
I'd guess Dec 7th to late Dec for the cottonwoods and sycamores.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Intense parish goldeneye in isolated areas. Four O'Clock: light. Verbena: isolated. Skeleton of devil's claw.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Millsite Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Trickling to a gallon per minute for about a mile in the lower Canyon
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- joe
Jan 27 2014
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 Guides 48
 Routes 501
 Photos 9,252
 Triplogs 566

77 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Fraser Peak 4618 Loop, AZ 
Fraser Peak 4618 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 27 2014
GrasshopperTriplogs 566
Hiking6.10 Miles 2,245 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   8 Hrs   17 Mns   1.29 mph
2,245 ft AEG   3 Hrs   34 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
BEEBEE
Oregon_Hiker
rwstorm
From my first March-2007 hike experience on this south section of Millsite Canyon Trail #237, I had always recalled being in awe at the scenic, rugged canyon beauty of this entire area which lies just outside of the Eastern Superstition Wilderness Boundary. I never thought I would have the opportunity or have the off-trail experience level to hike some of these imposing inner canyon areas in from Trail #237.

Fast forward a few years.. On 12/24/13, Brian (BeeBee) and I hiked to the summit of Hackberry Butte 4230 which resides off-trail on the north section of this same Trail #237. Later the same week from Brian's "Summits On The Air" (SOTA) Club listing, he located an interesting Benchmark Peak in the area named Fraser Peak Benchmark 4618. I soon reviewed HAZ-MapDEX to locate it and compared my 12/24 Hackberry Butte 4230 picset and located it :D http://hikearizona.com/photo=382880 . I soon started the wheels turning with some initial off-trail route planning and needed second opinions from Larry (Oregon Hiker) and Brian with our group hike date set for Mon-1/27/14.

I had initially planned this hike to head in off-trail from the north side of Fraser Peak to initially exit off-trail from Coffee Flat Trail #108. Larry reviewed my plans and concluded that it could be "iffy" with possible dense vegetation and that we (he & myself) were probably not in good enough physical condition to take on what he estimated to be my 10 mile R/T with 3190 AEG :sweat: (I still think my initial plan might work with some route tweaking and a younger body :) . I might still post on HAZ my planning "drawn non-field data" GPS Route with WPs in case others might consider it. Only a 2WD high clearance vehicle is needed to reach my proposed Park/TH Start at the very end of FR172 where as a 4WD high clearance vehicle is required to reach the now recommended Hike Description Park/TH Start location).

Prior-to our 1/27/14 hike date, the "official hiking route in" was posted and confirmed. I thought it would be particularly sweet and rewarding if we could come up with a viable "lolly pop loop" return route from Fraser Peak summit. I asked Larry to check this possibility out and he spent considerable time planning and drawing this, our return GPS Loop Route. My sincere thanks to Larry for not only planning our recommended and very successful return loop route, but also leading us four hikers safely down it which was an exceptional effort in itself : app : .

This is a very impressive area to off trail hike. My first time ever taking 110 snaps on a 6 mile R/T hike and after review and editing still ending up with a total of ~84 keepers for my personal files and still the need to eliminate more prior-to my HAZ picset posting. I did attempt to do a decent job of documenting in pics our entire return loop section for any others who may be interested in this same loop hike.

An excellent and most memorable hiking day out with Brian, Larry, and Randy that I will always remember :D
 Flora
 Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Saguaro
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Jan 27 2014
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 Guides 13
 Routes 100
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 Triplogs 372

48 male
 Joined Jul 27 2011
 Mesa AZ
Peak 4618 - Fraser BenchmarkGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 27 2014
BEEBEETriplogs 372
Hiking6.30 Miles 2,200 AEG
Hiking6.30 Miles   8 Hrs   33 Mns   1.32 mph
2,200 ft AEG   3 Hrs   46 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Grasshopper
Oregon_Hiker
rwstorm
After doing the Hackberry Butte on Christmas Eve I pointed this peak out to Hank as one that would be fun to activate for SOTA. Hank got Larry involved and figured out a plan.

We stated the hike up Mill site canyon and in about 2 miles the road ended and we began our climb to the start of the ridgeline. At the saddle we took a break for a while and enjoyed the view of the Superstition interior. I updated my Ham Radio friends in the valley of our progress and eta to the peak.

The climb up the ridge line was steep but not un manageable. Before we knew it the peak was in view and we were looking at the benchmarks.

I ate some lunch got my antenna and radio configured and called CQ on 12m CW(Morse Code) and began working stations. After working about 25 stations on CW I switched to Sideband (Phone voice) and worked some more on phone. After about an hour of operating a total of 34 contacts from all over the USA were made. I broke the equipment down packed up we all took one last view from the top. I filled out and dropped my peak card in the summit log.

We headed down the alternate route down that Larry planned. Larry did an awesome job on the down route. The terrain was very manageable and in short order we were back on the road.

On the way home we hit La Casita in AJ for Mexican.

Thanks Hank, Larry and Randy for the great day

Update: States contacted from peak AZ, UT, IN, WA, OR, PA, NC, NJ, DE, GA
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Fraser Peak 4618
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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"I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts."
Dec 09 2012
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 Guides 43
 Routes 159
 Photos 22,757
 Triplogs 2,295

72 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Eagle Spring via Millsite Canyon, AZ 
Eagle Spring via Millsite Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 09 2012
CannondaleKidTriplogs 2,295
Hiking3.10 Miles 930 AEG
Hiking3.10 Miles   3 Hrs   20 Mns   1.01 mph
930 ft AEG      15 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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trixiec
When I was at the summit of Peak 3450 two days ago, an old pack road caught my attention as it headed from Millsite Canyon toward what appeared to be a large cave. This was enough to plan for a hike to the cave, and with Tracey having a day off this would be the 'on-trail' hike she so desired.

Again, the drive just to get to our trailhead near Rattlesnake Spring was way rougher than Tracey cared for, which was probably a harbinger of what the hike would turn out to be. :-$

As advertised, the first mile was some easy walking along a seldom-used road, although there were fresh horseshoe tracks that had to have been from yesterday because they were on top of the tire tracks from my Jeep two days before. As we approached the 'cave' I expected to find, it was obvious that shadows coupled with my point-of-view on the summit of Peak 3450 made it look like a cave when it was simply a natural rock overhang. Oh well, at least we saw a man-made stone wall heading up the west canyon wall... maybe we'll check it out on the return trip.

But now came the un-advertised part... when the road became a trail, and the trail became... nothing. Tracey was fine along the road, was still ok with the narrow trail, but when it came down to crashing through brush consisting of thorny and non-thorny varieties, well, she was not to enthused. But as usual, the moment I assured her it was up to her to say 'uncle' and we could turn back, nope, let's continue.

And so we did. By time we were closing in on Eagle Spring we were into serious bushwhack-mode, sometimes not knowing if the dead vegetation we stepped on would hold, or let us drop 6' down into a pool of water. Once we reached the spring, which was water dripping from a pipe into an old Boeing fuel drop-tank, Tracey was ready to call it a day. But as we were turning to go back, I noticed what looked like a clearing barely 25' farther. That was all it took to continue on, and we were glad we did... it was like our trip through Wood Canyon to White Canyon... awesome views all around! So we continued on up-canyon. This would pay off not only in great photos, but some boots-on-the-ground recon for my upcoming summit attempt of Peak 4618. I say attempt because even after driving farther up Millsite Canyon and looking up at it, I still have no idea what the last 110+ vertical feet look like. If they look anything like the eastern face, well it just ain't gonna happen.

After reaching the one and only flat area we stopped for a quick lunch of PB&J sandwiches before attempting to head down another route. Barely a few hundred feet that direction and we had enough, way too steep with loose terrain so we returned generally along the same route as the climb up. Because I had done some trimming along the way up the trip back down took much less time and soon we were back on the road.

As we approached Millsite Spring we had to make the decision whether to leave the road and head off through dense brush to cross the wash and climb up for a closer look at the stone wall we saw earlier. We're here, so why not? So we did just that. Based on how haphazard the wall was built and the fact there was rusty old barbed-wire woven into it we figured it was built late 1800's to early 1900's. Why, we have no idea because it doesn't go far enough to stop anything. Weirdly enough, there is another one like it farther into Millsite Canyon that again is only on a wide western slope of the canyon and doesn't continue far enough to block the way. :-k

Ok, cross back through the brush, across the wash, through brush on the other side and finally back on the road again. Tough as some of the hike was, it was well worth it!

Panorama video from our high point is here:
http://changephoenix.com/jpserver/web/public/file.php?id=310
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CannondaleKid
Nov 30 2012
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 Guides 43
 Routes 159
 Photos 22,757
 Triplogs 2,295

72 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Millsite Canyon Trail #237Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
4x4 Trip avatar Nov 30 2012
CannondaleKidTriplogs 2,295
4x4 Trip24.50 Miles 2,875 AEG
4x4 Trip24.50 Miles   4 Hrs   31 Mns   6.50 mph
2,875 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was among a group of 5 Jeeps out for their twice-a-week run. Today we began at the golf course in Queen Valley, headed north until just before Elephant Butte where we turned onto Hardt Tank Road, which became Forest Road 1938 when we crossed into Tonto National Forest.

We took our first 10-minute break at the top of the ridge. While taking our break a separate group of 6 Jeeps pulled up, 2 Wranglers, 3 Cherokees and a Grand Cherokee. All appeared close to stock form except for the Grand Cherokee which had maybe a 3" lift. Although they could all handle this section of the road, when they heard we were going through Millsite Canyon they knew better than to attempt it [-X so they turned of onto FR1900 and took it back to FR172.

But our intrepid group continued on into Millsite Canyon. As I found out, this route is definitely not for the faint at heart, :pray: or anyone worried about severe AZ pinstripes and very possibly body damage. ](*,)
I kept as close to the Jeeps ahead of me so I could watch their lines and adjust mine accordingly to accommodate my extra length. (All the others had TJ's, I was the only Cherokee) Thankfully with extreme care in the worst spots I made it through with only one rear diff scrape and no body damage... not counting the super-sized dose of AZ pinstripes.

There was one narrow section along a steep wall where last year one of the TJ's slid off and the only reason it didn't roll was because the driver yanked the wheel hard downhill. :o He went some distance down but at least stayed wheel-side-down. It took plenty of winching to get him out but that they did.

And so, with that still fresh in mind I was following immediately behind the same guy when we passed that area. He was being very careful, almost to the extent of being too far up the slope on the driver side so he was tipping well over to the passenger side. Being a bit higher off the ground and a taller vehicle I didn't feel comfortable doing the same, so I had my right side tires rolling within inches of the edge. :scared: Thankfully the sketchy area was less than a hundred yards long.

As we came out the north end of Millsite Canyon we drove to the top of a hill overlooking the Superstition Wilderness, where we stopped for a picnic lunch. We were treated to 360 degrees of beautiful mountain scenery.
:y:

I had a mid-afternoon appointment so immediately after lunch I headed out FR172 while the rest were going to find a few more challenges on the way out.

I'm posting the photos here on HAZ as well as my web-site. I cut the 2+ hours of video down to two. Even if you aren't into four-wheeling, they provide some beautiful scenery:

5-minute video of the descent down Forest Road 1938 from Hardt Tank Road:
changephoenix com/jpserver/web/public/file.php?id=299

11-minute video composite along the route through Millsite Canyon:
changephoenix com/jpserver/web/public/file.php?id=299
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Dec 31 2008
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 Guides 48
 Routes 501
 Photos 9,252
 Triplogs 566

77 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Maverick Camp via 192BGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 31 2008
GrasshopperTriplogs 566
Hiking7.70 Miles 1,866 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   4 Hrs   50 Mns   1.59 mph
1,866 ft AEG
 
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Partners none no partners
Three of us spent 12/30/08 to 1/4/09 (5nts/6days) hiking the area & camping under my favorite local Superstition desert spot- Byous Butte during this New Years Week. Due to my always too elaborate campsite setup- "Hank's Hilton", I ended up needing to spend an extra night here alone, Sun-1/4 and most of the next day due to rain. It was a good learning experience with all my camping gear and the area was still just as beautiful with the rain and fog over Byous Butte!

During our 6 days together the weather was fantastic every day with highs in the upper 60's to mid 70's and lows never below 42F. We did four nice hikes (one serious exploratory with a wonderful pay-off on Jan 1st), had a campfire every night, and had some fairly elaborate meals planned to look forward to each evening.

My friends Tom and Gary had never hiked in Millsite Canyon which runs north and south for approx 8mls one way behind Byous Butte and Hewitt Ridge and paralleling FR172 on its way to the Woodbury TH. I had planned this hike as our first one on this last day of 2008-New Years Eve.

Now that I finally have a digital camera and can now post my hike pics on HAZ, I am finding that my posted pic set with some detail captions on the pics can pretty much tell the story of my hikes, so just check-out this pic set for a running description of this very scenic and enjoyable hike..and..don't let my pic comment- http://hikearizona.com/phoZOOM.php?ZIP=82321 regarding this hike being a popular weekend ATV route deter you from enjoying it. It is truly one of the better kept less visited day hikes close to the Woodbury TH area.. the truly great remote-rugged canyon scenery, thick & healthy desert vegetation, old Mavarick Camp history, numerous prennial springs, and flowing creeks and washes this time of year makes this hike a "solid four spot" on our scale of 1 to 5 rated. Also, this old two track road which is officially Millsite TR#237 can be altered on your hike back(as we did) to hike in the wash/creek which parallels this trail and crosses it numerous times. Hiking in the wash/creek adds a different flavor to your overall experience of this area.. try it, you will like it too! :DANCE:
 Flora
 Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Sugar Sumac
 Fauna
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Cardinal
 Geology
 Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Natural Bridge

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dripping Spring Dripping Dripping

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Maverick Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Rattlesnake Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
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(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Nov 01 2007
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 Guides 48
 Routes 501
 Photos 9,252
 Triplogs 566

77 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Maverick Camp via 192BGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 01 2007
GrasshopperTriplogs 566
Hiking3.60 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking3.60 Miles   3 Hrs      1.20 mph
750 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
Henry Pixley
Back in late March'07 I hiked the south section of this Millsite Canyon TR#237 for 4.25mls in from its TH start at Quail Springs(no signage) to Maverick Springs. While camping under Byous Butte this 10/31-11/3/07 trip, I wanted to complete this trail hike by starting at the northern TH start at its intersection with FR172(trail start which is actually 1.2mls in on FR192B from the intersection of FR172/192B).

Let me start by re-emphasizing Irv Kanode's 10/27 triplog comments regarding the 1.2ml drive in/out on serious 4x4 road FR192B IF you so chose to do so: For safety reasons, in my opinion, unless you are an experienced 4x4 driver with a very capable, non-stock vehicle(33" tires or larger,lower gears,differential locker(s)..& "not" all wheel drive), and also have a short wheel base vehicle, then don't try driving it. Instead, as per Joe's hike description recommends, park at the intersection of FR172/192B and just enjoy the scenic hike in on FR192B for 1.2mls to this old mining road/trail#237 canyon start(veer left).

Pixley and I hiked past the 1.2ml intersection on FR192B with Tr#237 and continued further up FR192B for another .8mls to its road end at around 3900'elev. on a nice saddle area where a large old wooden ore mining chute was still partially in-tact. We explored this immediate mining area for about 30 minutes on foot looking for more old mines, but we did not find any. There appears to be a lot of possibilities for more mining history and cool finds in this area*, but it was approaching 11am and we had not even started our planned hike yet.

We started in on our planned Trail#237 hike at 11:30am. On this HOT day we took advantage of the small pockets of shade and scenic-rugged rock formation views along the way to the old Maverick Camp where we had a relaxing lunch just off the trail among the shade of some large sycamore trees. On our much hotter afternoon hike back we viewed from a distance one very nice "Superstition Arch" back in on the southwest side between Maverick Camp and Maverick Springs. We saw no water seeps or pooling along this whole route, but did see recent 4WD activity on this designated hiking TRAIL :(

Also, just to update since this hike description was originally issued in Dec'03, at TR#237 start:
The "flimsy fiberglass marker states no motorized travel beyond this point" no longer exists as of this triplog writing, and also no longer exists that "a not so old Chevy lodged in the declining creek".

Update at 11/12/07: * =Reference HAZ Hike Description "Whetrock Canyon Loop" for details of this mining history that abounds in this area- on the old mining road PAST the "large old wooden ore mining chute".
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Mar 29 2007
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 Guides 48
 Routes 501
 Photos 9,252
 Triplogs 566

77 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Maverick Camp via 192BGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2007
GrasshopperTriplogs 566
Hiking8.50 Miles 1,260 AEG
Hiking8.50 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   1.48 mph
1,260 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Since I had been camping in this area the week of 3/26-31, and since the HAZ write-up and triplog posts to date for this hike only described this hike starting from the North end TH off FR192B, I was interested in finding out what this trail was like starting from the South end TH off FR1900 at Quail Springs. On this Thursday morning, we left camp from under Byrous Butte and arrived at wet Quail Springs (~4.5 mls up FR1900, the last 1 mile off FR1900 being a serious 4x4-high clearance drive). NOTE: Ideal "parking spot" is large enough for maybe two vehicles and is located on the right side just after passing through 2 round metal cyclone fence posts with the metal gate missing.

I first started hiking at 10:10am up a very steep & rugged canyon :sweat: next to Quail Springs that I incorrectly thought was Millsite Canyon :lol: . My hiking partner had enough sense to stay behind after this canyon started to get very serious, but I was determined to find out where it went and if it did indeed follow the map that I was using... Well, to make a long and risky story short, I wasted 2 hours and ~1 pint of blood following red tail hawks up this canyon to find out that I was not hiking on the Millsite Canyon trail :roll: ! So, back to my JEEP and at 12:noon we started up the correct Millsite Canyon Tr 237 route(which is actually the continuation of the decommissioned, serious 4x4 road route where I had parked). As you hike up this very scenic route, which basically follows the side of the creek and crosses it numerous time, all the named springs as noted on the Superstition Wilderness Forest Service Map are there and appear to be perennial! The very impressive rock formations along this trail route hiking from South to North are exceptional with many remote and rugged canyons East and West along the trail route. Due to my late hiking start at 12:noon, we only made it as far as Maverick Springs before needing to turn back, but on our way back, after passing the old Maverick Campsite, we may have located (up on the East hillside) the not so obvious site where the old, original "Maverick Silver Mine" might be located..TBD at a later date- just too bad we were under time constraints and could not go up the hill off-trail to explore what appeared to be a mine tunnel cut in the upper East hillside.

IF you have the correct 4WD vehicle, I highly recommend this hiking route from South to North (starting at the Quail Spring TH), and I should also note that this trail does appear to be a very active but ?not legal? ATV & modified 4WD route on the weekends, so from a hiking point of view, it would be much more enjoyable hiked on a weekday during our AZ cooler months.
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
1 archive
average hiking speed 1.43 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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