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Cholla Tank - 5 members in 12 triplogs have rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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12 Triplogs
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Mar 01 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Cholla TankPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 01 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking8.40 Miles 943 AEG
Hiking8.40 Miles   4 Hrs   24 Mns   1.91 mph
943 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Took Dmitri out for another hike in the Superstitions. He handled the 8 mile last week very well, so I decided to try to step it up a bit. I decided to go out to Cholla Tank, which I hadn't been to in over a decade. Started from First Water TH and took the Second Water Trail to the trail for the cholla tank. The trail is a bit rough at first as it crosses a drainage, but then it's totally level and very easy to hike. It's still very faint, but not too hard to follow and the easiness of the hiking makes it very pleasant. Cholla Tank was full of water and very green. This would be a very nice camping area.

After that, I decided to go find the Stoker Camp, which I have never been to. having the track definitely helped, and it got us there very quickly, as well. That trail also gets faint in spots and some of the cairns can throw you off track. Interesting to see some of the older items (bed and pots) used by miners, as well as newer items (duct tape) that hikers use.

Made it back to the trailhead by noon. Saw more hikers as we got closer to the end. Also saw several groups of overnight backpackers on their way out. First water creek is running pretty well, but still easy to cross.
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Feb 09 2020
hikingaz2
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 Guides 1
 Routes 162
 Photos 1,612
 Triplogs 213

77 male
 Joined Dec 16 2011
 Mesa,Az
Cholla TankPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 09 2020
hikingaz2
Hiking7.72 Miles 695 AEG
Hiking7.72 Miles   5 Hrs      2.57 mph
695 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
RofRandR
Cholla Tanks, walked by entrance many times ( shame on us, this is a great side trip, reminded us of Garden Valley ) I'll keep this one in my favorite file
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2 archives
Jan 27 2018
wallyfrack
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 Routes 91
 Photos 4,693
 Triplogs 1,328

59 male
 Joined Mar 11 2003
 AZ
Cholla TankPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 27 2018
wallyfrack
Hiking10.60 Miles 1,256 AEG
Hiking10.60 Miles   3 Hrs   27 Mns   3.07 mph
1,256 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I took a stroll out to Cholla Tank and up on the ridge to look for possible ruins. Hugh d'Autremont (West to Dawn) wrote about excavating a four room cliff dwelling (1937-38) on Geronimo Head Mtn. I'm pretty sure I'll spot a unicorn first but it was worth a look. I got in early before the crowd and detoured by way of Hackberry Spring on the way out. I ran into John9L on the exit loop and told him my life story in 3 minutes before heading back to the trailhead.
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1 archive
Jan 11 2018
markthurman53
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 Guides 104
 Routes 585
 Photos 7,129
 Triplogs 488

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Garden Valley Hackberry Spring, AZ 
Garden Valley Hackberry Spring, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 11 2018
markthurman53
Hiking11.80 Miles 1,586 AEG
Hiking11.80 Miles   6 Hrs   4 Mns   2.65 mph
1,586 ft AEG   1 Hour   37 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Decided to spend a couple of days in Phoenix hiking in the Superstitions. I opted for the shorter of the two days on the first day. Wanted to do the trails around Hackberry Spring from the First Water Trail Head. I threw Cholla Tank in also because it is a trail and doesn't fit into any other planned hikes. Started at 0730 with a mild 47 degree temperature, perfect hiking weather expecting a high near 70. From the second water Trail took the trail down First Water Canyon that leads to the windmill and eventually to Hackberry spring. The trail isn't hard to follow but you have to watch for cairns if you want to stay on the trail. In places the trail is faint or there are multiple trails, Could just follow the wash down but it is a little easier if you kind of stick to the trail. Once near the windmill pick any trail that leads in that direction if going to the windmill. The trail that continues down First Water is on the West side of the wash just east of the windmill but if you miss it don't worry because very shortly it just follows along in the wash. This part of the hike is pretty interesting because the canyon gets very narrow and the issue isn't finding a trail, it's picking the best route among the boulders and rocks. I had to remind myself after a few minor trips that if I'm going to site see I have to stop walking (you would think after all the hiking I do that this little lesson wouldn't need to be learned still). Hackberry spring was running at a trickle and the water was clear. From the Spring I took the Trail north down First Water and took the first Canyon to the east that leads to the Garden Valley Trail. This is a well defined trail that appears to get a lot of use. Once on the Garden Valley Trail I headed east to the Second Water Trail and down to Cholla Tank. Passed Dirt tank along the Second Water Trail and it is holding up to its name, just dirt not even mud. The Second Water Trail was easy walking and the mud that was along this trail a couple of days earlier is all but dry but didn't stick to the boots adding unwanted weight. Cholla Tank trail is faint but easy to follow if you keep a watch for the trail, cairns every so often. Once at Cholla Tank I had to ask why this is a destination, the tank is dry and looked just like any other dry tank. There weren't any Cholla either, (false advertisement), not that I'm complaining. The only good cholla is an absent Cholla. Ate my subway sandwich at the tank and headed back the way I came. I took the Garden Valley trail back with one slight change, I noticed a spur trail just west of Dirt Tank that cut over to the Garden valley Trail and I took that. This is a well defined route and looks like it gets a lot of use by horses. The Garden Valley Trail is a well maintained and easy to follow trail. I took this all the way to the First Water Canyon and then back tracked about .2 miles to a wash that crosses the Garden Valley trail. There is a trail that follows this wash down to the First water Canyon Trail (about .2 miles). From here I followed First Water Canyon again through the narrows and took the horse trail that starts just after the narrows and before the spring that will take me to the First Water Horse Trailer Trail Head. From here I took the Dutchman trail back to the First Water Trail Head.
This was a great little hike that allows for a little exploring and still make it back with plenty of daylight left.
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Jan 10 2018
Mike_Fels
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 Routes 17
 Photos 470
 Triplogs 422

72 male
 Joined Jan 07 2010
 Chandler, AZ
Cholla TankPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2018
Mike_Fels
Hiking10.31 Miles 1,226 AEG
Hiking10.31 Miles   4 Hrs   32 Mns   2.47 mph
1,226 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
First time for Cholla Tank. It was empty of water, but as was everything else full of mud. Most of my hike toady was done with shoes weighing a couple pounds more than usual due to the buildup of mud. Especially in the bog area of Garden Valley. Got misted, drizzled, sprinkled and even a bit of rain today. Most of it along First Water Creek Canyon. Along with a pretty stiff breeze. Didn't see any running water but lots of puddles.
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Oct 31 2013
Charger55
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 Guides 4
 Photos 542
 Triplogs 536

41 male
 Joined Oct 19 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Cholla TankPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 31 2013
Charger55
Hiking8.20 Miles 140 AEG
Hiking8.20 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   2.34 mph
140 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I have no ghost stories to tell, but I did have a memorable javelina encounter...

As I was walking through Garden Valley, a large javelina trotted across the trail about fifty feet in front of me. Immediately I went into ninja mode, moving as quietly as possible. I followed him as he made his way over to a prickly pear cactus. At first I wasn't sure if he was oblivious to me or just unconcerned. He started munching on the cactus, needles and all. Every time he put his head down to chew I took a step closer. Hearing me, he would lift his head, freeze for about thirty seconds, sniff the air, then go back to his breakfast. He had an unobstructed line of sight to me, but he couldn't seem to place where I was. Finally, I got within fifteen feet of him. I watched him eat for a while.

Then he did the unthinkable. He moved to the front of the cactus and started inching closer to me. Now I had to reexamine my options as there was nothing but dirt between us. Javelinas aren't man-eaters, but this guy was certainly close enough to do some damage if he felt threatened. Slowly, I reached for the knife in my pocket. That movement was enough to get the hairs on his back to stand up. Then I pointed the tips of my trekking poles in his direction. That spooked him back behind the cactus. He made one more attempt to come investigate me. This time another slight movement on my part scared him off into the desert.
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"I've driven across deserts, driven by the irony, that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free"
- Frank Turner "The Road"
Jan 13 2013
wallyfrack
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 Routes 91
 Photos 4,693
 Triplogs 1,328

59 male
 Joined Mar 11 2003
 AZ
Cholla TankPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2013
wallyfrack
Hiking8.60 Miles 1,037 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles   3 Hrs   1 Min   2.85 mph
1,037 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I slept in but woke up in time for a short hike. I wanted to hike out to the Cholla Tank as we missed the trail last time. I easily found the trail. The previous trip we followed a trail to some campsites in the area by mistake. I made it to the tank early and decided to do some exploring it the area. The alcoves on the hill were nothing but I did find a few holes.
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2 archives
Jan 12 2013
hikerdw
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,613
 Triplogs 436

61 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Cholla TankPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2013
hikerdw
Hiking10.40 Miles 1,686 AEG
Hiking10.40 Miles   5 Hrs   33 Mns   2.42 mph
1,686 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Our version of Trip 46 in the Superstition Wilderness Trails West book. We started from the horse trailer parking lot at First Water and hiked over to Hackberry Mesa. From there we checked out the mine, hiked through Hackberry Valley, down and back up Cholla Tank Wash, over to Cholla Tank, then joined up with Second Water trail and made the return back to the TH. It was chilly in the morning but warmed up as the the day progressed. Had a great time checking out the different areas.

dry Cholla Tank Dry Dry
Not even a puddle.
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Dec 17 2011
azdesertfather
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 Guides 12
 Routes 59
 Photos 1,195
 Triplogs 805

47 male
 Joined Apr 30 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Marsh Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 17 2011
azdesertfather
Hiking21.89 Miles 4,299 AEG
Hiking21.89 Miles   10 Hrs   36 Mns   2.07 mph
4,299 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Tortoise_Hiker
wallyfrack
One of my greatest days in the Superstitions. Met up with the guys at first light, 7am at First Water. Took Dutchman over toward Malapais, past Squaw Canyon over to Deering Canyon. Just after meeting Toughboots on the trail, we turned off-trail up Deering. It wasn't too bad at first, then it started getting a little tricky. When we reached the big boulder in the narrow opening of the canyon we realized that it wasn't a good idea to go any further. Large boulders were stacked there loosely, if one of them came loose we were writing the sequel to 127 Hours, so we gave up there. Appeared from signage to be a mine just above the spot where we were, would be interesting to drop down Deering from the top. We ended up deciding to follow around the shelf toward Squaw Canyon.

Up on the shelf we found the area Wally says was Crazy Jake's mining area in the 1980s, but some of the items we found pre-dated the 80s. Among the cans out there was a can of PREM Swift's Premium, which it looks like they stopped making in the 60s. We also found an old metal liquor canteen and two-burner Coleman Stove still sitting up there. Took the model number down and found out they started selling these in the late 1940s. Had lunch up there before heading down Squaw Canyon toward Cavalry Trail.

We then made our way to a spur trail along the east side of Battleship to LaBarge Box, which was awesome. Lots of water in the Supes today, and lots in the Box. Probably my favorite spot in the Supes! We then followed the creek up to see the Cave of the Spanish Cross, Aylor's Cabin, and Indian Paint Mine.

On our way back out, the guys lost me and I took a little detour up toward Cholla Tank...a little side excursion...don't ask if it was intentional, doesn't matter :D. Almost made it to the tank before I realized it and made it back toward Second Water.

At the intersection of Second Water and Black Mesa Trail, we checked out the ruins there, then headed back to the car just before dark.

Thanks for the great trip Wally, you're becoming a regular Supes historian! Denny, great hiking with you as always...even though we didn't see a rattler this time :D
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"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau
Apr 02 2011
jochal
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 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,878
 Triplogs 525

36 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Second Water Trail #236Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2011
jochal
Hiking9.70 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking9.70 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.43 mph
1,300 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Started before dawn and took the second water trail all the way to the Boulder Canyon Trail. Came back and headed over to Cholla Tank. From Cholla, went up Hackberry Mesa on the Western side of the slope up, and hung around the top a little bit. Gave a different perspective of the First Water/Garden Valley area. I intended to come down by hugging the Southern edge of the mesa, but the vegetation kept pushing me North and I ended up back on the Cholla trail before heading back on Second Water.

Surprised at the number of people out for such a hot day. Several people headed out on the trail on my way back mentioned seeing a rattler, but I missed it, for better or worse.
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_____________________
Oct 13 2010
TheNaviG8R
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 Guides 1
 Routes 36
 Photos 2,911
 Triplogs 451

50 male
 Joined Jul 26 2008
 Mesa, AZ
Cholla TankPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 13 2010
TheNaviG8R
Hiking7.80 Miles 140 AEG
Hiking7.80 Miles
140 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Dec 23 2007
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
1st Water TH/Cholla Tank/Hackberry Spr, AZ 
1st Water TH/Cholla Tank/Hackberry Spr, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 23 2007
DarthStiller
Hiking8.50 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking8.50 Miles   4 Hrs      2.13 mph
400 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
Al_HikesAZ
This was a pretty leisurely hike, mostly level and not too long. We went out to Cholla Tank, which was full of water, and on our way back to First Water, took a detour over to Hackberry Spring. First Water Creek was running, which made for very interesting scenery and the rare sound of running water in the western Supes. Along First Water Creek we found a fossilized deer footprint in a rock, very interesting.
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1 archive
average hiking speed 2.38 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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