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Dripping Springs Super Loop - 22 members in 55 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Feb 02 2021
AndrewAZ
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 1
 Triplogs 18

41 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 02 2021
AndrewAZ
Hiking20.15 Miles 4,134 AEG
Hiking20.15 Miles   9 Hrs   38 Mns   2.09 mph
4,134 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Dutchman :next: Coffee Flat :next: Red Tanks :next: Whiskey Spring :next: Dutchman

I started walking a little bit before 7am. The Peralta TH had maybe a dozen vehicles--quite the difference compared to a weekend morning.

About a half mile before the windmills along Coffee Flat trail, I saw a pack of javelinas. What's the correct collective noun for javelinas? A gregory? A gregory of peccaries? Anyway, a pack. I then saw a second pack at the windmills, and saw at least 16 of them, including plenty of young ones.

As always, Red Tanks is a hot trail to climb in late morning on a day headed towards 80 degrees. Only a small trickle of water flowing out of the first half of the trail. After the big climb into the second half, there was more water flowing along Red Tanks down towards Upper Labarge box and some nice spots to easily collect water.

This was my second or third time along Red Tanks since the fires, so between that and people helpfully building more cairns, I found it easier to navigate the burned areas. Not too much time spent looking for trail or wandering around this time.

This was my nth time in Upper Labarge box, and I finally stayed on the trail the whole time without any wild bouldering down the center of the wash. Whiskey Springs was hot and exposed in the afternoon.

The part of Dutchman dropping past Miner's Needle is always enjoyable. I like how the trail works its way down and around that drainage. Surprisingly, there was a big pool of water partway down the trail that had a steady trickle filling it.

I made it back to the parking area without ever seeing another person on the trail all day. Some water out there, but unless it rains more soon, I can imagine it drying up soon.
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Oct 27 2018
AndrewAZ
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 1
 Triplogs 18

41 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2018
AndrewAZ
Hiking19.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Hiking19.00 Miles
3,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
I went east on Dutchman's Trail 104 from the Peralta TH to Coffee Flat 108, east on Coffee Flat to Red Tanks 107, north on Red Tanks and then west through Upper Labarge Box, south and west on Whiskey Spring 238, and south and west on Dutchman 104 to get back to the TH. My Green Trails map claims that is 19 miles.

I got started at about 6:15 and wondered how long it would take me to see another person. The answer was 15 minutes because a cute, blonde trailrunner passed me with her dog at that point. However, aside from people in the parking area, that was the only person I saw all day. It's possible that heat kept people off the trails. If I had had any sense, it would've kept me away.

The trailrunner must've stayed on Dutchman because the number of spider webs I walked through went way up after I turned onto Coffee Flat trail. Coffee Flat trail through lower Randolph Canyon was brushy, but nicely shaded. The shade vanished once I turned up Red Tanks. The scenery along Red Tanks was spectacular, although it would've been much more enjoyable at 65 degrees instead of 85. I would rank Red Tanks up there with Hoolie Bacon and Peters Trail for great scenery plus remote wilderness feel.

With all the rain, I had expected lots of water. There were a few pools here and there, but not much. It was a small trickle in Upper Labarge Box instead of the torrent it had been in February after the rain.

I thought Red Tanks in Upper Labarge Box would be easier to navigate when it dropped down the to the wash without all the water to hide the trail. Nope. The trail still just vanished for a while and required some boulder hopping. I found it for a while only to have it vanish again.

There was some trickling water when I turned on Whiskey Spring trail, so I filtered a liter. I could've made it back to the truck with what I had left (I had started with 2 liters), but it would've been unpleasant.

Red Tanks is obviously not the most popular trail, but I hoped Whiskey Spring had seen more use to make the remainder of my day easier. It was not to be. Whiskey Spring was also quite brushy due to the rains, and the brush all had thorns. I mean, it wasn't brushy like the GET through the Santa Teresas (the horror, the horror...), but I still got sliced up.

The heat and mileage had really taken their toll by the time I got back to Dutchmans. The drop past Miners Needle and the stretch back to the TH was more of a forced march than I would've liked.

I think I have now done every major trail in the western Superstitions on my Green Trails map. I guess it's time to start working on the central and east portions as well as the questionable dotted-line trails. The JF-Cedar Basin-Red Tanks-upper Randolph Canyon loop looks like a memorable one...
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3 archives
Jan 22 2018
Mike_Fels
avatar

 Routes 17
 Photos 477
 Triplogs 482

73 male
 Joined Jan 07 2010
 Chandler, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 22 2018
Mike_Fels
Hiking20.75 Miles 3,677 AEG
Hiking20.75 Miles   9 Hrs   56 Mns   2.32 mph
3,677 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
Five years ago I did this hike for the first time, exactly one month later in the year. And going in a clockwise direction.

I get ahead of myself... I started out just before 7 from the Peralta TH to do a 14 mile hike, 7 miles out Coffee Flat and back. When I got to where the Read Tanks joins the Coffee Flat I made the decision to change my itinerary. I'd take the Red Tanks back. I figured I'd done this before, it was a cooler day than the previous time, I had plenty of water and I was indestructible. Of course I ignored that I didn't have any food and I was 5 years older. Going CCW was really different, the up hills seemed longer and steeper. On the first trip the trail was covered in wildflowers. This time it was covered in cats claw and prickly pears. Going CCW I found that I tended to loose the trail easier than I remember happening the first time.

Then by the time I got to the Whiskey Springs turn off I was already tired, and still had to up that hill.

The first trip I rated this loop as a 5, if I were going to rate it today it'd probably only be a 3. Wow quite a difference.

There were two really good things about the hike. The sights at the upper LaBarge box were better going this direction. Never saw the spire and cave from the other direction. The other great thing is I made it.
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1 archive
Dec 14 2017
survivordude
avatar

 Routes 61
 Photos 975
 Triplogs 208

40 male
 Joined Aug 19 2009
 The Basin
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 14 2017
survivordude
Hiking22.75 Miles 4,076 AEG
Hiking22.75 Miles   9 Hrs   24 Mns   2.64 mph
4,076 ft AEG      47 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I could not decide where to go for birthday hike and stumbled upon this one the night before. I did the research and loaded the maps and I still was not prepared enough for this one. Only 15 minutes of headlamp needed on the Dutchman trail and then through Barkley Basin and to Coffee Flats. This is the easiest hike in all of the Superstitions. IMO The actual hiking is incredibly dull, but those views at sunrise are just some of the best I have ever seen. Also, the thousands of saguaro created quite a forest leading up to the king saguaro. Most arms I have ever seen. Made it to the old trough and windmill at Randolph Canyon in 2 hours and thought I was making great time. Randolph in the fall is beautiful! The colors on all of the trees increased as the canyon walls tightened. As I was making my way to Dripping springs, I saw several of the smallest seeps coming out of the rocks below. The actual spring was dripping.. barely. Only water I saw all day. The camp spot there seems like it would be a great one when the creek is flowing. There were some small caves above but I didnt feel like climbing around in there and I had a lot more hike ahead of me.. A lot more. The start of the Red Tanks section was very gradual and mis-leading! :x After gaining 500 feet in 2 1/2 miles, the trail goes steeper and gains another 500 feet in about 1 mile. Took a lunch break here at 5 hours in. I knew I still had the climb out of Whiskey to Miner's, but I assumed because I was at the highest point on the hike, the rest would be easy peasy. It was not easy peasy. Coming over the saddle into Red Tanks Divide, the views were spectacular and everything was so green and lush. Sometimes it doesnt even make sense that this is considered a desert.. then again, this is December. After not too long I got to really enjoy that lushness up close and personal, as the brush became so thick at times it was nearly impassable. Also, the 'brush' was actually bushes completely made of thorns. At times I felt like I was in the first 'Saw' movie with all the barbed wire. Wearing shorts was not a problem as mostly all of the terrible stuff was waist and above. It had no problem ripping through 2 layers of clothing and shredding half my body. I was shuddering at the thoughts of the show 'Naked and Afraid'. I haven't had my fingers scratched up like that since I bought my daughter a kitten 3 years ago. Trying to go around the trail and find a 'better' way was futile, so I sucked it up and just pushed though. Scared a white tail up the hill (from my shrills of pain probably). Much wildlife will be sustained in those mountains due to the amounts of my flesh torn off and left on those thorns. I finally made it through the worst of it as I got to Upper LaBarge Canyon? This canyon was very remarkable due to it was like 2 views in one the way you peered down through the canyon, and then off to far away landscapes between and beyond. The trail stays mostly on the northern side of the canyon, but once it drops down into the creek, there were some gigantic boulders to navigate and climb around that took some extra time for route finding. Saw the very large Herman's Cave, but didnt bother to even check it out because at that point I was exhausted. Took a well deserved break at the Red Tanks/ Whiskey Springs junction and recharged. The hike up to Miner's saddle was not that bad and I did have enough energy to pick up the pace quite a bit down the hill. Probably not a good idea, because just about the 20 mile mark, I could feel myself starting to really break down. Back at the Coffee Flat junction my legs went into auto pilot. I couldn't feel them moving but they kept going and so did I, and an hour later I was back at the Peralta TH.
This was a fantastic hike that is only meant for an elite few, because it is an extremely tough one! Always good to push your limits but you have to know what those limits are and respect your own intuitions. I really pushed myself out there and maybe too much because that night and since then, I have had a pretty bad fever. I'm sure I will be all well for next Thursday's hike! Be safe out there, everyone!
Culture
Culture
Cadastral Survey Marker
Named place
Named place
Dripping Spring Reeds Water


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

dry Miners Canyon Dry Dry

dry Randolph Canyon Dry Dry


dry Reeds Water Dry Dry

dry Whiskey Spring Dry Dry
didnt see spring but also saw zero water in the whole area

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“There is nothing outside the thought of the immediate moment.”
3 archives
Dec 27 2016
purplebunny100
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 Triplogs 10

30 male
 Joined Dec 12 2016
 Phoenix, Arizona
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 27 2016
purplebunny100
Hiking19.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Hiking19.00 Miles   10 Hrs   44 Mns   1.77 mph
3,200 ft AEG22 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Excellent place for hiking and camping. Wear durable clothes as there are so many thorny bushes. Trekking poles were helpful on this trip.
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2 archives
Dec 02 2016
knmurphy
avatar

 Photos 281
 Triplogs 222

41 male
 Joined Aug 03 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2016
knmurphy
Hiking19.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Hiking19.00 Miles   8 Hrs   35 Mns   2.48 mph
3,200 ft AEG      55 Mns Break9 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Great day for a hike. Red tanks was better than I remembered but it still has some bite.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Dripping Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
Several good sized pools, clear water.
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2 archives
Apr 21 2016
jacobemerick
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 Guides 31
 Routes 74
 Photos 1,162
 Triplogs 154

36 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 21 2016
jacobemerick
Backpack19.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Backpack19.00 Miles3 Days         
3,200 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
reynchr
Brother-and-law and I had a more ambitious loop planned, cut it short after a scorcher of a day on Friday up Red Tanks. Still got this basic loop done.

Thursday
Left Peralta Trailhead around 3pm and headed down Dutchman to Coffee Springs. A few cars parked there, not many. Bumped into one other hiker in Barkley Basin who was low on water, gave her a liter. Reached Reed's Water with the sunset and called it a day. Managed to pull some cool, clean water from the well under the windmill - best water of the trip. Oh, and we really enjoyed that screeching noise the old rusty thing makes when a breeze picks up.

Friday
Late start in the morning, reached Dripping Springs around 9am. Breakfast and fresh water from Randolph Canyon. Headed up Red Tanks Trail, didn't make good time. Hiking partner was carrying a heavy pack and the heat was... hot. Trail was in decent condition, only tricky area was the Randolph crossing. Some cat claw, nothing terrible. We split up about a mile from the top and planned to meet at Brad's Water. I had some trouble finding the trail north of the divide, a few tricky areas, did some basic maintenance as I had the time. Found Brad's Water without a GPS and drank, filtered, and soaked a bit. That cave is my new valhalla. Brother-in-law caught up just as I was packing up and we didn't move on until close to 4. Tried and failed to find anything at La Barge #2. Set up camp east of Hoolie Bacon junction, filtering more water from a scummy pond in La Barge wash as needed. Oh, and we also enjoyed a fight between two Gila monsters. #wilderness

Saturday
After freezing our tushes off at camp we got an early start down the Upper La Barge Box. That's a fun rollercoaster. Hiking partner twisted his ankle about a mile in. Rested at junction and then decided to head down Whiskey Springs (instead of attempting Red Tanks Super Loop). Found ...some... water at Whiskey Springs, stopped and had breakfast and made funny faces at the trail cam there. Continued over to Miner's Summit where we saw our first other hikers since that day hiker in Barkley on Thursday. We split here - he took the common path down Miner's and over on Dutchman to the trailhead and I turned and went the Bluff Springs route. Brief stop to filter a few liters there before rejoining at the trailhead.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bluff Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Both pipes were dripping, bottom pipe about twice the flow of the upper.

dry Brads Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Brads Water Dripping Dripping
Well, not sure what to label this. The two water troughs are dry, the wash is dry, the ditch to the cave is dry, and the rocks around the cave are dry.

BUT the cave has a _ton_ of water in it. Gallons and gallons of cool water just sitting there, enough to easily scoop for filter or even wade in (as long as you watch your head). So while I didn't see anything dripping or flowing, there's water for the taking.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dripping Spring Dripping Dripping
Some dripping from the vegetation on the wall and an oily pool collecting some 20' downstream.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Fraser Canyon Light flow Light flow
Green pools trickling from one to the next by the trail junction. Pre-filtering with a bandanna would be a good idea.

dry Labarge Spring Number Two Dry Dry
No pools, some dampness under rocks.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Reeds Water 51-75% full 51-75% full
The well had cool, clear water about 10-15 feet down. Bring your own bucket (or bottle tied to cordage).


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Whiskey Spring Dripping Dripping
Spring box had water, plenty of grass and Algae fighting for it. Scooped with half-cup before filtering. One or two of the lower pools also had water, not much more enticing.

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Feb 22 2015
rayhuston
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 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,971
 Triplogs 683

64 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Whiskey-Red Tanks-Coffee Flat Loop, AZ 
Whiskey-Red Tanks-Coffee Flat Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 22 2015
rayhuston
Hiking18.68 Miles 3,092 AEG
Hiking18.68 Miles   8 Hrs   45 Mns   2.35 mph
3,092 ft AEG      49 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Because it was new, the Red Tanks trail was the highlight of the trip, although I enjoyed all of it. The weather was pretty good, wildflowers are beginning to pop up and the trails were in good shape, with only a couple of exceptions along the Red Tanks trail (see photo "Welcome to the Jungle").

The Red Tanks trail was pretty much what I expected. It's remote, rugged, beautiful. The trails were in better shape than I expected. Some route finding issues here and there, but nothing terrible. I made much better time through there than I thought I would.

I didn't see many people on my route. I saw 4 backpackers on Whiskey Spring trail heading south towards Dutchman. I saw three horseback riders along Coffee Flat close to Dutchman and I saw one camp site on Red Tanks trail. Primo spot, just a few feet above a nice flow of water running down the canyon. I chatted with the occupant for a minute. He was a happy camper. Speaking of water, every creek I passed between Dutchman and Coffee Flat trails had decent flows.

Dripping Springs has the usual trickle, but I didn't get too close because of a swarm of bees somewhere nearby. I didn't try to find the swarm; I just moved away from the sound and continued on my way. If you head out that way, beware.

This was a very enjoyable hike on a pretty nice day.

p.s. I saw my first coatimundi in Red Tanks canyon, but it fled into the bush before I could get a picture.
Culture
Culture
Cadastral Survey Marker
Named place
Named place
Dripping Spring Miners Needle
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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4 archives
Jan 26 2014
davidsnaz
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 Photos 24
 Triplogs 4

male
 Joined Mar 02 2008
 Mesa, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 26 2014
davidsnaz
Hiking19.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Hiking19.00 Miles
3,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Dripping Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Water is dripping from the rock. The creek is still running in places around the spring. There is plenty of water in many of the larger pools as well.
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Jan 11 2014
wallyfrack
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 Routes 91
 Photos 5,090
 Triplogs 1,392

60 male
 Joined Mar 11 2003
 AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 11 2014
wallyfrack
Hiking20.40 Miles 4,856 AEG
Hiking20.40 Miles   10 Hrs   12 Mns   2.00 mph
4,856 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
With a nice day forecast I wanted to check out a few side canyons east of Coffee Flat Mountain. I started at 7:30 and got ahead of a large group. The trail was clear into Reeds Water and I stopped to look at the large saguaro. After a few minutes I heard voices coming so I continued on toward Dripping Springs. As I past through one area with tree I half excepted Topohiker would walk out of the trees. That's where I first ran into him on the trail in 2008. I looked up at a few interesting spots along the trail and continued on to the Red Tanks trail. Once on the Red Tanks trail I took side canyons and explored much of the way until I was past upper La Barge spring. The brush was thick at that point and I had to plow through to get back to the trail. Near the intersection of Hoolie Bacon & Red Tanks I stopped to eat. It was nearing 3pm so I realized I would need to start moving to make it back before dark. The sun was getting low as I hiked down the Dutchman trail but I made it to the hill above Peralte TH right at sun set. No stone houses were discovered on this trip.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
Geology
Geology
Natural Arch
Named place
Named place
Coffee Flat Mountain
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
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2 archives
Dec 14 2013
Dave1
avatar

 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

45 male
 Joined Jan 25 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Dripping Springs Loop, AZ 
Dripping Springs Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 14 2013
Dave1
Backpack22.00 Miles 3,900 AEG
Backpack22.00 Miles2 Days         
3,900 ft AEG22 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Met the Haz group at Peralta TH at 4pm Saturday. Set off to find Jim, Lucy, Cupcake, Blanco and another turtle somewhere near Brad's Water. Made it as far as Whiskey Spring as darkness set in. The near full moon and my headlamp made navigating the trail through upper Labarge box a breeze. As I neared Holy Bacon trail, I spotted a campfire down by Labarge Creek. Must be the other group! They left me a map at the trail junction along with ribbon breadcrumbs leading to camp. Thanks, guys! We had a nice night by the campfire. Later on, Blanco decided he'd go for a late night rabbit chase but fortunately he returned.

Sunday morning arrived with quite a chill so we cranked the campfire back up as we waited patiently for the sun to rise. Lucy, Lee and myself said our goodbyes to Jim as we set out for the return to Peralta via Dripping Springs. Jim would be spending 2 more days out here, this day heading to Labarge Spring.

Somewhere near Red Tanks Divide I separated from the group to go look for a small Indian dwelling/mining camp. I had gotten some good info (ok, the GPS coordinates)on its location from a Haz insider. Found it ok but not without a major catclaw and chaparral battle! Got back on the Red Tanks Trail, although it was hard to tell I was on a trail since it's so over-grown now. Passed through Red tanks which has some nice water flowing. Caught up with the group at Reid's Water and we had a nice walk back to Peralta. Another good backpack in the Supes and starting after work on Saturday makes it feel like I had a 3 day weekend :y:
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Oct 26 2013
Lucyan
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 Routes 1
 Photos 20,663
 Triplogs 1,055

41 female
 Joined Jan 18 2011
 In the Wild
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 26 2013
Lucyan
Backpack22.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Backpack22.00 Miles2 Days         
3,200 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Dec 26 2012
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 28
 Routes 314
 Photos 9,094
 Triplogs 866

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Tortilla via Peralta TH, AZ 
Tortilla via Peralta TH, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 26 2012
friendofThundergod
Backpack33.50 Miles 13,587 AEG
Backpack33.50 Miles4 Days         
13,587 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
This is another hike from last year, however, I think its alright to post now, because it is right around the same time of year, and with the extended holidays coming up, some may be looking for some nice three and four day treks. This hike certainly offered some challenging changes in elevations, cold temperatures, and solitude. Most seasoned backpackers would find this to be a moderate hike in terms of difficulty, route finding (all trail), and total miles.

We started at Peralta TH the day after Christmas. Our chosen route was the Dutchman's Trail to Coffee Flats, to Red Tanks, Hoolie Bacon, then Peter's Trail back to the Dutchman's Trail and finishing up on Bluff Springs Trail. If you are into simply drawing new lines on your map and knocking out some remote areas of the Supers this hike may be for you.

Day one was our highest mile day of entire hike. We did not stop much, mainly because of the cool temperatures, we had some Christmas Tamales at a nice deep pool of water along Red Tanks, did a quick side trip to explore what proved to be an old Indian dwelling that utilized a deceptively deep cave. Although, the cave was not hard to locate only a short distance into Red Tanks Trail, it seemed not many people had been, because there was literally plate size pot sherds littering the ground. Our day one goal was to stay at Brad's Water which is in a side canyon/wash before you reach Hoolie Bacon, however, once we got there, we chose to just push forward, as we knew water was not going to be an issue. For future reference Brad's Water always has water, I will put my name and honor to that, if you are ever in a pinch during hot months, there will be water. However, it is not easy to find, I don't know if it was man-made, but it is essentially a small cave or rock grotto that has filled with water, about waste deep and pretty far back. We chose to camp our first night near the opening/beginning of Trap Canyon, just off Hoolie Bacon. We ran into the only people we saw on entire hike around five or so in the afternoon, they were doing a similar loop in reverse, except they were going through La Barge Box, definitely a more direct loop than ours. It got extremely cold the first night, our water froze and we started our second morning with what would be a trend for the first two days, thawing out our tents, recovering our gear, and huddling around the fire. For an additional side trip, if camped near the origins of Trap Canyon, a short walk down the canyon will take you to a ground level cave dwelling, with remnants of former walls and several grinding holes.

Our day two was relatively short in miles, but very scenic, and cold. Hoolie Bacon and Red Tanks both seem to really meander along and drag out at points. The day was made interesting by a pretty good little snow storm in the early afternoon and a fun descent down Horse Ridge. There are opportunities for side-trips as well in this area, for example, one can check out the Lost Dutchman Mine Jr. which is located near intersection of Hoolie Bacon and JF Trail. However, we have never been overly impressed by this cave/maybe old mine so we just pushed on towards Indian Springs. There was no need to find an actual spring, however, we did find the old troughs and some piping. Indian Springs proved to be another really cold night, but lets be real we built a very large fire. We camped in a pretty well-established spot, in fact, someone's entire camp seemed to have been just abandoned in place there, but it was in a sad state.

Day three we continued down Peter's Trail, took a GPS reading at Kane Spring and made our way towards Peter's Mesa, which begins with a pretty good climb. We ran into the same group from day before near Peter's Mesa, chatted a little and continued mission. We went off-trail around Peter's Mesa and dropped down into one of our favorite canyons to take a short-cut to camp at one of our favorite spots. The third night must have literally been 15 degrees warmer and we woke up to very warm temps on day four. It was kind of weird, after spending the first two nights in rather unfamiliar areas we kind of felt like we were already home, even though we were still in the Supers. Our hike out was pretty uneventful, just taking your standard well-traveled western Supes trails to Peralta TH. In fact, I finished in short sleeves and shorts, which was a far cry from my opening morning picture.
Fauna
Fauna
Tarantula
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2 archives
Nov 03 2012
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,294
 Triplogs 1,639

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 03 2012
John9L
Hiking19.39 Miles 4,063 AEG
Hiking19.39 Miles
4,063 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Kyle and I got together for a quick hike out in the Supes. We started from Peralta and headed east on the Dutchman and continued east on the Coffee Flat Trail. The going was fairly easy and we made good time. We then connected onto the Red Tanks trail and our pace slowed as we navigated very heavy growth and lot of cat claw. The Red Tanks is one of my favorite hikes in the Supes even though it's a pain. I especially like the section next to La Barge.

After a while we connected on the Whiskey Spring trail. Luckily the trail was in better condition and we made great time. We stopped to check out the spring and there was some water present. We dunked our bandanas and continued on to the Dutchman. The final piece of our hike returned us to Peralta. By this point we pretty much put our heads down and grinded out the last couple of miles.

This was another great day in the Supes. We did not see anyone as soon as we left the trailhead. Kyle and I have good luck with this on most of our hikes! Hopefully more hikers get out to the Red Tanks trail which will help open up the trail.
Fauna
Fauna
Tarantula
Named place
Named place
Whiskey Spring
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1 archive
Mar 11 2012
Tough_Boots
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 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

64 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Red Tanks Super Loop - Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 11 2012
Tough_Boots
Hiking20.76 Miles 3,612 AEG
Hiking20.76 Miles
3,612 ft AEG
 
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John9L
This was a good long one! We made plans to do the Dripping Springs Super Loop but knew we wanted to extend it a little bit. We decided that all was to be decided on the trail. Our options for extension would be to take Red Tanks out to where it dead ends at the Dutchman and come back Bluff Springs at around 21 miles... or if we were feeling like supermen, we would take Red Tanks out to Dutchman and basically combine the loop with the Bluff Spring Mtn Loop and come back via the Terrapin and then Bluff Springs at a wopping 25 miles.

As we hiked, I kept envisioning the horror of ascending up the Terrapin after already hiking 20 miles and was able to scare John into the shorter extension pretty quickly. Later when we eventually reached the trail head again, we were both happy to not have those four extra miles to go.

As the the actual hike, it was fantastic. The temps were nice and warm but not uncomfortable warm-- just warm enough to really appreciate dipping a handkerchief or hat into any available cold pool of water. Upper LaBarge was the highlight as it usually is. We also made sure to point out caves and alcoves that Wally has probably already been in. :)

Water along this loop in disappearing quickly. There's still filterable pools out there but I wouldn't trust them for long.
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Mar 11 2012
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,294
 Triplogs 1,639

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Red Tanks Super Loop - Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 11 2012
John9L
Hiking20.76 Miles 3,612 AEG
Hiking20.76 Miles
3,612 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Tough_Boots
Had an awesome day out on the trails with Kyle! We covered some serious ground and only saw a few people. Most of this hike was new for me. Some of the sections are amazing & the views are spectacular! There were lot of good camp spots as well. I made mental notes for a future return. There was water along the hike but it was intermittent. I ended up pumping some at La Barge Spring. From there we made good time back to the car. It was a long day but well worth the effort!
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Feb 22 2012
Mike_Fels
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 Routes 17
 Photos 477
 Triplogs 482

73 male
 Joined Jan 07 2010
 Chandler, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 22 2012
Mike_Fels
Hiking20.25 Miles 3,610 AEG
Hiking20.25 Miles   9 Hrs   35 Mns   2.39 mph
3,610 ft AEG   1 Hour   7 Mns Break
 no routes
I had never before hiked the Red Tanks trail because of that I was looking forward to this hike. It started out as a beautiful day, cool with a bit of a breeze. Left the Peralta TH at 6:45AM. Made the hike in a clockwise direction. I wasn't disappointed about the Red Tanks trail. The scenery was great. The Red Tanks trail had the most wild flowers I have seen so far this year. I'd guess a good 2 dozen different varieties. I started off taking pictures of the flowers and finally figured out the hike would take more than one day if I continued. The trail is used so little that the flowers were growing through the trails in many places. Unfortunately the cacti also were trying to take over the trail. I got attacked by a cholla. I had lunch at what I expect was dripping springs, but I saw no water dripping.

After lunch I was on Coffee Flats trail, came around a corner and almost stepped on a Gila Monster. After I backed up a couple steps he closed his mouth and seemed to calm down enough to allow some pictures to be taken. The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. Maybe that is with the exception of the intense sun. The last few miles coming across Barkley Basin and the Dutchman were down right HOT with no shade.

I didn't see another soul except in the parking lot.
Fauna
Fauna
Gila Monster
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Feb 18 2012
johnmc22
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 Guides 1
 Routes 4
 Photos 139
 Triplogs 6

61 male
 Joined Sep 02 2003
 Phoenix, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 18 2012
johnmc22
Backpack19.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Backpack19.00 Miles   33 Hrs   30 Mns   0.57 mph
3,200 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Wow, what a trip!... and I mean that in more ways than one. We set out on a perfect Saturday morning to do a 2 day (1 night) backpack around the Dripping Springs Super Loop (or, the Coffee Flat Loop, depending on your chosen terminology... same loop, different name). Our plan was to navigate the "Super Loop" clockwise rather than counter-clockwise as others have reported. We intended to camp near the intersection of the Red Tanks and Hoolie Bacon trails, covering about 8 miles the first day and 11 miles the second.

Everything was going to plan as 5 of us departed the Peralta Trailhead at 7am on Saturday. We made great time across the flats on Dutchman's Trail and up the climb past Miners Needle. We arrived at Whiskey Spring at around 10:15am where we found the usual pools of water, plenty deep for pumping. One pool was even deep enough to submerge and fill our Katadyn, gravity-fed, hanging water filter, so that made the refill operation go that much quicker (no pumping... just watching the water fill our bottles while we enjoyed an early lunch... ahh, sweet luxury). Water availability near our selected camp spot for the evening was not a certainty, so we each tanked up with 6 liters of water per person (ouch!). We departed Whiskey Spring at around 11am and intersected the Red Tanks Trail shortly thereafter. There were plenty of pools of water near the Whiskey/Red Tanks Junction, but we didn't need any at this point. As we headed up the Upper LaBarge Box, we were feeling the pain of all the weight of the extra water, but we persevered to the top. There's a fabulous display of Poppies in Upper LaBarge right now, not to mention other wildflowers. We were whipped by the time we reached the top of "the box", but we quickly found an awesome campsite along the Red Tanks Trail about 300 yards east of the Hoolie Bacon junction.

We had a mission on this trip... find and record the existence (or non-existence) of the famed "LaBarge Spring Number Two". It's on all the maps, yet there's never been a single report on the Spring Flow Reports within HikeAZ. So, as a late-afternoon project, we set out to find why it has never been reported. And... wow... did we ever find out. The good news... there IS a thriving spring at the exact GPS coordinates listed on HikeAZ for LaBarge Spring #2. Bad news: it is almost impossible to get to due to a massive growth of cat claw along the 500 or so feet between the nearest access (Upper LaBarge Wash) and the actual spring. There is no trail whatsoever leading to the spring, so your only access is a small dry wash that connects to LaBarge Wash. If you're on the Red Tanks Trail coming from the Hoolie Bacon junction, you enter LaBarge Wash at the first trail crossing and rock hop about 1/4 mile (give or take) to a smaller rocky "tributary" that heads off to the right (south). Then, you fight the cat claw ~500 feet to the spring. The idea is simple but, the execution... that's another story. Unless you happen to have a machete handy, you will literally end up crawling on your hands and knees at times along the rocky wash to get under, over, around and through thick fields of cat claw and holly. If this spring is your only hope as a water source in the area, then you should pack in some tools and some special clothing to attack the cat claw head on. Some kind of kevlar suit, maybe. :?

When we successfully made it to the spring on this mid-February day, 2012, we found several nice pools of water, much like Whiskey Spring. We couldn't tell what the flow rate was, but it is a very localized spring spanning about 20 feet along an otherwise dry wash. The spring source itself is under the pools, and I would guess it's only "dripping," but there were about 3 pools that were plenty deep enough to pump water out of. Even though we didn't need the water, we brought a pump and a bottle anyway because we weren't going to make all that effort for nothing. And, boy, let me tell you... that bottle we pumped was the most incredible tasting water ever. The sweet taste of victory! ;)

Back at the campsite, the evening was nice and cool and the stars, magnificent. So, here's where things got really interesting. It got cold overnight... I mean, REALLY cold. We had a cheapie thermometer that read 18 degrees at one point! We're not sure if it was 100% accurate, but, by morning, there was ice on the tents, frost everywhere, and chunks of ice in our water bottles, so it was definitely well below freezing. Of course, we weren't planning for an 18 degree night... we had thought it would be more like 32 degrees, so we were caught a little off guard, gear-wise. None the less, the only real damage was an extra late start to our hike on Sunday morning since we couldn't even get out of our tents until around 7am for fear of hypothermia.

We shivered through a quick breakfast and coffee and quickly recovered as the sun finally came up over the mountain. Our gear was covered in frost which quickly turned to water, so we ended up carrying some damp gear the rest of the trip. We hit the trail at 9:00am and headed down Red Tanks toward Dripping Springs. As many have reported, there are extensive sections of this trail that are overgrown with brush (some of it the dreaded cat claw). Sure, we could argue that, perhaps, last years brush was worse than this years, but it is brushy none the less for much of the way between Red Tanks Divide and Dripping Springs. We didn't have much trouble following the trail, although there were a few sections where it was awfully faint and you had to stop and confirm you were actually on a trail. Bottom line: With a full pack, this section of trail (to Dripping Springs) is slow-going and it took us nearly 3 hours to negotiate the 4.5 miles.

While we didn't actually witness the "Dripping Spring" itself, the Dripping Springs area is loaded with water right now. Many large pools and a moderate flow rate in the stream itself. We tanked up with water one last time as we knew this would be the last reliable water before we returned to the Peralta trailhead. We headed west for the long stretch past Reeds Water (no water), Dutchman's junction and, ultimately, back to the Peralta Trailhead. It was 4:30 by the time we reached our cars. Fortunately, the weather during the hike was cool and dry, so no complaints there. This would definitely be a long slog on a hot day.

So, there it is. We each climbed Upper LaBarge with 13 lbs of extra water, we gave up precious blood to "bag" a a previously unreported spring, and we endured a bitter cold night to "test our gear" (it failed). Overall... a great trip.

Here's some pics:
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1456217&code=4d97d86148797a36ffc72b4e7df56f33
Named place
Named place
Labarge Spring Number Two
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dripping Spring Dripping Dripping
While we didn't actually witness Dripping Spring itself (and it is probably just dripping, as usual), the Dripping Springs area is loaded with water right now. Many large pools and a moderate flow rate in the stream itself. There was no problem with water availability on 2/19/2012.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Labarge Spring Number Two Dripping Dripping
The good news... there IS a thriving spring at the exact GPS coordinates listed on HikeAZ for LaBarge Spring #2. Bad news: it is almost impossible to get to due to a massive growth of cat claw along the 500 or so feet between the nearest access (Upper LaBarge Wash) and the actual spring. There is no trail whatsoever leading to the spring, so your only access is a small dry wash that connects to LaBarge Wash. If you're on the Red Tanks Trail coming from the Hoolie Bacon junction, you enter LaBarge Wash at the first trail crossing and the rock hop "upstream" about 1/4 mile (give or take) to a smaller rocky "tributary" that heads off to the right (south). Then, you fight the cat claw ~500 feet to the spring. The idea is simple but, the execution... that's another story. Unless you happen to have a machete handy, you will literally end up crawling on your hands and knees along the rocky wash to get under, over, around and through thick fields of cat claw and holly. If this spring is your only hope as a water source in the area, then you should pack in some tools and some special clothing to attack the cat claw head on. Some kind of kevlar suit, maybe. :?

On 2/18/2012, we found several nice pools of water, much like Whiskey Spring. We couldn't tell what the flow rate was, but it is a very localized spring spanning about 20 feet along an otherwise dry wash. The spring itself is under the pools, but I would guess it's only dripping, but there were about 3 pools that were plenty deep enough to pump water out of.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Whiskey Spring Dripping Dripping
While I am only reporting this spring to be "Dripping", that doesn't tell the whole story as there are several pools of water, plenty deep for pumping. There's about a 40 foot stretch of stream bed that contains the spring and pools. The water generally doesn't flow much beyond that 40 foot section and the spring comes up under the pools, so it's hard to say what the flow rate is. It's irrelevant, really, as there is plenty to be had as of 2/18/2012.
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Feb 11 2012
joebartels
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 Guides 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,313
 Triplogs 4,964

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2012
joebartels
Hiking24.00 Miles 4,044 AEG
Hiking24.00 Miles   12 Hrs   16 Mns   2.38 mph
4,044 ft AEG   2 Hrs   10 Mns Break22 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
After a short squabble with the timid ranger we were off. He paced back and forth twice then came over and asked Bruce to park the car six inches more to the left. We were unaware it's standard procedure to park "between" the posts. I was impressed that Bruce kept it together as he typically has choice verbiage in these situations historically.

51 degree to start in early Feb is gift. I enjoyed Coffee Flat up through Randolph and into Red Tanks Canyon the most. There were some nice wildflower displays in Barkley Basin too. Heading down through Upper La Barge Box it was hot and I wasn't feeling good "heading down" of all things. The wildflowers here are the best of the loop as of now. Well that you walk through anyhow, we saw some sweet distant displays too. Albeit good substantial stretches, I give the entire loop a moderate. Definitely worthy of a trip if you enjoy poppies.

Heading over to La Barge Spring was draggy. We had a late lunch since Bruce wouldn't shut up about "I'm starving" (just a non-stop whiner all day). We started getting the shade advantage pushing "super" past it boundaries to Charlebois. 8+ visit and I still couldn't find the Master Map...lol After talking up Charlebois it was a let down compared to Randolph and Red Tanks Canyon, yet still worthy of the extra jaunt IMO.

I have no clue how Bruce put up with me until this point as I'd been queezy since the start. Then I hit the mojo juice and I was on fire and feeling like a rock star for the finish.

Great loop and Bruce got to see a lot of new territory along the outskirts :y:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Charlebois Spring Dripping Dripping
Large pools as I've always seen. No flow out of the pools.
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- joe
Feb 11 2012
The_Eagle
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 Guides 9
 Routes 805
 Photos 10,311
 Triplogs 1,625

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2012
The_Eagle
Hiking24.56 Miles 4,048 AEG
Hiking24.56 Miles   12 Hrs   14 Mns   2.44 mph
4,048 ft AEG   2 Hrs   10 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
After the Trail Head Police got me to "correctly" re-position my truck 6" to the left, we both took deep breaths and got out of there in the new breaking dawn.
Tibber Teva was in a whole new world this morning, taking her time snapping pictures to and fro.

Today's mission was to see new areas in the Supes and to get to the Master Map. We were 1 for 2.

Our first stop was at a neat little area at Reeds Water. I'm a sucker for Windmills, and this one did not disappoint. Continuing on the Coffee Flat #108, we headed into Randolph Canyon. This is a real pretty area that was one of my favorites on this hike. The views continued on into the Red Tanks #107, still in Randolph Canyon. We seemed to never be more than 1/2 or so the entire day from water of some sort, and this canyon was no exception. There were only a few areas on this stretch where the trail go a little tight.

The hike down Upper La Barge never disappoints. The Poppies were bustin' out in patches. Herman was not home.

The map is still a secret to me. I know who I have to talk to to get directions. Mr. Supes WF.
I did get to see the Charlebois Spring area and was surprised that at 3:30pm, on a perfect weather Saturday, there was not a single Camper / Backpacker to be found.

From here is was about 2.5 hours to make our way back to the Peralta TH, finishing up w/ Headlights.

Tick, Tick, Tick

suna
Fauna
Fauna
Teva
Culture
Culture
Windmill
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
average hiking speed 2.13 mph
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