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Feb 23 2007

 Guides 43
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68 male
 Joined Feb 04 2002
 Gilbert, AZ
Hog CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 23 2007
Hiking 1,130 AEG
1,130 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Due to popular demand, I'm posting the late Steve Creager's nice Hog Cyn history as a triplog for all to access. Enjoy!

I hope everything is okay out your way. We haven't been in touch for a long time. I thought about you the other day and thought I'd drop you a line soon. But, then I saw your post on the LDM forum about Hog Canyon. So, I thought I'd send you something. Though, it is probably not anything you haven't seen or read somewhere before. But, you can use anything below as you see fit.

Hog Canyon, though off the beaten path, has an interesting significance. This being an association with several "clues" to the location of the Lost Dutchman Mine (or a lost "Peralta" mine - assuming the two could be one and the same). One clue first surfaced in print in a newspaper article written by P.C. Bicknell that appeared in the "San Francisco Chronicle" in January 1895. The article stated that Jacob Waltz obtained his mine from the Peralta family and their instructions to get to the mine included going into the Superstition Mountains by taking "the first ravine or canyon east from the west side of the range on the south side..."

Many Dutch Hunters over the years have interpreted this to equate to what is now referred to as Hog Canyon. It was perhaps Jim Bark who first saw the significance of the canyon, though maybe ignorant of the "clue" per se. In the early 1890s after Jacob Waltz's death, Jim Bark encounter Rhiney Petrasch and Julia Thomas near the Superstitions. They were two of the earliest searchers of the mine. Bark supposedly traced back their wagon wheel tracks. He was surprised how far up a particular rough canyon they had been able to travel. Over the years there have been Dutch Hunters who have equated this canyon to Hog Canyon.

Bark was also to have journeyed up Hog Canyon and over Superstition Mountain itself. In the process he discovered what he believed to be a Spanish or Mexican "monumented trail." Coincidently the Bicknell article of Jan. 1895 also mentioned a monumented trail that Waltz followed to his mine. However, there are many others who believe that the "first canyon, south side..." clue actually refers to what is now Peralta Canyon. Being vague, the clue is of course debatable.

Around 1911 or 1912 newspaper editor Thomas Weedin made contact with Bark and Simms Ely. He told a tale of a dying prospector stumbling into the camp of his friend's, John Walker. The dying man had a map to a mine. The man died and the map disappeared, but later Weedin gave a copy "drawn from memory" to Bark and Ely. Whether the event actually happened or not we will never know. But, Bark and Ely assumed the dying man of the story to be a partner to Jacob Waltz and thus put credence into the memory drawn map given to them.

Surprisingly - or maybe not surprisingly - the map in question had a similar "clue" or instruction on it as appeared in the Bicknell article. The map stated to take the "first gulch or canyon on the south side east from the west end..." It is no wonder that Bark put significance on the supposed monumented trail going up Hog Canyon and into the Superstitions proper. However, was there really a dying man? Was there a map? Or did Weedin make it up?

In recent history the late Dutch Hunter and researcher, Monty Edwards, was able to find remains of the monumented trail in question. This led from the desert floor south of the range and up into Hog Canyon. There it led Edwards over Superstition Mountain and then down. From there, the monuments and trail disappeared. Today, some of the monuments might still exist. But no doubt would be hard to find. It certainly makes Hog Canyon one of the more interesting places in the range.

Anyway, if any of the helps, I am glad.

Take care and I will email again soon and fill you in on what's been going on.

Best regards,

Steve Creager

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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