Stories of Upper Peninsula Hiking

Jacob is crazy passionate about hiking in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. From the worn outcroppings of the Huron Mountains to the swamps and old growth forest deep within the Peshekee Highlands, he's either been there or is planning an adventure right now. One of Jacob's particularly fond hiking goals involved tracking down Keweenaw waterfalls.

Ives Lake, surrounded in color

Upper Mazzie Loop: Rainy Day on the Verde River

Gloomy morning skies

Waking about an hour before sunrise, I was initially slow moving under the dark sky. As soon as I was dressed and heard the pitter-patter of raindrops on my undersized tarp I sped up, though, worried about my quilt and other gear getting wet. Once everything was protected I began making breakfast,…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 30, 2019
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Upper Mazzie Loop: Wet Bottom Paradise

A barren, damaged basin beyond the saddle

Bull Spring Trail passes through three drainage basins after it leaves the AZT. With each basin it swings north to avoid losing too much elevation, though there is always some drop, and then it crosses a rocky bed before climbing up the other side. The first one is Red Metal Canyon and it looked…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 27, 2019
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Upper Mazzie Loop: Saddle Ridge to Bull Spring Saddle

Predawn light on North Peak

This morning started like so many of my Mazatzal adventures: pitch-black sky, frigid air, and a stumbling gait towards semi-familiar lands. There was something different about it, something that I tried to ignore, lest I jinx the whole outing. If I succeeded in this overnight loop then I'd finish my…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 23, 2019
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Wave Cave

Three Sisters in the early light

Noah and Thomas have hiked the Superstition Wilderness over a dozen times now, though most of our visits have been to the north end. First Water Ranch, Hackberry, Garden Valley, and even Siphon Draw are all located off of the Apache Trail. There's a lot of cool stuff on the south side that we…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 8, 2019
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Highwater - Verde River Loop

Dim morning light on the horizon

Crisp November air swam around me, filling my chest with each breath and nipping sharply at my nose. It felt delightful to be cold on an Arizona hike, even if that had meant waking up shortly after midnight and driving for hours in the dark, all to get a predawn start in low temperatures. My long…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted December 27, 2018
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Taking the Boys to Siphon Draw

Early morning light on the Superstitions

Siphon Draw is one of the first areas I explored in Arizona. After that initial visit I began to treat the (normally dry) waterfall as a milepost to the more challenging Flatiron and ridgeline hikes beyond, a mere marker on more epic adventures, with the exception of one time when I carried…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted December 21, 2018
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Back to Sheep Bridge

A quick descent along a deep tributary

Ten miles sat between me and the trailhead as I began my descent from the unplanned bivouac site. My original plan, which had started yesterday, was to do the Midnight Mesa Loop, a 36 mile adventure in the central Mazatzal Wilderness, in a single day, and I would have made it if it wasn't for some…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 25, 2018
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Red Hills Romp

Easy, cleared trail beyond the creek

Hopping across Wet Bottom Creek was lovely, clear water trickling around the red rocks in the most scenic of fashions. On the far bank was a large cairn and wide path, an open invitation to continue forward on Midnight Trail on my long walk around Midnight Mesa, and yet I paused. It was just after…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 19, 2018
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Around Midnight Mesa

Early morning light on the Mazatzals

Sheep Bridge towered above my vehicle, steel foundation rising dimly in the starry sky, a stoic sentinel guarding passage across the Verde River and into the wilderness on the other side. I shuffled humbly underneath its watch, collecting my gear and checking everything twice, more in an effort to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 14, 2018
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Butcher Jones Trail

A wide, wild trailhead on the bach

There are few trails that take advantage of the Salt River as it meanders between Superstition and Four Peaks Wilderness, with most of the recreational focus on watercraft either on or between the reservoirs. I had already taken the boys to one area, Coon Bluff, and we had had a great time climbing…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 23, 2018
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