Posts about Hiking, page 9 of 31.

Malapais Loop: Failed Return in Peter's Canyon

Distant view of the winding wash in Peter's Canyon

Peter's Canyon winds and twists for a short distance through the northern Superstitions before joining up with Tortilla Creek and emptying into the Salt River. It starts near Music Mountain, drains the north side of Peter's Mesa and the shoulders of Tortilla Mountain, then cuts a deep gorge next to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted February 28, 2016
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Malapais Loop: The Peak of Malapais

Goliath bulk of Malapais Mountain

To reach Malapais Mountain from Geronimo Head meant taking a zig-zag path while avoiding two canyons. One canyon drains south to La Barge and the other north to Peter's, and of course they don't line up nicely. If I wanted to avoid several treacherous drops I had to do the zig-zag and rack up some…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted February 19, 2016
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Malapais Loop: To Geronimo Head

Dim sunlight over Coronado Mesa

One location in the Superstition Wilderness that has been on my hiking todo list for months is Malapais Mountain. When Chris and I first ventured beyond Black Mesa to Boulder Canyon and Battleship Mountain it dominated the eastern horizon like a giant, lurking monster. I took one look at the thing…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted February 13, 2016
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Quick Visit to Massacre Grounds

Bright sun shining over Superstition Ridgeline

One of the central locations to the Lost Dutchman story is a small sloped piece of land called Massacre Grounds, within a few miles of Siphon Draw and First Water. According to legend there was a bloody massacre of Mexicans on these slopes during the 1840s that is tied to Peralta mining deeper in…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted February 5, 2016
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Little Loop from Tortilla Trailhead

Large, mounded ridge on the sides of Tortilla Mountain

My plan for the day hinged around one central assumption - that Chris's Subaru would be able to handle Forest Road 213. This three-mile dead-end track reaches down into the Supersition Wilderness from the Apache Trail (88), providing access to the Tortilla Ranch area and several trails. Both Chris…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 26, 2016
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Hiking and Backpacking in 2016

Hiking in Arizona has become more appealing over the last year. To avoid the hot summer temperatures I can start early in the morning or drive to the higher elevations around Payson and Flagstaff. I've only run into a handful of poisonous creatures and never felt like I was in actual danger. Cactus…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 21, 2016
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Rainy Supe Loop: Final Haul up the Coffee Flat

Where the trail meets the wash

A warm breakfast can do wonders. After yesterday's all-day rain, missed dinner, rough night of sleep, and frosty pre-dawn start this morning, I had been feeling pretty beaten up when I finally reached JF Ranch. I was also on mile thirty or so for the weekend, with thousands of feet climbed under a…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 11, 2016
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Rainy Supe Loop: Cold Drop to JF Ranch

Hints of the too-distant sunrise

Ice cracked and shattered off my tent's rainfly in large, unreal chunks. If I had any question on how cold it was this morning before getting out of my comfortable sleeping bag the ice chunks gave me a clear image. This wasn't a bit of sparkly frost or some clothes that were left out and stiffened…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 7, 2016
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Rainy Supe Loop: Wet Slog up the JF Trail

Dark, cloudy skies over the JF Trail

Rain drummed hard on my poncho as I slogged south on the JF Trail in the heart of Superstition Wilderness. I was so sick of being damp and cold. Six hours of rain with only two brief, twenty-minute pauses had sucked away most of my motivation for this trip. I kept my head low, glancing around…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 5, 2016
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Rainy Supe Loop: Crossing Peter's Mesa

Dark blue-grey clouds over Bluff Spring Mountain

The day had such a promising start. There was some spitting rain over the night, just enough to lull me into some of the best sleep I've ever gotten while backpacking. I woke up before dawn and had my gear packed without waking up the two men I had shared a campfire and stories with last night. The…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 3, 2016
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