Amble in Arizona – Part II – The Superstitions

After three days in the canyon, it was time for something a little more off the beaten path.

The Superstitions are a rough Phoenix area counterpart to the Indians Peaks not far from the Denver-Boulder corridor.  Meaning, a popular set of mountains located near  a major metro area. But some off-the-beaten-path areas can still be found.

The chosen hike was lollipop hike along the crest of the mountains with some off-trail travel. I love ridge walks and off-trail travel…seemed the ideal trip!

Andy and I had a fairly leisurely morning and made our way to the trailhead.  The place was busy. A volunteer told us that these mountains were mentioned in the Miami Herald as a place to “must see” while touring the baseball spring training!

From the trailhead area, we could see a large part of the route ahead.

The cactus, yucca, and other shrub-like vegetation all loudly shouted that I was now in the low desert mountains.  I was no longer in the Grand Canyon, never mind the Rockies near my home.

Arizona poppy. A short, but vibrant, season.

We soon left the trailhead, went into the canyon, and made our way up to the pass.

The pass was a stunning display of desert mountain scenery.

The distinctive Weavers Needle dominated the landscape. And would be our companion for the majority of the trip.

From the pass, we started to follow the crest on an obvious social trail.

The route led along the mountains that were spied from the parking lot.

We reached just below the high point of the crest.  Weavers Needle and our route for tomorrow was below.

The ridge continued to be followed after a break below the summit.

Time to leave the ridge and descend down a drainage. Some slow going cactus ‘shwacking!

The going was indeed slow off the ridge and to the drainage.

We found a good enough site about where the seasonal stream started flowing.

A desert sunset greeted us as we made camp.

The following morning the canyon widened.

The trail was not far away.

We reached the trail, made a mid-morning breakfast and surprised a few day hikers with our bedraggled appearance.

Andy’s well-used pants did not survive the cactus ‘schwacking. My pants and shirt did OK. Lucky!

The way was made in the canyon and back up to the pass to get back to the “stick” of our route.

The pass was reached almost twenty-four hours to the minute we had reached the pass the previous day.

We went to the other side of the pass and enjoyed more of the spring wildflowers dotting the mountainsides.

The views were familiar to the previous day.

If with more sunshine.

We reached the car.

One last look was take to the Supes ridge above.

We made it back to Scottsdale and I was able to shower, do laundry, sort gear, and have a bit of lunch before my early evening flight.

A great companion trip to my Grand Canyon jaunt.

A fantastic way to see two very different areas in a relatively short period of time.

I am blessed to have friends offering such great hospitality and plan to take more people up on their offers in the months ahead!

All the photos

Note:  Major props for my ULA CDT pack.  This durable, yet still pretty light pack, survived the cactus ‘schwacking rather well.  Only minor abrasion. The Robic fabric on the outside mesh pocket for ~$25 is highly suggested, too.  For the person who goes off-trail,  and packs light, the ULA CDT is an excellent choice!

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