Posts Tagged With: Arizona State Park

HIKING SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN

The Superstition Mountains are a range of Mountains covering three counties in Arizona. The Lost Dutchman’s Mine is supposedly located near this major peak in the range accessible from Apache Junction. You can barely see some Hohokam cave dwellings in the far left node of  the mountain in the picture above. The whole range is now a designated wilderness area and the Lost Dutchman Mine is  supposedly located below this peak near Weavers Needle. The name of mystery, and the legend of the Lost Dutchman can be read on the Arizona State Parks site at the bottom of their page at this address:     http://azstateparks.com/Parks/LODU/index.html

And Wikipedia also has information about the Superstitions at this address:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superstition_Mountains

Many hikers choose this area for recreation.  Avid hikers easily  name off ten or more trails they’ve hiked in to Superstition. Today’s goal is  a spire near the base of the main promontory at  2000 foot elevation.

There were sixteen of us and we started at this spot which very gently leads up.

Here the trail splits into two. Our leader, Bob, knows the way because he has lead hikers into this wilderness for many years and has hiked 72 different trails.  Here the ground is smooth and easy.

When you turn around and take in the view, the landscape is rugged. Overcast and cool,  the Superstition Range off in the distance  is looking toward Phoenix.

After a steep section, everyone stops for a few minutes to catch their breath and rest for a minute or two and enjoy the views.

Our goal gets closer.  The signature cave dwellings are much easier to see in this close up.

At this shady spot our leader suggests that anyone who doesn’t feel capable of making it all the way up, to stay and rest here and join the group on the way back down. None want to stay and no one appears to me to be having any difficulty. It is a wise and cautionary practice in group hikes to encourage people not to push themselves beyond their abilities.

We pass the Miner’s Needle and then when we turn back for a look we can see the valley far below us in miniature.

As we approach the crest, we feel like we are walking into a cloud. The trail is extremely steep and people stop to rest on the final push.

At the top, we all set and enjoy a snack and a long awaited rest. It took two hours to hike up and one hour to hike back. Total distance, four miles.

On the way back, the views are magnificent but the trail is rough and it is important to watch your steps. Stopping frequently to gaze is part of the joy. Some hikers camp primitively off these trails for a night or two and enjoy the quiet and the stars.

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