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Superstition Ridgeline Day Hike
Superstition Mountains
March 25, 2017
by Michael Humphrey
  GPS Map 
Katarina, Alan, Ann, Deborah, Michael, Sandra, Tom, Trudy, Yanis

The Superstitions Ridgeline is a long and strenuous hike. It is 13 miles and 4,000 foot of elevation change. We had to move the hike back one week, because it was going to be 95 degrees. The next week was a lot better at 75 degrees. We had nine hikers.

You can see the highest point on the front range of the Superstation Mountains in the background of the group picture: Superstition Peak at 5,057 feet. We start in the parking lot at 4:30 AM, so the hike starts before dawn.

Time to Start
wide spot on the way up

The cactus arm points to the moon, so it must be time to start the hike. We are taking the Carney Springs/ Boulder trail up to the ridgeline. There are many plants in bloom at this time.

This is the most elevation change in the shortest distance for this hike, at 2,000 feet. We will pick up another 1,000 getting to the top of Superstition Peak, but that is three miles from Carney. At the top we take a rest and snack break.

Tom gives us a pep talk. This is where we go off trail and into the wilderness. The trail starts wide, but there are many plants willing to stick you with thorns.

Brittlebush in bloom as we climb.
Tom gives us a pep talk.

A few of the hikers will end the day with cactus thorns in their legs.

Strawberry hedgehog cactus.

Everyone is wearing long pants, which helps with the thorns. There are many places on this trail were you can go astray, but always keep close to the ridgeline and you will not go too far off the trail. We take the half mile side trip to Superstition Peak and get to the top.

Top o’ the Superstitions to you!

From here you get a 360 view of the Superstations and even can look down on Weaver’s Needle.

Looking down on Weaver’s Needle.

This is the halfway point, so we have lunch here. It is now 11:00 AM, so we are doing OK on time. We retrace our steps to the point where we took the side trail, and continue to the west.

Superstition Ridgeline, from the south peak.
Part of the Superstition Ridgeline is smooth.

The trail runs on the ridgeline, except at most of the minor peaks it takes the north side. The north side has more plants and is slightly flatter. The view are always speculator from here. In most of the little valleys between the peaks there is a little stream flowing.

One of the minor peaks has a wolf howling at the windows in the rocks.

This is the part of the trail that is long and grueling, with many places to slide down a ravine to the next saddle.

Water flowing in a valley.
Wolf Howling.
Old saguaro greets us.
One of many steep places.

This why we did this trail east to west: these spots are all downhill slides. Doing these as uphill climbs can be interesting. We are now getting close to Flatiron and our path down. There are many old saguaros on this ridgeline.

Siphon Draw
Looking back at Siphon Draw.

They have nobody to bother them up here. It is now time to take Siphon Draw down and get off the mountain. We are getting down a little later than expected, but everyone gets down OK.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated June 22, 2017