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La Barge Canyon Day Hike
Superstition Wilderness
February 17, 2018
by Tamar Gottfried
  GPS Map 
Kevin, Li, Robert, Nancy, Chris, Michelle, Bruce, Terry, Ken  (Gary in back).   [photo by Tamar]

With only a few days’ notice of the hike, 11 adventurous Trailblazers assembled on an early and chilly February morn and carpooled to the Canyon Lake Marina.

Looking back on hill 2376 and the Canyon Lake marina. [photo by Bruce]
Geronimo Head, Battleship Mountain, and Weaver’s Needle from hill 2351. [photo by Tamar]
Canyon Lake from hill 2351. [photo by Bruce]
Battleship Mountain, Weaver’s Needle, and the Superstition Ridgeline. [photo by Kevin]
Hikers pause on the Boulder Canyon Trail. [photo by Kevin]
Battleship Mountain, here we come! [photo by Bruce]
But how are we going to get there? [photo by Chris]

We started our hike with a brisk climb—the first of many—but were rewarded by a great view of the Superstitions in the distance: Geronimo Head, Weaver’s Needle, and Battleship Mountain, our destination.

Over half our group was comprised of supernaturally fast hikers. They kept the pace brisk. We finished the hike 45 minutes faster than my previous time. We still stayed relatively close together and took time to appreciate our beautiful environs.

A big descent to the LaBarge Creek brought us to the off trail portion of the hike. We followed the creek bed over boulders big and small until we arrived at the Box, an oasis of cool rock, water pools and majestic rock walls. We rested a bit and had our snacks.

This is the way. [photo by Li]
Yes, they’ve had some rain here. [photo by Tamar]
The rocks are so comfortable! [photo by Tamar]
I can find a dry path. [photo by Tamar]
Where there’s water, there’s life. [photo by Bruce]
pool pool
Pausing reflectively by the pools. [photos by Bruce]
Quite a contrast between wet and dry. [photo by Gary]
A pool reflects the canyon walls. [photo by Gary]

Next up, a steep trail up to a saddle alongside Battleship Mountain followed by a steep descent. We had to do some butt sliding to reach the bottom.

We then crisscrossed the creek bed on the Boulder Canyon Trail until we reached the junction with Second Water. To this point, we had only seen a couple other hikers all day.

Geronimo Head from near the Indian Paint Mine. [photo by Chris]

Continuing on Boulder Canyon, we stopped at the Indian Paint Mine and then began the tedious afternoon ascent, long and hot even in 70 degree weather. The trail home was long but still interesting. We reached the marina around 3. A few of us stayed to lunch on the lakeside patio. It was a long but satisfying day.

→   More pictures, by Kevin
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated February 18, 2018