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Coffee Flat to Reed’s Water
Superstition Wilderness
October 27, 2019
by Tamar Gottfried
Michelle’s    GPS Map 
Tamar’s GPS Map
Tamar’s  Elevation
group
Hikers on a hill. [photo by Bill]
front:  Bill, Gary, Tamar, Yanis, Deidre
back: Terry, Mark, Michelle, Carolyn, Michael

Ten intrepid Trailblazers met at the Peralta Trailhead and embarked on the first Superstition hike of the season. We were welcomed back into the desert with sweeping views and shadows, empty trails , and an abundance of dry washes. We veered off the Dutchman’s Trail at the junction with the Coffee Flat Trail and traversed the flat and went up the small hill for a group photo.

cliffs
Sunrise on the Dacite Cliffs. [photo by Michelle]

At Whitlow Canyon we deviated from the main route onto the older Coffee Flat Trail, through a corral and to a water tank. When we did the same hike last October, it was raining heavily, the tank was full and the surrounding areas were green. While we saw no evidence of the Woodbury Fire on this hike, we were treated to a much browner and drier desert.

hikers
On the way to Reed’s Water. [photo by Bill]
break
Let’s take a break. [photo by Bill]

We ended up on a Jeep road and took a smaller trail left toward the junction with the current Coffee Flat Trail. A few wash crossings greeted us, but no water. We then passed through one lusher area with some cottonwoods and found the wooden trail sign marking the turn for the continuation East of Coffee Flat. Last year, the sign was positioned high in a bush. This year, it was on the ground.

We found the first and second windmills. The surrounding areas were considerably drier and browner than last year. The windmill was turning with a shriek that sounded like an injured animal. The water tank looked pretty empty. Good thing we brought our own water supply!

mill
A windmill stands tall. [photo by Bill]
mill
Half a windmill. [Tamar] October 13, 2018
plank
Let’s see. Better than walking the plank. [photo by Tamar] October 13, 2018
click
I’ve got the best picture. [photo by Yanis]
hikers
OK, you make the windmill turn. [photo by Yanis]

After a snack break, we backtracked to the trail junction and looped back to where we started. By this time, the temperature was in the mid-80s and, when we reached the parking lot, after that final tiring hill, we were pretty happy to see our cars. I thought I was shortening the hike to cut out the walk to the Land Trust Ranch, but we still ended up doing over 11.5 miles.

hikers
This seems to be the way. [photo by Yanis]
bed
Hiking in a dry streambed. [photo by Yanis]
tree
Crack! [photo by Yanis]
hikers
This is the way. No kiddin’. [photo by Yanis]
hikers
Ever joyful, march we onward. [photo by Yanis]
hikers
Victors in the midst of strife. [photo by Yanis]

I’m glad to report that this summer’s fire did not affect this particular trail. I hope a wetter winter will bring back the lush greenery that we encountered last year. The photos that I took are from 2018 when we did the hike. I included them to show the difference in greenness from last year to this year.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated October 30, 2019