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Broadway to Goldmine Day Hike
Superstition Mountains
March 1, 2008
by Ted Tenny
  GPS Map 
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Springtime in the Superstition Wilderness!

Seven swashbuckling Trailblazers start east from Broadway Trailhead on a warm spring morning. The Lost Goldmine Trail branches off from Jacob’s Crosscut Trail as we turn south, through a gate that marks the Superstition Wilderness boundary.

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We cross several streamlets flowing down from Hog Canyon.
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The game of life: lichens on a streamside boulder.
The trail parallels the fence, taking us east to the section line and then south to another gate.

We’re gradually getting into a saguaro-palo verde forest, amazingly green after the winter rains. Water is flowing freely in the streams from Hog Canyon. We hop over the stepping stones.

Ted scouted the western part of the trail a few days ago, but assures us that there are more flowers this time. Tall saguaros grow right up into the slopes of the Superstition Mountains.

As we continue south from the section line there is a gradual transition in the plant community. Saguaros begin to thin out and scrub forest gives way to sagebrush.

Lizards scamper across the trail in front of us. The bugs are out, so they will be well fed this season.

Our best view is to the east. Hieroglyphic Canyon, Hog Canyon, and the majestic Superstition Ridgeline inspire us as we walk by natural flower gardens.

We can see why native Americans called it “the mountain with the crooked top.” The middle part of the ridge is smooth, but it’s quite rugged around the 5057' south peak and the 5024' north peak.

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Western slopes of the Superstitions, robed in the blooming garb of spring.

Alas, we are approaching civilization. Ahead we can see houses, a golf course, and Silly Mountain.

When we arrive at the gate, four of the hikers decide to turn back and return to Broadway Trailhead the easy way.

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It’s “Lost Goldmine or Bust” for us!
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Justicia californica — Beloperone
Santara, Barry and Ted will have none of it!   Lost Goldmine or Bust.

The official Lost Goldmine Trail turns south and west. But we are going east, so we walk “off trail” on the street to Cloudview Trailhead.

Finally we’re on trail again. There are twists and turns as we cross several washes on our way east. We stop for lunch on some shady rocks, then continue east amid flower gardens, chollas, and panoramic views of the Superstition Mountains.

Turk’s Cap Hill is a major landmark on our journey. The hill is wearing a stone cap in the fashion of Turkish headgear.

We stop to rest near a house-sized boulder that broke off the cliff and came tumbling down the slope. Above we can see a place where something broke away from the rock wall, and wonder whether we could get out of the way if another one came a’tumbling.

East of Turk’s Cap Hill is the high point of our trip. This section of the trail is a wonderland of fantastic rock formations, wild colors, and sweeping panoramas in every direction.

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Saguaro forest on the Superstitions’ southern slopes.

An abandoned road meets the trail. There are some oddly flat areas nearby, covered with bright golden poppies.

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Saguaros and volcanic spires mark our progress.

A towering cliff ahead of us on the left marks our gradual descent as we approach the junction with the West Boulder Saddle Trail. This popular trail is strangely missing from the official Lost Goldmine Trail maps.

We’ve met many hikers along the way, most of them taking a round trip from Cloudview. Ted assures us that we have only a mile to go, but neglects to mention “as the crow files.”

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Mexican poppies decorate the trail.
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Don’t tread on me!

Our first snake of the season welcomes us on the home stretch into Lost Goldmine Trailhead. Rattlesnakes can see infrared, but this garter snake takes one look at us and slithers off into the underbrush.

It’s 4:00 PM when we finish our hike on a warm but pleasant spring afternoon. We couldn’t have spent a finer day hiking in the Superstition Wilderness!

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated December 14, 2018