Hoodoos stretching for the Arizona sky.
Weaver’s Needle from Fremont Saddle
The juxtaposition of warm sunshine and cool breezes compliment each other to
perfection on this delightful March day, causing us to wonder why more hikers did
not turn out to join us on such a beautiful day.
What better place to be on such a day as this?
As the trail steadily gains elevation on the trek to Fremont Saddle, the views
become ever more spectacular as we look back into the vast expanses of Peralta
Canyon. We will climb almost 1400 feet in elevation from the trailhead, before
topping out on the saddle.
The Sonoran Desert encompasses many hundreds of square miles of southern
Arizona, but few places within this vast desert come close to matching the
rugged beauty of the Superstition Mountains or contain the diversity of flora
and fauna found within this range. With the abundant rainfall of this past winter
and early spring, the desert canyons of the Superstitions are even more breathtaking
than usual – with flowing streams and washes, lush green growth everywhere,
saguaros swollen and fat with rainwater, and a mosaic of desert wildflowers painting
the landscape in a riot of spring colors.
Brian, Joe, and Chuck stand on Fremont Saddle – at 3,766 feet, the highest
point reached by trail in the western Superstitions. Weaver’s Needle, easily
the most recognized landmark in the Superstition Range, looms in the background,
with a peak elevation of 4,553 feet.
Named after legendary mountain man, trapper, and miner, Pauline Weaver, the needle
is more accurately a volcanic plug in geological terms – the hardened neck
of an ancient volcano long since eroded away.
The Superstitions were literally born out of fire and brimstone, the end result
of millions of years of some of the most active and violent volcanic activity
seen in North America, with five massive volcanoes spewing billions of tons of
hot ash and lava high into the stratosphere and then pouring it back down onto
this tortured and twisted land in a hellish rain straight out of