Superstition Wilderness Backpack
Participants: Bruce Corey and John HofdahlI picked up Bruce at 6:00 AM and we embarked on what was supposed to be atwo-day loop in the Superstition Mountains. The forecast was sunshine witha high of 68 degrees. We arrived at the Peralta Trailhead at about 7:15AM.We agreed on a twenty-one mile loop that basically circled Coffee FlatMountain. The Dutchman, Coffee Flat and the Red Tanks Trails were thetrails we would travel. The Coffee Flat Trail veered off the well-traveledDutchman Trail.We were basically the first ones at the trailhead and the only humans wesawon the route were two hunters. They were decked out in camouflage huntingJavalina with bows. We spoke to them for a short moment as we all agreedonwhat a beautiful day it was. It felt like it was 75 degrees and there wasnot a cloud in the sky. The mountains were beautiful. We took inspectacular views of Miner's Needle and Buzzard's Roost.We noticed how well the Saguaro's looked. They were very plump whichsurprised us because we haven't had much rain. We also saw some greatChainFruit Cholla's. They were as big as trees.As we traveled down the Coffee Flat Trail we began to notice increasingamounts of horse droppings. I didn't think much of it; I guess I justwatched my step. On two points along the trail we had to open a rugged,barbed wire gate. It then occurred to me, they were cattle droppings andthey were everywhere. The Superstition's allow for the grazing of domesticlivestock provided by the Wilderness Act of 1964. (Said it in the map)The trail began to become more difficult to follow. The trail traveledtrough a wash, so it really didn't have continuity. There were no trailmarkers to help and the cairns were sparse. We tried to use the Topo mapsbut we really were not sure of our position. As we continued to hikethrough the wash and brush we realized that we desired to hike on abetter-traveled trail. The elevation change was very minor, but hiking onrocks and sand for several hours makes the bottom of your feet hurt. Wehadhiked for about nine miles when we decided to backtrack to a spring thathada nice campsite. We would set up camp and build a campfire and then hikeout the next morning. As we hiked back to the site, it lost its initialappeal because of all the Cow Shit. It was everywhere. We decided to justhike back to the car and go home for the night. It ended up being an18-mile day hike with a 40-pound pack on our backs. We got back to thecarat about 4:30 PM. Props to Bruce, he had brought a beer for each of us andit was awesome.Demerits:Bruce- lost his reading glasses; the hunters found them and placed them onthe trail marker.John- while leading the hike went ½ mile up the wrong trail until Brucerealized something was wrong.