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First Backpacking Trip

 
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JACKHAWK





Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: 2/16/2012, 4:24 pm    Post subject: First Backpacking Trip Reply to topic Reply with quote

Hello all. I am new to this site and to backpacking, so new that I have never gone before. I car camp often and am not a very experienced hiker. I have done several short day hikes around the state but nothing more than a few miles. Myself and a friend or two, who also have not backpacked before, want to do a one night trip soon. I have been reading around and we were thinking the Superstition Mtns from Canyon lake to La Barge canyon to camp near Battleship Mtn. I figure that distance wouldn't be too strenuous. Any suggestions from you pros? Also, what is the water avail like now in those creeks and does that trail have a lot of elevation change? Or is there a better place we should go this month or in March?

Thanks!!!

I look forward to enjoying this forum.
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Trishness
The Snake Charmer




Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 2530
Location: Apache Jct, AZ

PostPosted: 2/16/2012, 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Jackhawk,

Welcome to the site! I hike in the Supes frequently and was out in that area on January 28th. It's 3.8 miles from Canyon Lake TH to the junction of Second Water trail (#236). There is an initial 600-700 foot elevation gain in the first mile of this trail, then it levels off and then descends into Boulder Canyon. Terrific views on this trail and it's one of my favorites...there are some decent camping areas too. Check out Indian Paint Mine on the way down. 3 weeks ago there was virtually no water in this section of trail and I'm not sure if the situation changed since then but we did have a decent rain out in this area this week. There was some water at Second Water Spring and an entire mini lake further south on Boulder Canyon Trail #103 about 1 mile south of the junction of #103 and #236. Again, this was 3 weeks ago so the situation may have changed. You could always camp near Battleship and then take a mile walk to the mini lake or maybe just continue a little further south on Boulder Canyon #103 to the water area. There were some campsites down there as well but also many creek crossing (pretty much flat with no elevation gain) Just remember that you have to climb out of the canyon...it's short, just a little steep and sweet! I would recommend going this month as March can get toasty and there is very little shade out there.

If I get out there this weekend I can give you a better water report or maybe another AZH'er has been out that way more recently than me and can do the same. Have a blast and if you're feeling really adventurous you can go to Lower Labarge Box canyon. There's a spur trail off #103 that climbs over a saddle near Battleship.


Trish
Mr. Green
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~~~Trish~~~

"Eastward the dawn rose, ridge behind ridge into the morning, and vanished out of eyesight into guess; it was no more than a glimmer blending with the hem of the sky, but it spoke to them, out of the memory and old tales, of the high and distant mountains." J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of The Rings.
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oliverr99





Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 632
Location: Glendale

PostPosted: 2/16/2012, 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

You could take Dutchman to Coffee Flat, and head over to Dripping Springs. Water was available there last weekend. It is about 6 miles, with 500 ft. elevation. It is an out and back hike. Plenty of campsites too! Good luck! Only take what you need, and not what you think you need! lol
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JACKHAWK





Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: 2/16/2012, 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice!!!! I know my pack will be too heavy. Test packed the other day and it was about 40#s. I will work on that. I need to get a trail map so I can look at the trails you both suggested. Do we need to hang our food? Are there trees tall enough out there for that? I appreciate all the help.
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Trishness
The Snake Charmer




Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 2530
Location: Apache Jct, AZ

PostPosted: 2/16/2012, 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

There are some trees down in Boulder Canyon to hang food. No need to worry about bears but only coatis and other small critters.

YES...make sure you have a map! The trail is really easy to follow but a map is essential. Boulder Canyon can be a little confusing once you start doing all the creek crossings south of the #103 and #236 junction.....look for cairns.
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~~~Trish~~~

"Eastward the dawn rose, ridge behind ridge into the morning, and vanished out of eyesight into guess; it was no more than a glimmer blending with the hem of the sky, but it spoke to them, out of the memory and old tales, of the high and distant mountains." J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of The Rings.
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oliverr99





Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 632
Location: Glendale

PostPosted: 2/17/2012, 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Same with Dripping Springs, very easy to follow, and nice trees to hang food. Just watch out for the Cow Patties!
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"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" -- Dr. Seuss
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JACKHAWK





Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: 2/17/2012, 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

What about second spring trail over to battleship? Less of a drive to the trailhead and less elevation change?
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Trishness
The Snake Charmer




Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 2530
Location: Apache Jct, AZ

PostPosted: 2/17/2012, 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

You could leave from First Water TH and head in Second Water Trail #236 to Battleship. It's about 3.5 miles one way and much less elevation gain. It's an alternate way in and you will pass through Garden Valley which is really flat but you will also miss out on the views. After Garden Valley you will descend into Boulder Canyon......sorry there is no way around the descent! You will pass Second Water Spring along this section of the trail. Last I hear there were some deep pools there and that was around the first week of Feb. Once you get to the intersection of Boulder Canyon #103 and Second Water #236 you are right at Battleship.

The road to First Water TH is OK and can be done by passenger car (with care)....There are some rutted areas around the washes. Make sure you bring a map!

Mr. Green
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~~~Trish~~~

"Eastward the dawn rose, ridge behind ridge into the morning, and vanished out of eyesight into guess; it was no more than a glimmer blending with the hem of the sky, but it spoke to them, out of the memory and old tales, of the high and distant mountains." J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of The Rings.
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JACKHAWK





Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: 3/13/2012, 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Thanks again for all the info. I have yet to take my trip, we are thinking about going next weekend on the 24th. Anyone have water reports from either the 103 or 236?
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Jackbite





Joined: 05 Oct 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: 10/8/2012, 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

oliverr99 wrote:
You could take Dutchman to Coffee Flat, and head over to Dripping Springs. Water was available there last weekend. It is about 6 miles, with 500 ft. elevation. It is an out and back hike. Plenty of campsites too! Good luck! Only take what you need, and not what you think you need! lol


This spot is really too good for seeking true enjoyment. When every you take travel to this lake, you feel that there are natural beauty around your surrounding. I had taken just one trip with my friends for one night tour and we enjoyed end of time there.
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JACKHAWK





Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: 2/20/2013, 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Well, a year later here is an update. We went up to Horton Springs instead of the Superstitions in April 2012. It was very cool. Some snow still left near the springs and there were plenty of campsites. A few other hikers but I am pretty sure we were the only ones who spent the night.

We are planning a trip to the Superstitions sometime over the next month.

Does anyone know about when wildflowers will be blooming? Also, any good water reports for Second Water or Dripping Springs areas?
Thanks.
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desertgirl





Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 3350
Location: Chandler, AZ

PostPosted: 2/22/2013, 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Wild flowers in Superstitions will be mid March thru April. I suspect we will have a good brtittle bush bloom followed by a cactus Bloom ( Apr- early May).

Some resources for you to keep an eye on for flower reports:

http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/az.html
http://wildinarizona.com/wordpress/
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JACKHAWK





Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: 3/12/2013, 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Thanks!
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redfox1939





Joined: 13 Jun 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: 6/24/2013, 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

I've been also new in backpacking and would want any recommendation were to go this coming September.I figure that canyon Lake would be great so I read some comments here.I guess it would be better to ask for tips. Smile
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