Ok folks, had to cancel last month due to weather, let's try this again and keep our fingers crossed for no rain! As of now next weekend is shaping up to be absolutely gorgeous. HOWEVER, if it rains and I have to cancel, I won't be posting this beauty until the fall.
With that said, let's hike Bluff Spring!
This is a gem worth repeating, you will not be disappointed as you are rewarded with gorgeous views at every turn.
The Dutchman’s Trail and Bluff Spring Loop form an approximate 9.5 to 10 mile loop through canyons, washes and bajadas of the Superstition Wilderness. We will enjoy diverse terrain with magnificent views over Coffee Flat and Barkley Basin. The following description begins on the Dutchman’s Trail and travels counterclockwise.
From the shared Peralta trailhead, we will go right onto the Dutchman's Trail #104 which gently climbs towards a pass over to the Barkley Basin.
Descending into the Barkley Basin, we are presented by the different views from other Superstition hikes. The views are more expansive, seeming to cover the entire Superstition Wilderness. The trail starts to gently climb over the next few miles towards the Miner's Needle rolling through a few washes.
Around 2.5 miles, the trail starts to pick up elevation and wraps around the Miner's Needle. After about 3 miles from trailhead, we intersect with trail #108 (Coffee Flat TH) we make a left staying on Dutchman's Trail.
For the next mile, we follow a steeper canyon trail with wide open views to the left of the Miner's Needle. There is a very nice shaded lookout point once we wrap around the ridge (keep an eye out for balancing rocks on left) worthy of a break. This also marks the highest point on this loop.
The next 1.5 miles is quite flat, we will come to the Bluff Springs Trail #235 intersection and take a left. Within another mile or so, we keep left and stay on Bluff Springs Trail taking us into the Barks Canyon. This picturesque canyon has nice pools (if water is present) great for a small break. Once we ascend the ridge out of Barks Canyon, we will start to steeply(!) descend onto Cardiac Hill all the way back to the trailhead/parking lot.
For the hike bring PLENTY of water, food (snacks/lunch) for the trail, camera, sun protection, sturdy footwear, and hiking poles if you use them. Expect this hike to take about 5 hours to complete. We will take breaks as needed, and I will wait at every intersection to make sure we are all together. Please know your skill level before joining us on this hike. This is not a beginner hike. If you are not used to hiking long distances with large elevation changes, then this is not a hike I would recommend.
You are solely responsible for your own personal safety and well being. Expect the same risks and take the same precautions as if you were hiking alone.
DISTANCE: 9.5 to 10 miles (approx)
ELEVATION GAIN: 1588 ft (approx)
HIKE RATING: Difficult - good physical fitness is a must, large elevation changes
DURATION: about 5 hours
TRAIL STYLE: Loop (rocky/steep in areas)
FACILITIES: Outhouse/no water
DOGS: Yes, leashed
SUGGESTED CARPOOL LOCATION:
5310 S Superstition Mountain Dr, Gold Canyon, AZ
Peralta Trail Elementary School
10965 E Peralta Rd, Gold Canyon, AZ
Other carpool arrangements and spots can be made if neither of these fit your needs. Just use the "Comments" section to make a suggestion to your fellow hikers! I will meet everyone at the TH.
DIRECTIONS TO THE TH: Drive east on US Hwy 60 to Peralta Rd (milepost 204) The TH is about 8 miles north on Peralta Rd. It becomes a dirt road for several miles and the end of it is the Peralta TH. The coordinates are[masked],[masked]. This is a flat well maintained gravel road a high clearance vehicle is not necessary.
Overflow parking is available back down the road at the Lost Goldmine TH.