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"A" Battleship Mountain Hike: RSVP at the SC Grand Canyon Chapter Meetup

  • Nov 23, 2013 · 7:00 AM

Please RSVP at the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter site: 

http://www.meetup.com/Sierra-Club-Grand-Canyon-Chapter/events/147997252/

Hiking Battleship Mountain is like walking in another world.  Eerie lunar-like landscapes confront the senses while mind-blowing canyons and mountains appear on all sides.  Formed by volcanic activity as long as 25 million years ago it's hard to believe such a place exists so close to the city, but it's only a day-hike away.  At the top of the mountain are stunning views of Weaver's Needle, Canyon Lake, and Lower La Barge Box, but that's only part of the fun.   This 12-mile 2,100 ft. AEC hike will start at the First Water Trailhead then proceeds to the Second Water and Boulder Canyon trails.  We will walk at a moderately fast pace estimated between 2 to 2.5 mph.  The hike will involve rock hopping in a creek bed and locating cairned exit points.  We'll then scramble up the mountain. We'll hike along a ridge that at a few exposed spots with more than 100 ft. drops.  It will give you "the willies."  If your are afraid of heights or are not fully confident of your sense of balance or agility you might find it dangerous.  There will be rock scrambling toward the top, but technical skills are not required.   If you have no previous experience scrambling or bouldering you might find it challenging.  We'll have lunch on the northern part of the mountain before heading back the same way we came in, in preparation for a safe landing over Mexican food.


Hike Rating: This hike is rated “A” due to the extra difficulty of scrambling up the side of the mountain, rock scrambling toward the top, and some exposure.

Hikers: For safety reasons and out of consideration for others this hike is for experienced and strong hikers who are not afraid of heights.  It is not for beginning hikers, slow hikers or those with agility limitations. If you have any medical concerns or physical limitations I should be made aware of please email me.

Screening:  If you do not have the required volume of water or in my judgment the appropriate gear Sierra Club rules mandate you will be turned back at the trailhead. If you are an experienced hiker you will know what to bring so this shouldn’t be a problem.  If I haven't hiked with you before or if I have and have concerns about your ability to complete this hike then I may ask screening questions and may take you off the hike if in my judgment you may not be able to complete it. 

Dogs and Kids: Sorry, not allowed on this hike.

Suggested Gear: At least 3 liters of water (required), electrolyte drink, high energy snacks, lunch, first aid kit, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, leather gloves (protect hands while scrambling) flexible boots with good tread for scrambling, headlamp (just in case), and a
plastic bag with a fresh change of clothes.

Meetup: We’ll meet at Einstein Bagels at the northeast corner of Gilbert and Baseline off Hwy 60 in Mesa. We’ll car pool from there. We’ll meet at 7:00 and leave at 7:15. Please be on time but if running a tad bit late please call and if you aren’t too late we can wait: 480
695 2138.

fine print:  Requested non-mandatory Sierra Club donation: $3 non-members; $1 members.  The Sierra Club requires that you sign out liability waiver prior to going on the outing.  Please reimburse your driver for gas and wear - tear on the vehicle.  I suggest at least $5.  Optional dinner at Los Gringos Locos in Apache Junction at 280 South Phelps Drive, $12 approx.

Environmental:  This hike is a part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  There was substantial mining around the perimeter of the Superstitions during the 1870's and 1880's, though fortunately (despite the legend of the Lost Dutchman) no gold was ever found.  The areas became inundated with grazing cattle during the late part of the 19th century until environmental protections were later put into place.   I once went on a backpacking trip with a retired plant ecologist who spent her career in the Sups.   She once pointed and said "there's a cow!"  Curious that I saw only cholla cactus not large enough to hide a cow, stunned that she made a call so afar her field of study, and mindful I brought a first aid kit but forgot the straightjacket I hesitantly asked what she meant.   She explained that this dastardly scourge (of the hiker) was spread like wildfire by cattle that once grazed there.  The area became increasingly protected during the mid-part of the 20th century.  Congress enacted the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1964, and this small but important part of our state will be changed no more by either pick-axe or cow.  Since hikers have since replaced them, out group size will be limited to 15 per Wilderness regulations.

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  • Steve B.

    Thanks for responding Mark. Yeah, Meetup can be a little tricky considering it's not designed to cross-post the way I'm doing it here. I've reserved as space for you, but please do RSVP on the SC Grand Canyon Chapter site so you can have all information sent to you and be a part of the discussion.

    October 29, 2013

    • Mark R.

      Hi Steve. Thanks again, but please take me off the list (sorry for the extra work!). I only meant to sign up for the "wait and see" status since I had to check with work. As it is, we have a Saturday meeting that day! And I've been wanting to do Battleship for some time. Oh well, maybe in the near future. Have a great hike!

      October 29, 2013

    • Steve B.

      Thanks Mark for letting me know. Hopefully you will get to do it soon! It's a good one.

      October 29, 2013

  • Mark R.

    Thanks for the info, Steve. I had overlooked the place to respond (thought I was just getting on the waiting list). Signing up for a meet-up is a bit new for me. On the other hand, I had read the title, description, and the "A" rating.

    October 29, 2013

  • Steve B.

    This is only a listing for this hike, and is NOT the place to sign up for it. The place to RSVP is on the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter Meetup. That is where all information is communicated including the car pool location. Here is the link:

    http://www.meetup.com/Sierra-Club-Grand-Canyon-Chapter/events/147997252/

    October 29, 2013

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