Posts Tagged ‘Peralta Trail’

Peralta Trail and Cave Trail (Worst Bushwhack Ever)

Monday, March 9th, 2009

This hike, in the western Superstitions was written as an up and back to Fremont Saddle. My actual journey was longer, more complicated, and, after sunset, far more harrowing.

DATE HIKED: 22 March 2008

COMPANIONS: None.

START HIKE: 2:50pm

END HIKE: 9pm

ACTUAL MILES: 7.28 miles

My late start is due to hiking the Bluff Springs Loop that morning (see previous post).

After climbing the Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle, I kept going, closer to the base of Weaver’s Needle (that’s the Big Rock Formation) looking for the remains of an old prospector hide-out called Pinon Camp. One Celeste Marie Jones and her gang used to chase folks away from her claim at the base of Weaver’s Neede throughout the 50’s and 60’s. You can reason out where the camp might have been, but there’s no actual remains. Not a bad spot to spend the night, though, if you are so inclined.

As far as I know, Lone Pine Lookout is a designation I made up. This is not to claim credit – just to warn you about looking up the name in other sources. If I were going back, I would avoid the “low” route to get there.

At about 6:15pm, I was describing the sunset going on behind the cliffs into my DVR. Past there, my notes get sketchy.

Cairns are difficult to find in twilight, and nearly impossible to find by LED headlight, unless you get stupid lucky. I have never had that sort of luck. In the end, I followed a ravine down the mountain, negotiating sheer granite boulders ad then thick tangles of scrub-oak, and then more steep boulders.

I didn’t take many good notes on that part of the journey.

I remember distinctly about 8:30 giving myself 15 more minutes to find some sort of actual trailbefore I cut cut my losses and found someplace to hole up for the night.

I wasn’t screwed in that regard: recent rains and left several deep puddles and I still had a power bar in my pocket. And I never hike without a flashlight and at least one extra layer. I would have lived. But 13 minutes later I literally stumbled upon Bluff Springs Trail.

Not only did I find the turn I missed that morning, but I made the car intime to catch the last of the Suns game as I drove home.

Still, when I wrote not to attmept Cave Trail in the dark – that’s Good Advice From Direct Experience. Worst Bushwhack Ever.