09 December 2016

Superstition Mountains: Peralta Canyon

Tonto National Forest

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5

(Day 5 of 5) We are wet again in the morning, but we will not have to worry about that anymore. It is just a few miles to complete the loop. Phoenix was not so much an eternal sunset without any clouds for the lights to shine on. Fewer things are frosty. Swinging my wet bag through the air can make it frosty and help shake off the water, though. I make breakfast watching the light hit Weavers Needle and the rock pillars all around me. They take on the character of a stadium of people, especially with the sun hitting their "faces".

Weavers Needle
Weavers Needle bathes in the morning sun.

pillars around the valley
Looking up at some of the pillars around the valley.

pinon pine high in the rocks
One of the high pinon pines sits atop the nearby rocks.

We pack up and head out. Both the Beartooth Publishing and the 1966 USGS maps show a big switchback after the camp, although the first does not actually show the camp, that was going to be my indication that I had gone too far. Now I look for it to confirm I had gotten to the indicated spot. The switchback never comes as we climb to the top of Fremont Saddle.

East Boulder Canyon
Climbing up the last valley in East Boulder Canyon under the watch of Weavers Needle.

surrounding rocks
There are lots of strange shapes in the surrounding rocks.

Weavers Needle
One last look at Weavers Needle.

There are more people within a quarter mile of the Fremont Saddle than we have seen over the rest of the trip. This is where nearly everyone in that often crowded parking lot goes to. We had thought to come down the more primitive Cave Trail, but after hanging out at the saddle for a while, probably about 100 feet down this unsigned trail, we forget all about that and wander down the main trail.

Peralta Canyon
Starting down Peralta Canyon on a well used trail.

rock man on rock lion
A rock man looks out at the scenery from atop his rock lion.

pools of water
Water streams from a small spring higher up.

The rocky trail is extremely uneven with the erosion caused by overuse. It reminds me quite a lot of our local city trails.

balanced rock
Another balanced rock along the way. Maybe not quite so balanced as the one yesterday.

rocks in white and yellow and dark
Taking in the changing colors of the rocks around us. The light layer at the top is ash and the dark at the bottom is a basalt of sorts and the yellow in the middle may be contributed by lichens, but is a different rock from the others.

It takes a lot of careful dallying and chatting with people along the trail, but we manage to make these last few miles take up the entire morning before suddenly breaking out of the vegetation into the parking lot.

rock towers
Rock towers around Peralta Canyon.

©2016 Valerie Norton
Posted 17 December 2016

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