Family Superstitions

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Thread starter #1
I've been reading this forum for a long time - thought I would take a stab at posting...

I had to go to Phoenix for work last month and made a quick run over to the Superstition mountains. I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the desert (and 80 degree temps in February) and as soon as I got home hatched a plan for a family winter backpacking trip.

While I was there I happened across a mild loop out of the easily accessible Second Water trail head just outside of Mesa near the Lost Dutchman State Park. It covers about 13 miles including a 4 mile walk around and through a clear flowing shallow stream that I thought the kids would have a blast playing in. Did I mention it was 80 degrees down there?

upload_2017-3-10_9-16-19.png

We are trying hard with the little ones to make our backpacking outings easy and fun so we split the loop up into three days of about 4 miles each. This is a popular trail head, but mostly with day hikers, we ended up only seeing 2 or 3 other backpacking parties and felt totally secluded at night.

Day 1:

The Trail starts right on the border of the Superstition Wilderness, we took the Dutchman trail which rises gently (400 feet over three miles) before descending into a valley where multiple drainages converge and flow into boulder creek.
IMG_1815.JPG IMG_1817.JPG
IMG_1818.JPG IMG_1826.JPG IMG_1821.JPG
It was surprising how much water was flowing right now. Some of the hikers we met from the area mentioned that this is one of the wettest springs they can remember. The biggest challenge we had on day one was getting the kids past/through streams and mud holes
IMG_1823.JPG

We ended up finding a nice spot to camp with a good view of the weavers needle in the distance

Dutchman #2.jpg Dutchman #3.jpg
With the kids in mind I hauled in a package of hot dogs for dinner which unsurprisingly was a huge hit and I have to admit tasted pretty awesome.

IMG_1833.JPG IMG_1835.JPG
Crappy cell phone pictures don't do it justice of course but the views were really spectacular. Many parts of the trip reminded me of being in southern Utah in the spring with green orange contrast, expansive views, and towering rugged cliffs.

Dutchman #7.jpg Dutchman #5.jpg Dutchman #8.jpg Dutchman #9.jpg Dutchman #10.jpg

Day 2:

the second day was a hike down boulder canyon which consists of around 4 miles and 24+ stream crossings. I think the kids had a blast.
IMG_1836.JPG IMG_1839.JPG
Boulder Canyon #1.jpg Boulder Canyon #2.jpg

One of the cool features of the superstitions are the giant Saguaro cacti. The scale is really incredible.

IMG_1840.JPG IMG_1843.JPG

We found an incredible campsite the second night near the boulder canyon stream.
IMG_1852.JPG IMG_1850.JPG IMG_1849.JPG Boulder Canyon #3.jpg Boulder Canyon #4.jpg
Day 3:

Everybody got a good night's sleep:) We have found that small (annoyingly heavy) additions like stuffed animals and a deck of uno cards (half a pound btw) go a long way with the little ones.

IMG_1856.JPG
Sleep was important because I was worried about the climb out of boulder canyon (600 ft over 3/4 of a mile or so) but the crew handled it like champs.
IMG_1858.JPG IMG_1859.JPG IMG_1861.JPG

In truly one of the most spectacular feats I have ever seen :) our smallest took the lead up the steepest section and lead us all the way to the top of the hill. This is her moment of triumph -
IMG_1862.JPG

The steep section gave way to another easy three mile stroll to the finish line.

All in all a pretty great trip. I was blown away by the beauty of these rugged mountains. I loved being out backpacking in the winter and I think we will make this a yearly tradition.
 

Perry

Formerly Cuberant
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#2
Family memories like this are priceless! Thanks for sharing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

blueeyes

ephemeral excursionist
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#3
Love. Little ones out backpacking. Love love love.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

o2bav8

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#5
We've definitely had a lot of water this year... some of the seasonal waterfalls in that area have been impressive
 

Dave

Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
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#7
That was a gorgeous sunset. Thanks for sharing.
 

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
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#8
We started backpacking as a family 4 years ago. My favorite thing is when one of my kids says, "remember that time backpacking and ...."

Unfortunately my kids were teenagers when we started.

Good on you for starting them young!

Great sunset shots too!
 
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#10
I've been reading this forum for a long time - thought I would take a stab at posting...

I had to go to Phoenix for work last month and made a quick run over to the Superstition mountains. I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the desert (and 80 degree temps in February) and as soon as I got home hatched a plan for a family winter backpacking trip.

While I was there I happened across a mild loop out of the easily accessible Second Water trail head just outside of Mesa near the Lost Dutchman State Park. It covers about 13 miles including a 4 mile walk around and through a clear flowing shallow stream that I thought the kids would have a blast playing in. Did I mention it was 80 degrees down there?

View attachment 53036

We are trying hard with the little ones to make our backpacking outings easy and fun so we split the loop up into three days of about 4 miles each. This is a popular trail head, but mostly with day hikers, we ended up only seeing 2 or 3 other backpacking parties and felt totally secluded at night.

Day 1:

The Trail starts right on the border of the Superstition Wilderness, we took the Dutchman trail which rises gently (400 feet over three miles) before descending into a valley where multiple drainages converge and flow into boulder creek.
View attachment 53042 View attachment 53056
View attachment 53043 View attachment 53045 View attachment 53046
It was surprising how much water was flowing right now. Some of the hikers we met from the area mentioned that this is one of the wettest springs they can remember. The biggest challenge we had on day one was getting the kids past/through streams and mud holes
View attachment 53049

We ended up finding a nice spot to camp with a good view of the weavers needle in the distance

View attachment 53052 View attachment 53054
With the kids in mind I hauled in a package of hot dogs for dinner which unsurprisingly was a huge hit and I have to admit tasted pretty awesome.

View attachment 53059 View attachment 53060
Crappy cell phone pictures don't do it justice of course but the views were really spectacular. Many parts of the trip reminded me of being in southern Utah in the spring with green orange contrast, expansive views, and towering rugged cliffs.

View attachment 53061 View attachment 53062 View attachment 53063 View attachment 53064 View attachment 53065

Day 2:

the second day was a hike down boulder canyon which consists of around 4 miles and 24+ stream crossings. I think the kids had a blast.
View attachment 53066 View attachment 53067
View attachment 53075 View attachment 53076

One of the cool features of the superstitions are the giant Saguaro cacti. The scale is really incredible.

View attachment 53068 View attachment 53070

We found an incredible campsite the second night near the boulder canyon stream.
View attachment 53073 View attachment 53080 View attachment 53072 View attachment 53077 View attachment 53078
Day 3:

Everybody got a good night's sleep:) We have found that small (annoyingly heavy) additions like stuffed animals and a deck of uno cards (half a pound btw) go a long way with the little ones.

View attachment 53074
Sleep was important because I was worried about the climb out of boulder canyon (600 ft over 3/4 of a mile or so) but the crew handled it like champs.
View attachment 53083 View attachment 53082 View attachment 53084

In truly one of the most spectacular feats I have ever seen :) our smallest took the lead up the steepest section and lead us all the way to the top of the hill. This is her moment of triumph -
View attachment 53085

The steep section gave way to another easy three mile stroll to the finish line.

All in all a pretty great trip. I was blown away by the beauty of these rugged mountains. I loved being out backpacking in the winter and I think we will make this a yearly tradition.
Great! Welcome and thanks for contributing. :twothumbs:
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
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#11
Looks like you had a Great Trip with the family. Welcome to Backcountry Post! Now this Superstition Wilderness is one place that I have wanted to get into for quite sometime. And all that green grass in your photos. You must have had a good wet winter also.

Thanks for Posting! Wishing You the Best!
 
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#13
Your kids are so lucky that you and your wife are teaching them the beauty of nature! Kudos to your great parenting!
 
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#15
This trip looks great. I'm in Scottsdale for work in three weeks and am extending my trip, with my wife joining me. We have no permits/plans as of this point but want to get a 1-2 night backpack in. I'm thinking heading to the Superstitions is in my near future!
 

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