Family Superstitions

boxelderbryan

New Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
2
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

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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
.
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
2,028
Family memories like this are priceless! Thanks for sharing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

blueeyes

ephemeral excursionist
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,109
Love. Little ones out backpacking. Love love love.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

o2bav8

Member
.
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
317
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"
.
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
1,722
That was a gorgeous sunset. Thanks for sharing.
 

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
.
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
1,014
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!
 

Reef&Ruins

Colorado Plateau is calling...
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
495
Well done! That area is always up for a good winter/spring outing.
 

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,384
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
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
483
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!
 

frahminator

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
28
Awesome post! I live only 30 minutes from there and need to make this trip happen with my boys!
 

Tammy B

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
13
Your kids are so lucky that you and your wife are teaching them the beauty of nature! Kudos to your great parenting!
 

Deleted User

Deleted User
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
294
Great family trip!

Supposedly a lost gold mine out there, and a list of people who never made it out of that place. I can see why they are called the Superstition Mountains.
 

Jimmy

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
98
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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