Wednesday, October 8, 2008
WINDMILL HIKE Superstition Wilderness Free-form in nature and easy to access, this hike follows a casual maze of trails that meander among dilapidated, tin-roofed corrals, wooden fences and a windmill that lost its blades years ago. The ruins are surrounded by twisted barbed wire and stand as decadent sentries in an expansive desert canyon where herds of cattle once enjoyed the shade and fresh spring water that still feeds water holes scoured out of the area’s volcanic crags. The trail begins on an old dirt road that leads to the ruins. From there, narrow footpaths lead to many points of interest including a spectacular slot canyon where the songs of vociferous cardinals and canyon sparrows bounce off the cliffs and harmonize with the sound of rusty metal swaying in the breeze. LENGTH: 2 miles round-trip ELEVATION: 2249' - 2146' RATING: easy GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, take US 60 east to the AZ88 (Idaho Road) exit, go left at the intersection and continue to the turn off for FR 78/First Water Road locates about 0.25 mile past Lost Dutchman State Park. Follow FR78 to the horse staging area on the left and park in the adjacent lot. Hike back out onto FR-78 and continue for a short distance to an unmarked dirt road on the left. There’s a gate a few yard in from the road, which marks the beginning of the trail.