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Friday, December 11, 2009

BOULDER CANYON

BOULDER CANYON Superstition Wilderness Offering a kalidescope of ever-changing, colorful views, Boulder Canyon Trail #103 provides a memorable tour of the turbulent landscape of the Superstition Wilderness. From the trailhead, the route takes off on an uphill grind along the rocky cliffs above Canyon Lake, topping out at a saddle where the 224-foot-high crest of Mormon Flat Dam is visible peeking out from a stony cove. To the north, the mauve-tinged pinnacles of the Four Peaks wilderness, sit like bold sentries above a sea of barren foothills. From here, the trail moves over a high desert ridgeline of tortured volcanic rock with LaBarge Creek churning hundreds of feet below. During the next few minutes of uphill walking, the blocky massif Battleship Mountain slowly creeps up until its profile looms large on the horizon. At this point, a gorge-riddled terrain takes center stage as the route transitions into an unrelenting series of ups-and-downs—something to keep in mind for hike out—before reaching its terminus at the intersection with Dutchman’s Trail #104. LENGTH: 7.3 miles one-way RATING: moderate ELEVATION: 1,680- 2,300 feet GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, take Highway 60 east to the Idaho Road exit. Go left at the light and follow Highway 88 to the Canyon Lake Marina between mileposts 211 and 212. A Tonto Pass is NOT required as long as you park in the “hiker” section of the marina lot. INFORMATION: fs.fed.us/r3/tonto/recreation/rogs/hikingtrail/wilderness/Trails/superstition/BoulderCanyonTrail103.pdf

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