2.15.2018

Superstitions

The rain had finally let up, that's something you don't hear often from us desert dwellers. I had mentioned to Scott that I was going to do some route scouting for a potential addition to the AZTR750 route through the area on the NW side of the Superstition Mtns. Today was the day.

The purpose was to get a bit more trail instead of paved miles on AZ88. I had only ridden this particular area a time or two and it wasn't all that memorable.

I started out by backtracking on the 750 route to where it intersects the Jacob Crosscut trail.
The Superstition Mtns jut straight up from the desert floor.
I'd then take the Jacob Crosscut to its terminus where I'd link up with the Massacre Grounds trail. Such colorful names, who wouldn't want to ride that?? I think I had hiked this trail years ago and was pleasantly surprised by how well it rode. There was only one short dismount of about 10 feet leading to the Superstition Wilderness boundary.
A slice of muted sunlight peeks through the clouds.

End of the line for bikes on the Massacre Grounds trail.
I was following a series of trails posted to trailforks for this ride. The next trail, Superstition Vista, isn't much of a trail. It appears to be a long forgotton 2-track that crisscrosses a few other paths left to time. There's quite a bit of loose rock, but it was all rideable. I missed a couple of turns since I didn't have a track loaded on my GPS, otherwise it would've been easy to follow. The good news: it was mostly trending downhill over the loose terrain. I soon popped out on First Water Rd. only a few hundred yards from the horse staging trailhead. This is where I picked up the Superstition Foothills trail.
The Sun poked out for a quick Golden Hour show.

Not only was this trail very rideable and easy to follow, the views were jaw dropping.
I crested a ridge and rode down near another staging area. First thought is to ride out to AZ88, but there's another trail: Powerline, that keeps you on dirt a bit longer.
Powerline leads to Needle Vista viewing area where you can see the top of Weaver's Needle.

This is where the route exits onto AZ88, close to the lowered speed limit too.
Daylight was limited and I didn't bring lights, so I needed to hustle back to the car. I wanted to take a different route back. I rode Willow Springs Canyon East last month and it was the other option I was considering for the 750. A fresh comparison would be fantastic.
It started out easy enough.
Then there were a few short steep climbs and a couple missed turns resulting is good 'ol fashioned desert bushwhacking. This would not be a suitable route!! Luckily I didn't get too turned around and arrived back on First Water Rd. with plenty of daylight to get back to the car.
I had to stop for the show.
I think the initial route is a good one and will replace 2-3 miles of paved riding in favor of 5+ miles of dirt. Now it needs Scott's stamp of approval.

Route:






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