From Oro Valley, where our place is located, it is a 90 mile drive to Apache Junction and the "Supes" or the Superstition Wilderness. The area is generously sprinkled with very cool spots, including Robbers Roost, a break in the rock that fronts the Wilderness looking to the south. I read many reports, most of which directed one up the Carney Springs trail before going off trail. For me, there were too many, "hang a right at the dead tree" and "you'll come to two cairns, go southwest here" type descriptions that would probably get me lost. An alternate is to go up Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle before going bushwhacking and so since I am familiar with the Peralta, I decided to follow the trail and hope by poking around, I'd find the Roost.
Rising out of the valley, it is a little over 2 miles to Fremont Saddle and kind of steep. It took me 51:50 to reach the saddle. I didn't push it too hard, mainly because 2 weeks prior, a guy with hearing problems had been walking, heard "something", looked up but also kept walking and walked right into a Diamondback that bit him. With today's temps in the upper 60's, the rattlers were probably not coming out of their dens but I was in hyper trail scan mode nonetheless. Above, looking to the southeast just below the saddle before climbing a bit higher and.....
.....BOOM, the awesome Weaver's Needle and a fantastic view to the north and....
.....northeast. I'm always struck by that lone pine tree on the ridge to the right of the Needle. Wonder how it survives when none others have on that ridge. I looked to the left, didn't spot a cairn to mark the off trail portion so just headed up and quickly found a large cairn. So many have been through here that the route was easy to follow with cairns (rock piles) placed generously.
Kind of rugged landscape with a last look back at the Needle as I walked south toward the front of the Wilderness.
Hoodoos were numerous.
I reached this oddly shaped rock formation but as it points to the east, the trail goes west, kind of paralleling Route 60 that one can see in the distance.
The trail provides great views of Superstition Peak.
The trail was still easy to follow and suddenly up popped a group of hikers who told me to keep heading to the above ridge where there was an obvious cairn on top of a large rock. I followed the route, reached the ridge and kept going.
This side drainage looked interesting and way down I could see a large pile of rocks on slickrock. Obviously placed there by hikers and I should have paid more attention to that because.....
.....as I kept going, the trail descended and it didn't have the right "feel". Fortunately, there were two hikers coming up (you can barely see them in the center) and I yelled to them. They knew nothing of Robbers Roost but confirmed they were coming from Carney Springs and that the trail headed down a long way. I turned and retraced my route, looking carefully to the right for a cairn that would mark the way to the Roost.
Seeing none, I finally returned to that side drainage and headed down, finding another couple of cairns, poked around through different route options and then finally found the entrance to the Roost.
Way cool place.
Inside, there was a dual flow of water entering it, joining at the bottom of the Roost and then exiting. Bad place to be in a flash flood.
I had read there was a 15' chimney that provided an alternate way out. I climbed up a steep ravine and found an opening but not know for sure this was correct, chose not to clamber out that way. My risk assessment is different when I am out here alone. Plus, there could be a rattler sitting at the rim.
I worked my way out of the Roost, up the ravine and headed back. Great views in every direction. Check out he wildflower in the center. They are in abundance with the recent rains.
Having retraced my way, I got back on the Peralta and headed down, 7.7 miles and 2200' of climbing. A very fun and exciting experience. Well, got to get back on the bike. There are several bike and triathlon camps in town and with the Tucson Bicycle Classic next week and temps in the 80's, Mount Lemmon will be a busy place.
Mark is a long-time cyclist who enjoys poking fun at himself but most especially at his friends. No nicknames or comments are intended to offend, accept them in the humor they are intended.