I organize hikes on behalf of a group that numbers almost 3900 members. My hikes tend to be on the difficult/adventurous side of the ledger so only about 1% of the members sign up which is really too bad. For the one percenters who participate, we have had some awesome hiking experiences. Today was not an exception as we gathered at the trail head and looked at Superstition Peak, the high point in the distance.
The first 1.5 miles has an average grade of only 7% and brings us to prominent hieroglyphics etched into the canyon walls. While way interesting, after viewing them most of us swiveled our heads to look at our destination, the peak.
We had a good look at the Balancing Rock as we made our way, up canyon. The average grade from where we paused to view the rock art to Superstition Ridge would be 21%. It seemed much steeper.
There were several "walls" that were climbed and throughout....
....amazing views. One was the jagged edge of the formations to our east. It's just a surreal landscape and so beautiful.
As we close to the ridge, we pass through another steep section that had a lot of loose, shale-like pieces that made the footing treacherous. It was worth the effort as once we gained the ridge.....
....we had views into the interior of the Superstitions, including the magnificent, Weaver's Needle. Looking just a little to the left...
....we saw a narrow, yellow band of rock, Battleship Mountain. It looks so insignificant from this distance. Above it to the right is Geronimo Head and farther to the right is Malapais Mountain than farther in the distance is the Four Peaks Wilderness. Dang what a great region in which to live and hike!
Surprisingly, we discovered we had cell service so there was some checking of emails, lol. Mostly my fellow hikers admired the views. After a break to refuel, we now had to follow the ridge to Superstition Peak. Hardly a straightforward walk though.
There were several obstacles that had to be climbed or....
A large gap had developed in our line. Marc G, a very generous and giving member of our group who looks after those at the back of the line, notified us that a new hiker, Marcia, had been stuck by a spine and was bleeding profusely. Fortunately, a bandage was applied and she was good to go.
We had been following the Ridgeline Trail until we reached a cairn that indicated it was time to break from the trail for the final ascent to the peak. In the above image, to the right is part of the rock formation known as the "Three Sisters". The hoodoos were numerous and fabulous.
One last wall to navigate and.....
....we made it!!! All were in high spirits but unfortunately, one member of the group had a problem with one of the walls because of the exposure so had to stop and wait for our return. Not the first time that has happened but I was sorry that he was denied this exhilarating experience.
Soon, we began the descent.
While pausing for a regroup, I asked to have my picture taken, hugging a hoodoo. This was one of the smaller ones as others soar well above us.
During the descent, many of us fell. Not doing cart wheels into an abyss but losing our footing and then encountering cactus or rocks to break our fall. I'm sure I've never had so many people fall during any previous hike. Even....
....Amy slipped and had to bend over to have a couple of spines removed from her rear, ha, ha. Tweezers came in very handy today. We all made it back to the parking lot having hiked 8 miles with 3000' elevation gain. A very difficult but enjoyable hike.