Our group of 8, gather at the Canyon Lake Marina, off St. Rt. 88 (Apache Trail), 2 miles west of Tortilla Flat. Hopping on the Boulder Canyon Trail, we ascend about 600' in a mile where the views of the lake and its surroundings are amazing but so too.....
......the interior of the Superstitions. In the distance is Weaver's Needle with Battleship Mountain and Geronimo Head bordering the canyon to which we will soon descend.
Four Peaks Wilderness can be seen in the distance as we continue our hike. Not surprisingly.....
....several other hikers are sharing the trail with us. Note the three standing on an outcropping in the distance.
Below us, La Barge Canyon winds its way towards the Narrows. At about mile 3, the trail reaches the canyon but rather than make the scheduled left turn, I lead the gang a little farther so we can visit an abandoned mine. Just before reaching the mine....
.....a small group of horseback riders approaches. We exchange pleasantries and then reach....
....the mine. A foundation of a cabin still exists along with (upper right) a wall that was built to catch water. We reverse our course and.....
....enter La Barge Canyon. At first, the going is easy as we walk across bowling ball size rocks but soon they become much larger. The route finding is not too difficult as we work up canyon and see....
....our destination, marked by the above, jagged wall. As we draw closer, it appears the canyon is a dead end.
It's kind of slow going as we navigate the boulders with the awesome escarpment of Battleship Mountain touring over us.
Just when it would appear there is no way forward, the canyon cuts sharply left and we enter the awesome Narrows.
We drop our packs and explore the Narrows. Just an amazing destination.
The jagged, vertical walls frame the narrow canyon. It's as if someone with a huge chisel, cut a serpentine route through solid rock.
Given the lack of rain, we are surprised there are pools, with an especially large one containing many guppies. With rain likely for this week, the pools will receive a much needed replenishment.
Note the reflection of our surroundings on the water.
The walls are several hundred feet tall. After a storm, it would be spectacular to watch the water churn through the canyon. Had we continued through the canyon, we would emerge on the Cavalry Trail which we could take back to our cars but that would add about 4 miles to our hike so we gathered our gear and began the trek back.
Note the brush, piled against the trees. At some point, water over 6' deep had filled the canyon.
The distance and bouldering had our group spread apart so we paused occasionally to regroup. Always plentiful places to sit and recover.
The end of Battleship. Odd how the sun is behind the structure but the light bounces off Geronimo Head, on the opposite side to illuminate the front.
We emerge from the final, steep climb (still a few moderate ones to go) and as always.....
....we all take many images of all that is before us. Great group of hikers as we finish our 10.5 mile hike with 2000' of climbing....seemed more climbing then that. On the last of the hard climbs, I assumed there would be a Strava segment so gave the climb a good effort but missed the KOM by 15 seconds. Dang it.