The Superstition Wilderness is a 90 minute or 2+ hour drive from Oro Valley, depending on if my destination is the south side or the northwest side. Each visit has been well worth the drive time except for today. I park at the Tortilla Flat trail head, about 3 miles from the point the Apache Trail turns to dirt. I begin hoofing it following a very rough "road".
The road enters a long abandoned ranch. Note the ranch gate still stands at the top of the ridge. I had signed up to join a group of 11 but was 30-40 minutes late so was hiking alone but maintaining a good pace so I hoped to catch them at some point.
Passing through the ranch gate, I could see what likely was the entrance to Peter's Canyon and so it was.
I found an old cowboy dam where water was once stored. Saw a foundation or two but no standing structure other than a grain storage bin. Near here and after hiking 3.1 miles, I found....
....the start of the official Peter's Trail. Entering the canyon, the walls soon narrowed and ......
....saw a few of these stark white trees. Beautiful in the setting as the sun lit them. The trail was fairly easy.....
....to follow with multiple dry stream crossings. At around mile 4.2 I.....
....caught the back end of the group.
Eventually we began to climb toward a saddle.
OK, nice views but that was it. Not overly exciting, no arch or cave and after taking a break for lunch, the group would return the way it had come. I did find out that in a couple of miles, the route entered a 2-3 mile stretch that involved Class 3 canyoneering skills so that would be a worthwhile visit.
It appeared that the group was going to settle in for a too long lingering lunch so I bugged out and chugged the 5.4 miles back to the trail head. In the distance, the Apache Trail comes into view and so was close to the car where I finished the 10.8 mile hike with a modest 1500' elevation gain. Still, a good first hike.