I signed up for a group hike but the 7:00am start time coupled with a 90 minute drive time, caused me to cancel. The route, a 12.5 mile loop around Weaver's Needle in the Superstition Wilderness, made we decide to do the hike, just start later. So, at 8:07am, I shoved off from the Peralta trail head.
Quickly you hang a right onto the Bluff Springs trail and begin a fairly long ascent. Strong winds caused me to choose hiking over cycling but it also kicked up a lot of dust that obscured the usual fantastic views.
I reached a ridge, at last and guessed the trail would take me through the above ravine but once again, wrong! The trail went off the image to the left. Ya never know.
I dropped into this neat ravine with a broad expanse of slick rock where there were a few pools of water. So far, the views of the Needle were partial but that was about to change.
The trail continued but reaching this junction, I hung a left at the Terripin trail.
The rolling trail provided some grand views of Weaver's Needle from a vantage point seldom seen.
I continued to walk and wondered if I would reach the group that started at 7:00am. I thought it would probably be around mile 8.
Soon views opened to the north west but again, the dust filled air obscured the views but still, pretty good.
I reached another saddle at around mile 6 and could see the hiking group at the bottom of a ravine but the descent was long as well as the ascent out of it so only at mile 8.3 did I at last catch them. Having not yet had a break, my legs were becoming a little fatigued so at last reaching.....
....the Fremont Saddle on Peralta trail, I finally sat down at mile 10-ish. A women was taking a picture to the south and now the air was visibly full of dust.
And of course, the views to the north, oh my. After my break, I descended the Peralta trail to the parking lot. Finishing with the aforementioned 12.3 miles and 3000'+ of climbing.