The Quest for the Balancing Rock Route
I'm in Apache Junction and driving to the Hieroglyphics trail parking lot. I've read about an alternative "route" to Superstition Peak (high point in the distance) and want to check it out.
At the trail head, there is good information about some of the early prospectors and the story behind the "Lost Dutchman Golf Mine". There are many cars in the parking lot but 99.9% of the hikers are making their way to the fabulous Hieroglyphics Canyon and along the way.....
....we get a good look at the Flat Iron and higher peaks. After 1.5 miles and a 600' elevation gain, the artwork.....
....appears and is plentiful. I managed to walk by the departure point for the "route" so backtracked and activated the GPS route on my cell phone.
Looking down canyon, just beautiful.
I reached the point on the trail where I should have departed. The sun was rising above a nearby ridge. I had read two hike reports, both of which stated that the route had plenty of cairns and easy to follow in most places. Ahhhhhh......
......no! I found 0 cairns and so, at some point, someone came through and swept them away. I could see the balanced rock (upper right in image). Assuming there were cliff-outs or other obstacles, I checked my phone frequently to see if I was on the route. That of course, drained the battery and soon I was down to 30%. I reached another ridge and....
....saw, ok, the route parallels the above wall and ends up around the balanced rock which is just left of the above image. Upon reaching that, maybe the cairns pop up but if I have to use the GPS route, I'd be out of power. It's not unusual for me to attempt a route a time or two before finishing it and now I know how to reach the balanced rock, I'll be back and finish it. I turned and....
....looked at the Hiero trail to which I eventually returned. Lot of people traveling the trail and I ......
....enjoyed the views to the southeast which included Picketpost Mt, center right with the prominent peak. Finished with 3.6 miles and 1000'+ of climbing.
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