Return to Reavis Ranch - Superstition Wilderness

12:49 a.m. on February 26, 2012 (EST)
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This was a return to Reavis Ranch where I went on my last trip 4 days in the Superstition Wilderness.

This time it will be an overniter using 4 different trails to make a loop.

Campaign Trail 256, Fire Line Trail 118, short time on Reavis 109, Reavis Gap 118.

Ive never hiked this route before but it was recomended by a friend to be a much more intresting way to Reavis Ranch. It lived up to that for sure.  18 miles of thorny brush over growing lots of steep rough and rocky trail.


Campaign Trail runs along Campaign Creek going up and down thru some  low hills dropping down to cross the creek several times


the times away from the creek are very overgrown with lots of thorny brush


heres a look at a section of the Fire Line Trail. I keep waiting for it to start doing switchbacks but it never does, it just keeps climbing thru the brush, lost it once.

Fire Line is steep and rocky going up and the same going down into Reavis Valley. There is a nice level stretch along the top of the ridge around 5200' with pines and even a little leftover snow hang'n around


Staring down off the ridge heading into Reavis Valley


again camera lets me down thru here :( but its the same story for the most part, steep rocky trail down thru the canyon into Reavis Ranch. The thorny brush has eased up atleast.

I finally make it to the Ranch.

Its been a tuff 10 mile day! Ive got just enuff time to get camp set and some dinner before the sun goes down. Was a chilly 25f at night but slept like a warm n toasty baby.

Reavis Creek is flowing nicely


Day 2 starts refreshed well rested and ready for battle again. I'll be taking the Reavis Gap Trail back to the Campaign Trail. Let the climb out begin


looking back/down at the Ranch and Apple orchard


Lots of up and down on more tough trail


Im still amazed sometimes how diverse this area is. From where I stand in pic above this is whats on hillside to my left. Short hardy grass with some shrubs and small Junipers


180 degrees to the right across the canyon. Tall thick Junipers and heavy growth


Back to trash'n and crash'n down to Pine Creek



Now I know this is probably normal for most of you, but for a desert rat like me, leaves stuck to my pole tips is a strange sight


at times its hard to believe this is a desert. check out the thick green grass.


I truely believe this trail has a sick distorted sense of humor. Now and then ya get brief smooth stretch as if it was saying "Really, I'm just a nice trail meandering through the mountains."

Just to say "AH HAHA!! You fool, you fell for it again! AH HAHA! Let the punishment continue!!


found this old ruin that was pretty good size. Would like to go back and investigate this another time.


made it back down to level ground on Campaign Creek. Thankfull its only about 1 mile to go. The late afternoon light makes the creek look totaly different than it did yesterday morning


once again, sometimes its hard to believe this is a desert


Beat up, scratched up, and just plain TIRED, its good to see my soft comfy chariat waiting at the TH


There wasnt alot of those grand views to be had along this route. They were there at times but camera just didnt coperate. Still a beautiful route with great scenery. Definitly more challenging then my previous route of Reavis Trail 109 in and out from the north TH.



9:36 a.m. on February 26, 2012 (EST)
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Nice trip report and pictures. I have never hiked around Phoenix.

6:06 p.m. on February 26, 2012 (EST)
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Very cool,

You are right the area seems to have a lot of diversity, apparently some of it is not friendly to hikers huh?

I have been wearing snake chaps on my last two hikes and they help with the stickers & thorns a lot.

In the Southeast we call leaves stuck to our trekking poles fire starter, haha.

About how many creek crossing do you think you made?

Thanks for the great TR.

Mike G.

8:14 a.m. on February 27, 2012 (EST)
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Great report Rob!

I agree that the variation of that landscape and flora is astounding....from sand and thorns to green grass?

Those rocky trails look pretty rough and unforgiving too. :)

Knowing me I would wind up shredding a bunch of gear on those thorns...are you tear free?


And lastly, did you find the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine while in the wilderness?

10:15 p.m. on February 27, 2012 (EST)
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man, all that lush healthy lookin green in a desert. i bet even some of the locals wouldnt have thought that was possible. i gotta quit reading these trip reports, all of you are makin me envious. congrats on a grest trip Rhino.



12:34 a.m. on February 28, 2012 (EST)
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THANX to everyone,

Gary-   I love going into the Superstitions, well aslong as its in the winter. Most of the TH that are close with easy access from the Phoenix area get hit pretty hard buy day hikers. Not a bad thing, but taking the time to out run them (so to speak) further in pays off with some solitude in awesome areas. On this one, it was quite aways to the TH.  the only people I saw for the 2 days was 2 Cowboys at the TH saddling up to go find the last few head of cattle they had in the area.

Trout-   Snake chaps huh?  The Cowboys at TH put on full chaps before saddling up and riding off. I didnt take long for me to understand why.

I would guess 8-10 creek crossings total. None were very tuff. No debooting required, just had to find the right set of rocks for stepping on. It was more difficult rock hoping and searching for the carins in the creek bed.

Pat-   Havent found any gold......yet.  But ruins are plentiful in the area. I gotta say Im impressed with how well all my gear held up.  I tip my hat to my TNF pants. And most of all my Salomon boots, they took some serious abuse and are no worse for wear other than some new scuffs here and there.

smith-   aint the green grass amazing!  We had some rain in the area just a few days prior to my trip. It dont take much to fire up the "wintergreens"

11:03 p.m. on March 4, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks for the photos.

We've done that loop and enjoyed it very much. Looks like there is water on the Campaign, good to know. How far down from Black Jack spring was the creek flowing?

Have you ever done the West Pinto to Oak Flats and then to Rogers? Last time we did it it was quite brushy.


12:29 a.m. on March 5, 2012 (EST)
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Welcome to Trailspace Traildog #2.  Very cool profile photo!

Campaign was flowing the whole way I was following it.  I cut off at the Fireline trail to head over to Reavis. Fireline was very brushy going up but not so bad going down.

No I havent done Pinto route before. I was going to take Rogers in this time but a friend suggested Campaign instead.  Ive always gone in from the 109 North TH.  The 109 is nice but can be kinda crowded up till windy pass where the dayhikers turn around.  On this loop I didnt see a soul except for the 2 cowboys at the begining.

as for water:

Campaign Creek had a nice little flow.

Brushy Sprg. - trickle

Lower Champaign Sprg. - seap

Turney Sprg. - ?

Whiskey Sprg. ? a month ago heard it had water

Reavis Creek - always good

Pine Creek - had good water for now, could quit at anytime tho.

Fish Creek - had water a month ago, but could quit anytime too.

Read your post on my other TR, thanx for take'n a look at em. What route or trails are ya taking this year?


7:55 p.m. on March 5, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks for the water report.

It will be to bad if the Pinto Peak loop disappears. It is a great hike, a real ass grinder. Oak Flats is a beautiful place to camp with water most years except one time that I can remember, then you just hike toward Mile's Ranch and you run into water.

Hiking to Reavis from Roger's TH is a good trail and good climb.

Have you been up to the circle of stones just off the Fireline? Its pretty good size and the four door way openings face N,S,E,W. Cool place. We will most likely come in on 109 just to get our trail legs going. After that we will come in on the Tule or Fraizer substation to Cottonwood canyon to Two Bars, either way Walnut Spring is a good pull and then to Reavis, Fireline, Campaign to Reavis Gap and back out.

11:51 p.m. on March 5, 2012 (EST)
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No I havent been to the circle, never heard about it.  The ruins I mentioned here are on the Reavis Gap trail matbe half a mile before you get back to Campaign Creek.

Cottonwood Canyon is a tough one too!  Sounds like a good time to be had. How long are you taking on this?

7:09 p.m. on March 6, 2012 (EST)
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The Circle of Stones:

Let tell you about where it is coming from Reavis on the Fireline TR. Its about 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on pace and breaks.You climb out of Reavis until you reach a pretty good size saddle with all the big round boulders. About a 30 to 45 min past the saddle there is trail cairn and a small circle of stones marking the trail going up the Mt. You may have seen it and didn't give it a thought.

We only did Cottonwood to Two Bars once. We met some AZT hikers and that's the way they go. So we thought what the hell we will give it a whirl.  It is a tough way. The trip should be about 4-5 days.

On the way down to Klondike Spring on the Two Bars TR just before the final climb to Walnut Spring there is another smaller circle of stones (look RT). When there is water down below we camp in the circle. The first time we did that I had a dream, I saw a black snake moving on the ground and a voice said "We are the people of the Black Snake" and that was it. The voice is still there in my memory. I think that is why we keep coming back to the Superstition's, it is a sacred place.

12:44 a.m. on March 7, 2012 (EST)
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The Superstitions are a beautiful and intriguing place. They have a draw on many people for many reasons. Some say they are sacred. Some say they are haunted. Ive had some intresting experiences out there of the years.

Alot of people are drawn to the legends of lost gold. Many have died or just disappeared trying to find it. It is a very rugged area that for people who come visit in the winter are seriously unprepared for completely different conditions the rest of the year. (lack of water being #1)

It sounds like you have done your research well and have spent plenty of time out there to have a safe and enjoyable trip. The draw must be very strong from the People of the Black Snake to keep bringing you back from MN.

I need to get back your way again. Did a couple fishing trips up in the Superior NF back in  95' & 97' I think it was. Beautiful country with the best fishing Ive ever had.

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