Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Bulldog Canyon

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 – Location:  Superstition Mountains near Apache Junction, Arizona

This morning again a cool breeze out of the north developed during the night.  Turned the Wave on for about half an hour to get the chill out of the MH and by 8:30, it was warming up nicely.  Going to get near 80 today, so hope the breeze sticks around.

Yesterday, the road that led back into Bulldog Canyon I took just down from here didn’t work out too well for me, but I was determined to find a way.  So this morning, me and Yuma headed over to the road, Deb (On a long and lonesome highway…. ) and I could see from the boulders the other day.  Now I have a permit to enter the gated Bulldog Canyon area, so off we went. 

Took me a half hour to find the entrance even though I had just been there the day before.  They hide it well.  No signs, you just have to know.  Finally, I turned on my Topo Map and it led me right to the entrance. 

Took me 10 minutes to figure out how to unlock and open the gate, but I did it.  My goal was to drive the entire 9 mile length of Bulldog Canyon and exit north of here near Salt River.  My Topo Map has a GPS, so all I had to do was follow the trail and if need be, check my location to make sure I was on the correct trail.


Of course, the first thing I did was miss the turn-off and ended up at the satellite dish station on top of the mountain where the road just ended.  Deb and I had seen this from the boulders across the canyon and first thought it was a house, but it’s not.  Had to take a few photos while I was there. 

Looking at Superstition Mountain across the valley.  We are staying just down from that rock formation and the gravel pit is directly below it.


Looking back down the way I came to the right and will be taking the road to the left when I go back down.  I will be traveling from the south to the north in Bulldog Canyon today.


Four Peaks way off in the distance to the northeast.


I believe from where I am at the top of this mountain I’m looking through Bulldog Canyon and the Salt River is up there in that low area before the next set of mountains.


There is Superstition Mountain across from the entrance to Bulldog Canyon.  Those boulders in the foreground are where Deb, Yuma and I walked yesterday.


Closer view of the boulders.  That large gorge we took photos of is in the right section of the photo below.  That dark shadow area.


Went back down the mountain and turned onto trail 10.  That is the trail I’m to follow all the way through the canyon.  Not going to say much from here.  The road was tough in places and bad in others.  Yuma did not like all the jostling.  He sat in the front seat most of the time and when it was bad he would sit in my lap.  Talk about tough to drive.  We left the gate at 11 o’clock and I reached the other gate at 2 o’clock.  Took three hours to drive nine miles.  I guess we averaged about 3 miles and hour driving on this trail.


Unfortunately, the trail is not straight.  We didn’t go far as the crow flies, but….


This is the best vehicle to drive in this terrain.  Saw about 10 of these and only two Jeeps.


We drove along canyon walls and a number of times we dropped to the bottom and drove through the wash that ran the length of the canyon.  You had to watch the road carefully to find the best path through the rocks and boulders that were everywhere.


I’m starting to see the end up ahead.


The next photo is looking back the way we came.  We are nearing the end of the canyon now.


Last canyon wall and now we’re out.


There is my exit gate.  In front of me is the N. Bush highway.  Across the highway is the Salt River.  If I go right, I would go to Saguaro Lake.  It was created by building a dam across the Salt River.  If I had the energy, I would have driven up there.  Maybe another day!


As I was locking the gate I saw a woman tending her horse.  She had just finished riding in the canyon. 


I asked her if her horse was afraid of dogs and she laughed and said no.  I had missed an opportunity of catching Yuma kissing a horse yesterday and wanted to correct that error.  For once, I got to go back in time.  Awwww!


If you don’t think Superstition Mountain doesn’t have a big presence in Apache Junction, just look at the photo of me driving back towards the RV.


Long day, but an enjoyable and successful day.   Glad I didn’t let Bulldog Canyon get the better of me, Yuma and my Jeep.


See you later.


  1. It may have been slow going, but definitely worth the trip. What beautiful scenes! The road looked very rocky and bumpy. I guess you'll just have to get an ATV for next year. Glad Yuma wasn't jostled right out of his seat. Have a good night. ❤

    1. Thanks Dolly. Yuma was jostled out of his seat lots of times. A couple of times when he would see a big hill coming he would whine and climb in the back. He's so funny sometimes. He hates off roading๐Ÿ˜‚.

  2. Really a sweet picture of Yuma and his horsey friend.

  3. OMG..I love the pic of Yuma and the horse..just too cute! Poor Yuma not liking the jostling and such. I can just see you trying to drive and he's in your lap. It was a beautiful ride, your pictures are so pretty they look fake. Glad you took your time and were careful. Those side by sides are nice aren't they for the off roading. Too bad some of them cost as much as my car.

    1. Yuma was a good boy. Worried a little about snakes so kept him close. I'm glad I got my Jeep ride done so I can go on to other things.

  4. Yep, you sure got the money shot with Yuma and the horse - glad you got to go back to the future ! Also, enjoyed your telling of how Yuma gets on your lap for extra comfort or whines and gets in the back seat when he sees a steep hill coming. That trail was so rough and the horse looks pretty messed up and tired to me. I'm still hoping you spend the $7 and go into Lost Dutchman State Park and its campground - the few photos I've seen were jaw-dropping. Your weather is just like ours - partly sunny for the next 10 days - except our high is 41 and your high is 78. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Yuma is a baby when it comes to rough off-roading. You're right the weather has now warmed up and I have the windows open in the morning instead of turning on the heater. Happens quickly.

      Still have quite a few days left so will hit the State Park before we leave.

  5. Wow, what great views you had. I figured it would be a great drive because of what we could see from up on that bluff. The pictures never make the boulders as they really are, do they? However if we were young those things would make us laugh at the idea of being rough.

    Yuma is a character. Love the kiss with the horse. I can see him climbing in your lap, but more than that I can see you letting climb there. Hahaha...Maybe you should add a pillow on Yuma's side so it's more comfy for him.

    Too bad you didn't go to the river/lake. I'll bet it was some great scenery there too. Oh well, another time.

    Glad you had such a good time Doug!!

    1. Thanks Deb. It was a great ride and Yuma lived through it. Good idea with the padding. I think I'll add a blanket for padding and see if Yuma stays in the seat on the bumpy roads.

      May just have to take a ride over to the Saguaro Lake area. Looked very pretty from what I could see coming out of Bulldog Canyon.

  6. Bulldog Canyon is something you had to do ... once! I dropped our tire pressure down to 8 lb to smooth it out, but have no plans to go again! too many other good trails. At least Yuma got to make a new friend.

    1. Thanks Jeff. Was a trail you do once for sure. I need to carry an air pump, but right now I don't have one. May regret it.

  7. Love all the sunset pictures. Got another beautiful one. I imagine those roads are much rougher and pictures don't do them justice. Great pic of Yuma and the horse as well:) That moutain is an awesome sight! Take care Dad. Love you.

    1. Thanks Steve. Had fun and you're right. At the real tough spots I'm too busy holding on to take pictures. Love you.

  8. Your pictures are wonderful. The road does look a little rough...:) Having Yuma in your lap must be something, since, he really is not a lap dog size. It is not easy being the passenger especially if you cannot hang on. Those rough roads always seem to have some great views so we pretty much think it is worth the ride. Personally, I like the Jeep around us with the windows up and not eating the dust.

    1. This ride would have been right down your alley. Tough but nothing dangerous. I've given up on dust. Clean the Jeep when I get home.

  9. Looks like quite a Jeep drive and one I probably would have enjoyed had I been there.

  10. It was fun. Just the right length and hard to get lost.๐Ÿ˜‚

  11. What an awesome day of hiking and trudging the mountains and gorges you had! Beautiful pictures as always Doug! And I'm glad Yuma had a 2nd chance to kiss a horse! I love you!