Monday, March 5, 2018

Permits obtained for area Jeep trails and short hike

Monday, March 5, 2018 – Location:  Superstition Mountains near Apache Junction, Arizona

Woke up to a cool 39 degrees with a 8 mph breeze out of the north this morning.  Luckily, the sun was shining and it wasn’t too uncomfortable for our first walk of the morning.

Took a peek over the dirt berm across the road from us.  I found it is a gravel pit and not a gold or copper pit.  


The pit owner lives over there.


Looking over at the mountains to the east, I could see the wind playing with the wispy clouds.


Around 10 o’clock, Deb, Riley, Yuma and I jumped in the Dogsled and went in search of the canyon road Deb and I saw on our hike yesterday.  We eventually did find it and unfortunately, there was a locked gate preventing us from entry.


While we were at the gate, Deb asked a lady standing there if  there was a cost to the permits and she said they were free.  We would need to go to the Mesa Ranger station to obtain the permit.

The lady mentioned that they had entered the trails in the wilderness area at another location and were unable to unlock the gate here to get their Jeep out.  Deb offered to try the lock.  After a few efforts, lo and behold, Deb got the combination lock to open.  She was a hero!  

We were off to Mesa to get a permit.  They are free but the rangers want to know who enters the Tonto forest area.  We got to the Ranger station right before they closed for lunch. 

The ranger at the desk was less than helpful and a little rude.  He was in a hurry to close for lunch and gave us the cold shoulder when we were trying to get the appropriate permits.  As we walked out we noticed he gave us the wrong permits but Deb was persistent.  She insisted we walk right back in and get the right ones. He reluctantly did the little paperwork required and we walked out with all the permits we will ever need.

It was already closing in on 1 o’clock, so we went back to our site for lunch.  We decided to call it a day and rest.

I just had to try out a gated trail, so after lunch, Yuma and I headed to the  gated trail at the end of our road.  Opened the gate and headed in. 


About 15 minutes later I was opening the gate back up and heading out.  The trails back there were strictly for ATVs or properly equipped 4-wheel drive vehicles.  My Jeep just doesn’t have the tires required for those very tough trails.  The first wash I came to was more than I could handle, so we ditched the Jeep ride idea for today.  So intent on getting turned around I forgot to take a picture of the wash.

Sitting back in the RV, I still wanted to do something.  The weather is just beautiful, so I checked my AllTrails app and found a short walking trail about five miles from here.  I told myself I was not going to hike today, but just a short one wouldn’t hurt.

It was the Jacob’s Crosscut Trail just up the Apache Trail from the RV about 5 miles located in the Tonto National Forest.  This trail rated “easy” goes up to the face of Superstition Mountain.  I figured we would just walk part way and take some photos and then come home.  And that’s what we did.  We were home by 4 o’clock.

JIMG_2292ust as we started our hike, two horse riders came down the trail.  Interested to see what Yuma would do, I stayed next to the trail with Yuma on his leash.  The second horseman stopped and surprisingly Yuma and the horse sniffed noses.  (Wish I had gotten a photo)  Yuma was a little afraid but didn’t bark.  A real gentleman.

Off he galloped to catch up with his riding partner.IMG_2293

I know everyone has seen enough of the Superstition Mountains this last week, so I will only throw a few in from our hike.  We are seeing it more from a northern angle on this hike.



Some close-ups to more clearly see how rugged this mountain is.  It is more than I can do to get up the slope, much less climb in there.


Good thing Yuma is on a leash.  Bunches of these Teddy Bear Chollas along the trail.


To my north I get a clear sight of the Four Peaks Mountain up by Roosevelt Lake.   Many more trails in that wilderness area.


The trail was well worn and easy to hike.  A number of hikers but not crowded.  Quite a few Mesquite trees to provide shade from the sun.


When I returned to the RV, Deb was outside reading.  Of course, Yuma jumped out of the Jeep and raced over to greet her.  Then Riley came out to say hello and we all sat out till the coolness of the late afternoon sent us inside for the evening. 

All in all, not a bad day.  See you later.


  1. The hike you took today looks like a more relaxed one. The gravel pit owner has a pretty nice ranch. I always love to see the horseback riders on the trails. You should try that. It couldn't be any more bumpy than the jeep! Have a good night. ❤

    1. The trail went on for over 9 miles so I knew I wasn't going to go to the end. The bottom portion is easy so that's what I did.

      I don't I'll be riding any horses.

  2. You can never have too many pictures of the Superstion Mountains Doug! What a great area to hike and Jeep in. Keep enjoying!

    1. Thanks, Dave. This area is a hiker's dream. The Jeep trails are a little tough for me so far. Most around here are designed more for ATVs. I'm still looking for one that goes into the mountains but isn't all up and down and curves. Want to see the mountains, not climb them.

  3. If Yuma was ahead of you on trail and discovered a rattlesnake in front what do you think Yuma would do? Sit-Bark at it-attack it-or run. That's the only fear I have of having my dog up the trail from me,sniffing along only to find a rattler that she knows nothing about. I keep her on leash because I don't know how she would react.

    1. You have a good point Wayne. Now that it is March and the weather is beginning to warm, I will keep Yuma on a leash and closer to me. I have been a little lax lately because of the cool weather we have been having. I know how devastating it would be if he got bit. Thanks for reminding me to be more careful.

  4. Sounds like a good day and Dave is right there is no such thing as to many pictures of Superstition Mountain. Your pictures are great and all the Teddy Bear Chollas look so light and fluffy...deceiving little Teddies they are.

    1. Thanks Deb. Those grow to over eight feet tall. Makes me look small when walking around them. Lots of little ones all over the place. Yuma is getting pretty good about walking around them.

  5. More excellent pictures today , too bad your jeep will not take those trails. Continue to have more fun.

    1. Thanks George. I will just have to find roads that are more comfortable and stay off the ATV trails. Too hard on Yuma and I to be jostled around constantly. No fun.

  6. Next year you're gonna need to get a horse - and maybe a pony for Yuma to ride ! 😁

    1. Dolly is the horse rider in the family. Never liked horses. I do enjoy watching them around the area. Sure looks like fun.

  7. We took our Jeep into Bulldog a few years ago. It seemed to be more of an area for motorcycles than for Jeep trail rides. More great pictures of an area worth exploring.

    1. I agree Jeff. I may have missed the best trail because there are so many criss-crossing the area it's hard to know the best one to take. I'm not giving up, just looking for better ones.

  8. Too bad about the trail but you see to make the best of your day hikes anyway.
    Would have been a great pix of Yuma with the horse for sure!
    A nice hike today, look at all those cholla!
    Glad you enjoyed the day.

    1. Thanks Patsy. I really missed an opportunity when Yuam and the horse touched noses. Interesting to see that Yuma was intimidated by the size of the horse. No barking from him.

      There are so many trails around here that if one isn't right, there are a hundred more to check out.

  9. Persistence pays off, we found the Medicine Wheel Trailhead that I haven't seen listed anywhere else. We also managed to see some pretty interesting houses and yards.

    I think you need to go back to the Bulldog Canyon entrance where the gate was hard to unlock. That fella at the ranger station came in a jeep and that was the pass he asked for. Those other folks stuck inside were also in a jeep. I'll bet you could climb the hill to that building on that road. After all those other folks took their motor homes in there, we could see them from up on the bluff. Might be a better road to try your jeep on.

    Glad you found the Cross Cut trail. Maybe I'll head out that way and take a look.

    You can never have too many pictures of Superstition Mountains. It's always different, each time I look at it.

    Glad Yuma didn't have a bad reaction to the horses.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Medicine Wheel trail looked wider and better for a Jeep. Don't have to go all the way through. Just until I feel uncomfortable or Yuma gets tired of riding.

      Also, thinking I could continue on the road that went to Cross Cut trail. It goes to a creek and a ranch in the mountains. Going to try not to hike much today and give my legs a rest.

  10. They are all great pictures of Superstition Mountain. Just wondering is this an area you've spent time at in years past? Very cool! Take care Dad. Love you.

  11. Too bad about the grumpy ranger, he was probably hungry (our oldest son is that way). Sounds like a great day for you and Yuma. You have so much energy..good for you! The mountain is so beautiful!