Tag Archives: moony falls

View looking southeast from the top of battleship towards weavers needle

Five Challenging Arizona Day Hikes

1. Humphreys Peak from Lockett Meadow — Flagstaff

Clouds rolling through the mountains on the way to Humphreys Peak

Difficulty: 5
Route Finding: 1
Round Trip: 14.3 miles
Accumulated Elevation Gain: 4,430 feet
Average Time Round Trip: 7-9 hours

Description: You start your hike through Aspen trees on the floor of Lockett Meadow on the Inner Basin Trail until you intersect with the beautiful Weatherford Trail, which takes you through dense pine trees. You then ascend through the avalanche site to the Humphreys Summit Trail, which starts at the saddle and is above the tree line.


2. Mooney Falls to Colorado River — Havasupai

hikers climbing down red rock to the base of mooney falls

Difficulty: 3
Route Finding: 2
Round Trip: Approximately 11 miles
Accumulated Elevation Gain: NA
Average Time Round Trip: 5-8 hours

Description: The hike into Havasupai is not that remarkable once you leave the rim of the Grand Canyon — that is until you reach the campground, where the trail becomes amazing. As a result of last year’s flooding, the scenery has changed and the Navajo Falls have been lost. Luckily, a couple of new falls have been added. Hike past the campsites and climb down the switchbacks, chains and ladder to the pools at the base of Mooney Falls. Continue downstream, crossing the Havasu Cataract several times to Beaver Falls. A hiker very familiar with the area could help you find the hidden Green Room, a small cavern that gets its name from the sunlight that filters through the travertine water, casting a green glow. It’s accessible by swimming through an underwater tunnel near Beaver Falls. As you move past Beaver Falls, you scramble over rocks and up and down the rocky slopes until the turquoise water of the creek swirls into the brown waters of the swiftly flowing Colorado River.


3. Battleship Mountain — Superstitions Wilderness

View looking southeast from the top of battleship towards weavers needle

Difficulty: 5
Route Finding: 4 Roundtrip: 11.96 miles
Accumulated Elevation Gain: 3,520 feet
Average Time Round Trip: 7-9 hours

Description: There are a couple of ways to get to Battleship Mountain, either from First Water Trailhead or from Canyon Lake. This is the route from Canyon Lake: You begin from the Canyon Lake marina parking lot heading south in a constant uphill battle until you reach an overlook of Battleship Mountain and Boulder Creek. You then descend into Boulder Creek and circle around Battleship Mountain and ascend it from the southeast side. There is some serious scrambling with major exposure on both sides in order to reach the top. This is not a hike for those afraid of heights. Vultures buzz lazily overhead waiting for someone to plummet to their dining room table. From the top you can see Canyon Lake and most of the Superstitions Wilderness, as well as Lower Labarge Box Canyon to the northeast, and Geronimo Head. The return trip takes you into Lower Labarge Box Canyon, which is a narrow granite canyon with cool pools of year-round water that you can jump into during the heat of the day. In the spring, the return trip will take you through hillsides of dense yellows, purples and white wild flowers. But you may not have the energy to enjoy them since the trail out will get your heart pumping.


4. Superstition Ridgeline — Superstitions Wilderness

Looking southeast along the rocky top of the superstitions ridgeline

Difficulty: 5
Route Finding: 3
Distance: 11.5 miles
Accumulated Elevation Gain: 4,480 feet
Average Time: 8-11 hours

Description: There are several routes and out-routes for his hike. This description is from the Flatiron side: Hike up the slick and smooth Siphon Draw passing the Flatiron, across the ridgeline, over to the pillar-shaped rock formations, called hoodoos, that fill Superstition Peak, down the steep, dusty, pulverized granite West Boulder trail to the old Carney Springs Trailhead. You finish on the Lost Goldmine Trail to Peralta Trailhead. A vehicle shuttle is necessary for a day hike.


5. Old Baldy Super Loop

Looking east into the clouds from the top of mount wrightson

Difficulty: 4
Route Finding: 1
Round Trip: 12.4 miles
Accumulated Gain: 4,210 feet
Average Time Round Trip: 6-8 hours

Description: Start in Madera Canyon of Mount Wrightson south of Tucson. This figure eight loop combines Old Baldy Trail up to the peak, and then follows the Super Trail No. 134 back down. Predominant vegetation consists of oaks, madrone, walnuts, pines and even a few sycamores. There are wondrous 360-degree views of the entire southern part of the state. If you go on a cloudy day, the hike will take you into the clouds, which is a pretty breathtaking journey in and of itself.