The beetling cliffs of Bluff Spring Mountain
Here is a recap of the last few Superstition Wilderness posts. The expedition route, in red, starts on the right where
Dutchman and Terrapin trails meet. The total distance is 2.6 miles. Photograph timestamps tell me about 2 hours passed — 1.3 miles per hour in this rough country.
I came upon the wildflowers of “Desert Color” a few minutes after starting.
“Ominous Splendor” photograph was taken just before Bluff Spring Mountain Canyon (green text).
“Marked Saguaro” was encountered a few minutes before the Cottonwood tree of “Riparian,” marked with a pushpin.
“Spring Flow” is the endpoint on left.
Here is a gallery of photographs from this portion of our expedition.
The beetling cliffs off Bluff Spring Mountain loom over where Terrapin and Dutchman trails meet. Patches of yellow are Mexican Poppies blooming on the talus slope. Terrapin Trail climbs the ridge, to right, Here is where I caught up with mounted expedition members, the spotted rump of an Appaloosa figures prominantly next to the sign post. Superstition Wilderness, Tonto National Forest, Arizona
Terrapin Trail almost immediately starts a climb up to an eponymous pass between Bluff Springs Mountain and Weavers Needle. From here, it is the best way into the mountain. The trail name is a misnomer, as terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) turtle habitat is near the ocean. There is a desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) you might encounter during the rainy season as they are otherwise inactive. Superstition Wilderness, Tonto National Forest, Arizona
Al Conant at Terrapin and Dutchman trails. His Appaloosa is enjoying fresh grass. Superstition Wilderness, Tonto National Forest, Arizona
The bright yellow flowers on right are a member of the pea (Fabaceae) family named Wright’s Deervetch (Acmispon wrightii) I am able to pick it out from many similar flowers due to the characterictis narror leaves with small hairs. These start out yellow, turning to red with age eventually forming brown seed pods. Mexican Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica) to the right. The small white flowers are Chickweed (Minuartia macrantha) of the family Carnation (Caryophyllaceae) . These are growing along Dutchman trail, March 2008, at the base of Bluff Spring Mountain. Superstition Wilderness, Tonto National Forest, Arizona
View from Dutchman Trail between Black Top Mesa and Bluff Springs Mountain, approaching White Rock Spring and LaBarge canyon. Looking Northwest, in the distance is Malapais Mountain behind Red Hills. Volcanic rock and Cholla cactus in foreground followed by Prickly Pear and Saguaro cactus. Superstition Wilderness, Tonto National Forest, Arizona
Castilleja is the genus name of this flower, also known as Prarie Fire. There are over 200 species throughout the Americas. On the Dutchman Trail, LaBarge Canyon, Superstition Wilderness, Tonto National Forest, Arizona
Lost gold mine legends tell of Saguaros bearing secret markings leading to the hidden location of rich gold mines. This specimen lives in LaBarge Canyon, along the Dutchman trail.
View North / Northwest on Dutchman Trail between Bluff Spring Mountain and Peter’s Mesa. The creek flowing from Charlebois, Music Mountain and LaBarge springs nourishes this Fremont’s Cottonwood (Populus fremontii) and other riparian flora. The tree is flanked by volcanic rock from an ancient eruption. Coordinates: 33°27’29.60″N , 111°20’56.23″W, LaBarge Canyon, Superstition Wilderness, Tonto National Forest, Arizona
Colorado at the foot of Peter’s Trail near Charliebois Canyon
Behind Colorado and “Ed’s Horse” (don’t recall the name) is Bluff Spring Mountain.
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