I’d only found out there was backcountry camping in Petrified Forest National Park one month prior to our excursion. I instantly began looking up any bits of information I could find. Are dogs allowed? What trails are available? When is the best time to go? What is the permit situation?
One of my favorite go-to hikes for a quick spin into the Superstition Mountains.
Garden Valley Loop
First Water Trailhead
We finally made it to a trailhead at exactly the right time to catch the start of sunrise during our hike!!
The morning started with me driving right by the entrance to the Water Wheel parking lot. I thought I could scoot in through the driveway at the other end of the lot but there was a Do Not Enter sign. Wellllll then I guess I’ll just keep driving and see what else is on this road before I turn around.
A sort of sunrise hike… Sort of, as in I tried to make it to the mountain to be hiking during sunrise but life happened and I wound up watching it in my rearview mirror. Whoops! Nonetheless, still beautiful and still an excellent morning!
We parked at the Blue Point Recreation area (Tonto Pass required) – same place we parked for the Goldfield Ovens, just hiking in the opposite direction. The hounds and I set out on the trail just as the first hint of light was starting to shimmer up from the horizon.
3.5 hours northeast of Phoenix is a section of land you could easily drive right through without a thought of stopping to look around – from the car it looks fairly flat and somewhat monochromatic.
You would, however, be missing out.
In a big way.
The day didn't start with plans to explore, but sometimes you just gotta jump on a good idea!
30 minutes in, I lost the trail. I didn’t know I was lost until I saw the actual trail again.
8:22 am. The valley sprawled out ahead of us, empty of visitors but full of adventures.