5057 Peak in Superstition Mountains – AZ (9.13.15)

Carney Springs Trailhead

The alarm sounded, far too early it seemed, I slapped at the snooze button on my phone. I was pretty comfortable and was in no mood to move. My phone beckoned again; I hit the snooze and pushed it under the pillow. A third time it called to me, one eye opened I turned it off and finally succumb to the fact that, no matter how comfortable I was, morning was here and I needed to get moving.

Driving into the Sunrise, what a beautiful sight!

This morning my sights were set on the 5057 peak of the Superstition Mountains via Carney Springs trail head. I headed east from Phoenix before the sun rose, with an ice filled camelback, delicious warm java (thanks QK), and hopes to reach the summit without falter. I drove down the 60 east to the dirt Peralta road to find a nice parking spot at Carney Springs trail head (seeing I was the only one there). This time of year is a little warm for most to hike in the desert, but it didn’t deter me from packing in some ice, slathering any uncovered skin with sunblock, and heading for the top!

Push up the Canyon to the ridgeline

I set out with the sun rising heading up the tough push up the canyon that would lead me to the ridge line where I would push for summit. This morning as I reached the cattle fence I was surprised to find a pair of hikers coming from the Peralta trail head from the east. They planned to gain the ridge and heat east dropping into Fremont saddle and back to their trail head to finish out their loop. After a quite chat I said farewell and pushed on.

Hoodoos just before making ridgeline

As I hiked on I followed the sparse marked cairns which lead the way up the canyon. Up, up, and on I pushed, pausing only for pictures and gazing around to make sure I am both going the right way and not being followed by any predators. The Superstitions are very vast and have black bear, coyote packs, and (my largest paranoia out alone) mountain lions. I am always looking your scat, paw prints, and any sign of wild life. Not only because they are a beautiful rare sight, but also to be sure I don’t become their next snack! Everything in the desert is bread to survive. Just before hitting the ridge line I found a pair of wings lying in the middle of the trail. No more, no less. I looked like someone wished the body away and only the wings and connector bone remained. I snapped a quick picture, kept my head on a swivel, and trekked on.

Redbull gives you what again?

I reached the ridge line and set my eyes towards the summit. The traverse would span across some very secluded parts of the range. A fall here could be fatal especially this time of year with almost no foot traffic. Just for the record I don’t recommend hiking solo, but when there isn’t an option to go with someone else, I always carry my SPOT tracker; just in case the worst should happen. I pushed on towards the peak, skirting the ridgeline in some places and ascending others until finally I found myself at the foot of the last push to the summit. One foot in front of the other, that’s the only secret to covering the distance.

Looking back down the ascent up Carney Springs TH (click to enlarge)
Glancing north towards Weavers Needle from the ridge line (click to enlarge)

I covered the final walk up and the short scramble to the peak where I took a break for snacks and some pictures. What a beautiful morning! I signed the registry like usual, and look at old posts of past trekkers. It’s always nice to see notes from other trekkers on your posts and of course I wrote back (you’ll see next time you’re up)! After gazing into the distance and taking a nice break I picked up my pack and headed back towards the trail head.

360 View from the peak (click to enlarge)

On the trek back I came upon some prickly pears opened alongside the trail and being consumed by not only bees, but also a wasp and a moth, all on the same pear!  Each insect was more occupied with consuming the precious sweet nectar than worrying about who was eating alongside them. I have never seen this before, and was taken it back. You never know what or who you will see out there on the trail, but it’s always an adventure!


  • Up the canyon to the ridgeline
  • From the summit, Weavers Needle in the distance




  • Weather: Hi mid 100s, Low in the low 80s, Sunny
  • Water: 2.5 liters
  • Food: 1 Protien Bar, 1 Orange, 1 Bag of Cherrios
  • Time: 4.5 hours
  • Distance: ~9 miles Round Trip
  • Accumulated Gain: 2,800 feet


  • Mule Camelback backpack (3 liter bladder)


  • Cotton shirt
  • Cotton Handkerchief
  • Under Armor shorts
  • Merrell Mid Moab Hiking Boots
  • Arm Coolers
  • Darn Tough wool medium sox