The last time I was out here, in June, 2012, I aborted due to time constraints. (And not because a rather large western diamondback was blocking the path; nope, had nothing at all to do with it. ) Since I don’t like leaving unfinished business, and was looking to do several out of town hikes at warmer elevations than Wilhoit, I decided on several Superior/Globe hikes, of which this is one. (I hope to hike up Picketpost on Christmas day, since my wife is in the Netherlands, visiting family.)
I started south on the AZT, dropping — all of 10 feet — into Alamo Canyon where the summit trail begins. Alamo Canyon is easy walking: No brush, and a surface of marble to golf ball size rocks. Just south of where the AZT actually intersects Alamo Canyon is Picket Mill Well. I was surprised to find a solar-powered electric well pump. The constant pumping is why the metal tank is not only over-flowing, but clean. (The metal tank runoff is siponed into a dirt tank, which was also full, and looking pretty clean.)
After checking out the corral and the mechanicals, I rejoined the AZT, where I caught with a group of about eight retirees, about where I’d previously run into Cerberus. They waved me by. Maybe they knew of his reputation, and wanted me to walk point?
When the AZT turns south, I continued east towards Telegraph Rd, which I followed for a bit before following the wash into Telegraph Canyon. Oh my. I had no idea something so lush was anywhere near Superior. Ran into a couple of Canucks — one of whom looked like he lost a fight with a mountain lion — who were putting out trail ribbons. Not really necessary, as the trail is pretty obvious. Also mostly non-stabby. (So, not sure how the one guy’s arms were all cut up, unless it really was a mountain lion. )
The official route takes you up out of Telegraph Canyon for about a half mile, which is not necessary. Instead, follow the cairns over about a 50 foot slope. (See my alternate route.) Also, hiking back to the Picketpost TH via Arnett Canyon is much more attractive than traipsing through the outskirts of Superior.
When I reached the Arboreteum Tank, I turned west, proceeding up a small spur, then across a short saddle to the trailhead.
My Garmin 60csx reported the AEG as 2322 feet, of which I was extremely skepitcal. The official route claims 2700-something feet. No way. 900-something is much closer to the mark. GPS must have problems in the narrow parts of the canyons.
Picket Mill Well was a cool surprise, in an otherwise boring first half of the hike (**). The second half, in Telegraph Canyon, Arnett Canyon, then up the saddle, made it all worth it (*****). It was awesome. If you have not been there, check it out. (Soon! While the leaves are still up. )
GPS File: Picketpost_Circumference
Distance: 11.04 miles
AEG: 939 ft.
Time: 4h 24m