Superstition Wilderness (Rogers Trough Trailhead to Theodore Roosevelt Lake)
According to the book, page 159…. this passage still gives trail users a genuine sense of wilderness as it traverses the east side, farthest from Phoenix, and the trailheads require long drives on four-wheel-drive roads.
I could not drive to Rogers Trough Trailhead at the southern end of the passage as it required a 4-wheel drive vehicle. This passage is 28.7 miles long.
According to the book, page 341: These mountains, known as the Superstition-Goldfield Volcanic Zone, represent the transition from the Basin and Range to the Central Highlands. If we could have observed what occurred in this area between 24 and 15 million years ago (the Middle Tertiary period), we would have been utterly astounded at the magnitude of the volcanic eruptions and the epic scale of the cataclysms that ensued.
Once the Superstitions went through their most eruptive cycles, a large caldera formed. Because magma still bubbled beneath the surface, the caldera was pushed and arched up into what is called a resurgent dome. The current Superstitions are a resurgent dome that has eroded and faulted over time to give us the current dramatic range. two of the most visible landmarks—Weaver’s Needle and Picketpost Mountain—are resistant, erosional remnants of the cataclysm.
I am eager to hike this Passage and see all that.
As for the other trailhead access points, I checked out what I could, and may return to look at Two Bar Ridge Trailhead if I can drive to it. Revision: I forgot about doing this but didn’t realize it until I got back up north toward Payson…. so I guess it will be a surprise.
The Frazier Trailhead is a good for those towing horse trailers, and close to the highway 188. The AZT is 1.2 miles from the trailhead. I did not hike this trail. I found what I think is a horse skull someone set on a rock. Ick. There is also a power substation there, so I did not park or try to stay there overnight.
Driving on north on Hwy 188, I checked out the Roosevelt Cemetery Trailhead. This is right on the highway at an RV park, across from the Visitor Center.
I’ve seen this lovely plant before but don’t know the name. A hummingbird was visiting but I could not capture his photo.
What can I say, I’m a genealogist, and I love cemeteries. Roosevelt Dam Cemetery. From Find-A-Grave.
The Historic Roosevelt Cemetery was created as a new cemetery that burials from the old Roosevelt and Cline Cemeteries interred where moved to as the Lake was forming during the construction of Roosevelt Dam and for new burials from those that lost their lives during the project.There are very few marked graves only a few monuments and wooden markers,as many where buried using wooden crosses in unmarked graves there are between 50 to 75 visible markers but the number of buried is probably much higher.The cemetery is maintained by the U S Forest Service near Roosevelt Lake.
Few of the graves had headstones. I saw these: Aiden and Moses Murphy, John Loger, and Wm Dillon. May have been more stones hidden among the cactus.
But the Prickly Pear are alive and well.
A bench outside the Cemetery.
The AZT was only .25 miles up the trail, from the parking lot. Going up the trail past the Cemetery a short way, you come to this gate and sign.
More of those little Hens and Chickens???? These blooms were old and drying up.
Not sure what this plant was either.
The Roosevelt Lake Visitor Center and Marina is across the road and has limited services. Visitor Center does have restrooms, running water, and a coke machine. It actually seemed like a ghost town to me. Staff was nice but could not tell me where the AZT trail came out at the end of this Passage (I know it was near Hwy 188 and 88, but driving past it, I could not find it. And it is not a good place to stop.
I am very eager to hike this Passage as there is an historic ranch on it.
Passage 19 ends at the Bridge and Passage 20 begins at the point this photo was taken from… the Theodore Roosevelt Lake Trailhead, a parking area on the east side of the road, north of the bridge. The trail is accessed on the other side of the road.
I skipped a lot of Passage 19 as it was so difficult to get to the trailheads by van and I was eager to get to the Barnhardt Trailhead and meet up with the AZT Volunteer Vacation group and see them off on their week of trail work.
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Next: Passage 20 – Four Peaks
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