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Second Water > Boulder Canyon > Dutchman

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A scenic run that is easily accessible in the western end of the Superstition Wilderness.


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Map Key

11.7

Miles

18.8

KM

97%

Runnable

2,652' 808 m

High

1,928' 588 m

Low

987' 301 m

Up

993' 303 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

This is an 11.5-mile loop in the Eastern Superstitions. The Second Water Trail #236 and Dutchman Trail #104 sections of this trail are excellent! The Boulder Canyon Section is extremely scenic, like the rest of this run, but does present a bit of a challenge. Overall, this is a great adventure and sightseeing though.

Need to Know

Strongly recommend gaiters. Also recommend a water filter, such as a life straw, so that you don't have to carry as much with you. There are several water crossings, but you likely won't have to get your feet wet. Most are along Boulder Canyon Trail; one is on second water trail, and approximately 5 on Dutchman Trail. On Boulder Canyon Trail, keep an eye out for cairns to help you find the way.

Runner Notes

Sunscreen is a must! Plan on taking longer than you think due to water crossings and overgrowth, as well as picture opportunities. Boulder Canyon Trail is not exactly the most runnable so allow extra time for this portion of the run.

Description

Starting from First Water Trailhead and traveling clockwise on this loop, you'll run along Second Water Trail, up a relatively easy climb and past Black Mesa Trail. There are a few spots on this loop that it seems as though the trail splits and part is unmarked. At all of these spots, one way is very obviously a trail and the other is questionable. Go with the obvious. The first of these instances is just after the junction with Black Mesa Trail #241. Stay to the right on the Second Water Trail #236, and you'll start to go down a really technical descent that ends at the Boulder Canyon Trail #103. This is a nice spot to take a break or refill water if you need to. Take a right on Boulder Canyon, and you'll quickly come to the first of what will seem like a thousand water crossings. Look for the cairns to help guide the way.

I was here in August and the water was flowing well, so there is probably at least a little water most of the time. This section of the trail is extremely overgrown as well with lots of things that don't feel good when you touch them, like thorns and cacti. Being overgrown and close to water, I would guess that snakes would be here more often than many other places, but I didn't see any. At two spots, there were cacti completely across the trail. You've been warned.

So, after several water crossings (maybe 20?), you'll eventually find your way to the Dutchman Trail #104. This trail is almost like a highway for the Superstitions. If you'd like to go longer or explore more, take a left. If you'd like to get back to the trailhead, take a right.

From here, it's about 4 miles with a moderate climb and a fun descent. I encountered a few spots with serious mud (I did this about 3 days after a heavy rainstorm), but it was easy to go around/over/through. This was super scenic. If you're not pressed for time, turn around and take a good look at Weavers Needle. After a few cool climbs (that are actually one continuous climb), you'll have a very long descent before you arrive back at the split that you encountered at the start of this run, Second Water Trail #236 and Dutchman Trail #104. Take a left and knock out the final short climb before you arrive back at the trailhead.

Contacts

Shared By:

Robert Organ

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#3133

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#127

in Arizona

#3,133

Overall
3 Views Last Month
1,676 Since Aug 6, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Enjoy expansive views from the Black Mesa Trail - Dutchman Trail junction
Apr 26, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
The Second Water Trail traverses gorgeous country in the Superstition Wilderness.
Apr 26, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
The Dutchman Trail can be a bit rocky, but always comes through with great views.
Apr 26, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
The Second Water Trail - Black Mesa Trail junction is well marked by signage.
Apr 26, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
The Second Water Trail offers plenty of cacti, gorgeous views, and complete solitude along its mixed tread.
Apr 26, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
Keep an eye out for the Second Water Trail – Dutchman Trail junction.
Apr 26, 2017 near Apache…, AZ

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