Arizona Hiking Gallery
Garden Valley Hike
Superstition Wilderness, AZ
April 19, 2009
Gallery contains 37 photos
Gallery last updated: 5/24/2009

This hike is about a 7 mile out-and-back hike in the Superstition Wilderness from the First Water Trailhead along the Second Water Trail (Trail #236) through Garden Valley and down to Boulder Creek and then back.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 1
Usually one of the first cactus to bloom in the spring, the Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii) shows off a bright display of blooms.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 2
A large field of Spreading Fleabane or Fleabane Daisies (Erigeron divergens) spread alongside the Second Water Trail.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 3
In this closer view of the Fleabane (Erigeron divergens) you can see that the flowers have a hint of lavender especially on the flowers yet to open completely.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 4
Chain Fruit Cholla (Opuntia fulgida).

Garden Valley Hike: Image 5
Long chains of fruit form on the Chain Fruit Cholla (Opuntia fulgida) as each year one fruit is added to the end of the chain.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 6
A closeup of a bright orange flower of a Buckhorn Cholla (Opuntia acanthocarpa).

Garden Valley Hike: Image 7
Although the flower of this Buckhorn Cholla (Opuntia acanthocarpa) is orange, the color of the buckhorn flower is quite variable and may range from yellow to red.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 8
Hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa) can be easily identified by the "winged" fruit or seed pods which are usually yellowish-green and frequently tinged with a bit of pink.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 9
Bright yellow flower of the Engelmann's Prickly Pear (Opuntia engelmannii).

Garden Valley Hike: Image 10
A young pad of Engelmann's Prickly Pear (Opuntia engelmannii).

Garden Valley Hike: Image 11
A closeup showing the details of a young Engelmann's Prickly Pear (Opuntia engelmannii) pad.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 12
The buds on Engelmann's Prickly Pear (Opuntia engelmannii) soon to open into a bright burst of yellow flowers.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 13
These as of yet unidentified beetles were sucking the juices out of a thistle. There were about 15 to 20 beetles on this one plant.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 14
A group of Chain Fruit Cholla (Opuntia fulgida) in Garden Valley under a blue and cloudless desert sky.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 15
Long fruit chains hanging from Chain Fruit Cholla (Opuntia fulgida).

Garden Valley Hike: Image 16
Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata) in Garden Valley.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 17
Desert Marigolds (Baileya multiradiata) along the wide Second Water Trail in Garden Valley.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 18
A view of the cactus studded landscape from the northeast end Garden Valley before the Second Water Trail starts its drop down into Boulder Canyon.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 19
Saguaro Cactus (Cereus giganteus) on the rocky slopes of volcanic Hackberry Mesa.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 20
A green spider awaits for his prey inside the flower of an Engelmann's Prickly Pear (Opuntia engelmannii).

Garden Valley Hike: Image 21
Wonderful pattern of new growth on the tip of an arm of a Saguaro Cactus (Cereus giganteus).

Garden Valley Hike: Image 22
The rattle of this Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) caught our attention as the Second Water Trail started its descent down into Boulder Canyon.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 23
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox).

Garden Valley Hike: Image 24
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox).

Garden Valley Hike: Image 25
The bright yellow flower of Trixis (Trixis californica), aka American Threefold.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 26
A small algae covered pool in a small canyon.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 27
The Second Water Trail ends at Boulder Canyon.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 28
Closeup of a purply-pink thistle flowerhead.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 29
A bee searching pollen in a thistle flowerhead.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 30
An algae covered pool in Boulder Creek.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 31
Grasses in Boulder Creek.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 32
Boulder Creek.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 33
A closeup of algae in Boulder Creek.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 34
Tadpoles and other aquatic life in the pools of Boulder Creek.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 35
A view up the rocky floor of Boulder Canyon.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 36
Cream Cups (Platystemon californicus), a member of the poppy family, usually has six petals, but may have more like this one that has seven.

Garden Valley Hike: Image 37
Lichen covered boulder.

All images Copyright ©2009 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.