Arizona Hiking Gallery
Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike
Superstition Wilderness, AZ
March 30, 2008
Gallery contains 51 photos
Gallery last updated: 4/26/2008

This was a loop hike in the Superstition Wilderness starting at the First Water Trailhead and using the Second Water, Black Mesa, and Dutchman's Trails to do about a 9 mile clockwise loop to Garden Valley, Black Mesa, Boulder Basin, and Parker Pass. This is the reverse of the hike I took on December 19, 2004.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 1
Starflower (Gilia sp.).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 2
The large, round, green and spiky fruit of the Wild Cucumber (Marah gilensis). Also known as Gila Manroot. the wild cucumber is usually seen climb over and through other desert shrubs and brush.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 3
Brittlebush dot the hills and cliffs with splashes of yellow as seen from the Second Water Trail.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 4
Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) nestled next to an agave.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 5
Cliffs soar above a Saguaro studded hillside with Chainfruit Cholla in the foreground.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 6
The flower of Silverpuffs (Microseris linearifolia) is followed by a large silver seedhead (as pictured in a following photo).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 7
Purple Owl's Clover (Castilleja exserta)).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 8
Amsonia (Amsonia hirtella).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 9
The silver seedhead of Silverpuffs (Microseris linearifolia).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 10
Brittlebush and cholla cover a hillside beneath a cliff.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 11
On this day the bright yellow flowers of the Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) were covering the hills and slopes in the Superstition Wilderness.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 12
The orange of the poppies contrast with the purple of the scorpionweed.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 13
Desert-Chicory (Rafinesquia neomexicana).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 14
A rock outcropping tops a hillside covered with wildflowers: brittlebush, scorpionweed, poppies, desert chicory, owl's clover, and ocotillo.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 15
From the Second Water Trail we hop onto the Black Mesa Trail which heads southeasterly on a gradual climb up to Black Mesa. On the lower and open area of the Black Mesa Trail we find a few Desert Marigolds (Baileya multiradiata).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 16
A view looking to the northwest over Garden Valley to the hills beyond from the Black Mesa Trail.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 17
An old Saguaro skeleton stands over a patch of brittlebush.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 18
The southwest facing hillside on along the Black Mesa Trail are fantastically covered with the yellow of brittlebush, while the northeast facing slopes are practically void of any brittlebush.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 19
A Saguaro towers above a sea of brittlebush.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 20
A member of the pea family, Coulter's Lupine (Lupinus sparsiflorus) produces seeds in "pea pods" after flowering.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 21
A saguaro and cholla studded hillside set aglow with the yellow of brittlebush.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 22
Another view of the brittlebush covered hillside from the Black Mesa Trail.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 23
Here we have soft pink Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla) flowers. The flowers vary in color from pink to white. (See next photo.)

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 24
What you see of the Fair Duster flower is actually clusters of unusually long stamens, not petals. As compared to the previous photo these flowers (stamens) are white tipped with pink.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 25
Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla) on the Black Mesa Trail.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 26
As the Black Mesa Trail tops out on Black Mesa, Weavers Needle comes into view.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 27
Christmas Cholla (Opuntia leptocaulis) shows off its bright red fruit and long, straight spines.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 28
Weavers Needle towers over a foreground of cholla just before the Black Mesa Trail makes a descent off the mesa and down into Boulder Basin.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 29
Goldfields (Lasthenia chrysostoma).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 30
Another saguaro studded hill covered in brittlebush.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 31
Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 32
Desert Phlox (Phlox tenuifolia).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 33
Closeup of Desert Phlox (Phlox tenuifolia).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 34
The Black Mesa Trail descends into Boulder Basin with Weavers Needle towering above the landscape.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 35
Weavers Needle towers over Palomino Mountain in this view from Black Mesa Trail.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 36
Tidytips (Layia glandulosa).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 37
The Black Mesa Trail ends at the Dutchman's Trail in Boulder Basin. Here we find a thick carpet of Goldfields (Lasthenia chrysostoma) covering the desrt floor.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 38
Goldfields (Lasthenia chrysostoma) create a thick carpet of gold in Boulder Basin.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 39
Goldfields (Lasthenia chrysostoma) create a thick carpet of gold in Boulder Basin.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 40
A thin spiralled tendril of Wild Cucumber (Marah gilensis).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 41
Goldfields color the desert floor in this scene from along the Dutchman's Trail.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 42
This bud of a New Mexico Thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum) will soon bust into a purple-pink flowerhead.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 43
New Mexico Thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum) flower partially opened.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 44
New Mexico Thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum) flower fully opened.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 45
Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 46
Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 47
Brittlebush colors a desert hillside in brillant yellow.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 48
As the Dutchman's Trail descends from Parker Pass it passes a series of volcanic outcroppings.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 49
Globemallow (Sphaeralcea sp.).

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 50
An algae filled pool in First Water Creek alongside the Dutchman's Trail with Common Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus) blooming on the opposite bank.

Black Mesa - Dutchman's Trail Loop Hike: Image 51
Spiny Cliff Brake (Pellaea truncata) is a member of the fern family.

All images Copyright ©2008 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.