My Fiesta Bowl Pre Game Trail Run

My Fiesta Bowl Pre Game Trail Run

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jan 1, 2007
Activities Activities: Hiking, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Weavers Needle

Not being one for tail-gating, my Fiesta Bowl pre-game ceremony included a trail run up Superstition Peak.  I headed out from the Tempe area and found the trailhead easily enough off Peralta Road.  I instantly concluded that this was some of the most interesting and rugged terrain within 1 hour of a major metropolitan area. I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. As a visitor from Idaho, it was also great to have a pair of shorts on and be trail running up a mountain in January.  The weather was sunny with temperatures in the mid 60's and I was ready for a good, steep run.

Superstition Peak West

From the Carney Springs Road turnoff, the sheer vertical cliffs on the southeast side of the Superstition Ridgeline were very impressive. I parked here and followed a washed out road for about 1/2 mile until it became a foot trail.  As I peered up I thought the trail would take me just west of Point 3826, but it actually went just east of this prominent point. The slope steepened dramatically as I went up the Boulder Trail.  There was some Class 2-3 scrambling just before the saddle at 3200 feet.  Just past the saddle, the trail flattened briefly before it reached the Superstition Ridgeline proper at 3700 feet. From here, the high point is visible complete with impressive summit rock fins.  The terrain becomes even more rugged as you pass Point 3826 and make your way up and down and around many rugged obstacles. 

Approaching the Superstition Ridge

The presence of prickly cacti increased once I reached the ridgeline.  Certainly avoidable if hiking, the trail running motion makes it harder to not get stuck.  Ascending wasn't bad, but coming down I got jabbed a number of times and had parts of my leg get pricked, then numb.  I read the warnings on other trip reports and descriptions that said you had to wear pants, but I wasn't going to give up a chance to enjoy shorts in January.  The pain only lasts a few minutes anyway.  As I approached the summit block, I had hazy views of the Phoenix area and points south.  Also impressive was the view of Weaver's Needle to the north.  As the trail ridge traversed toward the fins, I scrambled up to just below the summit where the last 30 feet or so were solid Class 3 on excellent rock.  The summit contained a register and benchmarks.  The views were excellent, but I had a football game to get to, so I ran back down as fast as I could. 

Summit Fins-Superstition Peak

My overall impressions of the peak were that it was a great place to get to easily and quickly from the city where you could get away from most everyone.  The terrain was also more rugged than I thought and the progress on the trail took longer with the ups and downs and avoidance of cacti.  I also became very thirsty and quickly ran out of water, so everything you read about carrying ample water even in January is true. It took me 3 hours car to car and it was great to get this peak run in before I went back and saw one of the greatest college football games ever.

Superstition Peak


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Augie Medina

Augie Medina - Jan 6, 2007 12:49 am - Voted 10/10

Nice Report

As a trail runner, I got a real vicarious feel for your run. Great photos to boot. Now that you mention, I'm also very partial to doing a trail run before good football games.


SawtoothSean - Jan 6, 2007 2:16 am - Hasn't voted


Thanks for reading the report and appreciating the trail running aspect of it. I always trail run any mountain where it's possible. Mountain running is the best possible training for true mountain climbing in my opinion.

Bob Sihler

Bob Sihler - Jan 7, 2007 5:43 am - Voted 10/10

They should thank you

Maybe the effort you put in rubbed off on the team. That was one hell of a game.


BeDrinkable - Jan 10, 2007 11:50 pm - Voted 10/10

I'm jealous

You got the warm weather AND got to see that game.

Viewing: 1-4 of 4