The tires of the Forrester bounced across the railroad tracks as we drove down the well graded road. The tracks act as a gatekeeper to accessing the Superstition Mountains via the South. We managed to coordinate enough days off to squeeze in a short overnighter before Thanksgiving. After an hour of rough travel on a dirt road we rolled into the Woodbury Trailhead. From here we planned to retrace part of our drive and make the journey by foot to the the Rogers Trough Trailhead, continuing down to Reavis's gravesite, and camping at Angel's Basin.
According to the beta (and previous trips) access here was reserved for four wheel drive vehicles. As a last minute decision we decided to take a trail instead of the road that would potentially shave off some road miles. Just like anything in the Supes it doesn't come easy. The trail was nearly non-existent and we found ourselves off the trail following another dirt road. It was not a full loss as we ended up finding two vertical mines that were really interesting. The second mine road took us off course, forcing us to bushwhack back to the road/trail. A few thorns and a steep hike later we were back on track. We climbed the rest of the road and arrived at the Roger's Trough Trailhead slightly behind schedule.
A short walk down trail revealed some fall colors that we had been searching for. Along the way we planned a short mile side hike to go visit the gravesite of Elisha Reavis. Near the spot we stumbled upon what appeared to be some pottery shards, which is always a great find in the backcountry. After getting back on trail we continued down for three more miles till our first view of the ruins came into sight. Daylight was burning so we pushed on and found camp just a short walk from the ruins.
The evening proved to be perfect sleeping weather and even allowed us to build a decent fire. Keeping the fire alive was our entertainment and prevented us from going to bed too early.
After a solid evening spent in our sleeping bags we awoke to soft colors in the sky. We our made our way over the ruins to do some exploring. After many some photos and breakfast we left the ruins and broke camp. Continuing down the trail we passed many pools of water, which were not expected. The morning light, and fall colors created some inspiring reflections.
The trail climbed for a few miles and then began a steep descent to the Woodbury Trailhead. Along the way we traded the high elevation flora for the familiar Saguaro. The cactus along this trail seemed to be benefiting from the El Nino rains we had received, as everything looked healthy.
We completed the loop after a late morning start and reminisced about the off trail portion at the start of the trip. If you are interested in completing the 14 mile loop through a beautiful part of the Superstitions you can find information here (this is for the car drop method).