| Home | Warning | Gear | Books | Photography | Hikes | Links | Flora & Fauna | Etiquette | About Me | What's New |


Tule Trail - Tonto National Forest

Summary: A moderately steep hike in the eastern Superstitions along the Tule Trail to its junction with the Two Bar Ridge Trail.
Directions: From Phoenix drive east on Highway 60 almost to Globe. Turn left (north) on Highway 188 (also listed as 88 on maps) and drive for 20.4 miles. Immediately after you see a sign pointing right for School House Recreation Area between mileposts 235 - 236, there will be a brown sign pointing left for the J-P Road. Turn left on the well graded, dirt J-P Road which is also Forest Road (FR) #449. There is a large sign a short distance in for Tule Trailhead (2 miles), Cross P Ranch (2.5 miles), Upper Horrell Place & Reavis Gap Trail (8 miles). After 2 miles you'll come to a fork, turn right and drive one mile to the Tule Trailhead.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car
Navigation: Moderate
Length: 9.4 miles
Date Hiked: January 2005
Weather Conditions: Cloudy and cool
Required Skills:
Hike Description: From the parking area, pick up the Tule Trail #122 which starts just to the right of the large brown Forest Service sign (0 miles, 2800 ft). The path heads through a cattle chewed area consisting of typical Sonoran Desert vegetation including: cholla, prickly pear, hedgehog cactus, palo verde, yucca, jojoba, and a few saguaro as it winds its way in and out of 4 minor drainages. The path then drops into a much larger drainage and passes through a white metal gate at a corral. Walk directly across this drainage following the corral fence to a wooden Superstition Wilderness sign. The cattle trodden trail heads up and out of the drainage just to the right of the sign, then bends right to follow the drainage a ways up stream. The area is highly cow trodden as well, so keep your eyes open so that you don't mistake a cow path for the trail, there are also quite a few cairns to help with navigation. The path then leaves the side of the wash and begins climbing gently at first, then more moderately. Eventually the path descends a short distance at a basin, then begins climbing steeply along the left side of an unnamed wash. At the top of the climb, the trail reaches a broad ridge and bends right, passing an earthen stock tank, to travel along the crest at a gentle to moderate grade. The path is faint to non-existent in places, so keep your eyes open for cairns which have been placed at fairly frequent intervals. As you continue climbing, you'll have some intermittent good views of the craggy ridge of Two Bar Mountain to the south. Eventually, after a few false summits, the path tops out at Two Bar Ridge and the signed junction with the Two Bar Ridge Trail (4.7 miles, 4800 ft). You can use this as your turn around point, or utilize the Two Bar Ridge Trail to explore further into the Superstitions.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author completed this hike solo (Tule to Two Bar Ridge junction and back again), at a fast pace, in 3.5 hours.
Maps: Beartooth Maps - Superstition Wilderness Topographic Map
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.

Cow chewed desert. Nice view along the Tule Trail.
Two Bar Ridge Mountain.