I've been spending some time looking over the maps of the Superstition Wilderness Area in eastern Phoenix area and have been working on finding a runable route through some of the most beautiful mountains, canyons and desert in Arizona. Originally I was looking for a route similar to a Siphon Draw>Ridgeline>Peralta back to the car route but that is likely to be more route finding than running. This may be fun at its 22-23 miles and 4,800 feet in elevation gain, especially starting out with the big, rugged climb up the Flatiron. But as it will likely lead to more route finding and overgrown trail a more used trail is more in tune with an actual run.
Which brings me to option #2. Starting at the First Water Trailhead jump on the 17 mile Dutchman Trail, follow to 103 (1.5 miles), 3.4 miles along the 239 taking you back to the Dutchman Trail. Follow the Dutchman back down the ridgeline to the Peralta Trailhead where it climbs back up the mountain and meets with the Dutchman and Black Mesa Trails. Take the Black Mesa trail back down to the Second Water Trail, hand a left back the last mile or so to a return to the First Water Trail trailhead. It's probably between 4,000-6,000 ft in elevation gain and it's 31 miles give or take. I have to verify it on the maps again when I break out the paper maps. It keeps the run from being a shuttle and remains on the more popular trails so hopefully it is not too reliant on trail finding and more on trail running. Either way I'm ready to give it a shot. Need to verify any potential water options along the way if any, maybe even a refill at the Peralta Traihead which would be IDEAL. I've never been to that lot so not sure if they have a fountain or anything. Considering its a top hike in all of AZ I'm imagining some kind of facilities. Maybe September we can get out there and try it?? More to come later.
Going out for a 20 miler tomorrow in PMP. Hoping to get that many in at least. 3-4 hours is my range. We'll see how it goes.