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Battleship Mountain - Tonto National Forest

Summary: A hike/scramble to the top of a prominent landmark in the southern Superstitions. 
Directions: From Phoenix take US 60 east to Exit 196 for Idaho Road and Highway 88. Drive northeast on State Highway 88 as it winds its way past the Superstition front range until you cross the second one lane bridge. Just past the bridge on the right hand side you'll see a sign for the Boulder Canyon Trail.  Parking is available at the Canyon Lake Marina on the left hand side.  
Road Conditions: Passenger Car - paved all the way.
Navigation: Moderate - some off trail hiking required
Length: ~ 13 miles
Date Hiked: December 2012
Weather Conditions: Sun and clouds
Required Skills:
Hike Description: From the parking area at the marina, cross the road and begin hiking on the rocky Boulder Canyon Trail.  The trail ascends moderately with views down into the outlet of La Barge Creek to the right.  Eventually the trail bends left then climbs somewhat more steeply until topping out at an unnamed hill with nice views to the southeast of Geronimo Head and Battleship Mountain with Weavers Needle poking over the hills in the distance.  The trail descends somewhat, swings to the left, then right and winds it's way along the hill side before dropping steadily down into the drainage of La Barge Creek. The trail crosses the creek (look for cairns) to climb up and over a low saddle to drop down into Boulder Canyon. The path follows the drainage southwards a short distance to arrive at a signed junction with the right branching Second Water Trail. Stay straight on the Boulder Canyon Trail as it parallels Battleship Mountain (which will be quite obvious to your left). Continue along the trail, keeping a lookout to the left for a point where the steep hillside gives way to a long slope leading up to a saddle at the southern end of the mountain. Depart the trail, taking the path of least resistance up to the saddle. From here, your path leads north along the ridgeline. Some climbing and scrambling is required as you follow the ridge (sometimes on top, other times on the left). Remain on the fairly obvious hiker trail at any point where the route becomes confusing. The route remains on the left (west) side of the ridge as you near the peak, then circles clockwise to climb the remaining distance to the top. The summit makes for a pleasant spot for a snack and features excellent views in all direction. When ready, return the way you came.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author and a friend completed the hike at a brisk pace in 6.5 hours visiting LaBarge Box on the return.
Maps: Click here for a map.
Beartooth Maps - Superstition Wilderness Topographic Map
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.

Boulder Trail. Geronimo Head (left) and
Battleship Mountain (center)
Battleship Mt.
Ridgeline (1)
Battleship Mt.
Ridgeline (2)
Battleship Mt.
Ridgeline (3)
View on the hike out.