First Water Map Updates 2018

The First Water map is located on the west boundary of the Superstition Mountains Wilderness area in central Arizona. The terrain is lowland Sonoran desert, featuring large stands of the majestic Saguaro cactus, as well as many other desert plants and cactus. Excellent views of the Superstition Mountains and Weaver’s Needle can be seen to the southeast.

The map has been recently updated from the previous version, to include vegetation mapping and additional map detail. There are also some newly mapped areas. A sample map showing detail near the Needle Vista viewpoint is shown below.

Needle vista sample map and aerial photo

There are some notable differences between the First Water map and other maps that are commonly used for National Ranking events. First, the map uses a non-standard contour interval of 20 feet / 6.1 meters, derived from a USGS topo map. Second, there are special uses of map symbols to reflect the desert environment:

The area has many abandoned jeep trails on the west part of the map. Where the roads are rarely traveled and may be difficult to detect on foot, the roads are shown as indistinct trails. Jeep roads (double-track) that are actively used as trails are shown as "footpath", while single-track trails as shown as "small footpath."

Being desert, nearly all reentrants will be dry. Depending on weather, there may be some water flowing in the larger stream beds.