For all the Arizona waterfall lovers, this one’s for you. Note: the distance and elevation may vary dependent upon the distance you choose to travel. The mountains are located less than an hour’s drive away from both Phoenix and Scottsdale. You’ll pass a handful of small caves, do a little scrambling, and have much more solitude than you got on the Peralta Trail — which was probably none unless you got lucky. Several Mexicans escaped but their mules were killed or scattered. Before too long, you’ll be using your hands and feet to hoist yourself up, but the views don’t fall short at any point during this hike. For every moment you push yourself on this hike, you’ll have another moment soaking up spectacular views. While solitude isn’t always in the cards on the Peralta Trail, it does offer a journey through a mystical canyon and a desert wonderland — even the drive to the trailhead feels like a gift. From AZ 88, or Apache Trail, you will eventually cross a bridge. Why you should go: An old windmill, an abandoned corral, an oasis in the desert! Spend your evenings at the very comfortable Valley Ho Hotel, a wonderfully restored mid-century modern gem adjacent to Scottsdale’s old town. There is no mechanized travel permitted in the wilderness area, such as mountain biking or off-roading, but the famous Apache Trail runs through the area and is great for a scenic drive, gravel-grinding, or a stop at Apache Lake for fishing and other water recreation. However, in the beginning, my friends and I had no idea what we were in for. Territory Supply is reader-supported and may earn a commission when you book or purchase using our links. Just bear in mind the waterfall is seasonal. This 2.4 mile round-trip trail features an elevation change of 450 feet and offers some surprising views without the work to ascend the mountainside. At the sign for the Black Mesa Trail is where you’ll spot the remains of ancient ruins. This event took place on what is now known as Massacre Grounds. Discover 13 of the best cabin rentals in Arizona, from small cozy cabins to luxurious chalets in Flagstaff, Munds Park, Pinetop, Mt. This is just one option. It’s rocky, sharp and unforgiving. Why you should go: An exposed adrenaline rush for adventurous souls. Parker Pass is a great option. Similar to Battleship Mountain, navigation gets a little finicky in the river bed, so watch for cairns. Superstition Wilderness Area This Wilderness was designated in 1939, and was expanded to its present size in 1984. One of the most popular hikes in the Superstitions begins at the Peralta Trailhead and climbs roughly 1,300 feet to Fremont Saddle. I recommend lacing up your boots in the springtime for this one. The mountain, located near Apache Junction and Gold Canyon, Arizona, is easily accessible from U.S. Route 60 and State Route 88. The Siphon Draw itself is just about a mile in and can be extremely slick, especially during wet conditions. Shaw Butte #306 Trail; Estrella Mountain; Usery Mountain; Weavers Needle is a volcanic monolith soaring nearly 1,300 feet from base to summit. For more hiking and camping ideas, check out our favorite Arizona waterfall hikes, 30 amazing Flagstaff hikes or the best camping options near water in Arizona. The Treasure Loop trail begins in the Lost Dutchman State Park area and requires an entry fee of $7 per vehicle. The Peralta Trail. You swap out a sea of cactus for high desert grading into lush forest. Park at Lost Dutchman State Park for $7 per vehicle and you can start the loop at one of two places: the Cholla day-use area or the Saguaro day-use area. Washington’s reputation for primo hiking trails is often associated with the Pacific Northwest's mighty Cascade mountains and verdant coastline, but Spokane has a number of the best trails in the state. The vast network of well developed mountain trails makes the Superstitions a haven for hiking aficionados and February offers near perfect conditions for exploring this mountain fastness. The mountain range is in the federally designated Superstition Wilderness Area, and includes a variety of natural features in addition to its namesake mountain. Amazing hiking!!! Hiking Arizona's Superstition and Mazatzal Country: A Guide to the Areas' Greatest Hikes (Regional Hiking Series) [Grubbs, Bruce] on Yes, this excruciatingly steep hike is a heart-pumper, but it’s rewarding as can be — and still worthwhile if you choose to only go to the end of the Siphon Draw Trail section. This trail has a magnetic pull because of the cave at the end, so I recommend the early start if you want to avoid the masses. The ensuing trail can trick hikers into a steep and loose scramble on the right side, so beware of this and remember to stay left and follow cairns. The towering crags of the Superstition Mountain glow brilliantly opposite the setting sun. This is another great hike for families, pups and beginner hikers. Backpacking in the Supes is a one-of-a-kind experience. There’s history on this hike. The Superstition Mountains. Before Waltz died, he allegedly told his neighbor the mine’s location. Just east of Phoenix, the rugged Superstition Mountains shoot nearly 6,000 feet into the sky. Some solid glute and quad strengthening never hurt anyone. Why you should go: Short climb to a seasonal pool and Hohokam petroglyphs. It now contains approximately 160,200 acres. Renting a cabin in Flagstaff is one of the best ways to experience Northern Arizona's draws in any season. Superstition Mountain has an elevation of 5,024 feet.These steep, jagged volcanic mountains were formed over 29 million years ago and they cover an area of 160,000 acres.As the mountains have a desert climate and few water resources, there is not much vegetation here. You’ll start down Reavis Ranch via 109 North at the Reavis Ranch trailhead. And once you’ve reached Fremont Saddle, you can marvel at Weavers Needle. But while you’re flowing, keep your eyes as peeled as possible for the cairns, or you may miss the turnoff to the summit. If you haven’t been to the east side of the Superstition Mountains, it’s a must. Join 80,000+ adventurers getting epic travel, camping and hiking ideas every week. Of all the Superstition Mountains hiking trails, Flat Iron can be the most demanding in the shortest distance, but also the most rewarding. The points of direction for this trail are far from few. Without further ado, our favorite hikes in the Superstitions. I will say, though, that it’s not far from Charlebois Spring with a Forest Service sign next to it. From LDSP, the trail begins flat and slowly starts to rise. Maybe I’m late in the game, but I was very impressed with this idea. However, the Apache people also inhabited the area and the Peraltas’ mining activity did not go unnoticed. The subsequent push upward from the depths of this crater-like formation, combined with other forces of nature, created a wilderness 40 minutes east Phoenix that is just loaded with miles of beautiful trail, unique geological features, and rich human history to boot. Try this one out. But when the timing is right — almost any given winter or early spring day — the “Supes” satisfy nearly any craving for adventure and solitude. starting at First Water Trailhead and taking the Dutchman’s Trail. Superstition mountain has 45 trails in the vicinity including 42 hiking trails 23 for walking and 44 for other activities. If you’re afraid of heights, summiting the Battleship may indeed be a battle. As the route snakes its way to the cove, the cliffs abruptly close in to contain a tiny green oasis where cottonwood, mesquite and ash trees, hackberry shrubs and buffalo bur soak up … Gorgeous rock formations . I also pulled a muscle in my quad on the descent, so maybe that had something to do with it. Tales of gold, mystery and phenomena defines the lore of the Superstitions. All we’re saying is, please be careful and do not attempt this on a rainy day. Click here for larger-size photo. Here we have many options from a leisurely stroll to a challenging climb. Hopefully, it’s enough to cool you off a bit. The last of the Mexicans to die were killed in the area marked on maps as the Massacre Grounds. So, when we know water is squared away, we have to take advantage of it. You can simply go back the way you came, or you can tackle the Cave Trail. Two of my friends were from out of town and they said it was one of the most beautiful hikes they’ve done. For travel in the Superstition Wilderness, we recommend the Superstition Wilderness, Arizona map published by Beartooth Maps of Montana.The map … The last time I did this hike, I came across a group of three that had pitched a tent at one of the lookouts. Just be sure to look but not touch so the petroglyphs stay intact for future visitors. About a mile in, you will come to a creek bed. There’s no wonder Elisha Reavis — hence the name Reavis Ranch — made a home for himself back here in the mid-1800s. Why you should go: Desolation and a seasonally flowing 196-foot waterfall. We also hiked around Usery and Saguaro Lake, Flat Iron, Weaver's Needle, Lost Dutchman State Park. Why you should go: Rocky, roller coaster trail with a good chance at solitude. Others have noted that as you continue on the north side of First Water Creek, a tunnel that leads to an old mine operation. It’s common to get into a flow while hiking — one foot in front of the other and glance up here and there for the views. Why you should go: Conquer the toughest hike on this list. This is also the point in which fear of heights might kick in, but you can do it. Additional info: Fish Creek (via Apache Trail). He’s also the one who planted the apple orchard. The climbing is not technical — no need for ropes or rock climbing shoes. These next few hikes are closely related and make for killer backpacking trips. The Treasure Loop Trail is a 2.4-mile loop hike at the west base of the Superstition Mountains. The Superstition Mountains boast quintessential high desert landscapes: Saguaro cacti rising from the earth, craggy wilderness and rugged peaks against a backdrop of bright blue sky. Sedona oozes charm and charisma, providing prospective visitors with no shortage of fantastic vacation rental options. It’s not scorching and the apples are in season. The first section will get your blood flowing, but the views of the east side of the mountains will motivate you. That’s the cave! You will still get some elevation change, trek past pools of water, look out upon the vastness that is the Superstitions, tour through a canyon, and last but not least, experience solitude. The route you choose will also determine the difficulty and length. We’ll never know exactly why they etched these pictures — perhaps artistic purposes, or to tell stories, or to symbolize tribal societies and ways of life. Hike the peralta trail through the beautiful superstition mountains to this breath taking view of weavers needle. You can spend day two exploring some one-off trails and enjoying the creek. It’s worth hanging out a few extra minutes to soak up the sights and sounds before continuing to Flatiron’s flat-topped summit. The savviest of hikers will make this a loop. Why you should go: Get a dose of “cave” therapy. Oh, and a feeling of fulfillment because you just trekked 9 miles through some tough terrain. Then, after a few switchbacks, you’re there. While the trail splits on the way to Reavis Falls and Frog Tanks Trail, the destination along Reavis Ranch Trail is actually an old Ranch site, once inhabited by farmer, horse packer, and miner, Elisha Reavis himself. For all the Supes veterans, give yourselves a pat on the back, because it’s rough out there. Our only option was to just keep hiking, and eventually we wound up back at the car. Situated 50 miles east of the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area is one of the best hiking areas within about an hours drive of a major city. But after a few miles of uphill hiking, you’ll find yourself walking amongst the trees. To complete it, you’ll need some off-trail route finding skills and a shuttle car. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from After a wet winter, the desert’s thirst is quenched and truly begins to blossom. In the beginning, the towering western face of the Supes stares back at you. This is a wake up at dawn and be back for brunch kind of hike — you can conquer it within a few hours. No one really knows the source of the carvings, but it’s still a magnificent piece of history and a memory to take home. For $7 per vehicle, parking is available at Lost Dutchman State Park. Not to mention the opportunity for off-trail exploration, too — be sure to pick up a Superstition Wilderness trails map to help you navigate. When looking for best Superstition Mountains hiking trails, Peralta trailhead is often at the top of the list due to its stunning views and accessibility to all abilities. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy here. However, they said it was the last time they would allow me to pick the trail. There is a well-developed trail system, and the western end of the wilderness receives heavy use during the cooler times of the year. This creek is prone to flash flooding, so do not enter if it’s raining, or if there is a chance of rain. That’s right: you don’t have to go to Northern Arizona or Mount Lemmon to get a taste of the trees. In fact, many people choose this to be their first exposure to backpacking in the Superstition Mountains due to the well-marked and maintained trail. Your Local Guide to Phoenix Hiking Trails. I believe in you. Day hikes can turn into backpacking trips, and vice versa. Or, you can start with the Boulder Canyon Trail, which is accessed from across the Canyon Lake Marina parking area. What we now know as the Superstition Wilderness was once a series of volcanoes that collapsed to form calderas. An easy to moderate day hike, Treasure Loop is a must-do for all outdoor enthusiasts. We enjoyed hiking Superstition Mountains near Apache Junction Arizona. Superstition Mountains SW, Arizona topographic map and nearby trails. Additional info: Reavis Ranch (Via 109 South). Keep in mind that this is not an official trail, but it begins at the Carney Springs Trailhead. With a round-trip distance just shy of 12 miles and an elevation gain of about 1,800 feet this trip requires an early start – especially in the warmer late spring and summer months. Eventually, you will reach a saddle, but this isn’t Parker Pass. Another way to Reavis Ranch, just starting from the south instead of the north. Looking for a fairly gentle hike just a bit of umph? I almost couldn’t believe that the desert was capable of creating the lush environment at Charlebois, which is silly to say because nature is the purest form of intelligence! See our, Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Make the right turn, plan it after a recent rain, and you’ll experience some of the finest pools and pour-offs in the Supes. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water for this exposed trail. It’s easy to mistake the small drainage at bottom as your destination, so be sure to continue another half-mile over the next hill to Reavis Creek. Discover 9 top-rated cabin rentals in Williams, Arizona, from small, cozy cabins to large lodge-style family rentals. If not, there’s some nearby shade. Jul 17, 2020 - Explore Sher King's board "Superstition Mountains" on Pinterest. Hiking the Superstition Mountains in Arizona for a few hours, a day or via a multi-day backpacking trip is a great way to experience the beauty of the landscape for locals and visitors alike. Download the free, full-sheet USGS 7.5 Minute (1:24,000 scale) Superstition Mountains SW topo map as an Adobe PDF. But don’t let that turn you off from this hike— you will most definitely get an incredible return on your investment. Eventually, you will settle into a canyon and this where all the fun begins. Additional info: Peralta Trail/Fremont Saddle. She has been published in Arizona Highways Magazine and Phoenix New Times, and has traveled overseas for her work. The most straightforward way is to take Dutchman’s Trail (#104), but you can also get there via the Second Water Trail, which is a wonderland of waterfalls after recent rains. At the end of their final expedition in 1848 — as the Peraltas prepared to take home their gold — a band of Apaches attacked. Eventually, you’ll descend into the riverbed (keep in mind that during the rainy season, or during storms, there is a high chance for flooding). A big one, too. It presents an adventure for rock climbers, too, some of which have even camped out at the top. Anyone who has hiked in the Supes knows that the terrain is unique — in a harsh way. From the popular Peralta Trailhead parking lot this trail can be completed as an out and back on it’s own, or combined with the Dutchman Trail to create the 8.5 mile Miner’s Needle loop. Why you should go: A potpourri of Superstition grandeur. The slickrock surface is fun to walk (or crawl) across, and is incredibly scenic. Trust me, you’ll want to stay awhile, so I suggest packing a lunch for this one. If you’re traveling, please check state and local COVID-19 guidelines before booking. Rainfall will get it going, but it’s mostly dependent on snowfall melting from the nearby high peaks. Imagining the sunset on the evening of a full moon, and also catching the sunrise, left me speechless. But wait, don’t let that stop you! The Superstition Mountains is a legendary mountain range located in the East side of metro Phoenix. The magnificent mountain range offers our members and those in the Phoenix-area incredible hiking and unparalleled views of the local desert surroundings. This state park is named after the legends of the Lost Dutchman’s gold mine. A trip to Hackberry Spring is enough to prove otherwise. The off-trail aspect gives this one an especially adventurous flavor. From here it is a series of cairn finding exercises to guide you to some of the most impressive 360 degree views in the Superstition Wilderness. Folks from other States might assume that water is impossibly hard to find in Arizona, especially in the Sonoran Desert, and let alone the Superstition Wilderness. See more ideas about superstition mountains, superstition, arizona. By Mountain. She enjoys all things outdoors, resistance training, authentic Indian food, and advocating for our environment and human rights. It may seem like you’re lost in suburbia, but you’ll get there eventually. Use this list of the best hiking trails in the Superstition Mountains to plan your next journey to what locals call the “Supes.”. Why you should go: In just four miles, you get some of the Supes’ sweetest sights. Some explorers have even faced their death in search of “The Lost Mine.” So while we don’t recommend looking for gold yourself, you are certain to find the promised land here in you’re looking for a great hike. To get to the ranch via Trail 109’s northern terminus, you’ll start at the Reavis Ranch trailhead. It’s seasonal, though, so that’s why it’s best to go after some rain or snowmelt. Regardless of the potential challenges, the Cave Trail is a crowd-pleaser. 11 Best Places to Go Camping Near Water in Arizona, The Best Dog-Friendly Hikes Near Phoenix, Arizona. There are some cairns and it’s nearly impossible to get lost, but we are going to leave it up to our pals over at HikeArizona to do the navigation honors.