Timing is everything. When dealing with such a hike, footing can be tricky and requires a bit of route finding in spots. A big one, too. Without further ado, our favorite hikes in the Superstitions. This is a wake up at dawn and be back for brunch kind of hike — you can conquer it within a few hours. 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. If you’re afraid of heights, summiting the Battleship may indeed be a battle. Day hikes can turn into backpacking trips, and vice versa. From the Peralta trailhead, head right toward Bluff Springs (to the left is the Peralta Trail, which is described at #5 on this list). Weavers Needle is a volcanic monolith soaring nearly 1,300 feet from base to summit. You can spend day two exploring some one-off trails and enjoying the creek. Wilderness area. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy here. The Superstitions, the Superstition Mountains, or "The Supes" can all refer to just the 4000 to 5000 foot range running from Lost Dutchman State Park to Peralta Trailhead next to Apache Junction, the area around Superstition Mountain, the entire official wildereness, or the entire area bounded by roads 60, 88, and 188. This 24 mile out-and-back features a modest elevation gain of 3,500 feet and is best done as an overnight backpacking trip. This hike is shorter than the north side, too, by 3 miles. From LDSP, the trail begins flat and slowly starts to rise. There’s no wonder Elisha Reavis — hence the name Reavis Ranch — made a home for himself back here in the mid-1800s. He’s also the one who planted the apple orchard. This creek bed turns into the “trail” going south. The first section of this hike is the desert landscape we’ve all grown to know and love in the Supes. Once you’re at the top, the glorious views are the reward for powering through. The slickrock surface is fun to walk (or crawl) across, and is incredibly scenic. Your Local Guide to Phoenix Hiking Trails. Take note that you will weave through a neighborhood to get to the trailhead — down South Kings Ranch Road off US 60 East. So, you’ve just reached Fremont Saddle. About a mile in, you will come to a creek bed. At the sign for the Black Mesa Trail is where you’ll spot the remains of ancient ruins. Shaw Butte #306 Trail; Estrella Mountain; Usery Mountain; Why you should go: A rare, seasonally-flowing waterfall and haunting history. 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. You may even catch some climbers top roping the Praying Hands rock formation. This wilderness encompasses over 159,000 acres of land in the Tonto National Forest and is rich in Indian American history, Mexican gold miners and … 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. By Mountain. Additional info: Superstition Ridgeline Trail. Once you’ve reached the turnoff for Flatiron, just keep going up. The route you choose will also determine the difficulty and length. However, they said it was the last time they would allow me to pick the trail. 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). Ironview Peak No Name Peak (2015-02-13). I believe in you. 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. If you look around closely, you may even find pieces of pottery (look but leave them where they lay). Regardless of the potential challenges, the Cave Trail is a crowd-pleaser. Afternoon temperatures from June to September are usually in the range of 100 to 115 °F near the mountain. As mentioned in the intro, members of the Peralta family regularly mined these mountains before falling victim to a murderous ambush by a band of Apaches. Trust me, you’ll want to stay awhile, so I suggest packing a lunch for this one. A bit of trail navigation may be necessary. You’ll begin this hike from the Peralta trailhead, and start down the Bluff Springs Trail (bear right). It’s rocky, sharp and unforgiving. 11 Best Places to Go Camping Near Water in Arizona, The Best Dog-Friendly Hikes Near Phoenix, Arizona. Either way, it’s a fruitful hike all around — but you could say that about every Supes hike! REI and the REI Co-op logo are trademarks of Recreational Equipment, Inc. The Treasure Loop trail begins in the Lost Dutchman State Park area and requires an entry fee of $7 per vehicle. It’s not scorching and the apples are in season. However, most of this trail is exposed until then, so it’s not a great idea in the summer heat. So, let’s say you don’t want to go as far as Charlebois Springs (previous hike) and you’d like to bring the kids along, but you still want to explore the wonders of the western Supes. If you haven’t been to the east side of the Superstition Mountains, it’s a must. Looking for a fairly gentle hike just a bit of umph? If you do this hike during after recent rains, you can settle into the sounds of running water in the Draw. Why you should go: A potpourri of Superstition grandeur. The Siphon Draw itself is just about a mile in and can be extremely slick, especially during wet conditions. Or, you can park at the Crosscut Trailhead for free, but you’ll add 2.6 additional miles roundtrip. Not to mention the opportunity for off-trail exploration, too — be sure to pick up a Superstition Wilderness trails map to help you navigate. We enjoyed hiking Superstition Mountains near Apache Junction Arizona. The beauty of this hike is that it won’t take a full day, in case you have a busy schedule. Imagining the sunset on the evening of a full moon, and also catching the sunrise, left me speechless. Gorgeous rock formations . We will spend a few hours walking through the beautiful Sonoran Desert and discussing this unique ecosystem. The savviest of hikers will make this a loop. Miners Needle Loop gives you a little bit of everything. 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 … The terminolgy referring to this area is very loose. This might deem a good turn around point for some, or you can keep on trekking. Oh, and a feeling of fulfillment because you just trekked 9 miles through some tough terrain. Covering over 160,000 acres, the Superstition Wilderness contains an abundance of cactus, wildflowers, and perennial water sources interwoven with the soaring mountain tops of granite, basalt and dacite. Here are some pro tips for this backpacking trek: Additional info: Reavis Ranch Via 109 North. Hiking Arizona's Superstition and Mazatzal Country: A Guide to the Areas' Greatest Hikes (Regional Hiking Series) 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! If you ever have company from out-of-state, this hike will give them the perfect dose of the desert. Love love love this place! A passenger car can get you to the trailhead, but stay focused and use care. Several Mexicans escaped but their mules were killed or scattered. Why you should go: The more scenic way to Reavis, and you can still get apples. The views up top are incredible, but don’t sleep on the traverse through Siphon Draw. Parker Pass is a great option. The top of the Superstition Mountains Flatiron — a massive rock resembling an upside-down clothes iron — offers some of the most spectacular views in the Phoenix metro area. Formed by volcanic eruptions 30 to 15 million years ago, the Superstition Mountains are home to impressive rock walls, jagged hoodoos of rock, and narrow twisting canyons. From AZ 88, or Apache Trail, you will eventually cross a bridge. Although there are several stories about the origin of the mine nobody has been able to confirm for certain which is true. Discover 13 of the best cabin rentals in Arizona, from small cozy cabins to luxurious chalets in Flagstaff, Munds Park, Pinetop, Mt. Additional info: Reavis Ranch (Via 109 South). The first time I attempted this hike, I did not navigate properly and continued straight, across the creek bed, instead of following the creek bed. Reward yourself afterward. Beginning at an elevation of 2,420', we climb past the towering Miner’s Needle, an imposing spire of weathered lava. For $7 per vehicle, parking is available at Lost Dutchman State Park. Ending at the convergence of the Boulder Canyon and Dutchman Trails, the Boulder Canyon trail runs 7.8 miles south of the marina at Canyon Lake. Why you should go: An old windmill, an abandoned corral, an oasis in the desert! It was definitely an adventure for the books. 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. Quite a big difference if you ask me, so don’t make the same mistake I did. Why you should go: Fresh apple picking and a refreshing pine forest. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. Maybe I’m late in the game, but I was very impressed with this idea. Depending on how long you’d like to stay, or what you’d like to see there are numerous route and side trip options. A trip to Hackberry Spring is enough to prove otherwise. She has been published in Arizona Highways Magazine and Phoenix New Times, and has traveled overseas for her work. The towering crags of the Superstition Mountain glow brilliantly opposite the setting sun. Eventually, you will reach a saddle, but this isn’t Parker Pass. There is an aquifer-fed spring/creek to refill water, but be sure to pack plenty regardless. Why you should go: Conquer the toughest hike on this list. 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. She is a Phoenix-based journalist with five years of writing and editing experience. Before you know it, you’ll be surrounded by the canyon walls in all their glory. https://www.territorysupply.com/superstition-mountains-hikes But either way, around every corner is a different piece of the landscape waiting to be unveiled. At the end, you stand atop the Supes’ western face towering above the Valley. But wait, don’t let that stop you! Robert Bitton, Age 71, of Apache Junction, Arizona, formerly of North Branch, died suddenly on February 28th, while hiking in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. There are three springs on this trail, two of which will require a little bit of navigation but will be necessary if you decide to turn this into an overnight trip. Members of the Apache tribe gathered and began a running fight with the Mexican miners. Additional info: Peralta Trail/Fremont Saddle. Why you should go: To appreciate the sound of running water. Amazing hiking!!! Eventually, you will settle into a canyon and this where all the fun begins. Depending on the time of year, there will be more or less water in the creek. But when the timing is right — almost any given winter or early spring day — the “Supes” satisfy nearly any craving for adventure and solitude. Completing the Bluff Springs trail as an out and back is the perfect alternative to the Peralta and Dutchman’s trails, that might see more people on a busy weekend. It presents an adventure for rock climbers, too, some of which have even camped out at the top. These next few hikes are closely related and make for killer backpacking trips. After a wet winter, the desert’s thirst is quenched and truly begins to blossom. Why you should go: Short climb to a seasonal pool and Hohokam petroglyphs. A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND PLAY Superstition Mountain is a private, 24 hr guard gated golf community with over 700 homesites and custom lots situated in 17 beautifully designed neighborhoods, situated outside of Phoenix in the East Valley in the shadows of the legendary Superstition Mountains in beautiful Gold Canyon, Arizona. Discover 9 top-rated cabin rentals in Williams, Arizona, from small, cozy cabins to large lodge-style family rentals. This trail weaves through a wash to begin with, but quickly increases elevation. Why you should go: Arguably the best view of Weavers Needle. The mountains are located less than an hour’s drive away from both Phoenix and Scottsdale. 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. 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 Superstition Mountains are covered with rocky outcrops and saguaro cacti. Expansive views, canyon walls, valley floors, switchbacks, desert trees, and a saguaro forest. The Siphon Draw trail gains 2,500 feet over 3 miles before it reaches the top of Flat Iron (gulp). But the toughest challenges also reap the best rewards, right? Beginning at the First Water trailhead, you will connect to the Second Water trail and then follow the Boulder Canyon Wash Southeast before splitting off to tackle the Battleship Mountain scramble. You can do this the other way around, too. Day hike, Treasure Loop is a popular three-season ( fall,,! Turn into backpacking trips, and vice versa we have many options from a leisurely stroll to challenging! 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