Hiking Arizona's Superstition & Mazatzal Country
by Bruce Grubbs (Falcon Guides)
© 2000 Bruce Grubbs/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
One of the best trails in the superstitions. If you head out on the weekend, the peralta trail will be busy but you'll leave everyone behind at the Fremont Saddle. I'd say the whole loop is moderate. The length is tiring but not too much elevation change after the saddle. I hiked the trail on weekday in the summer. It was really hot but there wasn't a soul in the canyon.
The hike is one of the great hikes of the Southwest. About 2.3 miles from the trailhead until you turn a corner and see a spectualar view of Weaver's Needle. Minimum hiking time for a fit person is about 90 minutes out and about 45 minutes back but taking 90 minutes on the way back is well worth the time.
The trail guide is accurate, but it leaves out some key items. First, the turn off from Hwy 60 is a small sign on the right for a left turn and it just has the road name on it. After the small section of residential pavement, there is 7 miles of moderately good dirt road;it appears to be a form of crowd control. Mostly, the guide really does not address the primary hike to Weaver's Needle and does not show Freemark Saddle on the trail map.
Very scenic trail, and the view from the top to Miners Needle is awesome. Trail is best done in the morning, as it tends to get quite hot in the Canyon later on in the day. This is not a route for children, since it gets quite rocky and steep. Also, best to avoid on weekends, as it is a very popular route.
Excellent hike but agree with previous reviewer, it is probably harder than moderate. Also deceving is the fact that despite it being so popular it is easy to make a wrong turn at the far side of the canyon, resulting in a couple extra miles if you aren't careful. Ran this trail clockwise but may recommend the reverse since you'll then have more foot traffic at the end of your hike if things get sketchy.
One of the most beautiful views of the Superstition Mountains. I think this trail was rated as moderate, Unless you are in very good shape I would consider this trail to be difficult. It took a small group of 11 to 13 yr old boy scouts better than 9 hours including a stop for lunch. Also, It is advised to do the trail backwards from how it is described in this book, beginning with Peralta trail. I don't know if things have changed but the first part of the description is not consistent with what we found, until you get to the tarapin-spring bluff junction.
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