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Lost Goldmine Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Nestled at the base of Superstition Mountain, Hieroglyphic Canyon boasts one of the best collections of Hohokam petroglyphs in the state. Venture beyond the petroglyphs and follow Hieroglyphic Canyon up to the Superstition Ridgeline for astounding views of Weaver’s Needle and the city."
--Charles Liu, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Phoenix (Menasha Ridge Press).
For mountain biking use it as a tough connector to the amazing flowy K-Trail. You're very close to the Superstitions, 30-500' away along the trail. Cougar Trail can be used as an easier route to K. Very up and down thru drainages. Saguaro forest, excellent spring wildflower spot.
Lost Goldmine trail is a good walk if you have something else to do soon. The trail runs approximately 2.5mi until you hit a forest service obstruction telling you to turn around. I thought it was strange that somebody would live in a house next to the huge parking lot at the trailhead, but I found out that "DONS" is some sort of yearly gold mine search party. When I walked the trail, I was confused, "where's the hike?" I thought to myself, theres no grade hardly anywhere, but there are beautiful views of Superstition Mountain. It made me want to jump the fence when I saw a sign that said "don't go into the mines" on a lost goldmine trail. The sign didn't say no people, just no vehicles or bicycles. In my opinion, a good little walk if you're going in the winter, it's a little tougher if you go in the summer like I did (it was 108) but it still wasn't difficult.
I hiked this trail today - it is wonderful. You are really hiking through a saguaro forest, and the wildflowers are amazing. Both trail heads are easy to find (point to point hiking). We saw a rattlesnake today, we thought it was to early in the season, but I guess not. This is a must do for winter hiking around Phoenix.
This is a moderately strenuous and quite scenic trail. We went in on the west side of the canyon to come out on the east side by Geronimo Cave. However, once you reach Fremont Saddle, the trail is difficult to find and there are cairns everywhere. We managed to follow the wrong cairns. The topo maps are okay, but the shapes and forms of the mesas are such that it can look as if you are on the right trail when orienteering your location -- but you're not. A three meter difference in GPS will put you on the wrong trail.
On the eastern loop to the cave, stay alongside the canyon and drop down to the well worn trail. Never follow a trail that loses sight of the canyon.
The guidebook mileage is wrong. The 60 Hikes Near Phoenix book implies the loop is 3.5 miles, it's not. It's over 8 miles.
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