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Massacre Grounds Trail* Professional Review and Guide
"To those who wish to enjoy the Superstition Mountains without scaling steep grades, the Lost Goldmine Trail offers a nearly level jaunt through scenic foothills. Roughly tracing the Superstition Wilderness boundary, this trail skirts rugged cliffs and tall peaks on the southern flank of the Superstitions."
--Charles Liu, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Phoenix (Menasha Ridge Press).
The author writes how you can drive to the trailhead...this is no longer the case. Park at the Crosscut Trailhead and walk further down the road to the "Congested Area" sign where you can walk in to the trailhead.
We ran into a park ranger who told us they had closed off the road to the trailhead to allow it to go back to nature.
The author's trail description is pretty accurate and trail is well marked with Cairns along the way. The bluff overlook of the falls is great but we also chose and would recommend walking all the way over to the waterfall! It was a great place to stop and have lunch. We were lucky to have it to ourselve; but met a lot of people coming in on our hike out. There was quite a bit of water as we have had a lot of rain this year! Really enjoyed this hike!
Nice hike, moderate terrain, no water at the falls when we went but still some great scenery. Not much traffic. Definetly recommend a higher clearance vehicle than a passenger car to get right to the trail head.
If you can do this trail after it has rained, do it. Massacre Falls is about 3 stories high and in a beautiful alcove. If it is running, you can see it in the distance from the Massacre Grounds viewpoint mentioned in the trail guide. I went after 2 days of rain and it was wonderful. Two cautions, however...you must understand cairns (stacked rocks as trail markers) as you can very easily lose this trail at the upper end, I did even though I thought I was careful to look for the cairns. Second, the spur road to the trailhead (off of First Water Road) is very primitive; a passenger car might make it slowly in very dry conditions but after the rain, high clearance was a must. I don't have 4WD but wouldn't have needed it, just the clearance. In short, this is a hike with a good payoff after rain, with few others for company.
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