Explore Backpacking with Dave - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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off road driving
2 days ago

great ride, explore the cave at fish creek bridge

Great easy to follow loop. This was my first trip into the Superstition Wilderness as well as my first solo trip. After a very dry winter water was a little scarce before I made it into La Barge Canyon. Great views of Battleship Mountain and Malpais Mountain. Camped near Charlebois Spring which was full. Took about 3 hours to get there from the trail head. Took Bull Pass Trail on the way out. The views of the interior and of La Barge Canyon and Weavers Needle were spectacular and worth the extra bit of elevation on the way out.

fun trail. long but not exceedingly difficult. water is not year around.

Great trail with several places to stop along the way. Awesome beautiful lake views.

Arizona has some of the most beautiful and diverse trails in the Nation. Highline trail is no exception. This was an amazing trail; probably the most beautiful and most difficult trail I've ever done. Some friends and I hiked from PineTH to the Fish Hatchery (about 36 miles in 3 days). This was not an easy hike. My friends and I are in moderate shape and this trail ended up kicking our butts. We averaged about 12 miles per day going at about 2-3mph. The trail goes along the ridges of the Mogollon rim so there are a lot of steep hikes up and down those ridges. Altogether I believe you'll do almost 9,000 feet of elevation gain.
We were pretty exhausted by the end of the trip. As you go along the trail you see the topography change dramatically from forest to desert to prairies and back and forth. You'll also run into some areas that were hit by forest fires and it feels really eerie. There are quite a few clean water streams along the trail. I would highly recommend brining a water filter. (They sell water bottles that filter water). There are also tons of places to camp along the way, as well as plenty of places to rest. I would highly recommend bringing a GPS because there are parts where the trail is hard to find. Most of the trail we did have cell phone service and we ended up using the GPS on our phones when we got lost. (Google maps has the trail) We saw some deer, elk, wildcat and bear tracks along the way so make sure you bring some sort of protection from harmful wildlife (pepper spray).
If you do this hike, make sure you are prepared for a tough hike. I would say you should plan for it to take 4-5 days if you do the whole trail. Only do this trail if you are in good physical shape because doing a hike this long you will need food for 4-5 days and all your gear which will end up being pretty heavy. My backpack weighed about 70LB and was not easy to carry 36 miles up and down those ridges.
You also don't have to do the whole 50 mile hike because there are numerous campsites along the way where you can park a 2nd car to take you back to your 1st car.
10/10 would recommend to anyone up for this beast of a trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice clean trail. Pretty scenic. Only hiked a little past the river. Not a lot of shade. Enjoyed lunch at Rock Springs afterwards which was a nice reward.

hiking
2 months ago

Started the trail from the north end. Fall is a great time to go, the weather was cool and the leaves were changing. Just be sure to pack rain gear because the clouds can gather just beyond the high ridges. North end was quiet, didn't see any other hikers.

Beautiful flowers and a ton of butterflies! Bring a hat when the sun is out! It gets hot!

hiking
3 months ago

The drive is spectacular winding around the mountainside. You need to be prepared for dirt roads that are sometimes single lane. Views couldn’t be better.

mountain biking
4 months ago

Lot of switch backs exposed to the sun for a lot of the trail. Northern section is beautiful. Bottom of pine canyon is about as vibrant green as it gets in Az

Only had time to hike to river but unbelievably beautiful. Just awesome

hiking
5 months ago

BCT actually continues past Black Canyon City up to Mayer. Great single track and lots of solitude. Popular with mountain bikers.

Amazing trail with beautiful scenery. Lots of desert flowers in season.

hiking
7 months ago

Heaven on Earth

Done this 2x now as a backpacking practice run for the Grand Canyon.

Honestly, if you’re not backpacking and not doing it in the heat of the day - I’d imagine it would be pretty easy.

The river/rock crossings are kinda cool the first time you do them - but they get pretty old.

Essentially no sun protection.
Very little/super sketchy water holes.

But only a very few inclines.
You can go hours and hours without seeing anyone here.

A good practice run for folks who are trying to get their distances up. But, nothing to write home about.

East out of Pine TH along Highline Trail. Turned up the Donahue Trail - that was a tough climb. Some of Donahue were hard to see due to overgrowth.

260TH to Pine TH. In other words, the whole thing, which following the updated trail and reroute, was 54.5 miles according to my GPS. Takes 3-5 days depending on your ability and weather cooperation. Although there were many, many dry creek crossings along the length of the hike, water was still pretty reliable for most of it (first week of May 2018) although you'd be smart to carry a couple liters at all times. Saw almost no one in my 4 days... one other solo chick hiker (good for you girl) and a group doing the AZT. Weather sucked day 3 with rain, snow, hail and everything in between. Saw deer and scads of elk and one small black bear and some of my favorite birds. Anyhow, I'm done with getting my butt kicked by this trail for now, maybe again come fall! Hiked with my little dog, beware the paws on all that abrasive rock. Mine wore boots for about half of each day's hike but we were both pretty gimpy at the end. Otherwise very dog friendly if your dog is in shape for it.

I love this trail. Very scenic.

First let’s start out that this is a great trail with lots of EVERYTHING you could look for in a trail. As the previous hike noted, past the saddle there IS NO trail, and barely any markers. And since no water was to be found except for some pools in the river canyon. Navigation thru the washes was very time consuming. Running low on water, I ended up loosing the trail at the SW boot trying to navigate the boulder canyon and needed to call 911 to get SAR to help me. The red line GPS on the AllTrails app was extremely unreliable after the saddle. You are on you own navigating and finding the trail to the west side loop trail. As the GPS line will tend to drift you away from the loop trail on the SW corner. Do yourself a favor and download and use the SAT layer map to find the trail again. THIS TRAIL IS NOT FOR UNEXPERIENCED HIKERS

Here to work on my section of the AZT the best section on the whole 800 miles⛰

This was an amazing drive especially when you get off the paved road. I would definitely recommend

hiking
9 months ago

I've done this hike 2 times in March from the trailhead parking on the south end of Pine. I've been lost both times. There is a pool called dripping springs. If you get there, you've missed the turn for TR26 that goes to the right.(Marked) From the trail turn BEFORE dripping springs. it is approx. 7.5 to 8 miles to complete the hike to Hwy 87. After about 1/2 mile, there is a trail cutoff that says "good enough" I don't know where it goes. After about 4 miles from the turn, you will see camp Lomia cabins down the hill. another 1/2 to one mile further, there is a signpost that has a sign that points to the left for Stradling springs and a sign that points straight for Darling Rocks. DO NOT GO STRAIGHT on the trail to Darling rocks! Follow the Stradling springs arrow and cross the stream and pick up Trail 26 on the other side. From that point it is 2-2.5 miles to complete the hike up to 87. There is a sign about 3 miles from hwy 87 where some joker changed a mileage number from 3 to 8 miles to the highway. I locked my bike at the trail marker 6038 on hwy. 87 that is between mile 278 and 279 to ride 10 miles down to the Pine Trailhead. One way was enough for me.

Hiked 6.8 miles from the Rock Springs trail head. The flora in the horseshoe canyon is lush, for a desert. Fun to cross the Agua Fría and have a post hike slice of pie at the Rock Springs Cafe

I did the whole thing starting at 260 TH to Pine in about 3 and a half days. The trail was beautiful with many opportunities for water and camping. Certain parts are very poorly marked. It seemed like I'd have to search for the trail again everytime I crossed a wash. Luckily it had just rained and I was able to follow other's footprints.

backpacking
10 months ago

Took 30 High School-aged boys on this hike. It was a rough road and the recommendation of high clearance vehicle was important. However, nobody needed 4WD. We found out that the cow trails were more distinctive than the hiking trails. This Trails app was excellent to help us stay on track (although we got off the trail multiple times). The views from the Verde Rim and Pine Mountain we’re absolutely amazing. We camped just West of the Pine Mountain summit. I will go back again for the challenge of doing the entire loop and staying on the trail. Would be amazing in the fall especially along Sycamore Creek.

It was gorgeous! Absolutely beautiful. Several
Hours of light bouldering as you cross the dry river bed. Important tip for planning: THERE IS NO WATER ACCESS!!!
Also - tough to find the trail once you get to the end of the boot and cut across the saddle. Could use some well-placed Cairns

Great topography!

Trail running from Pine TH to Highline trail intersection and back. Great day hike for locals.

Hiked this trail from Pine TH to Geronimo TH around 8 miles one-way and turned around. I’m not a huge fan of walking the same trail in and out, but I did not have the time or gear to go the full 51 miles.

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