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Went counterclockwise and started at about 7 AM. The views going up Dutchmen trail are probably the best of the hike. Once you hit Black Mesa Trail the hike turns into a pretty average (albeit very healthy) Sonoran desert landscape without any views. The exception here if you turn around after climbing the rise after the Black Mesa and Dutchman junction. A great view of Weavers Needle can be found.

The whole loop took about 3 hours and I went through 3 Liters of water. Sun was at my back going back to the trailhead via Black Mesa and 2nd Water trails by going counterclockwise.

This is right between easy and moderate. Also, I'd give this trail 3.5 stars (if I could). Great view of the backside of The Flatiron, but the highlight is the very end of the trail. The end of the canyon is cool and green. I will definitely return after the next rain.

As an aside please read into the historical angle to this trail. There was definitely a twinge of sadness for the bitter demise of the Peralta family at the end of the trail.

5 days ago

Stunning views, will def do it again. Wanted to see the wild pack of horses, no luck. Since this trail borders the lake, I'm sure it'll be less than serene on weekends, jet-skis, etc. When I went it was quiet, began around 7am on a Weds. Parking is $8, can get at a Circle k or QT on the way.

If curious about the name, https://www.google.com/search?q=Dr.+W.W.+Jones&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

Interesting quote, from AZ Republic.... "Question: Who was Butcher Jones, and why is a trail named after him near Saguaro Lake?

Answer: The Arizona Republic's Scott Craven did some research, and here's what he found:

"Butcher Jones most likely is Dr. W.W. Jones, according to state historian Marshall Trimble. An online search showed Jones to be more than a medical professional. In the mid-19th century, he also owned mines in Arizona as well as a freighting business. He lived in Yuma, Prescott, Wickenburg, Phoenix and Tempe, and later in life became a rancher. He apparently was fairly influential in his day, and he was friends with Jacob Waltz of Lost Dutchman Mine fame. There also was a mention that Dr. Jones performed surgeries on his dining room table, which may have led to his nickname of Butcher (a Parks Department employee said of Butcher Jones – 'I am pretty sure he was a doctor, but apparently not a very good one.')."

13 days ago

Great trail...not marked well in the very beginning, but after the first 1/3 mile or so, it’s a clear trail. We saw THREE separate rattlesnakes on the trail on our hike, so be careful. Also saw a large tortoise and horny toad. No shade on trail. Beautiful view at the top. Definitely do this in the early morning to beat the heat. A few steep rocks to climb, but not too difficult. Completed this with a group of about 25, including teens and adults.

23 days ago

LOVED this hike! Arrived around 6:30am on a Saturday and it was pretty empty, although when we were heading back around 8 both the trail and the lake were starting to fill up. Seriously beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains the whole way, with some outlets to walk down to the water. There was a rattlesnake and a family of javelinas when we were there, so keep an eye out for wildlife and stay aware. Heads up (and my reason for 4 stars)- the lake is popular for boating and jetskis. If you're looking for a relaxing, quiet hike either go really early or pick another trail.

Me and 2 friends hiked this route on an overcast day a morning after a monsoon hit. Weather was perfect going in. Got hot as the sun came out on our hike back. Wouldn't recommend doing this hike in the middle of the day due to no shade along the trail. I gave it 4 stars because it was a beautiful hike for seeing desert after rain and for the beautiful views.

The waterfall at the end was a drip coming down. Disappointed it wasn't flowing.

I am out of shape and I considered the beginning of this hike easy, then it does become moderate the closer you get to the waterfall (or lack thereof).

Nice trail, Wild horses, lake views, easy access to the water. Very nice, will definitely do again!

29 days ago

It’s a nice trail with a little elevation change but definitely for hiking than going fishing. There is some good shoreline at the beginning of the trail but then it is up over and around before you back to where you can access the shore again. That’s ok! Have you mind set for hiking vs good fishing. Much better to be on the water. Kayaking or on a boat

30 days ago

Beautiful hike that I do often. Not difficult though footing in places can be tricky . Gorgeous views of the water most of the way. Trash is becoming a problem so please please pick up after yourself!

1 month ago

Beautiful trail. We were able to see a ton of wildlife from lizards, to chipmunk, and even a coral snake. Didn't see any of the wild horses, but the trail runs right next to Saguaro Lake and provides you with some amazing views. Not too difficult of a trail, but always pay attention where you are stepping.

This would be a 5 star trail if there was some trail maintenance done, especially in the first mile or so. There is a ton of trash all over, there are parts that are very overgrown, and areas not well marked. Needs a little TLC.

I wanted so much to love this trail. It has water, great birds, horses, cool plants, and is pretty unique among places I've been in Arizona.

There was trash everywhere. I just wanted one spot on the hike where my partner and I could sit for 15 minutes overlooking the water without an empty beer can within 20 feet. Couldn't find one.

If Arizona cleans this area up, it becomes an easy 5 stars.

The first thing to figure out with this trail is if you want a big up or big down. If you go clockwise you will get the big up first. If you go counterclockwise you get the big down last thing before you get back to your car.

The rest of this trail is really gradual and most of it is very easy going. I was even thinking this could be one of the better trails for trail running out there.

The flora and fauna for much of the route is in within riparian areas and is incredibly diverse. More than all that, this trail is absolutely beautiful from start to finish. This would be perfect for someone who has been building up endurance for a longer hike, but doesn't need 2000'+ elevation gains.

When the desert is green, this is the most beautiful trail. Easy to moderate hike, great views everywhere you look, on every section of the trail. I’ve only seen the waterfall once, in the spring. Usually it’s dry. This is one of my favorites in the Supes.

An incredible hike for sure!
So much to see on your way up the Needle with plant of shady spots to take a mini break before continuing.
No Permit needed to go exploringout here, unless you're trying to squeeze in The Wave Cave, which you actually pass by on your way to The Peralta Trailhead.
Anyhow, bring some good sturdy shoes as the terrain can get quite rugged as you gain elevation.
The amazing needle view from Fremont Saddle is quite a reward after all that hiking!

As a senior, this trail was difficult because it was narrow in many places, rocky and not much shade. However the views are worth it especially when you reach the saddle and continue out to the overview of Weavers Needle. A bonus, the way back is mostly downhill. I have completed this trek about 5 times and now at 79, it's out of the question due to the lack of shade!!!

A moderately tough climb due to Elevation, loose rocks and gravel. Well worth the effort as you reach the summit the views are fantastic.

This hike is absolutely beautiful! You really get to experience a little bit of everything this desert has to offer. The views are fantastic and the hike easy, so even with the 100+ degree temperatures it was pleasant. Tips- Pack lots of water, be mindful of snakes!

I would rate the hike, itself, as easy. most of the way was relatively flat until you get to the end and even that wasn't really hard. The sad part (and the reason for 4 stars instead of 5) was that there was no waterfall at the end. As my companions joked, it was a waterFELL. Still, it was a lovely hike with pretty views of the surrounding mountains and lots of different cacti to look at along the way.

The Peralta, Freemont Saddle and Lone Tree trails are all pretty much the same trail. This seemed to be the best one since it was the closest to Weaver’s Needle and the Lone Tree lookout area is a perfect place to stop for a rest

This is a good trail to do as soon as the preserve is open. You can hike up to the pass before the sun rises over the top. I was half way back when the sun hit me. It's a good workout with nice views on the pass.

3 months ago

Gorgeous trail! Somewhat challenging in spots for me (54 year old semi fit), but not for my 25 year old daughter. Took about 3.5 hours, and we brought several gallons of water as it was about 104 degrees today. Views are amazing!

3 months ago

We loved this hike! It’s so beautiful. We started early to beat the heat.

on Butcher Jones Trail

3 months ago

One of the most surreal moments of the trip was to arrive at the trailhead (sunrise) to witness the beauty of the Salt River wild horses. Amazing. The hike is beautiful with incredible views. Be cautious as the trail is quite narrow and steep at times. The narrow part can create an issue with rattle snake encounters... as we experienced on this hike. We expect to run into all sorts of wildlife during these hikes but did get ourselves into a pickle on the trail. Our issue was upon our return to the trailhead where we encountered a coiled rattler in a covered brush area near the shore. It’s beautiful in this small patch of area but you only have one way to pass through. There is no where to climb up or around in certain areas so if your trail is blocked, it may pose additional impediments. Just be cautious and aware of your surroundings on this trail. I suggest a walking stick of sorts.

Fun short trail. Not difficult at all.

3 months ago

Decent tour of the park if you only want to pay the discounted entry fee.

I’ve done this hike numerous times and it’s always a good time. BUT! Note to self - do not go on Memorial Day Weekend - what is usually a very quiet and peaceful hike is nothing but boats, jet skis and loud music.

Nice trail but absolutely no markers or trail information other then that at very start .

This trail is absolutely stunning! I couldn't stop looking around in awe. There are a few things that I would caution future hikers about: going counter clockwise, you start on Dutchman's but then after you cross a creek and see a sign for trail 235 (bluff springs?), you take that left, don't continue on Dutchman's.

Also both my my and my husband's phones read 12 miles when we finished (12.5 if you count our wrong turn) and going at a moderate pace it took 6.5 hours. Even on a relatively cool day (90 degrees as the high) with a steady breeze, we still ran out of water with about 20 minutes left, even after rationing while we hiked. We only saw one other couple the ENTIRE route, so getting hurt or running out of water would be very dangerous.

All that to say, as rough as we felt when we finished (we're used to 1-3 hour hikes) we still want to go again in the fall. It seriously was one of the most beautiful hikes!

This was my second official hike and it was amazing! Encountered a rattlesnake but other than that the view was beautiful.

Good workout. Took me 2’40”. Used 1 quart of h2o. No issues with getting lost or losing the trail. Lots of loose gravel and rocks made it a little difficult on some of the descents.

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