Battleship Mountain is a 18.5 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Apache Junction, Arizona that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from February until November.

Distance: 18.5 km Elevation Gain: 568 m Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

river

views

wild flowers

bugs

rocky

scramble

off trail

no shade

no dogs

It's easy to lose the trail and get too far right of the riverbed after leaving Second Water Trail for the Canyon trail. There is no marked trail up Battleship Mountain when you get there. Get ready to bushwhack and scramble. Epic achievement and breathtaking views. The terrain changes quite a few times from the beginning to the top. Wear long pants as there are a lot of dead weeds with thorns that attach to your shoes and socks. There is sometimes water along the way, but bring your own to be safe. Once you get to Boulder Canyon, the rocks cairns showing the trail are easy to miss and then it basically becomes rough boulder hiking down the canyon until you pick up the trail as it crosses again. Stay on the trail and watch for the cairns in BC. The advice the stay to the left side of the river is on point as that that is where the hike to up the battleship starts.

rocky
scramble
4 days ago

Amazing hike with incredible views! Scramble up battleship had a few challenging spots and is not for those with fear of heights. We visited La Barge canyon after we descended from Battleship which added about a mile or two. The high was 91 degrees and we each used 4 liters of water. There is a couple of spots you can cool off in the water but almost no shade so bring your SPF.

hiking
no shade
over grown
scramble
9 days ago

Fun hike with amazing views. Trail is hard to follow along the creek and up battleship. Take your time and look for markers. Bring plenty of water, no shade whatsoever.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
scramble
16 days ago

I'd agree with everything Peter Vargas said in his review. Just as a reminder when you get near the top you have to circle to the north side for the final approach, which is quite short. When your going up the ridge keep climbing up because going to the left you get cliffed out. There were 2 obstacles along the ridge that gave me trouble. Look for carins the entire trail, it is mostly marked

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This trail is open again, I'd get there early to avoid the crowds. Initial hike in on 2nd water trail is easy and little elevation change. As you get near Boulder Canyon, you'll start to descend into the canyon. Nothing too steep, and typical rocky terrain. I came across a couple juvenile western dbacks. One was near a camp near the wash, I didn't see or hear anyone in the camp. Early in the morning, the snakes are pretty docile and sluggish. Neither was defensive in any way and I just moved along my way. When you hit BC trail, it's fairly easy to follow the cairns as you cross the river 6-8 times. Be aware of the trail sections that have tall grass, this is where I encountered my 2nd Dback, just sunbathing in the grass. On AT the map shows 2 trails that go up to Battleship, I've done both and prefer to do the one that is marked on the map. It is easier to distinguish. As you make your way up, be prepared for some scrambling. There is some route finding up there, but nothing too crazy. There are 3 obstacles that I had to climb up and over. The views from the top are amazing. If you're scared of heights, this may not be a good hike for you. There is a lot of exposure to the sun, bring as much water as you can comfortably carry. I ended up taking a quick dip in a clean section of the river to cool down, and that was in 70+ weather. I probably will wait until Winter before doing this one again.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

rocky
scramble
1 month ago

The trail is closed because of Covid 19. however people leave their car at the place where they barricade the road and walk the 1 mile to the trail. I however took the boulder Mountain trail to get to The Battleship. You want a challenging hike, this is it. Bring lots of water and good hiking shoes cuz you'll need them. one very important note to remember. After you have spider climbed the second challenging wall, stay to the left, it is easier. I didn't see that until I was coming back. I climbed all those Boulders leading to the Battleship. what a workout. It was hard. on the way back, I saw the trail to my right and I got mad for making it harder on myself going up. Lol. You'll need the app for this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

CLOSED- for COVID 19

hiking
1 month ago

The most complete trail and hardest I've ever done! Flat, sandy, crossing rivers 10 times (your shoes will get wet), route finding skills, straight up scrambling, boulder climbing, steep drop offs on both sides once at the top. Was just short of the summit of the ship as they was a wall that I was not ok with climbing. There is a journal to sign in once at the top. This hike to the peak is only for the most experienced hikers! Beginners stay away! Harder than flat iron in my opinion. 12 miles round trip, parking closed at 2nd water.

ohv/off road driving
no shade
2 months ago

trailhead closed

hiking
2 months ago

This is misleading profile picture for this trail. That is not of Battleship Mountain but instead of Palomino Mountain on the right, Black top Mesa on the left and Weavers Needle in the middle. That picture can be found on Dutchman trail #104.

hiking
no shade
scramble
2 months ago

Loved loved loved this trail. Pictures don’t do justice to just how beautiful the scenery is. The views are breathtaking. Definitely follow the cairns or else you could go in many different directions. I loved this hike. Make sure you bring extra water because when the sun is out you’re definitely going to want it.

no shade
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Take this hike seriously! Watch a YouTube vid to see what you're in for, and pack way more water than you think you need. I hiked this about 3 weeks ago, and was expecting a challenge, but this hike kicked our butts. The weather was perfect, but even still, you're in full sun exposure the whole time, and we ran out of water and really struggled to get back out. And we didn't even make it all the way to the end of the hike. I don't think most of the reviews do this trail justice as to how challenging it is. There is a lot of scrambling and climbing and it can be very sketchy in places. The views are amazing once you make it up, but the hike is no joke.

hiking
2 months ago

A little bit of it all on this trail, river crossing, scrambling, climbing. Be sure to stay left of the creek going in and pay attention to the cairns! We went too far upstream and had to turn around, losing time.

hiking
2 months ago

The water in Boulder Canyon was knee high at most spots and moving quick. You will be getting wet if you're doing this hike anytime soon. I had water shoes with me so it was not a problem but don't expect to be able to cross the stream each time hopping on rocks. Also, the road to the trail head is definitely possible in a passenger vehicle. A little bumpy at times but not as bad as the sign makes it out to be.

hiking
2 months ago

Great challenging hike, especially if you go to the peak of Battleship Mt. Be prepared for a steep climb, boulder scrambling and steep drop offs. You will cross the river multiple times, plenty of rock to jump on to cross each time. I would not suggest going if there is rain, flash flooding is a possibility.

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