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Black Mesa Trail and Dutchman Trail Loop

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Superstition Wilderness

Black Mesa Trail and Dutchman Trail Loop is a 8.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Apache Junction, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,069 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

As of March 31, 2020, users have reported that First Water Trailhead is CLOSED. Please consult the park's website before visiting. This trail starts at the First Water Trailhead.

No water right now ;( still beautiful! Pretty rocky but by manageable. Not much shade either

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

We hiked part of this today. We started at 6:30. We started the loop counter-clockwise and encountered a bee swarm on the trail close to the 4 mile point and didn’t see a way around it so we turned and hiked back out the way we came. We also saw a couple snakes around 8:30 am. Only one rattlesnake and we were able to wait as it crossed the trail and got far enough off for us to pass. The part we did was pretty easy with nice views.

hiking
2 months ago

Love this trail! It’s an amazing loop that offers great views and water. I highly recommend :)

I started clockwise and it did start out rocky, but last half bit bad at all. Owes at the halfway point are incredible. I started at about 6 am and by the end of my hike it was warming up. Bring plenty of water. Very few people seen too.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

Go Clockwise!! It’s kinda rocky for the first half of the hike ... the second half of the hike was my favorite... lots of river crossings which is a great thing if you’re hiking in the Arizona heat!

hiking
3 months ago

It’s closed cause covid but still easily accessible

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Very pretty hike. Trail is well marked with moderate amount of climbing, however quite rocky much of the way. Recent rains had us crossing over 12 small to moderate streams along the way.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a 3.5-4.5 hour beautiful hike. I agree with other person that going clockwise is best. You walk toward Weavers Needle adding to the scenery and less loose rock going uphill. It was a few days after rain, so there were over 10 streams to cross! But the trail was also a little muddy and wet.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Great 3.5-4.5 hour hike! I agree with person who said to go clockwise. Less rocky on way up hill and more scenery in front of you. Crossed rivers about 12 times! Lots of fun!

hiking
muddy
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

We did this trail clockwise as well. This trail was very beautiful, however I was disappointed on the trail conditions due to the amount of horses that are taken on the trail especially right after heavy rain fall. Not to mention there is horse crap everywhere.

hiking
3 months ago

Did loop clockwise. Trail wet in places with recent rain but not problems. Grade is very moderate and gradual in all sections except perhaps descent on last section of black Mesa to intersection and flats at the turn. Beautiful views of weaver. Needle coming and going. Flowers better on lost Dutchman. Cactus better on black Mesa. Stream crossings (lots) no issues.

Fun Saturday morning hike! The Black Mesa portion of the trail is not super busy and I don’t remember seeing anyone else on it. It’s not a strenuous hike but it is rocky. Trekking poles were helpful. Great overnight camp sites can be found at mile 3 and 4.2.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

Beautiful views, and spring flowers are starting to pop! Lots of small running creeks that were easy to pass on foot but the trails were dry.

hiking
muddy
off trail
4 months ago

It was a great trail, with a great view of Weaver's Needle. We crossed many creeks, with flowing water, and we crossed a dry river. I hiked 11.5 miles, because we took another trail, Garden Valley. There were lots of cholla, and lots of mud.

backpacking
4 months ago

Did this loop in early March. Was a great beginner backpacking trip for my friend who had never gone before. Goin clockwise is slightly easier in my opinion. We camped at the intersection of Dutchman and Black Mesa trails where the creek was still flowing and the terrain flattens out a bit. It's a popular route so you shouldn't have any issues with the trails. During the creek crossing just keep an eye for the rock cairns.

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

Black Mesa Trail Length : 9.6 miles (16km) Hike type: Loop Elevation gain: 1079 ft (326m) Rating: moderate Location: From 1st Water TH take 2nd Water Trail to Black Mesa Trail, head back on Dutchman Trail Approximate 5 hour hike

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