Dutchman and Bluff Springs Loop is a 8.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gold Canyon, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until March. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,492 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

scramble

This trail starts at the Peralta Trailhead on the south side of the Superstition Wilderness.

8 days ago

Not my ideal type of hike, I went counter clockwise. The views were magnificent, trail was perfect. I prefer a hike up like the Peralta. At 2.5 miles I just turned around. Other than that it was absolutely beautiful, barely anyone on the trail only saw 5 people in a span of 3 hours.

Beautiful trail! Great views the entire way. Tons of flowing water views! Saw tarantula and snakes. Hardly anyone on the trail. Started at 6:30am and took a few hours to do the entire loop. I took lots of breaks for pics though so not sure how long this trail should really take. Great trail the entire time.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this trail yesterday, starting at 6:56 a.m. I highly recommend starting early to stay out of heat and for the gorgeous sunrise you encounter on the drive out. Starting early also let us see 2 deer and 1 wild boar. The first decision is whether to go counter-clockwise (CCW) or clock-wise (CW). If you go CCW you will have a gentler ascent , but a rocky, steep decent. If you go CW you will climb steeply , but your desent will be gentler. Which ever works best for your body is what you should do. I think the moderate rating is accurate, mostly due to length, not due to tecnicality. For either direction, you will find the following helpful: long pants or zip-offs, good boots or trail shoes, poles, water, snacks, sunscreen. For the rest of this I will comment on the CCW direction as that is what we did. CCW, you have a gentle incline on ascent with a good trail, and great views. About 1/2 way through you get to the streams. Around the streams you encounter knee-high grass which often obscures the trail. I would not step blindly onto the path without using a pole to beat around checking for rattlers as they were out yesterday. We encountered one who alerted us of his discontent. Also KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEASH so it does not get bit and just out of courtesy to others. Someone mentioned that this trail gets boring. We did not find that at all. Again about 4 miles in, the topography changes and you get more streams and a greater variety of vegetation, but that only last a little while then the awesome mountain views are back. This is also the same area where the grass has overgrown the trail so you need to be on vigilant snake alert. The cactus and ocotillo were all so pretty and lush. You will want your long pants here or you WILL end up with lots of scratches from the plants crowding the trail. The descent is steep and rocky so poles and good shoes/boots will be very helpful on the slippery scree. Going CCW, just remember to bear left. The trail is relatively easy to follow Sometimes you have to walk through a stream bed or cross a stream more than once to pick up the trail, watch for carins, but if you don't see them, just explore around close to the last known trail and you will spot it. Don't go off on a trail you aren't sure about without considering the options and using a little common sense. I'm not sure how people got so lost as some stated. We did use the All Trails app to confirm we were still on track a few times, but overall didn't think following the trail was hard. I feel the trail is a bit longer than stated, but unfortunatley forgot my watch so did not track it. My GPS said we had gone 324 miles...so apparently I forgot to reset that! LOL. My phone said 12.4 miles, but I know that isn't right. My hiking sense and the time said it felt more like 9 miles. We weren't trying to set any speed records, stopped for snacks a couple times, and took lots of pictures and we were on the trail about 5 1/2 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

I may have been slightly not ready for this trail but did it anyways. Took the suggestion of going clockwise and happy with the choice. The big Up was kinda brutal but didn’t slow me down much. The views on this trail are incredible. The creek beds were all flowing thanks to the recent rain and fun to romp around in. I took my time and came in just under 5 hours. Only passed about 12 people going opposite direction. Came out measuring 9.4 miles as well. This was my longest hike yet and I think I managed alright. NO SHADE THO almost got me. It was only 79 degrees when I finished but I got a pretty nasty burn. Cant wait to do again when cooler out!

1 month ago

Good morning hike! Had the trail all to ourselves

hiking
1 month ago

Did this loop counterclockwise, but will do it clockwise if I do it again. Started at 8:00 and completed it in 3.5 hours, and was 95 degrees when I got back to the car. Beautiful views, only saw 4 other people out there, trail was well marked. Cairns show the way when there were wash crossings, and signs were at every trail intersection.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
6 months ago

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!

6 months ago

loved! hoping this stays a secret, not many ppl on the trail. A little hard to navigate and long but worth it if you're looking to get away from all the noise of civilization =)

trail running
7 months ago

I highly recommend this loop. We started at 6 am in mid April and the temperatures were perfect. I ran the loop in shorts and my new balance street running shoes. After reading other reviews i chose to go counter clockwise and upon reaching the last half mile or so i am glad i did. It would have been very difficult to climb that last section and them finish the loop i think. Overall the trail was easy to follow, well designated, interspersed with technical and non technical sections, most of which was non technical. I run trails in the Houston TX area so take that to heart. I was able to finish this loop in about an hour and 45 minutes with and average pace of 11 min/mile. I run a lot, but nothing like this. The scenery was breathtaking and moving. Get there at sun up, start early, stop to take in the view from time to time, and enjoy a moderate technical trail with some great sections to fly through. I clocked the loop, counter clockwise, at 9.4 miles on my apple watch.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike. Low traffic. Not difficult. Is a must do.

hiking
8 months ago

Although this area is a bit far for me, I love exploring these trails whenever I can. Driving in, there is a long stretch of dirt that can get a bit rocky and then you eventually reach the parking lot. I usually try and get there before 8 or 9 and am able to snag a spot but when I leave it is typically packed. We started this hike going counter clockwise and I didn't personally think it was very tough although I could see it being a bit more challenging going clockwise. The views were really pretty especially during the last half where you got to see a ton of red/purple rocks in a canyon. The trail was easy to follow and we didn't have a hard time staying on track. It took us about 3.5 hours to finish and we were moving at a pretty average walking pace with a 20 minute break halfway through.

9 months ago

Black Mesa part was a bit rocky. Glad forest service told us to go counterclockwise on 104.

hiking
9 months ago

Quiet , low traffic , and pretty

hiking
9 months ago

Wow! What a great hike. Incredible scenery, the quintessential Superstitions experience. We talked to the park rangers before hand to clarify details about signs. If you are doing the loop - just stay left. When you get into the canyon look for the rocks the rangers placed as markers and you won't miss the trail. We went clockwise to avoid climbing up cardiac hill - the loose gravel and rocks were a bit annoying at the end of the trek but all in all this was a stunning 9.6 mile journey.

9 months ago

This is a rough hike and should be rated as hard. It's beautiful but you definitely feel it the next day.

hiking
9 months ago

Easy hike, the length is what will make it moderate. We went towards the 104 trail and ended by going through the 235 trail. The views are incredible throughout the hike. The 4.5 mike point at the peak of the hike is a great place to stop for lunch and enjoy the endless desert views.

hiking
10 months ago

This was a great trail. Great views of the superstition mountains, and pockets of water on the bottom of the trail near the creek bed. There are several nice campsites that we pass along the way. I brought about 3L of water and ran out at the end. We started at the Bluff Springs Loop trail, and looped around to the Dutchman trail. There are 2 turns
that are easy to miss, we had the alltrails map up so we found our way back. Hiked about 10.5 miles overall. Nice Challenge.

hiking
11 months ago

So hot. Pretty tough. Worth it.

backpacking
Monday, August 07, 2017

This is a hard trail no matter what the rating is. Rough trail with large loose rocks to overcome pretty much the whole trail. You also have to watch for rattlesnakes, which we encountered 2 on the trail. We went in early august so pretty hot. There were multiple natural water sources while we were there. Make sure you bring your gps or map because trail is not well marked and the trail signs are not stable in some places so weather could have moved them.

hiking
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

GPS tracked 10.5 miles not 8.9 miles. We traveled clockwise on the loop and almost missed the turn to the right were 235 turns into 104. Trail was fun and challenging but make sure to bring extra water as its a little longer than expected.

walking
Friday, May 26, 2017

I am an avid hiker and I'm not a fan of this trail at all. We ended up hiking 13.5 miles, since we missed a turn off due to poor signage. So we ended up hiking a few more miles than the 8.9 we were expecting. There were great views as we started out to the left but then not much after that. It's not a tough trail just very boring and with not much to look at. If you're looking for a long nature walk this is the perfect trail for you!

hiking
Monday, May 08, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I was out of shape, however, it wasn't too hard to complete. I'll definitely come back again.

hiking
Monday, March 27, 2017

Approximate time:
~ 90 minutes going up
~ 60 minutes coming down

This was one of the best hikes I have ever been to. Within the first minute into your hike, the ascend begins! Once on the top, it plateaus and the gorgeous view continues on both sides of your hike. The view of the valley on your right with Miner's Needle is amazing.

hiking
Friday, March 24, 2017

many beautiful flowers

hiking
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

great trail and easy to follow! challenging yet rewarding hike!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Beautiful and challenging!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Enjoyable hike! We'd recommend going clockwise--you start with a steep incline, have a rewarding view at the top, and go through a very steady decline for the rest of the loop. Needed more water--3L should be good for the winter months. Wish we'd caught some water in the washes--it would've made the hike perfect! Only "meh" was how stale the trail gets in the last few miles. We clocked in at around 9-10 miles.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Nice diversity in terrain throughout the hike. Didn't bring quite enough water (2L + 32 oz bottle). We went clockwise, which we'd advise--you start off with a moderate climb, and then it's easygoing from there.

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