Dutchman and Bluff Springs Loop [CLOSED]

MODERATE 196 reviews
#8 of 64 trails in

Dutchman and Bluff Springs Loop [CLOSED] is a 9.5 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: 9.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,505 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

bird watching

cave

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

closed

Note: Majority of the trails located in Superstition Wilderness is now CLOSED due to the fires. Please check with the park page for more information and updates. This trail starts at the Peralta Trailhead on the south side of the Superstition Wilderness.

hiking
closed
29 days ago

Woodbury Fire. Trail and Peralta trailhead are closed for fire response. 6/18/2019

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail! Only saw three sets of people on a gorgeous Mother’s Day (high of only 83). Beautiful rock formations and trail was easy to follow.

Great trail! Amazing views. Recommend doing clockwise and go bluff springs and then merge onto Dutchman!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Want the "Easier, softer way"?, go counter clockwise (Dutchman first). Going clockwise, you start up "cardiac hill", as the locals call it. For me, it truly is a "moderate" hike. I started at 6:30 in the morning. Took me 6 hours, but I'm an old man from Florida - plus I took my time! Bring a hat, sunscreen and lots of water. The trail was well marked, though I did question whether I was going the right way walking up the creek bed. Just keep going, you will see the trail start up again. Two footnotes, besides one facial tissue that obviously fell out of someones pocket, I saw zero trash. I did lose my (back up) hat, but thankfully a fellow hiker found it (thanks Gary & Kim). Cant wait to get back to this area again.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail with surprising solitude. Despite 6-7 parties at the trailhead, I saw just one other pair of hikers the whole loop. I hiked it counterclockwise.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Beautiful hike. No one on the trail until the end. Very rocky but if you have hiking shoes/boots it’s not bad. Cactus were blooming and wildflowers were out. So pretty!!

hiking
3 months ago

I recommend this loop as a great way to get to experience a taste of all the superstitions have to offer. Incredibly beautiful wild flowers, Mountain View’s and dramatic canyons. I recommend going counterclockwise.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Loved the great views. Wish there were trail markings though.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

I loved this trail! Every turn was a different view and change in vegetation. Not crowded and with so much water!

Every mile of this hike is gorgeous! Not too strenuous.

hiking
4 months ago

2-Day /1-Night Backpacking Trip (Fri, March 8-Sat, March 9) 2 adults /1 dog (40-ish lb. terrier) We completed the loop counter-clockwise, beginning on Dutchman Trail 104. The ascent was noticeable but not too strenuous. The weather was high-50s/low 60s and slightly foggy-- pretty perfect for backpacking. When we reached Crystal Springs (before Bluff Springs,) the water source there was pretty dry and stagnant. We hit Bluff Springs at about 5.5-5.75 miles. Since we were hiking in shortly after rainfall, Bluff Springs was a reliable source of water. The camping spots near Bluff Springs are generally nice; we chose one with an expansive view of the open sky, and were treated to a pretty sunset and some stars. We hiked out on Saturday, March 9th. It took about 3.6 miles to complete the loop. The descent was rocky at times, so it was slow-going in some parts. We didn't have trekking poles and completed the loop successfully without them, but definitely saw some folks climbing up with them. Overall: great winter backpacking trip; enjoyable for the pups; helpful ranger at the trailhead, sometimes; while not completely reliable, Bluff Springs should have some water post-rain.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Peaceful, secluded loop. I went counter-clockwise and was happy with to get the climb to the saddle over with at the beginning. Very green, with wild flowers all around, flowing water. Birds and bees (not aggressive) abound. The hike was like a walk through all of the most magnificent Western movie vistas and pans.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

careful with the water/streams at this time. Cairns are helpful, however water is high and markers are missing. give yourself plenty of time to complete the loop. Bring a headlamp just in case you run a little late.

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome hiking experience. I did it clockwise, be ready to get wet as all the snow started to melt. My GSD LOVED it! I went on the trial at about 2:30pm and made it out right after dark at about 7pm, did spend a lot of time taking photos, I’d say it is a good 4 hours hike. Got to see the beautiful sunset though. Definitely will go back sometimes.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice hike.

hiking
5 months ago

We have done this trail both clockwise then counter - Clockwise gets the ascent taken care off right away where Counter has you making a more gradual but longer climb out past miners needle. Both trips it was lightly trafficked - as of March they haven't charged for parking at the trailhead. An improvement over Tonto or other trailheads.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike, loved the variety of terrain, plant and wildlife. This is a long loop so bring plenty of water and snacks. Did this hike with 2 friends all in our late 50's and in decent shape. Fairly well marked but the cairns came in handy especially when crossing streams. Saw a 2 horse , 1 donkey and 1 dog group and saw their tracks the whole 10 miles, we were amazed that those animals could traverse that whole trail. But then again 3 old guys from New Jersey did it!

hiking
5 months ago

A friend and I started this trail at 220pm knowing the sunset was due at 545. Best decision ever! It was pretty challenging as this is actually around 10.5 miles. The views were sooo worth it and if you’re able to catch the sunset it was one of the best I’ve ever seen. There was about 4 ascents/descents if I can recall. Definitely give yourself enough time to do this if you’re not s fast hiker and bring plenty of snacks and water! 100/10 would recommend

hiking
5 months ago

The flowers are blooming and the whole trail is very lush right now (Jan 26). We recorded it as 9.1 miles. Took 4.5 hours including a lot of stops for pics and snacks. It's pretty easy overall, with moderate inclines over the first 3 miles, then mostly level trail, then steady downhill, going the clockwise route. The views are amazing during the first 3 miles and last 4, with the 2 miles in the middle a little dreary. A number of cool unique rock formations. The stream is low right now, but still pretty, and there were at least 8 stream crossings. Overall a fun Sumday afternoon.

hiking
5 months ago

I would recommend this trail to intermediate or advanced hikers. It has beautiful views in the last part. Pretty tough train in the middle and the end. It takes along time to get to the hard part going counter clockwise. I recommend going clockwise

hiking
5 months ago

This trail is a beautiful way to see what the Superstition Mountains are all about! I chose the clockwise route. The first mile or so is pretty challenging as it is a steep, rocky climb to the summit of a windswept ridge that provides an awesome vista. The desert was very lush and the photo opportunities were numerous along most of the route. You will end up crossing the creek 7-10 times, but the water level was low enough to not be an issue with getting the feet wet. Thanks to the various cairns along the way, especially while crisscrossing the stream bed, following the trail was very easy. The trail has many areas that contain loose, softball-size rocks, so it is necessary to be very careful while climbing or descending. I saw several large javelinas near the trail. They were very husky and I was surprised how big they were compared to the ones I have seen around town in the development near me. Completed the entire 9.4 mile loop in just under 4 hours. Stopped about 10 min for a snack and took many pictures along the way. I would rate this hike about a 6.5/10 for difficulty level. Pretty challenging, but nothing the majority of people in halfway decent shape should be able to handle. Saw several hikers in their 70’s doing quite well on this trail.

5 months ago

Awesome trail , definitely recommend clockwise as the hardest incline is right at beginning then smooth sailing. Overall not a super difficult trail except for first 30 minutes, however the distance got to me at the end. Very rocky and wears you out after awhile. The springs and creeks were awesome and my dog loved this trail.

hiking
6 months ago

READ before you take this trip This was an incredible hike. Only saw 2 other people the entire trip. The only complaints and advise I have is: - the road to the parking for the hike is dirt road. We went after it rained and it was a little challenging with a car. Suggest a truck or Jeep. It’s a long drive from the main road. My car made it fine but it was a lot slower than if I was in a bigger off road vehicle. - the hike is NOT 8.6 miles. We followed it to a tee (this app was amazing and it recorded everything) it was 10.3 miles long! Thank goodness we took snacks and plenty of water. (Pack accordingly) better to have more than enough then not enough) - stop and enjoy the sights!! It was beautiful! We went clockwise (and so happy we did!) the hardest part was at the beginning but once you get over the first mountain to the bottom the running water was beautiful and so relaxing. We sat there for 30 min listening to the water run and the birds chirp and took our first break. - the rest of the trip was great. Lots of up and downhill. But nothing too hard. There are a few places where you need to watch your footing because of the drop (small trail) - Stop for breaks and bring snacks as this is a long one. NOT recommended for hot weather. The sun was out and at times made it hard (it beats down on you) not a lot of coverage. But since the weather was so nice, the breeze made it tolerable. Wear good sunblock! Even though it was breezy and cool we got a good redness from the day. Cloudy days seem to burn more lol. I hike often but this by far was the longest one I’ve been on. I’m not in the best shape and still was able to do this one. A little harder at times but definitely, if you have the stamina do it! My daughter (18) came with me and she has only hiked ( more like walked ) once in her life. It was hard towards the end to get to the finish. But definitely doable. I would say between moderate and hard. Because the length and the climbs. Be prepared for over a 10 mile hike for this one. I will try to attach my map so you can see. The record on the map was spot on and so helpful. There are only 2 places along the journey that it is hard to find the connecting trail, the map helped when we zoomed in and were trying to figure the direction. Otherwise it is easy to know where to go. It is not marked well at all and easy to get lost so make sure to look at your phone often. *********I took a charging case and a backup mophie charger for my iPhone. Thank goodness or I would have run out of battery. The app runs constantly and drains the battery. we would still be in the mountains if it wasn’t for the app! ******* We are definitely sore today. Mainly calves, but feels great to accomplish this one! Enjoy your trip!

backpacking
6 months ago

Really enjoyed this loop. I camped a little past the intersection with Terrapin Trail and had a great view of Weaver's Needle for sunrise. I hiked it clockwise, there was some decent elevation gain in the first mile or two, but after that it wasn't too strenuous. Pay close attention at the intersection with Whiskey Spring Trail, I missed it and started hiking up the wrong trail. Gorgeous views, highly recommend! I wrote a blog post with more pictures/detail https://www.backpacktheplanet.com/blog/weekend-getaway-to-arizona

6 months ago

such a beautiful trail.. caught a beautiful sunset on the way back

hiking
7 months ago

Started Clockwise....ended up all over the place as not marked well at all.....but what a beautiful adventurous hike it was!

8 months 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.

Load More

Featured Trails