Second Water and Garden Valley Loop

MODERATE 57 reviews
#20 of 120 trails in

Second Water and Garden Valley Loop is a 5.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Apache Junction, Arizona that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
672 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

walking

views

wildlife

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is not marked at all, make sure you know where you are going, we used AllTrails maps and they worked great. We went counterclockwise and there is very little shade at the end, so if you want shade at the end make sure you go clockwise. We didn’t see much wildlife but we did see some toads on the trail

3 months ago

nice hike. great views of canyons and mountains. just the right amount of challenge without being easy. only criticism is lack of signage. numerous intersections without signs. without this app we would not have been comfortable with our decisions. app worked grwat though.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike with a lot of variety with canyons, vistas, creeks and mesas. Loved it. Be warned, there are no trail markings calling for Garden Valley. The ranger called it Huckleberry. Signage points to First Water. When you leave the parking lot bear left at the first crossing heading toward first water. You will go a ways dropping down in a valley and up the other side. When you come to the second crossing pointing to Black Mesa continue to the left. You will then cross a flat mesa. The trail splits on the mesa, just go straight. The left fork only circles back on the other side of the mesa. At the edge of the mesa, the trail drops sharply off into a canyon and eventual creek bed with some standing water. You will be able to see an abandoned corral and trail going up the other side of the canyon. Once to the corral just follow the old rock roadbed back to the main road which leads you back to the parking area. Not a sign anywhere regarding Garden Valley and the trail is not marked on the forest map posted at the parking area. One final thing, the ranger advised us that at the Mesa Trail crossing there is a small knoll to the left that has old Indian grinding pits on top. Worth the visit up the knoll to locate them.

hiking
4 months ago

absolutely stunning hike with something new around every corner. somewhat easy rather than moderate though.

hiking
6 months ago

This trail has a lot of variety, beautiful vistas and impressive canyons. We really enjoyed it. The trail is not marked so make sure to keep directions with you. We made a few wrong turns here and there. We did not run into many folks out there, so don’t get lost.

hiking
6 months ago

Fun Trail & scenic

7 months ago

Amazing views!! Breathtaking! I wouldn't rate this one moderate though, it's fairly easy. Will definitely do this one again!

hiking
7 months ago

Good hike lots to explore along the way in the washes and canyons, some steep sections but nothing too bad.

hiking
8 months ago

Gorgeous hike! We took the advice of some online comments and did this hike clockwise, but would definately do it counter clockwise the next time so we near the end of our hike in the beautiful, cool, canyon creek bed where we can take a break and have brunch. Either way I feel is about the same amount of difficulty (which is almost none). The only hard part for us was staying on the trail at some parts where people have gone off, but using the map provided here as a guide helped us at least stay close enough to follow where we needed to go. 10/10 would recommend and do again.

hiking
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Most beautiful trail I've been on!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

best part is Hackberry spring. super cool water oasis in desert.
requires a bit of route finding

hiking
Sunday, April 09, 2017

We loved this hike! It was easy, beautiful and relaxing. You can read about the hike in full detail here:
http://thetrailsofjeffandcharli.blogspot.com/2017/04/garden-valley-trail-tortilla-flat-az.html

AND... we were 2 of the people that Marti ran into that day (see her comment below! What a fun coincidence to read her comments here!

Monday, April 03, 2017

What a perfect hike! Everything is so green. The weather was amazing. We met a few other hikers, but it wasn't overcrowded like many other trails are on the weekends. Trail is a good variation of different terrains. We brought the dog and she had an awesome time, particularly splashing in the creek. We even saw a gila monster. Our only complaint is that the trail isn't marked well--we accidentally took a couple of detours, but we enjoyed the bonus miles!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Trail a little hard to follow. Easy when it's on Second water, but around the springs difficult. Beautiful place to rest in shade by springs and the flat garden area on the loop is restful. Take lots of water to stay hydrated.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What an awesome hike and so green and beautiful right now. The running water was so nice to hear. Not hard at all until the uphill climb at the end (we went counter clockwise) But nothing too strenuous. Absolutely loved this trail. Will be bringing whole family back!

hiking
Monday, January 09, 2017

Nice easy going hike. Great way to spend a January morning. Only took about two hours, we didn't really stop anywhere. Some spots were a little technical and you have to walk up the road at the end a little bit. We went early enough that there weren't many people out yet but by 10:00 the parking area was full of cars.

hiking
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Was lucky to do this trail the first time with a group who was very familiar with it.
Would definitely rate this Moderate due to quite a bit of rocky areas (small and large).
End of the trail can be done a few different ways, and can be VERY tricky to stay on the trail.
Beautiful and diverse hike, all sorts of terrain and views- amazing how many different types of ground you cover in just the 5 miles.
Getting to the trailhead is doable in a passenger car (don't be worried by the dirt road and bumps, I made it fine in an Elantra Coupe).
Not even enough cell reception to check in at the trailhead (or on the hike) so keep this in mind and make sure to have maps printed out beforehand
If you get the chance to do this with others who know it, jump at the chance!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Amazing hike. Beautiful scenery. Need to be expert wayfinder at the end of the hike

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nice hike but really hard to find the trail in a few places. Can't beat the views.

hiking
Thursday, November 24, 2016

Great hike!

Monday, November 02, 2015

Excellent loop trip, trail conditions and history.

hiking
2 months ago

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3 months ago

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