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Second Water and Garden Valley Loop

MODERATE 136 reviews
#13 of 64 trails in

Second Water and Garden Valley Loop is a 5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Apache Junction, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 570 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

This trail is now an official, maintained trail with adequate signage up to the Hackberry Spring turnoff. After the Hackberry Springs section of this hike (going counterclockwise) there is no signage and few trail markings. Do not hike here when there is a risk of flash flooding.

hiking
9 days ago

I went at 5 a.m. and immediately stepped off the trail for about five hundred yards, doubled back, found the trail and continued on. I went one week after the monsoon so a lot of the trail was washed out/is a wash, but I followed footsteps and left as many markers as I could. definitely a moderate Trail, not good for anyone under 8 years old. I believe I went counter-clockwise, South to North which kept me in the shade as the sun came up for most of the hike.I would highly suggest this if you go early in the morning so that you stay in the shade most of the time.

I love this trail!! However, if you the the second water and garden loop, then watch out for the bee hive. I got stung (and chased by the bees).

hiking
5 months ago

Really nice way to see desert life and formations. Pretty easy trail other than 5 miles.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 months ago

This trail is not a loop. Second water starts at Dutchman trail and stops at Boulder Canyon. We did an out and back which required climbing out of the Second water canyon. Very scenic in good shape but rocky. Total was almost 7 miles.

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Took this trail on March 29, counterclockwise. It was a beautiful day with light foot and horse traffic. The wildflowers are still in good shape but not for long as most are drying out. Garden Valley was stunning with plenty of flowing water and high green grass. From Garden Valley back towards the trailhead the trail is difficult to follow for about a mile as it winds through the canyon, so use the App to stay on course.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Nice trail a little rocky at times but not difficult. Watch the app as trail marker is not name correctly. Travel save.

Absolutely incredible! Lots of water from the recent storms.

hiking
muddy
7 months ago

Beautiful day, lots of rain recently made for some thick, deep mud. My friend’s boot actually got sucked into the mud and pulled off his foot, we had to turn around. But I will be back!

hiking
8 months ago

This is going to become a favorite for sure! Some loose rocks from time to time but it was worth it.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

Fun hike, the only part you have to watch out for is walking through the river bed. Make sure to follow the cairns. I had AllTrails pro which helped a lot. I would stay away from this hike if there is a possibility of flash flooding though. You are trapped in a few valleys on a semi dry riverbed.

hiking
8 months ago

I have done this hike 2 times in the last 3 weeks. Once with a friend and another with my daughter. Love the hike and love seeing the spring. What is am really disgusted about is the amount of dog feces that people are leaving on the trail. it is gross when you have step over piles of dog mess. Come on people. Easy to carry a bag and clean it up. I am not against dogs on the trail, only irresponsible dog owners.

hiking
8 months ago

Felt really out in the wilderness on this one, Scenery was great. Not a difficult hike and did not have any problems following the trail, of course this app made it easier. Canyon and Mesa hiking was cool.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice path, not to challenging. Great views the whole trail, very diverse landscape. Paths are decently well kept, road out is a bit rough but worth it.. can be done in under 2 hours for a nice sunset or Sunrise hike

10 months ago

nice hike and trail & beautiful scenery, however, trail is not marked very good so download and follow the map. we ended up on boulder canyon trail at canyon lake 12 miles later....

hiking
10 months ago

This trail is now an official, maintained trail with adequate signage up to the Hackberry Spring turnoff. After the Hackberry Springs section of this hike (going counterclockwise) there is no signage and few trail markings. The Alltrails App was of great benefit! The hike itself was beautiful; changing scenery at every turn. Would definitely do it again!

hiking
Monday, April 02, 2018

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

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

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
Sunday, February 25, 2018

hiking
Friday, February 23, 2018

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
Monday, February 19, 2018

Beautiful hike. The biggest challenge is staying on the trail, but using the alltrails app with the phone's GPS made that relatively easy.

hiking
Friday, February 16, 2018

We couldn’t find any markings for this trail and ended up on Black Mesa. My AllTrails App didn’t work after the 1st mile so we had no way of knowing where we were so after 2.2 miles we decided to turn back. I gave it an extra star because it is beautiful but I’d stick to 2nd Water or Hackberry if you aren’t really experienced in the area.

hiking
Friday, February 02, 2018

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

hiking
Saturday, December 16, 2017

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
Sunday, December 03, 2017

The trail is not marked well but mostly due to part of the trail being on private land. Stick with your All trails app, and utelize your map. Garden Valley trail ends and you are actually on Hackberry Mesa trail. That will lead you back to the overflow parking lot and you can easily walk back to the main lot. Even though the trail is a little confusing, it is so beautiful and worth the hassle. The ranger said they will be working on marking the trail better this coming year.

hiking
Friday, December 01, 2017

Fun Trail & scenic

hiking
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fantastic trail! I would definitely rate it moderate, not easy. This is not an official park trail, so parts are a bit tough to follow. Just be sure to have your phone charged and GPS tracking in AllTrails. Enjoy!

Friday, November 10, 2017

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

hiking
Saturday, October 28, 2017

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

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