Superstition Wilderness Loop

MODERATE 10 reviews
#40 of 120 trails in

Superstition Wilderness Loop is a 17.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Youngberg, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

17.7 miles
1,879 feet

dog friendly



wild flowers


no shade

A quick one night trip to the Superstition Wilderness near Phoenix AZ. Start at the First Water trailhead. The trailhead has ample parking but is heavily used so get there early. The Charlebols spring is a reliable water source during certain parts of the year. This route takes the Dutchmans trail, avoiding Bull Pass. You get great views of weaver's needle for most of this portion if the Dutchman trail. This portion of the trail is fairly easy with no major steep portions.

2 months ago

Done this 2x now as a backpacking practice run for the Grand Canyon.

Honestly, if you’re not backpacking and not doing it in the heat of the day - I’d imagine it would be pretty easy.

The river/rock crossings are kinda cool the first time you do them - but they get pretty old.

Essentially no sun protection.
Very little/super sketchy water holes.

But only a very few inclines.
You can go hours and hours without seeing anyone here.

A good practice run for folks who are trying to get their distances up. But, nothing to write home about.

11 months ago

I've completed this loop twice counter clock wise once and in March and May 2017 and would have to say the best way to go ending in the easiest/prettiest part of the trail. I've completed the AT 2016 and lots of trails in Arizona. Dessert backpacking is hard regardless and you have to be smart! That said I've packed 6lts first time no need maybe this time of year. I would say the hardest part of this trail is about mile 8 or 10 when you hit a dry river bed. I couldn't find the trail that route scout had so I found a trail that was marked with stacked stones on the right hand side going up the hill. This part of the trail is over grown with hidden cacti in bushes (Voice Over: “Then it felt like something just jumped up and bit me.”) to the shins. It was some of the coolest valley views all the way to coffee flats. Fyi no were to camp till you hit the stream 3 or 4 miles after the river bed. Distance from the spring before that is 7 to 8 miles if you want a good water source but you can find water puddles along the way. All along coffee flats you can find come good camping the the spring if you look.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This is our first backpacking overnight trip and I do agree with the Moderate rating. Views are fantastic! We actually ended up completing a figure 8 loop trail so this review does not include Calvary Trail and Boulder Canyon. We parked at First Water TH > Dutchman Trail > Bull Pass (should have read the previous review, because it is difficult due to elevation gain so I recommend not taking this trail unless of course you prefer a challenge :) > camped east of White Rock Springs > Back on Dutchman Trail > Black Mesa Trail > Second Water. We did carry all of our water but there were a couple spot which we could have filtered (we also checked water report on but being out backpacking first time we didn't want to risk). We completed this backpacking in April. Also saw two gila monsters near White Rock Spring area!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

This was a really great trail that is a combination of portions of the Second Water, Boulder Canyon, Calvary, and Lost Dutchman trails. I went counterclockwise on the trail and I really enjoyed the Second Water and Boulder Canyon trails. The Calvary Trail portion was a little difficult because you are going up the canyon and I was doing that portion by the middle of the day. Instead of taking Lost Dutchman's Trail all the way through on the bottom portion, I actually did take Bull Pass which was difficult because it is a steeper downhill hike. I ended up sleeping at the foot of Palomino mountain. It was a beautiful night to compliment a beautiful day. Plenty of stream crossing where you can fill up (if you have a water filter) and if you get tired/injured there are a few shorter trails you can take. There was a ranger at the beginning (Ryan) and he was very kind (I got to the parking lot early, get there early or you will have to park somewhere else). You will occasionally see another person on the trail, especially as you get within 3 miles of the parking lot as it seems to be a popular place to hike. I went in March so the weather was great, but I can see it getting hotter in the summer and the springs being less dependable.

5 months ago

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Sunday, May 05, 2013