Explore the most popular trails near Apache Junction with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.




dogs on leash

wild flowers

nature trips


trail running

kid friendly


mountain biking

horseback riding

Apache Junction, Arizona Map

Tips to the hiker:
- hike early. The mountain gives a good shadow to hike in if you’re out there early.
- bring lots of water and snacks.
-take a friend (or at least have someone know you’re out there).
- gloves are handy for the way down as you climb down the rocks.
- hiking shoes are way better than running shoes

I consider myself to be pretty fit and an adventurous hiker... but this was a tough hike!! I loved it, but it challenged me more than almost any hike I’ve done. I saw multiple people who had turned around before the top because the terrain was rough. Lots of scaling up rocks and trying to keep balance on some loose gravel. Amazing hike, but be prepared to work! I did it in 4 hours (minus the 30 minutes I spent at the top).

It’s a tough one but well worth the journey. When the trail seems to dissipate look ahead and you’ll find it we learned the rule is to stay to the left going up when the path splits avoid the right

This would have been 4 stars if the cave was more spectacular or the trail had been less rocky and better marked.
I followed the path of least resistance without looking at my GPS coming down, and ended up taking a detour through the desert to get back to the trail.

This was an amazing hike! Views were great the entire way up and even better at the top! Would definitely do this one again!
The way down is a little tough due to all of the loose rock.

Amazing hike!! The view at the top makes the challenging hike up worth it. A few things to be mindful of: This is a very difficult hike! Trail markings are few and far between so be aware of your surroundings and be extra careful on your way down.

I hiked this trail today and found it very challenging. I'm not in the best shape and I'm apparently very scared of heights so i was terrified most of the time. Its absolutely beautiful and i loved every second of it. Bring a ton of water and some snacks. Good hiking shoes are a must or you'll be sliding on all the loose rocks. To put this in perspective, I went up the Echo Canyon trail of Camelback yesterday and the climb to Flatiron made that seem like a leisurely stroll. Totally worth it though.

Did this as a quick sunset hike. Cannot beat the views. Easy trail and quick for those in a time crunch. Small parking lot off to the left, easy to miss.

Nice trail close to home!

Great trail. We park off First Water road so the hike is 3.5 miles from there. I bring my dogs and it’s a great hike for them, even my 11 year old Lab can make it..with some breaks of course.

This was such an amazing experience! It was a little tougher than I had anticipated but definitely worth it! Took us 2.5 hours to get up... make sure you are using this app and gps, as some spots were hard to tell if we were on the trail. Also the white marks on the rocks helped! Get started early in the day as it gets hot when the sun comes over the mountain.

3 hours and 20 minutes round trip. Bring plenty of water as the temps are starting to climb and you’ll definitely wish you had it. The trail is easy to follow, just look for the white or blue dots, stay to the left on the way up or fall in behind a group. There’s definitely some scrambling but nothing too wild. Wear real trail runners or hiking shoes/boots as you’ll need the traction. I saw several hikers with regular running shoes that were slipping and sliding all over the place ;). This hike is definitely worth the effort, I’ll be back soon.

Very strenuous hike that can easily take alot longer with a wrong turn on the path. The path is not maintained and markers are sometimes hard to find. Take trek poles if you have them. They help alot on the way down. Alot of climbing involved on the way up, but the pay off is worth it. Beautiful view of all of Mesa/Phoenix area.

This is a very challenging hike, both up and down, for anyone who normally does moderate hikes and it being a first time! Go slow! Bring lots of water, trail mix, and electrolytes even for a early AM hike. Recommend gloves as you’re scaling boulders; using your hands to climb. And, be prepared to be on your butt a few times on the way down! Yet, what an accomplishment when you reach the top and the views are spectacular! My thighs were burning after the hike and very sore the next day! It’s worth it yet, for me, once was enough!

This is a pleasant hike with great views from the top. The trail is easy to follow all the way to the top and well marked at the bottom in amongst the campgrounds where it’d be easy to get lost.

Access is very easy and the rangers give some handy advice. Arrive early to avoid the heat and the crowds - especially at the weekend!

The scrambling is much commented on, but is still well within the expected remit of an experienced hiker. Taking your time and using your core & balance there are few real ‘climbing’ moves that get in your way... unless you want them to when looking for some fun. A beginner / someone not confident on their feet on steep ground may disagree!

I extended this route back onto the Superstition Ridgeline Trail and did a ‘there and back’ to one of the further tops. It made for ~25km hike. You don’t have to go that far to escape the crowds and be well rewarded for your efforts though!

The best views anywhere in the Phoenix Valley (yes, even better than Camelback, Piestwa Peak, and the Holbert Trail to Dobbins lookout in South Mountain), but you certainly pay the price to get all the way up to 4,860 ft. to the top. A few connected thoughts:
1. Hiking shoes/boots only. This trail is far too intense and rugged for cross-trainers and/or running shoes
2. Bring a minimum of three large bottles of water. I brought two and ran out about halfway down. This was also when the weather was an unseasonably cool 78 degrees in Mid-April. If you're doing this anytime from May-October, plan on bringing at least three bottles per person.
3. Bring food! Even with such a difficult ascent, I struggled more going down because of the intricate climbing required and spotty footing. You'll definitely want to refuel before going back down.
4. The park rangers will advertise this as a 5-6 hour hike. That's mostly accurate, but experienced, prepared hikers and those in excellent shape can do it much faster. I'd consider myself a pretty experienced hiker (but only in decent shape at best) and I did it in 3:55 (1:40 up, 30 minutes to relax and refuel at the top, then 1:50 back down). I know many who have done it in less than 3:30. However, anyone going for their first time should take it a bit slower. I recommend water/rest breaks right before the "white rock climb," right after, and at least once before you get to the "wall." Probably the same going back down.
Describing the hike:
- The opening ascent is much easier compared to the back half of the climb. However, it is deceptively difficult as you reach arguably the most arduous section: the "white rock climb." You are close to going straight up without any trees or much grip for help. It is really easy to lose balance, so definitely take this slow.
- After you climb over the edge to finish the white rock climb, you'll face a fork. Go right from there.
- Other commenters are right that the white and blue dots help you stay on track, and that staying to the left is important. I've seen several hikers stay right and end up going to the false summit about 2/3 the way up thinking they've finished. The easiest way to avoid this fate is to stay in the "crevice" of the canyon on the way up. Most of the time that means staying left, but at times it means going right. Staying in the crevice and keeping flatiron peak clearly on your right is the best way to stay on track.
- Once you reach the "wall" you have three options. Climb up the face on the right or left, or go far to the left and go around the main tree. I highly recommend the latter. Those of you with much better upper body strength than me can make the climb without too much of an issue, but after roughly 2 hours of intense climbing that requires a full-body workout, going to the left is probably most desirable. From there, it's an easy 5-minute cakewalk to the best views of the Valley!
- Make sure to find markers to remind yourself the route you took on the wall when going back down. The first time I did this hike I forgot where I ascended up and ended up going way too far to the left.

*Don't be deterred, this hike is difficult but immensely rewarding!

Trail is easily marked. Views at the top are worth it! Would rate this trail easy - moderate, definitely not hard!

11 days ago

Awesome hike. closer to 12 miles not 11.5 not that it makes a huge difference. Once you hit the ridge it's a bit of choose your own adventure of going boulder hoping or staying low on dirt.

Great view from the saddle!

We started on the trail around 6am and it took us roughly 3 hours to complete the accent to flatiron, as we took our time and didn’t want to rush or exhaust ourselves. Going up was a blast which included a wide array of terrain and obstacles such as basins, twisty paths, and plenty of bouldering to keep us motivated. Lots of shade in the mornings and early afternoons so it did get a little cold due to it being breezy and us being sweaty. We were happy to see the sun once we reached the top of the canyon and made our way onto the flat iron. The views were amazing. We had some snacks and noticed 3 different species of small squirrel like rodents all around us. This was one of our favorite things about our trip. They were so fun to watch and we shared our nuts and seeds with them. We took about an hour nap on the flat iron only waking up when the small mischievous rodents would try and steal our snacks right from our sides.
The wind started to pick up very heavily and we noticed far in the distance huge dust clouds. So obviously a dust storm was coming our way. We still continued to explore and walked around the trails that covered the circumference of the top of superstition mountain. My fiancée decided she wanted another nap and I continued to find the summit of superstition which rewarded me with 360 degree views. I highly recommend finding a trail up.
Seeing other people was few and far between so that was an absolute plus! We felt as though we were completely alone most of the time.
Now the descent was a different story and was a little rough. It took us much longer than expected but only because the dust storm had picked up so much that it was literally blowing us over and getting dust, rock, and sand in our eyes, mouths, and nasal cavities. Our visibility reduced drastically so once again we had to just take our time. We wrapped our towels around our faces and that helped a good bit. This is obviously not a common occurrence so I would not hold a dust storm against how lovely this trail is.
Also, just be weary of loose gravel, it is plentiful throughout the trail and can lead to scrapes and slides. I also recommend gloves, they helped a ton coming down.
A lot of people comment about finding the “right” trails, but the truth is there are many routes up and down and no wrong or right way, just do what you’re comfortable doing and you’ll have fun. Chances are you won’t take the same way down as you went up anyways.
Overall, it was long, tough, and dirty, but worth every minute!

This is a gorgeous hike!!! There were hardly any other people out when I went, so it was a very nice experience. The view of weavers needle is superb. The desert is just glorious in these parts. I couldn’t stop taking photos. Oh, and I saw a collared lizard right off of the trail! I wouldn’t rate this trail as difficult though- more like moderate. But that doesn’t matter- highly recommend!

This hike, as well as others in the Superstitions, really showcases the most beautiful, epic parts of the Sonoran Desert. The hike itself was a challenge both up and down. I was on my ass at parts coming back down because it’s so steep and slippery. Gloves would have been nice, got a few nice cuts from doing that. The only issue with this hike is it’s very easy to lose the trail. Says it’s supposed to be marked with blue dots, and it is, but a lot of them are faded and they are few and far between. Hug the mountain to the left as you go up as best as you can or you’re gonna end up on some very sketchy parts where the rocks are tiny and slippery. Somehow, despite my efforts at staying left, I still lost the trail a few times. But the view at the top is incredible and worth the intensity!

Views are worth every step! Would definitely recommend starting this hike early to avoid being in the sun as much as possible.

There are an infinite amount of combinations for getting up to the flatiron once you're in the canyon. If you are used to Easy/Moderate trails, be aware that this trail isn't as clearly marked and heavily open to interpretation at numerous points. White markings on rocks helped us identify the more utilized routes, but after reviewing my GPS post-hike, we took a completely different way down than the route we went up. Which according to a couple of different parties who do this hike somewhat regularly, that is completely normal.

Additional side note for those used to Easy/Moderate trails: be aware that this trail entails a fair amount of rock climbing/scrambling up loose rock. Now, in my mind, rock climbing is more along the lines of using rope and hanging on for dear life on the edge of cliffs. That's not what this is. Think of this "rock climbing" as more of continuously using all four limbs to hoist yourself up shelf-like boulders, and needing your arms frequently to maintain balance over loose rock. It's really not as difficult/daunting as people made it sound...the reason (I believe) that it can become challenging is the length/duration in which you must continuously overcome these obstacles to continue ascending, AND doing this entire process in reverse when you are starting to lose steam. That said, I wouldn't recommend this trail if you were wanting to JUST use your legs.

We made it up to the flatiron in about 1hr 50mins, stopped off at the flatiron for a bit, and then ascended another 500ft or so to the point above flatiron. If you want those extra views, I would highly recommend the extra work. From this point, you can see Weaver's Needle off in the distance, and have an incredible overall 360 view all around. That said, be aware that there really aren't any definitive paths leading up to this peak, and will require some creativity.

Views are incredible, recommend putting in the extra effort to go above flatiron, would not recommend if you aren't up for using all 4 limbs and a half-day commitment.

16 days ago

Great hike - a few challenging spots. 6.5/10 on the “toughness” scale. Wouldn’t rate it as difficult.

16 days ago

A great hike to see some of best Arizona landscapes

Beautiful views. Great workout!

Challenging for SURE! only made it as far as the Siphon. The rock formation and the views are breathtaking! Satisfying journey!

Some incline at beginning then flattens out. Nice views.

Superstition Ridgeline Trail hike: How to describe this day hike...? Superlatives wouldn't convey the masochistic pleasure of the physical challenge. Chronicling the challenge would diminish the magnificence of this trail.

Respect to the real mountain climbers for whom this would be just another routine day. Very happy to have done it, but once is probably enough... unless a friend wants to try it and I happen to feel a bit sadistic.

Phone died five hours into the hike - and with it my AllTrails app. Total distance, end-to-end, with a short detour to Flatiron Summit (and a couple of wrong turns along the trail), came out to 20.4 Km, according to my Suunto watch.

A few pointers for first-timers: stay to the left, in the ravine, on the way up to Flatiron Summit. A few trails go off to the right but they lead nowhere. Be prepared for a long, arduous hike - and bring a lot of water. The hike isn't super long, but the elevation changes slow you down, especially on the way down to Carney Springs at the end of the hike.

Load More