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

The first thing to figure out with this trail is if you want a big up or big down. If you go clockwise you will get the big up first. If you go counterclockwise you get the big down last thing before you get back to your car.

The rest of this trail is really gradual and most of it is very easy going. I was even thinking this could be one of the better trails for trail running out there.

The flora and fauna for much of the route is in within riparian areas and is incredibly diverse. More than all that, this trail is absolutely beautiful from start to finish. This would be perfect for someone who has been building up endurance for a longer hike, but doesn't need 2000'+ elevation gains.

hiking
13 days ago

This is a challenging hike, all downhill thru the canyon, lots of bolder hopping. At the end of Roger's trough, where it meets Frog Tanks Trail #112 there are indian ruins up the hill (off trail to the NE) a short distance. And then it's 4 miles up hill 1200' all the way back to the car. Too old for this anymore!!! Last time I did it I was 72 and that was in 2011

An incredible hike for sure!
So much to see on your way up the Needle with plant of shady spots to take a mini break before continuing.
No Permit needed to go exploringout here, unless you're trying to squeeze in The Wave Cave, which you actually pass by on your way to The Peralta Trailhead.
Anyhow, bring some good sturdy shoes as the terrain can get quite rugged as you gain elevation.
The amazing needle view from Fremont Saddle is quite a reward after all that hiking!

As a senior, this trail was difficult because it was narrow in many places, rocky and not much shade. However the views are worth it especially when you reach the saddle and continue out to the overview of Weavers Needle. A bonus, the way back is mostly downhill. I have completed this trek about 5 times and now at 79, it's out of the question due to the lack of shade!!!

I liked it, but got a bit turned around towards the end. I think I kept going past the end of it by a few miles. Lots of nice rock formations to view.

off road driving
2 months ago

This place is perfect. Want an adventure? Go whatever direction you want! Want a warm up? Get comfortable? Drive the loop. Take about 3 hrs but makes a great day

Great views. Nice relaxing ride.

This trail is absolutely stunning! I couldn't stop looking around in awe. There are a few things that I would caution future hikers about: going counter clockwise, you start on Dutchman's but then after you cross a creek and see a sign for trail 235 (bluff springs?), you take that left, don't continue on Dutchman's.

Also both my my and my husband's phones read 12 miles when we finished (12.5 if you count our wrong turn) and going at a moderate pace it took 6.5 hours. Even on a relatively cool day (90 degrees as the high) with a steady breeze, we still ran out of water with about 20 minutes left, even after rationing while we hiked. We only saw one other couple the ENTIRE route, so getting hurt or running out of water would be very dangerous.

All that to say, as rough as we felt when we finished (we're used to 1-3 hour hikes) we still want to go again in the fall. It seriously was one of the most beautiful hikes!

Hiked up to Fremont Saddle with my wife to get the awesome view of Weavers Needle. Started out about 7:30 am to beat the heat and other hikers. Had the whole view up at the top to ourselves for about a half hr. Made our way back down about 9:30 and met the flood of other hikers making their way up. Very nice moderate hike. Path is wide open and easy to maneuver.

loved! hoping this stays a secret, not many ppl on the trail. A little hard to navigate and long but worth it if you're looking to get away from all the noise of civilization =)

Bring plenty of water, and even more in your 4x4. Start early as it's an all day affair, and bring friends!

Beautiful day spent in solitude. Went counterclockwise starting at 11am, and ran into 3 people coming the other way. Finished around 530. Stopped halfway for a 30 minute break.

Loved the changing scenery on this hike. Went from rolling hills, to a dry riverbed, up and over the trail to Peralta.

Hiked in late April, and thought I could get away with 2.5 to 3L of water. Ran out about 2 hours before the end of the trail, making it a real adventure! I would bring 4L for this hike in the future. That first taste of cold water from the gas station was refreshing to say the least.

Would absolutely come back to this location and try it clockwise next time.

First let’s start out that this is a great trail with lots of EVERYTHING you could look for in a trail. As the previous hike noted, past the saddle there IS NO trail, and barely any markers. And since no water was to be found except for some pools in the river canyon. Navigation thru the washes was very time consuming. Running low on water, I ended up loosing the trail at the SW boot trying to navigate the boulder canyon and needed to call 911 to get SAR to help me. The red line GPS on the AllTrails app was extremely unreliable after the saddle. You are on you own navigating and finding the trail to the west side loop trail. As the GPS line will tend to drift you away from the loop trail on the SW corner. Do yourself a favor and download and use the SAT layer map to find the trail again. THIS TRAIL IS NOT FOR UNEXPERIENCED HIKERS

Great, enjoyable hike! We would rate the moderate, however, highly recommend hikers be aware of their hiking ability. The hike is very remote and it would be difficult should anything unexpected happen.

The 19-mile drive was gorgeous but took over an hour. The hike was fantastic, gradual incline with a few steep inclines and declines. Make sure to bring more than enough water and snacks!

Overall a fantastic day and well worth for those who want to make the drive!

trail running
3 months ago

I highly recommend this loop. We started at 6 am in mid April and the temperatures were perfect. I ran the loop in shorts and my new balance street running shoes. After reading other reviews i chose to go counter clockwise and upon reaching the last half mile or so i am glad i did. It would have been very difficult to climb that last section and them finish the loop i think. Overall the trail was easy to follow, well designated, interspersed with technical and non technical sections, most of which was non technical. I run trails in the Houston TX area so take that to heart. I was able to finish this loop in about an hour and 45 minutes with and average pace of 11 min/mile. I run a lot, but nothing like this. The scenery was breathtaking and moving. Get there at sun up, start early, stop to take in the view from time to time, and enjoy a moderate technical trail with some great sections to fly through. I clocked the loop, counter clockwise, at 9.4 miles on my apple watch.

walking
4 months ago

A lovely walk with a real remote feel to it. I would second Mark Rutherford - the trail is not tough and ‘moderate’ would be fitting.

The hardest part of the day is squeezing past other trucks on the access road! The ten mile approach is actually fine with 4x4 and a little care in places. The views are to die for too.

Finding the trail down into the canyon is easy and I had little/no route finding difficulties. The trail itself was in good shape and there was little brush to impede progress.

The cliff dwellings are fascinating and a great insight into the lives of those who trod the land before us.

As mentioned below, I recommend taking the trail Clockwise starting on the Peralta side. (Trail 102 to 104 to 234 to 235) If you start early enough, you will have a great view of Weaver’s Needle at sunrise. The trail is pretty well defined and you will notice when you start getting of course and I just always looked for footprints to help me find my way. There’s quite a bit of loose rocks along the 234/235 trail which is another reason why I would recommend going clockwise because I would not want to be going down hill on that part of the trail. The rest of the trail however is dirt path and easy to hike. Like everyone else has said, bring lots of water and snacks! It is the desert and this hike is long- took me about 5 and half hours or so with minimal stops and keeping pace. It’s an awesome challenging trail though and highly recommend!

The route shown is to Superstition Mtn. Robber Roost is a right turn when you get to the saddle above Carney Spring. Then like in the youtube video you continue over to Fremont Saddle. This is a very tricky trail to follow until you get out of the small canyon that you follow off the saddle. Basic rule is all ways go right at a junction, except for the couple of times when you go left when you are on top.

hiking
4 months ago

Really great day hike - Incredible views the whole way, no people except on the Peralta side, and a pretty steady elevation (what goes up must come down) that made it difficult but more of a moderate-difficult. The difficulty was really in the length of the hike; it took me 15 miles due to an unintentional detour.

A couple things - I went counterclockwise and did have trouble staying on the trail. My recommendation is to look for the rock cairns and if you stop seeing them, go back. You shouldn’t be in the riverbed for too long (probably 15 min) before seeing the trail on the right of the riverbed. Also, bring enough water, food, and sunscreen. Take a picture of the map at the start so you can refer to it at each junction. When I was there, a park ranger was nice enough to provide some guidance. All in all, magical and worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

Challenging hike with gorgeous views. Geography and geology changes constantly making it even more beautiful. Trail is not well marked and it’s easy to be on a “trail” before realizing it’s not the trail! Bring more water than usual. Your calves will feel this hike for days!!

This trail will test your will to live haha. Absolutly beautiful views. I did get off course a few times more than Ide like to admit so it ended up being closer to 15 miles. Expect to get lost a little :) Bring lots of water and proper footwear.

off road driving
4 months ago

A fast 23 mile in and out that took about 4-5 hours with a couple of stops. Starting at the trailhead off of US60, the trail winds its way through the relatively flat land of state owned land until you get to the Reymart Trail split off. From there it becomes a little more hilly and have to cross a few washes. As you get closer to Ajax mine, the path become more narrow and more rocky but nothing you can't handle and then it suddenly opens up at Ajax with the or processing building appearing on your right. Up above and behind the building, we found a saguaro cactus being strangled by trees. Further up the trail, we found a filled in mine (or maybe it was a test hole).

Returning the way we came, we turned right where the trail splits and climbed a relatively steep grade up to the Woodpecker mines. We visited four mines and counted a few more in the area.

At the junction of 5 trails (two of which take you to Box Canyon), we took the southwesterly trail and climbed the hill, at the top, we made a right and climbed another trail some more to the peak and enjoyed the view and luck for about an hour. Looking down below we saw side-by-sides, atvs, motorcycles, and 4x4s driving past.

We will definitely come back and take other trails in the area.

This is a tough rocky trail up Bluff Springs trail. Was beautiful though keep an eye out on trail it’s easy to get off trail here we lost trail twice ...

Beautiful hike. Low traffic. Not difficult. Is a must do.

hiking
5 months ago

I liked this trail. Easy to get to, no dirt roads to drive on, big parking lot. Pretty views . Easy trail to hike no major elevation and can hike farther than what AllTrails show. Would hike again!

Although this area is a bit far for me, I love exploring these trails whenever I can. Driving in, there is a long stretch of dirt that can get a bit rocky and then you eventually reach the parking lot. I usually try and get there before 8 or 9 and am able to snag a spot but when I leave it is typically packed. We started this hike going counter clockwise and I didn't personally think it was very tough although I could see it being a bit more challenging going clockwise. The views were really pretty especially during the last half where you got to see a ton of red/purple rocks in a canyon. The trail was easy to follow and we didn't have a hard time staying on track. It took us about 3.5 hours to finish and we were moving at a pretty average walking pace with a 20 minute break halfway through.

Great hike , fantastic views, bring water, sunscreen, map, portable phone charger etc. FYI there is no permit needed to park, hike or camp in the superstition wilderness, however you cannot camp in the parking lots. This hike is in the superstition wilderness and starts at peralta trailhead. You can leave your vehicles overnight in the parking lot. The superstition wilderness is part of the Tonto National Forest. The Tonto National forest starts at the sign about a third of a mile from the trailhead. That first 6.5 (approx) miles of dirt road is state land and you are supposed to have a permit to camp park etc on that land. Other rules for the wilderness are posted at the trailhead. During the hiking season, normally October to April there are volunteers at the trailhead to answer questions; usually until noon. Peralta trailhead parking lot fills up by 9am on weekends, but there is overflow parking about a quarter mile down the road.

Got stopped by search and rescue on the way to Whiskey Spring Red Tanks Miners Canyon Loop. Planned to do a over nighter there. Search and Rescue warned us not to go out there. They had said it is inhabitable and totally overgrown. So they advised us to do Weavers Needle and it was great.

Even having a physical hard copy map and the AllTrails App open the mileage markers are off. We ended up taking Peralta Trail up to Weavers Needle and camped out off the trail. I posted pictures of potential Weavers Needle back-country camp sites (see my completed list in the profile if you are planning to go back country camping). Great views around, it was a amazing time. It would be my luck though that it would rain. Which lasted 15 hours making the rocks in the morning slippery. The trail has lots of lose rock and minimal cover from the sun. I would agree with others in bringing enough water. Would definitely go back was a amazing experience. Enjoy.

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