Explore the most popular 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.



wild flowers

nature trips





dogs on leash

dog friendly

trail running

Gold Canyon, Arizona Map
4 days ago

The road into this hike is not accessible with a sedan. It will require a larger vehicle such as a truck or SUV. The road WILL damage your car.

13 days ago

Got to the trailhead at 6, reached the cave by around 7:40 with a couple breaks. We started from the second/further lot. Views were AMAZING at sunrise. Worth it to get there early because you are shaded almost the whole time coming up! Can be slipper coming down, steeper than expected. Cave is super cool. Trail is decently marked.

very difficult. need a good eye for trail finding as well. there are some markers up, but this is a very nice hike.

17 days ago

Not very well maintained trail. Wouldn’t take kids on this hike because of the heat.

I understand how gorgeous the cave and view are, but this is not a moderate hike unless I took a different trail! This is a very difficult hike on trails that are not marked and blend in easily with the desert...along with numerous areas of veer offs leaving you wondering which way to go! I had two guys show me how to use GPS on this site after I turned around in frustration. So, stupidly, I tried it again. I finally got to the Cave which is a beautiful wonder of nature, but it isn't worth almost dying over when you get lost coming down even using GPS! I was happy to have made it out alive! Please, be careful...this is not easy and not marked...you have to guess many times which way to go and tear through thorny bushes and cacti to get back on track. It is too easy to get lost! I unfortunately will not be putting myself in that situation again on Superstition. I will go hike a trail that is thoroughly marked and maintained! Sorry if this disappoints fans of the trail, but I want everyone to know what they are getting into!

Very difficult hike but the beautiful views make it so worth it. I recommend using a GPS, you will get lost a few times as the trail is difficult to find in some places. Easy to get off track. Plan to use an entire day for this hike. You will be proud of yourself if you make it the whole way!! Splendid views at the top!

26 days ago

Awesome hike! Would highly recommend it. The last little bit of hike before the wave is a bit challenging but well worth it.

Initially the trail had a gradual climb. after you half the distance of the hike, it's a moderate to steep climb when nearing the cave.
Remember to bring lots of water. It's an amazing hike. The view from the cave is beautiful.

Have done this hike twice since moving to Arizona 6 months ago. I love it! Great workout and beautiful scenery. Really isn't that hard. I see people of all ages and sizes hiking this loop

1 month ago

This is a fun trail. Make sure you go through the fence. This trail is a good work out. I went on a Tuesday around 6:00 am. I saw two other people on the trail. No matter where you are the views are beautiful and amazing!

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.

1 month ago

Love, love, love this trail. It's a must-do, essential for any passionate hiker in the Phoenix vicinity. ...or any surfers. :) Everyone needs a pic of themselves "riding the wave" at some point to use as desktop wallpaper.
The hike itself is fairly easy, though the last part up to the cave is the most challenging, hence the "moderate" rating. But it's absolutely something you can do, because YOU HAVE TO! Your reward isn't just the view, but the cool air in the cave. It's remarkably cooler. Be sure to bring a lot of water if it's warm out because there's no shade along the way.

1 month 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!

Gotta love this Hike!
It starts out rather easy but about half way you do get a little bit of an incline through big rocks yet it's not crazy difficult to get up to the Cave.
On the day hiked it there was another family with about 6 kids ranging from 14 to maybe 7 years of age, so yeah, if kids can do so it, why cant you!?
Anyhow, the sights from the top are quite nice and definitely one cool cave to go see!

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!!!

2 months ago

To the person who attempted to break into my car while I was on this hike - you are scum. You deserve the absolute worst and it’s people like you that the world doesn’t need. How awful are you. The fact that you couldn’t even break a window with a rock says a lot about the type of criminal you are. You deserve a spot in hell. For all of you who are planning to do this hike - please be aware there is someone out there attempting to break into your vehicle while you are out in your hike.

The Peralta, Freemont Saddle and Lone Tree trails are all pretty much the same trail. This seemed to be the best one since it was the closest to Weaver’s Needle and the Lone Tree lookout area is a perfect place to stop for a rest

I’m an experienced hiker and this trail was pretty tough at some parts but the views are worth it. We went yesterday, make sure you brings plenty of water and snacks! Lots of loose rocks and cacti. I got poked a few times. I would not recommend this hike to people who aren’t in good shape or do not hike often.

3 months ago

It was such a nice hike!! Not too difficult just towards the end there’s about a 3/4 a mile of just steep hiking and I’m in relatively good shape! Bring lots of water and go early it’s HOT out!!

3 months ago

wonderful hike with beautiful views! we missed the gate to get to the cave so we got a little lost. could use better signage but otherwise a great hike :) we went in february and it was still moderately hot (at least compared to the subzero weather we were used to in north dakota) we forgot water and there is nowhere to get water there fyi. trail gets steep and challenging right before you reach the cave. the cave makes for a great spot to relax and cool down before heading back. amazing views from the cave!

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.

3 months ago

Pay for your public lands pass online. Make sure you have the proper hiking shoes! Bring plenty of water! And don’t bring your dogs on this hike mid summer. Seriously it’s ridiculous!! It’s too hot for them just because you don’t think it’s hot they think otherwise.

off road driving
3 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.

3 months ago

Fun hike. I've done this one twice and haven't had any problems with it

So I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the world that managed to get lost on this trail. Just be sure to park, and literally go straight up and through the barbed wire fence :)

4 months ago

Fun trail with great views and the cave is awesome! Steep towards the top and a few spots to climb over some rocks - which makes it fun!

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!

Great hike. A ton of fun and a great view. Harder towards the top.

Load More