Superstition Wilderness Trails Award

Sponsoring Council

Grand Canyon

Award Dimensions

3'' x 10''

Summary

The Superstition Wilderness area just east of Apache Junction is famous for its fabled gold mine legends and other folklore and offers a hiking/backpacking opportunity never to be forgotten.

Map Link (where applicable)

External Reference (where applicable)

Detailed Requirements

The Superstition Wilderness area just east of Apache Junction is famous for its fabled gold mine legends and other folklore and offers a hiking/backpacking opportunity never to be forgotten. 


A word of CAUTION. Even though only a few short miles from a bustling metropolitan area, the Superstition Mountains are a rugged, unforgiving, if yet beautiful wilderness. 


It is strongly recommended not to hike this area during the summer months. A wilderness experience should be enjoyed not just endured. Reliable water sources are scarce. The two most consistent sources are Charlebois Spring and La Barge Spring and they can usually be counted on year round. The others such as Bluff Springs, Crystal Springs, Dripping Springs, First Water and Second Water may be unreliable depending upon the season. Plan carefully to insure water availability. 


Maps and a good compass are a must. Each hike has recommended topo maps which are available at a variety of map stores. A very good map entitled "The Superstition Wilderness - Western Half" is highly recommended as it shows much trail detail. Superstition trails are usually well defined. However, they are rugged. Most trails are rocky and elevation changes are frequent. 


A word of caution about desert hiking. Natural plant life and wildlife are not to be disturbed. This will help to preserve the wilderness but also prevent unnecessary accidents. Also, firewood is scarce so all meals are to be cooked over a backpack type stove. 


The Tonto National Forest is the only administering agency for the wilderness. No special permits or reservations are required. If Forest Service personnel are present at trailhead, a simple check in procedure must be followed. The Superstition Wilderness award is earned for taking any of the following hikes or backpacking trips into the Superstition Wilderness. 



SEGMENTS


FREMONT SADDLE This area is most accessible from Peralta Trailhead. The trail follows Peralta Canyon for approximately 2-1/2 miles, climbing almost 1400 feet in elevation to offer one of the finest views of Weaver's Needle and a western desert vista. A return leg could be via the Cave Trail as it passes Geronimo's Cave. This loop makes a good day hike. No water is available. TOPO MAP: Weaver's Needle quadrangle. 


SECOND WATER Accessible from either First Water Trailhead or Canyon Lake Trailhead. A variety of desert scenery is found from the desert beauty of Garden Valley to the rocky ruggedness of Boulder Canyon and the Second Water Spring area itself. This makes a fine day hike of 4 to 6 miles (dependent on route) with minimal elevation changes. TOPO MAP: Goldfield quadrangle. 


CHARLEBOIS SPRING A true oasis. An old miner once said "There is no finer water in the Superstitions." Look for "Pac Man Rock". This area is accessible from several trailheads: the Peralta, First Water, Canyon Lake, or Tortilla Flat. Seven to nine miles of hiking is required to reach Charlebois. Camping space is available. No matter which trailhead is used there will be an elevation change of approximately 1000 feet. This is recommended as an overnight trip. TOPO MAP: Weaver's Needle quadrangle. 


LA BARGE CANYON A most scenic desert canyon and at its headpoint is an area known as Upper La Barge Box. A narrow winding canyon with many sheer drops presents a challenging hike. This area is most accessible from Peralta Trailhead although Tortilla Flat Trailhead is an alternative. A rugged hiking area this one is a test for the experienced backpacker. The canyon has a spring at either end: La Barge Spring and La Barge Spring No. 2. Water at La Barge Spring is the most reliable. Camping space is available. An overnight trek of approximately 20 miles. TOPO MAP: Weaver's Needle quadrangle.  5 


MINER'S NEEDLE One of the most interesting rock formations in the Superstition Wilderness. Miner's Needle actually resembles a sewing needle. From Miner's Summit, Coffee Flat and its mountains offer a panoramic view. Some legends say the Miner's Needle is the site of the infamous Lost Dutchman's Mine. This area is most accessible from Peralta Trailhead. There is no water available near Miner's Needle. This needle makes a great highlight in a loop through Bluff Spring or even La Barge Spring. As usual elevation changes are prominent, Miner's Summit is 1000 feet higher than the surrounding area. Bluff Spring loop is 9 miles, La Barge loop is 15 miles. TOPO MAP: Weaver's Needle quadrangle. 


REEVIS RANCH This is an actual ranch site of an early rancher. The best trailhead is Reevis Ranch Trailhead although the ranch could be accessed through Roger's Trough trailhead. Reevis Creek is fairly reliable for water. There is an apple orchard at the ranch, late September is the best harvest time. A challenging hike over the usual Superstition Terrain. From Reevis Trailhead climb over 1000 feet before dropping into the ranch area. An overnight trek of 16 miles. TOPO MAP: Pinyon Canyon and Iron Mountain quadrangles. 


ROGER'S CANYON This area is accessible from Roger's Trough Trailhead. The canyon is a major drainage area in the wilderness and as a result is greener and has a wider variety of plant life than most other areas of then Superstition Wilderness. The main attraction of this area is the Indian ruins on the canyon wall on the west end of the canyon. This trip could be a day hike but difficult trailhead accessibility make an overnight trip a more pleasant outing. This is a 6 to 7 mile hike. TOPO MAP: Iron Mountain quadrangle.

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