HIKE – PERALTA TRAIL – Superstition Mountains

DON’T MISS THIS ONE!...One of the best hikes in Arizona and MY FAVORITE….  hoodoos, balancing rocks, lizards, wildflowers and plant diversity.… all en route up to Fremont Saddle. From there, you get a good look deep into the Superstitions plus an awesome view of Weaver’s Needle.

This is a moderately strenuous hike as the trail to Fremont Saddle ascends 1366 feet in 2.25 miles. The climb is constant, yet rarely gets steep. There are views aplenty every step of the way. Take a snack to eat at the top.  There is much to see and to explore there.

This hike is my favorite for many reasons. Although you gain over 1300 feet in elevation, the trail meanders its way up to the saddle versus using steep switchbacks. This makes the trail very manageable. I never tire of admiring the dramatic volcanic rock formations along the way or coming up over Freemont Saddle for a fantastic view of Weaver’s Needle. And, you get a lot more than just scenic views on your hike. This area is rich in vegetation and wildlife. The Superstitions have beautiful spring flowers, more so than anywhere else in the valley. And the Peralta Trail is a great place to find gorgeous Collared Lizards. They seem to love hanging out in the sun on the volcanic reddish brown pockmarked rocks on the upper third of the trail.

Our hikes are generally at a pace conducive to social banter of interest to heathens, and allowing for time for photography of the local geology and wildlife. Expect this hike to last 4-5 hours.

For the asking, I will have handouts discussing petroglyphs, geology of the area, and plant and animals we’ll likely encounter. Also I bring reference books for after the hike.

Here are photos from our trip last year:


slide show:


here are some photos of a trip “George” took along the trail:


and here is a 9 min video of the trip:


and here’s here’s a short one:


here’s another collection of photos:



Distance:     4.6 miles

Time:            4-5 hours

Difficulty:    moderately- strenuous

Trail:             packed dirt, crushed rock

Elevation: 2500 – 3800 ft.

change: 1366 ft.

Parking:       lot .  ..pit toilets

Tailhead GPS:  33° 23’ 51.3” N, 111° 20’ 52.4” W

Entry fees: none

Dogs:            OK on leash


Always carry and drink plenty of water! 

Perhaps eat breakfast and bring a snack.

Sunscreenand insect repellant is advised.

Supportive footwear is also advisable.

SAFETY FIRST… we have no medical provisions.

Hike at your own risk.

TO GET THERE… from Phoenix go out highway 60 past Apache Junction (about 23 miles past the 101) to the end of the freeway, and continue on 6 more miles to milepost 204.  Then go left onto E. Peralta Rd. heading north (left - your only choice).

At 5-6 miles from 60, follow an obvious sign and take the left fork uphill and continue all the way to the end of E. Peralta Rd…. to the trailhead parking area… about 7-8 miles from the 60 and pay your fee and park.   It may take 15-20 minutes to get to the trail head from the 60.

As you near the end of the road (The Peralta Trailhead), you may notice other trailheads and distractions…(There is an opportunity to turn left to the Don’s Camp Trailhead.  If you turn there by mistake, simply return to the road and continue the short distance to the end of road --the trailhead.) Stay on the main road all the way to the end.

If worried about finding trailhead, there is a parking lot a little less than a mile from the 60, at the Peralta Trail Elementary School, that could be a rendezvous point to meet others wanting to carpool the rest of the way.  I may not have room in my car but I will wait there til 9am for anyone simply wanting to follow me in.

Although I can definitely take you to the trail head, the actual mileage information, and other directions above, was taken from books I have and google maps from the internet. So drive carefully.


Carpooling can save gas but also enhance the social experience. If you’d like to carpool, you must contact others for arrangements.  You could email members or post comments on this announcement page.

Although you may know of better choices, and I want to hear of them, I can suggest these carpool locations around the valley:

Those traveling from north or northwest of Phoenix could meet at the park-n-ride just west of I-17 on the south side of Bell Rd OR one block west of I-17 south of Happy Valley Rd on 29th Ave. (Get off I-17 at Happy Valley Rd. Go west one block, turn south on the first street, and the lot is on your left -- 24725 N. 29th Ave.) Happy Valley Rd. is 3 miles north of the 101 on I-17. From these two you can take the 17 to the 101 to the 60. Google Maps tells me it should take about one hour and 30 minutes to get to the trailhead.

Those traveling from the west or southwest of Phoenixcould meet at the park-n-ride at 10 W. Broadway Road - just south of the 60/17 at northwest corner of Central and Broadway .  . 2 miles from 7th Av  OR 7th St and Freeway 60/17. From there you can follow the 60 east. Google Maps tells me it should take about one hour and 16 minutes to get to the trailhead.

Those traveling from the Tempe/Mesa area could meet at the parking lot just north of the 60 on Alma School Rd.  . . Enter Fiesta Mall toward the west from Alma School Rd. and

park straight ahead at the perimeter of the parking lot across from Best Buy. From there you can follow the 60 east. Google Maps tells me it should take about an hour to get to the trailhead.

Susan has previously suggested … Those traveling from the Scottsdale area could meet at the Wal-Mart parking lot 4915 N Pima Road, (just south/west of Chaparral & 101).

Google Maps tells me it should take about an hour and ten minutes to reach the parking lot.

Following the hike we may reconvene at Old Chicago near Power Road and the 60. They have outside patio seating.  To get there from the 60 take Power Rd. south a few hundred feet to Superstition Springs Blvd. and turn left (east) a few hundred feet to 6821 E. Superstition Springs Blvd… restaurant is obvious on right (south side). The restaurant is about 45 minutes from the trailhead or about 20 from Peralta Rd at the 60.


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  • A former member
    A former member

    The best part was when a passer-by asked us if we were a church group!

    April 2, 2012

  • Mike

    A blast as always.

    April 2, 2012

  • Paula P.

    Thank you to everyone for being so welcoming! I look forward to getting to know you all better- see ya soon :)

    April 2, 2012

  • Al T.

    Sorry I was late everyone.

    April 2, 2012

  • Dr L.

    It was a great hike and I didn't do a header off the side of the cliff like last year. I only sustained minor bumps and bruises from slippery rocks. Damn you blasted rocks!!!

    April 2, 2012

  • Casey

    It was a good hike with nice people. The Cave Trail coming back was difficult in places and sometimes hard to find.

    April 2, 2012

  • Meredith H.

    Great hike and perfect weather. Thanks so much, Al!

    April 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a beautiful hike! Challenging, and once it was over it seemed too short. As usual the group was supportive and good company. An excellent day.

    April 1, 2012

  • Paula P.

    I want to carpool from Mesa/Gilbert! Kathryn, I will message you.

    March 26, 2012

  • Dylan W.

    Who is doing a carpool from around central Phoenix?

    March 25, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    A quick look at the directions - it seems that coming from Scottsdale I will pass Alma & 60. If correct, I could do a pick up there too.

    March 11, 2012

  • Kathryn

    Does anyone want to carpool from Mesa or Gilbert?
    I did this hike today and carpooled, there is no way my car can make the dirt road trek to the parking area.
    ps- there is no parking fee

    March 11, 2012

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