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Superstition Wilderness Area, Arizona
Fast Facts
ACTIVITIES
Walking
Horseback Riding
 
 
Tourist Attractions
ACTIVE ADVENTURE
 
Family-Friendly Tours
 
Points of Interest Nearby
 
Family Travel Tips
FAMILY TRAVEL GEAR
HEALTH & SAFETY
 

Petroglyphs

 

Photo by USDA Forest Service

Superstition Wilderness Area, located east of Phoenix, is revered by gold diggers, hikers and horseback riders. Whether your family outing in this section of the Tonto National Forest takes you on a search for the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, Hohokam rock art or stunning desert landscapes, the well-developed trail system covering roughly 160,000 acres (64,750 hectares) ensures something for everyone. Yet this starkly beautiful and often rugged wilderness area can be inhospitable to those unprepared. Select a trail that matches the ability of the least skilled member of your group and plan your outing with the weather in mind.
Getting There
 
Lost Dutchman State Park and the Peralta Trailhead are the most frequently used points of access. Lost Dutchman State Park is located at 6109 N Apache Trail (Hwy 88), 5 miles north of Apache Junction. From Phoenix, take US 60 east to Hwy 88 east. Follow Hwy 88 through Apache Junction. To reach the Peralta Trailhead take US 60 east to the Peralta Road. (The turn-off is between mileage marker 204 & 205.) Drive north on Peralta Road approximately 8 miles.
Getting Around
 
Superstition Wilderness and contiguous areas boast more than 170 miles (273 km) of hiking and horseback riding trails. The condition and difficulty of each trail varies significantly in this wilderness area. The 6.2-mile Peralta Trail (#102), graded difficult, it is one of the most popular Arizona hiking trails. The 1.1-mile Hieroglyphic Trail, graded easy, has an added incentive for the kids: Indian rock art. Of note, mountain biking is prohibited on all Superstition Wilderness trails.
When to Travel
 
Hiking is best from November to May. Summer, June through August, is extremely hot and, at lower elevations, the daytime high frequently exceeds 115°F (46°C). Thunderstorms, oftentimes severe, are likely during the monsoon season, July and August. Snow is possible at higher elevations from November through March.
Health & Safety
 
Hiking in a wilderness area requires a bit of extra preparation. Pack a map, compass, fully charged mobile phone and high factor sunscreen. Carry plenty of water (roughly 4 liters of water per person per day) and dress appropriately for the weather. Don't forget to leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or concierge at your hotel.
Things to Keep in Mind
 
Leave no trace.
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Travel Trivia
The Apatosaurus is also known as the: