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Pass Mountain Loop Hike

Usery Mountain Regional Park

Superstition Mountains Area, Arizona

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Pass Mountain Loop Hike

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  • One spot to start the Pass Mountain Loop is at the Wind Cave Trailhead.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Pass Mountain.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Views along the Pass Mountain Trail.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Wildflowers bloom along the Pass Mountain Trail- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Prickly pear cactus in bloom.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Entering Tonto National Forest.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Great vistas from the trail.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Beautiful view from the Pass Mountain Trail.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Moon above, cactus below.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Heading up toward the saddle.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Mountain vistas from Pass Mountain.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • View of Mesa from the saddle.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Apache Junction and the Superstition Mountains.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Buckthorn cactus in bloom.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Late afternoon light.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • The park boundary.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Signage below Pass Mountain.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Sunset light on Pass Mountain.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
  • Mountain bikes on a section of the Pass Mountain Trail.- Pass Mountain Loop Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Stunning views. Moderate grade.
Cons: 
One section is steep and rocky.
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Region:
Superstition Mountains Area, AZ
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
710.00 ft (216.41 m)
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Suitable for:
Biking, Hiking
Total Distance: 
7.50 mi (12.07 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,868.00 ft (569.37 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Usery Mountain Park has two outstanding, but challenging, hikes: the Wind Cave Trail and the Pass Mountain Loop. Either one makes a great half-day adventure at this marvelous park. Pass Mountain is challenging because of the distance (it is the longest hike in the park) and some steep sections west of the saddle pass, but it is quite satisfying to circumnavigate a mountain, and the views along the way are magnificent. Most of this trail is within the adjoining Tonto National Forest, but Usery Mountain is a popular starting point for hikers.

The two main trailheads for this trail are the Wind Cave Trailhead and the large parking lot just a half mile south off the main park road. Taking the trail in a clockwise direction is recommended so the elevation gain is more gradual, but either direction is nice. From the Wind Cave Trailhead, the first few miles are a gradual uphill climb with many dips as the trail crosses washes and continues up to a very nice viewpoint at the north end of the loop. This segment makes a nice out-and-back hike for those who don’t want to do the whole loop. From the viewpoint, the trail spirals up the mountain to the high point at the saddle. The section of trail just south of the saddle is steep, rocky and a bit slippery. At the southeast corner of the loop is an alternative access point from North Meridian Drive in Apache Junction, which avoids the park entrance fee. From this point, the trail is a straight, flat (except for the numerous washes) run along the south side of Pass Mountain back to the trailhead.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

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(35 within a 30 mile radius)

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