Peralta Canyon Trail

Tonto National Forest

Superstition Mountains Area, Mesa, Arizona

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Peralta Canyon Trail


  • Gorgeous views abound on this popular trail.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • Expect a pretty full parking lot.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • There is often a ranger at the trailhead to give advice. A permit is not required for a day hike.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • The trail starts out rising gradually and climbs the entire route.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • There are lots of spots to take in the views.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • The lower part of the trail still winds among the saguaro cactus of the Sonoran Desert.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • The prize at the end: Weaver's Needle and a view of the wilderness beyond.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • Hoodoos line the canyon walls, beckoning to the boulder hopper.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • The way back down is a little tricky due to loose rocks.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • It's easy to see why this trail is one of the most popular in southern Arizona.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • Every turn reveals a new vista.- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • On a clear day, you can see for miles!- Peralta Canyon Trail
  • - Peralta Canyon Trail
Overview + Weather
Spectacular views. Relatively close to Phoenix. Steady climb.
Very popular trail.
Superstition Mountains Area, Mesa, AZ
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,400.00 ft (426.72 m)
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.50 mi (7.24 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,329.00 ft (709.88 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Peralta Canyon Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Superstition Wilderness outside of Phoenix, and for good reason. This hike is one of the gateways into the 160,000-acre wilderness just an hour's drive from Phoenix and offers spectacular scenery and a moderate difficulty for the day hiker. The parking lot can be pretty full on a weekday in the high season (winter and spring), and you are guaranteed to be part of a large crowd of hikers if you visit on a weekend. This hike is not to be missed for it's scenic value and the satisfaction of reaching "the saddle" for spectacular views of the Weaver's Needle formation and the Superstition Wilderness beyond.

The trailhead has one main and one overflow parking lot, and on busy days there is a ranger at the trailhead to suggest hikes and offer advice. No permit or fee is required, but a log book should be filled out for each hiking party. The trail presents a gradual ascent for the entire 2.25 miles up to Fremont Saddle, and the last quarter mile is pretty steep. The trail begins following the east side of the gully at the bottom of Peralta Canyon and crosses over to the west side of the canyon less than a mile up.  Much of the canyon is sprinkled with interesting rock formations, and the views of the canyon below get better as the trail climbs higher. At the top, the hiker is rewarded with a panoramic view of Weaver's Needle, the 1,000-foot rock formation that figures strongly in the local lore about the lost Dutchman's gold mine. The needle is rumored to contain rich deposits of gold and is possibly the hiding place for gold artifacts from the Spanish occupation of the area in the 1700s.

There are generally several people resting at the saddle, as this is turnaround spot for most hikers. Another mile or so will lead to the base of the Weaver's Needle and some of the hundreds of miles of trails in the Superstition Mountains.

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(6 within a 30 mile radius)

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(27 within a 30 mile radius)

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