Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
4,280.00 ft (1,304.54 m)
Trail type
18.30 mi (29.45 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Black Top Mesa is a 18.3-mile route through the Superstition Wilderness. It starts and ends at the Peralta Trailhead which is located off of Peralta Road, east of Phoenix, Arizona. The route begins by traveling north through Peralta Canyon. It skirts the east side of Boulder Canyon and ascends Black Top Mesa (3,354’). Through craggy mountains, unique geology, and native desert plants, it follows scenic singletrack trails. Black Top Mesa offers incredible backcountry camping opportunities along with stunning views including Weaver's Needle, a 1,000-foot rock column dominating the landscape.

It is a moderately challenging route with an overall elevation gain of 4,280’. It can be completed in a day or as an overnight trek and is suitable for trail running, hiking, and backpacking.


Starting from the Peralta Trailhead, head north on Peralta Trail #102. Continue past Fremont Saddle, skirting the west side of Weaver’s Needle. After about 6.20 miles continue north on the Dutchman Trail #104. Turn right on Bull Pass Trail #129, and turn right again when you reach the junction for the Black Top Mesa Trail.

Complete a short, yet steep, climb to the top of Black Top Mesa and then retrace your steps back to Bull Pass Trail #129 and turn right, heading east. 

Turn right on Dutchman Trail #104 and head south and then west. Turn left on Peralta Trail #102 and retrace your steps back to the Peralta Trailhead. 


  • The first few miles of Peralta Trail #102 up to Fremont Saddle are very popular. You can expect lots of people to be around during this section. 

  • Much of the trail is exposed and there are few reliable water sources. 


  • Mechanized and/or motorized travel is prohibited.

  • No more than 15 people are allowed to be in a group. 

  • No more than 15 heads of livestock are allowed in a group.

  • Horses are not recommended on this trail. 

This route takes place within the Superstition Wilderness, which is subject to certain Wilderness restrictions. Respecting these regulations is crucial for the future of this beautiful ecosystem and the plants and animals that live there. 


Many water sources in this area are seasonal and unreliable. Make sure you do adequate research, contact a nearby park ranger in advance, and prepare to carry sufficient water with you. 


Large parking area with bathrooms. The lot fills up fast and it is best to try and arrive early. 


Dispersed camping is allowed within the Superstition Wilderness and Backcountry permits are not required for overnight camping.


USFS - Superstition Wilderness

USFS - Peralta Trailhead

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Beautiful landscapes. Desert terrain. Singletrack Trails. Wilderness access.


Some areas may be popular.

Trailhead Elevation

2,404.00 ft (732.74 m)

Highest point

3,743.00 ft (1,140.87 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Geologically significant
Horseback riding

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Superstition Mountains Area, Mesa, Arizona
Superstition Mountains Area, Mesa, Arizona
Superstition Mountains Area, Mesa, Arizona


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.