Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,108.00 ft (337.72 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
8.00 mi (12.87 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.

Formed by an ancient volcano, the Superstition Wilderness is a vast and rugged landscape giving rise to legends both old and new. Ancient tribes inhabited this vast wilderness and considered this sacred land their home. In the Superstition Mountains you can find the cultural remains of ancient Hohokam, Salado, Apache and Yavapais tribes. Rogers Canyon Trail takes you to one of the most magnificent and best preserved archaeological sites this region has to offer.

Many historically significant sites can be found scattered throughout the Superstition Wilderness. The Salado Ruins along Rogers Canyon Trail are a must see. The trail starts from the Rogers Trough parking lot at the end of a rough four-wheel drive road. Use caution and watch for other vehicles when driving this road. The road is very narrow with only one lane along sheer cliffs going up the mountain pass. It also goes through several deep washes. These washes can fill up with water and debris quickly in the event of a flash flood, so it is advised not to attempt this route if rain is in the forcast.  

The hike to the cliff dwellings is an 8-mile out-and-back trek, and it is entirely downhill until the final climb up to the dwellings themselves. Just remeber, the hike back will be entirely uphill, so be sure to bring plenty of water or leave a cache for your hike out. You can't always count on there being water in the creek. Because this hike is remote and the creek is a water source in this otherwise dry desert region, there tends to be a lot of wildlife in this area. The Superstition Wilderness is home to black bears, mountain lions, peccarys, coyotes, coati mundis, and deer, among others. You will begin your descent into the canyon from the Rogers Trough parking lot on trail #109. This is also a section of the Arizona Trail. Follow this trail for about 1.5 miles until you reach a fork in the trail. Just before the fork, the trail will start to lead away from the creek bed. From this trail intersection, turn left onto trail #110, Rogers Canyon Trail.  Be sure to keep an eye out for this intersection because it is very easy to walk past. It is in a section of thick brush and trees, and it requires you to make a very sharp left turn back toward the creek. Once you are on Rogers Canyon Trail the route follows along the creek with several crossings on the way to the ruins. There are many juniper and manzanita trees along this section of the creek that provide some shade on the trail. Approaching the ruins you will see a series of caves midway up the canyon wall on the left side of the creek, and the ruins are inside of these caves. Be respectful of the archaeological site and practice Leave No Trace. Leave all artifacts found at the site for future generations to enjoy.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

National or state forest pass

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Cliff dwellings. Beautiful scenery. Flowing creek.

Cons

The creek may not flow during times of drought. Long four-wheel drive dirt road to get to the trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

4,823.00 ft (1,470.05 m)

Highest point

4,823.00 ft (1,470.05 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Historically significant
Wildlife
Family friendly
Geologically significant
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Cave
Native artifacts
Wildflowers
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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

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