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Monday, December 8, 2014

PERALTA CANYON TRAIL


PERALTA CANYON
Superstition Wilderness
Weaver's Needle viewed from Lone Pine lookout

A hike up Peralta Canyon Trail #102 in the Superstition Wilderness just might be the longest 2 miles you'll ever trek.  This is because the hike is an unrelenting uphill slog through desert scrub and slick rock chutes that begins immediately after departing the trailhead and does not quit until the trail tops out at the 2-mile point on the Fremont Saddle. Here, up-close views of Weaver's Needle-- the area's most recognizable pillar of rock---deliver a generous ROI for the sweaty haul. The saddle is a popular place to take a break and decide whether to continue hiking downhill another 2.6 miles to the end of trail #102 or back track for a 4-miler.  Another option involves hiking on well-worn social trails to the lone pine tree visible on a ridge to the right (east) of the Needle. This side trip adds 1-mile round trip.  Anyway you hike it, Peralta Trail is an ideal way to burn off those extra holiday calories and a terrific place to introduce out-of-town visitors to the beautiful Supes.
LENGTH TO FREMONT SADDLE: 4 miles round-trip
LENGTH WITH SIDE TRIP TO THE TREE: 5 miles roundtrip
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION: 2,400 – 3,800 feet
GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, take US 60 east to about 8 miles past Apache Junction and look for the “Peralta Trailhead” sign on the side of the road. Turn left onto Peralta Road (Forest Road 77) and drive 8 miles to the trailhead. NOTE: FR 77 is good dirt and passable by sedan. There are nice restrooms but no water at the trailhead. The parking lot fills up quickly on weekends, so plan to arrive early or park in the overflow lot. NO FEES.