Superstition Ridge Line (Arizona)

DISTANCE (round-trip)

11.5 mi

DIFFICULTY

TIME

2 days

ALTERNATIVE TO

North Mountain
National Trail

SOLITUDE

This 'Arizona Death March' Is Unmarked and Untamed

Known as the 'Arizona Death March', this is one of the toughest trails in the entire state.

The Superstition Mountains separate the sprawl of Phoenix from the harsh interior of Eastern Arizona. Every year people die in the mountains, which makes this trail not one to be undertaken lightly.

The trail, if you can call it that, traverses narrow peaks and offers stunning views of the mountains and canyons. In places the traverse is less hiking and more hand over hand rock climbing. A wrong step here and a hiker can fall hundreds of feet before hitting another rock.

The maze of washes and rock formations can create navigation problems for even the most experienced hiker. But you'll be rewarded with stunning views of Arizona -- the Phoenix cityscape on one side and the diverse topography of the Superstitions on the other.

When to go

December to March. Winter is the best season for hiking. The days will not be as hot and some water might flow in the canyons.

Getting there

Begin at the Lost Dutchman State Park visitors center. 45 minutes East of Phoenix, take Route 60E, to 88N.Trail ends in the Peralta Trailhead parking lot. 1 hour East of Phoenix, take 60E to Peralta Rd, the parking area is the end of the dirt road, well marked.

Know before you go

  • There is no water. Carry at least 5 litres with you.
  • The trail is not marked, be aware of the direction you are traveling.
  • You must be physically able to climb vertical rock faces, do not attempt if you are not fit.

Praying Hands rock formation, Superstition Mountains, Arizona.

Facing South, the scrubby ridge line looks over the Superstitions.

Gear Recommendations for this trail:

For more information:

About the author

JoelSalvino

Addicted to the dark areas on light pollution maps, I focus on documenting the world's remote spaces. I hope to inspire others to be an active member of the ecosystem all around us. Our most valuable resources, clean air, clean water, and open spaces are being parceled off and destroyed at an alarming rate. Let's enjoy Earth and share it with future generations. You can check out my blog Not A Guide Book