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Boulder Canyon Loop

Superstition Wilderness

Dutchman's Trail (104), Boulder Canyon Trail (103),

Second Water Trail (236)

NOAA forecast: 33.48, -111.42

Distance: 11.3 | Total Elevation Gain: 1570

elevation profile
Min: 1910    Max: 2630    Total Gain: 1570

The Superstition Wilderness offers classic desert hiking and this loop is a great tour of the low desert, including some route-finding adventure in Boulder Canyon.

Starting on the heavily used Dutchman's Trail, the loop then turns north into Boulder Canyon. Progress on this portion of the loop is slow, as the trail is often faint, overgrown, and crosses the wash bed more than a dozen times in just over three miles. However knowing the trail runs the length of the canyon, getting lost is never a real possibility. To make things more interesting, Boulder Canyon is skunk country, with abundant evidence of foraging in sandy areas. The final leg of the loop follows the full length of the Second Water Trail (236) back to the west, passing through a tiny riparian area and up into the narrow end of the funnel-shaped Garden Valley, a flat area dense with cholla cactus.

full-screen map