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Bluff Spring Loop

Miner's needle
Bluff springs loop
map: Bluff springs loop
elevation plot: Bluff spring loop


How to Get There
This hike is located near Apache Junction, AZ.

To get to the trailhead: From the Phoenix area, take US-60 East, leaving the city limits. After leaving Apache Junction, continue about 8.5 miles, turning left onto Peralta Road (FR 77). THis turn is signed as the turn-off for Peralta Trail. After starting out as a paved road, this quickly turns into a maintained dirt road. The trailhead and parking appears after 7 miles on this road. The trailhead is well marked and there is a toilet at the trailhead, but no water.
apache junction
Superstition and Mazatzal Wilderness

Hike details

9.40 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
The loop hike described is 9.4 miles total.
4.00 [Hours]
It took us 4.0 hours to complete this hike.
Elevation Change
1,500 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
About 1500 ft total elevation gain. There is some up and down along the hike.
Hike Trail Type


Best Season
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • October
  • November
  • December
Season Details
All Year, but winter is best. If hiking in the summer, best start this hike early in the morning because it can get hot.
Date Hike completed
January 01, 2007


Solitude Details
Pretty good considering you start from one of the more popular trail heads into the Superstition Wilderness. We only saw about 12 other hikers.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
This is a decent hike for some solitude. Even though the Peralta trailhead is very popular, most people don't take this trail. The long loop hike described here is an Moderate hike.


Be Aware of
Some route finding

hike the Bluff Spring trail around Miners Needle in the Superstition Wilderness, Arizona.

The Superstition Wilderness is a relatively short drive from the Phoenix area, but affords a multitude of remote desert wilderness hiking. This loop trail introduces the hiker to some of the varied scenery and hiking opportunities in the area.

From the Peralta trailhead, take the well defined Dutchman's Trail generally East towards the prominent landmark Miners Needle. This part of the hike is relatively flat and features wide views of the Saguaro spotted desert. After about 2.3 miles of hiking, you will pass the junction of the Coffee Flat trail and start a climb to a saddle behind the Miners needle. From this direction, it is easy to see why the formation is called a 'needle' as there is a clearly recognized hole through the rock. After about 800 ft of climbing, you will reach a saddle with Miners needle behind you and Bluff Mountain to your left with some big picture views of the Superstition Wilderness.

Map Waypoints:

Start: Peralta Trailhead

Trail Jct 1: Stay Left here at the junction for the Coffee Flat Trail

Trail Jct 2: Stay Left here at the trail junction for Whiskey Spring Trail

Trail Jct 3: Stay left here at the trail junction for the Terrapin Trail

Trail Jct 4: Stay left here.

After 4.8 miles of hiking on the Dutchman trail, you will now switch over to the Bluff Spring trail by going left at the trail junction. This section of the trail tends to be more overgrown and can be tricky to follow as it crosses in and out of desert washes. Keep a close eye out for Cairns to stay on trail. The nice part is the major trail junctions are all well signed.

The trail starts climbing again to the junction of Terrapin trail, which is reached after about 5.9 miles of hiking. This section of the hike features dramatic views of Peralta Canyon and Weavers Needle. The final few miles heads South along a ridge line, with Peralta Canyon on your right and an unnamed bluff on your left before the 800 ft drop back to your waiting car.

Please note, the mileage and elevation gain we noted on our GPS differs significantly from Bruce Grubbs Hiking Arizona's Superstition and Mazatzal Country book. This area used to be a fee area, but is now free. How long that will last is anybody's guess.


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