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Carney Springs

Carney springs views
Carney springs hike
Views along the Carney springs trail
map: Carney springs trail
Elevation plot: Carney springs trail


How to Get There
This hike is located in the Superstition Wilderness East of the Phoenix area.

From the Phoenix area, take US-60 East, leaving the city limits. After leaving Apache Junction, continue about 8.5 miles, turning left onto signed Peralta Road (FR 77). After starting out as a paved road, this quickly turns into a maintained dirt road. After 5.6 miles, you'll stay left at the signed junction that heads towards the Peralta Trailhead. Go another 0.6 miles and park at the unsigned parking area and trail on your left. If you reach the obvious Peralta Trailhead, you've gone too far.
apache junction
Superstition and Mazatzal Wilderness

Hike details

3.60 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
3.6 miles round trip.
2.00 [Hours]
It took us two hours to complete this hike.
Elevation Change
1,400 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
about 1400 ft steep ascent to the view
Hike Trail Type
Out and Back


Best Season
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • October
  • November
  • December
Date Hike completed
January 11, 2009


Solitude Details
Much better than the nearby Peralta Trail. Expect to share this trail with perhaps 5 other people.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
This is a short but nice climb to some great views from the ridge of the Superstition Mountain range. If you enjoy the Peralta Trail hike, but are looking for something a little more secluded, this is a good pick. This is a Moderate difficulty hike.


Be Aware of
Route finding, scrambling

Hike up Carney Springs trail in the Superstition Wilderness, Arizona.

One way to escape the crowds at the beautiful, but popular Peralta Trail hike is to stop short of that trailhead and hike up the Carney Springs trail. This trail is not nearly as easy to follow as the Peralta Trail, but it does have significantly fewer people on it.

From the parking area, follow along the wide, closed dirt road heading towards the Superstition Wilderness. This old road used to lead to the Carney Springs campground, but has since been closed to cars. You'll soon arrive at the site of the old campground and a fence marking the wilderness area (marked WB on the map). On the other side of the fence, the road goes away and you'll follow a faint and rocky trail for the remainder of the hike.

From this point, the climbing starts in earnest. Since the grade is so steep, there are a number of sections where it could be easy to loose the trail. There are cairns to mark the trail in these sections, so keep an eye out for them and use those route finding abilities. There are some minor scrambling sections as you climb as well. Make sure you turn around once in a while to enjoy the views as you go up.

After about 1.8 miles of hiking, you'll reach the ridgeline. The trail continues along the ridgeline and goes all the way to the Flat Iron. However, for this hike, this ridge makes a nice place to rest and enjoy the views.

When ready, return the way you came.


Swap Start/End
Adding markers to the map ...