Hike | Hieroglyphic Trail | Superstition Wilderness
This trek offers breathtaking views the entire time and if you come after a decent rain there’s a tiny waterfall that forms and fills up the pools there.
- Length: About 3 Miles RT
- Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
- Trail Type: Out and Back
- Elevation Gain: 580 Ft
- Dog-Friendly: Yes (on-leash)
This trail is heavily trafficked. We decided to head out early in the morning to have more solitude and be able to catch the sunrise. We got to the parking lot around 7am and were pleasantly surprised to see only a handful of other cars. (Lost Gold Mine Trail also branches off from the Hieroglyphic Trail, so not all the cars in the parking lot are heading the same way!)
The trail is very well maintained with only a couple rocky spots. There are cacti galore in this area so don’t forget to take pictures of these awesome desert friends! Towards the end of the hike, there is a bit of a climb to reach the Petroglyphs. Due to the water that flows through when it rains the rocks are definitely on the slippery side. I have seen kids and older adults struggle at this part. (When I was here last time we had to help an elderly couple down from this spot. If you get to this point and realize it’s not for you, then turn around here!) I personally think this is an easy trail with a steady incline you don’t really notice. Just remember everyone perceives each trail differently and that’s perfectly fine! (There’s a lot of debates on whether this trail should be rated easy or moderate, if you’ve hiked this trail before feel free to leave in the comments what you’re opinion on it is!)
Once you get up to the top take a second to look back towards where you came, this is a beautiful shot for a picture! If you choose to explore the area more, there is a little “cave” that’s a perfect spot to escape the sun. Don’t forget to check out the incredible petroglyphs, just make sure you are being mindful of them. Also, bonus points to you if you can spot the “balancing rock”, it’s up at the top right of the ridgeline!
We finished this hike in under three hours, but we did stop for a good chunk of time to look at the petroglyphs and take pictures. There were only five other hikers at the end with us, but by the time we were heading back to the parking lot we started passing more and more people.
The Hieroglyphic trail is located in Gold Canyon, AZ. Once you turn onto S Kings Ranch Road from highway 60, it’s just a quick drive through the neighborhood. Throughout the neighborhood there are signs that point you in the direction of the trailhead, so if your GPS isn’t working just follow the signs! MAKE SURE you park in the parking lot! It can get hectic, but if you don’t- you could fine yourself with a ticket (pun intended.)
Bring water! If you are hiking this trail in the summer there is hardly any shade so you are exposed to the sun the entire hike. Make sure you stay hydrated!
Pack some snacks! The end of this trail is a great spot for a picnic.
RESPECT the petroglyphs. Do not leave your initials, write your Instagram handles on the rocks, or graffiti this beautiful space.
Don’t be trashy, pick up your garbage!
* Please remember to hike at your own risk. To learn more please refer to our Hiking Disclaimer.