One of the most popular hikes in the Superstition Wilderness, located to the east of Phoenix, is the Peralta Trail. It's a quick and painless route into the scenic backcountry of the central Superstitions, and offers one of the best views of Weaver's Needle, a landmark rock spire in the center of this mountain range.

The trail follows the canyon bottom for more than a mile, climbing gradually and crisscrossing the normally dry Peralta Creek. The last mile or so is a bit steeper as you climb out of the lush, narrow canyon to Fremont Saddle. The total elevation gain is approximately 1400 feet.

From Fremont Saddle you can't miss Weaver's Needle to the north, hidden from view along the trail until the end. Weaver's Needle, which dominates the western Superstitions, also dominates the legends of the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine, said to lie, still undiscovered, in the Needle's 1220-foot shadow.

Click on the thumbnails below in order to see pictures of the Peralta Canyon.  Use your browser's back button to return to this page.

The Superstition MountainsThe Superstition Mountains as seen from the parking lot. Saguaro CactusThe Peralta Trail is instantly beautiful. This grove of Saguaro Cactus was to the right of the trail. The saguaro is a primary feature of the Sonoran Desert. JeffJeff, our "pack mule" and the instigator responsible for the hike, climbs up on one of the rocks near the trail for a better view of the canyon. 
Rock SpireAn interesting rock spire along the trail.  Peralta CanyonView of the Peralta Canyon ahead of us. Scenery behind usView of the  scenery behind us as we head up to the saddle.
Mountains to the rightView of the mountains to the right of the trail. Mountains to the rightView of the mountains and more saguaro cacti to the right of the trail. GriselGrisel on the Peralta trail with saguaro cacti in the background.
Scott & GriselScott and Grisel catch their breath next to a huge rock beside the trail. ScottScott stands before a cliff face with precariously balanced rocks perched on top of the mountain. Our elevation gainLooking back behind us to see how far we come.
Precariously balanced rockPrecariously balanced rock. Our favorite rockAnother view of our favorite rock and the canyon. The Peralta canyonView of the Peralta canyon behind us as we near the saddle.
Cholla and saguaro cactusTeddy Bear Cholla (Opuntia bigelovi) and saguaro cactus dot the mountain slope. Chain-Fruit Cholla?Cactus with rock spires in the background. I think it's a Chain-Fruit Cholla but I'm not sure. Saguaro CactusSaguaro cactus and rock spires.
Snow on the spiresSnow on the spires to the left of the trail. Withered agave stalkA withered agave stalk stands sentry over the Peralta canyon. Frozen runoffFrozen runoff amidst the rocky spires.
View from Fremont SaddleView of the valley to the North and the shear rock formation, known as Weaver's Needle, which dominates it as seen from Fremont Saddle. Weaver's NeedleWeaver's Needle as seen from the top of Fremont Saddle. Grisel, Jeff & ScottGrisel, Jeff and Scott with Weaver's Needle in the background.
Snow covered spiresSnow covered spires as seen from Fremont Saddle.
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All pictures are Copyright 2001 Grisel Gonzalez