Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Black Mesa Loop Day Hike


when? Trip Report : February 2, 2013
  Trip Report : December 17, 2011
  Trip Report : February 6, 2010
  Trip Report : December 23, 2006
  Trip Report : February 4, 2006
  Trip Report : March 19, 2005
  Trip Report : November 9, 2003
where? Superstition Wilderness
the hike     One of the most popular loop hikes in the Superstitions, Black Mesa takes the hiker from Garden Valley to the top of Black Mesa, then down into West Boulder Canyon. It is a relatively moderate hike with a lot of terrific scenery along the way, including some great views of Weaver’s Needle.
    From the simple wooden trail sign in Garden Valley, follow the Dutchman’s Trail for a quarter-mile to the first junction. Turn right here and continue southeast on the Dutchman’s Trail for two miles to Parker Pass. From the pass the trail drops down into Boulder Basin for the next mile, where it connects with the southeast end of the Black Mesa Trail. From here the Black Mesa Trail gradually climbs about 400 feet in a generally westward direction, as it carries the hiker to the top of Black Mesa and through a thick, vast forest of cholla cactus. After three miles the Black Mesa Trail ends at the junction with Second Water Trail in Garden Valley. The Second Water Trail continues on for another 1.5 miles in a southward direction, before linking back up with the Dutchman’s Trail. At this point make a right turn and hike another quarter-mile back to the trailhead.
    This hike is described by Jack Carlson and Elizabeth Stewart in Superstition Wilderness Trails West, Clear Creek Publishing, Tempe, AZ, 2012, pages 278-286.
distance 9 miles
time 5-7 hours
cost When car-pooling, pay your share the cost of gas. The club also allows voluntary contributions of $1/member or $3/non-member.
EC +-1050' elevation change
elevations 2220' (First Water Creek) to 2760' (Black Mesa)
type loop
starting at
First Water Trailhead 33° 28.781' N,  111° 26.521' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100% — Dutchman’s, Second Water, and Black Mesa Trails
rating "B-"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs? no
weather Apache Junction
meet 8:00 AM at Red Mountain Park located at 7745 E. Brown Rd. in Mesa (south side of Brown Road just east of Power Road).
drive 15 miles from Red Mountain Park to First Water Trailhead. (30 round trip).


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updated February 3, 2013 © Copyright 2013, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.