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Wishbone Junction - Goldfields Mtns, AZ
36 7 0 0
Description 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 Mesa NE
Difficulty 1.5    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,081 feet
Elevation Gain 330 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.65
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
Course Loop Hike
Author OhOh7
Descriptions 15
Routes 2
Photos 1,591
Trips 81 map ( 435 miles )
Age 79
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
12  2013-12-09 bensondk
24  2005-05-07 OhOh7
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Forest Tonto
Backpack - Possible - Not Popular
Seasons - Early Autumn to Late Spring
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Cottonwood Spring - Goldfield Mtns
0.0  Willow Springs Canyon to Bagley Tank
0.0  Little Chance Canyon Loop
0.2  Sunset Arch
0.4  Needle Double Vista
0.7  Gold Eagles Nugget Trail
[ View More! ]
90% bushwhacking
by OhOh7
This was my 4th hike in the Goldfields with lots of off trail bushwhacking. You start from highway marker 204 on the Apache Trail and follow the jeep road toward Willow Springs Canyon ( the north part not in the Superstitions) and then veer to the west until the faint road dead ends. Next, head out NW for several miles with no trail at all. The object is to do a loop around the "helmet" which is a rock dome that really looks like a helmet, and follow some creek beds that all dump into Willow Springs.

The hike route is relatively easy with many spectactular views of Weavers Needle, Flatiron, Golden Dome and Dome mountain with the 4 peaks always a landmark to help orient direction. I find that I really do like the bushwhacking routes as there are choices of approaches and ways to suddenly turn left or right to go over a ridge.

The May 7 weather was warm but quite pleasant for the 7 miles. However, this will be the last bushwhack hike I do this spring because I arrived home with my pants, shoes and socks filled with about 200,000 fox tails and they are very hard to remove. I had to take the laces from my shoes and use tweezers to pull off the many sticky barbs. The terrain is alsolutely overrun with the fox tails; not green any more but brown and already dried.

The basic route goes to Prevention gap and down to Wishbone Junction where we follow the creekbed until we turn right up over bright colored slickrock and down to the Willow Springs creek bed. The last couple of miles also presents some challenges as there is fairly deep sand that taxes the ankles.

If you want to avoid a foxtail horror, don't bushwhack more this spring. I realize these Goldfield hikes are not the mind wrenching, climb challenging, height scary, long trips that many do but I enjoy 'em! Away from the Apache Trail the country is far rougher than you would think. There are many dropoffs and ridges to traverse and climb; however you would only break something rather than expire if you fell. I like that concept!
© 2005 - 2015


Map Drive
Water Creek
Sun7:11am - 5:18pm
Preferred Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → 7 AM
RoadPaved - Car Okay
Permit $$

Tonto Pass is a forest wide permit for recreational sites and campgrounds. Typically not for trailheads.

Directions To Willow Trailhead
Apache trail Northeast from Idaho Road in Apache Junction. About 10 miles northeast to highway marker 204. Just before the marker turn left into parking area. A reference point is the Needle Vista viewpoint on the south of the highway. The trailhead is not marked but is a clear pulloff area just before the 204 sign.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 42.5 mi - about 48 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 136 mi - 2 hours 14 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 186 mi - 3 hours 2 mins
(Trailhead is generic)
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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