Fremont Saddle is a popular destination in the Superstition Wilderness. Several times I read about this trail and it never really appealed to me. My first visit through the area changed my mind. The parking area is huge. A backup lot is available if it gets full. Large groups are common on this trail so forget about solitude.
From the trailhead you start off in lush desert foliage. This is also the trailhead for Bluff Springs, the Cave Trail and the Dutchman's Trail. During peak season, forest rangers greet you at the trailhead. Usually a hello and a reminder to pack out everything you pack in. Pay attention to the signs within the first few paces. Hang a left and you'll be okay. The lower sections of the trail cross a wash several times. The tree covered washes offer unexpected shade in the bold and fiery wilderness. It's a shame the shade comes before you work up a sweat. Vegetation thins out midway through the hike. Near the end, Fremont Saddle, the trail becomes bare rock. Once you reach the saddle Weavers Needle comes into view. The view of the needle from here is awesome. I recommend heading out on the Weavers Needle Overlook Ridge. It's a short scramble adding 30-40 minutes. From the end of the ridge you get an even better view of the needle. You can look down on the labyrinth of spires guarding Weavers Needle. Enjoy the view and return by the same route. A popular alternative is to take the Cave Trail back to the parking area.
Forest Tonto Pass is a forest wide permit for recreational sites and campgrounds. Typically not for trailheads.
To Peralta Trailhead 7.6 miles east of the junction Idaho Rd / US-60. Turn Left on to FS77 which is Peralta Road. Follow FS77 5.6 miles to a left and up turnoff. Continue 1.9 miles to Peralta Trailhead.
The trailhead has restrooms minus running water. The parking lot is huge. It does fill up in season on weekends. Since there are no lines the rangers ask that you park straight between the posts in the main lot. Please do your part with this simple request and make room for the next guy. 0.5 miles before reaching the trailhead is an overflow lot which is also suited for horse trailer parking.
From PHX (Jct I-10 & AZ-51) 45.2 mi - about 1 hour 8 mins From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 97.0 mi - about 2 hours 16 mins From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 192 mi - about 3 hours 15 mins
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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