register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141, AZ

no permit
403 22 0
Guide 22 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Young S
4.7 of 5 by 6
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,250 feet
Elevation Gain -1,000 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,290 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4-5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.85
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Historic & Seasonal Waterfall
Backpack Yes & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
32  2019-06-01 Pickles
34  2018-06-30
Central Sierra Ancha Tour
25  2016-05-02 Oregon_Hiker
25  2016-05-02 Grasshopper
23  2015-06-28 DarthStiller
18  2015-06-28 joebartels
7  2013-04-13 Alston_Neal
19  2012-08-13 Oregon_Hiker
Page 1,  2,  3
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 42
Routes 458
Photos 8,104
Trips 508 map ( 5,318 miles )
Age 74 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Apr → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Summer
Sun  6:11am - 6:22pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
.. An amAZing Journey to the Edge ..
by Grasshopper

Likely In-Season!
This most enjoyable full day outing in our remote and rugged Sierra Ancha Wilderness begins with a very scenic drive on Hwy 288 to FR487- Workman's Creek Road past the popular photo stop at "Workman's Creek Falls", to FR487A end at the historic "Murphy Ranch" with it's large apple orchard and building complex. TH Parking and Hike Start is at the end of this FR487A. This special in and out hike with connecting trail options available, takes you by the upper end of colorful, rugged with sheer cliff walls "Cold Spring Canyon" and then on to end at the beautiful high cliffs (+1000 ft drops), scenic, and rugged upper "Pueblo Canyon Bluff Overlook" area for near and distant views of the Cherry Creek Drainage to the east and north. Also included in this day hike or overnight(s) backpack option is a short .1 mile round trip hike to perennial "Edward Spring" seep with its surrounding overnight campsite options.

Hiking is within an elevation high of 7250 feet and low of 6250 feet with 80% sun and elements exposure (most exposure due to the devastating YR2000 Coon Creek Fire and associated new growth on a large portion of this trail hike). Due to this exposure with our Arizona summer Monsoon Season with lighting strikes possible, it is important to take the weather conditions seriously before attempting a hike in this area.

For your convenience and use, please review (info and route detail) and download the two referenced GPS Routes attached to this hike description: "Dive to Pueblo Cyn Overlook TH Parking" and the default hiking route- "Pueblo Cyn Overlook via Murphy Ranch#141.

This hike begins on signed "Murphy Ranch TR#141" at the FR487A road end TH Parking area as noted in the driving directions section and further detailed in my posted 5/15/10 pic set and GPS Route. Trail#141 with some manageable tree downfall and overgrowth to negotiate on trail is relatively well defined, easy to follow, and continues downhill for ~1.1 miles to end and intersect "Rim Trail#139" north and south. This hike continues north (left turn) on TR#139 to first views of scenic and rugged upper "Cold Spring Canyon" drainage at ~1.7 miles in from TH Start. After rounding the scenic upper end of this canyon on TR#139, you continue NE on trail along the north side of upper Cold Spring Canyon to a recommended short-downhill "off trail" section (no signage or cairn) at ~1.84 miles in from TH Start (at reference way point N33.82588 W110.89301). This short-down hill "off trail" segment takes you to a most scenic bluff overview section of middle-lower Cold Spring Canyon drainage and Cherry Creek drainage beyond.

Continue hiking northeast then north on Rim Trail#139 with some manageable tree downfall and with minimal trail overgrowth on this relatively easy and well defined trail section. At ~2.90 miles in from TH Start, you will arrive at the signed intersection for perennial "Edward Spring" seep and "Pueblo Canyon Bluff Overview" area. Author suggests you hike the short .1 mile round trip distance to enjoy the riparian area of perennial Edward Spring seep (at (way point N33.83651 W110.89256) before enjoying the more time consuming- scenic photo and break locations along the upper Pueblo Canyon Rim view areas (beginning at way point N33.83742 W110.89124).

Water Sources
Perennial Edward Spring seep (suitable for drinking water filtration and/or chemical treatment).

Backpack Tent and Hammock camping locations are readily available.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2010-05-19 Grasshopper
  • S_34343-11172_1274233733-46.jpg S_34920-13160_1289448977-02.jpg S_51010-888888_1337055936-03.jpg
    guide related
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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Sierra Anchas Loop
Mike and I did a Sierra Anchas loop. We parked/started at the Parker Creek TH and headed up to the Rim trail. We took the Rim trail to Pueblo Canyon overlook. We didn't stay too long because the temps were a bit toasty .
We back tracked to Murphy Ranch trail and went down Reynolds Creek trail. It was great hiking on a soft dirt trail. I had forgotten how nice and shady Reynolds creek is. I’ll have to return again this summer.

We returned back to FR486 and hiked down the road back to Parker Creek trail , then the TH.

This is a great hike on a warm/hot day. There’s enough shade on the Parker Creek trail to keep the temps down until you hit the upper trails. The Rim trail has some sun exposure, so it may not be a good choice in the heat of the summer.
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
It's been a couple of years since I've been in the Sierra Anchas and since it was new to Fan, we did a sampler hike.

We started at the Parker Creek TH and headed up. It was a bit chilly in the shade. We went down the Rim trail to the Moody point intersection. I went south on the Moody Point trail to almost where it meets up with the Deep Creek trail and then returned.
We then had lunch at the Pueblo Canyon overlook. Then we doubled back and took the Murphy trail to FR486. Fan took a rest as I went down the Reynolds’s Creek trail. I had forgotten how nice this trail was. I re-discovered ' the abandoned trail/road that Hank and I found years ago.

Fan and I took FR486 to the Carr TH and returned to the Jeep. If we had time, we would have gone to the fire tower.

I was impressed with the trail maintenance.
The Parker Creek had 2~3 small fallen trees.
The Rim trail had 3~4 minor fallen trees between Murphy trail and the Pueblo Canyon.
Murphy trail had some major clean-up. The removed dead fall made bumpers on the trail. There was one fresh fallen tree
Reynolds's trail had 3~4 medium to major fallen trees
The unnamed trail had 3~4 medium/major fallen trees

I'll have to remember to come out here more often in the summer. The views are always fantastic!
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
This is my favorite Sierra Ancha Wilderness hike of the Tonto National Forest published thirteen "official" trails in this wilderness. I wanted to introduce Jack to this area before his end of the month departure back to his primary home in Minnesota for the upcoming summer months.

After our two hour and forty-five minute, ~95 mile scenic drive up from Apache Junction with a short stop on FR487 at Workman's Creek Falls and again on FR487A at our TH parking location at the historic Murphy Ranch complex with its large apple orchard for some photo ops, we began our hike in on the Murphy Ranch Trail#141 at around 10am.

This recommended day hike or backpack is all about the destination views at hike end- at the upper Pueblo Canyon Bluff Overlook points and requires some initial patience and tolerance on Trail#141 to endure the first 1.2 miles in on this less scenic, mostly burned-out area with thorny on trail New Mexico Locust plants. This short 1.2 mile Trail#141 also descends from a hike highpoint start at 7250ft to 6574ft (-676ft), so immediately you know that if you are not planning a loop hike back, that your hike out last 1.2 miles (+676ft) will again be on this Murphy Ranch Trail#141 :sweat:

Once on connecting Rim Trail#139 the scenery and as of this trip, a mostly clear trail with little downfall, nice oaks, junipers, cedars, and some pines makes up for what Trail#141 lacks. Once you reach Rim Trail#139 end at the trail sign junction for perennial "Edward Spring seep & Pueblo Canyon".. , whatever you might not have enjoyed on this hike destination approach will soon have less significance ;)

Thanks Jack for joining me on this one, for driving us from AJ, and for your always enjoyable company..and to end our day, my first time for Mexican in Superior at the popular..
igallery/image_page.php?id=4706 :D
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
What an exciting area Hank invited me to hike with him. We drove from my place in Apache Junction to hike to the Pueblo Canyon Overlook in the Sierra Ancha Mountains which line the Northern side of Roosevelt Lake. The drive alone is beautiful and exciting as you enter the mountain range and gradually increase in altitude and following Workman's Creek.

We pulled over at the falls for some photos and it's too bad that there wasn't more water flowing because this could be really beautiful. A couple of hundred yards further up, is an old water level monitoring station that doesn't look like it's used any more. Continuing on, we came upon patches of snow still alongside the road then finally we arrived at the Murphy Ranch Trailhead (the ranch is now called Haldi Ranch).

At an altitude of 7,200 feet (+/-), we parked the pickup, got into our hiking gear and hit the trail at 0955. It's always a bad sign when you first hit the trails and you descend 1,000 feet to your destination, cause at the end of the hike, you have to climb 1,000 feet :o The trail system is well marked even without cairns because the Elk have made it into a major thoroughfare. Signage marks entry/exit points of other trails in the area.

When we reached the end of the trail, we toured Edwards Spring, another hot spot for the Elk, then we went to the overlook. The views from the tops of the 6,200 foot cliffs is nothing short of spectacular. The views down Pueblo Canyon reveals the ancient ruins tucked under some overhanging rocks about 800 feet below the top and another 700 feet above the creek.
(A quick calculation shows about 4-1/2 inches (at 500'per 7/8" on the TOPO) from my spot on the overlook, to a spot above the ruins, then another 600' down equals approx. 2,500' from my camera to the ruins)

I set my camera on a small, portable tripod to steady it and went full zoom to capture some shots of the ruins from my spot on the overlook. From my vantage point, I think I was able to capture most of the features. It's truly amazing that an early people lived in a place that is so inaccessible then, after years of habitation, just disappear without any traces.

I took photos of the ruins from a couple of places along the overlook and then moved farther along to get some shots of the upper waterfall far below us. Again, it's disappointing that there was so little flow, but it's wet and there was a small flow visible in the creek. We paused for lunch and found that the overlook has a lot to offer for us shutterbugs with twisted and bent Alligator Juniper growing seemingly out of the bare rock surface. Some of the trees had been burnt by the fire of 2000, yet still have some green growth to show how tough they are.

Too soon we were on the return hike and by now the temperature was creeping up higher than we had thought it would be at this altitude. The trail didn't seem this steep on the way in, must be the altitude. The other hiking problem is the number of "New Mexico Locust" that line both sides of the upper reaches of the trail. Hank was wearing shorts and I often heard those words of discontent as we pushed through the heavier sections of growth :o But finally we reached the truck, cleverly parked in the shade of a towering pine tree.

On the return trip, we visited the unoccupied fire lookout tower on Aztec Peak, then stopped at a Forest Service cabin for a change of clothes and a cool, refreshing drink. Yep, this was a fun day and one that I would recommend to anyone looking for an escape from the valley's heat range. Although you can't get to the ruins from here, it's a great place to view them. :y:
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Since my first visit in June'07 to this "gem of a hike" location in our Sierra Ancha Wilderness, I had always thought it would make an excellent, new hike addition to our HAZ- TrailDEX listing for others to also enjoy.

As of this posting, now with the Murphy Ranch TR#141 TH access road- Workman's Creek Road (FR487 & FR487A) completely open and accessible via "high clearance vehicle when dry", it was time to plan my 3rd hike here since 2007 to refresh my memory and gather all the necessary details to edit a new HAZ- hike description.

Highlights of this most enjoyable day hike or backpack:
This trip begins with a very scenic drive on Hwy 288 to FR487- Workman's Creek Road past the popular photo stop at "Workman's Creek Falls", to FR487A end at the historic "Murphy Ranch" with it's large apple orchard and building complex. TH Parking and Hike Start is at the end of this FR487A. This special in and out hike with connecting trail options available, takes you by the upper end of colorful, rugged with sheer cliff walls "Cold Spring Canyon" and then on to end at the beautiful high cliffs (+1000 ft drops), scenic, and rugged upper "Pueblo Canyon Bluff Overlook" area for near and distant views of Cherry Creek Drainage to the east and north. Also included in this day hike or overnight(s) backpack option is a short .1 mile round trip hike to perennial "Edward Spring" with its surrounding overnight campsite options. Hiking elevation begins at a TH high of 7250 feet to 6250 feet at trail end- upper Pueblo Canyon Overlook area :D
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
This is a beautiful hike that takes you to viewing spots above both Cold Spring Canyon and Pueblo Canyon. It also goes by the old Murphy Ranch (now Haldi Ranch) and the apple orchard nearby. Hank and I also visited Edward Spring and that area which has numerous potential camping spots. The map shows where our hike was in relation to the popular ruins sites more than 1,000 feet below us separated by vertical walls. We were 1.2 horizontal miles from the Cold Spring Ruins and only 0.25 miles from the Pueblo Canyon Ruins on this hike.

The drive in on FS487 and FS487A was easy and can be done by any high clearance vehicle when dry. We parked less than 1/2 mile from the Murphy Ranch trailhead as we were stopped by a fallen tree that may be cleared soon. There is plenty of burnout area from the Coon Creek fire in 2000. But there is also some very health pine forest and green area from low growth after that fire.

I think Hank and I now own the clouds since this is our second consecutive hike with massive cloud formations that are a photographers dream. Another great day on the trails.

BTW - On the return drive we had a very pleasant conversation with an AZ State Policeman who seemed to think I came over the hill at 68 mph shortly after turning onto route 188. Apparently the speed limit is 55 there. He asked me for my drivers license. How dare he. I think he was profiling. After all I am a white gray haired MAN (oh no :scared:)!! I got one of those state papers saying something about "Warning" across the top.
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Note: Edit at 2/20/08 to change trip log to HAZ Hike Desc- Reynolds Creek Trail#150

When topohiker-Ken and I first explored this Sierra Ancha Wilderness area on 6/17/07(see triplog), we were very pleasantly surprised in finding a great "overlook/viewpoint" into rugged upper Pueblo Canyon at this ending point on RIM TR#139 which also included as a bonus, an active/seeping spring- Edward Springs. We knew that we would be back!

For this second trip back we talked about planning a group hike to this ending spot above by including beautiful, lush green Reynolds Creek Tr#150 as our starting and ending TH.

We planned and scheduled this second hike for this Labor Day Weekend-9/1. A number of hikers on our outing (Ken led and I co-led), were members of AOTC and also members of HAZ, but unfortunately I was not able to obtain their "user names" or I would post. We started our hike from the Reynolds Creek Tr#150/TH at 10:am. With breaks and a lot of downed tree hopping on the last .5mi of #150 and on Murphy Ranch Tr#141 and Rim Tr#139, we arrived at our ending, scenic lunch spot at upper Pueblo Canyon Overlook/Edward Springs(6200') at 1:15pm. It was a very warm afternoon going in the 1.6mls on #139, in high 80's-low 90's, with monsoon storms threating. After some exploring, a 40min lunch, and pics, we started back and the monsoon lighting-thunder & rain started! We all had rain gear and definitely put it to good use for about 1 hour of our hike out. The lighting was very intense and too close for comfort during our exposed hiking time on #139/#141 but all went well hiking in much cooler temps and we safely make it back to the TH by 4:40pm. Another long hiking day in our remote Sierra Ancha Wilderness, but a very rewarding one! I don't think I have ever seen the Reynold's Creek Tr#150 so GREEN with such thick ground cover & flowers as it was this trip! I can't wait to see and/or hear about all those Aspen and Bigtooth Maple in their full Autumn'07 glory on this beautiful 3.7mi trail!
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Murphy Rnch41-Rim139-Ed Sprgs
This was Father's Day Hike part#2 (part#1 on 6/17 was the Aztec Peak via Abbey Way#151 LOOP) of topohiker and my 3rd attempt/trip in the past 2 years in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness to completely finish hiking ALL of Rim Tr#139. On this 3rd attempt we needed to complete the ~1.8ml North portion of #139 from the Murphy Ranch Tr#141/Rim Tr#139 intersection to its end at Edward Spring, the upper Pueblo Canyon viewpoint.

It was a long hiking day, a total of 15.5mls/7 hrs 25 minutes, but we finally completed Tr#139 and had a nice surprise passing scenic upper Cold Springs Canyon about 1 mile in on #139 and had a bigger surprise at our ending point and lunch spot at 6250' with exceptionally nice views/overlooks down into rugged upper Pueblo Canyon. Also, we were pleasantly surprised to find that at trail end, Edward Spring is an perennial water seep that would be acceptable for drinking after filtering. Our 1.1ml (-800') hike on the Murphy Ranch Tr#141 to #139 was kind-of a hassle due to all the downed trees in the trail that we had to go over, under, and around, but the end result was well worth the effort!

This entire Rim Tr#139 is really not all that difficult a trail. It has a published length of 7.3mls one way, but partially due to it being an inner trail and with the extra time it takes to approach it with the present FR487 road closure from the Falls Campground, it just takes some extra hiking time to do the whole thing.. Also, there were some downed trees in/on the trail that will slow you up some, and there is one area about 4 to 4.5 miles in from the NW trail head intersection with Parker Tr#160 that was a REAL TOUGH route finding area for topohiker and myself.. we actually got screwed-up here twice, 1st time coming in on 139 from the NW and a 2nd time coming in on 139 from the opposite direction, the SE :doh:

Permit $$

Map Drive
High Clearance possible when dry

To hike
From the Phoenix area: Take Hwy 60 east to Globe (at MP247) turn north on HWY 188 towards Lake Roosevelt; Drive 14.7 miles (at MP229.4) turn right onto HWY 288; Drive 25.3 miles north (at MP284.1) to FR487-Workman's Creek Road; Turn right on Workman's Creek Road and continue on this "high clearance" FR487 for 5.95 miles to its intersection with unmarked FR487A (way point N33.81107 W110.90530) at marked Aztec Peak Road intersection; Bear Right onto FR487A and continue for 0.97 miles to road end at Murphy Ranch TR#141 TH-Parking (at way point N33.82236 W110.90485); Note: Please see posted, down-loadable GPS Driving Route dated 5/15/10;
page created by Grasshopper on May 19 2010 3:36 pm
help comment issue

end of page marker