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

Garden Valley - Hackberry Loop, AZ

no permit
4 3 0
Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
3.3 of 5 by 3
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,232 feet
Elevation Gain 429 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.15
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2018-12-31
Garden Valley Loop
4  2018-09-15 bezzantine
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  7:28am - 5:48pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
1 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
First Water Lower Creek Shuttle
First Water Lower Creek Shuttle
0.0 mi away
5.8 mi
-300 ft
Weekes Wash
Weekes Wash
0.0 mi away
2.0 mi
500 ft
Hackberry Spring from Horse Lot
Hackberry Spring from Horse Lot
0.0 mi away
2.6 mi
344 ft
Horse Lot Trailhead to First Water TH
Horse Lot Trailhead to First Water TH
0.0 mi away
0.5 mi
60 ft
First Water Tributaries 2947 Loop
First Water Tributaries 2947 Loop
0.4 mi away
4.3 mi
815 ft
Massacre Falls Loop - First Water TH
Massacre Falls Loop - First Water TH
0.4 mi away
6.9 mi
1,375 ft
Massacre Grounds Upper First Water Loop
Massacre Grounds Upper First Water Loop
0.4 mi away
6.7 mi
1,380 ft
Boulder Canyon Loop from First Water TH
Boulder Canyon Loop from First Water TH
0.4 mi away
11.3 mi
1,560 ft
Second Water - Black Mesa cut Loop
Second Water - Black Mesa cut Loop
0.4 mi away
9.3 mi
462 ft
Old West Boulder Canyon Ridge
Old West Boulder Canyon Ridge
0.4 mi away
10.5 mi
3,300 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Great hike, outstanding trail run
by bezzantine

Likely In-Season!
A similar loop has been already published, but this cuts further west on the first/last leg, giving probably the best panoramic view of the loop, and rounding the mileage to an even 6.0. I like to park at the more western, "horse" lot, run the road to the trailhead lot, and end back at the horse lot. Nice clean loop. In the hot months, a dawn start this way keeps you in the shade for maximum time. Trail is almost always clear, but there are a few key intersections, so using the GPX route is highly recommended.

Half an hour east of Mesa, this has become my favorite local trail run. First Water trailhead is National Forest, but no pass/fee required. Aside from a few short stretches of running on "baby head" size streambed rocks, the elevation shifts and terrain are (for the area) unusually well-suited to trail running. There is no major peak to bag, but the trip hands out several awesome 360º views of the northern Supes out to Weaver's Needle. The real star though is the bit through a decently tight, relatively shady, steep-walled canyon.

An encounter with a very big, tightly coiled, loudly vibrating rattler right in the middle of this trail today convinced me how dangerous it could be to wear headphones (even in just one ear) on a trail run. Hearing this guy when he was just a well-camouflaged step or two away absolutely saved me a trip to the ER.

    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Horse Lot Trailhead
    From Mesa follow Highway 60 East to Idaho Road. Turn North onto Idaho Road which is SR88 and follow North 2.2 miles. SR88 bends right just past Scenic St. and Idaho continues North. Be sure to go right and stay on SR88. Follow SR88 5.2 miles to the signed turnoff for First Water Trailhead, this is FR-78. Turn right on to FR-78 and follow 2.1 miles to the huge parking area on the left surrounded by horse rails.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 42.6 mi - about 57 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 136 mi - about 2 hours 15 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 187 mi - about 3 hours 1 min
    page created by bezzantine on Sep 15 2018 10:32 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker