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Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH, AZ

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Guide 119 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions SW
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 6.05 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,080 feet
Elevation Gain 368 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,060 feet
Avg Time One Way 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.58
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4  2019-04-28 gummo
10  2019-04-14
Cougar Trail - Gold Canyon
3  2019-04-06 gummo
13  2019-02-23 cw50must
5  2018-12-22
Peralta Trailhead to Lost Dutchman Park 2
7  2018-11-29 Daytripper
5  2018-09-04 gummo
1  2018-08-03 gummo
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Author Fritzski
author avatar Guides 43
Routes 0
Photos 597
Trips 59 map ( 132 miles )
Age 66 Male Gender
Location Gilbert, AZ
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
7 Alternative
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Named place Nearby
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Should be a wildflower bonanza!
by Fritzski

This trail connects the Hieroglyph and Lost Goldmine trailheads. Christened the "Lost Goldmine Trail" (see notes #1) in the spring of 2001, it was the result of the hard work of volunteers under the direction of the Superstition Land Trust organization. There is now a seamless connection between the Peralta and Dutchman State Park trailheads with the new Lost Goldmine trail eventually extending westward to meet Jacob's Crosscut trail in the vicinity of the Broadway trailhead.

Click to enlarge MAPDespite its young age, this pleasant, gentle trail through the Superstition foothills is already quite popular as we saw many other hikers on a weekday afternoon. It is relatively flat and generally follows the contours of the terrain, remaining just outside of the Wilderness Area boundary, which is easily seen by the barbed wire fence. Because of this, the trail is also open to mountain bikes, although I saw none or any tracks on the day I went.

Hike: There are brand new trail signs posted at either end of the trail and for my description we will begin from the Hieroglyph end. From the parking lot at the east end of Cloudview Rd. you head out east on the Hieroglyphic Trail for no more than a quarter mile till you come to the Lost Goldmine Trail intersection on top of a low ridge. From there you drop off the east side of the ridge and head north until you come to the W.A. boundary where you then start heading east along the south side of the fence.

There are two prominent hills ahead of you that will require skirting around the bases to the south. Between the two you will cross a large bare rock drainage that still had spots of water despite the very dry conditions. Shortly thereafter you will come to a surprising jeep trail that appears well used and crosses the trail coming from the south and heads straight into the valley between the hills extending all the way back to the boundary. In this large canyon is a very large and prominent cave/alcove high upon the south face, which can be easily seen from the trail.

Continuing on, you finish rounding hill "2822" and once again continue to follow the boundary. Along the way you will encounter the remains of an old water retention dam. I am continually amazed by the number of such structures one encounters in the Superstitions that now appear permanently dry. Could this be due to a recent geological change in the area or possibly a change in weather patterns? I don't know the answer, but have been informed that the underground water table in the valley is not a factor.

A little further on at about the 4.75mi point you'll cross the Carney Spring trailhead. The views of the ridgeline are quite spectacular here. Finally you will make a quick dip to the south to cross a gully where you may notice one of the tallest saguaros I have ever seen. Coming right out of the bottom of the gully, it is a single stalk with one low arm and I swear it must be about twice as tall as any saguaro I've ever seen! Unfortunately, I was not able to photograph it, but here's one that's quite expressive!

From here you make a quick climb up the other side and to the end of the trail, which is actually in the Don's camp parking lot. While just a quick walk from the Peralta trailhead, it is outside the W.A. boundary and thus no parking charges.

Although it is my understanding that the Forest Service has some kind of map of this new trail, I'm not aware that it is yet available for human consumption. Therefore I have included a GPS generated topo map of the trail for those who are interested.


  1. Although the dictionary correctly spells "goldmine" as two separate words, I will refer to it in this description as it is actually shown on the trail signs.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2002-01-05 Fritzski

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 of 27 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
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    Got an early start from Carney Springs just as the sun was coming up and touching on Three Sisters. Met a couple friends who I had yet to hike with so I was excited to spend the day tackling 5057 and Three Sisters with them. We started strong up Carney Rd and through the kissing gate , we shed layers pretty quickly as the sun was starting to warm things up. The first section up the false saddle was the toughest in my opinion but also a lot of fun scrambling over rocks and up slabs. We managed to keep a good pace and stopped at the first saddle to take in the sights and early morning views. The rock formations are incredible and there was no shortage of things to point at and say "oh that's cool". The trail to West Boulder Saddle from here looked tough but we breezed up it without batting an eye.

    From the saddle we had pretty good views of Superstition Peak and into West Boulder Canyon. We then set off skirting above Boulder Canyon toward our destination. The trail is well marked and pretty easy to follow, some really fun sections as you cut around before dropping into and across a wash, again really well cairned. From here to start to climb the backside of Three Sisters, the gain is steady with a few borderline Class 3 Sections. Keep your eye out NW as you will start to see the top of Weever's Peak over the ridge right above West Boulder Canyon. We continued to climb and passed a small waterfall that provided some nice cool water for my head. A little after we passed the turnoff for Three Sisters that we would take on the way back we passed through some goal post cairns and hit a pretty nice saddle. The wind picked up hard so we through on some jackets and continued the push up hill. We hit the fork where the trail heads off right for Ridgeline or up left to 5057. Go left, some guys ahead of us went right and ended up turning around to arrive at the summit about 15 minutes after us. The summit is pretty apparent as you move up through the sea of hoodoos but is also really well marked with cairns. Take some time to explore this area as there is a lot of cool stuff to see. The final push to the summit involves some class 3 but is nothing too crazy. Great views up top; back into the valley, Flat Iron, Weevers, Three Sisters, all great sites on a bluebird day like today.

    We made our way back down and took the fork right to Three Sisters, we found the trail peter out after a half mile, once we gained the first climb, and ended up doing a bit of bushwhacking. My partners were a bit unprepared, donning shorts and trail running shoes, and quickly ended up with legs and feet full of cactus. My leather boots and pants held up just fine as I left them behind and made the final push to Three Sisters for some mazing views and really sweet rock formations. Didn't stay too long or explore too much as my sissy compadres were waiting and ready to go. Once back at West Boulder Saddle I bid them farewell and took off East up the trail.

    After dipping into the drainage, my initial plan was to follow it up to Robbers Roost but I ended up taking a path North following a faint trail and some Cairns which I found out would be the Dacite Super Loop. A very cool, isolated area with many more interesting formations to explore and some awesome sights of Weevers once I gained the ridge. I followed some cairns SE before arriving at a corridor above the Peralta Trail and saddle. Somewhat sketchy scrambling as I headed down hopping from massive boulder to massive boulder and forging a trail down to the saddle. Passed by a mossy spring that I used to help cool off and snap a few pics!

    Finally connecting with Peralta trail, which was packed with Lululemon clad families, I opted for Cave Trail which I have heard of but never taken since I am rarely is this area of the Supes. I thoroughly enjoyed this trail as it was a bit of a problem solver in sections. It passed by many cool little caves and down an area called the fortress, lots of fun going down Devil's Slide and spent some time in "The Tub". Across the wash up to Cathedral Rock where I ran into some climbers I knew and rested with them for a bit. I finished out Cave Trail connecting with Bluff Springs and down to Peralta TH. Unfortunately, I still had a couple miles down the road and across Lost Goldmine to connect with my car. A slow finish to an overall exciting day!
    Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
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    Hadn't been out here in a month and wanted to see if the chuparosa were popping and (attempt to) take some pix of hummingbirds. It was a beautifully quiet morning with only a handful of cars in the lot. The color in the canyon was good but not where it was last year around this time. There was only a little hummingbird action on the way in so I went up to the big pool and looked for a route up the west slope to the spire. Made it halfway up and could have kept going but decided to turn around. Back in the wash the action was picking up as it got warmer. Got a few lucky shots and headed back.
    Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
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    A lesser known and less traveled "off trail" canyon hike in the Superstition Wilderness - West ?? :o

    On December 16, 2014, HAZ Van posted a pic set and trip log of his fairly strenuous 5 mile loop with 2k AEG into, up, and over the top of this canyon which included an exit down and out the Hieroglyphic Canyon Trail. From viewing his pic set, I knew I was not up to trying a similar loop, but what an interesting, rugged, and scenic canyon this is.. surely worth a shorter out and back :)

    It took me three months to make a decision to give this one a try, but with all Van's help regarding a preferred "off trail" route, I was feeling more confident.

    Jack was available to join me on this beautiful Spring day so all was a go. After .52mls in on the Lost Goldmine Trail from the Hieroglyphic Park/TH Start, you need to cross the Superstition Wilderness Boundary fence to begin the more rugged, route finding off trail section of this hike. Crossing this barbwire fence with my full 25lb day pack, I lost my balance and fell backwards on my pumpkin still straddling the fence :sk:

    Once within the inner canyon I had a plan for us to venture further Northeast and UP in elevation to view one of the more prominent cliff alcove areas, but we had to abort this plan due to my poor execution of not being in the right inner canyon location to begin with.. better luck next time!

    The Spring Chuparosa wildflower displays in this topo map unnamed canyon but now appropriately HAZ named "Chuparosa Canyon" were just awesome and made up for the more difficult bushwhacking sections we needed to get through to view the inner sections of this most interesting new Superstition Wilderness-West hiking area.

    Thanks Van for all your help and thank you Jack for joining me, for driving, and for sharing some of Pat's delicious homemade chocolate chip/oatmeal cookies..she should market these! :)
    Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
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    Since Larry and I couldn't hike yesterday due to the weather I decided to go check it out today to see how much water was flowing. Only saw some trickles! The sun was shining as I left the trailhead but within an hour dark clouds moved in and it started to get windy and cold! I was looking for possible routes up through the back of the canyon but when it started to sprinkle I decided it was time to get down off the loose, slippery stuff. Of course it cleared up pretty quick after I was down!! Took some pics down around the falls, headed out and wandered over to Hieroglyphic Trail through the washes on the way out.
    Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
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    Now that I figured out the quickest hiking route in I was able to use the extra time to push all the way to the giant cave in the back of the canyon. There is really only one short scramble with some exposure, but the climb in/out of Chuparosa is steep and loose.

    This is an incredible canyon with some very strange formations! The cave area is amazing and drops steeply into the drainage on the east side. Besides what is visible from below there are other small isolated pockets on both sides of the central cave. If you enjoy some off-trail exploration, this is the hike for you!!
    Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
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    A quick Christmas Eve hike with the kids to show them this cool spot and the hummingbirds. They were skeptical at first, but after 20 minutes of sitting they couldn't help but smile at how fun they are to watch! They thought we should've called it "Hummingbird Canyon"! From there we explored up to the falls and had a holiday snack of Ohio baby swiss and Trail bologna! If you've had it you know what a treat it is!!

    Even though the trailhead was packed, we never saw anyone else once we dropped down on Lost Goldmine. Another reason to love this hike!!
    Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
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    After hiking both sides of this canyon recently I wanted to go back and explore up the main drainage past the "falls". On the way in I found a nice rock in the middle of the wash to enjoy all the hummingbirds. They were all over the place! A couple times they zoomed within inches of me (especially when they were chasing each other). Too fun!!

    Up canyon I climbed up a narrow slick rock area that led to a wider, more vertical chute fed by water that comes off the cliffs. There were some small pools in the sculpted rock but no flow. Worked down from the there to the middle of the canyon and over to above the "falls". There were some larger pools here and some colorful rock formations!

    This is a really cool hike for as short as it is!!
    Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
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    My wife and I decided to take advantage of the cool day for a hike. I asked her what she wanted to do and she said something pretty flat. So we headed to the east TH of the Lost Goldmine trail.

    Just enough breeze to keep it on the chilly side. When we got to the Dacite Cliff Mine trail I suggested she might like to see that, so off we went. All was cool. When we got back on the Lost Goldmine trail and then to the Carney Springs TH I suggested she might like the Wave Cave, so off we went. Not sure if she'll talk to me again this week. :whistle: Talk about chilly, oh well such is the life of a husband.

    Did find a type of cholla I have never seen before. There were half a dozen in a hundred yard area and they almost looked like a teddy bear that some one had burned off all the needles without hurting the cactus. I've attached a couple pictures.
    Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
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    Great hike with Angela on a favorite trail. We did out & back from Lost Goldmine Trail. The light was tremendous and all the vegetation looked extra green ( especially the Iornwood) and plump for this time of the year -- even ran into some blooming Chuparosa! On the wildlife and not so wildlife front -- we kicked it off with a massive herd of javelinas scampering way up off to the side up the hill -- They sure can move ! We ran into some good ole Longhorns along the drive in! We saw numerous tarantula holes and a tarantula as well towards the end of the hike. The birds were out in force and we were treated to Red-Tailed Hawks calling.

    We has seen a large multi-armed Saguaro in 2011 and had known of of its demise. We looked for it both on way out ( did not find) and on back ( we did find it). We found it as we returned back and took a quick pause to pay our respects!
    Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG TH
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    another hike in the Supes, 3 weekends in a row :y: Life is good!

    I like this trail as you can get in some good miles with good views of the Supes the entire way coming and going. There was a small chance of rain which provided us some awesome light :DANCE: off and on during the entire hike. Trying to capture it at ISO 200, however, would provide not the best of pictures. Finally realized that somewhere along the line in the last few weeks, I must have accidentally changed it. The pictures are hard enough to try and adjust but it is particularly hard to edit my movies when in the wrong setting.

    Nonetheless, it's not all about the movies or the pictures. We had a nice breeze along with broken and unbroken cloud cover for most of the day and encountered very few people coming and going. We made decent enough time considering the amount of times we stop for picture taking and just standing and admiring :) .

      -tafoni on the Dacite Cliffs was outstanding,
      -rays of of light on the mountains to the east of Peralta were quite fun to watch but hard to photograph,
      -couldn't find our big saguaro (from our 2011 hike) that had met its demise but Ambika found it on the way back,
      -we scared up a pretty good size herd of javelina that suddenly thought they were goats or something as they scurried straight up the hillside (got some of it on movie and stills),
      -had a break on the east side of Turk's Head which is called Turk's Cap by others from what I read somewhere,
      -saw one of them thar longhorns off to the side of the trail (saw a few on the way in on Peralta Road),
      -saw those 5 (compass?) cactus off of one root had grown taller (closer to Cloudview TH); we also had lunch on this area on the way back through (a bickering couple and their dog started up the hill and then asked which way was shorter back to the TH),
      -think I identified a hackberry bush/tree and saw some nice healthy chupurosa in the area with some hummingbirds lingering,
      -got some good light on the mushroom rock,
      -took a very quick break at the big cement trough? though not sure exactly what it is,
      -Pinal Search and Rescue was out practicing.

    It seemed very green out there. Everything flora-wise seemed pretty happy including stellar Ironwood trees and the saguaros and chollas.

    Here are a few videos:

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    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Hieroglyphics Trailhead
    From the East Valley follow US 60 East to South Kings Ranch Road. Kings Ranch Road is 14.1 miles east of Power Road for reference. Turn North on Kings Ranch Rd and follow to 2.8 miles to Baseline. Turn East on Baseline and follow 0.2 miles to Mohican. Turn North onto Mohican and follow 0.4 miles to Valleyview Road. Turn West onto Valleyview and follow (naturally turns North, and turns into Whitetail Road) for 1.4 miles. At the intersection of Whitetail Rd. and Cloudview Road turn East and follow 0.4 miles to the end. The trailhead parking is here and the trail is easy to spot to the East.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 42.9 mi - about 54 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 95.3 mi - about 2 hours 3 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 187 mi - about 2 hours 58 mins
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