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Treasure Loop to Praying Hands, AZ

Guide 153 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 3.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,090 feet
Elevation Gain 834 feet
Accumulated Gain 848 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.34
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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14  2021-02-11
North side Supes Meander
11  2021-01-30 Vashti
8  2021-01-17 paulhubbard
9  2021-01-09 friendofThunderg
7  2020-06-01
Peak 3845 - Superstition Mountains
7  2020-05-09 friendofThunderg
29  2020-03-17 adilling
13  2020-02-29 Yoder
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Author tinyelvis
author avatar Guides 3
Routes 0
Photos 125
Trips 17 map ( 82 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:27pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2020 Superstition Fire9.6k

Warning the 2019 Woodbury Fire & 2020 Sawtooth Fire damaged a majority of the Superstition Wilderness.
Remote exploration playtime
by tinyelvis

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Treasure Loop Trail #56 is a 2.4-mile roundtrip trail that loops through the Lost Dutchman State Park in the Superstitions Wilderness. The trail is one of the easier hikes in the Superstitions, and the lower half can often be crowded on the weekends. While the Treasure Loop is a relatively easy day hike, I usually like to extend the hike via an undesignated trail full of solitude.

Starting in the Cholla day-use area, head up the Treasure Loop trail (#56) past First Water Rd. You will be going uphill rapidly along a straight, well-manicured, and wide trail. A little over a mile up, or halfway through the Loop, the trail will veer to the right, heading towards Green Boulder. You will be at an elevation of about 2500' feet at this point and should have an excellent view of the surrounding valleys, mountains as well as a clear view of the other trails heading down.

Instead of veering right, go straight and off to the left, heading towards Praying Hands. Make this your focal point should you have trouble locating your intended path. The hike becomes more difficult at this point and steeper as you begin ascending over small boulders. However, this is nothing that an average hiker and a decent pair of hiking boots shouldn't be able to handle.

Where you want to go is to the right of Praying Hands, slipping through the crevice between Praying Hands and the larger structure of the mountain to the right. Once you get to the crevice, you want to stick to the left, hugging the large boulder/rock/mountain as much as you can. This side acts as a natural drainage channel in rainy weather and therefore is not as slippery nor as obstructed as other areas, making the hike relatively easy. You will eventually make it to the top, where a small saddle appears, gracing you with a backside view of the Superstitions that few see.

Once you reach this top, you will have a great spot to picnic, relax, and enjoy the solitude of this "path less traveled". From here, you can climb further up the igneous rock over your left shoulder or head straight for an extended journey into the Superstitions. Be careful if you hike over the igneous rock above you, it is quite rugged, and there is a spot where you have to climb or jump down to get to a grassy mesa. I actually sprained my ankle in three spots once jumping 7 feet here because I was wearing Teva's. (Note to self: never wear Teva's hiking again. Period).

Also, a buddy claims he made the extended journey over the saddle about a mile deeper. There is a spot where you have to jump over a large crack, and the scenario is quite dangerous. Considering my history with the region, I declined, but he says he found a little cave with an old stove and lantern that looked at least 50-60 years old, so keep your eyes open.

Either way, this hike is a great start if you want to do the entire Treasure Loop but is full of extra rewards if you head further up the mountain. The solitude that you will experience once you get off the main trail is refreshing, and the views are remarkable. While this trail is not for the beginner, the hike is not extremely difficult or tiring, and it's an excellent hike for those that like to explore and play around impressive geologic rock structures. I love the Superstitions and consider them to be very mysterious and almost spiritual. There's something about this hike that makes me keep coming back for the fabulous colors and the gravity-defying formations.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2003-04-01 tinyelvis
  • guide related image
    guide related
  • 2018 Lost Dutchman SP Info
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    2018 Lost Dutchman SP Info
  • 2018 Lost Dutchman SP Map
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    2018 Lost Dutchman SP Map
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 $$
AZ State Parks more info
2021 Day Use Fees range from $2–$30

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Siphon Draw 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 4.9 miles to the Lost Dutchman State Park. Turn right into the park. Pay the fee, then follow the signs to the trailhead.

Free Alternative:
Utilize the Crosscut Trailhead 0.7 mi in on FR78. It is 2 miles on Jacobs Trail #58 to the junction with Siphon Draw #53. Which is 0.85 mi into #53.
2.00 - 0.85 = 1.15 mi extra each way

Mining Camp
This former free access point is now private as of Dec 2016.
2017 - cancel Christmas. It is closed.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 41.3 mi - about 52 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 134 mi - about 2 hours 9 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 186 mi - about 2 hours 56 mins
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