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Treasure Loop to Praying Hands, AZ

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Guide 140 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
3.2 of 5 by 21
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,000 feet
Elevation Gain 1,000 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
6  2019-03-29 RickVincent
7  2019-03-10
Siphon Draw Trail #53
15  2019-02-27
Canyon of the Waterfalls & Massacre Falls
11  2019-02-23
Falls Trails
29  2019-02-05
Praying Bear Falls Loop
7  2019-01-01 RickVincent
20  2018-10-20
Fins Hands Dutchman Loop
7  2018-10-04
Lost Dutchman State Park Loop
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Author tinyelvis
author avatar Guides 3
Routes 0
Photos 125
Trips 17 map ( 82 miles )
Age 40 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  6:13am - 6:24pm
6 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Remote exploration playtime
by tinyelvis

Treasure Loop 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 up hill rapidly along a straight, well-manicured and wide trail. A little over a mile up, or half way 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 valley's and 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 more steep 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 basically 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 times of 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 just 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 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 a great hike for those that like to explore and play around some amazing 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 amazing colors and the gravity-defying formations.

Check out the Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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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
    area related
    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.

Most recent of 28 deeper Triplog Reviews
Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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Good to be back out on the trail. I've been absent from my happy places while dealing with some intermittent lower back pain. Lots of ice, heat and massage on Sunday. Woke up feeling good Monday.
Hiked from Hwy 88 trail head out to the Praying Hands and beyond. Short break at my destination then back the same way.
Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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Out and back hike to Praying Hands. Came across a herd of deer on my return. More than I've ever seen in this group. 10 of them. They wanted to cross from the west side of the trail to the east, but I was in their way. They didn't know what to do. After shooting some video, I let them go about their way. Turned around to see them making their way across the trail behind me.
Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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On the trail with Chris around 7:15am. Went out to Praying Hands then continued on towards the drainage on back side of mountain. Running water (snow melt) made things more interesting. Not only is the desert alive with sounds of running water, but the route was slippery, which slowed progress. One wrong move and its a tumble or slide down into a cold pool of water. Fortunately, no wrong moves were made today.
Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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Wanted to head back up and check out the dry falls area of this hike. Read that Miners Camp shut off all parking for hikers, so I called, true enough, some hikers were abusing the privilege ( over 55 yrs of allowing parking ) and cutting across their neighbor's yards, they received so many complaints that they shut it off :cry: Went and bought a season pass for the Lost Dutchman Park. Parked at the Cholla TH and headed up to the falls. What a nice day, the trail to the falls is in perfect shape :). Headed back and worked our way back to Cholla on a trail I show on Basecamp as Lost Dutchman Loop, part of this trail has been newly worked over the past week, lost the trail and headed over to Cholla, next time we'll reverse and see if we can determine what is going on.
Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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Arrived at Mining Camp to find trailhead markers gone and Private property signs that said no hiker parking. Moved on to trailhead parking at First Water Rd and 88. Hiked to Praying Hands and continued beyond and into the first canyon that climbs towards the peak. Stopped at the slick rock area and pools in the canyon then returned.

Slipped on a rock and caught myself falling forward. Felt a bit of a stinger in my shoulder. Now, its two days later and I can barely move my arm. Pain in the shoulder has been intense since waking on Sunday morning. Off to the doc this afternoon. :(
Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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With morning temps in the upper 60's and today's high projected into the 90's, it's best to get an early start. It was 0630 as I headed out of the Mining Camp parking lot with a destination of Praying Hands rock formation. There were several vehicles already in the lot but I only ran across a few hikers along the trails... kinda nice and quiet.

After gaining some altitude, I stopped and watched the sun as it lit up the Goldfield Mountains on the other side of the Apache Trail, that's always one of the advantages of getting an early start and today didn't disappoint. Got up to Praying Hands rock and took a short break before hitting the trail back the way I came. Still having some problems with a sore right ankle but the doc says he can't find anything wrong so; "just take these pills".

Everything's dry and crispy.
Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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Humid but with a cool breeze this morning. Mining Camp to Praying Hands in 25 minutes. Continued on past the hands. Returned the same way and came across a very fast snake. Appeared to be a young Ring-Necked Snake. Kind of a gray color with an underside that ranged from yellow to red. Never seen a snake move so fast.
Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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How many times have you went to bed thinking of doing a 10-12 mile hike in the morning? Then you wake up and feel like a 2 mile hike, :guilty:. Yep, I downsized my hike again. Now why can't I downsize my meals ](*,) !

I did Treasure Loop to Praying Hands. From there I went down and up Prospector and then finished Treasure Loop. The trailhead has nice new bathrooms since the last time I was here. I did the hike clockwise. The first half mile or so seems pretty barren. With today's humidity you can get a good sweat by the time you get to Praying hands. Prospector is in good shape. There was one dead diamondback half way down. Coming back up I saw a guy walking his horse passed the snake. He lives at the foothills and said he sees King snakes and red snakes all the time at his house. Leaves them be but kills rattlers if in his yard :( . Nice cloudy humid hike this morning.

Can we start a go fund me account for bathrooms like these to be put at South Mountain!
Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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On the trail at 5:10am. Cool morning, but the days are getting shorter which crimps my midweek style. My hikes before work will be snuffed out by darkness very soon, just in time for the beautiful weather. :( Grrr! Daylight Savings Time may not be such a bad idea for accommodating my morning hikes.
Treasure Loop to Praying Hands
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Just stretching the legs this morning before the heat of the day sets in. Only saw a few other hikers out on this sunlit morning. Good temps and slight breeze. Lots of wildlife still moving at the early hours before the crowds hit, saw a herd of six Mule Deer, Turkey Vultures, Rabbits and lots of birds.

Permit $$
AZ State Parks more info
2018 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, 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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