Hackberry Spring from Horse Lot, AZ | HikeArizona

Hackberry Spring from Horse Lot, AZ

Guide 163 Triplogs Mine 0 3 Topics
3.2 of 5 
no permit
1.1k 163 3
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.55 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,232 feet
Elevation Gain -172 feet
Accumulated Gain 344 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5-2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.27
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
 Backpack Possible & Connecting
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author avatar Guides 5
Routes 0
Photos 47
Trips 240 map ( 1,752 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Denver, CO
Associated Areas
list map done
Phoenix Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Oct, Nov, Dec, Feb → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:54am - 6:23pm
Official Route
10 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2020 Superstition Fire9.6k
Nearby Area Water
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Fauna  Nearby
Flora  Nearby
Meteorology  Nearby
Named place  Nearby
Culture  Nearby
Short day hike
by mttgilbert

Two other loop options

This trip starts from the horse-trailer parking lot where the fee boxes are located off FS78.
Start walking east along the road to the trailhead. About 0.1 miles down the road there's a pull-off with a closed gate. Crawl through the fence and follow the road about 0.3 miles to an old corral and windmill. There are lots of trails crisscrossing Firstwater Creek in this area, pick one and find the creek bed. Once in the creek start going north into the slick rock canyon. Once you're in the canyon follow it for about 0.25 miles. At this point the canyon will split; follow the canyon east, not north. Shortly after the split, the canyon feeds into another canyon. To the north, the canyon continues, to the south it kind of peters out and gives a great view of the east side of Superstition Mountain. You want to go north. About halfway down this stretch of canyon, right before it starts bearing east, there is a nice copse of trees with a few campsites and a well-used cave. There's a big rock in the middle of the creek with a giant arrow pointing to the east, I think this is someone's marker for the campsite, at least I couldn't find anything else that it might be marking. The area would make a nice camping spot, especially with all the insects and other animals that frequent the spring. Just a short way further there's another stand of trees, larger and greener than the previous one. This is when you'll know you're near the spring. The canyon runs east and west with the spring on the south side of the canyon. On the north is a nice shady spot that's been well cleared by past campers. The spring is not visible from the creek bed but it's not difficult to find, just look for a path out of the creek on the south side of the canyon. There is a pipe that comes out of the cliff wall and a defunct collector just below it.

There is no water at the trailhead and usually none in the creek however there are sometimes stagnant pools in the canyon rock, and there is the spring, which is said to have water year-round, but I wouldn't count on it. Pack in all the water you need. Remember if you camp here that the desert animals rely on the spring for their water. Please don't camp near it if at all possible. Even camping near the spring disrupts the animal's natural habits and can be extremely detrimental to their health. Besides with all the mosquitoes and bees flying around who would want to camp near it anyway?

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2003-09-04 mttgilbert
    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 $$

    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

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