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Salt River Canyon View from Peak 3042, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
Rated
4.5
4.5 of 5 by 2
 
7
Statistics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,591 feet
Elevation Gain 451 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,862 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.31
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Yes & Possibly Connect
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
54  2018-01-13 adilling
25  2017-01-14 Nightstalker
50  2014-06-05
Peak 3042 - Mormon Flat Dam Quad
CannondaleKid
16  2004-10-20 joebartels
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Nov, Mar, Feb, Apr → 7 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  7:22am - 5:19pm
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Official Route
 
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Black Cross Butte 3351
Black Cross Butte 3351
same trailhead
2.1 mi
910 ft
Chalcedony Cave
Chalcedony Cave
0.0 mi away
1.4 mi
471 ft
Pickaxe Canyon
0.0 mi away
4.5 mi
1,438 ft
Crucifix Canyon
0.0 mi away
5.5 mi
540 ft
Peak 3042 - Mormon Flat Dam Quad
Peak 3042 - Mormon Flat Dam Quad
0.1 mi away
5.4 mi
1,716 ft
Ladder - Micro Canyons
0.4 mi away
6.3 mi
1,600 ft
Coronado Mesa
Coronado Mesa
1.4 mi away
2.8 mi
870 ft
Punchbowl Canyon
Punchbowl Canyon
1.5 mi away
2.0 mi
1,800 ft
Skeleton Cave Canyon
1.5 mi away
0.8 mi
900 ft
Apache Trail Canyon
1.7 mi away
3.0 mi
500 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Beyond cairns
by joebartels

Overview
Hike over Black Cross Butte and roller coaster it over to and up Peak 3042. The peak offers rare views of the Salt River Canyon. Return the same route or perhaps take the drainage back. The entire hike is off-trail. Surface varies but is easy travel for the most part. Moderately steep terrain is encountered but it's short and over quick.


Summary
Study the map. Next read Black Cross Butte 3351 for tips on attaining the major obstacle being the butte itself. I varied the course on my route up this time. It's not necessary to go over the butte as it's possible to skirt the upper slopes. However I think it's easier on the ankles just going over.

From BCB you'll need to do one of two things. Either load up the route into your GPS or be a good map reader. I believe the route I've posted on the map is the best route. You could make it shorter. Just keep in mind what you make up in distance you'll end up paying for in elevation changes. The terrain is very deceiving in the middle part of the hike. I've always heard about how to be careful in the Superstitions. Heck there's very distinctive landmarks in the Superstitions from what I've experienced. This area is more of a concern in my opinion. It's like walking on top of a maze but you're not quite high enough to see where the ridges and valleys go. The buttes and other landmarks aren't distinctive enough to get depth perception either. It all kind of blends in together.

Cairns guide you halfway. The second half was cairn free as of this writing. There are a few ten to twenty foot sections of path in some of the grassy sections. That aside the second half is very well preserved. You are far from being the first person to travel the area but it has a pristine pioneer feel. Peak 3042 looks tough to negotiate. I assure you it's much easier than it looks if you follow the map.

Once on top of the peak you are rewarded with outstanding views of the Salt River Canyon. Circle the edge to get in all the views. Be sure to check out the head on overview of Blue Tank Canyon. That alone was worth the hike in my opinion. Then again the route itself is pretty awesome for a day hike!

Notes
I strongly advise leaving the dogs at home for this hike. There's simply too many prickly cholla balls.

On my first attempt I wore teva sandals. It's possible like nearly every other hike I've done but boots are really preferred for this terrain.

On a cool, breezy eighty degree day in October I downed a full hundred ounce water pack. Don't let the 451 foot elevation gain deceive you. The accumulated gain for this hike is over 2800 feet. That's not too rough in itself but if you get off course it could get ugly.

joebartels
  • Map
    guide related
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 $$
None


Directions
Map Drive
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Road
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To FR80 Trailhead
From Apache Junction take SR88, headed northeast, out to FR80. Turn left on to FR80 to gate. Park on either side, making sure you're well off the road as this is the entrance/exit for folks and big equipment going to/from the dam below. Any regular-clearance vehicle can make it to the trailhead (there was a Honda minivan sitting there upon our return from the hike), but you may need to go a little slow. Also, there are some narrow sections of FR80 as you descend to the trailhead. So, look ahead for vehicles coming in the opposite direction. You may need to pull over at some spots to let the other vehicle pass you by.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 1 h 25 min (57.3 miles)
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 2 h 34 min (127 miles)
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 3 h 25 min (198 miles)
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