register help

Salt River Canyon View from Peak 3042, AZ

no permit
205 9 0
Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
4.2 of 5 by 5
clicktap icons for details
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
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
13  2019-02-12 mike_berg
24  2019-02-02 Yoder
9  2019-01-19 hikerdw
14  2019-01-12 Nightstalker
54  2018-01-13 adilling
25  2017-01-14 Nightstalker
50  2014-06-05
Peak 3042 - Mormon Flat Dam Quad
16  2004-10-20 joebartels
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,812
Trips 4,252 map ( 21,403 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Nov, Mar, Feb, Apr → 7 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:09am - 6:32pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Beyond cairns
by joebartels

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.

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!

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.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2004-10-20 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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Salt River Canyon View from Peak 3042
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Harder than anticipated! The difficulty rated 3.5 per guide, but this is easily a 4.0. The official GPS route can be used as a guideline but don't try to follow it too closely unless you feel like going over a cliff or two. I should have paid more attention to Yoder's triplog below regarding routes.

Sadly I didn't achieve the ultimate goal here and turned around with a mile to go. Strength/stamina have been in the toilet lately, apparently a side effect of the acne meds I've been taking (luckily just one more month on those). In the past I've done several 20+ mile day hikes in the Supes (one being nearly 27 miles). By comparison, I barely finished the 12 mile Battleship Mountain hike I did two weeks ago.

So, in my current weakened state, I figured this would be a challenging hike but not overly difficult. Not quite. Two miles in I was already feeling pretty fatigued and even considered turning around right there. However, not wanting to throw in the towel (50% ego, 40% 3-hour round trip drive, 10% voices in head - another apparent side effect of meds) I trudged onward. Sadly, as I mentioned, I ended up turning around anyway.

I wasted a lot of energy just trying to figure out where I was going, backtracking and climbing up little hills to pick out routes, etc. The terrain is challenging and I found it hard to maintain a good sense of where I was and where I needed to go (and when I knew where I needed to go it was often hard to know how to get there!). I'll return here once I get my mojo back and - with a little luck - hopefully I can recover my dignity. I think I left it near Chalcedony Cave.

Plenty of great views out here, even if you end up walking in circles and fail to bag the peak.

I saw two nice bunnies and a seemingly ambivalent squirrel. No other hikers out there.

A few scattered about. Nothing substantial enough to be worth photographing.
Salt River Canyon View from Peak 3042
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Joined a group of meetup hikers for a trip out to the Salt River Overlook today. Left my home in north Phoenix in the rain at 6am and drove through steady rain all the way down to the 60. The rain paused long enough for us to get out to the trail head and hike all the way to the overlook. Thunder, lightning, and blowing rain accented our return to the trailhead. Not only was the overlook fantastic, we were also presented with a spectacular cloud burst and a wonder double rainbow! Saw some deer on the way out around the first bench and running water here and there. Delicious lunch and ice cream at Tortilla Flats afterwards. However, I don't recommend the fudge. I do recommend using the GPS tracks from Joe for this hike and track for Pickax Canyon.

Permit $$

Map Drive
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)
$17 3L Hydration Bladder
help comment issue

end of page marker