Phoenix: Black Mesa Loop

This popular 8.9-mile lasso loop crosses mesa and cacti country near Weavers Needle, whose shadow allegedly leads treasure seekers to a lost gold stash.
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This popular 8.9-mile lasso loop crosses mesa and cacti country near Weavers Needle, whose shadow allegedly leads treasure seekers to a lost gold stash.

Mapped by Steffan Fay

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 14.4

Waypoints

BML001

Location: 33.4802398681641, -111.442901611328

From First Water trailhead, head SE on Dutchmans Trail 104, a well-worn dirt road

BML002

Location: 33.4773788452148, -111.439697265625

Turn L @ marked Y onto Second Water Trail 236. In .8 mi., cross First Water Creek (usually dry); head N

BML003

Location: 33.4858207702637, -111.42749786377

Turn R @ T onto Black Mesa Trail 241. Leave Garden Valley, an expansive plain ringed by flat-topped mesas; head SE for moderate ascent of Black Mesa

BML004

Location: 33.4747200012207, -111.413299560547

Continue SE along saddle; dense jumping cholla plants outline the trail

BML005

Location: 33.4683990478516, -111.403617858887

Trail snakes NE, then SE. Steep descent to Boulder Basin in .5 mi.

BML006

Location: 33.4611396789551, -111.394500732422

Pass through Boulder Basin, a seasonal streambed where several canyons meet. Weavers Needle, a 1,000-ft. rock pinnacle, creates a striking SE backdrop. (Legend has it that the hidden Lost Dutchman gold mine lies somewhere in the Needle's shadow. Good luck!) In 400 ft., turn R @ T onto Dutchmans Trail

BML007

Location: 33.4601402282715, -111.394798278809

Bear R @ Y. Ahead, multiple trails intersect path; stay on Dutchmans Trail

BML008

Location: 33.4574012756348, -111.402397155762

Cross wash, then begin ascent of Parker Pass

BML009

Location: 33.4553527832031, -111.410484313965

Head NW through landscapes peppered with prickly pear and stunted palo verde; O'Grady Canyon enters on L

BML010

Location: 33.4662933349609, -111.42896270752

Continue NW along First Water Creek (seasonal flows)

BML011

Location: 33.474796295166, -111.436836242676

Trail briefly curves W, then N to WPT 2; turn L @ T to reach trailhead

Starting the loop

Location: 33.4776268005371, -111.439338684082

©Steffan Fay

A Distant Mesa

Location: 33.4854049682617, -111.426132202148

©Steffan Fay

Desert Landscape

Location: 33.4790954589844, -111.435516357422

©Steffan Fay