Superstition Ridgeline, Lost Dutchman State Park
Scramble high in the desert terrain just outside of Phoenix.
Get see-forever payoffs equal to the sweat-forever challenge on this 12-mile epic through the Superstition Mountains. You’ll clamber 2,700 feet up Carney Springs Trail, then ride a craggy Sonoran Desert ridge before scrambling 2,500 feet down the Flatiron Trail to Siphon Draw. Do it in a long day and carry at least a gallon of water per person (more for an overnight); avoid summer’s heat. Follow cairns along the spine and painted dots over boulders on the descent. You’ll get solitude, vistas across the entire wilderness, and ever-changing views of Weaver’s Needle, a sheer volcanic spire. Start at Carney Springs Campground (abandoned) and end at Lost Dutchman ($8/night for parking).
Maps USGS quads Weavers Needle and Goldfield ($8 each, store.usgs.gov)
Info (480) 982-4485; pr.state.az.us/parks/lodu