Petroglyph Hike

One of the great things about living in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains is the presence of hundreds of miles of hiking trails.

The Superstitions are considered some of the most arduous in North America. With summer temperatures hovering well over 110°F (43°C) and monsoon rains causing flash floods with little to no warning, many people die every year on the trails.

The Apache believe the Superstitions are holy, and that one needs to be purified before entering the wilderness.

One of the easier hikes is called the improperly named the Hieroglyphic Trail. Accessed off of King’s Ranch Road, the trail is not as strenuous as many. Not much shade, the 1.5 mile hike is a bit rocky and had a steady incline.

Sturdy hiking boots are recommended, and being plenty of water. A single bottle will simply not suffice.

Along the hike you will see forests of Saguaro cactus, found only in the Sonora Desert. Along the trail you are advised to admire but not touch the cholla and prickly pear cactus. Keep your eyes open and you will see lizards.

The area was inhabited by the Hohokem tribe 1500 years ago.  This secluded area has a water basin and running stream most of the year. As you reach the pinnacle of the mountain, you will find this oasis.

The rocks around the water basin are carved with ancient petroglyphs. Hieroglyphs are more of a language, whereas petroglyphs are pictures telling a story carved into rock.

There are typical animal figures, and a few more bizarre images. These are not the only petroglyphs in the Superstitions, there are others along other trails. These are just the biggest concentration and best known.

This is an easy hike for the beginner, as long as you are in good health.

 

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