Hike the Dutchman's Second Canyon Loop

16 miles  - Loop Trail

Added by Breanne McNitt

Experience the beauty that is the Superstition Mountain, and enjoy the magic of running water in the desert, by hiking this 16 mile loop trail.

To get to the trail head, drive past Lost Dutchman State Park on the 88 and then take the dirt road (on your right) with arrows leading you to First Water Trail Head.  There is an outhouse at the trailhead, so I suggest visiting it before you begin this hike.  I also started this hike about an hour before sunrise, so I could be on the trail as the sun was coming out from the horizon- I highly suggest getting an early start.

After signing in at the trail register, head out on the Dutchman Trail.  Soon you will come to a fork with Second Water Trail.  Turn left off Dutchman trail and onto Second Water Trail.  You will now stay on this trail for about 3.5 miles, until it ends at Boulder Canyon Trail.  The sound of rushing water will greet you- especially if you do this hike in the winter or spring time- as you enter Boulder Canyon.  At the fork take a right, and now you must keep your eyes open for cairns marking your path.  You will cross the river multiple times during this section of the trail, and your feet will most likely get wet, so I suggest wearing wool socks on this hike.

You will keep heading upstream through Boulder Canyon until the trail ends.  So if you ever think you've lost the trail, just follow the river and eventually you'll spot some cairns pointing you in the right direction again.  Boulder Canyon Trail ends at the intersection with Dutchman Trail.  You can either turn right here which will take you back to the trail head and make this hike around 11 miles instead.  Or you can do what I did and turn left to make a loop around Black Top Mesa.

So after turning left, follow the Dutchman Trail as it winds it's way through the canyon and then switchbacks up to gain a bit of elevation and gives you beautiful view of Weaver's Needle.  You will pass intersections with Peralta trail and Terrapin Trail (both on your left).  Continue passed these until you reach the intersection with  Bull Pass Trail.  Turn left onto Bull Pass Trail.  This is the steepest section of the trail, so be careful coming down the loose rock on the backside.  After around 1.6 miles, Bull Pass Trail meets back up with Dutchman Trail. Congrats you've finished this short extension loop!

Now turn right onto Dutchman Trail.  You will now be staying on this trail for around 4.5 miles as it meanders through the canyon and takes you back to the First Water Trailhead. 

Note:  If you search Dutchman's Second Canyon trail into google, it will not direct you to a trail description of this loop. When I decided to go for a long solo hike, I chose random trails from the Superstitions Trail Map.  The individual trails that made up this loop are Second Water Trail, Boulder Canyon Trail, Bull Pass Trail and Dutchman's Trail.  So combining all these together, I came up with a name for my loop (which is also kinda like a funky figure-8).

For camping, check out Camp at Lost Dutchman State Park

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Photography
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Groups
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago

Long But Beautiful

This is a long strenuous hike but the views are amazing. It's a great hike in the spring of the year.

Overnight Stay

You can break this hike up into two days and camp in boulder canyon. Many beautiful sites to stay overnight along Boulder canyon creek.

Wear Good Shoes

This hike can be divided into thirds. First and third are easy peasy. Middle third super beautiful and more challenging. First and third sandy smooth clear trail. Easy to look at beautiful surroundings. Huge variety of flora. Middle third lots of boulders and stream crossings. Easy to get off trail because of difficult or no markings. Beautiful no matter. But be aware that it is lengthy and a bit strenuous. Probably best for experienced hikers.

Stay Nearby

Apache Junction, Arizona

Mesa / Apache Junction Koa

Mesa, Arizona

Las Sendas Desert Oasis W/ Private Pool & Hot Tub

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Your exquisite 6BR/3.5BA desert oasis is tucked in the prestigious and gate...

From $326/night

Mesa, Arizona

Lavish Las Sendas Retreat With Outdoor Living

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Boasting a backyard oasis with a pool and a prime location in the private L...

From $179/night

Mesa, Arizona

Stunning Home With Private Heated Pool & Sundeck

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Tucked in the private enclave of Las Sendas, this stunning 4BR/3BA home aff...

From $236/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Battleship Mountain

    Battleship Mountain is nestled within the Superstition Mountains, surrounded by dramatic peaks and desert landscapes. The hike itself is beautiful, and the views once on top of Battleship Mountain are exceptional. The diversity and uniqueness of g...

    11.5 miles 443 ft gain

  • Backpack the Superstition Wilderness to White Rock Springs Camp

    The Superstition Wilderness is a stunning 160,200 acre area outside Apache Junction, AZ, with over 170 miles of (variously maintained) trail networks. There are any number of trips you can design to fit your time and skill level. This adventure of...

    23 miles 3000 ft gain

  • Hike Black Mesa Loop

    From First Water Trailhead, a short walk east brings you to the junction of the Dutchman trail and the Second Water trail.  If you follow the Dutchman trail to the right you'll be heading southeast for a while, catching glimpses of Weaver's Needle...

    9 miles

  • Hike Massacre Grounds Trail to Massacre Falls

    There are many legends of a lost gold and buried treasures within the Superstition Mountains of Arizona.  The most famous is the story of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine.  In the 1840's, the Peralta family from Northern Mexico mined rich gold ore from...

    5.5 miles 1125 ft gain