• Activities:

    Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Autumn, Winter

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    5.6 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    804 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

A surprisingly beautiful hike through the desert North of Phoenix! Worthy for both locals and out-of-towners!

As you park at the trailhead, you have the option to take this trail in either direction. I recommend that you travel north, which will immediately provide 0.75 miles of elevation gain. You will then reach a pass with panoramic views of the Tonto National Forest. A bench in this area provides the perfect spot to catch your breath!

As you continue North, you will start to descend as you note an old mine shaft off to the right. Approximately another 0.25 miles, you will meet up with the Overton Trail. There are some cool washes in this next stretch, just continue to follow the signs for the Go John trail which are well-marked. 

About a mile further, the trail becomes somewhat eroded from the rains, but provides reliable footing. About half way through the hike, you will reach an elevation of 2,529 feet near Gunsight Pass. 

The last stretch of this hike provides beautiful views of the city below. You will continue to descend as you are guided back towards the parking lot. At a pace of 2.5 mph, this hike took roughly two hours to complete.  

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Snacks / Plenty of Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Trekking Poles
  • Sun Hat
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Overall rating: 

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Determining the direction will depend on if you want to make this a workout with a run, or a steady clip for a nice day hike. Starting west is the former, going east for the latter. East is a preference as you do a gradual winding incline looking into Cave Creek, Spur Cross and beyond. It allows for the descent of switchbacks on the final portion, which you will have to do a medium level assault for a workout if starting west. As the title implies, the variety of wildflowers doing bloom make for a rather scenic trip. Many other side trails exist to explore deep into the backcountry. Plan accordingly if this is an option you wish to pursue.

9 months ago
9 months ago

Dan Deublein Explorer

Dan is an explorer for The Outbound and editor of The Proper Function, an outdoor online editorial. He is passionate about exploration and can’t stay put for more than a week.

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