Hike the Go John Trail

5.6 miles 804 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Dan Deublein

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.  

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Mountain Biking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


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Overall rating: 

Beautiful and popular

I love this trail in the winter, but I’ve heard that spring is remarkable with wildflowers everywhere. Because it’s so popular, parking can be a bit of a challenge so arrive early to ensure you get a spot. Even if you go in the winter, make sure you bring enough water!

about 3 years ago

Spring Time is The Best Time

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.

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