Hackberry Springs Loop, Superstition Mountains.

Hackberry Springs Loop: Easy Superstition Mountains Hike

I can’t believe it took me so long to finally hike the Hackberry Springs Loop, but I sure am glad that I finally did.

This short and easy Superstition Mountain hike is jam packed with stunning views at every turn! From Saguaro, to layered mountains, to wildflowers, and even seasonal water flows, this little hike is one I’d highly recommend to beginner hikers, families, and visitors.

If you’re ready to see what all of the hype is about, keep reading. In this guide I’m going to show you just how beautiful Hackberry Springs is while sharing important trail info!

Hey! Just so you know the below links contain affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through my links (at no extra cost to you). You can visit my disclosure for more info.

Hackberry Springs Loop Stats

  • Hiking Distance | 3.7 mile loop
  • Difficulty | Easy
  • Elevation Gain | 505 ft
  • Total Time | 2-3 hours
  • Permits/Fees | None
  • Trailhead | Hackberry Springs Trailhead
  • Dog Friendly | Yes, dogs allowed.

Below is a map of the Hackberry Springs Loop.

Hackberry Springs Trail Map.
I accidently took a wrong trail, as you can see above. Don’t go the way I did! I’ll explain in more detail later in the post, but there is a sign that will point you in the wrong direction.

While the trail looks pretty straight forward on a flat map, once you’re out there you’ll see it is anything but.

There are countless intersecting trails, some marked, some unmarked, and even a sign pointing you in the complete wrong direction.

Please listen to my suggestion and download the map for your hike! One way to do this is with a GPS system or app like Gaia GPS.

You can download my Hackberry Springs Loop hike and gain access to my library of all tracked hikes. Once downloaded, you can load it into your trusty device for ease of mind!

Where Is Hackberry Springs Loop?

Hackberry Springs Loop sits within the Superstition Mountains which is about an hour drive from the heart of Phoenix. If you’re wondering if it is worth the drive – I say it is.

This area is a stunning portion of the mountain range and you’ll be traveling down a bumpy dirt road that is a goldmine for great trailheads. Welcome to First Water Road.

You’ll want an SUV at the very least to travel down First Water Road. Each year the conditions of the road change due to weather and heavy rains but 2WD is almost always enough to get you there. If the road is extremely muddy or flooded, air on the side of caution and turn back around.

Your GPS will lead you straight to Hackberry Springs Trailhead which sits in the First Water Horse Lot, the second to last parking lot before the end of the road.

Best Time To Hike Hackberry Springs Loop

Hiking in Phoenix is most comfortable during the months of November-April due to favorable hiking temperatures. You also have a chance of heavy winter rains which will provide water flow through First Water Creek!

Since the trail is rather short you could knock it out super quick during the summer if you begin right at sunrise. Regardless, I suggest arriving early in the morning or later in the evening for a sunset hike to miss the crowds.

The parking lots off First Water Road get packed during the weekends and peak hiking seasons!

Check out my Instagram reel below highlighting Hackberry Springs!

The Hike: Hackberry Springs Loop

From the parking lot the trailhead is well marked and easy to find. You have the option of hiking clockwise or counter-clockwise, and whichever way you decide determines the trail you start on.

I always like to hike clockwise so I chose that direction and this trail guide will reflect that!

Overall the Hackberry Spring Trail is in great condition. Of course it is your typical desert trail full of dirt and rock, but I didn’t feel like it was too rocky or tough on the ankles. I’m also happy to report there is no rock scrambling involved, making this loop an easy hike without big obstacles.

Hackberry Springs Trail- Superstition Mountains.
Views Along Hackberry Springs Loop.

I was constantly stopping to look behind me for the views were just outstanding all around. This trail is one to take your time on and enjoy the scenery.

Hackberry Spring trail isn’t just flat either. It has some dips and inclines which make for more of an interesting hike without requiring anything too strenuous.

Eventually you will hike down to First Water Creek and cross it. If it hasn’t recently rained it will most likely either be a trickle or bone dry. Luckily when I visited there was a good amount of water for the pups to play in!

We explored up the creek a bit to see what was behind the rocks. When the water is flowing enough there will likely be pools of water for the dogs to wade in, a mini waterfall, and overall just more interesting desert landscape to enjoy.

Once the pups got their fill we backtracked to the trail and continued along the Hackberry Spring Loop.

The most confusing part of this trail is when you hike upon a sign that points for Hackberry Spring to continue left instead of right. Technically the actual Hackberry Springs Trail continues to the left, later connecting with Second Water Trail 236, and you can loop it this way for a longer hike if you wish.

But, you are supposed to actually turn right on the unnamed trail and ignore the sign if you want to do the 3.7 mile loop. The option is yours!

I accidently took the wrong turn and didn’t realize it until I looked at my map. So, my group and I backtracked and went the right way once at the intersection.

Hackberry Spring Trail Sign.
The sign, framed between two Saguaro, that points you in the wrong direction. Go left here.
Walking Along First Water Road.

This last section of the trail isn’t the most scenic and you’ll pass by what I think is an old ranch? It almost looked too new and like it could be used today, but still old. Who knows.

Sooner than you know you’ll intersect with the First Water Road and hike along a short portion of the dirt road to connect back to the parking lot.

Other Hikes Nearby:

Recap: Hackberry Springs Loop

It was a beautiful April Saturday morning when my friend and I took our dogs for a hike along Hackberry Spring Loop. I hadn’t done this hike yet and thought it would be the perfect way to start our morning.

Luckily it was a chilly morning for April so we didn’t get too toasty. The dogs had a blast playing in the fresh water and climbing around on the rocks by the First Water Creek.

Along the way I added two backpacking spots to my map as we passed by them! Both are shaded and near water (if flowing), so they’d be beautiful spots to return to for a night or two. I’ll share them with you below:

  • 33.49552, -111.44191
  • 33.49584, -111.44149

I hope to return one day myself for a night because it felt so peaceful.

2 thoughts on “Hackberry Springs Loop: Easy Superstition Mountains Hike

  1. Matt (and Bailey says:

    This is one of my favorite trails and areas to play around. My dog loves it too. There is another trail (unnamed to my knowledge) that cuts up over the ridge from First Water Creek to Second Water trail that we like to do as well when we’re just playing around. There is even a natural window (a hole in the rock formation that frames the Black Mesa area) up on that ridge if you poke around enough – we just recently found it after having been in that area so many times! I enjoy your IG and appreciate the time you put into these guides.

    • Kara says:

      Matt! Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I love that you and your dog get out and explore also. Next time I return to Hackberry Springs I’ll go that way and see if I can find the window- sounds so fun! Thanks for the tip 🙂

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