If you’re looking for a scenic hike with mountain views, you’ve found it. The full Peralta Trail is just over 12 miles but the first 2.35 miles bring you to Fremont Saddle which is a popular destination that provides great views of the famous Weaver’s Needle landmark (seen in above photo).
The Superstition Wilderness is massive! Hiking the full Peralta Trail as well as connecting trails for an epic overnight backpacking trip is always an option. But this post is going to focus on hiking to Fremont Saddle.
Distance: 4.7 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 1,313 feet
Location: Superstition Mountains in Gold Canyon, AZ
Seasons: Fall, Winter, and Spring
Trail head: Peralta Trail Head
Who Will Enjoy It
Visitors new to Arizona and the Superstition Mountains- adults and children of all ages. This is a great hike for your visiting family and friends! If you only have time for one hike and can handle a little bit of elevation, I suggest this one because it has a little taste of everything.
I always think of couples because this is a good moderate hike for a date night watching the sun set. Fremont Saddle is also a great one for your dog- especially if there was recent rain!
When to Visit
Like most hikes in the Superstitions you’ll be exposed to the sun so it is best to hike Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle during the fall, winter, and spring months. Although the trail head does have a large parking lot as well as an overflow lot, I’d suggest arriving early in the morning or catch hikers on their way down in the late afternoon and hike just before sunset.
If it recently rained there will be water in a few spots that will require very minor rock jumping or balancing on logs to get across. However the dirt road to the trail head should be traveled with caution! There are areas that get flooded after a heavy rainfall.
I’ve hiked this part of the Peralta Trail twice and both times I arrived between 3pm and 4pm for a perfect sunset hike! I’m telling you right now this is one of the most beautiful spots to be during a sunset.
Related: Hiking with a dog? Check out Packing List: 10 Essentials for Hiking with Dogs.
Hiking to Fremont Saddle
Peralta Trail starts at the very end of a well maintained, windy dirt road. The drive is one for rolling down the windows and blasting your current favorite tune. There’s nothing like a fresh breeze, jamming to your current obsession, and stunning mountain views!
While driving you’ll see spots for free camping alongside the road and as you continue you’ll lose cell reception which forces you to unplug!
There is a large parking lot at the trail head plus over flow parking and even room for your RV or trailer.
Signs will mark the Peralta Trail Head, and thus begins your hike!
Rated as moderate, the trail starts off easy and leads you through a few dry washes unless there was recent rainfall. The beginning is full of lush vegetation but quickly turns to the cacti and desert terrain Arizona is known for.
You’ll quickly begin climbing elevation that could take your breath away… literally. Whether you need frequent breaks or not, it is worth stopping to take a look behind you. Some times we go so fast that we miss the best views behind us.
Just over 2 miles in and you’ll reach Fremont Saddle which provides the perfect view of Weaver’s Needle. There are plenty of good rocks to sit on and relax while taking it all in.
If you decide to hike for sunset be prepared for the spectacular views on the way down- you’ll be hiking towards it! There are plenty of perfect spots to stop and enjoy it while it lasts. My favorite spot to stop at is at exactly 2 miles in from the trail head. You’ll know you’re there when you see you a little cave to your right. Climb up to the rocks on top of the cave and that is it!
Would you be brave enough to finish the last 2 miles in the dark? Let me know in the comments!
Bring plenty of water.
Have a flash light if hiking at sun set.
Bring a LED collar for your dog if hiking at sun set.
Don’t forget to pause and take in the beauty- this one is very scenic!