Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle: Best Hike For Visitors

If you’re on the hunt for a scenic hike with mountain views, you’ve just found it! The full Peralta Trail is just over 12 miles long but the first 2.35 miles bring you to Fremont Saddle, a popular destination that presents great views into the Superstition Mountains. Hike to this point and back for a beautiful moderate day hike in the mountains!

Whether you’re visiting Phoenix and looking for a trail to accomplish, or just getting started with the new hobby, hiking to Freemont Saddle is the perfect choice in getting started. I always suggest this one to visitors because you get a lot of bang for your buck.

In this guide I’m going to show you how to find the trailhead, what to expect during your hike, and provide tips for a safe outing. Let’s get started!

Peralta Trail To Fremont Saddle Hike Stats

  • Hiking Distance | 4.7 miles RT
  • Difficulty | Moderate
  • Elevation Gain | 1,308 feet
  • Total Time | 2-3 hours
  • Permits/Fees | Arizona State Trust Land Recreational Use Permit – get yours here.
  • Trailhead | Peralta Trailhead
  • Road Conditions | Well graded dirt road, 2WD okay. Need SUV at very least when wet. Impassible when flooded.
  • Dogs Allowed | Yes, dog friendly.

Below is a map of the route to Fremont Saddle via. Peralta Trail.

Overall the trail is very easy to follow! It has one section that is pretty steep but no scrambling is involved. Adults and children of all ages have been able to conquer this one.

It is also a great hike for family and friends visiting. 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 tase of everything. Your furry friend will also enjoy it, especially if it has recently rained!

When To Hike Peralta Trail To Fremont Saddle

Like most hikes in the Superstition Mountains you’ll be exposed to the sun so it is best to hike Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle between November-April when the temperatures are more favorable. It can be do-able at times in the fall months of August-October as long as the temperatures are below 100 degrees and you begin early.

Although the trailhead has a large parking lot, I still suggest arriving early in the morning because it fills up fast on the weekends. You could also time your arrival in the late afternoon as you catch hikers on their way out. Then you can begin your hike and time it perfectly for sunset.

I’ve hiked this part of the Peralta Trail twice and both times I arrived between 3pm and 4pm for a perfect sunset hike! While the sun does cast a large shadow on Weaver’s Needle, beyond the saddle stopping point, if you turn around and head back down the trail you’ll have stunning colors as you hike back to the trailhead.

Sunrise is actually the best time to hike to Fremont Saddle if you’re chasing that good lighting!

Getting To Peralta Trailhead

Peralta Trail starts at the very end of a well maintained, windy dirt road. Map your directions here!

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!

You’ll also pass Arizona’s latest Regional park. Check out this post- NEW Peralta Regional Park: Complete Hiking & Camping Guide – for more information!

The dirt road ends at a large parking lot which hosts the trailhead. There is a lot prior to the end that acts as overflow parking and even has room for your RV or trailer.

Signs will mark the Peralta Trail Head, and thus begins your hike!

The Hike: Peralta Trail To Fremont Saddle

Hiking Peralta Trail To Fremont Saddle In Superstition Mountains.
Beginning of Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle.

Rated as moderate, the trail starts off easy and leads you through a few dry washes unless there was recent rainfall. When wet you may have to do some rock hopping or balancing along logs, but nothing crazy. The beginning of the trail is full of lush vegetation but quickly turns to the cacti and desert terrain Arizona is known for.

Water From Recent Rain In Superstition Mountains.
Monty playing in some of the water leftover from recent rain.

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. Sometimes 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, the most iconic natural rock formation within the Superstition Mountains. There are plenty of good rocks to sit on and relax while taking in the sights.

Superstition Mountains Hike: Peralta Trail To Fremont Saddle.
2 miles in and you’ll have this view! There is a small alcove in the rock wall behind us which marks the spot.
View Of Weavers Needle From Fremont Saddle Via Peralta Trail.
The view of Weavers Needle from Fremont Saddle.

From here you have the option to continue your hike and create a big loop by hiking what I call Weaver’s Needle Loop. Check out Weavers Needle Loop Trail in the Superstition Mountains for directions!

If you feel you’ve gone far enough, simply turn around and retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

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!

Peralta Trail During Sunset | Superstition Mountains.
Hiking back to the trailhead during sunset.
Peralta Trail During Sunset | Superstition Mountains.

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