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Peralta Regional Park

Views from the trail in the Peralta Regional Park
Elevation plot: Peralta Regional Park
map: Peralta Regional Park
Views from the trail in the Peralta Regional Park
Views from the trail in the Peralta Regional Park
Views from the trail in the Peralta Regional Park
Views from the trail in the Peralta Regional Park


How to Get There
This hike is located in the Superstition Wilderness East of the Phoenix area.

From the Phoenix area, take US-60 East, leaving the city limits. After leaving Apache Junction, continue about 8.5 miles, turning left onto signed Peralta Road (FR 77). After starting out as a paved road, this quickly turns into a well maintained dirt road. The signed Peralta Regional park appears on the left after about 5 miles on this road. Turn right here to enter the park. The roads in the park are all well graded dirt and while the junctions are signed, they are not signed well. From the entry road, take the first left (signed as Trailheads). You'll pass the 'main' trailhead on the right. Turn left at the signed intersection for the Picnic road loop. The next turn is another left onto Camping Road East (signed as Camping). Take this road to the Backpacking Trailhead and park here. There is a restroom at this trailhead, but no water.
Gold Canyon
Superstition and Mazatzal Wilderness

Hike details

4.50 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
4.5 miles total hiking distance
2.00 [Hours]
It took us two hours to complete this hike.
Elevation Change
1,000 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
about 1000 ft total elevation gain during the hike
Hike Trail Type
Lollypop Loop


Best Season
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • October
  • November
  • December
Date Hike completed
January 20, 2023


Solitude Details
Pretty good for such close proximity to the Superstition Wilderness and the popular Peralta Trailhead. As this park becomes more widely known, this may become more crowded, but we only shared the trail with a handful of other hikers.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
Easy hiking through Sonoran desert. There is some route finding here, as the trail junctions are mostly marked, but not signed with the trail names.


Permit Info
$7 entrance fee
Be Aware of
Some route finding, $7 entrance fee (as of Jan 2023)

Hike around the Peralta Regional Park near the Superstition wilderness, Arizona.

The Peralta Regional Park opened in mid January 2023 and features a variety of new trails in the Sonoran desert near the Superstition Wilderness. We made an interesting lollypop loop hike out of three of the trails in this park: Desperado Trail, North Star Trail, and the Saguaro Loop trail.

From the backpackers trailhead, take the nearby trail to the left (East). This is the Desperado trail. It is the longest trail and it loops around 3/4 of the circumference of the park. The entirety of this trail loop is through Sonoran style desert, with abundant Saguaro, Cholla,and Barrel cactus. The park was designed to mirror the nearby Superstition wilderness experience, so signs in the park and trailhead junctions are only basically marked and blend in with the desert. There are a few spur short cut trails on your left. Stay right at these two signed forks to stay on the Desperado trail. The trail bends north, then south west. Once it bends southwest, keep an eye out for a marked junction (after about 0.8 miles of hiking). Turn right here to take the one way North Star trail. This steep quarter mile trail section rewards some effort with great views of the park and the Superstition Wilderness and is well worth taking. After enjoying the views, backtrack to the Desperado trail again, this time turning right. From here, walk 0.6 miles (staying right at the spur trail junctions going off to the left) to reach the Saguaro Loop. This junction is unmarked, but it loops back to this point, so it doesn't matter if you turn right or left here. We arbitrarily chose left for a clockwise hike through the loop. As the name suggests, there are plenty of interesting Saguaro cacti on this section. The total distance of the Saguaro loop is 1.2 miles. As mentioned previously, the loop ends back at the trail junction with the Desperado trail, which you can follow back to the start, or take one of the spur trails more directly to your car.


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