Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Peralta Trail

Last week we hiked what is probably the most famous of the many trails in the Phoenix area - the Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle. First of all, I have to say that whoever claimed this hike was only 2 miles each way must have been smoking something funny. But since that seems to be everybody, maybe it's the 1380 foot elevation change that did me in. Or it could even be the fact that I've gained weight which I discovered when I donned my hiking pants and they were a bit snug. Whatever the reason, I was exhausted at the end of the supposed 4 miles.

To reach the trailhead, take US 60 about 8 miles east of Apache Junction to Peralta Road. Turn north and, after a very dusty 7 miles, the road dead ends at the trailhead parking lot. (Ron refused to tailgate the car in front of us, so I can't show you the dust.)

Views of the cool rock formations begin right in the parking lot.

We picked a day that wasn't too hot, but this pool still looked refreshing. I like the saguaro pointing the way in the upper right of the picture.

Although the only masses of flowers were the poppies and lupine near the parking lot, there were a lot of different wildflowers along the trail. This one has tiny pale lavender flowers.

There were some nice patches of shade - this one even came with a seat.

I don't remember seeing a maroon cactus flower before. I think it's a hedge hog cactus.

Hey! Here's one I know - it's desert mallow.

As always, Ron couldn't resist a little trail maintenance.

We finally made it to the saddle where there's a nice view of Weaver's Needle. It doesn't really look like a needle to me, but what do I know?

I think this is some kind of penstemon. There were just a few of these near the top.

As we passed this rock, Ron noticed it looked like a dog. He's so imaginative.

I only saw one of this pretty daisy-type plant.

We saw a few of these guys, but only one who would pose for a picture.

Nearing the bottom, Ron still had the energy to climb up the back of this rock to peak through the arch.

I just had the energy for one last flower picture. These were only about pinhead size.


  1. So glad we weren't the only ones exhausted after this hike! I bet you still did not take as long as we did. Great photos.
    Sitting here in the rain missing the dry desert weather!

  2. SPring is in full force here...that looks like an excellent hike. Your photos are really great---I love the wildflowers!! That cactus was pretty cool point the way---lol,
    I took your advice and checked the junk shops but no one had 2 alike! But I got some nice ones at Big Lots that had over the counter art in them so I simply reversed the art and put my poster on top!! It came out nice...didnt get a photo before my son took off with them after the Easter get together..lol

  3. Always wanted to do this hike. Thanks for the great shots.

  4. Those desert flowers are beatiful. Great shots.

  5. Isn't that hike neat? We loved it. The wild flower pictures are neat. Since we were there in November (I think), we didn't see any.

  6. I agree, that trail is treacherous. I did the 10 mile hike on a hot day easier than the Peralta Trail.